Archive for category Mystery Monday

Military Monday – Connecticut Military Census of 1917

Posted by on Monday, 3 December, 2012

I recently stumbled across a new database which was put on line by This database is entitled Connecticut Military Census of 1917. This census asked some unique questions which provide insight into your ancestors.

Below are digital copies of both of my grandfather’s records.

James Fox Connecticut Military Census of 1917

William Sanders Connecticut Military Census 0f 1917

I learned some interesting things about them.

My Grandpa Fox knew how to ride a horse, handle a team, had experience with a steam engine and was a good swimmer. He had also filed first papers for citizenship.

My Grandpa Sanders knew how to handle a team and was a good swimmer.

If you have Connecticut ancestors old enough to fight in WWI, then be sure to check out this new database on


Military Monday Mystery – Civil War Veteran Patrick Fraher

Posted by on Monday, 24 September, 2012

My ancestor Patrick Fraher has always intrigued me. There are many brick walls in my genealogy which surround him. He was born, married and had two children in Ireland. He then went to England where he had two more children. Finally he moved to the United States in about 1860 where he had five more children. I’ve been unsuccessful in finding any records about him outside of the United States. I’ve been unsuccessful in finding any exact date of birth, marriage or death. There’s also a black sheep part of him which I find fascinating. There are reports in newspapers about him being arrested for being drunk. There’s also a report in a newspaper about him escaping from an insane asylum. However, that story is for another time.

This blog post mystery is about his time during the civil war. Patrick apparently served during the civil war. The photo below is him in his civil war uniform.

Patrick Fraher - Civil War

There is no doubt that the photo above is Patrick Fraher. I have in my possession a 19th century photo album known to belong to one of Patrick’s daughters (Mary). Pictured below is Patrick, with presumably his wife Sarah. The head shots of both photos were super imposed on top of one another with different intensities and the facial features are identical. The two photos are of the same man.

Patrick Fyaher and Sarah Hayes

With no doubt left that Patrick served in the civil war, there are a number of questions to be answered. When did he serve? What unit did he serve with? The cap in the civil war photo seems to suggest an artillery unit, due to the insignia. I went to the civil war soldiers and sailors system to see if I could find Patrick. There were two Patrick Frahers. One served for a Massachusetts Volunteer Artillery Unit and another which served in the 12th US Regulars. The Massachusetts volunteer was known to have died in Andersonville Prison, so this could not be my Patrick. The other served in an infantry unit, which was not what I expected from the insignia.

A professional genealogist I had contacted about getting some civil war pension and service records was able to find some information about the Patrick Fraher who served in the 12th US Regulars. This Patrick Fraher served for a very short period of time. He enlisted in the upper part of New York State. He was also born in County Waterford, Ireland. This record seems very promising that it could be my Patrick, even though the unit may not be an artillery unit. My Patrick was enumerated in the 1865 New York Census in Essex County New York, which was fairly close to the place where the Patrick Fraher from the 12th US Regular enlisted.

For those professional genealogist veterans would this satisfy the Genealogical Proof Standard? Would this be enough proof to say that the Patrick Fraher who served in the 12th US Regular Army is my Patrick Fraher? I’ve tried finding other Patrick Fraher civil war veterans. Fraher can and has been misspelled many different ways (Fryher, Friher, Friar, and Frier). No other Patrick seems to fit with the known facts. I believe my Patrick was the one who served in the 12th US Regular and it seems more likely than not. I would love to hear feedback regarding this finding and conclusion.

A family group sheet with Patrick, his wife and children can be found in this earlier post for those who are interested.

Prior Post with Fraher Family Group Sheet

Solve this Mystery Monday – unknown subject of a photo – decipher the writing

Posted by on Monday, 10 September, 2012

This is another photo which comes from a 19th century photo album I acquired. The mystery I’ve been unable to solve is who is this woman. This photo is a little unique in the album in that it has some writing on the back of the photo. Unfortunately the writing is is faded and unreadable in parts that I can’t tell what it says. Perhaps a reader of this blog will be able to solve this mystery.

Sanders - Fryher Photo Genealogy - New Britain, Connecticut - image 52 front

Sanders - Fryher Photo Genealogy - New Britain, Connecticut - image 52 back

One of our prior series of blog posts went through how I was able to identify some of the photos within the 19th century photo you can read about that here. Photo Genealogy at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

A couple Sundays ago, I reviewed one of the books which was instrumental in helping me how to identify old photos. Read about that here Sunday Morning Book Review – Unlocking the Secrets in Old Photographs by Karen Frisch-Ripley.

Mystery Monday – John Doyle – Carrickslavin – County Leitrim Ireland

Posted by on Monday, 30 July, 2012

On this Mystery Monday, I’ve been trying to find out when John Doyle my great grandfather was born and died. Below is a summary of information I know about John Doyle and his wife.

John Doyle was married to Esther O’Rourke probably between 1869 and 1872. This is based upon the birth date of their oldest child. They lived in the townland of Carrickslavin, County Leitrim. He died sometime between 1873 and 1901, presumably while still living in the townland of Carrickslavin, County Leitrim.

  • Mary Ann Doyle was born 1-May-1872. She was married to Patrick Logan.
  • Michael Doyle was born 10-Oct-1873. He was married to Bridget. He died on 23-Jun-1949 in Killarkin, County Leitrim.
  • Bridget Doyle was born 1-Sep-1875. She was married to Edward Francis McHugh. She died on 16-Mar-1936 in Bristol, Connecticut, USA.
  • Patrick Doyle was born 8-Mar-1877. Little else is known about Patrick.
  • James Doyle was born 1-Apr-1879. He married Mary.
  • Bernard Doyle was born in 1882. He married Mary Ann Mellon. He died on 5-Sep-1915 in Bristol, Connecticut, USA.
  • Ella Josphine Doyle was born 6-Nov-1885. She married Daniel Edmuind Salmon. She died on 24-Jul-1971 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Catherine Agnes Doyyle was born on 10-May-1886. She married Thomas Anthony Kennedy. She died on 29-Jan-1944 in Bristol, Connecticut, USA.
  • Elizabeth Veronica Doyle was born on 13-Dec-1887. She married John Joseph Nolan. She died on 26-Oct-1964.
  • Margaret Nora Doyle was born on 20-May-1893. She was married to James Francis Fox. She died on 20-Jan-1975.
  • Sarah Doyle was born in 1894. She was married to Francis O’Brien.
  • John J. Doyle was born 9-May-1894. He died 14-Jul-1932.


I have no primary sources of information in which John Doyle (the one married to Esther O’Rrouke) is the main person in the document. I’ve found birth certificates, death certificates and more where he is listed as the father. I would love to hear from others about suggestions on how to narrow down the date he was born or when he died.