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I don't know much about her, but she had a hard life.  She first appears in Liverpool, in the slums of Scotland Road, in the 1851 census, living with her husband, mother-in-law, teenaged brother-in-law and 6 month old son. All but the baby had been born in Ireland, most likely they were famine refugees, barely staying alive with so many others. They were lodgers in a household that already contained a family of seven.  Cozy-like.

At the end of the decade, they split up, for a bit, and the baby, Martin, arrived in New York Harbor the day after Christmas, 1859 in the company of Bridget Graham, apparently an aunt, but not one who had been in the household eight years earlier. Mary, her husband Patrick, and a younger son, John apparently arrived with Pat's mother (also Mary) on a separate ship, and by 1860 they were in Hudson, New York with another baby, Margaret, just a month old at the census.

She made her way with Pat to Scranton, where he worked in the mines - at least until his records show his enlistment inthe Union Army at Culpepper, West Va. His next few years are fairly well documented with miltary records - until he disappeared into the bowels of Andersonville, not to be seen until a prisoner exchange at Jacksonville Florida let him return to the north.  We don't know how he spent the next few years, but he, and his mother, and Martin appear in Springfield Ohio, the end of Jefferson's highway, in 1880.

She, on the other hand, has vanished.  Or not.  The curse of the common name.  What did happen to Mary Graham while hr husband was away at war?  How did she survive - or did she survive?

And what do you do when you find hundreds of "leads" but no likely hits?  

Originally posted to Genealogy and Family History Community on Fri Jan 25, 2013 at 05:50 PM PST.

Also republished by Shamrock American Kossacks.

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