Friday, December 28, 2012

Marital Record John J Daley and Ellen Tully

I had originally ordered the marital record of my great-great grandparents hoping that I would discover the maiden name of John Daleys mother or might learn more about his family through the names of the witnesses. However, as with other records, I both solved some mysteries and came away with more questions.

John Daley and Ellen Tully were married 5 January 1896 at St. Philips in Roxbury, Ma. Although both the bride and the groom listed the names of their parents, neither listed the maiden name of their mother. John Daleys parents were listed as Michael and Mary Daly, and Ellen Tullys parents were listed as Thomas and Mary Tully. I was eventually able to learn the maiden name of Ellens mother through the birth records of her siblings. However, I have still been unable to locate the maiden name of John J Daleys mother.

I did learn a bit from the names of the witnesses. I had hoped John Daley would have had one of his siblings as the best man or maid of honor. Unfortunately, this was not the case. The best man was listed as Michael Joseph Tully and the maid of honor was Mary Agnes Tully. Both witnesses were Ellens siblings.Where John's family was or if they participated in the wedding, I do not know.

As I do not know much more about Johns siblings, I have so far been unable to locate either his mothers maiden name or the exact place of his birth. I do have a couple more records coming in the mail and hope to have access to even a few more in upcoming weeks. Even though I did not achieve my genealogical goals with this records, getting new famly documents is always exciting. You never know what information will appear or what you might learn about your ancestors and about the history of your own family.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Helen M. Daley 1909 - 1997

Birth Record For Helen Daley
Helen M. Daley was the daughter of my great-great grandparents, John J. Daley and Ellen Tully. I had occasionally heard my father speak of his aunt Helen, who was really his great aunt. My father said that Helen Daley was the sibling who my grandfather, Peter Francis Daley Sr. was closest with, probably due to the fact she was nearest to him in age. However, what my grandfather did not know until about 1979, was that Helen was really his aunt. Although Helen was close with my grandfather and lived until 1997, we never met, something which I regret in retrospect.

Helen was bornto John Daley and Ellen Tully 23 August 1909. Like all of John and Ellen’s children, she was born in Boston, Ma. In the US Census I find Helen living with her borth family in Dorchester until 1930. Although I do not have the record, I know she married a man named Charles J. Stravin (1909 – 1982) sometime between 1930 and 1935. In 1937 I find this couple living in Boston in the US City Directories. Together the couple had at least one son named Charles J. Stravin Jr, who was born 6 September 1941.

I have been told that Charles Stravin Sr. owned and operated the L Street Tavern in South Boston, which has been made more well known by the movie Good Will Hunting. Charles Stravin the younger operated L Street Liquors. This was easily verified using the Boston City Directory for 1969. These men emplyed my grandfather, Peter Francis Daley Sr, at both locations.
The L Street Tavern - South Boston

The Stravins in the 1969 Directory for the City of Boston
 Helen M. Daley died in Mattapan 17 July 1997. I would really have loved to have met her and had the opportunity to learn what she knew about my grandfather and the origins of the Daley Clan. Her husband, Charles J. Stravin Sr, died 3 November 1982 in the town of Milton. Their son, Charles Stravin Jr, married a woman named Margaret Finch. Charles Jr died only fairly recently in October of 2002. Although I can’t verify it with a document, I believe they had at least one son named Charles J. Stravin III. I will continue to follow up on research concerning this family as I attempt to trace all the living descendants of John Daley and Ellen Tully.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Michael Joseph Tully b. 1873

Although I dont know too much about the Tully family, I actually know more about them than I do the Daleys. In addition, Michael Joseph Tully, the brother of my great-great grandmother, is one of the family members that continually pops up in records time and again.

Like most of the Tullys, Michael was born in Clonbrock co. Galway, Ireland to Thomas Tully and Mary McCormack. I was able to find his birth date in the Ancestry list of Irish births and baptisms. According to this index, he was born 20 January, 1873, making him the younger brother of my great-grandmother Ellen.

In addition to this information, I know for a fact he came to the US by at least 1896, as he appears as the best man at the wedding of my great-great grandparents, John Daley and Ellen Tully. I had hoped to see a Daley relative in this church record when I ordered it, but those relatives remain a mystery.

Michael Joseph Tully best man for John J Daley at his mariage
Michael Tully also appears as one of the God parents to the couples first born child, William Joseph Daley in that same year.
Michael Joseph Tully- God Parent to William Daley
After 1896, I lose track of Michael Tully. There are a couple Michael Tullys who lived in Massachusetts that look promising. One couple, Michael and Bridget Tully, stayed in Boston. Their first child was even named John J. Tully. Probably not a coicidence. However, I don't want to guess. I will soon be able to access his naturalization records, so I might know more pretty soon. Until then, Michael Tully is an interesting lead to follow.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

John J. Daley Obituary

John J Daley's Obitary
Not much information
Sometimes it is the lack of information within a document which might provide a clue to an ancestor. For instance, when I obtained John J. Daley’s obituary, I hoped it might contain clues about his parents or siblings. Although, the short write up did not mention his family at all, it still gave me some information.

In comparing his obituary to his death records, neither of which John probably gave the information for, it is apparent that his children did not know much about his past or his family. His older son George Daley is recorded to have given the information on his death record, which lists John’s father as another John Daley and his birthplace as Boston, Ma. I do not think either piece of information is accurate.

In his obituary, no information is given about parents or notifications to siblings or friends. To me, this either means they were not part of his life or he had little enough to do with them that his children would not have known who they were. Either way, it makes my job just a little more difficult. Oh well, such is genealogy sometimes. On to the next document and hopefully better luck.

Monday, December 17, 2012

William Joseph Daley 1896 - 1974

William Joseph Daley born 10 Nov 1896
William Joseph Daley was the first child of my great-great grandparents, John J Daley and Ellen Tully. I know very little about his life other than what I have learned from relatives and from his historic paper trail. As far as the basic facts, I know that he was born 10 Nov 1896. Like the rest of this Daley generation, he was born in Boston, Ma.

I have heard from relatives that William was a particularly charming guy, and he was also described as being somewhat of a rogue. I also know that he served in the Navy, though I have not been able to acquire these records as of yet. I assume, only because of his age, that he served in WWI.

Apparently William and his father suffered a falling out in their lives. I know from records that William was married twice. However, I can only find a record for his second marriage to a New Brunswick native by the name of Jane E. Burke. Both the bride and the groom listed this as their second marriage. He reported his status as widowed and she divorced. They were marriage 30 Nov 1930 in New Hampshire.

Marital Record for William Daley and Jane Burke

William Daley and Jane Burke Marital Record Page 2
It is interesting to note the inaccuracies William reported on the second page of the form. He noted that both his parents were born in Boston, Ma. However, I know for a fact Ellen Tully was born in Galway, Ireland. In addition, John J Daley was probably born in Galway as well, though he often listed his birthplace as New York City. William also listed John J’s career as engineer. I know he was a steamfitter who worked for the city of Boston, so I wonder about the accuracy of that statement as well.

After being married William Daley and Jane Burke moved to Lewiston, Maine, at least in 1932. However on his father’s will in 1949, William’s residence was listed as Dorchester, Ma. Either way, according to the Maine death indexWilliam passed in Lewiston, Maine 24 April 1974. At least one Daley relative recalls visiting him there.

William was included as an inheritor on John J Daley’s last will and testament. However, John J. was careful note that if William inherited property, William’s second wife and their children would be excluded from the inheritance. In addition, he left William’s step children only $1 each, while he had left his other grandchildren quite a bit more. I am not sure why William and John Daley suffered a falling out, but it seems that it had something to do with his second marriage.

I am continuing my attempts to locate all the descendants of John J Daley and Ellen Tully. However, no one I have talked to knows the location of William’s descendants. As William was John and Ellen’s first child, it is possible the family has photos or records that could help nail down the exact origins of the Daley family, or at least close another chapter on the mysterious life of John J. Daley.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My Ancestry DNA Results

Well, after waiting in anticipation for a couple months, my genetic ancestry results just came in from Ancestry DNA. I ordered the DNA test from Ancestry for a few reasons. I wanted to find connections between my Daley clan and other related families. I also wanted to see if my DNA results would be able to link me with the family of my grandfather’s biological mother. Lastly, I was just curious.

Mostly, the results came back as suspected. My maternal grandfather’s family, my paternal grandmother’s family, and most of my paternal grandfather’s family were all from Ireland. That would be 10 out of 14 great great grandparents.

However, a good portion of my mother’s family were also French, Flemish, and Belgian. Through my mother, I belong to the well researched Goulet family, which traces their ancestry back to Jacques Goulet, who traveled from Normandel France, in Lower Normandy, to Quebec in 1646. However, as you can see 7% of my ancestry is listed as unknown rather than French or something similar.

At first, I thought this was a little odd. However, as my mother would have inherited half her genes from her Irish-American father and half from her French-Canadian mother, I might inherit significantly less French genes from my own mother. In addition, the Surname Goulet is listed as a Breton surname. So, I suppose its possible the Goulets could have descended from the Celtic immigrants who fled from Britain to establish Brittany when their territory was conquered by Angles, Saxons, and Jutes after the fall of Rome.

I was also a little surprised I had no southern European or Italian ancestry, as I am pretty sure my grandfather’s mother was Italian, as listed in the 1930 US Census. However, Ancestry DNA has stated the unknown portion of my DNA ethnicity may be further defined in the future. So, it’s possible my future genetic profile will reflect what the paper-trail shows in my family tree.

I’m pretty excited to have my results in, as new DNA matches will be found every day. This is my first DNA test and since I already had a decently large tree established on Ancestry, I knew the results would be useful. I also knew that it would not be some magical tool that would fill in my ancestry without any work or research on my part. Still, I hope to use it as a tool to connect to other Daley families and fill in some of those holes and mysteries my family tree has become notorious for.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

John Bernard Daley 1907 - 1922

One of the questions I continually ask about the life of my grandfather is why he was adopted into the home of the Daley family at the age of three. Before changing his Surname to Daley at the age of 18, my grandfather was known as Peter Statuto. This is the only clue we have about his biological mother until his birth records are released by the state in 2020. However, in the 1930 US Census, my grandfather appears as a ward of the state with the Daley family in Dorchester, Ma.
1930 US Census showing my grandfather with the Daley damily
My family and I once believed we knew who his biological father was. Of his mother, all I know of her is that her last name was Statuto, she was Italian, and she lived somewhere in Massachusetts in 1920. My grandfather became a ward of the Daleys when he was three years old. However, what truly prompted them to take him in remains a mystery. All I can do is guess based on records and the memories of older relatives.

My grandfather's adopted parents John J Daley and Ellen Tully had at least six children:
-William J Daley b. 1896
- Frank Joseph Daley b. 1898
- George Anthony Daley b. 1900
- Mary E Daley b. 1902
- John Bernard Daley b. 1907
- Helen M Daley b. 1909

Though most people in his early life knew he was adopted and that his mother was Italian, they did not know the full story. When I began investigating his early life, I heard quite a few interesting Peter Daley origin stories. For instance, I was told that John and Ellen Daley picked my grandfather up at the local Catholic Church, where he was being given away. It was 1920, so who knows?

It is really the life and death of John Bernard Daley that gives any clues as to why my grandfather was brought into the Daley family at all. John Bernard was born in Boston in 1907. He was named after his father John and one of Ellen’s brothers Bernard. I knew that John Bernard had died young, but did not know how young until I located his obituary in the Boston Globe archives this year.

Obituary of John Bernard Daley
According to the obituary, John Bernard died in January of 1922, at the age of only 14 years. My grandfather was born in June of 1920. He had been raised by the Daleys since the age of three. Therefore, the very next year after John Bernard’s death, my grandfather was brought into the Daley family.

I have been told that it was Ellen Tully who was the moving force behind adopting my grandfather. Perhaps he filled a void created by the loss of her son. I also know that my grandfather cared for her deeply. He never searched for his birth mother because he felt that role had been completely filled by Ellen Tully. She died when he was only 15. I can imagine that it must have been very difficult for him. However, as with most things, he did not speak of it.

Genealogical research can be very difficult, especially if you have holes and mysteries like my family does. I guess it is important to remember to look at different records like John Bernard’s obit, my grandfather’s change of name form, and the 1930 US Census to see if you can make sense of what was happening in the lives of your ancestors. Admittedly, I don’t know all the facts concerning my grandfather’s life. He was a very quiet man during his life. However, looking at these documents, now eight years after his death, I think I actually understand him a little better.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Daley Family Mystery Photo

Delia Daley and family
Taken in Dublin, Ireland
I originally obtained a copy of this photo from an older Daley relative. He did not know much about its origins, but believed it was a picture showing the sister of John J. Daley, my Great Great Grandfather. He did not know anyone in the picture. The only clues were a written message on the back of the photo, addressing the photo to John J. Daley from his fond sister Delia. I presume that Delia, is the older woman sitting toward the center.

This is one of the only pieces of evidence I have, along with the picture of John and his brother and the memories of my older relatives, which leads me to believe that John J. Daley actually had any siblings at all. According to family members, John's siblings might have been named Richard, Delia, and Winnie. This same relative estimated that Delia was born around 1866 and died around 1947, making her my ancestor's older sister. Her married name is not known. It is said his brother Richard moved to from Massachusetts to Philadelphia, though I can't find records to support this. Of his sister Winnie, I have no information. According to John J's marital records, his parents were named Michael Daley and Mary. His mother's maiden name was not recorded in this record unfortunately, which makes tracing his family very difficult.

One of the biggest mysteries concerning his family is where they were during his life. I have obtained all the baptismal records of his children from the Archdiocese of Boston, but surprisingly none of his relatives appeared as God parents to his children. In addition, he did not have a sibling as his best man during his wedding. Where were they?

Being able to find information about his siblings would hopefully lead to more information about his parents. I am particularly interested in his mother’s maiden name, as this would be very helping in sifting through all the Michael and Mary Daleys in records. Although the photo was apparently taken in Dublin, I do not know where this actual family was from. If anyone recognizes this 1920’s or 1930’s family please let me know, I’d love to be able to put at least one of these Daley mysteries to rest, as there are about a thousand others.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New Research - Ellen Tully Obituary

I have only recently found the obituary for my Great Great Grandmother, Ellen Tully. I knew she lived in Boston most of her life, but had not had access to the Boston Globe archives until this month. I was hoping the obituary would provide more clues to the origins of her husband’s family. In some ways it did, but the clues were not apparent at first.
According to the record, Ellen died in October of 1934, which I already knew. I also already knew she lived in Dorchester, Ma. The interesting part came at the end of the document. According to the obituary, relatives and friends in Springfield, Holyoke, New York City, and Philadelphia were notified of her passing.

I find this interesting because I did not know she had family outside of Boston and Ireland in 1934. Most of the Tully siblings, of which there were many, lived in and around Boston. In addition, according to an older relative, her husband might have had a sibling named Richard Daley who lived in either Philadelphia or Springfield.

Although, not really solid clues, sometimes family research is like this. Its also true that following little clues like this can sometimes lead to huge finds genealogically speaking. I certainly hope so.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

John Joseph Daley- Naturalization

As I have said before, my great great Grandfather, John Joseph Daley is one of the more mysterious people on my family tree. In several resources in which he states that he was born in New York City. The family legend even says that he was born on the ship from Ireland to New York. However, if he was already a US citizen, I wonder why he went through the process of naturalization.

Only very recently I found John J’s naturalization records. These records are filed in three steps. The first step is the Declaration of Intention. This document provides a lot of background information for an ancestor. For John J, it was one of the only documents I’ve ever found that gave his exact birth date and potential area of origin.

According to John Declaration of Intention, he was a steamfitter who lived in Boston. He filed the papers September, 16, 1910. In the documents he states that he was born in County Galway, Ireland on September 21st 1869. He also states that he immigrated to Massachusetts from Galway on April 22, 1887. He did not list the name of the ship.

His next documents were his Petition of Naturalization and his Oath of Allegiance. Of the two, the petition gives the most information about John and his family. He filed this particular document in 1915, so the majority of his children were already born. Although, it mistakenly lists his wife as Ella, all of his children are listed in the correct order with the correct birth dates. In addition, the two witnesses who signed the document were both brother in laws to John J.
I was both excited and confused to find these documents. Aside from the fact that John J. states many times that he was born in the US on his personal documents, I know from a reliable source that he did not have an accent. Could that be possible if he arrived in Massachusetts at the age of 18?

I also find it interesting that I know his wife and her family was also from County Galway, Ireland. Did the Daley and Tully families know each other in Ireland? If so, where are the rest of the Daleys? What’s more is that I can not find a passenger record that matches the immigration information john lists on his naturalization records.

All of these questions and more, I still want to answer about my great great grandfather. I’ll keep looking, because I know the answers are out there somewhere.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Elizabeth M. Duggan 1920 - 2010

Elizabeth Duggan with her children, husband, and the Duggan family.
Elizabeth is in the middle row, second in from the right
Elizabeth's mother Elizabeth Donoghue is middle row fourth in from the right
Her husband Peter Francis Daley is standing second in from the right
Elizabeth “Betty” (Duggan) Daley was my grandmother, fondly called Nana by her grandchildren. In contrast to my grandfather (Peter Francis Daley), who was soft spoken and quiet, Betty was generally very willing to share her opinion about life. Growing up, we always knew more about the Duggan side of my father’s family. Where the Daley origins continue to be a little mysterious, the Duggan history is more well known.

Elizabeth Duggan was the daughter of Cornelius Timothy Duggan (b. 1885) and Elizabeth M. Donoghue (b. 1886). Including my grandmother, this family contained the following children:

- Elizabeth Duggan b. 1920
- Cornelius Timothy “Buddy” Duggan b. 1922
- Joseph Duggan b. 1923
- Eleanor Duggan b. 1925
- John R. Duggan b. 1926
- Patricia Duggan b. 1926
- Mortimer Duggan b. 1927

I have at least the 1930 census showing this family, though for some reason I have not yet been able to find the 1920 census.

Census showing my grandmother at the age of 9.
Elizabeth Duggan married Peter Francis Daley Sr. on May 2 1943 at St. Mary's Church in Waltham. Together, they had the following four children:

- Peter Francis Daley Jr b. 1944
- Patricia Daley b. 1947
- Ellen Marie Daley b. 1949
- Elaine Daley  b. 1951

When I think of my grandparents, I generally think of their dog breeding business and hobby. Both Peter and Betty ran a kennel called Conwyre Acres in Hopkinton, Ma, at which they bred and raised wire haired fox terriers. Most of her grandchildren would fondly recall, among many things, the puppies we were allowed to interact with.

Through the help of Irish relatives, I have been able to take the Duggan family back several generations, though I am still collecting records to support things I know about the family. Like the Daley family, the Duggans originated in Ireland, this time from County Cork. Again, when I travel to Ireland, Banteer Co. Cork will be among the places I spend a great deal of time exploring.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Daley Clan

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ellen Tully 1870 - 1934

Ellen Tully
Sometimes (very rarely) research comes together and I find sets of records which reveal tons of information about many generations in a single family. Though it never seems to happen when I’m researching the Daley family, this did happen when I researched the family of Ellen Tully.

Ellen is my great great grandmother, the wife of John Joseph Daley, and the women who raised my grandfather until he was about 15. From other family members and personal records, I’ve found out a lot about Ellen.

Ellen was born on Sept. 2, 1870, in County Galway, Ireland. Her parents were Thomas Tully (b. 1834) and Mary McCormack. Thomas and Mary seemed to have quite a large Irish Catholic family, because Ellen Tully had 11 siblings that I’ve found records for, all born in County Galway. In order including Ellen:

- Honoria A. Tully b. 1866
- Mary Agnes Tully b. 1868
- Ellen Tully b. 1870
- Michael Joseph Tully b. 1873
- Bridget Tully b. 1875
- Catherine W. Tully b. 1877
- Bernard Tully b. 1879
- Margret Tully b. 1882
- Anne M. Tully b. 1884
- Elisabeth Tully b. 1886
- Cecelia Tully b. 1888

This information came from and Irish Births and Baptism 1620 – 1911. In addition, a couple other researchers added information to my research.

Although I have not yet found immigration records for Ellen, she reported on her 1900 census record that she came to the US in 1890. Ellen married John Joseph Daley in Boston in 1896. Many of her sisters and brothers also immigrated to Boston, where they appear in several Daley related documents.

Together, Ellen and John J. Daley had five children and also fostered my grandfather Peter Frances (Statuto) Daley from at least the age of three. For a complete list of these children, see my post on John J. Daley.

Although, I never knew Ellen and I had never heard my grandfather speak of her, I did hear a second hand story. According to my grandmother, when my grandfather found out who his father really was, she asked him if he ever wanted to track down his biological mother. Apparently, my grandfather responded, “No, I had a mother.” As my grandfather was always a man of few words, to me, this demonstrated just how important Ellen was to him, though she died when he was quite young.

For many reasons, including the origins of the Tullys, when I eventually take my trip to Ireland, Galway will be one of the places I spend a good deal of my time at. I look forward to experiencing the sights and sounds my ancestors may have experienced over a hundred years ago. Its one of the reasons I love family research.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

John Joseph Daley 1869 - 1949

John Joseph Daley (left) Richard Daley (right)
John J. Daley, my grandfather’s grandfather, is one of the biggest mysteries of my family tree. This is strange, because he is also the ancestor I probably have the most historic records for. I have census records going back to 1900 for his family. I have his marriage and death records and I have the birth records for all of his children. Yes, I know quite a bit about John J. However, who he was, where he was from, and who his parents were are all still pretty unclear. The major reason for this confusion is that John is really inconsistent with what he reports in his personal documents.

John Joseph Daley was the man who raised my grandfather, though my grandfather seemed to have known that John J. was not his biological father. There are a few things I know for certain about John J. Daley and here they are:

John Joseph Daley was born between 1869 - 1870 in either Ireland or New York
John J. married Ellen Tully (b. 1870) in Boston, January 1896
Together, they had six children:
- Frank Joseph b. 1898
- George Anthony b. 1900
- Mary Elizabeth b. 1902
- In addition, the couple raised my grandfather Peter Francis (Statuto) Daley, b. 1920.

John lived the majority of his adult life in Boston, Massachusetts. He worked as a steam fitter for the city, which has been helpful information. I have quite a few records that give information on John’s origins. However, they are not all consistent. On the 1900 and 1920 census John reported that he was born in Ireland. However, on the 1910 and 1930 census he reported that he was born in New York. In addition, on his marriage record, he reported that he was born in New York as well. On several other records, for which he did not directly give the information for, it was reported that he was born in Massachusetts.

I have attempted to find John’s birth record between 1869 and 1871 in New York. However, every search has returned no results. Although frustrating, this might not be unusual. Many births were never recorded in late 19th century New York. In addition, family legend says that John J. was born on the ship from Ireland to the US. However, I have never been able to find immigration records to support this.

Perhaps John J. was born in Ireland. Even then, the mysteries build. From those who remain who knew John J, I have been told that he did not have an Irish accent. However, on those records which state that he was born in Ireland, he also reports that he immigrated to the US in 1887 or 1888, when he would have been around 18. Plenty of time to develop his accent.

I have also searched for John’s birth and baptismal records in Ireland. However, once more, I have a lack of information. John Daley and Ellen Tully were married in 1896. On their marital record for both the county and the Catholic Church, John J. reports that his parents were named Michael and Mary. These are unfortunately pretty common Irish Catholic names. In addition, I do not know his mother’s maiden name, nor do I have more records on which it might have been recorded.
Marital record for John Daley and Ellen Tully

I have the names of who could potentially be John’s siblings, but have never been able to find records for the family. The man sitting next to John Joseph in the picture at the beginning of this post is perhaps his brother Richard Daley.  I know nothing of Richard other than that he might have moved to Philadelphia, Pa. John may have also had a sister named Delia and one named Winnie, though records of them are non-existent at this point.

I’ve attempted to connect any Daley’s with Catholic Church records relating to John and Ellen’s family. I was looking for witnesses to their marriage and God parents to their children. I’ve found the majority of those records, but so far no Daley seems to have taken part in any of these sacraments. For the most part, they were all Tully’s. Where was John’s family?

So, if you’ve stayed with me up to this point, you now know what a mysterious guy John J. Daley really was. Where was he born? Who were his parents? Where were they from? Who are his siblings? Where did his family go during his lifetime? I would love to answer these questions. As I find more information about John, I will hopefully be able to post a more accurate portrait of this ancestor’s life. Until then, the search and the mystery continues.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peter Francis Daley Sr. 1920 - 2004

Peter Francis Daley with the Duggan/Daley family
Peter is top row, second in from the left.
Directly below him, his daughter Elizabeth Duggan
I really should have called this blog Daley Family Mysteries or The Mysterious Daley Clan because the further I dig into this family’s story, the more I find that the Daleys were sometimes a family of secrets and puzzles.  However, I am hoping that through this resource, I might be able to clear up some of these enigmas that plague my genealogical research.

I really began researching my family history in the summer of 2004 when my grandfather, Peter Francis Daley, passed away at the age of 84. I realized after his death that I hardly knew the man at all. To say that my grandfather was a quiet guy is an enormous understatement.

While he was alive he did talk to my brother, cousins, and I about his time in the Coast guard during World War II, but he never really spoke about his childhood or early life. I realized I did not even know the names of his parents.

 After consulting my father for some information, I began researching (like many do) by using Family Tree Maker. I knew that my grandfather was born somewhere in Massachusetts June 11, 1920. I also knew that he had grown up in Dorchester, Ma. My father thought that his grandparents were named John J. Daley and perhaps Mary Ellen Tully, though he he had never really known either of them. I was also told that my grandfather was the youngest of a large family. His next oldest sibling was about 10 years older than he was.

Of course, I also had my grandmother’s name, Elizabeth Duggan, but I was more interested in my grandfather’s life prior to meeting my grandmother. Since the 1930 Federal Census was the latest census to be made public at the time, I figured I would easily find my grandfather, at the age of ten, living in Boston. Wow, was I wrong. This was the first mystery that I would encounter, one that continues to stand in the way of a larger understanding of the origins of the Daley Clan.

 I must have looked through the 1930 census hundreds of times, each time passing over my grandfather’s family because it did not match the information I knew. After looking once more with more of an open mind, I stopped on a small family in 1930 Dorchester, Ma. The parents, John and Ellen, seemed correct. Even the siblings, Frank and Helen, were names I had heard. However, the name, listed as Peter Statuto, was not one I had ever heard. Nor was his status, listed as Ward of the State, one that fit into what I had known about Peter Daley Sr. However, the birth year was more or less correct. This was my grandfather and this was his family.
1930 Census, showing my grandfather at the age of 9 or ten.
Was my grandfather adopted? Were we even Daleys? Was I . . .Italian? Having grown up in what we considered an Irish Catholic family, this information was somewhat shocking. Having called my father, he confirmed my suspicion that my grandfather may have been adopted. However, he did not have much more information.

My grandmother, who was alive at the time, would not confirm any of the information I had found, nor answer the questions I now had. Though later, she would confirm more details about my grandfather’s life, her refusal to answer my questions showed me how much more shame previous generations would have felt about a birth like my grandfather’s. As it would turn out, he was born an “illegitimate” child. We would later hear that one of his older brothers was potentially his biological father, though this has not been proved.

Although we tried to obtain my grandfather’s birth certificate, we found that due to his birth status his records could not be released until 2020, a hundred years after his birth. I still do not know his mother’s name or how he came to live with John J. Daley and Ellen Tully by 1930. However, with the help of family, I was able to clear up some of the mystery behind my grandfather’s life. Still, this was only the first of the mysteries I would need to solve regarding the origin of the Daley’s. In my opinion, its one that I will need to wait at least 8 more years to resolve. 

The Daley Clan

Welcome to The Daley Clan genealogical blog. Here, I will be writing about some of the successes I’ve had and the challenges I face researching the history of my family. In addition, I hope this blog will be a resource for updating family information for the growing Daley Clan that I belong to.