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Friday, December 20, 2013

One-hundred and twenty years ago today: The death of Ann Cowhey, 1893

It was just five days before Christmas in the year 1893 that Ann Cowhey left this life. Her obituary says she died at home and was in her 90th year. Other records indicate she may have been closer to eighty. If she did as some of her great-granddaughters were known to do, she may have underestimated her age when she had the opportunity.

Ann's obituary also states that she was a "lifelong resident of East Mt. Carbon". I know that to be untrue. She and her husband started their family in New York City. More than likely Ann (whose maiden name I have not yet determined) also immigrated to New York from Ireland, as did her husband Patrick (who came to New York City at age 15).

Patrick and Ann resided in New York City's fifth ward and more than likely attended Old St. Patrick's Catholic Church on Mulberry Street. (The city registry listing their firstborn son's death at age 4 in 1836 indicates that he was buried within St. Patrick's cemetery. Unfortunately, the church could not find any sacramental records for the family.)

After living in New York City, Patrick and Ann arrived in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania with their two surviving young children. They spent the rest of their lives there and Ann gave birth to six more children (including two sets of twins). Of the four children who survived her, however, only one remained with her in Mount Carbon at the time of her death: her youngest son John.


I was privileged a couple of years ago to have the chance to hold in my hands the family Bible that first belonged to Ann. In this Douay-Rheims translation Catholic Bible published by Edward Dunigan in New York in 1844, she and other family members chronicled the births, marriages and deaths of many Cowhey family members. The year that her husband Patrick (and therefore she) became a naturalized U.S. citizen is also handwritten into the Bible. This book is a true family treasure: a small tangible glimpse into the life of my 3rd great-grandmother.

On this, the 120th anniversary of Ann Cowhey's death, I'd like to share copies and transcriptions of the three newspaper announcements that appeared in the Pottsville Republican Herald at time of Ann's death:

Announcement of Ann Cowhey's death (published December 20, 1893)
COWHEY - At East Mt. Carbon, on Wednesday morning, December 20, 1893, Mrs. Ann Cowhey, in her 90th year. Funeral on Saturday morning. High Mass at St. Patrick's church, at 9:30. Interment in No. 3 cemetery. Friends and relatives respectfully invited.

Obituary for Ann Cowhey, age 90 (published December 21, 1893)
Mt. Carbon Briefs.  
Mrs. Ann Cowhey, a lifelong resident of East Mt. Carbon, died at the residence of her son, John Cowhey, yesterday, in the 90th year of her age. The deceased has been ill for some time, and her old age enfeebled her, so that she was unable to leave the house. She leaves to survive her two sons and a daughter, viz: John, the Pinedale Park hotelkeeper; Thomas, at the Soldiers' home, Dayton, Ohio, and Mrs. Charles McWilliams, of New Haven, Conn. Another son, Engineer William Cowhey, was killed at Connor's Crossing by the explosion of an engine about a year ago.

"The funeral offerings were two sheaves of wheat." - Ann Cowhey's funeral description (published December 26, 1893)
Deaths and Funerals.
The funeral of Mrs. Ann Cowhey took place Saturday morning from her late residence at East Mt. Carbon, at 9:30 o'clock. Requiem High Mass was celebrated at St. Patrick's church by Rev. F. J. McGovern. The floral offerings were two sheaves of wheat. The pall bearers were Thomas Dobbins, Jere Sullivan, Michael Sullivan, John McCarthy, Ed. Brehony and James McGovern. R.A. Waldron, funeral director.

1 comment:

Ellie said...

How wonderful that you got to see and hold the bible! Happy for you!


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