Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Genealogical mystery: Cronins, Donohues, and Cullinanes

So, like I've said before, siblings are key. Along that same vein, cousins can also be key to going further back on family lines. If you can make the connections.

My grandmother, Mary Cronin Raynor, was the main genealogist for years in my family. Just the other day I was marveling over how much she accomplished, how much she discovered without ever using a computer. Her research has been invaluable to me.

In her research, she talks about Cronin cousins, the Donohues and the Cullinanes. The Donohues intrigue me because my grandmother's grandmother, Nora Donohue Cronin, born in Ireland in the late 1830s, is the farthest back I can go on that line. John, Dennis, Timothy, and Katherine Donohue (married name Shea) are cousins living in Brooklyn at the turn of the century, contemporaries of my great-grandfather, Timothy Cronin. I found them listed in a census with parents named Cornelius and Hannah Donohue (born late 1830s, early 1840s in Ireland), which means Cornelius could be a brother or a cousin of my Nora. If I can find someone tracing Cornelius as a direct line, or further information about that line, it could prove helpful to my Nora Donohue search...

More confusing, however, are the Cullinanes, John and Julia, and their kids John, Denis, Ellen, Mary, Timothy, and Nora, who came over from Ireland and settled in the Dobbs Ferry area of Westchester. My grandmother believed the Cullinanes were also cousins on the Donohue line, but research done by descendents of John Jr. through his daughter Julia show that Julia Sr.'s maiden name was...Cronin. So are the Cullinane's cousins of Nora Donohue's husband Denis Cronin? Could Julia be a cousin or sister of his?

The mystery deepens, however.

Timothy Cronin, son of Denis and Nora, married Ellen Casey. In my research on the Casey line, specifically the line of Ellen's mother, Mary Agnes Enright, I found the following information. Mary's parents were John Enright and Bridget Collins (born in Ireland in late 1830s), and according to Bridget's death certificate, her parents were Thomas Collins and...Ann Cullinane. So it's possible the Cullinanes are cousins on the Casey-Enright side (my grandmother's mother's branch, as opposed to her father's branch).

So the search for information continues...

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