Baker-Dorng Cemetery Genealogy Hedgecoe-McKenna

Jake vs. McKenna and O’Neill

Posting Member: Jake
Topic: Research
Family Name Associations: McKenna and O’Neill
Location: Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Chicago, Il
Mood: Blustery

This past week I had the opportunity to go back to Chicago.  We have dead people there…alot of dead people there.  I also have living people there, but I digress.

I went down with a Manila Folder, full of papers that hinted at hidden gems at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.  Now, Mt. Olivet doesn’t even have offices on site.  They are at St. Casimir, which…isn’t conveniently located just across the street.   I phoned them up last Thursday to see if I could get plot information, or at the least find out what section some of the people were in.  Section 34 was what I was told when asking about names.  All except for Ellen Purcell, and Susan Stevens nee McKenna.  They didn’t exist there.
Susan Stevens I found out, had originally been interred in St. Mary’s, although which St. Mary’s I wasn’t able to ascertain, because as she started reading the file, she realized that it was a sealed file, limiting access to the information.  So…dead end there.


My cousin and her daughter went with me to Mt. Olivet, and we set about trying to find the Grave Markers.   The first we came across was Had several siblings on it.  I should point out here, that my cousin’s daughter was the success story of the day, and is the future of genealogy there.  I pointed out to her that being 9…she cheated because she was so close to the ground.  Beside this stone there were two embedded in the earth.  One was for Patrick, whom I’m assuming was the Patrick listed on the main family stone as they hold the same death dates.  And really, that would be some coincidence if two Patricks went on the same day.  The other stone listed a James O’Neill, who may have been the father?  Only research will show.  This definitely was not the James I was sent to find, but there’s gotta be a connection there.  These two stones are shown below.


Anyways…on to the next part of the story.

We continued scouring section 34, and were having a pretty hard time of it.  We saw plenty of names we recognized, as they were neighbourhood names, but the O’Neill and Purcells were avoiding us. The next stone that caught our eye was for Patrick J, and his wife Anna.  It appears that Patrick J predeceased his wife by more than 20 years. Again, research will either prove the link, or dismiss it, but as the research Jenn had sent me with, these should be our O’Neill.

Beside this stone were 2 older stones, that stated simply, Father, died Jan 25, 1901


And Mother, died April 8, 1900

While looking for the O’Neill we were also pursuing the elusive Ellen Purcell.  When I was talking with St. Casimir, they told me they had no records for Purcell in Mt. Olivet, in fact, nothing was coming up at all.  We were just packing up, and getting ready to move on, when I was called over to inspect another stone.  When I arrived, our darling young investigator pointed and said…how do you spell Purcell?  I looked down, and sure enough she had found a stone.  It was a little disheartening though.  There were no names, and it was a replacement stone for the original, which I’m assuming had more information on it.  The original stone looks to have been broken off right at ground level.  You can see the foundation for the original stone, just above the current placement.  With time, I’m sure we can verify the owner of the plot, but as the offices were not onsite, and I really wanted to try and get up to Evanston, there wasn’t time to look into it that day.

The weather was against a trip up to the extreme north side, as the snow began flying, and within minutes of it coming down, it turned from flurries to white out conditions.  The goldmine of the McKenna family is up there, and while we have plots we don’t have photographs.  The good news is, if we make a trip down there again, we won’t have to pay for lodging.  However, with gas prices the way they are, it probably won’t be until the summer until we can attempt a journey.

One other tidbit I found out about a McKenna.  Sarah Ann McKenna b. 1891 in Cook County, was interred on January 27, 1960 at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, in Alsip Illinois.
With the release of the next census less that 2 months away, it’s time to get the Ancestry account back up and running.  Hopefully it will have a fountain of knowledge that it was lacking before.

I’m still on the lookout for my Dorngs, they haven’t been easy to find because they changed their name to avoid persecution at a time when Germans were not the most popular immigrants.

That’s all I’ve got for now my little Skeletons.  Stay safe, stay sane, and we’ll have more updates as they come.

Tech Geek and Adventurer, Jake spends his time on research and development to keep us in the latest and greatest of tools and equipment. Always one for traipsing off to any location, his passion for travel, photography and history pushes us to never quit. Also find Jake in his personally crafted fortress of Blogdom: Random Acts of Jake

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