Mom’s mention of Dad’s “spinster” cousins has led very quickly to the identification of our other set of great grandparents on Dad’s side of the family. They were Patrick and Marguerite Bridget (Doody) Sheehan. The first clues were the names of the sisters, Anna and Mary Sheehan. They were pretty easy to find in the 1930 census- two sisters in their twenties, single, and living with their parents. They were easy to trace through the years in the Worcester City Directories. The next clue was the Social Security Death Index record of an Anne (not Anna) Sheehan, born in 1907, having passed away in Worcester in 1986. The difference in spelling made me wonder if it really was the same person, but since “Anne”‘s date of death was given in the SSA record, it was a simple matter of checking the Telegram’s death notices around that date.
Bingo! The Anne who died in 1986 was indeed the daughter of Edward F. and Mary (Murphy) Sheehan! (The mother’s maiden name was new to me). Anne was buried, not surprisingly, in St. John’s Cemetery. A telephone call to St. John’s provided the location of Anne’s grave, and more importantly, the names, and burial dates of the other family members buried in the same plot.
It turned out that Mary, the mother, had passed away in 1948 at the age of 75. Edward died in 1960, and was buried exactly 12 years to the day after his wife. Their daughter Mary died just two years later.
Now that I knew when Edward died, I went back to the Telegram microfilms and found his obituary. The second line reads: “He was born in County Waterford, Ireland, a son of the late Patrick and Marguerite (Doody) Sheehan, and lived in Worcester for the last 64 years.” Confirmation of his relationship to Grandfather Sheehan comes later: “He leaves … a brother, Nicholas F. Sheehan of Perine, Fla.”