This letter from Our Lady of Mount Carmel is another precious document in my collection from my Great Grandfather, Larry O’Connell’s scrap-book. According to this letter, dated 7 July 1940, Dennis O’Connell was born on 6 Sep 1883 to John and Bridget O’Connell and baptized 16 Sep 1883. His sponsors were Edward and Mary Leonard. The officiating Rev. was J.J. Hayden.
I spoke to the church office just over a year ago and Our Lady of Mount Carmel closed its doors on Easter Sunday, 2009. All records are being kept by St. Mary’s Church in Granville, NY.
Niagara Falls, Ont. June 1st, 1950
To whom it may concern,
It is my earnest wishes that all that I posses is equally divided upon my death to my two sons and daughter
signed this 1st day of June 1959
It makes we wonder if he was sick, Dennis died in Nov of 1950. At this point I still do not have his death certificate, but I hope to order it within the near future to find out.
This is probably my favorite document I have from Dennis O’Connell because it really gives detailed information about him. From this document, I was able to learn that Dennis was 5′ 10″ tall, weighed 165 lbs., he had grey eyes, brown hair and he was a papermaker.
As for genealogical information, it tells me that he was a married man and has 3 children living. According to this document he was born in Granville, NY and is an American citizen by birth, but he has lived in Thorold for 3 months.
The picture of him was taken on the day he filled this out which is 15 Jan 1918. This document also has Dennis’ signature on it.
The backside of the document was stamped numerous times by the Canadian Immigration Inspector, these stamps gave Dennis the permission to leave Canada to visit Buffalo, NY from the time he signed the document in Jan 1918 until Jan 1919.
My Great Grandfather, Dennis O’Connell, died in 1950. My father had just turned a year old and probably never met his Grandfather. Dennis moved to Canada in 1917 and continued his life there until his passing in 1950.
As a resident of Canada, this card gave Dennis permission to travel back to the states, with no more than $5 in US funds, $10 altogether. This card is valid until Jul 8 1944. According to the Inflation Calculator, that would be like traveling with $62.05 today. Can you imagine traveling with that amount of money today. We would be lucky if it put gas in the and a meal.
As for genealogical information this card does not give many clues. Besides Dennis’ name, it gives us his current address of 52 Albert St., Thorold, Canada. I hope the house is still there. I would like to visit and take a few pictures.
The back of this card gives the conditions under which the permit mat be used. Unfortunately, it cannot be completely read, it was originally glued into a scrap-book. The black marks on the sides are from the book it was in. You can also see were the paper tore. At the bottom right hand side, you can see where Dennis signed his name to the document. I get really excited when I see an original signature of my ancestors.