Friday, March 9, 2012

James H. Gorman and family

The relative I came across in a rootsweb tree was in the Donnelly-Gorman branch from upstate (Waddington) New York.  After comparing my tree with this new one, I found one branch that was not in my tree.  The others were all cut short, so this one branch must be that of the cousin who posted the information.  The branch I found was that of James H. Gorman, born in Waddington in 1867, fifth child of Christy Gorman and Kate Donnelly.  (We actually have two Donnelly-Gorman branches.  The Donnellys are sisters, but we haven't figured out the relationship between their spouses, Thomas and Christy.)  The new information showed two marriages.  So I dug into the Family Search databases (need I say they are located at ?) and the great archive of Northern New York Historical Newspapers .   It turns out that James' married life was somewhat tragic.  He married Margaret McCall in Madrid, NY in 1900, and they lived in Somerville, Massachusetts, near Boston.  Margaret apparently became very sick with a flu shortly before the birth of their third son in 1905.  The boy was born dead and Margaret succumbed one week later.

I don't know what happened in the intervening years, but 5 years later James was living and working in New York City while his two boys, Fred and Charles, just seven and eight years old, were living with a family in Boston.  James married Nora Lynch that year.  I'm guessing the boys came back to live with them, but I do know that James and Nora had a son in 1911 in New York.  At some point the family moved to Fitchburg, Nora's home town, where James (dad) died of pneumonia in 1918.  Sons James and Charles were living with  Nora in Fitchburg in 1920, I found some articles and a great photo of Charles playing football for the Normal School in Fitchburg.  I couldn't find any trace of Fred after his father's funeral.  I'm wondering if he passed away at a young age.  Charles passed away in 1965.

James married Dorothea Cunningham, probably in Massachusetts in 1938.  They lived in Fitchburg and had two daughters (I won't mention any more names, because they may be living).  I think the cousin that posted the tree on Rootsweb that started me on this search lives near me.  I'll contact her.  When I find the time.  And I should update my own rootsweb tree with all this information.  When I find the time.


  1. I'm so glad I found this post! I'm researching my dad's family tree as a surprise for his 70th birthday! My dad is the son of Charles Gorman, the grandson of James Gorman. You helped confirm what we were trying to figure out. I'd been told that Margaret McCall died in childbirth following a fall down the stairs at the McCall hotel in Waddington. My and your research has debunked that. Would love to compare notes!

    1. I apologize for adding and removing replies ... I misunderstood some of the vocabulary used on the death certificates. The infant was stillborn, with maternal influenza listed as a contributory factor. Margaret's death was due to an infection that would not go away, with a premature birth and stillbirth listed as contributing factors. I believe I found the images of the certificates through Did Margaret, weakened by flu, fall down the stairs, which caused the death of the child, premature birth, and infection? She definitely did not die in Waddington, though. You can contact me directly through the e-mail in my profile on this page.