Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday's Obituary - John Horgan

"HORGAN - On April 10, John Horgan, beloved husband of the late Julia Murphy and father of Mary E. Gorry, native City of Cork, Ireland. Funeral from his late residence, 652 East 16th st., on Sunday, April 12, at 2 p.m."

Ah, Irish Catholics. Not only do we love reading obituaries, but we love clipping and keeping them.

John Horgan was my 3rd great grandfather and I know very little about him besides the information in this obituary, which is actually a pretty informative obit - place of birth, wife's maiden name, address. I had to use information in this obit (such as the day of the week the dates fell on) and info from the back of this clipping (a headline for a boxing match) to determine what year John Horgan died. I now also have a death certificate for him and a ship passenger list with his name on it, but between his arrival to New York in 1871 and his death here in 1908, I have almost no information about him - I have a mid 20th century record of him as the father at his daughter Mary's baptism, but I can't find him on a census, city directory, military record, marriage certificate, naturalization record, etc. nada, nothing. John and Julia are two of my most frustrating, mysterious ancestors, but I'm still working on "finding" them somewhere in that almost 40 year gap - they can't be complete ghosts, right?

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