Sunday, April 21, 2013


For the past five years I have been trying to figure out when did my grandmothers brother Dennis died.    I found his Baptism in the St. Thomas Baptism Register in the Archives of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  He was born 28 October 1875 in East Pittsburgh PA.  My grandmother Gertrude always said “he drowned in the river”
While looking at copies I had in my possession I was reviewing the delayed birth certificate of my Uncle William and  grandmother Gertrude O’Rourke.  They are the only of the siblings that I knew. 
The answer was sort of sitting there all the time. 
W O'Rourke delayed birth cert 1953
At the time of my Uncle Bills birth, 6 May 1888 he was the tenth child born of Patrick O’Rourke and Ellen Mortel.  The older children I knew about were Anne, Dennis, James, Mary  and Thomas.  Who were the other three?   This means that Denis was alive as of 1888 and he would have been thirteen at the time.
Gertrude B O'Rourke delayed birth cert 1943
By the time my grandmother was born there were six children living and three had died.  Can I assume Dennis was one of them?  There was another sister born 18 May 1890 who was also recorded in the Baptisms of St. Thomas RC Church, Braddock PA.   In my grandmothers birth/Baptism record  her name is recorded as Bridget Gertrude. 
In 1888 there were a total of ten children, including William but not including my grandmother and her sister born in 1890.  I can account for Dennis but who are the other two?  Who are the missing children, it seems there are some unaccounted for and I do not even know the correct number.

So, when did he die?  My theory was and still is that he died in August of 1891 because that was when Patrick bought the plots in Braddock Catholic Cemetery.   A person, especially a poor one, would not buy a cemetery plot if he did not need one.

The funeral records from the churches  foundation up until 1945 do not exist for St. Thomas, and the cemetery records for the same period are non existent also.   I need to recheck the cemetery to see if they have a list of who is buried in the plot.

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