McDonald Family Crest
Courtesy of Ernest Hatton, Jr.

 Descendants of Peter McDonald & Catherine Waters

 

Cecilia McDonald was the daughter of Peter McDonald and Catherine Waters, both emigrants from the Sligo area of Ireland. This is one of the major lines of Sullivan County McDonalds who may or may nor be related in the "old country" to the other local McDonald lines in Sullivan County. This story has been compiled by one of their descendants, John Lewis Laughlin (johnllaughlin@comcast.net ). Here is a picture of John and his wife Pearl (Hibbard) Laughlin taken in 1995.

Peter McDonald was born on 21 July 1815 in (Sligo) IRE and died on 21 Jan 1900 in Cherry Mills PA and was buried at St. Basil's RC Cemetery in Dushore, PA. He was a farmer who left Ireland during its worst famine. Earlier, in 1839 many Irish came to Northeast PA hired by agents who went to Ireland to hire men willing to do the back- breaking work on the North Branch Canal. In 1841, on the eve of the Great Famine and during the reign of Queen Victoria, more than 500,000 Irish lived in one-room mud cabins. In that year 45,000 Irish emigrated to the US and 38,000 to Canada. Irish rural life had declined steadily following the Napoleonic Wars in 1815. Grain prices collapsed and Irish landlords jacked up their rents that left many tenant farmers bankrupt and unable to support a large family or provide land for their sons. Other industries, such as domestic wool and linen, took heavy losses largely affecting the Irish from the southern and western counties. During 1845-1848 the worst recorded blight struck the potato crop. Potatoes were the main diet for the Irish who ate them raw, cooked, mixed with milk, vegetables, bread etc. The "great hunger" left a million dead of starvation or disease while another million and a half emigrated to the States, Canada and Australia, many dying on the voyage or soon after they arrived.

Peter married Catherine Waters (1824-1904) in New York City about 1851. She may have been a recent emigrant. The name (MacWatters) is numerous in parts of Northern Ireland and County Sligo, which only hints at where she may have come from. She is also buried in St. Basil. s RC Cemetery in Dushore. Here is her picture from late in life:


Catherine Waters McDonald
1824-1904
Photo Contributed by Tom Crossett April 2001

Peter and Catherine lived on 112 acres farm in Cherry Mills, about seven miles west of Dushore. Here is a picture of their farmland taken in August 2008 by Ray and Linda (Karge) McDonald*. Ray is a great grandson of Peter and Catherine.
* Editor's Note: Here are Driving Directions created for the 2000 Sweeney-McDonald Reunion that locate both the Peter and Michael McDonald original homesteads. The starting point is the Fairgrounds in Forksville, PA.


Collapsed Barn
McDonald Ancestral Land
Jack Road, Cherry Mills, PA
Photo Contributed by Ray and Linda McDonald
August 5, 2008

Six children were born to Peter and Catherine (Waters) McDonadl:

1. Mary (July 1854-April 10 1899) married Michael Philbin, son of Anthony Philbin. Michael died July 7, 1914 and was also buried in St. Basil's Cemetery. They had five children:

Ambrose

Ella "Nellie"

Andrew James

Hanora

Catherine "Kate" married James Harrison.

    Hannah Philbin married CHARLES JACKSON.


Hannah Philbin
1890-1944
Wife of Charles Jackson
Photo Contributed by Tom Crossett April 2001

2. Catherine "Kate" born about 1853 in Dushore and about 1873 married Patrick W. May. In 1900 they were living in Sparks NV. Patrick used to take his three sons to the World Series when it was in New York.

Michael

James

William

3. Cecilia "Celia" (1855-1921) - my grandmother- was born in Cherry Mills. A year before she married John Laughlin (1854-1948) she was working in Towanda as a domestic for a politician named Powell. According to the Towanda Daily Review of Monday, June 3, 1921, Cecilia died at age 65 of a heart attack at her 28 Ward Ave home as she sat in a chair following a family dinner. She is buried near her husband in SS. Peter and Paul RC Cemetery. Her niece, Mary (McDonald) Moriarity ("Aunt May" to her own family) described her as "the most wonderful, warm, good-natured and hard-working person I knew."

John died at home at the ripe old age of 94 of causes associated with old age; the Daily News of 18 Aug 1948 carried the following obituary: "Former County Seat Business Man Dies." John Laughlin, Jr. came to Towanda at age 25 from Wysox where he was born. He worked on the Lehigh Valley RR for a while, then at Ward House, now Newberry's in Towanda. For 30 years he owned a grocery store now run by Chubbuck's family on the corner of State and Western Ave, Towanda. He was an active man with great vitality who retired at age 80. He served as a mail carrier on five separate rival rural routes. He also plowed gardens, hauled ashes and did odd jobs. He had a keen mind until the end. He and Cecilia are buried at SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery, North Towanda, PA. John and Celia had six children all born in Towanda, PA and attendees of St. Agnes. Catholic school in Towanda. Here is a picture of the family taken about 1903 in Towanda, PA, and a second picture of the children taken about the same time.


John and Cecilia McDonald Laughlin Family
Seated children: Robert (on father's knee), Joseph (with bow tie)
Standing children (l to r): Anna, Mary Eleanor, James, John
Towanda, PA c. 1903

Contributed by John L. Laughlin October 2000


Children of John and Cecilia McDonald Laughlin
L to r: Anna, James, Mary Eleanor, John, Joseph, Robert Donald (in front)
Towanda, PA c. 1903

Contributed by John L. Laughlin October 2000

    Anna "Nan" (1889-1972) grew up in Towanda and in 1931 married a Dushore man, Martin Dempsey (1892-1971). Note: The Dempseys also married into the McDonald line descended from Patrick McDonald and Catherine Burns (see Settlers page #8) and also married with the Kelly. s who in turn were married to the Sweeneys (see Settlers page #1). According to Aunt May Moriarity, my aunt Nan was closest to the McDonald side of the family. Strangely, I never met any of them until I started doing family research around 1982. As many times as my father and I went to Towanda, he never went to Sullivan County with me nor spoke of the family and, for reasons I don't understand, I never inquired. Martin suffered from asthma after being gassed in WW 1 as a member of the 166 Transportation Corps during WW I. He lived near SS. Peter and Paul RC Church and announced the start of masses by ringing the church bell.

    At the end of his life my grandfather, John Laughlin, lived with his daughter Nan. She got him to sign a Codicil to his will siphoning what little money was to go to my brother and me to the care of her retarded son Tony. When my father and his brother Jim discovered this, they cut off all contact with her. As I was only 10 then, my contact with a wonderful aunt and uncle also ended. They had one child:

      John Anthony "Tony" (1934-) was born in Towanda. He was severely retarded but loved by all who knew him, especially the fire department and the movie house staff. After his parents died, it was believed he went to an institution

    James Bernard (1891-1974) married a Wysox woman, Helen Suzanna Ross (1898-1974), daughter of Charles and Ida Jane Vosburg, on 24 Apr 1930 at SS. Peter and Paul RC Church. He later retired as a Bailiff at the Bradford County Courthouse, Towanda. Jim returned from World War1 to engage in highway construction in New England, New York and Maryland. About 1925 he and another vet Bernard Kirwan (-1965) teamed up to start the Kirwan and Laughlin trucking business. For a while my father Bob Laughlin drove trucks for them. Jim was also the Courthouse Custodian until he retired in 1955. Jim lived his entire life in Bradford County, and knew everyone. On Saturdays he and others would engage in chicken fights near the Wysox farm his father had sold to Jim Perry. Uncle Jim Laughlin had a warm and gracious personality that earned him many lifelong friends. Such warmth did not pass between him and his father who left his oldest son a single dollar bill, testimony of the distance between the two, thought to be over Jim. s objections to his father. s mistreatment of his mother. Jim and Helen are both buried in Wysox. They had a daughter:

      Patricia Ann (1932-) was born and lives in Towanda. In 1950 she married Thomas Kennedy Michael McGovern (1915-1999) who retired as a machinist with GTE. They had one child:

        Michael James (1952-) was born in Towanda. He is an attorney who, in 1990, married another lawyer, Debra Lynn Homan(1955-). She was born in Kane, PA and they live in Harrisburg, PA.

    John Francis "Lunk" (1895-1921) grew up in Towanda and attended St. Agnes RC School. Before enlisting in the Army, he delivered groceries for his dad. Soon after returning from the war in Europe, serving in the 120 Tank Corps, 19th Grand Division, he drowned in the Susquehanna River. The Monday, July 11, 1921 issue of the Daily Review recorded that John drowned yesterday at age 24 [sic] in what was thought to be a sinkhole while swimming across the Susquehanna River with two friends. He never married. John is buried at SS. Peter and Paul RC Cemetery in North Towanda.

 

    Mary Eleanor (1897-1965) was married three times: Harry Wilkes (1895-) a Lineman from Mauch Chunk, PA in 1927; Frank White around 1934; and lastly to a farmer from Wyalusing named Brown, who died within weeks of their marriage. At the end of her life she was engaged to man nicknamed "Sully." She had no children of her own but was a wonderful caring and fun aunt with a special dedication to her retarded nephew Tony. Her passion for Bingo was unparalleled and 100-mile rounds trips to a Friday night game were common. Prior to and during WWII she worked for the Towanda Silk Mill, which among other things made material for parachutes in WW 2. Eleanor died of a heart attack and is buried at SS. Peter and Paul RC Cemetery.

    Joseph Thomas "Sharky" (1900-1944) was born in Towanda and married Ethel C. around 1920 and moved to Philadelphia. She is thought to have worked there as a telephone operator. He was a Barge Tender and died when he fell into the Deleware River and drowned. His body was taken to Hahnemann Hospital where he was pronounced dead. At the time of his death, he lived on 1806 Roslyn Street, Philadelphia. It is not known if he had any children. How ironic that two brothers with nicknames of fish should drown. He is buried at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, North Towanda.

    Robert Donald "Big Bob" (1902-1969), my father, was born at 100 Western Ave, Towanda. His nickname, "Big Bob," referred to his large beer belly, which he said was worth a million dollars and losing weight would be like throwing his fortune away. Around 1920 he married Eva Brennan (c.1900-1921) daughter of William E. Brennan and Evelyn Gale of South 4th and Elizabeth Streets, Towanda. Eva died of complications following childbirth and is buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery. She was survived by her husband, two sons, parents, three sisters and two brothers: Mrs. Robert Chamberlain of Wysox, Mrs. Ray Beardsley of Athens, William of Towanda and Robert and Omenta at home. She and Bob had a son:

    Donald Robert (1921-) was born in Towanda. His mother Eva had an older son, Raymond (c.1915-) whose father is unknown. When Eva died, her parents adopted Donald and his name became Donald Brennan. Dad tried to get his sister Nan to take Donald, but she refused. Robert and his 3rd wife Mary Lewis tried to get Donald back without success. Donald retired from the Air Force about 1969 and went to work for Sears in Bakersfield, CA. Donald married Dorothy in Pearl Harbor c.1941 and they had the following children:

      Unknown Son (c.1942-1953) was born in Pearl Harbor HI. He was born deaf and was killed by a truck he did not know was coming.

William (1950-) was adopted

James Allen (1955-) was adopted.

In 1925 Robert married his 2nd wife, Burlington born Elizabeth M. "Dubby" Slater, (1906-) daughter of Walter W. Slater and Lauren Pruyne. At the time she was a clerk and he a truck man. They lived at 10 Second Street, Towanda and divorced in 1928. They had no children.

Bob. s 3rd wife, my mother, Mary Ann Lewis (1906-1975), was the oldest of 13, born in Bedford Township, Ontario, daughter of 1st cousins, Robert George Lewis and Rose Anne Lewis. The Lewis families emigrated from County Wexford, Ireland soon after the 1798 Rebellion made famous in Flanagan. s, The Year of the French. Mary graduated Nursing School in Utica, NY where she met Bob who was working as a hospital attendant. She was naturalized in 1932 and they wed about 1935. Because of Robert. s prior divorce from Elizabeth Slater, it took nearly 30 years to have this marriage recognized by the Pope. Mary. s family did not approve of Robert at first because he was Catholic and an American and they were Anglicans and wanted their daughter to return to the farm. This changed after a few years and they came to love Dad. Mom and Dad helped two of her brothers emigrate to the US: George Elbourne Lewis who wed Edna Bahl and settled in Towanda, and Rayburn Lyle who married Nina Losardo and settled in Brooklyn, NY.

From about 1936-40 Robert owned and operated the Circle Booth in Towanda where they served fresh-caught eels from Nichols, NY. He and Mary lived at 128 Ward Ave and at 7 Porter Place, Towanda where they had two sons: John Lewis and Robert Arthur. Soon after Bob. s second son was born, he sold the Circle Booth to Theo "Chick"Chicarilli, and they left Towanda, as Mary wanted to return to psychiatric nursing. They settled in Brooklyn, NY where both worked at Brooklyn State Psychiatric Hospital: Mary as Head Nurse and Robert as Chief of Security. Dad died in the Jewish Brooklyn Hospital from a heart attack and 2nd stroke. Mom died at her apartment from a cerebral hemorrhage. Both are buried at St. Charles RC Cemetery (Suffolk) New York.

The following is a tribute to my father: Our relationship was as wide apart as the ocean until a few years before he died when it narrowed to a deep river. Dad died alone and afraid. Such fears were not about his long absence from the Catholic Church, nor its images of hell. I don't know what he thought of the next world; my guess is that it offered nothing to one so bound to this one. No reunion with dead family members, no bathing in the bliss of God's love, no freedom from stress and responsibility could compete with a wife who made him the centerpiece of her life, and with the camaraderie of bar room buddies who were always glad to see him, full of raucous laughter, off-colored jokes and the hilarity of competing in tournaments of shuffle baseball or darts.

How could any place dull with do-gooders surrounded by white light compete with this? Anyone who has ever read their catechism knows that there is no place in Heaven where you can watch TV and eat a half-gallon of ice cream in a bowl of ginger ale. But Dad's will to live and all that held him here were not enough.

He died slumped over in a wheelchair as he looked out of his 5th floor window at Jewish Brooklyn Hospital. A few weeks before he was moved from the medical ward of Brooklyn State Hospital when the damage of his 2nd stroke did not improve. Brooklyn State had been his employer for 30 years and, when they moved him, he knew he was never going home again. I can only guess at how helpless and trapped he felt. like a small fish in an evaporating tidal pool.

If there was a blessing to Dad's long suffering, it was that he died facing toward the Northwest, the direction of his birthplace, Towanda, PA. I know that in those last moments of his life his thoughts went back to where he was born, to where his deepest memories were preserved in the land and people of Bradford County. Here were born all the Laughlins from my brother and me on back to my great-grandparents, who settled there after a long journey from famine Ireland. Though dad and his brother Thomas were the only ones of the family to leave Towanda, elemental parts of Dad remained behind as a magnetic field drawing him back like a compass needle to true north.

In his last moments of his life, Dad rode his imagination out of that hospital room and headed over the East River and Lower Manhattan, over the Hudson River and onto New Jersey, Delaware into Pennsylvania and a straight shot north to Scranton where we used to get onto Route 6 and head into the heart of the spectacular Endless Mountains. If there was one thing Dad and I shared, one thing that held us together despite so much turmoil, it was our shared love for Towanda and our journeys together to visit his dad and family. Rte. 6 traversed spectacular vistas of the lush farm valleys stretching out like a verdant blanket and then descended steeply to paralleled the serpentine Susquehanna that both nourished and destroyed whatever land and towns it cut through.

Our journey reached its end as we crossed the Towanda Street Bridge, washed out several times by floods, and entered the middle of town. Main Street ran along the base of a steep hill into which houses were stuck at right angles. A tiny earthquake measuring 1on the Richter scale would have sent them and their attached outdoor laundry tumbling into the river and down stream to the Chesapeake Bay. We retreated into a joint silence as we crossed the bridge, one on the most intimate moments we shared. We never talked of it, partly because we never shared anything personal and partly because there were no words to frame this archetypal experience

It does not seem so long ago when Towanda was a thriving mini-metropolis with the Greyhound buses making frequent stops and traveling salesmen filling the many large "tourist homes" along Main Street. Though in less grander setting these days, some of those guest homes remain today with their large verandas hosting wing back wicker rockers and hanging plants--monuments to themselves and the history they were part of. Towanda without those beautiful homes would be a lawn without flowers.

Often our vacations began with Dad and me going ahead to Towanda while Mom and Bob would come up several days later on the "Black Diamond," the Lehigh Valley Railroad. s passenger train. Dad and I had a close bond which lay below the surface of his impatience and moodiness, and my capacity to hold a grudge and maintain my distance behind a facade of tough sulking. Our attachment to Towanda was genetic. On the surface our lives were splintered but we were rooted in the same earth. If life can be compared to a river journey, then this is where the river of our life began and still flows.

Our relationship was like a hall of mirrors where we could only see parts of each other. Like two ships in a dense fog, we kept our distance to avoid collision. We tracked each other using distrust for radar. We were more like enemies keeping alive an absurd tradition. Only in the last few years of his life did we break from this legacy that victimized us both and become close.

To hear my younger brother, Bob, talk about our father, is to listen to somehow who grew up in a different household. He remembers Dad's great humor, how they got along with each other, and his pride that "Dad would give you the shirt off his back." I know he is aware of Dad's darker sides, but Bob has an enviable memory that is reflected in the wonderful person he turned out to be.

John Lewis "Jack" (1937-) was born in Main Street, Towanda and delivered by Dr. John. Kielty. Two birth marks were removed by radiation by Dr. Woodhouse at Waverly Hospital which was thought to later contribute to my Pituitary tumor (Craniophringinoma) removed by surgery at New York Hospital in the early 1940's. From 1954-1957 I was in the 11th Airborne Division Infantry, stationed at Fort Campbell, KY and Augsburg, Germany. I married Virginia "Ginny" Lee (1940-) in 1962 and the marriage ended in divorce in 1977.

In the summer of 1986 my brother Bob, wife Pearl and I visited Ireland. Bob and I were the first Laughlins to return to our native land. We had a grand time except at the Newry Border when I took pictures of the crossing and the car was immediately surrounded by soldiers with drawn weapons. They let us go with a warning. Afterwards, Pearl made up a fabulous book of remembrance for us and Bob with photos and notes.

In 1993 I married Beatrize Pearl Hibbard (1940-) who was born in Pittsfield, MA. John and Pearl are Ph.D. psychotherapists in private practice called Living Toward Wholeness. Pearl was previously married to John Nagle and had two sons:

Timothy Bert (1968-) born in Hammond, LA married Andrea Olivia Shettle (1974-) in 1993 . Timothy is a computer technician in the Army and Andrea is an RN. They have two children, Sarah (1994-) and Baron (1999-)

Sean David (1970-) was born inn Washington, D.C. and inn 1994 married Keri-Beth Pettingill, a former microbiologist on leave to raise their two children. Sean is a network administrator. Sean has a son Logan (1991-) from a previous relationship who lives in California. The other son is Devon (1998-) and another child is on the way.

Robert Arthur "Bob" (1939-) was born in Towanda. He is a senior partner and CPA in the accounting company of S. P. Cooper in Manhattan. Bob married Judith Ann Jericho (1939-) in 1960 and they divorced in 1973. Bob married Karen Burke in 1997 in Maui (Maui) HI. They live in Hastings-on-the-Hudson, NY. He and Judy had three children:

        Mary Ann (1961-) was born in Brooklyn, NY and in 1990 married Donald George Ketcham (1964-). They have twins Christopher Robert (1996-) Jennifer Nicole (1996-) and live in Huntington Station, NY. Mary Ann was in the insurance business before the children and Donald is in telecommunications.

        Susan Ann (1963-) was born in Brooklyn, NY and in 1994 married Lawrence Salvatore Borgese (1963-). They have two sons Jonathan Michael (1995-) and Anthony Thomas (1997-) and live in Smithtown, NY. Before the children, Susan worked as an accountant and Larry is a manager for Canon USA.

        Robert, Jr. "Rob" (1965-) was born in Brooklyn, NY and in 1992 married Diana Petrosino (c.1966-). Rob is a probate attorney and Diana is an accountant for Martha Graham. They have a daughter

4. Anna "Annie" (1857-1923) married Abraham "AB" Burchill, from Bradford County, the son of Richard and Catherine Burchill. "AB" had four siblings: Andrew, Arthur, William, and Mary Elizabeth. Annie and "AB" lived for awhile in Long Beach, NY and are both buried in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery, North Towanda. See the excerpt about AB Burchill at the end of this Page. The couple had eight children:

Ellen

Marguerite married D. Vincent Connor of Towanda.

Hannah married James H. Kerwin (Kirwin?) and related to Bernard Kirwin who went into a trucking partnership after WW 1 with my uncle James Bernard Laughlin.

Nancy R "Nan." died in 1967 when her car hit a deer and is buried at SS. Peter and Paul RC Cemetery, North Towanda, PA

Arthur T. was married to Marie Clark in 1920 by Rev. J. Schenkat at St. Monica. s RC Church, Jamaica, NY. She was the daughter of attorney, J. P. Clark. Arthur was a Dentist in Queens or Brooklyn, NY. Marie. s 2nd husband was James Fauls whose 2nd wife, Katherine McDonald, was the granddaughter of Patrick McDonald and Catherine Burns (see Settlers page #8).

Helen C. (c.1890-) wed a Sayre man, John J Carroll, in 1913. Rev. Cawley married them at SS. Peter and Paul. s RC Church in Towanda and they lived in Warwick, NY

Catherine (c.1892-) married Martin J. Hayes in 1914.

John (c.1896-) married into a family that did not like him and the couple divorced soon after their only child, a girl, was born. This daughter married her 2nd cousin, John McDonald, son of Martin "Red" McDonald and Helen Stocker and they had five children. "Red" was a grandson of Peter McDonald and first cousin to Annie Burchill.

5. Ellen (1859-) married Patrick POWERS on 8 Jul 1890 in New York City and had six children:

Mary who died of breast cancer.

Joseph married in Detroit.

Frances

Francis

John

Katherine died of cancer of the spine.

Peter J. McDonald (1889-1912), photo taken between 1905-1910

6. Michael J. (1862 -1910) was born, farmed and died in Cherry Mills from a diabetic coma and is buried in St. Basil. s Cemetery. In 1889, Michael married Anna Maria "Annie" Sweeney (1862-1950) in Dushore. She was a granddaughter of Michael and Catherine Sweeney (see Settlers page #1) and the oldest of twelve born to Owen Sweeney and Margaret Ellen Jordan. According to some, she and Michael might have been a perfect match since she was the oldest and he the youngest in their respective families. Annie died in November 1950 at mid-morning of congestive heart failure at the home of her son Arthur in Dushore and was buried at St. Basil. s RC Cemetery, Dushore. They had 10 children:

Children of Michael and Annie (Sweeney) McDonald--Fall
1899. Clockwise from top right: Peter, Eugene, Thomas, Arthur, James,
Clarence. Martin is in the middle. Three children not yet born: John,
Mary Clare and Ambrose. Photo courtesy of Margie Long

 

Children of Michael and Annie Sweeney McDonald--November 1937.
Back row: John, Arthur, Clarence, Mary Clare, James.
Front row: Thomas, Martin, Gramma Annie, Eugene.
Photo taken at family home on Jacks Road after funeral of their brother Ambrose Gerald McDonald (1906-1937). Courtesy of Margie Long.

Peter J. (1889-1912) was born in Dushore and died at the age of 22 in his mother's home in Cherry, PA of TB or pneumonia contracted while looking for work in Brooklyn, NY. He is buried in St. Basil. s RC Cemetery. He passed away the same day that the Titanic was sinking off Newfoundland on April 15, 1912.

James Leo (1892-1972) born and died in Sullivan County. In 1922 he married Irish born Catherine Kennedy (1888-1979). They had no children. Both are buried in St. Basil. s RC Cemetery. James enlisted in the US Army and served in the infantry in France during WW I. He was a prison of war and was awarded a Bronze Victory button. After the way he moved to Detroit and worked as a machinist for Ford .

Clarence Edward (1893-1952) "Mac" as some called him was born in Cherry Township and died of colon cancer in Buffalo, NY. In 1917 he married Irish-born Catherine "Kitty" Morrison (1888-) daughter of James "Jim Daddy" Morrison and Catherine Driscoll. The two met in NYC through some friends of hers and it was love at first sight. Catherine was born in County Cork in the year of the great blizzard dubbed by one novelist as the Great Wind. Her mother. s family was involved with the Fenian Movement. The Morrison family patriarch was Rev. John Morrison, a Presbyterian minister from Perth Scotland, who married an Irish, moved to Ireland and converted to Roman Catholicism. Soon after the couple were married, they moved to Long Beach, Nassau County, Long Island where he worked various jobs as a Trolley Conductor, Police officer and the first paid Fireman of the city. When his younger sister, Mary Clare (Aunt May) moved to Long Beach in 1922 she stayed with Kitty and Clarence at their Minnesota Ave. residence until she got married to Tom Moriarity. Clarence and Catherine had four children:

    Michael (1918-19740) died of a heat attack in Miami, FL and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He graduated Long Beach High School, NY. He was an Army Colonel and was part of the bloody Normandy Invasion on D-day and the Battle of Hotten in Belgium where he was wounded and decorated with the Silver Star and Purple Heart. Michael married Teresa Hines (c.1920-) about 1945. She too is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They had the six children:

    C. Michael (1947-1998) died in a sky diving accident and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, VA. He received two Purple Hearts from wounds as a Marine in Vietnam. From 1962-1995 hi was a police officer in Miami FL. He was married to Jackie and they had one child, Theresa.

Lynn (1952-) was in Salzburg, AUS and married a Mr. Hoban.

Robert "Bobby" (1952-) was born in Salzburg, AUS.

Susan "Susie" (1954-) married a Mr. Turner.

Phyllis married a Mr. Healy.

Gayle

    Catherine "Clare" (1919-) retired from Young and Rubicon, NYC. About 1954 she married Dennis Joseph Carey Jr, (1917-) son of Denis Carey Sr. Dennis Jr. was born in Brooklyn, NY. Both Clare and Dennis Sr. live at Sands Point, NY and attended the McDonald Reunion Planning meeting in June 1999 along with their son "DJ". They have the following five children:

Dennis James "DJ" (1953-) lives in NYC

Greg (1955-)

      Robert James McDonald (1956-) was born in Manhasset, NY and now lives in Maplewood, NJ. In 1989 he married Roberta "Robin" Browning Fray (1954-) who was born in Charlottesville, VA. They have two children born in New York City, Preston Joseph Fray (1990-) and James Duncan (1992-). Bob graduated with a BA in History from Trinity College in Hartford, CT and is VP with the International Rescue Committee. Robin received a BA in English from the University Of Virginia and is Principal, The Custom Publishing Group.

Geoffrey (c.1957-)

Cynthia (c.1959-) married Charles "Chip" LaLone and they live in Philadelphia.

 

Robert J. Sr (1926-) was born in Long Beach, NY. He kept in touch with Mary Moriarity and her son Kevin and had a good visit with them in Chicago before she died. He recalls being shipped to Dushore during the summers for hard work with Uncles Art and Jack. In the 50's after college, he visited Tom and Jeri McDonald in Detroit, "Red" and Gene McDonald in Buffalo, and their families and moved to California in 1962. He lost touch with the Dailys and Caseys (families of Kate and Mary, the older sisters of Annie Sweeney, who moved to Philadelphia in the 1890. s and married there) in the Philadelphia area, whom he used to see frequently when he was with the Eversharp and Schick Co as Director of Mid Atlantic states. Bob married Pamela Lynch in 1960 in Chicago (Cook) IL. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and met Bob at Loyola University Law School and later changed careers to become an award winning copywriter. They live in Woodland Hills, CA and run a successful real estate business. They have five children:

Robert Jr (1961-)

James "Jim" (1962-) is a "Heavy Metal" Rock Musician

Catherine "Kathi" (1964-) married Steve LaBella, owner of LaBella Cucina in LA. They have two daughters, Devyn and Dakota, and a son Christian.

Shannon (1967-) married Michael Goldstein and both are Criminal Attorneys in Palm Springs CA.

Heather (1970-) is a partner in the family Real Estate business and a comic, writer, actor. She wrote for the Keenan Ivory Waymans show and played the lead in TV pilots and commercials. She has been featured on Comedy Central's Make Me Laugh.

Anne Marie (1929-) attended St. Agnes HS in Rockville Center, NY. In 1951 she married Robert C. McAvoy (1930-1989) son of Charles Aloysius and Dorothy "Dolly" McHale. He ran the family plumbing business in Long Beach NY. They had seven children:

Robert Colbert Aloysius "Coley" (1951-) was born in Long Beach and learned the plumbing trade from his father and grandfather but left the family business and was doing the plumbing for the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack. In 1975 he married Patricia Bell and they had two children, Sean (1975-) and Kelly Maureen (1979-1986) who died of congenital heart disease.

Nancy (1952-) born in Long Beach and is a radio disk jockey. About 1978 she married James Donlecott.

Karin (1955-) was born in Long Beach, NY. She married Dominick Gioglio in 1974 and had two daughters, Katherine and Tara. After the birth of their second child, they separated and divorced. Karin then married Peter Angelo, the best man at her first marriage.

Kevin Sr. (1956-) VP in his father's Long Beach plumbing business. In 1983 he married Stephanie Craine and they have a son Kevin Craine "KC" (1986-)

Margaret "Peggy" (1960-1989) was killed when struck by train on the Long Island RR. For six years she worked in the developmental education program for the United Cerebral Palsy Center of Nassau County, NY. During the time she was attending St. John's University she completed a paper on family history for a course. It was from her writings that I have taken the McAvoy and some McDonald history. Margaret (McDonald) Long recalls that Peggy gathered quite a lot of McDonald history from her great-aunt, Mary (McDonald) Moriarty (Aunt May). In 1976 she and her sister Karin went to Ireland with their aunt Kitty Morrison for a month and saw lots of the relatives.

Michael (1964-) was born in Long Beach, NY and is in the family plumbing business.

Charles (1965-) was born in Long Beach, NY and was in the family plumbing business before joining the Roofers and Allied Workers Union in NYC.

       

Thomas Bernard, Sr (1894-1978) was born Cherry and died in Grosse Pointe, MI. He and his wife Harriet MARIE BRETZA lived outside of Detroit at Grosse Point and had two children: Thomas Jerome ("Tom, Jr") who married DOROTHY A. RENNELL and Mary Ann who married Hugh Montpetit
Note: According to Ruth Bluma, the correct spelling of the name should be "Breza". The "t" shows up in the birth certificate for Harriet's father (and Ruth's grandfather), Ignatz Bretza, but it is not clear just when it was added. Ruth is the daughter of Antoinette Bretza, who was the sister of Harriet Marie Bretza and she is therefore first cousin to Mary Ann McDonald..

Arthur Hugh (1896-1963) was born in Cherry and died in the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. He is buried in St. Basil. s RC Cemetery. His daughter Sister Rose Anita North described him as "very tall and thin." About 1916 he married Veronica North (1903-1992) and farmed and worked in the creamery in Dushore. Veronica. s younger sister Blanche married Arthur's 1st cousin Joseph Jerome Frawley, son of Thomas James Frawley and Annie Sweeney. s sister Elizabeth Sweeney. Arthur and Veronica had five children:

Anna Marie (1932-) was born in Sullivan County and married Charles Saxe. They have a daughter Catherine.

Robert John (1935-1993) was born in Dushore and buried at St. Basil. s RC Cemetery, Dushore, PA. He was a movie projectionist.

Rose (1935-) a twin to Robert was born in Dushore and in 1955 was married at St. Basil. s to Harold Drummond by Rev. William M. Mellody

Gerald Peter (1944-) attended the McDonald Reunion planning meeting in 1999 with his sister Mary Denise. In 1965 he married Jane Featherbay at St. Basil. s RC Church and now lives in New Albany, PA

Mary Denise (1948-) married Jacob Yonkin at St. Basil. s RC Church and have two children, Karen and Daniel. Jake is the son of Carl Yonkin and Florence Kast..
Note: Source for this information is Mary Denise Yonkin, July 2003.

Martin Anthony "Red" (1897-1966) was born in Dushore and died in Buffalo NY. He was a delegate for the Carpenter. s union. In 1923 he was married in Buffalo to Helen Stocker (-1976) by Rev. Edward Brett Curia. Both are buried 1966 in Holy Cross Cemetery, Lackawanna, NY. Martin and Helen had seven children:

John (-1979) married his 2nd cousin Burchill, g-daughter of "AB" Burchill and Annie McDonald

Nancy (c.1928-) had a son Michael.

William (c.1929-) moved to Oklahoma City.

Margaret (c.1930-) married Frank Covell

Gerald (-1966) was a cook and died in a restaurant fire.

Michael (-1983) suffered from TB and died in an auto accident. He married Margaret and they had: Maureen, Katherine, Eileen, and Patrick.

James died at age three.

Eugene Patrick "Gene" (1899-1957) was born in Cherry and died in Buffalo NY of a coronary embolism. He was a fireman in Buffalo. In 1930 he married Catherine M. Campbell (-1983) at St. Teresa RC Church, Buffalo and they had five children:

    Margaret ("Margie") (1931-) was a college teacher and married John Long. Their son Patrick (1967-) married Sandra Block

Robert/FONT> (1933-1992) was a bartender

Thomas (1935-) is an attorney.

Loretta (1936-) married a Mr. Hughes

Michael (1943-)

John Francis "Jack" (1900-1980) was born in Cherry and died at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, PA of a lingering illness. He is buried at St. Basil's RC Cemetery. In 1934 he married Stella Theresa Lech (1913-) of Larksville, PA at St. Francis RC Church in Mildred. She was the daughter of Anthony Lech and Mary Ann Baravitzky. They lived and farmed on the old McDonald homestead in Cherry and had five children:

The McDonald boys harvesting potatoes at the farm on Jacks
Road, Cherry Mills, PA.. From left to right: Unknown (possibly cousin
James "Cricket" McDonald), Thomas, Ray, Gene and father Jack. About
1955-1960. Photo courtesy of Ray and Linda McDonald.
 The McDonald Boys

Here is a picutre of Stella, who was still alive and healthy in 2002, taken in 1997 with several "family".


Stella (Lech) McDonald in 1997
Widow of John Francis McDonald
L to r: Ray McDonald (son); Becca Sweeney and Bob Sweeney
(third cousin of Ray and daughter); and Stella
Photo Taken by Lynn Franklin
On Porch of Thomas McDonald, Ray's Brother, Where Stella Was Living

Joseph Leo (1935-) was born in Dushore and married Joan McColgan (1937-) in 1956 at Holy Trinity RC, Philadelphia PA. She was born in Philadelphia, PA and they live and farm in Ringdale, PA. They have eleven children:

Deborah (1957-) and married Robert Hoover about 1977. They have two boys: Joshua and Nicholas

Joseph Leo Jr. (1958-) married Karen Madden about 1978 and they have a son Colin (c.1980-)

Kathleen (1959 -) married Michael McCarthy (c.1958), son of Bud McCarthy, about 1979 and has three children: Tara, Ann and Shawn Michael (1987-)

James (Jan 1962-) married Dawn Reedy about 1982 and they have a daughter Nichole (c.1983-).

Denise (1962-) married James Blasi about 1982 and has a daughter Gabriel (born about 1983).

Michael (1963-)

Michelle married Edward Boston

Colleen (May 1970-) married Leonard Thomas Shultz.

Eileen

Kevin married Angela Lentz, daughter of Stan and Robin Lentz of Dushore; they have two boys: Kess Joseph and Kye Joseph (born January 13, 2003 at Memorial Hospital in Towanda, PA)

Thomas

James Bernard (1936-) was born (Sullivan) PA and was living in Ringdale and Dushore.

Eugene Francis "Gene" Sr (1938-2008) was born in Dushore. From 1957-1960 he served in the Marines. He was a bulldozer operator. In 1964 Gene married Mary Anne Sobatka (c.1940-) in St. Pius RC Church, Broomall, PA. The marriage ended in divorce. They had the following children: Eugene, Jr (born about 1965, see picture below) and Karen Lynn (born about 1966). Gene's marriage to Carol Riordan in about 1968 also ended in divorce. They had the following children:

Dianne

Michael Francis (1970 -)

Stephanie (1971-); married Donald Trimble. Their son, Dylan Reilly Trimble, was born July 7, 2003 at Williamsport Hospital, Williamsport, PA.

In 1984 Gene married Deborah Christman, daughter of Robert and Carol Margaret Huffman. Deborah (born c.1957) was born in Eagles Mere, PA. They had a daughter, Amber. Gene and Deborah attended the 1999 McDonald Reunion Planning Meeting in Dushore. He died unexpectedly in the summer of 2008 [obituary below].

Wyalusing Rocket-Courier
Wyalusing, PA
August 7, 2008

Eugene Francis McDonald, 70, well-known Dushore resident, passed away on Wednesday, July 30, 2008 at Evangelical Hospital, Lewisburg, PA. Born in Cherry Township on Feb. 6, 1938, he was a son of the late John Francis (Jack) McDonald and Stella Theresa Lech. He graduated from St. Basilís High School, a member of the Class of 1956. After graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served from 1956 to 1960. He worked for an insurance company in Philadelphia and later went to barber school in Philadelphia. He worked as a barber for several years in the Philadelphia area. He returned to Sullivan County and worked for GTE Sylvania for several years. A member of St. Basilís Church, Dushore, he was also a member of the Sons of the American Legion, Squadron #601, Sonestown. He thoroughly enjoyed raising horses and being outdoors. Surviving are his spouse, Deborah McDonald of Unityville; sons and daughter-in-law, Eugene McDonald of Hilo, HI and Michael and Joy McDonald of Canon AFB, NM; three daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Roger Mina of Honolulu, HI, Stephanie and Donald Trimble of Pennsdale and Amber McDonald of Unityville; two stepsons, Mark White of Picture Rocks and Shawn White of Muncy Valley; step-daughters, Diane and husband, Kellen Bonnell of Rose Valley and Danielle White of Unityville; four brothers and sisters-in-law, Joseph and Joan McDonald of Dushore, James McDonald of Scranton, Raymond and Linda McDonald of Dushore, Thomas and Karen McDonald of Dushore; grandsons, Dylan Trimble and Dante Mina and seven step-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at noon on Friday, Aug. 8 at St. Basilís Church, Dushore, with the Rev. Joseph R. Hornick, his pastor, presiding. Friends may call at the church on Friday from 11 a.m. until the time of the Mass.
The family asks that memorial contributions be sent to the Amber McDonald Scholarship Fund, Muncy Bank and Trust, Hughesville, PA 17737. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore.
To send condolences or sign the e-guestbook, please go to homerfuneralhome.com.


Eugene "Gene" Mcdonald, Jr
Son of Eugene Francis McDoanld and Mary Anne Sobatka
Taken in Hawaii in the 1990s
Photo contributed by Eugene McDonald, Jr.

Raymond John "Ray" (1943-) was born in Sayre, PA. In 1970 he married Linda Karge (1947-), a daughter of Ralph John Karge and Geraldine Leona Crawford who had a farm near New Albany in Sullivan County. Their children are Raymond John Jr. (1970-) and Gwen Alicia (1972 -) who married Shawn Klingler (1972-). Ray McDonald used to bring his grandmother Annie (Sweeney) McDonald flowers when he was a child and was in the bedroom when she passed away after being bedridden with illness. Ray and Linda hosted the 1999 Planning Meeting for the McDonald-Sweeney Reunion at their farmhouse in Cherry Mills.

Thomas Patrick McDonald (1951-) married Karen E. Bohensky (1955-) in Dushore and they have three children:

Jennifer (1982-)

Patrick Francis (1984-)

Melanie Theresa.

Mary Clare (Aunt "May") (1902-1994) was born in Cherry and died of a stroke in Vernon Hills, IL some seven miles from her son Kevin. s house at Libertyville. I met her for the 1st and only time at her home in Long Beach, NY in 1982 when I came to see her about family history. A few years earlier she had retired as the secretary and bookkeeper for Mayor of Long Beach. Ironically I had worked and lived in Long Beach just a few years earlier with no idea I had relatives so nearby. Mary was active playing bridge, and lit up talking about the number of nephews and nieces who phoned. Mary like her siblings was my 1C1R. We ate at a new restaurant in nearby Island Park where we ate, drank and talked for several hours. Mary recalled taking The Black Diamond (Lehigh Valley RR) from New York to Buffalo, stopping at Towanda and then going onto Dushore. On one of her first trips to Towanda, my uncle Jim Laughlin (her 1st cousin) met her and tried to pass her off as his girlfriend. She remembered going to dances in Wysox with Jim, Bob, and Francis Laughlin and how friendly was the family.

She was very fond of her Aunt Celia (my grandmother) whom she visited at the grocery store that Celia and grandpa owned in Towanda. She recalled Celia as the most wonderful, warm, good-natured and hard-working person she knew. How sad it was that I did not grow up knowing all my McDonald relatives. In 1926 she married a Hartford, CT man, Thomas Moriarity (c.1900-1981), who eventually became the city Police Chief. They met working in the same town under a federal law enforcement grant. He was a genealogist at heart, loving to visit cemeteries. He died in Long Beach of a heart attack and stroke. Tom and May had two children:

    Donald (1933-1977) was born in Long Beach and died in New York City at age 44 when an out-of-control-car drove up onto the side walk and struck him while he sat at a café. He was a top buyer for Alexander's Dept. Store. His nieces and nephews loved and knew him as "Donald Duck" according to Aunt Clare McDonald.

    Thomas Kevin (1938-) was born in Long Beach and moved to Libertyville, IL where he works in sales. In 1963 he married a teacher, Catherine F. O. Neil (c.1939-1997) in Chicago, IL. They had two children:

      Thomas Kevin, Jr. (1964-) born in Chicago, and is a Yale graduate working in New York City. He married Dianne Button.

      Brendan Michael (1965-) born in Chicago and married to Lisa Riva

Ambrose Gerald (1906-1937) was born and died in Cherry Mills. He died of pneumonia and is buried in St. Basil. s RC Cemetery. There is a group photo from his funeral in November 1937 at which his mother, Annie Sweeney, sister and surviving brothers are all pictured near the McDonald homestead.

An excerpt from Burchill Brothers Monuments, The Settler, Bradford County Historical Society, 1999

By Henry G. Farley

One hundred and twenty-one years ago in May of 1878, three young men from Elmira, New York founded Burchill Brothers, manufacturers and dealers in marble and granite monuments and all cemetery work. The Burchill brothers, Arthur, Abraham and William, had been living in Towanda for several years, while each of them served three-year apprenticeships in the marble cutter's trade. The Burchills were known for their careful attention to business and courteous, honest dealings. They built a fine business and the name and fame of Burchill Brothers extended far beyond Bradford County. The Burchill family story began in Elmira, NY in 1854. This was the year that Richard and Catherine (OíDriscoll) Burchill came to America with their seven children ranging in age from 13 years to new born. The children in the family at that time were John (b. 1841), Thomas (b. 1843), Richard (b. 1844), Margaret (b. 1847), Arthur (b, 1851), Samuel (b. 1853), and Hannah (b. 1854). Two more Burchill children, Abraham (b. 1856) and William (b. 1857), were born after the family arrived in Elmira. The trip from their home in County Cork, Ireland to America must have been an amazing feat for Richard and Catherine. They were about 34 years old, leaving everything they knew in life, their home and families, to travel by ship for several weeks with seven children to a foreign land to start a new life. Richard engaged in business in Elmira, New York as a contractor, a successful business that he continued until his death at age 4O, November 8, 1857.

The last partner at Burchill Brothers, Abraham B. Burchill, died November 11, 1933, just eight months after his brother William. Mr. Burchill's health had been declining since the death of his brother Will, May 1. Abraham B. Burchill married Annie McDonald of Sullivan County, Pennsylvania on November 23, 1881. Annie was the daughter of Peter and Katherine (Waters) McDonald. Abraham's devotion to his loved ones was his greatest enjoyment in life. The passing of his wife in 1923 was a grievous shock from which he found it hard to recover. He was a husband and father of deep understanding and tenderness that made him respected by those who came in close contact with him personally throughout the years.

Like his brothers, he had a strict code of business ethics and always believed in living by the golden rule. The benefit of any doubt was always given to others. As a result, his friends were numerous and news of his death brought deep grief to many, not only in Towanda but also throughout the entire countryside. Abraham Burchill is remembered for his almost military carriage as he walked to and from the family business each day.

Anna McDonald Burchill was born in Dushore, Pennsylvania in 1857. She died at the family home on Fifth Street in Towanda on December 12,1923. Arthur and Annie Burchill were the parents of seven children:

∑ Catherine who named Martin J. Hayes and lived in Elmira, New York.

∑ Helen who married John J. Carroll of Sayre, Pennsylvania. They lived in Rochester, NY.

∑ Anna "Nan" who lived in Towanda where she ran a very successful millinery shop. Nan died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident n North Towanda Township, on August 18, 1967.

∑ John married Margaret O'Sullivan from "overshot" North Towanda Township. They had two children Donald and Rita.

∑ May married William Fitzgerald and they lived in New York City.

∑ Arthur Thomas who named Marie Clark lived in Jamaica Queens, New York where Arthur was a successful dentist.

∑ Marguerite married D. Vincent Connor on February 4, 1939 in Blossburg, Pennsylvania. Vincent was born in Philadelphia on January 16, 191O, the son of Daniel Patrick and Kathryn Kelly Connor. Vincent grew up in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. Marguerite had become the sole owner of Burchill Brothers upon the death of her father and for a period of time the business was known as M.B. Burchill Monument Company, later to be called M..B. Connor successor to Burchill Brothers Manufacturers and Dealers in Marble and Granite Memorials. Marguerite Burchill died March 31, old at the time of his death.

∑ Hannah, born in 19OO, was the youngest child of and Abraham and Annie Burchill. She married Frank Clark and lived in Miami.

The death of Marguerite Burchill Connor brought an end to the family business that had thrived in Towanda for nearly 1OO years. She and Vincent Connor had no children and there was no one left to carry on the family business. There is not a local cemetery that doesn't have an example of the fine craftsmanship of the Burchill brothers. Because of the quality of their work, the name of Burchill Brothers will live on for as long as our cemeteries exist. The contributions of the Burchill family to the area have been many. Theirs is a family that will long be remembered.

by permission of Henry G. Farley, Executive Director, Bradford County Historical Society 21 Main Street, Towanda, PA

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