Where in the World is Timothy F. Corcoran?

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Where in the World is Timothy F. Corcoran?

One of the first records I look for when researching an ancestor is the census record.  I try to follow my subject through the years in the census.  Nothing frustrates me more than when I cannot locate the ancestor in the census record.  I know he/she did not fall off the face of the earth, so where are they hiding?  In the case of Timothy Corcoran, I can't find him in two censuses. 

Timothy would be four years old in 1880, but I cannot find his family, who I believe is father, Timothy; sisters, Hannah and Josie; brothers, John, James, and Patrick.  Timothy was born in Chicago, Illinois and I thought they would be living in Illinois during this time.  Timothy was 23 in the 1900 Census.  The census that year was taken in June.  Timothy married Helen Smith (Schmitt) on 5 June 1900 in Pullman, Cook, Illinois.  Did this contribute to my not finding him?  I have been known to go through the census, page by page, but I am not ready to attempt that for Chicago!

The table below shows where in the world Timothy Corcoran was?  If you have any information on this family, please leave a note.  I am going to find Timothy in the other census dates.

27 Oct 1876
Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States



Monroe, Newaygo, Michigan, United States
Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States
Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States
Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States
17 Apr 1952
Grand Rapids, Kent, Michigan, United States

Sunday's Obituary-Quirin Schmitt

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,

Source:  Quirin Schmitt, Downers Grove Reporter, Downers Grove, Illinois, 13 March 1927, obituary for Quirin Schmitt, page 3; column 4 and 5.



Was Born in France in 1853 and Came to Downers Grove 50 Years Ago

Funeral services were held Monday morning at St. Joseph's Catholic church in North Main street, for Quirin Schmitt, who passed away Saturday morning, March 12 at the home of his daughter, Miss Lucy, in East Maple avenue after a long illness.  Solemn requiem mass was said by Dr. Eneas B. Goodwin, pastor of the church and burial was made at SS Peter and Paul Cemetery, Naperville at the side of his first wife who died twenty eight years ago.  Mr. Schmitt has been ill since last November and for many weeks was a patient at the Hinsdale sanitarium. Four weeks ago he was removed to the home of his daughter.  

Quirin Schmitt was born April 30, 1853 at Freisenheim, Alsace, France, the youngest of seven children of Raymond and Theresa Schmitt.  He attended the French schools and came to the United States with an older brother, George, when he was twenty years of age.  Landing in New York, he lived there for a year and then came to Downers Grove where he has lived for fifty three years.

Shortly after coming to the village he worked at the wagon makers trade for a man by the name of Walters whose shop was at the southeast corner of Maple avenue and Main street.  Later he and Peter Wertz went into business.  This was in the building at Maple and Main now occupied by the blacksmith shop.  They moved their business to Grove street, west of Main and were in business together a number of years.

Mr. Schmitt is known to most of the people of the community probably better as a liveryman than as a wagon maker.  He bought the livery stable in Grove street from George Mochel, who now lives in Hinsdale, and conducted it for a number of years before selling out to Chas. Baker.  After Mr. Baker purchased a location in West Railroad street and erected a building of his own, Mr. Schmitt again entered the livery and boarding stable business and conducted it until the growing popularity of the automobile made it no longer profitable.

He was married in 1874 to Miss Barbara Schumpp and four daughters, all of whom survive, were born to this union.  They are Mrs. Eugenia Pfaff, of Benton avenue; Miss Lucy Smith, Miss Ida Smith, and Mrs. Helen Corcoran of Grand Rapids, Mich.

Mrs. Schmitt passed away twenty eight years ago and in 1902 Mr. Schmitt was married to Bernice Carpenski, who with one daughter, Miss Antionette, survives him.

He also leaves a brother, George, of Forest Park and a brother, Amand, whose home is in Besanson, France.

This obituary is one of the great ones in my genealogy collection.  Prior to this obituary, I hadn't know much about Quirin Schmitt, Kirk's great, great grandfather.  Kirk and I, on one of our trips to visit our daughter, Kirsten, in Chicago, decided to take a side trip to Downers Grove, Illinois.  We went to the Downer's Grove library and did a little research.  It is here that I found Quirin's obituary.  I found other information that corroborates much of what was in his obituary.  Quirin Schmitt was an early resident of Downer's Grove and information on him can be found in early histories of the area.

I was able to research Quirin further from the information in his obituary.  I found marriage, census, death and cemetery records using the information above.  I was able to research his wives and children, too.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Do you have an obituary that is filled with genealogical treasures?  I don't have many as complete as this one, but the ones I do have, I cherish.

Those Places Thursday-Marywood Academy, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

Marywood Academy, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Graduating Class of 1946

Kirk's mother, Elizabeth (first row, second from left), graduated from Marywood Academy in June, 1946.  Marywood Academy was a private catholic school, located on East Fulton Street, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  It was a four story building situated on beautifully, landscaped grounds. A picture of it as it was in 1944 can be found here.

The left side of the building was where the classrooms and rooms for boarding students were. Elizabeth was a day student, meaning she went home after school.  The right side of the building was where the nuns lived.  The chapel was in the center on the first floor.

Kirk and I took a day and explored Grand Rapids.  We took pictures that were genealogical in nature.  The picture below is how Marywood looks now.  The 34 acre campus is no longer a school, but a home for Dominican Sisters.  Space is leased to a few community programs, such as Headstart.  Chapels, administrative offices, and a Health Center are located at Marywood.  The Dominican Center is here, too.  It is a place where groups can meet to hold retreats, conferences, etc.

The trees have grown since Kirk's mother attended, but Marywood is still in existence, much as it was in the 1940's.  It is a wonderful piece of Grand Rapids history and one of our family's history as well.

Workday Wednesday: Did Timothy Corcoran Work for the Pullman Company?

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: , ,

Kirk's Uncle John told us he had heard that his grandfather, Timothy Corcoran, worked for the Pullman Company.  I thought that might be true as Timothy Corcoran and Helen Smith's marriage license stated they were married in Pullman.  I knew enough about Pullman to know that it was a company town.  I set about trying to prove that Timothy Corcoran did work for the Pullman Company.

My first step was to google Pullman Company.  From here, I checked out the following websites:

The South Suburban Genealogical and Historical Society  has the Pullman Car Company Employee Record's AND they provide free look-ups.  The website does point out, "The collection does not include the records for all Pullman employees at all locations, and does not include records of Pullman porters."  I didn't know what capacity that Timothy Corcoran was employed, but it was a free look up so I gave it a shot.

A quick search form is provided that one can copy and paste into an email for a look up.  The information asked is Name, Date of Birth, Race, and Chicago Address, if known.  I submitted my search except for the Chicago address and within days, I received a two page reply form listing 16 Corcoran's who worked for the company.  One of them was Timothy Corcoran, born approx. 1876.  This birth date fit with what I knew about Timothy.

Next, I sent a request and check for $7, society member price, to obtain Timothy's employee records.  The cost for non members is $15.  I was prepared to wait awhile for the records to reach me, but it didn't take that long.  I was hoping I would get more than a name.  I was really hoping for a birth certificate, or some proof of who his parents were.

Did I get such proof?  No such luck, but what I did receive was two pages of records.  The first page was a general information page.  Click to enlarge.

It stated:

Name:  Corcoran, Timothy
Department:  Freight
country of birth:  USA
Occupation:  Mach.  ?
Citizen:  Yes
Total service with Co.:  4 yrs.
Family of 1 children and wife
When last employed by Co.:  Nov. 03
How long:  3 3/4
Where:  Freight  2988
Occupation: Mach
Reason for leaving:  New Card
Foreman's Name Vander Veen
Old Check No.  3409
Other record with Co.:  3 mos. Boiler Rm

Other Employment During Past 12 Months:  None
Relatives in Company's Employ:  None.

I found this to be very interesting information.  I learned that Timothy Corcoran did work at the Pullman Company.  He was a machinist in the freight department, which correlates with later work he did when he moved to Grand Rapids.  He worked for fours years, 1899-1903, for Pullman. These dates coincide with the date of his marriage, 1900, and the date his first child was born, January 1903.  Interestingly, his record states that no other relatives were employed.  Does this mean they never did, or was no one working there at the time Timothy did?  None of the birth dates provided with the original search work for a father of Timothy.

The second sheet didn't provide much personal information, but it provided more work records. Some of the writing is faint and unreadable.  The information provided includes:

Name:  Corcoran, Timothy
Age:  28

Information on Check No., Department and Occupation, Pay Rate, Rate Increased, Transferred, Hired and Dropped is included in table form:

It looks like Timothy Corcoran spent most of his time at Pullman in the Freight Department.  

At the bottom of page two, was Timothy's signature, and address, 421 Stephenson St.  The copy below is hard to read, but 416 Stevenson St. is crossed out and below it is written 421 Stephenson St.  The copy I have is readable.  Further research shows that Stephenson St. is now S. Champlain Street. 

Kirk and I stopped at Historic Pullman on one of our trips to Chicago.  We went to the Visitor's Center and took a walking/car tour on our own.  I took many pictures.  One is looking down S. Champlain Street.  The street Timothy; his wife, Helen; and their son, Bert, lived on.  One can visit Pullman, today, and imagine what it would have been like to live there.  My husband and I walked the same streets that many Pullman employees walked to get to work.  There are efforts being made to make Pullman a National Park.

Looking South on Champlain Street, Pullman Historic District

Here are a few other photo's from our visit to Pullman Historic District:
 S. Champlain and 112th St. with Colonnade Apartments and Townhouses in background

 The remains of Market Hall - Market Hall is in the center of the street 

Colannade Apartments and Townhouse are located around Market Hall

 Greenstone Church

 Arcade Park-It's appearance remains much like Pullman's landscape architect design.

 Hotel Florence-Currently being restored

Administration Building and Clock Tower

If you would like more information about visiting Pullman Historic District, please check out their website, Pullman-Museum.org.

Tombstone Tuesday-Duane Dollaway

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels: ,


Roland Duane Dollaway was the son of Glen and Gertrude (Koenig) Dollaway.  He died at the age of 15 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Duane was born 9 June 1936 in Lowell, Michigan and died 29 Sep 1951 from a horse racing accident.  Duane is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Lowell, Michigan.

Even the Dog is Dutch!

Author: Brenda Leyndyke / Labels:

I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share a pedigree chart of a different sort, a dog pedigree chart. My daughter, Kirsten, and her husband, Chase, adopted a puppy from PAWS Chicago. They didn't know what kind of dog Ella was and when they asked the veterinarian, she thought Ella was part dachshund and possibly, a little basset hound.

Kirsten was curious and decided to do a DNA test on her.  In order for the doggy DNA to work, a dog must have a pure-breed in their preceding three generations.  Well, who would have thought that Ella's breed comes from the Netherlands.  I am surrounded by Dutch ancestry.  My husband is half dutch, my children have dutch ancestry, and now I find out my grand-dog is Dutch!

Ella, the dachshund mix is now Ella, the Keeshond mix.  I had never heard of a Keeshond before. My daughter did a little research to learn more and wrote an excellent blog post about it.  A Keeshond, pronounced kayz-hawnd, was bred between the 17th and 18th century in The Netherlands.  It came to the United States in the 1920's.  The Keeshond is also known as a Dutch Barge Dog.

Ella doesn't look like a Keeshond, but some of her traits match one.  Ella is a part of our family and I think it is wonderful that she is a Dutch breed.  Who would have known?

Ella, the Keeshond Mix
Dutch, like her Mommy Person.