Monday, August 17, 2015

Leo Joseph Martin Broderick (1919-1943) Update: CWGC Releases New Records

On August 13, 2015 new records were added to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website:

"The records of almost 600,000 Second World War casualties commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) will be made available to the public for the first time to coincide with the 70th anniversary of VJ Day."

"Andrew Fetherston, the CWGC's Archivist and Records Manager, said: "The release of our Second World War archive online opens a new avenue for members of the public to investigate and remember the individuals we commemorate." "

(Source: Update link here

The CWGC webpage for Leo J. Broderick

Leo Joseph Martin Broderick (1919-1943)

I have written previously about my first cousin (2x removed) - RCAF Warrant Officer (Bomb Aimer) Leo Joseph Martin Broderick who was born December 22, 1919 and died on 06 September 1943 at the young age of 24. Leo was reported as missing following air operations over Germany during WWII.

RCAF Leo Joseph Martin Broderick 1919-1943

Links to my previous posts:

The documents I researched at Library and Archives Canada

Grave Registration (GRRs)

Grave Registration Reports (GRRs) are standard forms which detail graves for which the Commission is responsible within a particular burial ground. They provide basic details of the individuals, such as name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and are listed in Plot, Row and Grave order.

In grave registration there were two documents for Leo Broderick:

Grave Concentration

These record details of individuals who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, but who, at a later date, were exhumed and reburied in war cemeteries. The concentration of cemeteries allowed otherwise unmaintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.

For the grave concentration reports there were also two for Leo Broderick. The first one (290) had been sent to me in November 2014 by the CWGC-Canada . It shows that the three who died in the crash (1943) were reburied later at Durnbach September 13, 1947

Document 290 which had been procided to me through CWGC Canada 


These documents provide details of what was actually inscribed on an individual’s headstone. Their main purpose was to help manage the enormous programme of headstone production and engraving embarked on by the Commission.

I am not sure who decided what would be inscribed? Some are quite personal. Leo's says simply "R.I.P."

Inscription on Leo's headstone

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Texas Guinan - "Give The Little Girl A Great Big Hand"

Sometimes when I do genealogical research online I find myself taking wild tangents that are quite fun!

I have researched the Colorado Moynahans before and never come across a story about a John J. Moynahan (an artist/cartoonist) who married one of the most scandalous and notorious women of the early twentieth century, Mary Louise Cecilia "Texas" Guinan (January 12, 1884 – November 5, 1933). "The robust entertainer sent the phrases "Hello, Sucker" and "Give The Little Girl A Great Big Hand", virtually around the world."

Texas Guinan

Source: Movie Card: Kromo Gravure Leading Moving Picture Stars

Source: "Texas Guinan in She The Wolf" by Merit Film Corporation
Internet Archive. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons 

Guinan was one of seven siblings born in Waco, Texas, to Irish-Canadian immigrants Michael and Bessie (née Duffy) Guinan. She attended parochial school at the Loretta Convent in Waco. When she was 16 years old, her family moved to Denver, Colorado, where she was in amateur stage productions and played the organ in church.

Guinan married John Moynahan, a cartoonist for the Rocky Mountain News, on December 2, 1904. The union was childless. Moynahan's career took them to Chicago, where Guinan studied music before divorcing him and starting her career as a professional singer. She toured regional vaudeville with some success, but became known less for her singing than for her entertaining "Wild West"-related patter.

Source: Colorado Marriages 1858-1939 G Page 1117

Source: The Prescott Evening Courier: 21 Nov 1933
Some accounts say that Texas met her first husband, newspaper cartoonist for Rocky Mountain News John J. Moynahan, at the home of her cousin, Katie Hoban, in Idaho Springs, Colorado. Here's a completely different account that has John Moynahan rescuing her from a marriage she did not want:
Source: The Sunday Morning Star - May 22, 1927

John Moynahan was described as quiet and Texas as noisy and there is no doubt that the marriage was brief, but this is the only reference to the marriage being unhappy.

Texas preferred to forget all of her three husbands except "Jack" Moynahan, who she would occassionally speak about.

Source: St Petersburg Tines: 6 Nov 1933
I did locate information that when Texas moved to New York, John J. Moynahan (who was living in Chicago) was worried about her and would send her money.

Source: Texas Guinan blogpost

Texas Guinan 1938 from Texas Guinan blog spot

Prohibition Years, The 300 Club Manhattan

Much has been written about Texas Guinan's incredible life in films and in Manhattan.

Source: Crew Magazine: Happy Birthday Texas - 1928

She was one of the first female emcees. Upon the introduction of Prohibition, she opened a speakeasy called the 300 Club at 151 W. 54th Street in New York City (1920). The club became famous for its troupe of 40 scantily clad fan dancers and for Guinan's distinctive aplomb, which made her a celebrity. Arrested several times for serving alcohol and providing entertainment, she always claimed that the patrons had brought the liquor in with them, and the club was so small that the girls had to dance close to the customers. Guinan maintained that she had never sold an alcoholic drink in her life.[2] (Source: Wikipedia)

(From TexasGuinanBlog)

Source: St Petersburg Tines: 6 Nov 1933

Texas Funeral - Manhattan 
1933Twelve thousand turned out for a final viewing.
Show business buddies filled Frank Campbell's Funeral Chapel in New York with flowers.
Movie cameras recorded it all.

She was survived by both of her parents. Her mother died at age 101 in 1959 and her father was 79 years old at his death in 1935. Her family donated a tabernacle in her name to St. Patrick's Church in Vancouver in recognition of Father Louis Forget's attentions during her last hours. When the original church was demolished in 2004, the tabernacle was preserved for the new church built on the site. Guinan is interred in the Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York. (Source: Wikipedia)


 Incendiary Blonde 1945 

starring Betty Hutton

(90% Fiction and 10% Fact)

The movie "Incendiary Blonde" starring Betty Hutton was based on the life of Texas Guinan but as you can see from the newsclipping below, it was 90% fiction and 10% fact! Still, I loved the few clips that I could find online. She was remembered and portrayed as quite the character!

Source: Milwaikee Journal 14 November 1943

Source: Getty Images

But What About John J. Moynahan (1876-1939) ?

I was shocked to read that he made it to New York City (where Texas was) in the 1920s! I wonder? Did they know of each other? Did they meet?

After he and Texas parted ways in 1907 he remained single until at 58 years og age, two years after Texas died (1933), in 1935 he married widow Lydia Maude (Searle) Wurderman.



This cartoon, from the archives of the Scituate Historical Society, was drawn, it is believed, by Jack Moynahan, cartoonist for the Rocky Mountain News.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

52 Ancestors No.32: My 32 3rd-Great-Grandparents

Did you know you have 32 3rd-great-grandparents? Did you know that "By the time you hit those seventh great grandparents, you have a whopping 1,022 slots on your family tree to try to fill."? (Source: The Legal Genealogist)

Professional Genealogist Christ Cowans says, "at roughly 25 years per generation — your seventh great grandparents lived only about 300 years ago." That's not really that long ago but I am far away from knowing all 1022 of my grandparents!

Fan Chart

This fan chart has 30 spaces for your 2 Parents, 4 Grandparents, 8 Great-Grandparents and 16 2nd Great Grandparents. How many spaces can you fill in?
Free Genealogy Fan Chart
I have been doing genealogical research since 1981. That's over thirty years and I still have huge gaps in my research. This is common among genealogists!

My filled fan chart (excluding all living family members)

My Paternal Grandparents

My Maternal Grandparents

My 32 3rd Great Grandparents

I inherited this photograph from my grandmother Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan and on the envelope was written "Great Grandmother". This means that this is a photo of one of my 3rd Great Grandparents.

The problem was that on my paternal side of my family tree, this photo could have been one of eight women. Luckily, I had help from my distant cousin Vicky Hess who identified this enchanting woman as Mary *Steinbraun* (*see notes at bottom on spelling).

Mary Ann Hess' mother: Mary *Steinbraun*

26/32  3rd-Great-Grandparents  

At the end of the day, I know some information about 26 of my 32 3rd-Great-Grandparents and I have a picture of only one - Mary Steinbrun (1829-1873). I love genealogy because I love discovering new ancestors and the research NEVER ends!

More on Mary Steinbraun

* From Kim Simpson: "I really think Mary Ann Hess’ mother’s name was Mary Steinbraun....... On Gabriel Hess’ marriage record it reads as Mary Steinborn; on Joseph Hess’ death it reads Mary Steinbrum;" 
* From Vicky Hess: Oral family history has her being born in " Alsace Lorraine.  French and German both claimed Alsace, so searching has been a problem. The relatives also said they came to Canada from/thru Pennsylvania." 

52 Ancestors No.31 Meeting Distant Cousins from the Annal-Hess Clan

For Week 31 (July 30-August 5), Amy Crow has suggested the theme "Easy" to begin August with.

For me, with thanks to distant cousin genealogists Vicky Hess and Kim Simpson, my Annal-Hess clan research has progressed easily.  Through Vicky's and Kim's hard work and generosity I have filled in huge gaps in my knowledge of the Annal-Hess families of Wallaceburg, Ontario.

Vicky and Kim have passed on birth and death certificate, obituaries, news clippings and photographs etc. My Annal research had been truly enriched through meeting them.

All of the recent pictures and information below came from distant cousins Vicky and Kim. I am so grateful! (At the bottom of the page there are links to all my previous posts on the Annal-Hess ancestors)

The Annal-Hess Clan
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos
The Annal-Hess Men
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos

The Annal-Hess Men Identified
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos

Newspaper clipping with Mrs. John Annal (nee Martha Wood) in the front row (left)
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos
James Annal on the right and possibly William Annal on the left?
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos

James Henry Allen Annal
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

Mary (Hess) Annal
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

Postcard: "John Annal out west"
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos
Hess & Annal Feather Renovator
Joe Hess (pictured in the derby hat) with James Hess and other unidentified men
Photo credit: Vicky Hess family archive photos
The Annal "Crystal Ice" Wagon
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)
James, daughter Nellie and Margaret (Wright) Annal
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

James, daughter Nellie and Margaret (Wright) Annal
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

James, daughter Nellie and Margaret (Wright) Annal
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

James Annal
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)
James Annal Funeral Card
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

Nellie (Annal) Simpson and children (names witheld for privacy)
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)
1896 Methodist Church Women (Wallaceburg, Ontario)
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)
Nellie Annal's School, (Wallaceburg, Ontario)
Photo credit: Private collection of Graydon Douglas Simpson (son of Nellie Annal)

Links to my previous Annal-Hess blog posts:

  1. ANNAL: Family Photograph Mysteries
  2. ANNAL: Orkney Sailor James Annal (1849-1930)
  3. ANNAL: Fire Chief and Ice Dealer James Annal 
  4. ANNAL: Great Grandmother Elizabeth's Brother John  Annal
  5. HESS - ANNAL: Hess & Annal : Feather Renovators (1906)
  6. HESS - ANNAL Historical Ontario Vital Statistics Records Available Online for FREE
  7. HESS - ANNAL: Annal-Hess