Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Ragu Challenge: 3-2-1 CITE! - Birth of Anna Marie Gleeson Sullivan

I am accepting the 3-2-1 RAGU Challenge of Dear Myrtle: Take three sources and write two paragraphs about one event.

This is a great challenge. Instead of just inputting the information found from a single source (like a birth certificate) into the genealogy program (I’m using RootsMagic), I’m taking the information found from multiple sources and correlating them. Through writing the paragraphs, I can explain my reasoning as to why I think the information is probably correct for the one event. However, I don’t think I can write this out in only two paragraphs. The three sources would need a paragraph each, at least.

The birth event is for my great-grandmother, Anna Marie Gleeson Sullivan. She was born 13 Feb 1860 in Carleton County, Ontario, Canada.  The first source for her birth is the baptism record from St. Phillips Church in Richmond, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada.[1]  This source is the parish records where baptisms, marriages, and deaths were recorded together in chronological order.  I viewed a microfilmed copy that was digitized on FamilySearch.org.  The information about the events themselves would be considered primary information. The events were recorded at the time of the events.

On 4 March 1860, Ann Gleeson, the daughter of John Gleeson and Margaret Tierney, was baptized. The transcript of the baptism record is:

“B.6. March 4th 1860. On the fourth of March eighteen hundred and sixty, I the undersigned Priest baptized Ann born on the thirteenth February last, of the lawful marriage of John Gleeson and Margarett Tierney  The sponsors were William Tierney and Ann Carroll.   P. O’Connell.”

Here the Catholic Church baptism record of Ann Gleeson stated her birth date of 13 Feb 1860. The baptism date is considered primary information; however the birth date is secondary information, given to the priest probably by the parents. Because the baptism was within a few weeks of her birth, the birth date is probably correct.  There is no indication whether the parents were present at the baptism and the one sponsor named William Tierney could possibly be a sibling of Margaret Tierney.

The next source for her birth is the 1900 U.S. Federal census in Deer Lodge County, Montana.[2] This source stated her birth month and year were Feb 1860. There is no indication as to who the informant for this information was. The information stated in the census record is secondary. However, the information on Anna’s birth does match what was learned from the baptism record. The abstraction of this census is:

Sullivan, John H, June 1854, 45, married 18 yrs, b. IR. came in 1866, 36 yrs, na, electrician
            Anna, wife, Feb 1860, 40, m 18 yr, 6/5 living, b. Can, came 1880, 20 yrs
           Nellie, dau, May 1873 [should be 1883], 17, sing, b. Dakota, parents IR/Can, at school
                        Loretto, dau, Feb 1885, 15, sing, b. Dakota, parents IR/CAN, at school
            Cyril, son, Feb 1887, 13, sing, b. Dakota, parents IR/CAN, at school
            Ethel, dau, Feb 1891, 9, sing, Montana, parents IR/CAN, at school
            Anna, dau, Oct 1893, 7, sing, Montana, parents IR/CAN, at school
            Katie, niece, Jun 1877, 23, sing, Minnesota, parents IR, dressmaker

The third source for her birth is her death certificate.[3]  This death certificate stated she died on 3 Jan 1912 in Deer Lodge County, Montana and that she was born 13 Feb 1860 in Canada. The abstract of the certificate is:

Anne Gleason Sullivan, b. 13 Feb 1860, age 51 yrs, 10 mos, 10 days. Housewife, b. Canada, Father: John Gleason, b. Canada. Mother: Margaret Tierney, b. Canada. Informant: John Sullivan, 212 E 5th St. Anaconda. Death: 3 Jan 1912. Cause: melancholia, contrib.: exhaustion. J. Spelman, MD. Burial: Mt. Carmel. 5 Jan 1912. Undertaker: Lawler & Climer, Anaconda.

The information about her death is primary information provided the physician who cared for her. However the information about her birth was provided by the informant listed on the certificate which was John Sullivan. It does not state directly that John Sullivan was her husband, however, she died at 212 East 5th Street and his listed address was the same. The spelling of “Gleason” on the certificate is one of the variations found for Gleeson. This source also listed her parents as John Gleason and Margaret Tierney, however, it was secondary information provided by her husband, John Sullivan.

These are the only sources I have that directly state Anna Sullivan’s birth as 13 Feb 1860. Her tombstone listed only 1860 as her birth[4] and the obituary listed her age as 51.[5] She would have been 52 in just about 6 weeks later.

In conclusion, Anna Marie Gleeson Sullivan was born 13 Feb 1860 to John Gleeson and Margaret Tierney in Carleton County, Ontario, Canada.  If I was also trying to prove her parentage, I would have used the additional source such as the 1880 U.S. Federal census where she was listed as daughter of John and Margaret Gleeson.

[1] "Ontario, Canada, Parish registers, 1836-1917," digital images, FamilySearch, http://familysearch.org, St. Phillips Church, Richmond, Carleton Co, 1860, Baptism B6, Ann Gleeson.
[2] 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Deer Lodge County, Montana, population schedule (digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 28 Jun 2011), citing NARA microfilm publication T623), Anaconda, ED 15, sht 1, dwelling 24, family 24, John Sullivan.
[3] State of Montana, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Certificate of Death, #55281, 1912, Anne Gleason Sullivan.
[4] Mt. Carmel Cemetery, Anaconda, Montana, Sec A, row 3, lot 29, “Annie M. Sullivan,” photo of tombstone taken by Lisa S. Gorrell, Aug 1999.
[5] “Mrs. Annie Sullivan of Anaconda is Dead,” The Daily Miner, 4 Jan 1912.

Copyright © 2014 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past


  1. Lisa,

    If you add the sources to the birth event in RootsMagic, you can enter your paragraphs in the "Research Notes" and "Comments" section under the "Detail text" tab of the citation. Then you can get a great "Research Notes" report for the person (it's under the Research Reports category of the Report dialog).

    - Bruce

    1. Thanks, Bruce. I do use the Comments section in the Detail text of the sources a lot to analyze the actual source and the information I glean from it. Love that the "Research Notes" report can be printed out. It was the main reason I purchased RootsMagic!

  2. Well done and presented, Lisa. RC baptism records for Ontario come in handy, don't they, since civil registration (vital records) began there only in 1869.

    1. Yes, I love RC records. I first used these at the FHL over ten years ago. Love having the images online now.


All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to other-than-just family members particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.

If you are family and want to be contacted, contact me at snrylisa @ gmail.com.