Tombstones Have Errors, Too: Part Two

In my previous post, Tombstone Have Errors Too: Part One, I showed how my skepticism about the date on Michael Kelly’s tombstone lead me to search further for information on his death.  I found a newspaper article in the Daily Alta that told of a Michael Kelly who had committed suicide on the same day, but a year earlier.  It gave the name of an Uncle, John Kelly, and the fact that John Kelly’s wife died just a couple days earlier.  My next step was to find John Kelly.

My first stop was the 1880 Census.  I found a couple of possible John Kelly’s living on Jessie Street who owned saloons.  But, nothing really stood out and said “Yes, I am the one!”

I decided to do some background work in the San Francisco city directories.  Since I knew where Kelly’s saloon was in 1881, I started there.

I found quite a bit of information from this search:

1881 City Directory shows this information Kelly, John, liquor saloon, 186 Jessie, r.632 Mission

Ah…this proves the John Kelly’s I found in the 1880 Census on Jessie weren’t him.  None of the addresses match.  More importantly, the Kelly’s resided on Mission.  It’s interesting because this guy had caught my eye before.  Martin Kelly, Michael Kelly’s Father, had lived on Jessie Street but moved to Mission Road where he owned 2 or 3 saloon/boardinghouses.  I found it interesting that there was a John Kelly living out there, too.

The 1882 City Directory shows  that John Kelly’s saloon was in the same place, but he no longer lived on Mission.  His entry now shows: Kelly, John, liquor saloon, 186 Jessie, r. 184 Jessie (possibly the same building?)

There is no entry for Michael in 1882, which is a good sign if he’s the guy who died in 1881.

For 1881, I find this:  Kelly, Michael F. bartender John Kelly, r. 632 Mission.

Well, this links Michael to John.  They lived at the same address in 1881!

In 1879, Michael is listed as:  Kelly, Michael, saloon keeper, 27 Minna.  His father, Martin Kelly, is listed at the same adress but as a boardinghouse owner.  There is no entry for a Michael Kelly working for John Kelly.  Meanwhile, John Kelly appears as:  Kelly, John (Kelly & Burns), dwl 186 Jessie.

In 1875, addresses change once again.  John Kelly is listed as:  Kelly, John (Kelly & Burns), dwl 400 Geary.  He sure did move around alot!

I find this entry for Michael Kelly:  Kelly, Michael, barkeeper, Kelly & Burns, dwl 111 Jessie.  I didn’t find an entry for Martin Kelly.  But, the address “111 Jessie” is important!  It’s the address where Martin Kelly and family lived in 1869.  They stayed on Jessie street for a few more years.

In 1874, John Kelly proved once again to be nomadic.  His entry read:  Kelly, John, (Kelly & Burns), dwl 320 Fifth.  I think he was trying to live on every street in San Francisco.  LOL

There is no entry for Michael in 1874, but his father Martin is listed as: Kelly, Martin, laborer, dwl 109 Jessie, rear.

1875 appears to be the first year Michael Kelly appears on his own.  In 1873, Martin Kelly is listed as: Kelly, Martin, lodgings, 107 Jessie.  John Kelly is listed as Kelly, John, laborer, dwl 111 Jessie.  Once again, the address 111 Jessie comes up.  Is it a coincidence that these Kelly’s all lived at the same address at one time or another?

The last city directory I checked before my eyes got bleary was 1869.  There I find these entries:

Kelly, John, marblepolisher with Black & Mulaney, dwl 111 Jessie.

Kelly, Martin, boarding, 111 Jessie

I believe that this is what I was looking for!  I have found a John Kelly and my Martin Kelly living at the same address in 1869.  It’s possible this is another John Kelly.  It would be interesting to see if marble polisher John is in the city diretories at the same time saloon keeper/boardinghouse John.

I think next I should look at the census to see if I can find the Kelly’s now that I know where they lived.

A good days work, don’t you think?  I’ve established the possibility that all these Kelly’s could be related.


Tombstones Can Have Errors, Too: Part One


Recently, a volunteer at sent my photographs of my Kelly family tombstone at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, CA.  Not only was my Great Great Grandmother’s name on the stone, but a couple of her sons.

I was disappointed to find that Michael Kelly was not the Michael Kelly that I had been tracking in the San Francisco city directories up to 1890.  My Michael Kelly died 8 July 1882–or did he?

I tried unsuccessfully to find Michael’s obituary in online indexes.  I even went page by page through newspapers around that date, but came up with nothing.  So, I put the whole darn thing away.

Last night, I took another look.  It occurred to me that something was amiss with Michael’s age.  I noted that he was born 13 March 1853.  The age on the tombstone said “27 years”, but it should have read “29 years”. This got me thinking.  We all know that people didn’t always know their own age, and a person reporting information under the influence of grief, might be off a year or too.  Still, I had to wonder.  I have found obituaries for Martin and Catherine Kelly’s children who died in the 1870s.  Why not Michael?

On a whim, I decided to check the San Francisco newspapers for the same date in 1881 and 1880.  Maybe the year on the stone was wrong.

It didn’t take long before I found what I was looking for.  On the 9th of July, the Daily Alta Newspaper had this little number…


A Michael Kelly committed suicide on the same day my Michael Kelly died–only it was 1881 not 1882!  He was the nephew of John Kelly.  Michael was crippled (it doesn’t say how so) and he was mourning the loss of his Aunt who had died 6 days earlier.

I was jumping for joy.  This was my guy!  This was my guy!  Then I stepped back and doubt set in.  What information in this article pointed to my Michael Kelly?  I knew that he had lived on Jessie Street at one or another.  I also knew that he was a bartender for his father’s saloon a couple of years earlier.

I knew I was on to something, but I still had to prove it.  I either had to prove this was my Michael or that John Kelly was Martin Kelly’s brother.  I planned to see what the census, the newspapers, and city directories would tell me about John Kelly.


Wedding Chapel Wednesday: Benedict Iida and Rosa Medeiros


Getting back to Wedding Chapel Wednesday…

This wedding photo is of Benedict “Ben” Iida and Rosa Medeiros.  Benedict was born 2 Jan 1908 in Kilauea, Kauai, HI.  His parents were Joseph Shintaro Iida and Louisa Pacheco.  His Father was Japanese and his Mother was the daughter of Azorean immigrants.  Rosa’s parents were Joao Medeiros Toucado and Virginia Flora.  Her Father was Brasilian and her Mother Azorean.

I am not sure exactly when they married.  Most likely it was around 1930.