So my cousin on the Geoghan Side of the Family thinks there’s probably not much to know so this one’s for her. Here’s what we know about the Geoghan’s…
There once was a couple in Sligo County, Ireland with the last name of Geoghan. They had a son named Thomas H. Geoghan. Thomas H. was born about 1863. I’m going to say he was born in Ireland. We’re 99.9% sure about this. The only reason I would have to doubt it is that on the 1920 & 1930 Census, it lists his place of birth as Scotland. Some time about 1866 or 1869 he immigrates to America. Considering that he was just a small child at this time, I’d assume that his parent’s came with him or at least a close relative. Now I’ve heard talk of Ellis Island amongst the Geoghan Clan but Ellis Island didn’t start operation until 1892 so the Geoghan’s did not come through Ellis Island. I’ve been unable to locate any immigration records on them yet, but I’m still looking.
According to my aunts and uncles, Thomas H. Geoghan moved to the US, missed home or didn’t like it that much here and went back to Europe. Probably Ireland but maybe he was in Scotland. Was only back in Europe for a year or two at the most and then returned to America. This could explain why on some of the Census records it says he was from Scotland and some from Ireland. Would depend on how the question was asked by the Census Taker. Where were you born as opposed to where did you emigrate from. Most likely he was born in Ireland (as lived in an Irish neighborhood in Brooklyn and closest family connection in Connecticut was with the Doolans) and lived in Scotland for a short time when went back to Europe.
The first real paper trail we start to see on Thomas H is in the Farmington/Unionville, CT Town Clerks Office. I got this info in an email from them “We show a Thomas Geohagan (note spelling) married to a Nellie Stapleton on October 28, 1883 – this is the only marriage record we show for the entire family. “
Thomas H’s wife has quite a few names. Nellie, Alice, Helen, Ellen and Elizabeth to be specific. I believe they are all the same person but in documents and census records, she goes by all these different names. She was born about 1863. My aunt says that she was from Scotland. The 1920 Census says she was born in Ireland. The 1930 Census says she was born in Tipperary with both her parents also being born in Tipperary. The 1930 Census also says that she immigrated to the US in 1880.
So now Thomas H Geoghan and Alice (as we’ll call her) Stapleton are now married and living in Unionville, CT. That same email from the Farmington/Unionville, CT Town Clerks Office said “We show the parents of Thomas Geogham (note spelling) as Thomas Geogham and Alice Stapleton for the date of April 4, 1887. No other records – I checked land/burial/birth/death/marriage.” This son was Thomas F. Geoghan. No one seems to know what the H. in Thomas H. or the F Thomas F. stood for. My aunt says that in Unionville, Thomas traded race horses and grew Onions and Shade Tobacco.
Here’s Thomas H Geoghan’s Census Information. There are no Geoghan’s on the US Census in earlier years in the Unionville / Farmington, CT area. I looked through them ALL.:
1920 Census: January 1920, Address: #38 Ten Eyct Street, Brooklyn, NY
Thomas Geoghan (Head), Age at last Birthday:55, Place of Birth: Scotland, parents both born in Scotland, Occupation: Papermaker in Factory
Helen Geoghan (Wife), Age at last Birthday:54?, Place of Birth: Ireland, Parents both born in Ireland, Occupation: None listed
John Geoghan (Son), Age at Last Birthday: 31, Single, Place of Birth: Connecticut, Father born: Scotland, Mother born: Ireland, Occupation: Automotive Mechanic in Garage
Harry Geoghan (Son) Age at Last Birthday: 21, Place of Birth: Connecticut, Father born: Scotland, Mother born: Ireland, Occupation: Engineer
1930 Census: April 11, 1930, Address: South First Street, Brooklyn (Probably #396)
Thomas H. Geoghan (Head) Rent or Own: Renter, Age at last Birthday: 67, Place of Birth: Scotland, Parents born in Sligo Co., Age at First marriage: 21, Year of immigration: 1866, Naturalized or Alien: Naturalized, Occupation: Paper Maker, Veteran: No
Ellen Geoghan (Wife) Age at last Birthday: 67, Place of Birth: Tipperary, Parents born in Tipperary, Age at First marriage: 21 … Year of immigration: 1880, Naturalized or Alien: Naturalized
Thomas F. Geoghan (Son) Age at last birthday: 42, Place of Birth: Connecticut, Fathers Place of Birth: Scotland, Mothers Place of Birth: Scotland, Occupation: Transfer Clerk- Railroad, Married or Single: Single
Thomas H. Geoghan died on May 11, 1947. At the time of his death, he was living in a small apartment in Brooklyn, NY. He died in his chair while smoking his pipe. We’re not sure when Alice, his wife died. Probably between 1930 and 1935 in Brooklyn. I’ve been told that they buried in one of the large cemeteries in Brooklyn, NY but no one seems to know which one.
Here are the children that we know of Thomas H. and Alice:
Thomas F. Geoghan, Born April 4, 1887
John Joseph Richard “Dick” Geoghan, Born August 1, 1888
An Infant Girl, born after 1888 who died very young
Henry “Harry” Joseph Geoghan “Geaghan”, born May 11, 1892
Eugene Geoghan, Born August 8, 1893
All of these children were born in Unionville.
Thomas F. Geoghan married a woman names Josephine sometime before 1916. Called “Tommy”, he worked for the New York City Transit Authority. Tommy and Josephine had a daughter named Mary about 1916.
1920 Census: January 9, 1920
42 Maujer Street, Brooklyn, NY
Thomas Geoghan, Age at last birthday: 31
Place of Birth: Connecticut, Parents Place of Birth: Scotland
Occupation: Ticket Agent …Also living in same household: Wife with name I can’t read(Joayshis?) and Mary Geoghan (daughter)
From His WWI Draft Registration Card
Thomas Geoghan, Address: 137 No 7th (or 74) Brooklyn NY
Date of Birth: April 4, 1887 Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn
Occupation: Ticket Agent…”Have you a father, mother, wife, child under 12, or a sister or brother under 12, soley dependent on you for support?” Wife and Child
Height: Medium Eyes: Blue Hair: Brown
From his WWII Draft Reg Card:
Thomas F. Geoghan … Address: 392 So 1st St. Brooklyn NY
Birthdate: Apr 4, 1887 … Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn
Next of Kin: Thomas Geoghan, Father 392 So 1 St.
Employers name and address: B.M.J. Board of Transport
Place of Employment: 385 Flatbush Ave, Ext, Kings, NY
1930 Census lists him as back living with his parents and marital status as Single. We have no idea what happened to the daughter Mary.
Henry Joseph Geoghan went by “Harry Geaghan”. I was told he changed the spelling of his last name because it was easier for him in the Navy. I believe it. Henry was married but at the time of his death he was a widower. He had no children. He worked as an engineer on a Tug Boat that sank off of Sandy Hook, NJ in the winter. He survived the sinking but died later of Pneuma. He was in the Merchant Marines and had a military funeral. He was a boxer and won boxing tournaments in the fleet. Here’s a copy of thier marriage certificate
1930 Census: April 10, 1930, #21 Bushwick Avenue, Brooklyn NY
Harry Geoghan …Age at Last Birthday: 38
Age at first marriage: 33 …Owner or Renter: Renter
Place of Birth: Connecticut … Fathers Place of Birth: Scotland
Mothers Place of Birth Ireland …Occupation: Engineer, Marine
Veteran: Yes …What War or Expidition: “WW”
Alo living in same household: Caroline Geoghan (wife)
Harry appears as “HJ Geoghan” on the crew list of the Steamship Schoodic on September 28, 1919 upon arriving in New York after departing from Southampton, England. He is listed as 3rd Engineer from Connecticut, age 27.
WWII Draft Reg Card says: Address: 1471 Bushwick Avenue, Brookly, NY
Telephone: Glen. 2-8196 … Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn
Date of Birth: May 11, 1892 … Next of Kin: Caroline Geaghan, 1471 Bushwick Ave, Brooklyn
Employer name and address: Oil Transfer Corp. 17 Battery Pl, NY
Internment information: Name: Harry Joseph Geaghan
Service Info: Ensign US Navy, World War I
Birthdate: May 11, 1892 … Death Date: Feb 19, 1953
Service Start Date: May 25, 1917 .. Internment Date: Feb 25, 1953
Cemetery: Long Island National Cemetery, 2040 Wellwood Avenue, Farmingdale, NY 11735. Buried At: Section N, Site 29967
Eugene Geoghan. Eugene never married and had no children.
WWI Draft Registration Card: Eugene Geoghan… Address: 38 Ten Eyct Brooklyn New York
Birth date: Aug 8, 1893 … Place of Birth: Westport, Conn
Occupation: Machinst Helper … Where Employed: Mount Sinai Hospital, 100 st & Madison Ave, New York
Marital Status: Single … Height: 5-6 …. Medium Build, Grey Eyes, Black Hair
Dated June 5, 1917 … (Eugene’s brohter John’s WWI Draft card has the same date on it and they both put the same home address down)
The US declared War on Germany on April 2, 1917. According to his Draft Card, Eugene was living in Brooklyn in June 5, 1917. According to the family, Eugene was in the Merchant Marines and died in the big Halifax Explosion where 2 ships collided in Halifax Harbor. This explosion occurred on December 6, 1917. Eugene’s name does not appear on a list of those killed but about 2000 people died in the explosion and the list of names is incomplete. The explosion destroyed all the ships in the Harbor and the entire waterfront and surrounding areas.
John Joseph Richard Geoghan, called “Dick”. Born in Unionville, CT. While living there as a small boy, John was kicked by a horse and lost one of his eyes. When still very you, the family moved to Brooklyn, NY. John was an auto mechanic in Brooklyn. Family stories tell of he recalling how the Mafia would bring in their cars to be fixed including “Milk” trucks full of liqueur during Prohibition. He started the Well Drilling business during the depression. He choose Well Drilling because it was a necessary occupation and he could get extra ration stamps for things like gas and tires. He had a friend named John Brown who taught him the business. They moved to Sound Beach, NY. When he first started, his wife Elizabeth was his helper and they worked out of their house. They later built the shop in Mount Sinai. John smoked a lot and died of a heart attack.
John married Elizabeth “Elsie” Kranz in Brooklyn, NY, exact date is unknown. He died on October 20, 1858 at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, NY. Elizabeth died Jul 16, 1997 in Port Jefferson Station, NY. John started the Geoghan & Sons Well Drilling business. They served most of Suffolk Co., NY up until the late 1990’s sometime.
Here’s John’s census info:
1930 Census: April 5, 1930 1017 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn NY
John Geoghan (head) age 48, Age at Marriage: 37, born in CT, father in Scotland, mother in Ireland, Occupation: Auto mechanic- Repair shop
Elsie Geoghan (wife) age 23, Age at Marriage: 18, born in NY, father in Germany, mother in Austria
Madeline Geoghan (daughter) age 2, born in NY, father in CT, mother in NY
Eugene Geoghan (brother) age 1/2, born in NY, father in CT, mother in NY
WWI Draft Registration Card:
John Geoghan … Address: 38 Ten Eyct Brooklyn New York
Birth date: Aug 1, 1888 … Place of Birth: Unionville, Conn
Occupation: Auto Mechanic … Where Employed: 1505 Bradford Ave, Brooklyn, NY
Marital Status: Single … Physical Defects: Lost one eye … Dated June 5, 1917
Come visit my website at www.FamilyHistoryDetectives.net and let us help you trace your family tree!