Friday, March 26, 2010

Random acts of Kindness

I've heard arguments from my family against posting photographs and information about the family on a public website. doesn't share information about living individuals, and the rest is publically available through city directories, census records and a hundred other sources. Sometimes information I share is of benefit to others. Sometimes, like tonight, a stranger will send me a gift.

One of the photographs attached to my gg-grandfather, Andrew Barr, spured a comment from the Pastor of the Seymour Congregational Church in Seymour, CT, the Reverand Greg Dawson. My gg-grandfather Andrew Barr and his brother William became church members; William on January 2, 1870, and Andrew in 1875. This morning (Saturday), he followed up my thank-you letter with a page of additional information: Andrew's wife Jane Hannah, borh January 1856. Joined the church May 1, 1875, Died March 10, 1921 in Beaverdale CT. Buried in the Seymour Trinity Episcopal Cemetary. They were married in NY City in 1874. Two of the children, Mamie (b. 1873) and Albert A. (b. Dec 18, 1887) are listed as members, as is my great grandmother, Annie Jane (b. 1883). Anne and My great-grandfather Charles Clifford Hanson were married and joined the church in 1898. She died in 1939 in Beaverdale, CT and is buried at the Beaverdale Cemetary. (There's a conflict with Anne's age, but I'd rather reconcile data than have no data at all!)

The information on William shows that they were a Presbyterian family in Ballymony, Ireland. William J. Barr was born September 1843 in Ireland. He joined Seymour Congregational Church on January 2, 1870. His first wife, Nancy, joined the church with him. I don't have information on what happened to Nancy, but later he married Elizabeth C Ward (b. 1844) and joined the church May 24, 1868. Elizabeth transfered to the church from 3rd Presbyterian in Ballymony, Ireland. She died August 2, 1914. William and Elizabeth had 1 son, James H. Barr (b. 1873) who married Annie E. (b. 1876) in 1895 and joined the church in 1925. In 1930, the couple moved to the 1st Congregational Church in Ansonia, CT.

The 1880 census shows Andrew and William as immigrant workers at the New Haven Copper Company. Both boys and their families immigrated from Ireland; Andrew, his wife Jane and six-month old daugher Anna Jane on July 7, 1873 on the Corinthan (previously named the Damascus), part of the Allen Line shipping company. At that time, the trip from Ireland to Montreal took about 10 days.

William and Andrew's families lived in the same complex in 1880. According to the census, William's son James was born in Conneticutt. I've not yet found William's immigration records, but will guess for the time being, that it was around 1868 or 1869. From the kindness of a stranger, I know they were protestant. I know they were from Ballymony, Ireland and where they are buried.

When I find that someone has linked to my research, I take a look at their tree and research to see how we're connected. Perhaps I have something else that may prove helpful to offer. Perhaps they can answer a question for me. But user "seymourcongregrationalchurch" doesn't have a tree.

Just a random act of kindness.

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