Research
* Search the Hamilton County Probate Court site for the marriage of Lucy Barry Dalton and Thomas O’Shaughnessy.
* Send a message to the general JewishGen listserv about my Scheier family questions.

Organization
* Still trying to get that last inbox cleared – somehow there is always something more urgent (read: interesting) to do.
* Back up the blog! And look for something that will back it up automatically. Is there a plug-in?

Education
* Read book I got from the library about how to create and use a wiki. I watched the Thomas MacEntee webinar but need more education. And sometimes having it in front of me in print is easier.
* Watch one online video or webinar about genealogy. [It's so easy to do, and there are some sites where I can even watch on my own schedule.]
* Find a new webinar site that archives and/or puts up free webinars.

I found a new resource, one I never would have thought of, so I want to share my experience. This all started with the (ongoing) conversation with an O’Shaughnessy researcher I mentioned in my last post. I wrote most of the details about Lucy Barry Dalton O’Shaughnessy last time, but didn’t have this new information at the time.

To begin at the beginning: I have a short (3 page) memoir written by Charles Louis Coffin (Cousin Louis) who was Mary O’Shaughnessy Coffin’s son. In that memoir he noted that Lucy Barry Dalton O’Shaughnessy, Mary’s mother, was a remarkable woman and he detailed a few of her characteristics. One of the pieces of information I had not had before was that her first husband, Josiah, was a Quaker. Now Josiah

Josiah Dalton

has been a bit of a mystery in my researching. He died young and didn’t leave many footprints for me to follow. So, the possibility that he had been a Quaker opened new avenues for me to explore in looking for where he might have been buried.  Perhaps I should have had a clue about Josiah, based on this, the only existing image of him that I know of (he died before photography had been perfected).

Opening my trusty browser and firing up Google I started to look for the history of Quakers in the Cincinnati area. I found a website for the Cincinnati Friends Meeting, which has a historical archive section (including scanned historical documents) and a contact us page that allows you to email them. So I emailed asking about Josiah Dalton and whether there was any information on him in their records. I got back a very nice reply that said there was no mention of Josiah in their records, and then a 2nd email with an 1850 census that the correspondent had found and sent along in case it was my Josiah. So I had no confirmation that Cousin Louis had been accurate in his statement about Lucy Barry converting to Josiah’s religion, at least in Cincinnati where they ended up. And no more information about where he might have been buried.

My next step was to search for information about Quakers in Ireland. I found several websites and began to learn a little about the Society of Friends and its history in Ireland. The most useful site, for my purposes, was the www.quakers-in-ireland.ie site. There I discovered the Dublin Friends Historical Library. Along the way in my reading I discovered that each Meeting is required to keep information about its members and the happenings in the community, and to report that information to the Monthly Meeting of which a local group is a member. In the case of the Dublin Monthly Meeting, much of their early information has been digitized and put into a database, including Removals (when a member went from one Meeting to another either in Ireland or abroad), and Disownments and Resignations (members who “incurred the displeasure of the Society”) as well as marriages, births, and deaths.

Having had a success with the Cincinnati Friends website and contacting them with a question, I tried it again with the Dublin Friends Historical Library. I wrote asking about Josiah and noting the family history that his wife Lucy might have converted and that the family left Dublin so there might be a note of that. What I received in reply a day later was a spreadsheet containing all of the Dalton events noted in the Dublin Meeting. There are 26 events listed, with first and last names and dates (at least years and usually a full date), and then additional information depending on the event. So most deaths recorded also have burial date information (although not place interestingly – perhaps the burials were all in the same cemetery). In addition, parents’ names were often noted.

Based on this gem, I now have parents and grandparents for Josiah Dalton along with some siblings and at least one aunt, and perhaps information where the family lived. More importantly, I have evidence that Lucy Barry did not convert, but rather that Josiah was disowned from the Meeting for marrying a person of a different religious persuasion. It was also noted that Josiah had a birthright amongst the Society of Friends. I assume this meant that his parents were/had been members, and perhaps that he would have the right to be re-admitted under the right circumstances. This may also be the explanation for the inclusion the births of his and Lucy’s two sons, even though he was not a member in good standing at the times of their births.

Once I started looking around, and learning about the Society of Friends, I learned that Quaker genealogical research is an area people specialize in. I should have known this, but I didn’t. Certainly my experiences so far have been very positive with respect to responses and information from the historians of various Meetings. Records not only have been preserved but are shared when you ask. In fact, people have gone out of their way to be helpful and to provide information. What a pleasure!

On September 17, 1787 the final draft of the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. We moved from being a Confederation of states to a nation with a strong central government.  An election was scheduled on January 7, 1789 and the fun began.

Here we are 223 years later still trying to figure out how to do it right.

In that first election only 10-15% of the population was eligible to vote.  Male, white, property owners were the only ones to have that privilege. My husband has a few ancestors who were in the country by then and fit that description and a few that did not.

Francis Blood a revolutionary war general and prominent citizen of Temple New Hampshire probably exercised his franchise.  Ephraim Bate Bigelow a runaway from indentured servitude certainly did not.

By 1850 property ownership had been eliminated as a voting requirement.  Now many of our white, male relatives could vote if they had obtained citizenship. William Martin and Francis Blood, grandson of the revolutionary War general probably voted.

Francis Blood

But in 1855 Connecticut adopted the first literacy test, quickly followed by Massachusetts.  These literacy tests were designed to keep too many newly minted Irish-American citizens from voting.  They would later be used to discriminate against other groups, most notably African-Americans

The newly arrived Irishman John Costello would not have voted.

The Coles, the Silvers, and the Bublicks had yet to arrive in the United States.

The 15th amendment to the constitution was passed in 1870.  It gave all male citizens the right to vote, including former slaves.  It was the beginning of a long road to real voting rights for African-Americans.

I don’t think we have any African-American ancestors.  We certainly had some ancestors who could not pass a literacy test.

In the 1890′s poll taxes and literacy tests were adopted throughout the South.  The literacy test presented a problem as it excluded many white voters along with the African voters for whom it was intended, so grandfather clauses were adopted, allowing those who could vote before 1870 to continue to do so irrespective of literacy or tax qualifications. In 1915 the Supreme Court outlawed literacy tests.

At the turn of the twentieth century the Western states started granting women the right to vote in state and local elections.

And–ta-da– in 1920 the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution is passed and women get the right to vote in national elections.   Lots of people in my family gained the right to vote in 1920.

Rosa Cole

Celia Mason

Pauline Silver

 

So now all U.S. citizens can vote, right?  Well, not quite. That would happen in 1924, when Indian Citizenship Act grants all Native Americans the rights of citizenship including the right to vote in federal elections. Of course, residents of the nation’s capital couldn’t vote in presidential elections until the 23rd Amendment was passed in 1961.

This of course, doesn’t stop states from attempting to block some of the people from voting. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 finally put an end to the poll tax.  Somehow literacy tests had made their way back into law and were finally banned in 1970.

And finally in 1971 the 26th Amendment lowered the voting age to 18.

The national argument over who can vote continues of course, with cases about voter ID requirements moving through the courts as I write this.  We all want our choice to win.  I think the best way to achieve this is not to stop others from voting, but to get off your behind, even if it’s raining, and get to the polls on November 6, 2012; unless you’re voting for the other guy, then you can stay home.

 

I’ve been having great fun the last couple of weeks corresponding with someone who is interested in tracking the O’Shaughnessy family. It turns out that he is descended from another brother than the man I have been interested in (who I didn’t know about) so I think we’ve both learned some things.

In describing his grandmother, C. Louis Coffin wrote: “… a remarkable woman, Lucy Barry, who had previously married a Quaker and adopted that faith. Her father had been a British Civil Servant in Dublin. Left a widow in 1834, she attended the famous 1837 lectures between Alexander Campbell and Bishop Purcell and announced her opinion that, ‘There is not halting ground between Catholicism and infidelity’. She married Thomas O’Shaughnessy in 1837 after the lectures.” This is a very brief description of the woman I am interested in, but an intriguing one in terms of the amount of information packed into it.

Lucy Barry, was born about 1808 or 1809 in Dublin I think. Certainly by the time she married Josiah S. Dalton on 1 October 1827 in Dublin, she was reported to be a member of the St. Nicholas Without parish and he was not. Their first son, Stephen was born 26 December 1828 and his baptism was reported to have taken place on 4 February 1829. Thomas George Dalton was born to them on 16 January 1831 and he was duly baptized on 23 March 1831. During this period the family lived on Coombe Street in Dublin. While the marriage and then baptisms suggest to me that Lucy had not converted to the Society of Friends, it is possible that her husband Josiah had been a member and maybe continued to be.

The family must have left Dublin almost immediately after Thomas’s birth and baptism, since they appear on the passenger list of the Britannia from Liverpool to New York, arriving 6 July 1831. Josiah was listed on that list as a grocer. Two letters of reference for Josiah have survived, both from gentlemen in Dublin attesting to his good character and dated May 1831.

I don’t know why the young Dalton family moved to Cincinnati or exactly when, however that was where they settled, before 1832-33. Although there was a Meeting of the Society of Friends already established in Cincinnati, Josiah apparently did not become a member. In 1832 or 33, their son Richard was born. The 1834 city directory for Cincinnati listed Josiah Dalton at Johnston and Dalton, an auction and Commission store, although in April of 1834 Josiah Dalton died. So he must have been established in this partnership prior to 1834. His death left Lucy a young widow (about 26 years old) with two or possibly three young boys. Whether it was two or three is not certain. The oldest son, Stephen, did not appear to be with the family in the 1840 census when he would have been about 12 years old, although the two younger Dalton boys were there. However, there are no records found yet that show a death for Stephen.

As Louis Coffin wrote, Lucy met and married Thomas O’Shaughnessy in 1837. This date has also not yet been confirmed by any official records, but their first daughter was born in September 1838. Her youngest Dalton son was just about 5 years old. Lucy and Thomas went on, as shown in the timeline above, to have 5 children together all of whom survived to adulthood.

The two Dalton sons lived with the O’Shaughnessy family well into adulthood. Richard married my great grandaunt, Jessie Malvina Coffin in 1859 when he was 26. Tom was still living with the family at age 29 in 1860, but left sometime between then and 1870 as he is not with the family for the 1870 census. Thomas O’Shaughnessy died in 1862, and Lucy still had all 5 O’Shaughnessy children at home with her as of the 1870 census.

The O’Shaughnessy home began to be broken up when Lucy died, apparently unexpectedly, in January 1875. She had “congestion of the lungs” it was reported. The unmarried O’Shaughnessy descendents continued mostly to live together in Cincinnati, although Francis was no longer in the same residence as of 1880 and soon after the others moved on to their own establishments. Lucy continued to be missed by her children, as Tom Dalton wrote to his married sister Mary O’Sh Coffin in Argentina in 1875:

On this holiday we celebrate the American worker and his or her contribution to our American life, but the holiday was actually born as a way to appease workers after a brutal crackdown on the workers and the union during the Pullman strike of 1894.

The people who made the Pullman railroad cars lived in a company town. They were paid by the Pullman Company, lived in company housing and had their rent automatically deducted from their paychecks. When the economy crashed in 1893 there were layoffs, and wage cuts, but no decrease in rents.

The workers walked out.  They were soon joined by railroad workers led by the young Socialist leader Eugene Debs. Train service was disrupted.  The mail could not get through. There was rioting and destruction of railroad equipment, sometimes by mobs of non-union workers. 80 million dollars of damage was done and thirty people died.

The strike became a national issue.  Unable to resolve the labor dispute President Grover Cleveland declared the strike a federal crime and sent troops to disband the strike.

Pullman Strikers Confronting the National Guard

Eventually the workers were overpowered and forced to sign a pledge never to unionize again.  Eugene Debs, defended by Clarence Darrow, saw the charge of obstructing the mail dropped, but spent six months in prison for violating a federal injunction.  He continued to organize. When he ran for President in 1920 on a Socialist ticket he won a million votes.

Labor had long pressed Congress for a Labor Day holiday.  The bill was passed by both houses and hit Cleveland’s desk six days after the end of the strike.  The bill was signed into law as a means of appeasing the labor movement.   The new holiday was seen by labor not just as a holiday, but as a day for organizing.

Today we see Labor Day as the holiday that marks the end of summer.  Kids go back to school, parents breathe a sigh of relief, we grill things and try not to think about cold weather and heating bills.

Of course, genealogists think about their ancestors and I am no exception.  Here are some of our great-grandparents, grandparents, parents and their labors.

Samuel Bublick opened a candy store, what we might consider a convenience store in New York City.

Joseph Mason

 

Joseph Mason worked as a leather cutter making ladies handbags.  He was a wiry little man with arms of steel.

Morris Silverman was a capmaker in New York City.

Morris Silverman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

His son Alex would organize for the capmakers union.

Alex Silver

Alex’s son, Stanley would work for the Signal Corp and then as a salesman.  He would be a union steward.

Stanley Silver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am Stanley’s daughter.

 

John and Annie Costello homesteaded a farm in Sprague, Washington.

James and Sophie Cole

James and Sophie Cole homesteaded a farm in Primrose, Nebraska.

Edwin Cole

 

 

 

 

Their son Edwin would cook in a lumber camp, pour cement for the WPA and work as a janitor in a hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edwin’s son Merwin would become a union organizer, a carpenter and a contractor.

Marian and Merwin Cole

 

My husband is Merwin’s son

 

 

 

 

 

Stanley’s daughter and Merwin’s son got to go to college and now work at jobs that leave them trying to figure out how to get enough exercise. Wow!

Merwin’s son and Stanley’s daughter post exercise

 

 

 

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