Let me begin this series by explaining why I have selected a mother and daughter to examine in more detail rather than one person or a couple and their children, as I intend to do going forward.
Mary Mahoney is my maternal great-great-great grandmother. She married three times, and her daughter Kate, was my great-great-grandmother. My own own grandmother, told me many stories of Kate growing up, of the bar she owned with her second husband and the fire that claimed it at some point in my grandmother’s childhood–I would imagine in the late 1940s.
Despite the heavy family connection, I know less about Mary and Kate than I do about some of the other ancestors. Their records are messy and a mix of family tales and mistakes on various documents. Kate used several forms of her name throughout her life and Mary’s three marriages make it difficult to track her before 1890, particularly since the first two were short-lived.
So I’m going to take them apart, piece by piece: Their birth records and family, their marriages, children, deaths, and information about how they lived.
I’ve been researching genealogy off and on since 2007. It began as a hobby to fill my time when I was between jobs, and I did a lot of extensive research that first six months. I began to hit brick walls in the online databases and have never been very good at figuring out what’s next or how to better organize my research.
I made a resolution for 2017 to organize my research — not necessarily to focus on making great strides forward but to understand what I already have and build from that. I need to better source my materials and consider all the materials I already have.
So that’s what I’m going to do with this blog. It is also a way to get me writing and thinking more critically as a historian, which is always super useful in professional field.
So the first thing I’m going to do is a series of posts of one of my most challenging set of ancestors: Mary Mahoney (1862 – ?) and her daughter, Kate Lidon (1886-1957). They both married multiple times and had contradicting information listed in official documents, and their stories are very incomplete. I’d like to explore the documents I have and also come up with a list to get more answers and investigate further.