Saturday, July 8, 2017

On this day: Birth of Mary Martha Gleeson, 8 July 1863

Mary Martha Gleeson was born in Carleton County, Ontario, Canada on 8 July 1863 to John Gleeson and Margaret Tierney.[1] She was the second daughter and fourth child born to John and Margaret.

She was baptized on 2 August 1863 at St. Phillip’s Catholic Church by Father O’Connell. James Douras and Susan Smith were the sponsors.[2] James Douras was John’s sister, Honora’s husband, or rather, Mary Martha’s uncle. At this time, I don’t know who Susan Smith was. Was she a relative of John or Margaret Gleeson, or was she an in-law like James Douras? [Note: Mary Martha’s brother, John, married a Susan Smith later in 1894, but this was not the same Susan.]

She moved to Dakota  Territory with her parents around 1880 and married her husband, Warren Edmond Gilbert on 9 Sep 1886 in Mitchell, Davison Co, South Dakota. A newspaper article about the marriage:
"Gilbert-Gleeson.  At the Catholic church in this city at 8:30 am Thursday, by Rev. Father Sheehan.  Mary Martha Gleeson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gleeson and Warren E. Gilbert, of Grand Forks.  A wedding breakfast was served at 11 o'clock, and Mr. and Mrs. Gilbert took the train east at one o'clock.  They will visit Sioux Falls, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Minnewaukon before going to Grand Forks, where the groom is engaged in the insurance business."[3]
Before 1900, the family moved to California, where their daughter, Muriel Martha Gilbert was born, 19 Oct 1895.

Mary Martha lived a long life. Here is a newspaper article with photo of her 98th birthday. She lived at the geriatric hospital, Santa Teresita Hospital.[4]
98th Birthday celebration
 She died 14 Sep 1962 in Pomona, Los Angeles County at the age of 99.[5] She was buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, but there is no marker.[6]

Happy 154th Birthday, Mary Martha!

[1] St. Phillips Church, Richmond, Carleton Co, Register, vol. 2, 1863, B32, Mary Martha Gleeson; digital images, "Ontario, Canada, Parish registers, 1836-1917,”FamilySearch (  : viewed 7 Jul 2017); citing FHL 1304679 item 2.
[2] ibid.
[3] “Gilbert-Gleeson,” Mitchell Daily Republican, 10 Sep 1886, p 3, digital image, ( : viewed 7 Jul 2017).
[4] “Birthday Girl,” Newspaper clipping, newspaper unknown, July 1961,
[5] "California Death Index, 1940 thru 1997," database,   (; citing The California Department of Health Services Office of Health Information and Research vital Statistics Section, 1962, Los Angeles Co, Mary M. Gilbert.
[6] Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles, California, Section G, L1009, grave 2; author visited cemetery 1 Aug 2008 and found no tombstone.

Copyright © 2017 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Do you have a sense of why Mary Martha's grave had no marker? That seems unusual.

    1. Probably because her only daughter, Muriel, had already died. I visited this cemetery one summer and for the dozen or so gravesites, only half had stones. I was surprised one of her nieces or nephews didn't provide for one. My aunt Loretta was living near her. Perhaps she didn't have the money either.

  2. I thought it might have been a matter of money. (It's great that you're keeping her memory alive for your family.)


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