Teaching Jobs & Women

I think my mother, Virginia (Brown) Murray (1917-1982), would have loved to know and talk with her grandchildren. I am thinking of one of her grandchildren in particular who today is leaving one high school, in which she taught business courses and coached girls’ soccer, for a position in another high school. She never knew my mother, who was also a teacher.

In contrast to my successful niece, my mother was not successful in getting a permanent teaching position as a mathematics teacher when she graduated from college in 1937. The country was still amidst the Great Depression, jobs were scarce, and math teachers tended to coach boys’ athletics.

From family reports, it seems she would have preferred to work and earn money rather than attend college in 1933. Continue reading “Teaching Jobs & Women”

Old Newspapers Reveal Surprise

I guess having ingested some silly childhood myth that went “no one in our family (except for Uncle Eddie) has ever been divorced” explains why I was surprised to find the following news about my great aunt, Mary Brown, reported in 1924 and 1935 in The Ostego Farmer.


Mary Brown (1888-1976) married Pearly Hanlon in 1907. They had 2 children: Doris and William Hanlon. She was buried in a plot with her two children in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Oneonta, NY. The name on her gravestone is Mary B. Norwood. I assumed Pearly Hanlon had died prior to Mary’s marriage to Mr. Norwood. Au contraire! Continue reading “Old Newspapers Reveal Surprise”

Patrick Brown 1841-1901

To the best of my knowledge, Patrick was born in Murraugh Parish, County Cork, Ireland in February of 1841. He immigrated to the United States about 1851, along with his parents, James Brown and Johannah Murphy, as well as his sister, Ellen, and his three brothers, John, Michael, and James. The 1860 US Federal Census indicates that Patrick, his parents, and his sister Ellen could neither read nor write.

Patrick was 43 when he married Mary Watson in 1884 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg, New York. Mary died at home from Typhoid fever in 1899 at age 44. Tragically, Patrick died two years later at age 60. Continue reading “Patrick Brown 1841-1901”