Friday, March 26, 2010

Are you my cousin?

This week, my mom (Sheila Anne McCarthy Begg) got in touch with her second cousin, once removed.

While I was doing my research, I learned that his mother, Margaret Nolan West, had passed away this year and Mom got in touch to first, convey her sorrow and to tell him about our newest family project.

(I refrain from mentioning his name as he and I have not met - I feel somehow it would be impolite -- if and when we do meet - I will make sure he likes / is okay with what I am up to as I did for the rest of the family.) And, hopefully, he too will starting sending IDEAS, questions, photos....

Margaret Nolan West passed away on February 20, 2010. She lived a rich and full life. Mrs. West was the eldest daughter of John Nolan, son of John and Anne Nolan.

Given the span of the Nolan family and what I choose to assume was the deep passion of John and Anne, there were lots of babies.

My mother's great grandmother (Mary Nolan Gagan - born 1865) and John Nolan were siblings. John married later in life, to an Etta Grey. Ms. Grey was I believe a domestic in Port Chester and John was a local policeman. I find John in the 1910 census living with Anne and his sister Margaret.

John and Etta married in 1913, when John was 42, and four years later had Margaret.

Margaret lived in Port Chester during her childhood and after her marriage to Leonard "Duke" West. She raised two children and worked in various law offices. The family lived on Smith Street in Rye and Westchester Avenue in Port Chester (in 1920 and 1930, respectively).

My mother remembers her as exceptionally elegant and kind. Her obituary makes it clear she lived a full and blessed life - and enjoyed retirement in Florida. Her husband passed on before her and she died this winter, at the age of 92.

Margaret was an age mate of Nan, Mimi and Reet /Greta - -despite being 2 generations ahead of them. Nan, Mimi and Greeta's grandmother and Margaret's father were siblings.


Sheila = self
Anne McCarthy = mother
Momma Hughes = grandmother
Mary Gagan = great grandmother
John Nolan Jr = great great uncle
Margaret Nolan West = first cousin once removed
Margaret's son = second cousin once removed

Okay, so Mom asked for this post -- she also wants more on Port Chester history but so far all the books I need are still coming my way via inter library loan -- so stay tuned.

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