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Monday, May 2, 2011

My Romaine's - A Brick Wall

Recently, I had a great family tree conversation with one of my aunts.  She is a living McGuire relative who is a McGuire by marriage to my father's brother.  While she does not have a lot of time these days to work on her own family tree, she does know some great information and where to "look and find".

I would not call her an outsider looking in on the McGuire Family.  Maybe a better way to phrase it would be an insider with a more objective perspective on the family.  My other uncle talks about all of the "secrets" in the family.  My own parents only knew some of them because we lived in California and everyone else was in New York.

With my father now passed on, I don't get to hear his own perspective.  He would have been very honest if I had gotten around to asking more about his family.  It is funny to recall that he would tell us what the family wanted everyone to know but then tell it like it really was inasmuch as he knew.

This lands me on my Romaine's.  My father recalled everyone pronoucing this surname as "Roman".  My aunt who I spoke with recently indicated that she always told the family that spelling of Mary "Roman's" last name was Romaine.  Well, she's right.  When you look through official documents and records, the name is spelled Romaine.  There are mispellings of the name in census documents but even church records seem to get it right as Romaine.  So, I am reaffirmed that I've got the spelling down.  Now, finding them is another story.

I've found Mary Elizabeth Romaine, her father - Joseph Romaine, her mother - Frances Romaine, a brother - Joseph, another brother - John, and a probable sister - Rosa, circa 1870-1890 NYC.  Were there other children?  They lived on Delancy Street in NYC.  Census information has them indicated as Prussian.  Part of Prussia is now located in today's Germany.  Were they German?  I'll have to check out the historical boundaries of Prussia. 

I have 5 versions of Frances Romaine's maiden name.  You can take your pick on which is the real deal.  None of the names come up on internet search engines are real surnames.  Someone must have had a thick accent and/or transcribers wrote down what they heard and did not ask for the spelling.

Have I hit the proverbial brick wall with my Romaine's?  It's looking like it.  As my wise grandfather, Richard "Dick" Flanagan, would say "wait awhile".  I'm waiting.........

1 comment:

  1. You might want to do more research on Delancy Street and where German immigrants lived in NYC. I have read that German immigrants tended to not only live in "Little Germany" but also tended to separate their American community by what German state they immigrated from. Might be a thread...however tenuous!