Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - A look at the new baby Lowry!

So first, an admission. The subject of this post is only to help drive traffic to my site. Surely a ruse, but if are reading this, it worked. There is not yet a new Lowry in my family, but we are days, hours or minutes away we hope.

This photo was taken in November 1988 shortly after my sister Colleen was born. I was six years old and Caroline five. This photo was taken in the den of our house on Dennick Ave. Colleen is hanging out in a bouncy chair that today would probably be suspect with safety inspectors. At least it has some type of strap to keep her locked in. I'm sporting my favorite Mickey Mouse pajamas and holding 'Pillow' (Pillow still exists, albeit in a poorer form). And as Colleen reminded me in the comments, Caroline's beloved doll Jennifer Maggie is on the couch. Three siblings, two treasured items from our childhood, one photo. I've recently started to rewatch one of my favorite childhood shows, The Wonder Years, so I will close this post with this...
Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers, the next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house, like a lot of houses. A yard like a lot of other yards. On a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these years, I still look back... with wonder.
*End Scene*

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Census Sunday - 1920 U.S. Census for Michael Lowry and Family

The Fourteenth Census of the United States (1920) found the Lowrys living in Leetonia, Ohio. The previous seventy years took the Lowry family from Westmeath, Ireland to Huntingdon, Pennsylvania to Salem and then Leetonia, Ohio. After 1920, we would further find ourselves in Youngstown and then spread across the United States to major metropolitans like Houston, New York and Washington. But in 1920, we are in Leetonia with four generations under one roof starting with 80-year old Michael Lowry Sr. down to his great grandchild, the 1-year old Joseph McSweeney.

State: Ohio
County: Columbiana
Enumeration District: 137
Sheet No.: 4B
City/Township: Salem Township, Leetonia Village
Address: 184

Lowry Jr., Michael, head, house Owned, Free without Mortgage, male, white, 49 years old, married, able to read and write, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), mother born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), is able to speak English. Trade or occupation listed as 'none'.

'', Annie, wife, female, white, 50 years old, married, immigrated in 1873, Naturalized in 1877, able to read and write, born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), father born in Bavaria (native tongue German), mother born in German (native tongue German), is able to speak English. Trade or occupation listed as 'none'.

'', Edward, son, male, white, 23 years old, single, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, machinist in a machine shop.

'', Charles, son, male, white, 20 years old, single, has not attended school since Sept. 1, 1919, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, chemist in a steel plant.

'', Raymond, son, male, white, 17 years old, single, has not attended school since Sept. 1, 1919, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, apprentice in a machine shop.

'', Helen, daughter, female, white, 13 years old, single, has attended school since Sept. 1, 1919, able to read and write, born in Ohio, father born in Pennsylvania, mother born in Bavaria (Ger) (native tongue German), able to speak English, not employed.

'', Michael Sr., father, male, white, 89 years old, widowed, immigrated in 1849, Naturalized in 186*, born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), father born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), mother born in Ireland (native tongue Irish), is able to speak English. Trade or occupation listed as 'none'.

McSweeney, Jr., Joseph, grandson, male, white, 1 8/12 years old, single, born in Pennsylvania, father born in Ohio, mother born in Pennsylvania. Trade or occupation listed as 'none'.

"United States Census, 1920," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 26 Dec 2012), Michael Lowry in household of Michael Lowry, Columbiana, Ohio; citing enumeration district (ED) 137, sheet 4B, family 83, NARA microfilm publication T625, FHL microfilm 1821356.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday - The Connection to Ireland

I've mentioned numerous times on the blog about the genealogy community reaching out to help one another. Some are willing to help with  headstone photos, research questions, or just offer helpful hints and tricks. Through the magic of Facebook, I received an offer to help find the obituary for my 3rd great grandfather Michael Lowry. Mike has been the subject of much of my recent research, in part because he is my connection to Ireland.

Those who know me know that I have have a deep love of the Emerald Island. I studied at University College Dublin in 2002 and my wife and I spent seven days in Ireland during our honeymoon in 2009. While I am probably more German than Ireland, ethnically speaking, Ireland has always had a deep hold on me. Michael serves as that familial connection to Ireland on the Lowry side of the family. He was born in 1830 and lived his teenage years in the worst of the Irish famine. He left Ireland in 1850 at a time when millions of Irish men, women and children boarded boats for America, Canada, Australia and numerous other countries. Many did not care where they landed, as long as it was away from the oppressive policies of Great Britain that kept Irish Catholics starving and in poverty.

Since I identified Michael about two years ago, I knew he was the connection to Ireland but was not certain in what County he was born. His long sought-after obituary was the answer. A random question to the Columbiana County Genealogy Facebook group and an exchange of messages with a local researcher led to letter in my mailbox a few weeks later with Michael's obituary.

Four generations of Lowry men just a few months before Michael's death. Pictured are 98 year old Michael Lowry Sr., Michael Lowry Jr., Charles Lowry 'Sr' and Charles Lowry 'Jr'. My grandfather wasn't actually a junior because he and his father had different middle names, but he was called Junior when he was a child. Family photo from a collection belonging to my great grandmother Margaret Pepperney Lowry.
Of those details in the obituary, the most important was the location of County Westmeath as his probable place of birth. I say 'probable' for two reasons. First, the obituary was probably written with information provided by Michael Jr., who had never lived in or been to Ireland. Second, Michael Sr. lived in the United States for 78 years, which is an awfully long time for details to be forgotten, misremembered, or changed. Still, it's the only location in Ireland I have and I will certainly use it as a starting block to help narrow further his place of birth. Perhaps I can determine the parish, townland or even the actual location of his home? More detailed research will be needed, including working with Irish records that are 164 years old. This sounds like a fun challenge to me!

County Westmeath.
Source: Wikipedia.
Used under a Creative Commons License.
Michael Lowry Passes Away At Home of Son in Salem
Michael Lowry, Sr., 98 years of age, died at the home of his son, Michael Lowry Jr., 156 Roosevelt avenue, Salem, Wednesday evening at 9:30 of infirmities of old age. Mr. Lowry has made his home with his son for the past sixteen years.
Mr. Lowry was born, September 29, 1830 in County Weat'meath, Ireland. He came to American in 1850 and resided in Leetonia for many years prior to going to Salem.
Surviving are one son Michael Lowry, of Salem, and one daughter, Margaret Lanahan, of Ellwood City, Pa. Also 26 grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren and two great great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at St. Patrick's Catholic church, Leetonia, Saturday morning. Internment at Calvary Cemetery.

Michael Lowry obituary, Leetonia Reporter, Leetonia, Ohio, June 22, 1928, unknown page and volume, number 25.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Military Monday - The Photo Flip

Sometime in 1944, my grandfather stood in front of a door in his Army service uniform and posed for a photo. I have no idea of the location (other than a street number of 227), date or photographer. While looking at the photo, I noticed that the address on the door was inverted. That, in addition to the dark exposure, led me to do some 'fixin.'

Click to enlarge
The new photo is properly aligned, while leaving the cardboard frame as it. I've also lightened the photo just a bit to make it more clear.

Click to enlarge
Some may think I am altering a piece history, but I do believe that some minor alterations to damaged or poorly developed photos can help keep the image truer to what was intended.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Those Places Thursday - 25 Years Ago - 2 take spring stroll

Where were you 25 years ago today? I know where my Aunt Joan and cousins Jeannie and J.P. were. All from Liberty Township, Ohio then, all living outside Houston, Texas today. I bet 25 years ago nobody was thinking you'd be living in Texas!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday - Tennis in Spring

I don't support it's too much to ask for some warm spring weather so we can get a friendly game of tennis going? Even in Virginia, which as an Ohioan I will say is firmly in the South, we are expected snow again this week. Regardless, in the early 1940's, I wouldn't have wanted to go up against this guy. My grandpa Chuck was a tennis phenom, winning the City Series doubles tournament in 1941. This photo is part of a series that appear to have been taken professionally, or at least for a specific purpose such as a yearbook or newspaper. They capture Chuck and his doubles partner on the court in very staged poses. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

Mystery Monday - Whose House Is This?

The problem with scanning thousands of Lowry and Pepperney family photos at once is that I was sloppy with my record keeping. I was eager to just the photos scanned and returned to my aunt. As a result, I don't know if anything is written on the back of this photo. Namely, whose house is this? Perhaps nothing was written on the back. Does anyone out there know whose house this was and where it was located?

Update: My aunt Mary found this photo in the stacks and reported back that this is the birthplace of my great grandmother Margaret Pepperney and her brother James. This house is located in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. That is consistent with other information I have. Thanks Aunt Mary! (2/31/2014)

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