Treasure Chest Thursday – Obituary of Bridget Conley Lowry

(Sometimes I write the posts about the same thing, just a few months apart. In this case, I re-found the obituary of my 3rd great grandmother and wrote a new blog post. It’s a little different from the first time I wrote about it here.)

Mrs. Michael Lowrey (sic), aged about 70 years…

The challenge with anyone who was born and died before 1910 is that record keeping is spotty and in many cases, individuals aren’t even sure what year they were born. I am getting that impression of my 3rd great grandmother, Bridget Conley Lowry. Bridget was born in Ireland *around* 1830. Some sources I have indicate around 1825, others 1835. Her 1904 obituary would indicate that an 1835 date is more appropriate.
Her obituary is helpful in answering or confirming many of the questions I’ve had about the Lowry family, but like everything in genealogy, raises a few more! When I first received this obit from the Salem Public Library, I was missing the married names of several of her daughters. Insert ‘Conners’ and ‘Lanaghan’ as those married names!
It also is great to see mentioned ‘Ed. Lowrey, of near Spokane, Wash.’ Great grand uncle Edward Lowry is one of my Lowry mysteries and I’ve been attempting to figure out when he died. I already knew it was sometime after 1910, so this isn’t particularly useful, but having Spokane as a research location is helpful.
There are some great research hints in the names of the out-of-town guests at Bridget’s funeral. I’m not sure who Thomas and Miss Mary Byrne are, but James and Charles Conners are related to the husband of Anne Lowry Conners. Michael Lanaghan is probably related to the husband of Mrs. Edward Lanaghan, Margaret Lowry Lanaghan. Mr. and Mrs. Martin Lotman (sic, should be Lottman) are the in-laws of Bridget’s son, Michael Lowry Jr.
The one name in the out-of-town guests I genuinely want to know more about is Daniel Conley of Stoneboro, Pennsylvania. Is this Bridget’s brother or cousin or just a family friend with a common name? Knowing if this is a relative, especially a more easily tracked male relative, may lead me to more easily track Bridget’s parents, who are unknown at the present. The search for more answers continues.
One little obituary, so much information…

Bridget Lowry obituary, Leetonia Reporter, Leetonia, Ohio, May 13, 1904, page 1, volume 33, number 20.

Sunday’s Obituary – Bridget Conley Lowry

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.’

Relationship to me:
Bridget Conley Lowry (Between 1824 and 1834 – 1904)
mother of:
Michael Lowry, Jr. (1868 – 1949)
father of:
Charles Edward Lowry (1899 – 1975)
father of:
Charles James Lowry (1924 – 2007)
father of:
Patrick Edward Lowry
father of:
Joseph Patrick Lowry

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.