Brogan Family From Ireland to Luzerne County, PA
I started doing family research back in the late 1990's. My mother and her 3 sisters were still living and I wanted to find out the family history while they were still living. Unfortunately I kept running into a brick wall with my mother's grandfather. My cousin and I still can't find the correct Peter Carr. There were so many of them. But I left my mother's side of the family to my cousin and her husband.
After I gave up on my mother's family, I started on my husband's side of the family. My husband was smart enough to ask his Aunt Mary about his ancestors. Aunt Mary explained her grandfather, Cormac Brogan came from Donegal, Ireland. They left from Londonderry, Ireland. So I had something to go on. I found Cormac coming from Ireland and landing in NY on May 1849. He is considered a famine immigrant. The 1850's census listed him living in Mauch Chunk, PA as a boarder. His occupation was a carpenter. He probably worked and saved enough money for his wife to come to America. She landed in 1851 and is also considered a famine immigrant. Cormac is listed in the 1860 and 1870's census. After that he is not listed. So I take it he has died after 1870. I never researched that any further.
Catherine is listed in the 1860 to 1900 census. She is listed as widowed. The 1900 census tells a lot of information; such as the year they were married, the age they were married etc. Since I couldn't find her in the 1910 census, living in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, I figured she died. I looked through the PA Dept of Health's Public Death Records and found a Catherine Brogan died on April 17, 1907. I found Catherine's death date. I was always going to send away for her death certificate but never got around to it. My daughter works in center city Philadelphia and I was going to have her stop and get the death certificate but again I never got around to it. That date just didn't sit right with me.
I couldn't stand it anymore, I had to find out Catherine's information. So my husband and I went to Harrisburg our state capital, so I could obtain the death certificate. I quickly signed in and put in for the death certificate. After 1 hour I got the death certificate and it was the wrong Catherine Brogan who died. Both Catherines lived in Luzerne County but this Catherine Brogan I had the death certificate to, lived in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I was crushed. All of my hard work down the drain. I was back to square one. I felt so bad. I wanted that piece of the puzzle to be finished.
After a day or two of feeling bad not finding my Catherine Brogan I started out my quest again to find Catherine Brogan who lived in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, PA. I looked for her but no such luck. What did I do wrong? Where did she go? Why can't I find her? The 1900 census she is living with her son, Hugh. I decided to work on Hugh's brothers and sisters. Hugh had a sister, Catherine. Catherine married James O'Donnell and they moved to Centralia, PA. Catherine also had a daughter Catherine who married a Patrick Conrey. I started researching this Catherine Conrey and lo and behold didn't I find Catherine (O'Donnell) Conrey had a grandmother living with her, Catherine Brogan. This is my Catherine Brogan. I couldn't believe I found her. The weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders. I now have to return to Harrisburg and get the correct death certificate.
Family research takes a lot of time and effort. I could work hours and not find nothing. Then there are times where I am only working 15 minutes and I found an important piece of information. You have to be persistant. You can't give up. There are many times you have to start from square 1.