Thursday, November 26, 2015

52 Ancestors No. 42 - Coughlin "Folio Pak Snaps"

I found this "Folio Pak Snaps" photo book recently when sorting through some genealogy papers and what a delightful find it was!

This little book is inscribed, "Elizabeth & William Coughlin's Golden Wedding Anniversary" written in my grandmother Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan's handwriting. I previously blogged about their 1949 Golden Anniversary here:

Noticeably absent from this book of photos is William Coughlin and it made me wonder? Was this really the Golden Anniversary in 1949 or was it another celebration?

I wondered why there were no pictures of Grandfather Coughlin and why there was a picture of Grandmother Coughlin cutting the cake alone if it was an anniversary celebration? Grandpa Coughlin died in 1952. The other clue was Ed McHugh (in the in-law photo) he married Patricia Moynahan in 1954?

One of the children in the photo was born in 1948 and is much older than one-year-old in the photo below.

Rhea wrote on the back of each photo and I have captioned each of the eleven photos below with what she wrote.

I do believe that these are photos of a Coughlin family celebration - likely Grandma Coughlin's birthday (March 24th)!

Genealogists are challenged when photos have absolutely nothing written on them and we cannot identify who is on the picture. It is equally challenging when the photos have been identified, but something doesn't add up!

When I shared the photographs online, everyone pitched in and figured out what year it was and helped me identify everyone in the photographs as well!

Gail Kinsel (who appears in the photos) wrote,
Hi Cindi, I am going to give you my best recollection to these wonderful family pictures. 
First it is my belief these pictures were taken In March, 1952 celebrating Grandma Coughlin s 69th birthday. They are not the 50th Anniversary pictures. 
In the grandchildren picture, back row left to right, Betty Lauzon, Joe Demarse, Joan Lefaive, Patricia Moynahan, Richard Lefaive. Second row L-R Gail Harrison, Grandma Coughlin, Gerald Lefaive. Front row L-R Bill Coughlin, Cindy Harrison, on Grandma's lap are two of Betty's children (Sher and Gary), Maureen Coughlin and Betty Lauzon's son Jim. Children photo I think you know the children and that is Ida Demarse. 
In-laws picture, back row L-R Austin Lauzon, Ed Harrison, Ed McHugh, Art Lefaive, Joe Demarse, Ernie Moynahan. Seated L-R Vickie Coughlin, Grandma and Art Schofield. Picture of Grandma opening her gifts it's Grandma, Gail Harrison and Betty Lauzon. Grandma standing at the dining room table in front of her birthday cake. Lastly, Surprise, Grandma and Bill Coughlin entering her home on Hickory. 
I hope this is helpful. One thing I am sure of is that it is not her Golden Anniversary. That is why Grandpa wasn't in any of the pictures. He had passed already.

The Cover
Reade's Photographic Service
Windsor, Ontario

"Elizabeth & William Coughlin's Golden Wedding Anniversary"
"Golden Anniversary"

"Taken at Golden Anniversary" 

"Golden Anniversary; Pat here; John & Ernest missing"

Golden Anniversary; children & Ida Demarse
"Inlaws at wedding; Dad missing"
"female relatives"

"Golden Anniversary"

"Golden Anniversary: Coughlins"

"Golden Anniversary: Coughlins"

"Grandma Coughlin and Billy Coughlin"

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - The St Alphonsus' Moynahans

St Alphonsus Cemetery, Windsor, Ontario
I love this Moynahan headstone at the St Alphonsus cemetery in Windsor, Ontario. I have no idea of the scale of it because I have never seen it personally, but I like to think that it is large enough for someone to sit on, like a bench, and reflect.

What inspired this design? Who created it? Who was it created for?

I know that Timothy (1813-1902), Archange (1824-1903), Enos (59-1895) and James (1865-1899) Moynahan are buried in the St. Alphonsus cemetery. This headstone is likely theirs.

James Moynahan's headstone at St Alphonsus is below. Notice the similar wood log design.

As soon as I posted this on social media, Brenda Corby suggested that perhaps my ancestor was a "Woodsmen of the World" (WOW) which has nothing to do with chopping wood!

Woodmen of the World and the Tree Stone Grave Markers writes:
"If you visit cemeteries often, you’ve probably noticed the tree stone monuments, especially in the West, Midwest and South. As mentioned last Tuesday, two organizations are given credit for their proliferation, Modern Woodmen of America and Woodmen of the World."
To explore the group that is responsible for the sheer number of them and why, visit this ling at A Grave Interest:

Source: Canada GenWeb's Cemetry Project

I will have to make further inquiries through the St. Alphonsus cemetery records.  But for now, I am delighted and intrigued by this unusual Moynahan headstone.

James Moynahan 1865-1899
Source: Essex County Branch OGS: Obituary file
Source: Detroit Free Press: Saturday Feb 25, 1899

Timothy Moynahan (1813-1902)

Source: Windsor Evening Record, Oct 22, 1902

Archange (Parent) Moynahan (1824-1903),

Detroit Free Press, June 30, 1903

Source: Detroit Free Press, June 29, 1903

Michigan State Death Certificate: Archange Moynahan, death June 27, 1903

Source: St. Alphonsus Church Record: Internments

Detroit Free Press Aug 8, 1903

Detroit Free Press Aug 9, 1903

Detroit Free Press Aug 11, 1903

Canadian Woodmen Head Office was in London, Ontario

Images below from

Monday, November 2, 2015

Thanks Amy Crow for 31 Days of Genealogy

Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan (based on of photograph circa 1922)
Mixed media sketch on monoprint by Cindi Moynahan-Foreman
It's Day 31 of Amy Crow's "31 Days of Genealogy" and I am incredibly grateful that Amy's emails have appeared every day for last thirty-one days in my inbox! And for FREE!!

Amy Johnson Crow is a Certified Genealogist with more than 20 years of experience helping people discover their family's history. She is also the creator of the #52Ancestors challenge which has, for the past two years, taken me to new levels with my genealogical research, led me to new relatives and made me dig deeper into my own family history. Amy has inspired so may of us to do more research, better research and tell our family stories!

Before Amy sends her final email to my inbox tomorrow, I wanted to thank her and Amy has assigned her readers a final task:
"Pick one of your favorite ancestors. Get out all of your notes about that person. Sit down and write at least 3 paragraphs about that person. (I'm not even asking for a full page!) I bet you'll see that this exercise not only ties everything together, but sparks your imagination for more research."
I had just finished the mixed media sketch (above) of my great great grandparents Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan just hours before I received Amy's email. Recognizing the synchronicity of those two things I chose to write about my second great grandparents Jeremiah and Mary Moynahan.

I feel a connection to these two ancestors that I can't explain. I loved hearing the stories about them that have been passed through the years.

With thanks to Amy Crow, here are a few paragraphs on Jeremiah and Mary (Brennan) Moynahan.

At the beginning of my genealogy journey back in the early 1980s, the first time that I saw the image below of Jeremiah and Mary with my great grandfather John Moynahan, I cannot even describe how I felt. Their eyes. The way they were dressed. Imagining their lives. The photo inspired me to dig even deeper into the archives.

Jeremiah (1841-1922) and Mary (Brennan) (1841-1926)Moynahan with Ellen ("Nellie") (1865-1940)
and son John (seated) (1866-1933)
The picture above would have been taken in the late 1860's. Jeremiah and Mary would have been in their late twenties and just starting what would become a family that would include nine children (Mary would be pregnant into her forties, the last baby born Maud Agnes (Moynahan) Flannery in 1884.)

298 North Talbot Rd., Maidstone, Ontario

After their marriage in 1863, Jeremiah and Mary lived at 298 South Talbot Road in Maidstone (Township of Sandwich East in 1867) until 1922. Pictured above on google maps, it remains farmland to this very day.

Mary's mother and father, John and Catherine Brennan, lived in Sandwich East 1871. (Source: Year: 1871; Census Place: Sandwich East, Essex, Ontario; Roll: C-9889; Page: 24; Family No: 79 )

Mary was born in Ireland in 1841. In 1853, when Mary was twelve years old, she came with her parents John Brennan (1819-1881) and Catherine (Bowler) Brennan (1819 -1891) to Canada and the family settled in Sandwich South.

The Upper Canada Rebellion

Jeremiah was born on his parent's Denis and Catherine (Roach) Moynahan's farm at 6 South Middle Road, Maidstone on March 22, 1837, in Maidstone Ontario," in the year of the Rebellion of Upper Canada" (Source: The Border Cities Star - Jun 21, 1922 ) .

6 South Middle Rd., Maidstone, Ontario

Jeremiah's parents, Denis and Catherine, were born in County Kerry Ireland and migrated to Canada in the early 1830s (They were married at Ste Anne's Church Detroit in 1833).

A Chronology:

When Jeremiah died in 1922, he had "lived 84 years within five miles of the place where he is born (on the Middle Road)" (Source: Essex Free Press June 23, 1922, Page 1 of 8)

In 1913, Jeremiah and Mary celebrated their golden wedding anniversary by holding a family reunion where the family attended mass then had a party on their Maidstone farm. "The old couple were the recipients of many appropriate presents and congratulations on this occasion" (Source: The Essex Free Press: November 21, 1913, Page 1 of 8)

In June 1922, Jeremiah and Mary "decided to spend a few weeks with their daughters in the country. Mrs. Moynahan going to Mrs. Flannery's in Colchester North and Mr Moynahan to Mrs. Alex Jobin's Con. 9, Sandwich South. It was at Mrs Jobin's that his passing away took place on Tuesday night. Deceased was about as usual during the day and did not complain of any ailment and retired at 8 o'clock that night. About 10, when Mr and Mrs Jobin retired, they looked into his room and were surprised that he slept away without making a struggle. Death was due to heart disease." (Source: Essex Free Press June 23, 1922, Page 1 of 8)

In June 1926, Mary passed away at 432 Hall Ave., Windsor Ontario the home of her daughter, retired school teacher Nellie Moynahan. (Source Essex Free Press June 25, 1926)

There is still so much more to learn about the lives of my ancestors. Thanks to Amy Crow, I have learned a great deal so far.


  • Marriage: Ontario, Canada, Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1747-1967 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.
  • Residence 1867: Essex County Directory and Gazetteer, 1866-1867; Canada, City and Area Directories, 1819-1906 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.
  • BMD Jeremiah Moynahan: Birth; Marriage; Death: Archives of Ontario; Series: MS935; Reel: 288