Saturday, December 17, 2016

Favorite Ancestors: Catherine O'Neil

Most of what I know about Catherine comes from my mother and uncle, as well as a scattering of records [census, city directories, marriage, death, widow's pension, obit]. She was the last of the family to arrive in the country. Catherine came from County Cork, Ireland, by way of Liverpool, England, and ended up in Indianapolis. Her year of arrival depends on several factors. [1] 1852, if I found the correct passenger arrival, [2] 1851, 1853 or 1854 depending upon the accuracy of the census, [3] 1852, 1853 or 1854 depending on whether she was born in 1833 or 1834.

Mom and Uncle Mutt told me the family celebrated her 100th birthday. Catherine died during the late summer of 1934 and was born in December, so 1833 would have been her year of birth. Catherine's death certificate shows her age as 99, so born in 1834, but 1833 is given as her year of birth. The obit says she was 99. Census records are inconsistent. Catherine was about 5 years older than her husband, so she fibbed about her age.

Being that most of my details about her life come from family, I don't know how accurate the memories are. For certain, she raised 6 young children on her own after husband Aaron Crail died in 1868 and outlived 4 of them.

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