Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year's Eve Tragedy Befalls Carillions

FultonHistory.com is a wonderful, free source for digitized New York State newspaper articles.

Many years ago, on a hunch, I researched the Carillion family of Queens, NY. I suspected that my 3rd great grandmother, Mary Henry, was related to the Carillions. And in recent posts you can see that indeed Mary Henry's maiden name was Carillion.

In my research into the Carillions I stumbled upon some newspaper articles about a drunk driving accident that took the life of Anna and Edward Carillion. For those of you who can follow such statements, Edward would be my 2nd cousin 3 times removed.

New Year's Eve, 1932:

Joseph Carillion and his family spent the day shopping in Jamaica, Queens, NY; not terribly far from their home at 90-06 202nd St., Hollis (part of which was called Belaire), Queens. At about 8 pm, laden with packages, the family of 5 disembarked from the trolley car which ran along Jamaica Avenue. Moments later a car driven by a drunk driver, Charles Neu, age 32, of Williston Park, NY, struck four of the Carillions; the mother Anna, age 40;  Robert, 15; Bessie, 7; and Edward, 3. Both Anna and Edward succumbed to their injuries while Robert and Bessie were taken to a near by Mary Immaculate Hospital to recover from their head injuries. Only the father, Joseph escaped injury. 

Two other sons, Joseph Jr. and Harold were not at the scene. Joseph Jr. was stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii at the time.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Tuesday, January 3, 1933

A trial soon ensued.  Prior to the trial though, the newspapers were flooded with articles about the incident and filled with photos of the Carillion family which to me seems to be the media's attempt to endorse what I think is a blatant case of vehicular manslaughter committed while intoxicated. Mr. Neu, however,  was acquitted by a jury of his peers.

I wish the newspaper photos were clearer so I could really see if there is a family resemblance between my Henrys and these Carillion cousins.

Friday, December 19, 2014

What Should I Research this Recess?

The semester has ended. I have off from work between Christmas and New Year's Day. Thus, I am staring at my family tree pondering which brick-wall I would like to beat my head against for a few wintery days.

I have a pretty full tree. Pretty impressive if I do say so myself. 

I can name all 32 of my 3rd great grandparents. Their dates of birth range in time from 1782 to 1855. And of those 32 there are only 7 of them for whom I do not know either parents' names. Some of those will remain brick-walls, I know, but man would I love to be able to name all 64 of my 4th great grandparents. I really only have 15 unknowns.

For me though, my research is not about gathering names and dates so much as it is about gathering stories. There is no better resource for stories of your ancestors than newspapers. Hmm. Newspapers.

I think I will let brick-walls stand for this recess and use my time to glean what stories I can from the digitized newspapers I can access for free online. Watch out Brooklyn Daily Eagle! I'm coming for you!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Wait! What About the Neighbors?

I am very frustrated by not being able to find Nicholas and Caroline Carillion (or how ever the hell you spell it) in the 1860 census. I find myself staring blankly at the their names listed in the 1875 NY State Census record I found for them.

Nicholas, Caroline, Louisa (who may be my Mary Carrion-Henry), John, Victor, Mary, Victor...wait!

The neighbors are Victor, Mary, and Victor. Wait Wait Wait Wait Wait.

My 3rd great grandmother Mary Carrion was married to a tinsmith name Victor Henry. Victor was Swiss but I'm inclined to believe he spoke French, as many Swiss do. Their first child was my great-great grandfather, also named Victor Henry who was born in June of 1874. This census would have been taken right before he turned 1.

You say Henry with your best French accent. Does it sound like An-ray? Arrai?

That is my Mary Carrion-Henry living right next door to her parents Nicholas and Caroline Carrion, with now who I believe is her sister Louisa and her brother John. John goes on to formalize the family name to Carillion.

I now have no doubt that John Carillion was indeed the brother of my Mary Henry. No doubt! None.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spelling and Genetics

Anyone who really knows me knows that I really can't spell. Well, that is not to say my spelling is as bad as my father's - -  that man can't spell at all. And so it does not surprise me in the least bit that this tale of variant spelling stems from his side of the tree.

Many years ago, more than a decade I'm sure, I got a copy of my third great-grandmother's death certificate. Mary Henry, born about 1857, died in Woodhaven, Queens, New York in January of 1907. Her son August Henry (1879-1960) is listed as the informant. On the death certificate was scrawled a note that stated that August could  not recall his mother's maiden name but the maiden name is listed as Carrian.

At about that same point in time I observed August's marriage certificate from 1906. There too his mother's maiden name is listed as Carrion. His best man was Harry Carillion. Carrion. Carillion. Hmm. I thought those two names were pretty similar and thus I began researching Harry Carillion with the sense that this might have been a cousin. I could never find a family connection between the Mary Henry and Harry Carillion.

Years have passed.

Now I have taken a DNA test, as has my father and sister. Recently I was looking at some matches on my dad's side and I came across a woman who matched all three of us. I looked at her tree and initially I saw some old Long Island family names and thought for sure this must be a connection through my paternal grandfather's side. But then I saw it!

Down on her mother's side of the tree was the name John Carillion (born1863) and it all came flooding back to me. Harry Carillion's father was John Carillion. 

I wouldn't genetically match to an ancestor of some random childhood neighbor friend of great-great uncle August. Those Carillion's were cousins and more-so I suspect John Carillion was my Mary Henry's brother.

I contacted the man who administered the DNA test for this person we matched. He shared with me an article from The Brooklyn Eagle written on Wednesday, February 6, 1907 but I can't follow who's mother they are talking about in the article; August's or John's. I think it is John Carillion who wanted his nephew, August Henry, to pay support for John's mother & thus August's grandmother, but you tell me...

I ordered John Carillion's death certificate; his dates would be (1863-1940). It lists his parents as Nicholas Carillion and Caroline Laplage both born in France.

Some more poking around on Ancestry.com I have been able to find 3 census records:

1880 - Caroline Carrilion widow age 55 (born about 1855), John Carrilon age 16 (born about1864).
1875 - Nickolas Karron age 67 (born about 1808), Carline Karron age 55 (born about 1850), Louisa Karron age 18 (born about 1957) , John Karron age 11 (born about 1864).
1855 - Nicholas Carellon age 42 (born about 1813), Caroline Carellon age 28 (born about 1827).

And a search of the NYC death index revealed a death certificate for a Nicholas Carrion who died on March 10, 1876 at the age of 64 (born about 1812) in Brooklyn...which I have ordered.

Still no mention of Mary but that Louisa Karron would have been born the same year as my Mary Carrian-Henry. I think that is her. I think that Louisa Karron is my Mary Carrian-Henry.

Don't ask me the spelling of her maiden name though. I've no idea. Apparently, spelling was never a skill in this family.