COTTER and SHANAHAN – Kiss Me, I’m 1/16th Irish! – 52 Ancestors (Ancestors 23, 46, and 47)

StPatricksDayGirlI have an Irish line. I am 1/16th Irish. I know the surnames and some first names. I know where they lived in the U.S. I even know they were born in Ireland (making them an Irish line).

Yep, I have an Irish line.

Mary A. COTTER [23], born circa August 1846 somewhere on the island of Ireland,1 was the second known wife of my polygamist ancestor John Marion RENFRO.2 She was my second great-grandmother.

Her parents were named William and Catherine, of course.* William COTTER [46] and Catherine SHANAHAN [47].3 They were born somewhere in Ireland, too.4

They may have had a dozen children,5 and I have evidence of the names of four of them (other than the aforementioned Mary A.): Patrick F.,6 William, Margaret, and Catherine “Kate.” Patrick and Mary were born in Ireland. William, Margaret, and Kate were born in New York.7

I am about 99% sure they were Catholic.

William COTTER was born circa 1810 in Ireland,8 and died 14 January 1882 in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey.9 Catherine (SHANAHAN) COTTER was born circa June 1819 in Ireland,10 but I do not know when or where she died. I have found a Catherine Cotter, widow of William, in the 1913 Elizabeth, New Jersey city directory.11 She would have been about 94 at that time. City directories can be deceiving. I doubt there is a requirement that a listed person be alive.

The last census in which I have found a Catherine COTTER is the 1900 U.S. Census in Elizabeth, Union County, living in the household of her daughter Catherine and son-in-law William DARBY.12

And that’s about all I know about my Irish ancestors at this time, except a few probable marital names of the siblings of Mary.

I have a lot of researching to do.

But, hey, that’s enough for St. Patrick’s Day. So, kiss me! I’m Irish!§

funny-st-patricks-day-ecards_14244224541


*^ Because they couldn’t have been named something a little less common, like Cullen or Emmet or Liam and Siobhan or Fiona or Sybil.
^ Because the surnames are Cotter and Shanahan, the first names of the families include William, Kate, Patrick, Margaret, Mary, Agnes, Elizabeth, Charles, and the ever-present Catholic Rose. That, and Mary (Cotter) Renfro claimed she was a widow after her polygamist husband disappeared. Their daughter, my great-grandmother, was buried in the oldest Catholic cemetery on Staten Island. My grandmother was Catholic, and my dad was Catholic.
^ Spouses’ surnames of Mary (Cotter) Renfro’s siblings include Miller (from Germany), Sheridan, and Darby.
§^ No, really. Don’t. That would just be too weird. I mean, unless I know you. Then it might be okay. Hugs? Splendid. I love hugs.


Citations

1.^ 1900 U.S. census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, Elizabeth Ward 5, Enumeration District (ED) 102, sheet 10, p. 10B (stamped), dwelling 133, family 200, Mary Renfro; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 996. Birth month and year in this census given as August 1850, but the 1880 census gives her age as 34. Combining the two, I have estimated her birth date circa August 1846. She was born in Ireland and the family immigrated circa 1849-1850.

2.^ “New York, Marriages, 1686-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6WM-YR7 : accessed 22 Feb 2013), John Meriain Renfro and Mary Cotter, 01 Jun 1873; FHL microfilm 1561968. Family Search has the following short description of this collection: “This index is an electronic index for the years 1686 to 1980. It is not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records. This index is not complete for any particular place or region. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.” I do not yet have the original record, but I am using the inclusion of the information in this index as an acceptable source for the purpose of this article.

3.^ “New York, Marriages, 1686-1980,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6WM-YR7 : accessed 22 Feb 2013), John Meriain Renfro and Mary Cotter, 01 Jun 1873; FHL microfilm 1561968. Parents for “spouse” (wife) are given as William [Cotter] and Catherine Shanahan.

4.^ 1880 U.S. census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, Elizabeth, Enumeration District (ED) 167,  p. 123D (stamped), dwelling 212, family 279, lines 8-9, William M. Cotter and Catharina Cotter; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 800. Both born in Ireland. Parents of both born in Ireland.

5.^ 1900 U.S. census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, Elizabeth Ward 5, Enumeration District (ED) 101, sheet 1, p. 1B (stamped), dwelling 9, family 13, Catherine Cotter; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T623, roll 995. Catherine Cotter is stated as having had 12 children with 4 currently living.

6.^ 1880 U.S. census, New York, New York, population schedule, New York, Enumeration District (ED) 598, p. 150A (stamped), dwelling 124, family 278, line 37, Mary Renfrew; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2015), citing National Archives microfilm publication T9, roll 896. Mary Renfrew’s relationship to the head of house, Patrick Cotter, is “sister.” Mary’s daughter Marion Renfrew is also in this household listed as Patrick’s niece.

7.^ 1870 U.S. census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, Elizabeth Ward 3, page 414a (stamped), dwelling 203, family 217, lines 18-20, William, Margaret, and Kate Cotter in the household of William Cotter; digital image, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 3 March 2015), image 25, citing National Archives microfilm publication M593, roll 890. Although relationships are not given in U.S. Censuses prior to 1880, I am making an assumption that the three younger people in this household are children of the Head. Subsequent census records do give more information on this.

8.^ “New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FZHT-PPB : accessed 18 March 2015), Wm. N. Cotter, 14 Jan 1882; citing Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey, reference Union County, N.J.; FHL microfilm 589,834. Age at death 72.

9.^ “New Jersey Deaths and Burials, 1720-1988,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FZHT-PPB : accessed 18 March 2015), Wm. N. Cotter, 14 Jan 1882.

10.^ 1900 U.S. census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, Elizabeth Ward 5, ED 101, sheet 1, p. 1B (stamped), dwell. 9, fam. 13, Catherine Cotter. Stated as born June 1919 in Ireland.

11.^ U.S. City Directories, 1821-1989, database. Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 17 March 2015), “1913 Elizabeth, New Jersey, City Directory,” image 99.

12.^ 1900 U.S. census, Union County, New Jersey, population schedule, Elizabeth Ward 5, ED 101, sheet 1, p. 1B (stamped), dwell. 9, fam. 13, Catherine Cotter.

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One Response to COTTER and SHANAHAN – Kiss Me, I’m 1/16th Irish! – 52 Ancestors (Ancestors 23, 46, and 47)

  1. Pingback: Earl Lawrence TRAUTMAN (1893-1964) : “Auto Salesman Arraigned in Hit and Run” or How my Grandfather Got into the 1940 Census Twice – 52 Ancestors | Diggin' Up Graves

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