The Genealogy Series: The Curry’s Of Richmond County: Part One

Recently, I took a trip to Staten Island, NY to visit some relatives and stopped by St. Peter’s cemetery where my ancestors and family members are buried.  It is a large Catholic cemetery not far from Silver Lake Park and located directly across the street from The Staten island Zoo.  My Grandparents, Great Grandparents and Great Uncles are buried there.  My Maternal Grandmother’s parents and brothers rest together in this cemetery.  I visited each ancestor, and left a small, handmade floral to pay my respects to each of them.

I would like to focus now on my Grandmother’s brothers.  My grandmother was the only girl in a family of five very larger than life brothers (seven if only two brothers had survived to adulthood.)  Today, I honor three of my great uncles: William, Joseph, and Edward.

William C Curry

William Charles Curry born October 13, 1896 “Uncle Willie”was the oldest child of Charles Curry and Julia O’Reilly.  As a young man he worked for a company called Gillespie Brothers 11 Broadway, NY, NY According to his WWI Draft Card Record.  His Eyes were brown and his hair was black.  According to family lore he was a talented amateur boxer.  He worked for years for the Staten Island Advance a local newspaper in Richmond County New York. He married Rose Zinicola born in 1909 and together they had three children, Mary, Joseph and Margaret.  William passed away in 1985 at the age of 89.

William C. Curry WWII Draft Card

WW2 Draft Card

Joseph Andrew Curry

Uncle Joe Curry

born November 29, 1905 was a decorated World War II veteran.  He was a radio operator for 20 years for the Exxon Corporation.  He worked on tankers and traveled the world.  He was a technical sergeant for the Air Corps from 1942-1945.  He received two distinguished flying crosses and two Air Medals for his service during World War II.  He never married, and in 1982 passed away after a six-day illness.  He was 77 years-old.  Joseph is buried with his brother Edward.

Joseph and Edward Curry

Edward Joseph Curry “Uncle Pie” was born June 18, 1899.  Family lore says he gained his nickname for winning a pie eating contest.  My great-uncle was a larger than life character known for his sense of humor and personality.  He worked as a dock hand for Viking Company in 1920, and Lived at 103 Monroe Avenue Tompkinsville, (Staten Island, NY) He was described on his draft card as medium height and build with blue eyes and brown hair. He is rumored to have had a child, but he and the women never married.  Edward passed away in 1978 at the age of 79.

Prayer card

Edward “Pie” Curry’s Prayer card 1978

Thanks for reading about my maternal New York born Irish ancestors with the surname Curry,  More on the Curry’s to come!

Also looking forward to the Mid Atlantic Genealogy Conference coming up this weekend!  Hope to learn a lot at my first ever genealogy conference!

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Stepping through time: DIY Cemetery Flowers And A walk through St Peter’s Cemetery, Staten Island, New York

Yesterday, my daughter and I took a trip to visit my aunt in New York.  During the trip, my sister and I traveled over to St. Peter’s Cemetery in Staten Island to visit several ancestors memorials.  I called the cemetery office and spoke with Pat who was wonderful!  I e-mailed her with a list of names I suspected were interred at the cemetery. She responded back with several and provided the grave plots and locations along with a cemetery map.  I planned on photographing the graves, but also wanted to leave something for them out of respect.

I found some old artificial flowers and glass candle holders in our attic as well as some left over styrofoam packing materials.  I decided to use these items to come up with a small tribute to each grave as I visited.

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I had to create five total and did not have enough styrofoam for the bases.  I used two glass candle holders instead with a small piece of styrofoam inside to attach the flowers.  I used scrap fabric, paint and hot glue to put these together.  I was also stopping by to visit my grandparents and made a special one for them with my daughter’s picture in it.

Repurpused Grave Memorial Flowers

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My daughter visiting her great grandparents

Stay tuned for more of the genealogy series!

The Genealogy Series “A Typical English Girl”: Eva Daisy Long

As much as I enjoy crafting, I also am passionate when it comes to my family history and genealogy.  I started my family quest back in November of 2009, after re-discovering a box of old family heirlooms and an autograph book from my Great Aunt Eva.  With the advent of the internet, researching one’s family history has become easier than it was previously. Record Items once attainable only by visiting local county vital statistics offices, and via library micro film are now available on many online records websites such as Ancestory.com.

Today, I am beginning a new feature on my blog called the Genealogy Series.  My goal is to feature  biographies on various ancestors of my daughter, and family. I also want to place them within the history of the time in which they lived.  This, I believe is a fitting tribute to all of those ancestors who are not much different then ourselves, except for the times in which they lived. It is also a wonderful project to share with you when I am in between various art projects.- Like now.

My first biography features the relative who started it all.

Eva Long

Eva Daisy Long was born in Nottingham, England in June of 1906 to parents Harry Long an Engineer, and Daisy Plummer.  Eva worked a job as a stenographer (typist) in England before coming to the United States with her family and her brother (Vincent Long born in 1909, my maternal grandfather) Eva was 19 when the family sailed together to America in 1925 aboard the USS Ohio.  Upon arrival, they settled in Woodside, Long Island, (Queens) NY.

In 1927, At the age of 21, Eva was diagnosed with advanced stage Tuberculosis. TB, was the biggest health crisis in the UK and around the world at that time.  During the 1920’s, treatment options were limited, and the disease often times proved fatal. Effective antibiotics to fight the disease did not become available until quite a few years later.   Upon the families request,  Eva was admitted to The Reception Hospital in the town of Saranac Lake, NY.  At the time Saranac Lake, NY a small town nestled in the Adirondack mountains,  was known for it’s cutting edge treatment of TB.    It was believed that the colder air in the New York Mountains, was more breathable and helped in healing and treatment of the disease.

Eva Long Admission Card, 1927

Above: Eva Long’s admission card to a sanitorium at Saranac Lake, NY.

It was while Eva was here she kept an autograph book from 1927-1929.  The book also has entries from 1925, before she left England for the United States.:

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Journal entry dated April 14th 1925 wishing Eva well on her journey from a family friend

She was referred to in her autograph book as”A Typical English Girl”, and dressed the part in  flapper style clothing popular during that era. She also wore her hair short.  A modern look at the time that according to family lure, my great-grandmother “despised”!

Photo’s of Eva:

Eva Long Saranac Lake, NY

Eva and friends taken at Saranac Lake, NY

Above: Eva Pictured with Friends Saranac Lake, New York

Eva’s last autograph book entry is in 1929.  What happened to Eva after this time is unclear; However I think it is safe to assume her disease had progressed, and at this time could no longer live life to the fullest.  She made many friends at Saranac Lake, and appeared as though she enjoyed her time here.  Sadly her life was cut short on March 24, 1931 at age 24.  She passed away in Saranac Lake, NY and is buried next to her father, Harry Long at Brookside cemetary, Englewood, NJ,

It is unclear if Eva ever got to return home to her family.  My grandfather was very close to his sister, and suffered from TB himself, but he recovered.  He found it hard to talk about these events according to my mom.  He held on to her personal items, until he passed away himself in 1985.  I have many memories of my grandfather, but an interesting memory is, he always kept a separate fork, knife and spoon that only he ate from,certainly a fear of spreading his TB to others he loved remained throughout his life.

Autograph Book Entry

One of many entries in Eva’s autograph book featuring hand drawn artwork

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An entry from a  friend who resided with her Abbott Kinney (listed with her on 1930 census records) notice the quote from Robert Louis Stevenson, a famous resident of Saranac Lake, NY

See more of the “Eva Long Autograph Book” uploaded to the digital archives of the Saranac Lake NY Historical Society Wiki an amazing site run by wonderful folks.  Be sure and check it out!

Anyone else have a similar ancestor in their tree?  I would love to hear about it!