Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Collecting Skeletons..well not really...Genealogy today

I got started  in family history because of my love of history in general and because I could nver understand how come "they" had such a big family and we had this small nuclear bunch.... (they being anyone who had more than 6 cousins and 4 aunts).    Since I'm still "collecting skeletons" and I'm as compulsive about this as "The Compulsive Collector" is about his books, trading cards, postcards, coins, fish, autographs etc, I figured I'd post this today.  I just sent it to Rootsweb to the Manning mailing list so you might see it there too.  It's "part" of the story of my mother's family. 
My maternal Great-Grandmother was Marcella Bridget Manning -
daughter of Michael Manning and Sarah.

She died in 1905 at 40 years old leaving 5 daughters under the age of 18
parentless (her husband James Forrester had died in 1897 when the youngest was
not yet born). She had married James in April of 1888 in Scranton Pa but died
in Wilmington De.

Marcella was one of several children of Michael Mannion and Sarah Manning (they seem to have switched spellings at will or just ahead of the bill collectors or was it one step ahead of the the law?).  She and Michael are on a ship's log as coming here in 1880. Then I lose her until she marries in Scranton, Pa in 1888.

Marcella had one sister Elizabeth who married Patrick Canavan (who
witnessed James Forrester's citizenship application) but  there was also what I assume is a brother, Henry Manning ,who 60-70 years ago or more was in Wilmington, De. Two other sisters were Margaret Mannion married but name unknown and Frances Mannion, allegedly married to John McHale and was for many years postmister of Lahardane in County Mayo, according 
to my great aunt Frances (Forrester daugher of Marcella). (no dates on any of 
these and not independently verified yet).

When Marcella died in 1905 she left 5 daughters: her oldest daughter, my great
aunt Annie S Forrester was about 14. She and Frances (#2 and 2 years younger)
were put into service (maids?) by their aunts. WHICH AUNTS?? WHERE??

Elizabeth the 3rd daughter was sent to boarding school in Baltimore briefly. In
1916 - 7 she married Joseph Bradley my grandfather and had 3 children before
dying of "tuberculosis of the intestine" in 1924.

Marcella II who was 10 was sent to a convent to become a nun and died in 1911 at about 12-14 years of age. I don't have her birth certificate but I have her
interment info from the cemetary/family plot.

Margaret Forrester, the youngest who would have been only 8 when her mother Marcella I died must have been sent to the same convent or board as one of her sisters. When she was alive I hadn't started collecting the family skeletons so I never thought to
ask her. She died in 1967 after a life-long battle with Parkinson's disease.  She spent a lot of years working at Whitman Chocolates factory here in Philadelphia and we loved getting Whitman's samplers from her.  She was also the one who gave us Silver Dollar coins that she bought at coin shops for us.  (maybe my sister still has hers but I think we all "spent" them as kids or young people...didn't save them at all)

Aunt Annie Forrester lived to be 83  and spent a good part of her life in Hemstead NY where she worked at some military cafeteria for pennies. She died in 1972, in Philadelphia.  She and  Aunt Frances who died in 1980, had bought houses several doors apart on West 53rd St  in West Philadelphia.  They spent at least 10-15 years there in the late 50's and early 60's. 

Aunt Frances Forrester was quite the "looker" in her younger days and worked as a buyer for Gimbel's Department Store in Philadelphia in the China and glass dept (wonder where I inherited my love of porcelain, glassware and china from?).  In the early 1950's she went to work for "The Women's House of Correction" in Philadelphia as a matron.  (she was a jail guard).  She was the kindest, most loving person but she brooked no nonsense even from the criminal ladies in her care.  (and my mom used to say bad enough I find out you did anything, God Help You if Aunt Frances gets her hands on you).. She lied to get jobs as a young girl, making herself older to qualify so when she was 60 she had to keep working for 10 years because her employer thought she was 50.   Til she was 75+ she had her hair died a lovely auburn red and dressed quite elegantly even when she retired and was just "around the house" all day.  She was the one who told us we could be anything we wanted, if we just tried hard enough.

My great aunts were all remarkable women who, other than my Grandmother
Elizabeth, never married but they all helped raised Elizabeth's children after she died. My dad joked that he was the only man to get married and end up with 3 mother-in-laws.

SO the particular  collection of skeletons I'm looking to complete are the Manning/Mangan  aunts and their grandparents. If anyone has any info or and if you're related, I'd love to hear from you.

Next time I'll tell you about the "other" side of the family.  War heros and all.

Beth Donahue Cherkowsky

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