Anna May Lagana 1934 – into the looking glass of life and a census stumper!

Anna Lagana, 1934, 5th grade in Peekskill, NY

Anna Lagana, 1934, 5th grade in Peekskill, NY

There’s something odd about looking at a photo of a 10 year old girl and reading the words of her obituary: “Her husband of 45 years died in 1993.” It’s like looking into a crystal ball and seeing a future we’re not supposed to know about. Anna certainly didn’t know what life would hold for her in 1934.

At the time of this photo she was living in Peekskill, Westchester county, New York with her parents (Matteo and Agnes Lagana), and two older sisters (Agnes and Margaret). Anna was born in 1923 in New York. The 1930 census listed her as Matteo’s sister rather than daughter; but it’s clear from the age difference and other census records that she was a daughter. Her father was from Italy and her mother from Ireland. Interestingly the exact same family (parents, children, ages, birthplaces) was living in Suffolk, Brookhaven, NY in 1930. The census records were only 14 days apart. The duplication existed in the 1925 NY census as well. One Matteo/Agnes family lived in NYC and another in Cortland, Westchester, NY (likely our Anna).  City directories show Matteo in Peekskill 1924-1927. In 1940, “Matt” and Agnes were still in Peekskill with Anna and younger brother Francis. Matt is a bar tender now, he had worked in grocery before. So far, I haven’t found the duplicate family in 1940.

Any ideas on that??

Here’s a snippet from her obituary: “Anna May Brendel, formerly residing in Tucson, Arizona, died on June 7, 2006 in Pasadena, California from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. She was born as Anna Lagana in Peekskill, New York on September 29, 1923. She married Oswald R. Brendel in 1948, having met him in Saudi Arabia while she was an employee of the Arabian American Oil Company (ARAMCO) for eight years. In 1953 they returned to live in Peekskill until 1961, when she and her family moved to Tucson, Arizona, where she worked as a x-ray technician. In 2002 she then moved to Pasadena, California to live closer to her two sons. Her husband of 45 years died in 1993.”*

*”Brendel, Anna Mae.” The Arizona Daily Star July 2, 2006. Obituary and Death Notice. Print.

2 thoughts on “Anna May Lagana 1934 – into the looking glass of life and a census stumper!

  1. This is my bosses mother. Is there something you need to know about her? Curious to know where you found that photo of her.

    • Hi Amanda,
      I’m not really looking for information as much as sharing the photos I find (with as much info as I can gather for identification purposes). The photo came from a class photo that I purchased on eBay. What’s interesting is the census duplication – I had never seen anything like that. Does your boss know why they would have appeared more than once? I hope he or she enjoys this photo.
      Thanks!
      Jodi

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