Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I am not aware of any Irish ancestry in my tree, however, my great grandfather, Barney Newmark, often would claim to have been born in Ireland. He also celebrated March 17th as his birthday. Though a few other dates appear on some documents. He almost certainly arrived on the scene in Warka, Poland, though any record of his birth has so far escaped detection.  A few other possible elements of 'blarney' appear in a bio he wrote for himself for Who's Who in North St. Louis (1925) - including an education 'at Oxford.' (In London they did live nearby an 'Oxford Street' and it is conceivable there was some school named after the street that he attended as a youth.  The bio doesn't state 'University,' though it is clearly implied.)

I know that his sister Cissie (or Cecile) celebrated her birthday on July 4th.   However her British birth certificate is easy to obtain, and she was really born on August 16th.  The Newmark family settled in an Irish area of St. Louis on their arrival in America, and I wonder if some of the children adopted local celebrations near their birthday as their own.

In a way, I owe my obsession with genealogy to my great grandfather's fib. It made for a fun story to tell my friends on the holiday, and one of those friends was also obsessed with genealogy, so he conducted a search, and sent me a link to the 1920 HeritageQuest census for my great grandfather. Once I realized what was available online, there was no turning back.

(click on image to enlarge)
Documents
1) A bio my great grandfather, Barney Newmark, wrote for Who's Who in North St. Louis, 1925
2) World War I registration form
3) Declaration of Intent
4) Gravestone

Related Blog Posts:
March 17, 2010 Barney's Birthday and Birthplace
March 17, 2009 On St. Patrick's Day Everyone is Irish
March 17, 2008 My 'Irish' Great Grandfather
March 15, 2007 Corned Beef and Cabbage on Rye

1 comment:

Karen said...

I've shared the "Lovely Blog Award" with you. Stop by Genealogy Frame of mind to pick it up!
Karen