Often the hardest generations to research are those who decided that they needed to leave where they were born and settle in America. There is uncertainty about where they lived in the old country, who their parents or siblings might be, and generally what life was like before they left. One thing that makes this search a little easier is an obituary.
Bridget Lowry is my 3rd great grandmother. She was born in Ireland, sometime between 1824 and 1834 and moved to the United States, with the date and location of her immigration still to be discovered. When she died in 1904, the Leetonia Reporter claimed her to be ‘among the oldest residents of this village, having lived here for over 25 years.’
Part of the fun and challenge of genealogy are the questions that arise when a document challenges information you already believed to be fact. As you can see below, the obituary reads that she was a mother to five children, although I’ve discovered six in census records. Is the newspaper wrong or am I? Again, the search continues.
(Transcribed, PDF below)
Mrs. Michael Lowery, aged about 70 years, died about 8:30 Sunday morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Ed. Lanaghan on West Main street.
Funeral services were held Tuesday morning at 8 o’clock in St. Patrick’s church, Rev. T.F. Conlon, of Salem officiating,
The deceased was among the oldest residents of this village, having lived here for over 25 years. She was the mother of five children, four of whom with her husband survive her. The living children are Mrs. Ed Lanaghan and Michael Lowery Jr., of this place, Mrs. Anne Conners of New Castle, Pa., and Ed. Lowery, of near Spokane, Wash.
The following out of town visitors attended the funeral: Thomas Byrne and sister Miss Mary, of Scottsdale, Pa., James and Charles Conners, of New Castle, Pa., Daniel Conley, of Stonboro, Pa.; Michael Lanaghan, of Carrollton, Mr. and Mrs. Martin Lottman, of Salem.
The fascinating part of this obituary is the listing of out of town visitors. Conley was Bridget’s maiden name, and suddenly I can add Daniel Conley of Stonboro, Pa, to my list of people to research. Perhaps he’s a sibling or nephew?
Funeral attendees Martin and Margaret Lottman are the parents of Bridget’s daughter-in-law, Anna. She is the wife of Michael Lowry Jr. They are likewise my 3rd great grandparents and will be buried right next to Bridget in Leetonia’s Calvary Cemetery following their deaths in 1921 and 1924, respectively.
“At Ripe Old Age; Two Leetonia Women are Called to Their Reward,” [Bridget Lowry obituary], Leetonia [Ohio] Reporter, 13 May 1904, p. 1, vol 33, num 20.