Aunt Winnie’s Dog?

winniesdogAnother of the photos Kerry scanned is a slightly blurry image of a dog, with “‘Teddy’ Aunt Winnie’s dog” written across the bottom. And who, you might ask, is Aunt Winnie?

She turns out to have been Winifred (Coleman) Shields. Winifred was born in Ireland in 1890 and emigrated to this country in 1905. Five years later she married Philip Shields, who was the brother of Aunt Belle. Philip’s mother, Bridget (Creegan) Shields was the sister of Catherine (Creegan) Farrar, Nana Dunn’s mother. So “Winnie” wasn’t really an aunt- she was the wife of Nana’s cousin, Philip. Which is why it was just easier to call her “Aunt Winnie”, I guess!

Philip and Winifred had two sons- John, born in 1912, who was a Commander in the US Navy, and worked as a legal officer at the Quonset Point Naval Air Station. David, born in 1915, was my godfather, and, appropriately enough, a post office clerk.

shields1They are all gone now- John died in 1967, and David ten years later. It doesn’t appear that John or David had any children. The last of the Shields to pass away was David’s wife Dorothy, who died in 2003.

All ten members of the Shields family are buried in the family plot at St Francis Cemetery in Pawtucket.

On this day, June 15

isaacwilsonbaptismThere are two notable anniversaries today. The first is relatively recent- it was on this day in 1966 that Isabelle F. Shields, our Aunt Belle, died. Mom was named after Aunt Belle, and like Mom, Aunt Belle was a teacher. She wasn’t really our Aunt, or Mom’s. She was the daughter of John and Bridget (Creegan) Shields. Bridget was the sister of Catherine (Creegan) Farrar, Mom’s maternal grandmother. She was therefore the cousin of Mom’s own mother, Nana Dunn. That makes her Mom’s first cousin once removed, rather than an aunt. (And my first cousin twice removed).

The other anniversary is one of the oldest- today is the birth anniversary of Isaac Wilson, one of my tenth great grandfathers. Isaac was born on this day in 1567, in Halifax, Yorkshire. That creates another link to the Leeds area, where great grandfather Daniel Farrar came from. Isaac’s son Nathaniel emigrated to Boston in the late 1600’s, where his daughter Hannah married Shubael Seaver, the son of Robert and Elizabeth (Ballard) Seaver.

On this day, November 25

Today is the 132d anniversary of the marriage of John W. Shields and Bridget Creegan in Providence. Bridget was the sister of Catherine Creegan, Mom and Uncle Bud’s maternal grandmother.

John Shields was born in Northern Ireland in about 1846. His family emigrated sometime around 1850, living in Woodstock, Connecticut before settling in North Providence by 1860. Bridget’s parents Philip and Catherine emigrated from Ireland, possibly between 1845 and 1850. A Philip and Catherine Cregan appear in the 1850 census, living in Providence, but I haven’t been able to find a record of the Cre(e)gans in the 1860 or 1870 censuses.

John and Bridget lived in East Providence after their wedding, where John worked as a carpenter, and where they raised six children. John was just 50 when he died in 1896, and Bridget just 58 when she passed away in 1913. Their daughter Isabelle was Mom’s “Aunt Belle”, who continued to live in the family’s home on Warren Ave. until her death in 1966.