Wednesday, April 19, 2017
THE ELUSIVE JAMES O’ROURKE
I found out rather late in my research that my great grandfather, Patrick O’Rourke, had two brothers in Pennsylvania. I think it came to light after I received the Baptisms Records for his children, from the Diocese of Pittsburgh. On 24 September 1880, Johannes O’Rourke, was the sponsor for my great Uncle James Patrick. John was also the sponsor for Aunt Gertrude on 1 June 1890. Jacobus and Brigitte O’Rourke were sponsors for my great Uncle Thomas on 21 June 1885. I correctly decided they were relatives, but how?
Who were John and James? After a bit of searching over a few years I had a few answers. Pennsylvania released the Death Certificates a few years ago and using Denis O'Rourke's name for the father John appeared. John died 25 May 1908, but no death certificate for James.
One day I found PITTSBURGH CITY DEATHS 1870-1905. While searching there, I found the death of three children, Patrick, Anna and James, with the parents listed as James and Bridget O’Rourke. They deaths were in 1879 and two the summer of 1886. At that time James and Bridget were living in Ward 14 of the City of Pittsburgh.
In the 1900 census that the couple were married in 1875 and had both emigrated two different dates a few years earlier. So my guess was they married in the USA. In the 1900 census they were living still in the 14th ward and had two daughters Mary and Catherine. I searched both James and Bridget in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to no avail.
My dilemma is that in 1908 it lists James living in Boston, while it is certainly possible for James to move to Boston after the 1900 census, but did he? Everything else in the obit has proven to be accurate. Is James, the sponsor, a cousin and not the brother?
I will post this and look more closely into this matter.
Well, I have found the answer to this dilemma. As it turned out I did find a death records for James O'Rourke, with wife named Bridget. This James is not the brother of Patrick, because the parents names are not Denis O'Rourke and Mary Griffin.
I think James was a relative of Patrick but not a brother, could have been a cousin. I have been searching for James O'Rourke in Boston, but no luck there at this time.