Saturday, March 24, 2018

Descendants of Daniel J. Coughlin: The Connecticut Coughlins

March 2018 marks a month of incredible breakthroughs in my genealogical research of my Coughlin ancestors from Poughkeepsie, New York and now the trail has led me to Connecticut in search of more Coughlin ancestors and their descendants.

My great grandfather (GG) William Henry Coughlin (1872-1952) was born in Poughkeepsie New York and emigrated to Canada in 1898 at 26 years of age. I knew so little about the Coughlin family he left behind and I was unsuccessful at any and all previous attempts to locate these ancestors in New York records.

My great grandfather William H. Coughlin's Border Crossing Card (1929)

The Coughlin family, Wallaceburg, Ontario around 1917

The Coughlin family, Windsor, Ontario 1949
My great grandfather William Henry Coughlin (1872-1952) was a glassblower in Wallaceburg, Ontario at the Sydenham Glass Works .

Source: University of Windsor; SWODA: Glass Works, Wallaceburg, Ont. (1907) (Public Domain)
William H. Coughlin's 
Poughkeepsie Kin

In March 2018, I located William's Coughlin family in Poughkeepsie, N. Y. and learned that many of them had lived their entire lives in Poughkeepsie in the same neighborhood near the Hudson River and that they were all baptized, married and buried at St. Peter's Roman Catholic church and cemetery.

Michael and Margaret (Duffy) Coughlin
(My 2nd great grandparents)
Michael and Margaret (Duffy) Coughlin were both born in Ireland in 1842 and emigrated to New York during the potato famine. They were married around 1865 and had three sons who survived to adulthood: John J., William H., and Daniel J..

Eldest Son: John J. Coughlin (1867-1932)
(My 2nd Great Uncle)

John J. Coughlin was the eldest son of Michael and Margaret Coughlin. Census records indicate that he was married twice. His first wife had died some time before 1920. 

John J. Coughlin (1867-1932)

In the 1920 Poughkeepsie census, John J. Coughlin is widowed and he is living with his brother Daniel's family and his widowed father Michael. 

John J. was employed as an Inspector at the Horse Shoe Works.

When John J. died on August 31, 1932, his obituary mentions his two step-daughters and his brothers Daniel J. and William H. Coughlin who is said to be in Montreal which was his original destination when he left for Canada. (See William H. Coughlin's Naturalization Papers where he stated that he: "went directly to Wallaceburg, Ontario, remained there for about one month, then went to Montreal stayed for nearly four months and had only periodic work, he then returned to New York, and stayed for one year and lived at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., he returned to Wallaceburg, Ontario where he remained for 15 years during the time he spent there he got married and bought a home..")

Source: Poughkeepsie Eagle News; 02 Sep, 1932

Middle Son: William Henry Coughlin (1872-1952) 
(My great grandfather)

I have written extensively about Michael and Margaret Coughlin's middle son who was my great grandfather William H. Coughlin. Visit the links at the bottom of this page for more details about his son and daughters and their lives in Ontario, Canada and Michigan, U.S.A..

My great grandfather William H. Coughlin

The Coughlin Family: Michigan and Ontario

In 1940, William H. Coughlin indicated that he was applying for naturalization under Section 8, "to renew old Nat. Papers so he may obtain a passport to visit relatives in the States." 

In 1952 when he died, William was the last living of his Poughkeepsie family (mother, father and brothers) and his obituary does not mention any nieces and nephews still living in the United States.

Source: The Windsor Daily Star: Jan 30, 1952

 Youngest Son: Daniel J. Coughlin 
(My 2nd Great Uncle)

Michael and Margaret Coughlin's youngest son Daniel J. lived his entire life in Poughkeepsie, New York. He married Lillian Griffin in 1898 and they had four children.

The family of Daniel J. and Lillian (Griffin) Coughlin

 Of the four children of Daniel J. and Lillian (Griffin) Coughlin, two sons died very young:

Headstones for William H. and John J. Coughlin at St Peter's Cemetery, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

  • (2.) William H. Coughlin (1900-1913) died at 13 years-of-age after falling into a hole behind St. Peter's school and drowning. (read the story here)
  • (3.) John J. Coughlin (1904-1925) died at 21 years-of-age following a car accident
    (read the story here)
The two surviving children, Margaret and Daniel, married and moved away from Poughkeepsie, New York (and his wife moved with them as well) to Connecticut. Here is what I have found out about them so far.

The Connecticut Coughlins

Mother: Lillian (Griffin) Coughlin (1882-1965)

Daniel's wife Lillian moved to Coventry, Connecticut and died there at the age of 83 years in 1965.

St Bernard's Cemetery, Rockville, Connecticut

 Daughter: (1.) Margaret R. Coughlin (1899-1964)
(My 1st cousin twice removed)

Margaret was the eldest child and only girl born to Daniel J. and Lillian (Griffin) Coughlin in Poughkeepsie, New York. (Note: Margaret's obituary states that she was born in Hyde Park, NY)

Margaret married John Carmen Pucino who was born in Italy in 1895 and died suddenly at home in 1953. He was a veteran of WWI. He is buried at St Bernard's Cemetery Rockville, Connecticut

John Carmen and Margaret (Coughlin) Pucino had three children, two sons (John Joseph and Daniel A.) and one daughter (Evelyn). 

It was difficult to find Margaret (Coughlin) Pucino's death date because she remarried Francis J. Lavoie (1905-2003). (No obituary found; headstone located at St Bernard's )
Francis J. LaJoie 1905-2003; St. Bernard's Cemetery, Ct.

Below is Margaret (Coughlin) Pucino-LaJoie's 1964 obituary: Mrs. Francis J. LaJoie

 Margaret (Coughlin) Pucino-LaJoie's Children
(My Third Cousins)

(1.) John Joseph Pucino (1920-1983): John was born in Beacon, New York and married Helmi Aalto of West Waterford. They had three daughters. John died in 1983 and is buried at St Bernard's Cemetery, Rockville, Conneticut

John's wife Helmi was born in Brooklyn, New York an was a member of the Finnish American Heritage Society and was retired from Pratt and Whitney Aircraft after many years of service. The obituary for Helmi R Pucino (Aalto) with photos can be found here:

(2.) Daniel Anthony Pucino (1923-1960): John was born in Poughkeepsie, New York and married Helen Popilchock (1924-2003) of Catiwassa, Pennsylvania and they had two children: Donna and Jean.

Daniel died at 36 years of age in 1960 in Berwick, Pennsylvania while demolishing a building. He was crushed between a crane and a trailer according to the coroner's report below.

Source: Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission; Pennsylvania, USA; Certificate Number Range: 013651-016350

Daniel was a veteran of WWII and is buried in Our Lady of Mercy cemetery, Pennsylvania.

Source: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Veterans Burial Cards, 1929-1990; Series Number: Series 1

(3.) Evelyn Pucino (1925-2016) Evelyn married James Shea. From Evelyn's 2016 obituary: "Evelyn was born in Poughkeepsie NY on March 20, 1925, the daughter of John C. Pucino and Margaret (Coughlin Pucino). She grew up in New Paltz NY and moved with her family to CT living most of her life in Coventry. Evelyn had a strong faith in God and was an active parishioner of St Mary Church in Coventry where, at every event, she could be found in the kitchen cooking and making fried dough. She lived her faith through service including as a Eucharistic Minister. She was proud of her Italian heritage. Long after she prepared the family recipe for meatballs for the last time, she continued to share the stories and music of her childhood. She will always be remembered by those whose lives she so lovingly touched."
Evelyn (Pucino) Shea (1925-2016) (My second cousin / once removed)
Son: (4.) Daniel Coughlin (1907-1979)
(My 1st cousin twice removed)

Daniel was the youngest child born in 1907 to Daniel J. and Lillian (Griffin) Coughlin in Poughkeepsie, New York.

On the 1930 Census, newlyweds Daniel and Ruth E. Curtis Gray are living with Daniel Coughlin Sr. in Poughkeepsie

Year: 1930; Census Place: Poughkeepsie, Dutchess, New York; Roll: 1420; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0048; FHL microfilm: 2341155
Daniel and Ruth had a son Daniel C. a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State College and teacher at Bolton Center School.

Daniel died in 1979 in Manchester, Connecticut at 72 years-of-age having worked for thirty years as a supervisor at the Salvation Army in Hartford, Connecticut. He is buried at St. Mary's cemetery with his wife Ruth who died in 1987.

Source: The Hartford Courant 11 Feb 1979 Page 28
Source: The Hartford Courant 25 Nov 1987 D8

The Michigan & Ontario Coughlins

Sunday, March 4, 2018

52 Ancestors: Week 9: Where There's a Will

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was created by Amy Johnson Crow and is a series of weekly blogging prompts to inspire genealogists and family historians to write about an ancestor and then share it online. The theme for Week 9 is "Where There's a Will".

Amy Crow was asked if this theme means a WILL (as in the probate document) or WILL(as in being determined or strong minded). Her answer was: YES!! She encouraged us to use this prompt however we were inspired to.

My "Will" to Locate My Poughkeepsie Ancestors 

For thirty years I have been unable to locate ANY information on my Coughlin Poughkeepsie ancestors and through sheer determination AND strong mindedness, I actually made HUGE progress last week (See my previous post "My Poughkeepsie Coughlin Breakthrough ")

The only evidence I have had of my Coughlin 2nd great-Grandparents - My great grandfathers baptismal certificate

 Duchess County, New York Records!

Part of my problem has been access to records in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York, U.S.A..

Unlike Michigan and Ontario records, Poughkeepsie records are really hard to come by, and even where they are available (i.e. Ancestry censuses), keyword searches of "Coughlin" rarely achieve any results.

Initially, my "Coughlin breakthrough" was achieved with great thanks to three record sources:

  1. Family Search Census Records: I decided to manually scroll through the records of the 1875 census for Poughkeepsie to locate my Coughlin Family. Once I located them in 1875, (I was so fortunate that they never moved from the same census wards) I successfully located them on sequential Federal and State censuses from 1875-1940
  2. New York Directories:  With the census records and now certain of the location in Poughkeepsie of my Coughlin ancestors, I used the historical Directories to confirm their addresses and occupations.
  3. Poughkeepsie Newspapers: I used the newspapers to confirm the deaths of two Coughlin brothers whose headstones are the only headstones to appear on FindAGrave for St. Peter's Poughkeepsie. I also used the death indexes for Poughkeepsie to get possible dates and then looked them up in the newspapers. The two newspapers that I used are:
William H. Coughlin 

Find A Grave: William H. Son of Daniel & Lillian Coughlin
Source: Poughkeepsie Eagle-News

John J. Coughlin

Find A Grave: John J. Son of Daniel & Lillian Coughlin
Source: Poughkeepsie Eagle-News

Source: Poughkeepsie Eagle-News

Source: Poughkeepsie Eagle-News
I'm Still Searching For More Records

I now know that my Coughlin Poughkeepsie ancestors lived, married and died in Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York.They passed their entire lives there. (Except one son Daniel Coughlin 1907-1979 who moved to Connecticut - but that's another blog post)

I am still having great difficulty locating Dutchess County death and marriage records and I will be focusing my next steps on accessing:
  1. St Peter's Church and Cemetery Records
  2. Naturalization Records
  3. Emigration Records
  4. Alms House and Medical Records 
Through Newspaper research and browsing Poughkeepsie Alms House Records, I have learned that my 2nd great-grandfather Michael Coughlin (1842-1921) suffered a serious injury in 1891. In the following years he lived alternatively with his son Daniel and in the Alms House in Poughkeepsie. I hope to learn more.

Source: Poughkeepsie Eagle-News
Source: Ancestry: New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poor Houses 1830-1920

And thanks to, I located a death notice for my 2nd great-grandfather Michael Coughlin (1842-1921) and I have sent away to the he New York Department of Health for his death record which I hope will contain the names of his parents

Source: Poughkeepsie Journal
I believe that the man barely visible on the left in the photograph below is my 2nd great-grandfather Michael Coughlin (1842-1921) and I am even more determined than ever to uncover his story and share it with his descendants.

Poughkeepsie photograph from the photo album of Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan (1902-1992)
Poughkeepsie, N.Y. page; Source: Photo album belonging to Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan (1902-1992)

Poughkeepsie, Dutchess County, New York Records

  Dutchess County, New York Records

New York Records