Friday, June 12, 2009
Posted by Thomas MacEntee
If you remember my complaint of madness in this past Monday's post, I had been unable to locate Catherine O'Keefe (nee Sullivan), my 2nd great grandmother, in the 1910 US Census. This all came about after participating in Randy Seaver's SNFG challenge on Saturday when he asked which ancestors were living in 1909 and which of them could be located in the 1910 US Census.
As you can see in the image above, Catherine is listed as KIEF not O'KEEFE. While searching on Ancestry last night, I had to employ all my searching super powers and wildcard tricks in order to locate her. Here's how the sleuthing worked:
- I knew that in 1920, Catherine Sullivan was living in Birmingham, Alabama with her daughter Mary O'Keefe and husband James Downey. So I did an exhaustive search in the Jefferson County, Alabama census rolls for any Catherine born in New York abt 1837 after failing with the surname O'KEEFE and OKEEFE.
- Catherine Sullivan had lived most of her life in Lowville, New York and this is where she had appeared in the 1900 US Census. So searching through the Lewis County, New York census rolls using the surnames O'KEEFE and OKEEFE resulted in bupkus.
- I then decided to search for all Catherines born abt 1837 in New York within Lewis County and Lowville township. Bingo! It appears that even the enumerator got the last name wrong, writing it as KIEF.
Catherine Sullivan had been widowed since 1870 and in 1910 was living with her daughter Ellen (often called Ella). Ella was a milliner and hair dresser who moved back home to take care of her mother who was now 72. The 1920 US Census shows Ella living in the Bronx, New York with the family of William Dence Austin who married Catherine Sullivan's daughter, Catherine O'Keefe. Catherine Sullivan would also moved into the family home at 2482 Elm Place in the Bronx before she passed away on February 12, 1928.