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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Story - Mary Elizabeth Rohman McGuire - Part 2

By the 1920 U.S. Census, I cannot find Mary and her children.  I am assuming that they still lived in Manhattan and lord only knows where her estranged husband was at that point in time.  I am assuming he was not in the picture at all.  His father, Charles McGuire, does not appear to be living by this time but I can find some other family members on the McGuire side living in The Village.

I kind of have to wonder where Mary's parents and siblings are at this point in time.  I could not locate them in any census except 1880.  I can find Mary in 1930 with all four of her children living in Manhattan.  They were living at 172 8th Avenue just north of Greenwich Village.

When I was growing up, my father would always say that he was full Irish from New York.  That is all fine and dandy to say.  My mom would say that Rohman doesn't sound very Irish and would kind of laugh.  She was right.  It's not Irish.

Now, Mary Rohman certainly grew up around a lot of Irish Catholics.  I will say that 240 Delancy Street where she was born is not exactly that close to Greenwich Village but there were lots of Irish living right around her Rohman Family at the time along with some Germans.  Somehow she met Frank J. McGuire and they got married.  Her family must have been Catholic.

My granddad used to repeat a story that he had been told.  He said that he was Irish but somewhere back there in his line was a Dutchman from Louisiana, thus the Rohman name.  I am not sure if that was a tall tale passed onto him by his mother.  It's an interesting story and got me to look in Louisiana records a bit for the Rohman name.  That name is in the New Orleans area for sure.  It is possible that someone came from Louisiana but were they Dutch?

Now, my grandparents did not like Germans per se.  Ironically, they lived on a suburban street where almost every last name was German and they were the only Irish family.  Irony again, when I discovered that Mary Rohman's parents indicated themselves as being Prussian on the 1880 U.S. Census.  The greater part of Germany was Prussia until after WWI.  After the WWI, Germany went back to being as such and my own immigrant family members on my mom's side started to refer to themselves as German instead of Prussian.  So, Mary was German!  I suppose that they were German Catholics as opposed to German Lutherans but I think there is more to discover there.

So was the Dutchman story a way of covering up that Prussian/German origins to make the marriage of a German to an Irish Catholic more palatable?  I am starting to think so.  There could still be some stock in the Louisiana reference but I just can't seem to get back beyond the 1870s for my Rohman's right now.  It would be great to even find Joseph Rohman in the 1870 U.S. Census.

Let's hope more information presents itself soon.

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