Monday, May 30, 2011

Emily, Is that You ?

     I started my blog on St. Patrick's Day and also subscribed to eagerly looking forward to researching my Irish roots.
     My Irish ancestors are Patrick and Emily Devine, my  maternal great-great-great-grandparents.  As I stated in an earlier  post about Emily, I have her daughter Teresa's baptismal and death certificates.  I already had her death certificate and received a copy of her baptismal certificate from my maternal grandmother's cousin, Geraldine.  The death certificate showed Teresa's mother's maiden name to be O'Leary but her baptismal certificate had no last names for her parents and one of the sponsors listed as Emily Sheldon.  I contacted St. Mary's Church in Hudson, NY and ordered a baptismal certificate for Teresa Devine.  The certificate I received has Teresa's parents last names which are Devine and Sheldon but no sponsors names and no place of birth listed.  I should have called the church back and questioned the names. I did not call.  I put my search for the Devines on hold.  this was a few years ago before I started doing any research online, before I subscribed to, and before I became a little more organized with my research (keyword is "little").
     Fast forward to the present with internet research and access to census records online.  I have not found Patrick and Emily Devine together in any censuses.  Did they fall off the face of the earth?  I did find an Emily Devine in the 1900 U.S. Federal Census.  If this is my Emily, she is listed with her son, William, and living in Esopus, NY.  The 1905 New York State Census shows Emily Devine (if this is the same Emily) living by herself in Esopus, West park Village.  William is not with his mother in the 1905 census.  He is listed as age 18 in the 1900 census so anything could happen in five years.  He could be anywhere.
     I looked through my notes and decided to call St. Mary's Church again regarding Teresa Devine's Baptismal record.  I asked the nice clerk if he could please check the church records and tell me what Teresa's mother's maiden name was.  I had two last names, O'Leary and Sheldon and needed to know which is correct.  I received a callback from St. Mary's.  Emily's maiden name was Sheldon and the sponsors were Andrew and Mary.
     A few days later I thought about calling St Peter's Cemetery in Rosendale, NY.  My great-grandmother, Josephine was born in Rosendale.  Her mother, Teresa was Anna Devine's cousin.  I wrote about Anna in an earlier post, she was the teacher in the one room schoolhouse.  The town of Esopus is not far from Rosendale.  Anna Devine is buried in St. Peter's Cemetery, so maybe...
     I called St. Peter's Cemetery with no information other than Emily's last name, spouse's name and that she was born in Ireland.  I also mentioned that she lived in Esopus with her son, William according to the 1900 census and is by herself in 1905.  Diane from the cemetery called me back to tell me that she found a Patrick, Emily and William Devine.  She didn't have any information on Patrick or Emily but has a date of death for William which is 1903.  If these are the Devines that I seek then that would explain why I didn't find William in the 1905 census.  He died before his 22nd birthday.  Diane told me that she doesn't know what's on the headstone and suggested I visit and take a look for myself.  She offered to mail me a map but I declined her kind offer.  I told her that I'd pick one up when I visit.
     I was planning to visit the cemetery on my next day off during the week but I couldn't wait another two weeks so I went yesterday.  I had the plot #, no map and the cemetery had no markers identifying the sections but I was lucky to meet a couple visiting their relatives. They had a map with only the "F" section which was exactly what I needed.  They helped me find the Devines.  It wasn't a simple headstone but a tall obelisk shaped stone with the name 'Devine' on top. 'Patrick' and wife 'Emily' were engraved on one side, just their names, no dates. William's name was on another side with his date of death and no birth date; instead there was his age in years and months.  I don't even know if Patrick and Emily are buried there. Are these 'my' Devines?  Have I found Emily at last?   Emily, is that You? ? ?

The Town of Esopus celebrates it's 200th anniversary this year.

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