Marion O’Connor, inevitably some will remain a mystery

Marian O'connor, 1934, 5th grade, Peekskill, NY

Marian O’connor, 1934, 5th grade, Peekskill, NY

Not everything can be uncovered. I know precious little about Marian O’Connor. Specifically I don’t know if she ever married and had descendants who might be looking for this adorable 5th grade photo. She might even still be alive and kicking! Here Marion is about 9 attending McKinley School in Peekskill, New York. She had a younger brother, Eugene, who would have been 6 or 7 at the time of this picture. A few census records are all I have to give me an inkling of who Marion/Marian was.

In 1925 the family, Peter O’Conner and wife Mary Krovjansky/Kravyanski lived in Cordlandt, New York. Mary’s father, Marion’s grandfather, lived with them. He was from Austria/Hungry. In 1930 the O’Connor’s had moved to Peekskill where Peter worked in a Food products company, Mary’s father was still with them. Mr. O’Connor had worked his way up to “yeast master” (a common profession in Peekskill apparently) by 1940. Both of Marion’s parents are buried in Assumption Cemetery in Cortlandt. Her father died in 1946 and her mother in 1977.

Here’s to hoping someone stumbles across Marion!

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.

Peekskill, New York 1934: A gem of a 5th grade class

Fifth grade class of McKinley School in Peekskill, NY 1934

Fifth grade class of McKinley School in Peekskill, NY 1934

What a wonderful photo this class makes. This is the 1934 Fifth grade class of McKinley School in Peekskill, New York. I love the way the individual pictures are arranged and the background – they really do look like little angels!

I’ve randomly chosen one of these youngsters to research. His name is Joseph Palmiotto (2nd row from bottom in the middle). Joseph was born in New York in 1923 to Italian immigrant parents. He would be about 10 in this photo. Pascuale and Philomena Palmiotto (that’s a mouthful) likely married in New York. Pascuale came over in 1911 and Philomena in 1921 – according to the 1930 census of Peekskill. Pascuale was a yeast maker. I can only imagine the yummy pizzas in that household!

Joseph Palmiotto, age 10Joseph was their first born of eight children – at least that’s all they had had by 1940. He died in New Jersey in 2003, just a few days after his 80th birthday. His parents are buried in Assumption Cemetery in West Chester County, NY along with several siblings. But Joseph is not there.

That’s about all I’ve discovered in my quick search on Joseph. I hope to find a family who would enjoy seeing him as a spry 10 year old!