It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post and I have learned a lot about the genealogy of my grandparents John and Mary (Rogers) O’Rourke since then. First of all, I received a lot of inquiry about my posts on my great grandparents and suggestions why there might be a discrepancy in Mary’s birthday. Most who contacted me thought there may have been two Mary Rogers, one born on the day I found in the Northern Ireland Civil Records: March 16, 1866 and the other the birthday Mary gave to the Social Security Department when claiming benefits: June 12, 1869.
My cousin wrote to me she thought the “earlier” Mary Rogers may have passed away as a toddler (fatal childhood diseases were common back then) and then three years later, Hugh Rogers and Mary Rooney had a another child and named her Mary. My cousin might be correct, but here’s why I don’t think it is: I found a death certificate for Mary (Rooney) Rogers – Mary’s mother – dated in 1868. It is commonly known in my family that Mary Rogers O’Rourke and her siblings were orphans, though I can’t find a death certificate for her father, Hugh. Mary Rooney Rogers’s death in 1868 fits this narrative.
Another sister discovered
Another interesting fact that came to light was that Mary and her sister, Rose, had another sibling – Kate Rogers. Kate Rogers is actually in my family tree, but I have no idea how I “found” her, so I didn’t include her information in my original post. I have one source attributed to Kate and that is the 1901 Census of Canada. I have Kate’s birth date as Aug. 15, 1863 and living in Montreal, Canada in 1901. Kate is listed as married to a John Murphy and they had four children: Michael Murphy, Joseph Murphy, Julia Murphy and Andrew Murphy. John Murphy is listed as having been born in Scotland, but of Irish origin. They were Roman Catholic and John’s occupation is listed as Carter (A Carter typically drove a light two wheeled carriage). Beyond that, I have no more information on Kate and her family.
Also, my cousin was able to make out Mary Rogers O’Rourke’s occupation when she lived in Birkenhead before the turn of the 20th century. Mary was listed as a Mantua Maker which is a specific type of dress maker. A Mantua was a loose-type women’s dress. This also fits with the family narrative that Mary was a seamstress.
In addition, my cousin sent me a photo of our great grandfather John O’Rourke. In the photo I can clearly see his face and I can definitely see a family resemblance. The problem is he doesn’t look anything like anybody in the photo I originally published – at least he doesn’t to me. I will post both photos and readers can decide for themselves. If it turns out John O’Rourke is not in the original photo I posted then who are the three men in the photo? One possibility is one of the men is Francis O’Rourke, John’s brother who passed away in 1918. But John O’Rourke may be in both photos. What do you think?