Me and Mine

Life, Family and Ancestors

The Fourteenth Poole Child

- Posted in Family History by

As children, my sister and I had always been told that there were fourteen children in my father's family, but we only knew the names of thirteen of them. We both remember being told that there was another child who had died, but that was the limit of our knowledge.

Until now!

Poole Family Walking Tour

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I was having difficulty visualizing the many places the Poole family lived from the time my grandfather William arrived from Ireland till they ended up on 115th Street in Richmond Hill. It occurred to me that I'd like to walk around those neighborhoods if I could. I may be able to do that some time, but for now only a virtual walk is possible.

The Pooles of Richmond Hill

- Posted in Family History by

For me, "the Pooles" will always mean my father's family. Their quirks dominated much of my childhood and things about them still come back to haunt me today. My dad, Charles Thomas Poole, was one of 14 brothers and sisters, all shown in the picture.

In this photo they are lined up in the back yard of the family home at 8782 115th Street in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, a location I recognize very well from my childhood. From front to back, we have Tom, Margaret, Theresa, Loretta, Catherine, Monica, Agnes, Mary, Jim, Charlie, Jack, Joe and Bill.

These are all the children of William M. and Mary E. Poole, my grandparents. It includes Agnes, who died in 1932. The picture shows Jack, James and Catherine in their religious dress, while Theresa and Margaret are still "civilians." Catherine took her vows on the feast of St. Joseph, March 19, in 1928. Teresa took hers on August 2, 1931, which narrows down the window of possible dates for the photo.

The Two Minnies

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My paternal grandmother, Mary Head Poole died in 1944. I was born in 1942 so I don't actually remember her, but photos show that we did indeed meet. For a long time, I knew nothing very little about her. Thanks to US Census records, I learned about her life after marrying my grandfather in 1896, but I still knew nothing about her parents.

Then, while collecting information about my grandfather, I examined the 1892 New York State Census. It one told me that William Poole, my grandfather, was then living in Brooklyn at 73 Schenectady Avenue. On the same page, immediately above William's entry, is a listing for the family of Charles Head, living in the same tenement! He was listed as a 60 year-old painter from England. His wife Elizabeth is the same age and was born in Ireland. They had two daughters aged 25 and 16. Oddly, both daughters are listed with the same name, “Minnie” - a common nickname for Mary. It appears that that William and one of the two neighbor girls fell in love. They married a few years later.