Monday, January 14, 2013

Annie, I'm one step closer to finding you.

This past weekend, I had the honor and privilege of attending a wedding in a small country Texas town, Chappell Hill. The exchange of vows took place in St. Stanislaus Roman Catholic Church which was established in 1889, and it's very beautiful, and the ceremony was beautiful as well. 

And as I was listening to the priest conduct the ceremony, it wasn't very hard to let my genealogy and family history imagination take over. Who else had been married in this church? Is this hardwood floor original to the church? Where do they keep their records? Who was baptized here? And did the original Polish-German settlers and communicants of this church here in Chappell Hill have as hard of a time understanding their priest as I do this one? Probably not because they would have spoken Polish or German, and I do not. {Yes, the priest on Saturday spoke English, but it was with a very heavy German accent.} Of course, Catholic services in 1889 would probably have been spoken in Latin, right? So, perhaps past parishioners had been just as in the dark as I was on Saturday. {I'm Episcopalian, and our liturgical services are quite similar so I was able to follow fine, but I do like to listen and understand the Gospel and sermon. Most of the time. ;) }

Needless to say, my mind wandered on Saturday evening during the ceremony. I even thought about Daniel and Annie's {my 2nd great grandparent's} marriage in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1874. Yes, I'd ordered a copy of their marriage record from the Secretary of State, Archives Division in Louisiana thanks to Jennifer Sepulvado's suggestion for my Daughter's of the American Revolution (DAR) and United Empire Loyalist (UEL) applications, but knowing from family stories handed down orally in my family that Annie was a devout Irish Catholic, and knowing from my research that Daniel might have grown up as an Episcopalian {like myself}, I've often wandered what church they were married in. Who stood up for them? What were they wearing? Who married them? What kind of flowers did Annie hold, if any?

You know, the usual stuff that goes on in a genealogist's or family historian's mind during a wedding in a very old church.

However, if I'd been at home on Saturday I would have checked my mail, and I could have had some answers to my questions about Daniel and Annie's wedding. And more clues. But then on this cold and drizzly day, it sure was nice to find their marriage record in the mailbox.

That's right. My marriage record copy order was completed in a very timely fashion. A huge thank you goes out to the Archives Division, Secretary of State of Louisiana because I now have in my possession a copy of Daniel and Annie's marriage record from 1874.

Now, I've ordered other marriage records before for other branches in my tree {and for other people}, and sometimes you get less information or clues than you were expecting and sometimes you get more. I prefer to just not think about it and expect less so that when I open up the envelope, and find out more than what I expected, then I'm pleasantly surprised. {Read: Jumping up and down with joy.}

And this is definitely one of those occasions.

According to their marriage a copy of their returned marriage license filed in Book No. 5, Folio 255, Mr. D.R. Vaughn and Miss Annie O'Brien were married by Rev. Gleason on 19 Mar 1874. The returned marriage license clearly states that D.R. Vaughn was 27 years old and a native of New Orleans, and his parents {That's right HIS PARENTS.} were B.J. Vaughn and Susanna Vaughn.

It also clearly states that Annie O'Brien was a native of Ireland and that she was the daughter of James O'Brien and Jane O'Brien. Their witnesses were a W.L. Leibrock and a Katie L. Lennon.

The marriage license was issued on 17 Mar 1874 by the Hon. John Daley and received back and filed in Book 5, Folio 255 on 23 Mar 1874.

Now, just because this is a photocopy of the of it does not mean the information is 100% correct. It's not. First,  This is a photocopy of the returned marriage license filed in Book 5, Folio 255, and because of its photocopied state, it's considered a derivative of the original. However, in my opinion, it's a very good photocopy and it's clear to read and understand.

The other thing to consider is that the information on the returned marriage license was filled out probably by Rev. Gleason. It was probably signed by him, Daniel, and Annie. They were a part of the ceremony. The witnesses would have signed as well and, duh, they were witnesses. So the information on here concerning Daniel and Annie's marriage is as accurate as I can get without seeing the original returned marriage license with my own eyes and without attending their wedding ceremony {which would have been impossible}. The information concerning their marriage is primary. It also is direct information to my research question for my DAR and UEL applications. When {date} and where {city, county, state} were Daniel and Annie married? They were married 19 Mar 1874 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana. And it corroborates other information and documents I have found concerning their marriage.

However, the information concerning Daniel's age and parents would have come from Daniel and not very close in time to the actual event. Yes, Daniel was there when he was born, but I was there when I was born, and I cannot attest to, well, anything on that day. {And you can't either concerning your own birth.} But according to what I've known all my life and my birth certificate, my age that I know it to be is correct. {Unfortunately.} So while I don't have his birth information nor his baptismal information {Microfilm is on order.}, I do have census information, his death certificate, and military information and the age recorded on his marriage record is in line with what I've found on those documents. And the same goes for his parent's names. {And I'm not even upset that his mother's maiden name isn't given. I already have it. It would've been nice for corroboration, though.}

Now, the same kind of thinking goes for Annie's given information. Interestingly, her age isn't listed. Annie would have been *counts on fingers* about 20 years old. I say, about because according to her death certificate, she was born 21 Jul 1853 so IF that's correct, when she married, she hadn't turned 21 yet. {If my math is correct. I hate math.} And, apparently, she told the priest who married them, Rev. Gleason, that she was a native of Ireland, and this corroborates everything I've learned about Annie via family lore as well as census records, her death certificate, her children's baptismal records, and her children's death certificates.

What's really awesome about this marriage record is the listing of Annie's parents. I assume Annie volunteered the information to Rev. Gleason. {Who else would have? Okay, maybe Daniel, but I've NO evidence that he knew them at all. Ever. Which means I know nothing.} So. This photocopy of the marriage record corroborates the information given on her death certificate by her youngest son, Daniel Warren Vaughan, that her father was, indeed, a James O'Brien. All still very secondhand, but I love clues that don't contradict each other, especially since trying to find an Annie J. O'Brien whose father might be a James O'Brien in Catholic Irish records in maybe Dublin Ireland seems so very daunting. {Amen?}

And? This marriage record reveals Annie's mother's name...

{Wait for it...}

Jane O'Brien. Which is totally new news for me. Now, I'm going to suggest that just as Daniel's mother's surname listed on the marriage record was not her maiden name, that probably Jane's maiden name is not O'Brien. But? Hello? I have her first name {if it's correct}! Unfortunately, it's a very common name, but I'm SO not gonna complain. {It could've been Mary. My tin cup is always half full and according to family lore so was Annie's.}

Now, remember, from Genevieve's {Daniel's and Annie's daughter's} baptismal record we learned that one of Genevieve's real names {As opposed to the one she went by her almost entire life because why make it easy on me?} was Jane. And from the census records and elsewhere, I've learned that Annie's middle initial is a "J." So the hint of Annie's naming patterns surfaces once again.

It also surfaces on the marriage record in another place - in the revealing of the the witnesses names. As I mentioned above, the second witness was a Katie L. Lennon. And we know from Genevieve's baptismal record and census records that Genevieve's middle name was Lennon.

This clue leads me to 2 additional research paths. I need to research both of these witnesses to discern their relationship to the happy couple. Who were they to Daniel and Annie? Also, it means if there is no relationship between Katie and Annie I probably don't need to keep the name 'Lennon' in mind when I eventually look for Annie's origins in Ireland. 

The last clue that it gives me is that they were married by a Rev. Gleason. This indicates they were married in a church...a church that has records. {Oh yeah.} So now I need to track down a Rev. Gleason in probably a Catholic church in 1874. I think that's do-able. At least trying to find him is do-able. Certainly, I don't need it for my DAR and UEL applications, but who knows what kind of info it contains? Does it corroborate or contradict this marriage record or anything else I've found or know? And wouldn't it be nice the next time I go back to New Orleans to be able to visit and photograph the church where they were married if it's still there? So, I'll definitely hunt down {or at least try to} Rev. Gleason and the church Daniel and Annie were married in.

As far as my DAR and UEL applications are concerned, this marriage record is just what I needed for acceptable evidence of their marriage event for both applications. And since it's Daniel's maternal and paternal lines that hold the Patriot and Loyalist, respectively, needed for my applications, it would seem it's all good in this respect.

But it's also given me many clues for further research on Annie's origins and the rest of her line and hers and Daniel's wedding day.

I'm a step closer to the completion of my DAR and UEL applications.

And, Annie, I'm one step closer to finding you. {Um. Not physically, just your origins. And whatever stories I can find about you and anyone remotely related to you. And me.}


Orleans Parish, Louisiana, [Still obtaining the title of the register from the Archives Division because it wasn't listed in the photocopy.], Book 5: Folio 255, D.R. Vaughn - Annie O'Brien; State of Louisiana, Secretary of State, Archives Division, Baton Rouge.

Other blog posts pertaining to my DAR & UEL quests & some related tangents {In case you're really bored.}:

Family Stories: DAR or Bust
Family Stories: Loyalist + Patriot = ?
Family Stories: Boo's Baptismal Records Came In! 
A Baby Boy
He Had Salt Water in His Veins
I Knew it Genevieve
Viola "Vyla" Prudence Vaughan Sproul Clifton Brandenburg
Stories Within the Old Lighthouse
James Wesley Blacketer's Story Continues...
DAR, Some Secrets, Brother Ed, and the Mayans
Collaborative Genealogy Works

Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. My dear Pointer Sista,

    Do not be daunted by looking for an O'Brien in Catholic church records. It can be done. Before jumping the pond, I highly recommend getting a copy of the church marriage record as opposed to the civil record. You might even find that the church record has more details on the parents and/or birthplaces of the parties. It depends. Sometimes they have nothing, sometimes a lot. It's worth a shot. Here is a link to the archives for the Archdiocese of New Orleans.
    Hmm, once you do more research I will hit you up to contribute an article to The Catholic Gene, ok??

    1. Thanks, Donna. I'm already a step ahead of you. I already looked at their website, and I even blogged about it already. It's scheduled to post at 12AM tomorrow.

      And, sure. I'd love to contribute an article to the Catholic Gene. =)

      Thanks for stopping by and reading!


  2. Yay! I'm so glad you have the marriage record AND it contained new information! I'm so glad I mentioned the state archives to you. It's always fun to help someone else.

  3. Fascinating to read, and it's fun to try following everything you are asking and guessing. Are you hinting that Annie's mother Jane's maiden name may possibly be Lennon? Always good to have a first and last name. I'll bet the DAR has never had a more thorough researcher than you are in finding both their Patriot and Loyalist lines, not to mention documenting everything to a fare-thee-well with the absolutely best available sources. The DAR will probably ask you to give a guest lecture on how you traced your lineage!

    1. Mariann, I'm not suggesting anything. If I were to guess {and it would definitely be an off-the-wall guess}, I'd say she is not related to this Lennon person. The only thing I'm suggesting is that Annie's daughter's middle name probably came from this Lennon person and that this Lennon witness to their marriage is another avenue of research to discern a possible relationship between her and Annie.

      I mentioned naming patterns because in past posts, I've identified where Annie has used names from Daniel's family as well as from names from her children's baptismal witnesses to name her children. Certainly, not unusual, and would possibly suggest that these are family members, but family lore suggests Annie came by herself from Ireland to New Orleans. And I've not found her on a passenger list. So I'm not sure she had family here or not. I must research all of the witnesses on all of her children's baptismal records as well as the witnesses to their marriage to hopefully discern some type of relationship to Daniel and Annie. How did they know each other? Random witnesses, family members, or somewhere in between?

      Also, I doubt very seriously my app will be the best researched one. There are many very fine and much better researchers than I who have applied to DAR or have been hired by clients to do the research for DAR application. However, I really appreciate your compliment. =)



Inappropriate comments will be deleted. So keep it clean and be nice.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...