Sunday, May 10, 2020

2020 Prompt - Same Name - Josephine Mary Stackpoole

Ancestor – Josephine Mary Stackpoole 1876-1956
My grandmother, Mary Catherine Cronin's first cousin

My mother, Josephine Blanche Martin, always said she got her name because they drew it out of a hat. She always thought her name was different since her siblings were named after their grandparents and their parents. Her brother was named Edward William, named after his great grandfather, Edward William Martin. Her older sister, Nina, was named after her grandmother, Nina Wilcox and her baby sister, Beatrice Mary, was named after her mother's best friend Beatrice and her mother Mary.  

Mom's middle name was Blanche named after her father's aunt, Blanche Wilcox.  But there were no immediate relatives with the name of Josephine. Josephine is known to be the feminine version of Joseph and there are no relatives in this family named Joseph. We know the most famous Josephine was Napoleon's wife but why did her my mother’s parents select the name of Josephine?

Sometimes it takes years of researching ancestors to make a family connection. My mother's maternal grandmother was Bridgette Stackpoole. So, several years ago I researched the Stackpoole family and found that Bridgette had a brother, Thomas James Stackpoole, whose daughter was Josephine Mary Stackpoole.  Could this be my mother’s name sake?

Josephine would have been my grandmother's first cousin. Growing up, my grandmother lived at 211 Nineteenth Street[1] in the Irish part of Detroit called Corktown about 4 blocks from her cousin, Josephine Stackpoole, living on Johnson Street[2].

Josephine Stackpoole was born October 17, 1876[3] and was quite a bit older than my grandmother who was born in 1895.  Josephine Stackpoole had a younger sister Margaret much closer to my grandmother's age, so I'm sure Josephine had a big influence on her younger sister and my grandmother.

When my mother was born June 2, 1923[4], Josephine Stackpoole was 46[5] and was still unmarried living with her two brothers since her father had died in 1902[6] and her mother had died in 1916[7]. The next year 1924[8], Josephine Stackpoole finally married a man named William Curran, but she never had any children.  In the 1910[9] and 1920[10] census, Josephine is listed as a telephone operator.  This is interesting because when my mother graduated from high school in 1940, she worked as a telephone operator. Did her mother's cousin help her get this job?  If she did my mother never mentioned this to us.

Josephine Stackpole Curran lived until September 28, 1956[11] when she died at the age 79 in Detroit and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan and is laid to rest near my grandmother.

I’m quite sure my mother’s name wasn’t drawn out of a hat and it is very possible that my mother, Josephine Blanche Martin, was named after her mother’s cousin, Josephine Stackpoole. My mother would be elated to know she had a granddaughter with the same name, Josephine!

[2] 1910 US Federal Census, Detroit, Ward 10, Wayne, Michigan, Ed-145, page 18A, line 27, head of household, Stackpoole, Mary.
[3] Michigan, Births and Christenings Index, 1867-1911, Mary Josephine Stackpoole,
[4] U.S., World War II Cadet Nursing Corps Card Files, 1942-1948, Josephine Blanche Martin,
[6] Michigan, Death Records, 1897-1920, Thomas James Stackpoole,
[7] Michigan, Death Records, 1897-1920, Mary Stackpoole,
[8] Michigan, Marriage Records, 1867-1952, Mary J. Stackpoole, Ancestry.Com
[9] 1910 US Federal Census, Detroit, Ward 10, Wayne, Michigan, ED 145, page 18A, line 27, head of household –   Stackpoole, Mary A.,
[10] 1920 US Federal Census, Detroit, Ward 10, Wayne, Michigan, Ed 297, page 10B, line 59, head of household, Stackpoole, Josephine M.,
[11] Detroit Free Press, Detroit, Michigan, 28 Sep 1956, page 37, Curran, Josephine nee Stackpoole,

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