22 March 2015

#FearlessFemales - Day 20 - Brick wall ancestor

An interesting challenge today:

March 20 — Is there a female ancestor who is your brick wall? Why? List possible sources for finding more information.

I would say that anyone with "Ireland" is a brick wall for me as I haven't yet had time to learn the intricacies of Irish Genealogy, so whenever I get to someone where the next step back is Irish records, that is where I have stopped.

I'm sure, down the track though, some of that will get sorted, so for this post I'm going to talk about my Road Block that is Johanna Wilson Reed.

Johanna is the wife a a first cousin 3 times removed (James Casey son of Thomas Casey who was featured in the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks "Luck of the Irish" post a short while ago)

Johanna Wilson Reed was born on July 11, 1873 in Sunderland England

We find "Johana" in the 1881 census at the middle child of 5 children. Her father Joseph was a Billiard Maker. They were living in Spennymoor Durham England

In the 1891 census we meet the family again - "Johannah", age 17, is a barmaid in her father's beer house.

In 1900 she marries James Casey and they are found in the 1901 census in Cumberland Street Sunderland

1901 Census Source Findmypast.co.uk

Some time between 1901 and 1910 James migrates to the USA leaving Johanna to follow him later. He is the first of 3 Casey brothers to move to America.

On Jan 1, 1910 Johannah boards the Ship Carmania to travel to New York to join James. She arrives on Jan 10, 1910.
Source Findmypast.co.uk

The address Johannah gives on her arrival record where she will be joining her husband is South Pearl Street Albany New York (per Ellis Island passenger records)

The 1920 Census sees them on the other side of the country in Seattle Washington

Unfortunately James dies in a mine cave in 1922 leaving Johanna on her own (she and James never had children)

Johanna remains in Seattle for her remaining years and passes away there on Apr 26, 1950

Now I can hear you asking me "Why is Johanna your brick wall Maureen, you've got a lot of information here?"

It's the 1910 USA census - it's driving me mad!

Johanna arrives in the US on January 10, 1910 - well before the 1910 census was taken but she is nowhere to be found.

James is certainly on the census, right where the passenger manifest says he will be - Pearl Street, Albany New York. But James is living at the Pearl Street Hotel which seems to be some sort of men only hostel and Johanna is not living with him.

James' brothers who later migrate to the US are still in the UK in 1910 and appear on the 1911 census there, so Johanna can't be with them.

So where's Johanna? It is a mystery, that's for sure!

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