Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Rob has been working on his family tree - both sides - and has come to a stumbling block in trying to sort out the Shanahan connection to our family. Could anyone reading this provide any of the following information:
What was the relationship between the Smiths and the Shanahans? Grampa Smith's mother?
Anyone know more about Grampa Smith's mother's (Johanna or Joanna McCarthy)?
What were the names of Grampa Smith's half-brothers and/or sisters?
Were most of the Shanahans from Groveland? Haverhill? Bradford? North Andover?
Know any approximate birth or death dates or burial places?
Any Shanahans still around that Bobby could contact?
Also: What was the name of Grampa's twin brother? William??? Did he die at birth?
What was the name/date of birth of Grampa Smith grandfather? (Frederick Smith's father)?
Where was he from?
Anything else? Other resources Rob could check?
I ordered two books from Amazon: "The Irish in Haverhill", Vols. I and II. Volume II has arrived and has tons of old photos of people from Haverhill but no Shanahans. I'm hoping there might be something in Volume I when it arrives.
Here are two interesting photos I did find in Volume II:

Father Madden, who I think married my parents, is 4th from left in first row in group photo above.

Ralph Woodburn, is last man on right in 2nd row in this photo of the Haverhill Police Dapartment in 1942. Aunt Barbara's father?


  1. Andi probably as the most info--check with her-from what I understand, Grampa's mother was married to a Shanahan and he died leaving her a widow with like 7 (?) sons-then she married Mr. F.J.Smith (our great grandfather) and had the twins Grampa and William (I think) who died very soon after and he (Mr. Smith) raised the sons who were Shanahans as if they were his own--hence the Shanahan Smith connection. Mom probably knows this better than I do-or Roger or Uncle Eddie
    According to the Family Register book Mom and Dad gave us in 1977, Daddy's grandfather was Frederick Joseph Smith also and his wife was Joanna MacCarthy (Shanahan then Smith)Daddy wrote that her was a street car starter, and Johanna was born in London. Andi needs to get her info to all of us--maybe she's be concentrating on Mom's side more. Nancy

  2. Maureen also knows the Shanahan story. Maybe she can chime in here. Yes, that's my Grandfather. I'd love to see that Haverhill book.

  3. Notes from conversation with Mom 8/26/09 about family history
    -Grampa Smith (Arthur William born 1/6/00) a twin-his brother (William?) died at birth or shortly after- his Mom Joanna MacCarthy (Irish but from London England) had been married to a Mr.____ Shanahan who died leaving her a widow with 7 sons. She married Frederick Joseph Smith and had the twins in 1900. Grampa was raised with his seven (half) brothers by F.J .Smith who treated the 7 Shanahans sons s his own. Hence the connection between Shanahan’s and Smiths.

    The sons (Shanahans)
    1. Bill Shanahan married Maggie. He was caretaker of the Catholic Church in Groveland, Ma. They had 4 children: Jim, who went on to be police chief in Groveland (or South Groveland). He married Mildred and they had 2 sons. They had a summerhouse in Goose Rocks Beach, ME. Bill and Maggie also had a daughter Evelyn who never married and was principal for many years at the elementary school, which was named, for her The Evelyn M. Shanahan School in Groveland. There were 2 other girls - Mom doesn’t remember their names.

    2. Fred Shanahan married _____. They had 1 daughter, Ethel. _______ died and Fred married Mabel. Mabel Shanahan raised Ethel with Fred. Mom never knew the first wife—it was before she knew them—she only knew Mabel. Mom and Dad were visiting her in Hale Hospital when she died.

    3. Ed Shanahan-married Ann. They had 2 children, Fred Shanahan, and Helen (Shanahan) Nelson. Fred married Lorraine and they had 2 children, Dale (girl) and a son, David. Dale married a Dr. Burton- (urologist); she is deceased. David survives. Fred and Lorraine are both dead. Fred was the one we knew who ran the ambulance company. Ed and Ann Shanahan’s daughter was Helen (Shanahan) Nelson. She had 2 children. Her brother Fred built (or redid) a house for her and their Mother, Ann, to live in when they were older.

    4. Jack Shanahan married Gladys Shanahan (a hairdresser) and they had one daughter, Dorothy (Dot) Shanahan.

    5. __________ Shanahan-had 5(?) kids that were all close to Grampa Smith. One in the Dover N.H. area, Agnes Shanahan Brent (? sp) and Mary Shanahan Clarey, and 2 other boys—Mom doesn’t remember the names.

    6. _____________Shanahan-Mom doesn’t remember anything about # 6.

    7. ___________ Shanahan (the baby). Mom reports he was a “good egg; Grammy Smith was always fond of him.

    Other info. Mom shared:
    -Grammy and Grampa Boocock came over on the ______(Boat name)
    and arrived in Boston April 7, 1923. Mom was 2—Grammy Boocock was pregnant with Mom’s brother Alan, at the time (she fell on ship—thought it might have caused baby’s problem) Alan was born in spring of 1923, with a “hole in his heart” Dr. said (spina bifida??) Dr. told Grammy and Grampa Boocock he’d never walk. He died and was buried in Hilldale Cemetery on Hilldale Ave.
    -Most of Grammy Smith’s People are also buried in Hilldale Cemetery.

    -Grammy Smith’s only brother, George Parker is buried across the “street” (in the cemetery) from Grammy Boocock. He was married to “Little” Eva. (Mom says,” well she was little and her name was Eva”)

    Father Madden did marry Mom and Dad

    -Aunt Barbara’s father was pictured in your book—he was a policeman for many years

    -Aunt Dora is buried in Elmwood Cemetery

    -Grammy and Grampa are buried in No. Andover

    -Most of the Shanahan’s are buried in the older part of St. James Cemetery in Haverhill

  4. The notes in the last comment were recorded by Nancy, who e-mailed them to me to put on the blog. Thanks, Nancy! Special thanks to Mom (Alice) for all of this information...she spent two or three hours typing it all out in her own comment box this afternoon and lost it all when trying to post - that is why Nancy re-typed, finally, it is! Thanks...

  5. I can't add anything about the Shanahan's, but I'm just checking in to say I'm still reading. Loved to see the pictures from the Patriots game - that is so cool! Mark and Joanne have me hooked on the Celtics....I seriously can't wait for the season to begin!
    Joanne, now that I'm a regular commenter, I expect to see a few tidbits from you once in a while..... ;)
    love, Erin

  6. Some additional details from Mom via Nancy:
    1. Grampa Smith: Arthure William b. 1-6-00; his twin brother's name may have been Walter, not William.
    2. Jo(h)anna McCarthy's first husband's name was John Shanahan.
    3. Lillian and Robinson Boocock, Mom's parents, came over on the "Magentic" (Boat name)
    and arrived in Boston April 16, 1923. after 9 days, sailing from Liverpool on April 7, 1923

  7. So great that you are reading the blog now and commenting, Erin! It's nice to know who is reading our posts. I agree...time for some comments or blogs from Joanne and Andi...right, guys??? Thanks for checking in, Erin!

  8. I was just researching my dad's cousin, Evelyn... Looking for years she taught in groveland. I am also interested in Johanna's story. She is my great grandmother. My grandfather was Francis shanahan, one of her children with my great grandfather. I don't know all the details, but your information regarding our family is off. Frank married Agnes McGinley of south groveland and they had 8 children. Johanna helped deliver my father, John, in 1909. I have a copy of a letter from her son Arthur saying she would not be home for a while as she was birthing Agnes's baby! We should compare notes!!!