This week in my family’s history we celebrate my paternal Great Grandfather’s birthday and the wedding anniversary of my maternal Great-Great Grandparents.

My great grandparents Mary Jane and John Henry Connelly, sitting on the porch of their home on Essex Street in Carteret, New Jersey

January 22nd would have been John Henry CONNELLY’s  157th birthday.  John Henry was born in Bangor Maine to parents Patrick and Catherine Connelly. Although I do not have an official record of his birth, the records at St. John’s Church indicates he was baptized by Rev. John Bapst on the same day as his birth. His sponsors were Thomas and Eleanora Burke.John’s siblings were Margaret (1857,) Michael (1860,) and Andrew (1862.) The family lived on Carroll Street in Bangor.

In 1886, John Henry and Mary Jane “Jennie” Glynn (who was a neighbor on Carroll Street) were married in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Their daughters Inez Catherine (my grandmother)  and Edith Ann were born in Falmouth and New Bedford.  Ruth was born shortly after the family moved to Carteret New Jersey.

During their time in Massachusetts, and reportedly during Jennie’s first pregnancy, John Henry was involved in an accident that resulted in the loss of his right hand.

John Henry died at his home in Carteret on 7 March 1932 and his buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Perth Amboy.

sam malvina gunderman mc

January 24 marks the anniversary of Samuel J. GUNDERMAN and Malvina SPRAGUE.

The couple was married in 1894 in Vernon Township, Sussex County, New Jersey by Thomas M. Grenelle of the Glenwood Baptist Church. The witnesses to the union were Rev. Grenelle’s wife and daughter, which makes me wonder about the circumstances of the marriage. Why would family members not be the witnesses? Samuel and Malvina were both of age (21 and 18) and their first child was not born until a full year after the wedding.

Samuel and Malvina had 9 children between 1895 and 1922: Neva, Ora, Lottie, Mollie, Hazel, William, Chester (my great grandfather,) Helen and Gladys.