Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baptismal Certificate

Another photocopied item you may have is this Certificate of Baptism.

The negative copy was made in 1935, I imagine when Social Security was introduced and people needed to prove their ages to obtain benefits. Elizabeth Valentine was in her seventies then. The photo of her, her daughter-in-law Theresa and Lew's three girls is from 1934 when Lew was sworn in as Commissioner.

Using Photoshop to reverse the negative makes it easier to read.

Certificate of Baptism

Parish of Ferns...Diocese of Ferns

I HEREBY CERTIFY that Elizabeth Daly

was Baptized, according to the Rites of the Holy Catholic Church, in the Church of

St. Aidan...Parish of Ferns...

on the 6th day of July year 1861 (sixty one)

by Rev. J. Doyle

Parents...William Daly and Anne (nee Daly)

Sponsors Patrick Hayes & Ellen Murphy

PLEASE RETURN James Rossiter } Parish Priest

To T.H. Graham??? Mgr.

BK. 11 Date Aug 13th 1935

Ferns is a small medieval town. Here's a link to information about it in the Wikipedia (which may or may not be totally accurate.),_County_Wexford

Ferns itself has only about 1,000 people but the diocese of Ferns has 100,000 Catholics, so Elizabeth may have been born near St. Aidan's Cathedral in Enniscorthy. The Cathedral there was built between 1843 and 1849 with the tower finished in 1873. It looked much like this when Elizabeth was baptized on her birthday.

If you've been to County Wexford seeking out the Daly ancestors send pictures.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Daly Family Record

Years ago someone photocopied a page titled Family Record, possibly from a Bible.
It was photocopied again and again and you may have a copy that looks somewhat like the picture above.

Photoshopping it, clearing up the visual static and creating more contrast in the words makes it more readable.

But the right edge of the original is missing. Dates in brackets are added below

Family Register

Johanne Daly Died Dec 19 in her 11th year of her age 18 [1870]

Mother Died Nov 2th in the 55 year of her age 187 [1878]

Mary Daly Died April the 26 in the 22nd year of her age 187 [1879]

Annie Daly Died Sept the 5 in the 22nd year of her age 18 [1885]

Father Died Aug 30 1899 in the 77th year of his age

We can assume that Elizabeth Daly Valentine or one of her siblings filled this out since the Mother and Father referred to here are her parents Annie Daly Daly and William Daly.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day

November, 1905
20 years old
It's always Valentine's Day when you are named Anna Valentine.

About 1893. She is about 7 or 8.
Anna Marie Collette Valentine was born November 9, 1885,
 the second of five children born to John J. and Elizabeth Daly Valentine.
She married William McNally on November 29, 1905 when she was 20 and he was 25.
We have no photos from the years between her marriage
(at the top of the page) and the late 1930s.

About 1938
Here she's about 47, the mother of 13 children,
the eldest in her early 30s, the youngest about 9.

About 1938
This may be misdated. She looks younger in the 1940s.

She's 60 years old
above and below. 


65 years old

1955, Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary
Anna is 70.

71 years of age.

1958 at 73

Her husband died in 1960 when she was about 75 after 55 years of marriage.

1964 at about 79
She outlived three of her children. She died at almost 86 years
on October 20, 1971.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Brooklyn Traditions

Anniversary Day, 1908

Reading about growing up in Brooklyn early in the 20th century reveals two children's holidays that must have been part of the Valentine/McNally children's annual calendar.

Clinton Avenue, Anniversary Day, 1900
The corner may be Greene Avenue, looking north

One was Anniversary Day, a school holiday on June 10th (or the first Thursday in June, accounts vary.) The day celebrated the founding of the Brooklyn Sunday School Union in 1829. Children attending the city schools (Brooklyn was a separate city until 1898) got the day off to rally in a parade.

Elizabeth Valentine and daughter-in-law Teresa, 1934

What the many Catholic parents in Brooklyn thought about a  parade celebrating the Protestant Sunday Schools hasn't been recorded.

Another view of Anniversary Day on Clinton Street in June, 1910

Blogger Barry Popik wrote this:
Although in an 1893 account schoolchildren were expected to say "Christian things" about their teachers, there is no indication that children whose families followed other faiths were excluded from the celebrations, which included parades and banners.

Campfire Girls on Anniversary Day 1920
From the Library of Congress collection

There are also references to the Boys and Girls Catholic Brigade, which may have been an alternate rally.

Anniversary Day 1943

Another name for the holiday was Rally Day. As mid-20th-century governments became more sensitive about separation of church and state, the name was changed to Brooklyn Day and then Brooklyn/Queens Day. Now it seems to be what we in Kansas would call an In-service Day. Kids get the day off and teachers use it for planning. And some kids still parade.
Read more about Anniversary Day by clicking here:

Thanksgiving morning 1933
Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Another children's holiday was Thanksgiving, which Brooklynites celebrated in a unique fashion. In A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, a fictional/autobiographical account of a Brooklyn Irish family published in 1943, Betty Smith says this:
"Most children brought up in Brooklyn before the first World War remember Thanksgiving Day there with a peculiar tenderness. It was the day children went around 'ragamuffin' or 'slamming gates,' wearing costumes topped off by a penny mask. ...The street was jammed with masked and costumed children making a deafening din with their penny tin horns. Some kids were too poor to buy a penny mask. They had blackened their faces with burnt cork. Other children with more prosperous parents had store costumes: sleazy Indian suits, cowboys suits and cheesecloth Dutch maiden dresses....Some storekeepers locked their doors against them but most of them had something for the children...[We] went home to a good Thanksgiving dinner of pot roast and home-made noodles and spent the afternoon listening to papa reminisce how he had gone around Thanksgiving Day as a boy."
It sounds like Halloween on Thanksgiving morning. I do remember my mother often telling me I looked like a ragamuffin. Based on what I looked like, a ragamuffin meant a girl with her shirt untucked from her skirt and tangles in her hair. There might be more to it than that picture. My guess now is that I looked like a person who was wearing clothes that were too big for her.

Ragamuffins 1933

See more about Thanksgiving and ragamuffins by clicking here

There is some thought that the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was a way of wrestling a folk celebration away from the street and instituting commercial control and order. Children in Brooklyn still march in costume, however, on Thanksgiving morning in their own parade.