Monday, October 15, 2007

Genealogue Challenge #70

This challenge may be difficult, so I'll give you a head start.

I Love Lucy premiered on this date in 1951. Kathryn Card, the actress who played Lucy's mother, was born Oct. 4, 1892 (supposedly in Butte, Montana), and died Mar. 1, 1964, in Costa Mesa, California. Her entry in the California Death Index says she was born in Missouri, perhaps because someone coded Montana as "MO" rather than "MT". Her mother's maiden name was McCurdy, but what Kathryn's maiden name was is not clear.

Searching for women named "Kathryn" born about 1892 in Montana turns up a Kathryn C. Sullivan living at the Neil House Hotel in Columbus, Ohio, in 1930. She was married (age at first marriage, 18), but living without her husband. Her father was born in New York, her mother in Massachusetts. Her profession, oddly enough, was "Actress-Theatrical."

Was this Kathryn Card? What else can you find out about Kathryn's life before Hollywood?


Your clues are great help and I'm going to say that Kathryn of 1930 Columbus, OH is Kathryn Card, though I don't have any proofs yet. She appears to be Kathryn Sheehan, daughter of Martin (No, really, Martin Sheehan -- I guess acting runs in the family -- and who would have thought Martin Sheen was a hundred and eighty) and Mary (see 1910 Montana census.) In 1920 she is enumerated as a divorced Kathryn Card in Seattle living with her mother, and also a daughter, Ada. By 1930 when Kathryn is acting in Columbus, Ohio, daughter Ada is still in Seattle living with Kathryn's sister Ann E Cannell. Ann is also a divorcee, so perhaps a little dysfunction in that family. Kathryn and Ann's parents are appropriately born in New York and Massachusetts. Of course, all this neatly fitting evidence could be part of some elaborate hoax you've perpetrated with But I'll go with this as my final answer ... for now.


I should mention, too, that Kathryn was enumerated twice in 1910 -- once in Seattle as Katheryne Sheehan, age 17, roomer, and once in Montana as Catherine Sheehan, 18, daughter of Martin. I surmise this to be one and the same person based on the pob of the parents, and also the presence of sister Ann in the Montana enumeration. This is consistent with the 1930 Seattle entry where Ann is listed as the aunt of Kathryn's daughter Ada. In that listing, Ann's parents are born in NY and MA, again, consistent with the other entries.


Last comment before I sign off for the night. As listed in the 1920 census in Seattle, Kathryn's mother is Esther M. Sheehan. (In 1910, she was Mary.) In 1900 Kathryn's parents are Michael and Esther Sheehan. I can track an Esther McCurdy in the 1860 and 1880 census with the right detail to be the future Mrs. Michael Sheehan. She is born 1858, consistent with the 1920 census entry in which Esther was 62, and born in MA. In the 1880 listing, Esther is counted twice, both times as a 22 year old servant, and both times in New York, though in different counties. A little farther west in New York is a Michael Sheehan. Perhaps it was in western NY where their paths crossed and they became married. All four parents are born in Ireland, consistent with the later Montana listings.

Over and out.


In 1920 there is a Catherine Card living in Seattle. She is 27, divorced and living with her sister Anna, her daughter Ada, and her mother Esther M. Sheehan, 62. Catherine was born in Montana, her father in New York and her mother in Mass. This corresponds to the age and birthplaces of the person Chris found in 1930. (In 1930, the daughter Ada is still living with her aunt Anna in Seattle.)

In 1900 Esther, both parents born in Ireland, was living with her husband Michael Sheehan and their children including Catherine and Anna in Chouteau county, MT.

In 1860 there is an Esther McCurdy, 2, living in Mass with her father James and her mother Catherine, both born in Ireland. The family had moved to Oswego County, NY by 1880.

Would be sweet to see a marriage for Esther McCurdy to Michael Sheehan, but a posting for this family of McCurdys on Genforum relates that Esther McCurdy did marry Michael Sheehan and they settled in Chouteau county, MT.


Nice work! Is it too much to ask for the first names of her husbands?


Yes, but thanks for asking.


My guess for number one is Erwin or Edwin Card. Daughter Ada's census says her father was born in Michigan, and this guy fits the bill. In 1910 he was in Seattle, before any marriage or daughter, and by 1920 he is back in Michigan. Sometime around 1911 to 1913 the big event would have happened.

Half-Shire Historical Society

I am a cousin of Catherine Sheehan Card (Kathryn Card) through her Grandmother Catherien MacCaughan McCurdy (1834-1906) who was my AUnt, an identical twin to my GGG Grandmother Jane MacCaughan McCaw.
The McCurdys and MacCaughans came from twin villages in Antrim, Ireland. The Catholic side was Templastraugh (McCurdy) and the protostant one Timplimentary (MacCaughan)
The Couple came to America and had their first three daughters in Windsor, Middlesex County, Mass. In 1862 the McCurdys moved to Redfield, Oswego County, NY. James McCurdy went to St. Mary's Church in Florence seven miels south (where he is buried) while Catherine went to the COngregational church in Redfield.
Esther was among a group of Redfield people that went west to seek fortune. Ester, sisters Anna and Letitica and their brother Dan MCCurdy, along with my Uncle James McCaw went to Butte, Montana. I have a photo of the group taken in 1892.
Michael Sheehan came from Florence, seven miles south of Redfield in Oneida COunty. His father was John, his mother died young. Michael Sheehan and Esther MCCurdy were married here, in nearby Utica, NY on June 20, 1887. They went west very soon, and then Dan, Anna, Letitia and cousin Jim followed.
Kathryn Card was born in Havre, Montana and had a brother George and sisters Mary and Anna. I hear from George's descendants.
We are sketchy on what happened after Michael died in Montana and the mother and two daughters went to Seattle. Esther died in Seattle on May 21, 1923 as reported in our family records.
Most of the family ended up in Nebraska, but Kathryn who was married to a Card (we don't have his name either) went to California.
Ada was lost to us for years, raised by Anna.
I welcome more info and will share what I can. My Grandmother met Kathryn when she was in radio and stage in 1930s. She came to Redfield to see her Aunts and helped organize a local theater production. My AUnt Edna said "she wore makeup!" which nobody in Redfield did.....

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