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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Brodericks leave Ireland


*Caveat - This is not about the actor with this same last name.

Patrick Broderick was born in Ireland, probably in Galway, around 1815-1820.  It has been determined that he married Catherine Boyle in 1836 in Killeenadeema, Galway and a John Broderick was a witness. I would like to think this John might be a brother, but know it could be his father, uncle, cousin or some other distant relative. This Broderick family lived in the Barony and Townland of Loughrea and in the parish of Killeenadeema, but it isn’t known if they originated there.  There were many Brodericks in Derrybrien as well. Catherine’s parents were Joseph and Catherine (nee unknown) Boyle. Their origins are still being researched as well.

They had at least 9 children.
They were:
Michael (bapt. Feb 15 1837) witnesses: Matt and Judy Broderick
John (bapt. Aug 23 1838) witness: Lawrence Broderick
Bridget (bapt. Mar 13 1840) witnesses: John Broderick and Anne Mooney
Matthew (bapt. Sep 10 1843) witnesses: James Boyle and Judith Scully
Laurence (bapt. Sep 25 1844) no witnesses listed
James (bapt. Aug 3 1845) no witnesses listed
Mary (1847) no witnesses listed
Matthew (Apr 1848) no witnesses listed
Catherine (May 14 1850) no witnesses listed

It is hoped that someday it will be found that the baptismal witnesses, Matt, Lawrence and John Broderick were brothers of Patrick. It is hoped, also, to find that James Boyle was the brother of Catherine Boyle.

Michael Broderick remains a mystery. He did immigrate, he did live in Boston and he did die in Boston, but not much of anything else can be found on him. He doesn’t seem to be found on any census, so there’s no record of where he lived. His death record indicates he was single, a laborer and COD was cardiac hypertrophy on Feb 17 1909 and that he was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden MA. The record lists Patrick and Catherine Boyle Broderick as his parents.  His ‘brother’ was the contact person, no name given. This was most likely Matthew, since John and James haven’t been found.

There are a plethora of John Brodericks – everywhere. So far, nothing has been found that would point out one of them as the son of Patrick and Catherine.

Bridget may have come to the States but nothing can be found to specifically point her out. Like the name John, Bridget was used frequently.  If she married before leaving Ireland, or if she stayed in Ireland, I doubt that she’ll show up any time soon. John, James and Bridget may have died young. I’m also hoping that the name Bridget turns out to be Patrick’s mother’s name.

The first Matthew must have died some time before 1848 when the 2nd Matthew was born, but no death record has been found for him.

Lawrence, aka Laurence, arrived in New York City around the 19th of March 1861, according to his Naturalization papers. He became a citizen on Feb 2 1874. In the 1870 census, Lawrence was age 25 and was found living in the home of Matthew Jordan, a cousin, in Hyde Park, MA.  Matthew’s mother was Mary Broderick who married Patrick Jordan. It has been suggested that Mary was the sister of Patrick Broderick, Lawrence’s father. This does seem to fit, but it has not yet been verified. Lawrence married Catherine Jordan, sister of Matthew Jordan in 1872 and they took up residence in Hyde Park as well. They had 3 children, Catherine, b. 1875, Patrick Joseph, b. 1877 and Lawrence b. 1879. Sadly, Lawrence, Sr., died in Aug 1879, at the age of 36, leaving his wife with three very young children. The cause of death was traumatic peritonitis. This was most likely caused by an injury on the job. It’s not known what kind of job he had as the 1870 census only lists him as a laborer. In the 1880 census, Lawrence’s widow, Catherine is age 27 and her children are 5, 3 and 1, but what a nice surprise to find another Catherine living with this family. Lawrence’s mother, Catherine Boyle Broderick, listed as a widow, has arrived on the scene and is now living with her son’s widow. So sometime between the two census reports, mother Catherine Broderick has immigrated and is living with this family. I’d like to think she had arrived before Lawrence’s injury and had some time to enjoy being with him and his family.

James is another sibling with no information.

On Aug 22 1872, Mary Broderick married Patrick Burke in Hyde Park, MA, who was age 28 and she was 25. Patrick’s occupation was listed as a mason. His parents were Edward and Catherine (Welch) O’Brien. All were born in Ireland. By the 1880 census, Mary was 33 years old and had given birth to six sons, John, Patrick, Michael, Martin, Edward and Thomas.  They lived in Hyde Park, MA which was then in Norfolk Co. The census was taken on June 7th and by Aug 10th, Mary died of dysentery. The oldest son, John died in 1887 of pericarditis. Patrick Burke did not marry again, but raised the boys by himself. He lived at 87 Child St. in Hyde Park, MA and died on Mar 8 1911 of sclerosis of coronary artery and cirrhosis of the liver. The information was given by his son Thomas.  His son, Patrick, married Mary McGuire and son Michael, married Catherine Finnerty. No wives have been found for Martin, Edward and Thomas.  Edward died in 1913 from Diacetic Acid Poisoning, most likely a job related accident.

Matthew was born in Apr 1848 and was 17 when he arrived in Boston in Sep 1865, according to his Naturalization papers. He became a citizen on Oct 15 1872.  He married Bridget Sheehan in 1874 and they too, lived in Hyde Park. They had at least 8 children, but have found names for only 7 of them. Their first son Patrick was born in 1875 but only lived about 6 weeks, dying of cholera. Their second son, Matthew, was born in 1876, but died at the age of 5 from dysentery. Patrick John (aka Jack, my grandfather) was born in 1879 in Dorchester MA. Next came Mary Ellen, b. 1881, then Catherine b. and d. 1884, Katie, b. and d. 1885 and Lawrence, b. 1887. Matthew, Sr., followed the railroad. A. P. Blake of Hyde Park was one of a group of men whose focus was building a railroad that would run from East Boston through Revere Beach and into Lynn, The Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad. It seems likely that a call for workers was announced in Hyde Park and elsewhere and the call was heard by Matthew and others seeking honest work. His family moved north into East Boston and by 1880, he was a section hand on the RR.  When the loop through Winthrop was developed, he was responsible for a great deal of the track that was laid in that town. Matthew had moved his family to Lynn MA, which is where his son Lawrence was born. He remained there for the next 30 years. By 1900, Matthew was called a Section Master for the RR. 1900 census held one more surprise as it listed an ‘adopted son’ named Michael O’Brien. At the time of that discovery, there had been no idea who Matthew’s sister Catherine had married.  Since she died in 1898, it became apparent that they had taken in her youngest son, Michael. The research has not been done, but I’m inclined to believe that this was not a formal, legal adoption.
                                     Matthew Broderick sometime between 1913 & 1917

The youngest child of Patrick and Catherine Boyle Broderick (that has been found) was Catherine (1850-1898). It was because of the adopted son entry for Matthew on the 1900 census that a new search was begun. I can only say that there were as many Catherine O’Briens as there were Catherine Brodericks, both very popular names. She married Michael O’Brien in 1875. Three children have been found for this couple:  Catherine (1877-?), Patrick (1881-1882) and Michael (1888-?). So far I’ve found no record for Michael, Sr.’s death, but Catherine was listed as a widow on her death record. She had been a washerwoman. I still need to track down the daughter Catherine O’Brien, but that’s another mission.

Bridget died in 1912. At some point in his later work life, Matthew had been hit by a switching engine and suffered a head injury. This was to plague him until he was admitted to the Hawthorn Hospital in Danvers, MA, where he died in 1917.















Sunday, May 12, 2013


The Chambers family of NB, NS, NJ, MA

There is another family that may have moved to Nova Scotia from Westchester, NY because they too, were Loyalists. Not much information has been uncovered concerning this family and how they came to be in Nova Scotia. There are other possibilities. This family, the Chambers, may have come from MA when the lands were opening up as free grants in Canada. At least one family by this name went to Hants County, NS.  Still another possibility is that they came directly from Scotland or Yorkshire, again, when the free land grants were available. So far nothing evidentiary has come to light. It has also been suggested that this name was Chalmers, originally, eventually becoming Chambers through a variety of misspellings and mispronunciations.

My grandmother was born Alvina Chambers in New Brunswick. Her father was lost at sea when she was 7 years old. Her Chambers grandparents had already moved or were soon to move to Bath ME. Her grandfather, James Chambers, was a ship builder and was following the industry as it grew bigger and stronger in the USA. The age of iron ships was booming and the building of wooden ships in Dorchester NB was dwindling rapidly. The economy in Dorchester was obviously affected by this. Thus began a time when many young people left for the Boston States, as it seemed to be called when you moved to New England. This must have been a horrible time for my gt. grandmother, Rebecca Cole Chambers. She also had a son, Percy, who was a year and 4 mos. old when his father was lost at sea. My grandmother told the story that the insurance man was at the house when someone came from the docks to tell Alexander that the Arabella was ready to set sail and the tide was right. He had to leave in a hurry saying he would sign the insurance papers when he got back. My gt. grandmother and children stood on the hill and watched his ship sail over the horizon, never knowing they would never see it or any of the people on board again. Because the insurance papers had not been signed, Rebecca and her small children were left with no means of income.

We don’t know how she managed as my grandmother was too young to be aware of ‘grown-up’ things, but it would seem that Rebecca probably received help from her family. She wasn’t alone in this crisis as her older sister, Lucinda, who had married William E. Buck, also lost her husband on that voyage. Life wasn’t done with hurling abuse at Rebecca, however. In April 1889, her 2 ½ year old son died of Scarlet Fever. At some point, Rebecca and Alvina went to Bath ME to live with the Chambers family. We aren’t certain how long they stayed there as Rebecca appears in the 1891 Canadian census as a housekeeper for a family in Sackville, NB.  Sometime in the 1890’s Rebecca moved to East Boston MA to live with her sister, Mame.  From there it was a quick step to the developing town of Winthrop, where my grandmother married and raised a family.

What we know of the Chambers is, at best, incomplete. As always I would love input from anyone who may have more information on this family.  Please tell me of any flaws or inaccuracies that might be found.

What has become a work in progress, to be verified, changed, edited, deleted begins with a man named Robert Chambers. He was probably alive between 1750 and 1820. There is an entry in the Grantbook Database for a Robert Chambers (Vol. A, page 139 Grant #92) showing the original province of registration was Nova Scotia, registration date 1784/10/15 and New Brunswick registration date 1784/12/27, for 200 acres. The location was in Meductic, Sunbury Co. and the comment says Delancy’s 1st Battalion. There is no way to determine if this is the Robert who married Margaret or a totally different Robert. The Robert known as ‘the Old Soldier’ was married to a woman named Margaret, nee unknown. It seems apparent they had a son named Samuel (1783-1873), who was married to Sarah Jane McBurnie.  Records show they had children all born in NS:

*Robert (c. 1805-bef.1871)
James (1807-?)  b. in Wallace Bridge, NS
Samuel (1813-1896)
Daniel (1815-1881)
David (1820-?)
William (1821-?)
Edward (1821-?)
Catherine (1822-?)
John (1823-1904)
Thomas (1830-?)

Robert (1805-1871) m. Catherine whose last name I have seen written three different ways.  There is Millard, Millar and Miller to choose from. The difficulty was that I found families listed using all three spellings, all in the same time frame and all in roughly the same location. Since the early census reports usually only report head of household and not any names of children, I haven’t been able to sort out which family name should be hers.
Robert and Catherine had children:

          Edward (1826-1918) m. 1852 Eliza Leggett (1826-1884) – 9 children
          **James. C.  (1830-1913) m. 1852 Sarah McPherson (1831-1913)  
                              – 8 children
          George (1834-?)
          Elizabeth (1836-?)
          Margaret (1838-?)
          John (1839-?)
          Sarah (1842-?)
          Robert (c. 1845-1891) m. 1870 Bridget Delahunt (1854-1891) -6 children

**James, C.  (1830-1913) m. 1852 Sarah McPherson (1831-1913)
James and Sarah settled in Dorchester NB, sometime after 1855, as their first son, Alexander, was b. in 1855 in Wallace, NS. James (age 20) and his brother Edward (22) show up in the 1850 census for Bath ME. They were living in the Dwyer household as mariners. This must have been a boarding house as there were several people living there not related to the Dwyers. James and Sarah  had gone to Dorchester so that James could work as a ship’s carpenter.
James and Sarah had children:

                    ***Alexander (1855-1887 lost at sea) m. 1878 Rebecca Ellen Cole  (1854-1944) 
                                          - 2  children
                    Emma Jane (1860-?) m. 1883 Edwin Hicks (1857-?) – 2 children
                    Nancy Lavinia (1863-?) m. 1882 Beverly Thomas Vincent (?-?) – 6 children
                    John (1864-1864)
                    William (1865- c. 1930) m. Elizabeth Blasland (?-?) 8 children
                    James (1867-1869)
                    George (1870-?)
                    Ella May (1874-1946) m1. c. 1891 Percy George Turner – 2 children
                                                           m2.  1904 Walter Tavenor (1873 in NS –1957 in Hillsboro    
                                                                      Twnshp, NJ – 1 child
Ella May Chambers Turner Tavenor and Rebecca Cole Chambers in Winthrop MA

As already mentioned, Alexander was lost at sea. Rebecca and her daughter, Alvina, eventually made their way to Winthrop MA, by way of Bath ME and East Boston MA. Rebecca became a domestic to Dr. Lull. He was a physician who had a practice in Boston and possibly one in Winthrop. He owned property in Winthrop when the town was just beginning to develop. Rebecca cleaned his offices and homes and through him, she was able to purchase a home. Eventually she bought another home with a large lot of land with a barn on it. This is the home my mother was born in. The value of the piece of property today stands in the $900K to $1M. If she only knew!!

A five year gap, between the births of children usually says there was another child. If so, this child has not been found. Emma Jane is the next in line and she married Edwin Hicks. They moved to NY, NY and it is reported that Emma died in Brooklyn, NY.

Nancy Lavinia is known by Lavinia and rarely by Nancy. She married Beverly Thomas Vincent and they moved to St. John, NB. They had 4 daughters and 2 sons.

William married Elizabeth, who was from Bath ME. Their first child was born in Bath in 1894 and the rest were born in NJ.  They lived in Jersey City, NJ where William was working in the ship building industry, as a carpenter.

George left NB with the rest of his family and went to Bath ME. After that, very little verified information can be found. It is believed he lived in Winthrop for a while, then Boston. It is thought he was married but no marriage records for him have been found.

Ella May (1874-1946) m. Percy George Turner about 1891. They had one daughter in CT and another in ME. At some point after the second daughter was born, Ella May learned that her husband was a bigamist. He was already married and had another family. As the family story goes, she was traumatized by all this, spent some time in Winthrop, but never told her two daughters about the problems she faced.  We then believe she went to NJ where her brother Will was living in the late 1890’s. We also believe that her parents, James and Sarah moved to NJ about the same time. She married again in 1904 and had a son. They lived in Westfield NJ.

John and James both died young. John was about 3 mos. old and James was about a year and a half old. The brothers were buried in Dorchester, NB.

In Jul 1913 James went to Jersey City to visit his son Will. It’s believed he got off the train at the wrong station and he attempted to cross the tracks, became confused and was hit by a train.  His funeral service was Jul 15 1913. The Westfield Leader reported the death of Sarah on Aug 27 1913, saying she had been ill for 2 years. It also stated that she was 82 years old, a native of Nova Scotia and that she had been the mother of 13 children. So far only 8 children have been identified. Since James and Sarah were married in 1852 and the first recorded child was born in 1855, it’s possible that 2 children could have been born in that 3 year gap. The names of these 5 children may never be known.


 1910 census Westfield NJ showing James and Sarah Chambers