Second in a March 2017 series about my Irish (Dempsey) and Welsh (Owen) ancestors in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Maryland.
In 1992, I decided to take a genealogy road trip to Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Maryland to visit the homes and neighborhoods where my Irish and Welsh ancestors, the Dempseys and the Owens, had lived during 1800s and early 1900s.
I lived nearby in Washington, D.C., then, but planned to move back to New York City soon, so the time seemed right to visit the home city of the Welsh-Irish ancestors I knew so little about.
Road trip reconnaissance
I was excited about giving substance to the addresses I had collected for my Dempsey and Owen ancestors — and was tempted to rush off to Baltimore right away.
But any successful road trip takes planning, so I sat down to draw up a one-day itinerary of every ancestral location I wanted to visit — building a sort of Baltimore Baedeker that would serve as my guide for the journey of discovery.
New Cathedral Cemetery
Their obituaries said my great grandmother Elizabeth C. (Dempsey) Owen and her mother Katherine (Gormley) Dempsey were buried in Baltimore’s New Cathedral Cemetery. So I called the cemetery to see if their staff could provide the burial location.
“Yes, we have records for them,” said the woman at the cemetery office. “They are in a family plot in Section SS. It belonged to Clinton Webb.” She promised to send a map of the cemetery, then read me all the names and burial dates.
That’s when I learned that a host of other Dempsey-Owen family members were laid to rest with my ancestors around one central stone — gathered together for eternity as they had been in life.
My direct ancestors are highlighted in the table below, and I have added relationships for reference. But where was my great, great grandfather William P. Dempsey? I wondered.
|New Cathedral Cemetery – Dempsey-Owen Graves – Sect. SS, Lot 212|
|2 April 1907||Clinton Webb||Husband of Mary A. (Dempsey) Webb|
|15 Dec. 1909||Francis Owen||Son of Frank H. & Elizabeth (Dempsey) Owen|
|24 Aug. 1916||Lillian Irene Dempsey||Grand-daughter of Katherine (Gormley) and William P. Dempsey.|
|11 May 1917||John T. Dempsey||Relationship not known.|
|23 Apr. 1918||Dorothy Owen||Daughter of Frank H. & Elizabeth (Dempsey) Owen|
|28 July 1922||Elizabeth Owen||My great grandmother (nee Dempsey); wife of Frank H. Owen|
|5 Jan 1923||Katherine Dempsey||My Irish gg grandmother (nee Gormley); wife of William P. Dempsey|
|25 May 1935||Mary A. Webb||Daughter of Katherine (Gormley) and Wm. Dempsey; wife of Clinton Webb|
|28 July 1949||Frank H. Owen||My Welsh great grandfather; husband of Elizabeth C. Dempsey|
St. Martin Church
In 1923, a high mass of requiem was celebrated for my great, great grandmother Katherine (Gormley) Dempsey at the Roman Catholic St. Martin Church, 31 North Fulton Avenue in Baltimore, according to her obituary.
Might the church office have details about her participation in the congregation? Or information about where her husband, William P. Dempsey, was buried? I definitely wanted to stop there — so the church was the next phone call on my list.
To be continued. Please stop back.
© 2017 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.