Friday, January 23, 2009

Photo Friday - Peter Frederick Degnan

Peter Frederick Degnan
1883 Boston, MA - 1940 Quonset, RI

I'm not 100% positive that this picture is Peter Degnan. However, I'm around 90% sure.

His facial features seem to match up with my grandfather's, his son, along with certain other noted characteristics within the grandsons.

My uncle came across this picture in his attic a while back without any identification on it. I'm thankful he passed it along to me. As noted previously, my grandfather, Leo F. Degnan, was great at taking pictures but failed to write on them.

This man took me on a mystery ride regarding his death. Rumor had it that he drowned in RI while doing plumbing work at Quonset AFB in RI around the WWII. I finally got a hold of his death certificate which confirmed this family rumor. He was still residing up in Roxbury, MA, at the time.

I am about to embark on a new mystery swirling around Peter. One that I have just unearthed by mistake. The NEHGS had a marriage record for dear old great grandpa. However, it wasn't to my great grandmother. He was 17 and was listed as marrying Catharine Driscoll on October 4, 1900. I searched for death records to no avail. Then I searched for birth records. I found a birth record for Katherine Frances Degnan born January 6, 1901, Boston, MA, to Peter Degnan, plumber. That's my guy. But, who is Katherine???? And, where is Katherine????

This is my father's aunt and my grandfather's step-sister and we have never heard of this person. I rang my father this morning and I do believe I heard his jaw drop over the phone. Census records have Katherine/Catheline/Kathaleen (yes, all those different spellings apply) living with her mom Catherine in 1910 and 1920. I still haven't located her in 1930. I'm assuming that she must have married.

I would love to get to the bottom of this mystery and find great aunt Katherine Degnan. It's a brand new mystery discovered only last night. Amazing!

Colleen Degnan Johnson

CMJ Office

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