Mom’s maternal grandmother, Catherine Creegan, was born on this day in 1853 in Rhode Island, most likely in Providence. Catherine is the woman in the photograph that Mom kept in the living room. To say that Catherine had a tough life would be an understatement. She had nine siblings, several of whom died young. Catherine was 18 when she married Jeremiah Regan in 1872. Two and a half years later she gave birth to a son, Charles, who died at the age of three months. In 1876 Catherine and Jeremiah had a second son, whom they named Jeremiah. He lived for seven months, dying on Christmas Day 1876. Just five days after losing her son, Catherine’s husband died. I don’t know what caused the deaths, or whether they were related, but it must have been devastating for Catherine.
After the deaths, she apparently returned to her father’s home in East Providence, where she is listed in the 1880 census. Catherine was now 27, and Philip, her father, was 70. Also living in the house was Philip’s grandson, Philip Simmons, age 8, and 14 year old Charles Cregan, who is listed as Philip’s “adopted son”.
Just a few doors down the street lived Daniel Farrar, a widower, along with his son and three daughters. Daniel’s first wife, and mother of his children, Jane McKee, had died in 1866. In 1871 he married Florence McQuire, who died in early 1880. By the time of the 1880 census, Daniel was 48, and his children were aged from 16 to 22. On November 29 1883, Daniel and Catherine were married. Daniel was 51, Catherine just 30. Catherine gave Daniel two more sons and a daughter: Daniel Edward Farrar was born in 1885 and died in 1940. Katherine Jane was born in 1889, and would marry Earl Dunn in 1916. James Everett (“Uncle Happy”) was born in 1893. In 1902 the elder Daniel Farrar died at the age of 69- three years later Catherine passed away, at the age of 52.