MY MOTHER THROUGH THE SMOKE – MARGARET ANNE (HENNESSY) SYSKA (1935-1989)

1985 celebrating Mom’s first Christmas at Cedar Lane Rehabilitation Center in Waterbury CT.  At the time, we were still optimistic her therapists could wean her from that machine.  Instead, she spent 4 years, 3 months and 2 days attached to a respirator. 

I vividly remember my mother’s dreadful, raucous cough that seemed to walk into a room before her.  That was part of who she was in my mind, not an ominous sign of Emphysema lurking in her lungs.  I still see Mom sitting at the kitchen table, chin cradled in one hand, a cup of black coffee or glass of Pepsi  in the other.  That plain, creaky kitchen table was where we talked about everything and mom dispensed her shrewd advice that was almost never well received by my teenage self.  

I’ve written about oodles of relatives going back hundreds of years, but not my own mother. I glossed right over her.  So much was left unsaid when she was dying. I never said goodbye or told her how I felt because I was clueless. I have to admit I wasn’t a very good daughter when she needed me most.  Back in the 80’s there was no skype, facetime, email, texting nor any digital form of communication.  Mom’s tracheotomy prevented her from talking on the phone. Months turned into years in the hospital which atrophied her muscles and made letter writing difficult and so she basically lived for our visits.  Visiting was hard, time consuming and emotionally draining. Every trip ended with us leaving and her staying, knowing after the first year or so, that she wasn’t coming home, she would never sit at the kitchen table again, laugh or talk, cook one of her amazing dinners or even smell the lilacs she loved so much.  Over time weekly visits turned into monthly and then every few months until she was gone.

Tom, Bob, jack and Peggy

But enough of that wishy washy stuff. I should be telling you about her roots. It seems impossible to sum up my mother’s life in a neat little blog post, but I will try to give you a glimpse of the impact her truncated life made.

Sherry, Peg and Don

My mother, Margaret Anne Hennessy, who everyone called Peg or Peggy, was the fourth child born to Thomas Francis Hennessy and Margaret Florence (Cox) Hennessy.  Older brothers Thomas, Robert and John (Jack) were 4, 2 and 1 years of age when Peg was born.

Eight years later, the twins, Donald  & Sherry  came along.   In 1940 the family resided at 56 Northfield Rd. New Rochelle, NY.

In 1954, her father, Thomas Hennessy passed away due to  heart disease, although when she got older my mother suspected her father’s heart condition was caused or exacerbated by smoking.  Just about everyone smoked back then and, for the most part, people were oblivious to the health consequences.  My mother started smoking when she was 15 years old.

Sherry Hennessy and Margaret Cox Hennessy about 1980. That’s our kitchen table with the Grand union bicentennial dishes from 1976.

Peggy’s mother and my grandma, Margaret (Cox) Hennessy, nicknamed Flo, was hospitalized in 1956. In the 2 previous years, Flo had lost her husband, mother and sister, leaving the burden of caring for her family completely on Flo’s shoulders.  It was a burden she was not equipped to handle.  I don’t know the diagnosis that led to her hospital admission, but it was something akin to a nervous breakdown. Flo remained in the hospital for the next 25 years until her death in 1981.

Peg, along with her brother Jack, went to work and took responsibility for raising their younger siblings, Sherry and Don. Their brother Tom had left home years earlier and had started his own family, while Robert had joined the military and was serving in the Philippines.

Stan, Scott, Peggy in 1963
Peggy married Stan Syska on October 20, 1962.  My brother Scott was born in 1963, my sister, Suzy, in 1965 and I came along 13 months after that.  Years later, I came to understand how chaotic a time that was for Mom, when my own twins were born and I found myself with 4 children under the age of 5.  I wished my mother could have been there although I’m sure we would have bickered over something important like diaper duty or pacifier protocol.

Life wasn’t easy for my parents.  They worked hard always struggling to make ends meet.  Dad was a self employed carpenter.  Mom dreamed of going to college and becoming a writer.  Instead she worked nights as a nurse’s aid, slept during the day and took care of us in the afternoons and evenings.

Stan Syska, Tom Hennessy & Peggy (Hennessy) Syska- with cigarettes in hand

I don’t know exactly when Mom was diagnosed with Emphysema, but she told us kids in 1981 when she began oxygen therapy at home.  We had this little machine in the corner of the living room that converted the air to 98% oxygen which meant mom could get the oxygen she needed with many less breaths.  This was necessary because emphysema destroys the air sacs in a person’s lungs and that puts a large strain on the heart as well.  Eventually, oxygen and medications weren’t enough. Mom went into cardiac arrest and was put on a respirator. I would need a much longer forum to tell you about the course of her disease, how it affected all our lives and the decisions my sister, brother and I had to make. 

 

One thing I learned in my research though is that the typical onset of Emphysema symptoms occurs when a person is in their 60’s or 70’s even for smokers. I suspect my mother may have had a genetic condition called AAT deficiency (see picture on  right) which causes early onset empysema.  Today you can be tested to see if you have this deficiency or are a carrier of the gene. 

In 1985 after going on a respirator and spending several months in the hospital, Mom was transferred to Cedar Lane Rehabilitation Center in Waterbury, CT where she would spend the rest of her life.  We did our best to make it seem normal, but there is nothing normal about a 49 year old woman being confined to a hospital and attached to a machine.

On April 25, 1989, my brother and his wife had their first child, Kevin. When Kevin was almost two months old, they brought him to Cedar Lane where Mom was delighted to cradle him in her arms. All the nurses came in the room and Peggy got to proudly show off her grandson. I wish I could have been there to see her face.  And then my mother knew it was time to go.  Peg simply stopped eating or drinking and, with a do not resuscitate order, it was only a matter of time until she passed away on July 27, 1989.

As one of her many legacies, my mother had promised each of her children she would give us $100 if we didn’t start smoking cigarettes by the time we were 21.  None of us have ever smoked, defying the odds that say children of parents who smoke  are twice as likely to take up the habit themselves. I never got my cold hard cash but my mother had already given me everything: life, love, air.  

PART II:  THE MARKETING OF TERMINAL DISEASE

Mom was in the midst of  ‘quitting smoking’ for most of my childhood. She tried everything from hiding her cigarettes, to hypnosis, to joining smokenders, but the addiction was too strong.  She finally quit for good when she started oxygen therapy, but it was too late. Emphysema is a progressive, terminal disease that destroys the lung’s air sacs.  

Mom started smoking in 1950 at just 15 years old.  It’s hard
to imagine a time when people didn’t know smoking was harmful. 
To help illustrate what that era was like, I found some  cigarette advertisements with celebrities like Gary Cooper, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Lucy & Desi Arnaz and Babe Ruth.  There were many more. Even Fred and Barney Flinstone appeared in cigarette ads in 1960-61.

Other ads made outlandish claims such as “more doctors smoke Camel” or cigarettes make you thin.  One of the most bizarre is the “Winston, when you’re smoking for two” ad that claims low birth weight is a win-win: easy labor, slim baby and full flavor. 

 Cancer by the Carton

1952 article published in Readers Digest that demonstrated to the public the connection between
smoking and lung cancer.  This was based on 30 years of research at the time
!

Tobacco companies fired back with the statement below and intense ad campaigns touting low tar and low nicotine cigar
ettes with filters.  While the number of smokers in the US continues to decline, we have exported the problem.

Today there are 1 billion smokers globally with 80% of smokers living in low and middle income countries according to the World Health Organization.

Update:  According to the CDC, cigarette smoking in the US is at an all time low of 15.7% of high school students and 17.8% of adults.  However, smoking is shockingly high in Asian countries.  According to the World Health Organization, in 2015 76% of the Indonesian population 15 and older were smokers.  Other alarming statistics reported by WHO indicate large portions of the populations of
many countries are lighting up including  70% in Jordan, 60% in Sierra Leone, 59% in Russia, 53
% in both Cuba & Greece, 50% in Egypt, 49% in the Ukraine, 47% in China and Vietnam, 43% in Congo, Malaysia, Phillipines & Serbia.  

The WHO report of all countries can be accessed from this link  http://gamapserver.who.int/gho/interactive_charts/tobacco/use/atlas.html

Multinational tobacco companies continue to market, sell and profit from a product that is known to cause a host of serious, debilitating diseases that lead to horrid, premature death.  According to an ICIJ report,   “The industry’s product is the world’s single-largest preventable cause of death. Between 2005 and 2030, tobacco-related illnesses will claim as many as 176 million lives worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.”  

Access the ICIJ report here:  https://www.icij.org/project/smoke-screen-big-tobaccos-global-lobbying/tobacco-lobby-goes-global

 

 

Grandma Winnie’s Ancestry  –  Winifred (Cooney) Cox (1868-1956)

Grandma Winnie’s Ancestry – Winifred (Cooney) Cox (1868-1956)

Winifred Josephine Cooney (my great grandmother) was born on April 11, 1868 in Galway, Ireland and was baptized in Kilkishen, Clare, Ireland.  Winifred was the first child born to Thomas Cooney (1847- ) and Mary Ryan Cooney (1841-abt. 1895).  
She had 4 sisters and three brothers:  Anne  (1869), John (1870), Bridget (1871), Pat (1873), Daniel (1877), Mary (1879), Margaret, ‘Maggie’ (1882), and Thomas (1886).  Most of her siblings were born in Kilkishen or Ballinabrone, Co. Clare which is where the family lived while Thomas worked as a farmer.  

Winifred emigrated to America about 1891,according to family, on the same ship as her future husband, John Cox. Shewas just 23 years old at the time.  John and Winnie married in 1899 in Massachusetts, settling first in Manhattan, then moving to New Rochelle, NY.  Winifred’s sister, Maggie Cooney followed her to America in 1899 and lived with John & Winnie until her marriage to Michael Sullivan after 1905. 

Winifred Cooney’s marriage record provides the names of her parents as Thomas & Mary Ryan

 http://hennessycox.blogspot.com/2014/03/john-cox-ii-and-winifred-j-cooney-cox.html

Thomas & Mary Cooney 

Thomas Cooney & Mary Ryan wed in Limerick Ireland on May 26, 1867.  The city of Limerick is on the southern border of Clare Co. and Limberick Co. According to Census records, Thomas was a widower by 1900.  Records show the family living in East Clare and then Killuran in 1900 and 1910.  

Thomas was born in 1847, the son of Patrick Cooney possibly in Scariff, Clare Co.  His mother’s name is unknown.  No further information is known about Thomas’ family or parents.

Mary (Ryan) Cooney (1841- bef. 1900) 
 

Mary Ryan was baptized on July 11,1841 in Ballinakill, Galway Co., Ireland.  Her parents were John Ryan and Mary (Salman) Ryan.  Her sponsors (godparents) were John Keegan and Ellen Salman.



Galway County is north of Clare Co. on the West coast of Ireland. 
I have not been able to find any town named Ballinakill that exists today. There are several civil parishes with similar names and there is Ballinakill Harbor located near the city of Letterfrak.  

Three former civil parishes are named Ballynakill in Galway Co.:
Ballynakill (Ballynahinch) (Galway)
Ballynakill (Killian) (Galway)
Ballynakill (Leitrim) (Galway)
 
However, Mary’s baptism from the Roman Catholic Church Record, states,  “Registry book of the baptisms for the United parishes of Ballinakill, Ballyroan, Abyleix & Knockgordegur.”  This may be referring to a Catholic parish, not a civil parish.  

At this point, I can not confirm the exact location of Mary’s baptism, except that it was in Galway Co., Ireland.  

I have not been able to locate any further information on Mary Ryan’s parents or family. Irish census records for the 1800’s are very sparse, making it difficult to find ancestors.  You can learn more about this in the prior post: 
http://hennessycox.blogspot.com/2014/09/snagging-slippery-irish-ancestors.html

I attempted to trace Winifred’s sister, Maggie Cooney who was born to Thomas & Mary (Ryan) Cooney in Ireland in 1882 and emigrated to the US in about 1899.  I hoped if I found Maggie Cooney’s family, I would be able to learn more information about their parents and ancestors.  

Maggie Cooney is listed on the federal census of 1900 and NYS census of 1905 as living with Winifred and John Cox.

  

The next census record, I located for the Cox family (1915) indicates Maggie is no longer residing with sister and brother in law. According to family, Maggie married Michael Sullivan and resided in or near the Fordham neighborhood of Bronx, NY.  Several Michael & Mary Sullivan can be found on census records residing in that area, but I have not been able to identify which if any of these pertain to Winifred Cooney’s sister. 

 

 

Family of Sophia (Bolton) Cox (1846-1934)

Family of Sophia (Bolton) Cox (1846-1934)


Sophia Bolton was born in 1846 in Market Harborough, England, the daughter of James Bolton  (1812-1886 ) and Elizabeth (Charlton) Bolton (1812-1891) – my 3rd great grandparents.

James and Elizabeth were married on March 13, 1834 in Great Bowden, Leceistershire.  They raised their family and lived most of their adult lives on Middle Green in Market Harborough, Great Bowden, while James worked as an agricultural Laborer (ag lab) and a Shepherd.    Their 10 children, born from 1836 to 1857, were named, in order:  James, Emma, Thomas, Eliza, Sophia, Alice, Alfred, Stephen, Mary and Fredrick.

The first English Census that captured the personal information of families was in 1841.  Earlier censuses in England were limited to head counts for taxation purposes.  The 1841 census listed everyone in the household, but did not indicate their relationship to the head of house.  That census included a teenager, Anne Bolton, residing with the Bolton family.  She was, most likely, a relative of James living with them temporarily, perhaps as a mother’s helper or servant which was common at the time.  She was too old to be their daughter and there is no record of James and Elizabeth having a daughter named Anne.

Ten years later, in 1851, the Boltons remained at Middle Green, but Sophia was no longer residing with her parents.  At 15 years old, she was living and working as a house maid for a Widow, Mary Rowlatt in Great Bowden.  Sophia probably continued to work as a maid until her marriage to John Cox in 1869.  James Bolton passed away in 1886, while his wife, Elizabeth died 5 years later in 1891.

I have not been able to identify Elizabeth (Charlton) Bolton’s parents.

James Bolton was the son of George Bolton (1781-1856) and Mary Martin (1786-1865).  George and Mary were wed on Nov. 2, 1802 and had 8 children.  James was 4th oldest, born in 1812.  The other children, in order of their ages, were: Hannah, Elizabeth, Amy,  James, Edward, Anne, Thomas, Mary and Sarah.  

The 1841 Census shows George and Mary Bolton residing in Bowden Magna, Leicestershire with five of their children Elizabeth (age 30), Edward (25), Anne, (20), Thomas(19) and Mary(15) while George and his son, Thomas, worked as agricultural Laborers.  Edward listed his occupation as a Gardener.  At the time, 1841, James had been married for seven years and was living with his family in Market Harborough.  His other siblings that were not included as living with George and Mary, were probably either married or working elsewhere.  The English Census rules required documentation only of those family members present in the home on the specific day of the census.  It was conducted on a Sunday night so it was presumed most family members would be home, but some were visiting elsewhere, in hospitals or even working as maids or servants which was very common at the time, particularly for teenage girls.


St. Peter & St. Paul Church, Great Bowden – built before 1220


George Bolton(1781-1856) was baptized on July 2, 1781, the son of William Bolton (abt.1738-1827) and Mary (Bailey) Bolton (1751-1822)  at St. Peter & St. Paul Parish Church (Anglican Church of England) in Great Bowden.  He had at least one brother, William Bolton (1776-1857) also baptized at this church.  Based on the age of his parents, it is likely there were other, older siblings.  

 



Note: George’s brother William  had 10 children.  A number of George’s and William’s children have the same name. Fortunately baptism records indicate the names of their parents for all of William’s children and most of George’s children.  It appears that after William’s first wife, Kezia, died prematurely he remarried and had another family.  William  also has a son named James but he was born in 1830, 28 years after Sophia’s father.

Possible, but unproven family connections

At this point the ancestory becomes murky.  The father of William Bolton (1738-1827) may be Richard Bolton (b. 1715), but I have been unable to confirm William’s date of birth, place of birth or parents. There was no requirement in England in prior to 1837, to register the birth of a child and, while baptisms did have be recorded, it was done by individual church’s without any uniform rules regarding what information was captured and how the records were maintained.  In the absence of any records, I don’t know where the assumption originated that Richard Bolton was the father of William Bolton (1738-1827), but I am unable to confirm it.

Richard Bolton was born Nov 3, 1715 and baptized on Nov. 13, 1715 at St. John The Baptist in Croydon, Surrey the son of John and Susan Bolton.   The name of Richard Bolton’s spouse as well as,the location and date of his death are unknown.  Richard Bolton is referred to, in other family trees and references, as a ‘squire’ although I have not found any record or basis for this.  A squire in the middle ages was the apprentice to a Knight, but in the 1700s the term squire was used to denote a “Lord of the Manor”, who may have owned much of the land in a village or area, or a gentleman with a coat of arms- perhaps the descendant of a Knight- or even a village leader or Justice of the Peace. 


It may be possible to continue to trace Richard Bolton’s family back further, However, I am uncertain he is William’s father, and thus our ancestor.  There are a few troubling inconsistencies discussed below.  

  • Richard was born in Surrey, an affluent village south of London, approximately 125 miles from where William, his supposed son, was born.  Richard could have moved from Surrey to Great Bowden, although that seems unlikely given that he appears to have been a land owner or related to land owners in Surrey.  Whereas, Great Bowden and the county of Leicestershire consisted mostly of working class families.   
    • One possibility is that Richard’s family went into debt as a result of supporting King Charles during the English Civil War from 1642-1660, forcing the family to sell their land and relocate. Though, to date, I  have not found evidence that Richard Bolton ever lived in or near Great Bowden.
  • England naming patterns of the time made it common to name the first and 2nd born sons after their grandfathers and the 3rd son after his father, etc.   It was not strictly adhered to and, given the lack of baptism records, there are certainly children I have not identified.  Yet, I have not found any children, grandchildren or great grandchildren of William Bolton (1737-1827) named Richard Bolton, which seems highly unlikely if Richard was indeed William’s father and George and William Jrs grandfather. 
Bolton Surname – comes from olde english – pre 7th century ‘bothl’ or ‘botl’– meaning dwelling house/hall with the olde englsih ‘tun’ meaning enclosure or settlement.  In England the original Bolton families were established in the Lancashire area, but over the centuries covered all of the country and parts of Wales.  Greatest populations remain in Lancashire and Yorkshire.

Family of John Cox Sr. (1847-1906)

John Cox II(1870-1940), emigrated to America in 1891, married Winifred Cooney and fathered Margaret F. (Cox) Hennessy and Mary C. (Cox) Schoenherr.  He was born in Derbyshire, England, the son of John Cox Sr. and Sophia Bolton

John Cox Sr. (1847-1906) was born in Belton, Leicestershire England the son of Edward Cox, b. abt 1820, and Mary (Waters) Cox, (1820- 1848)

Mary and Edward were married in April of 1840 in Loughborough, Leicestershire.  Their first child, Hannah Cox, was born in 1840 in Leicestershire.  The 1841 English census shows Edward, Mary and 6 mo. old Hannah living in Belton, Leicestershire with Mary’s family including her father, Sampson Waters (1788-1871), her stepmother, Sarah, and her four siblings.  Edward Cox and Sampson Waters both worked as Framework Knitters.  Later, Sarah and older children also worked as Glove makers and stitchers. 

Mary and Edward’s second child, John Cox Sr. was born in 1847 in Belton.  A year later, in August of 1848, his sister Hannah died at only 8 years old.  His mother Mary also died in 1848 at 28 years old.  The cause of their deaths is unknown.  I have not been able to determine if Edward died or if he remarried. It appears that John was raised by his grandparents.  In 1851, the census shows 3 yr. old John Cox living in Castle Donnington, Leicestershire with Sampson and Sarah Waters along with his Uncle Enoch (25) and Aunt Sarah (20).  Then, at the age of 14, John went to work as a Servant in Whitwick, Oaks Church, Leicestershire in the house of Marmaduke Shields, Fundholder and Farmer. In 1869, at 22 yrs. old, John married Sophia Bolton and began their family.  See earlier post -John Cox II and Sophia Bolton- for more information.

John’s mother, Mary (Waters) Cox was the daughter of Sampson Waters(1788-1871) and Ann (Worstall) Waters (1778-1820) who were married in Leicesters on July 27, 1807.  They had 3 daughters, Elizabeth born in 1808, Charlotte in 1810 and Mary in 1820.  Ann (Worstall) Waters passed away in February of 1820 of unknown cause. Sampson married Sarah (Wheldon) Waters on Aug. 11, 1822 and proceeded to have 4 more children, Enoch, Ann, Sampson Jr. and Sarah.  Sarah (Wheldon) Waters is not biologically related to John Cox Sr. but helped raise him.

John’s grandfather, Sampson Waters(1788-1871) was born in Leicestershire, the son of John and Hannah Waters.  He was baptized at St. John the Baptist church on June 17, 1789 in Belton.

John’s biological grandmother, Anne (Worstal or Worstall) Waters was born in 1778 in Derbyshire, the daughter of James and Ann (Sims) Worstal/Worstall.  Anne passed away in February of 1820 in Leicestershire.  No additional information is known about the Worstal/Worstall family.

John Cox Sr. (1847-1906) and Sophia Bolton (1846-1934)

John Cox II (my great grandfather) was the son of John Cox Sr. (1847-1906) and Sophia Bolton (1846-1940).   The English Marriage Index indicates they were married in Leicestershire England in 1869.

John Cox II is born in February of 1870 in Shardlow, Derbyshire.  The 1871 English Census has the family, John Sr., Sophia and their infant son, residing at 50 London Rd, Shardlow with John Sr. working as a Coachman.  Younger brother Harry was born about 3 years later in 1873 also in Shardlow, Derbyshire.  Sometime between 1873 and 1880, the family moved to Anstey Pastures, Leicestershire which is where their first daughter, Edith, was born.  According to the 1881 Census, the family resided in the Coachman’s Cottage at Anstey pastures with John Sr. continuing to work as a Coachman.  At that time they also had a domestic servant, a 14 yr. old girl named Jessie, living with them as well as a border.  Their last child, Ivy, was born in 1889. Both the 1891 and the 1901 census records show the family residing in the same place in Anstey Pastures.

John Cox II  emigrated to America in April of 1891 and married Winifred Cooney..  Edith Cox married John Gibbons in England in 1902 and emigrated to Ontario Canada in 1911.  Of note, Edith’s grandson did a great of work tracing the Cox and Bolton family histories and shared the family photo posted to this blog.  Harry Cox stayed in England and married in approximately 1905.

John Cox Sr. passed away in the early part of 1906 at 58 years old in Leicestershire, England.  In 1911 Sophia, widowed, resided at 64 Mere Rd., Leicester with her daughter, Ivy Cox, who was 22 yrs. old and working as a Stenographer. Sophia (Bolton) Cox passed away in December of 1934 at 88 years old in Leicester, England.

John Cox II and Winifred J. (Cooney) Cox

On April 20, 1891 John Cox II (1870-1940),  arrived in New York aboard the Aurania ship sailing from Liverpool England and Queenstown Ireland.   He was 21 years old at the time and had left his family in Leicestershire, England to start a new life in America.

He was the eldest Son of John Cox (b.1847-1906) and Sophia Bolton (1846-1934), brother of Edith, Harry and Ivy.  None of his family came to America, but Edith emigrated to Canada with her husband in 1911 to pioneer settle New Ontario.  Edith’s descendants in Canada shared the Cox family photo posted on this blog.  It is believed that photo was taken in 1891, perhaps prior to John II departing for America.

We believe John met his future wife, Winifred J. Cooney (1868-1956) who emigrated from Ireland, aboard the Aurania immigration ship, but have been unable to find her on passenger lists to date.   Unfortunately, the 1900 census, which indicates John Cox arrived in 1891 with 9 years in the country, leaves both those fields blank for Winifred, possibly with the assumption they were the same as her husband, but there is no way to confirm that.  However, the 1920 census gives Winifred’s immigration date as 1900, but this is obviously a mistake as John and Winifred were married in Massachusets in 1899.
The marriage record provides details, including occupations and parents names, thus, should be considered reliable. The record can be viewed on this blog -see ‘John Cox comes to America’  on top of page.
The 1930 census is the last census that captures year of immigration and indicates that John and Winifred came to the US in the same year.

John and Winifred were married in North Attleboro, MA on June 22, 1899.   In 1900 they resided on W. 52nd St. in Manhattan and John was worked as a Coachman.  Winifred’s sister, Maggie Cooney,was also living with them at the time.  Maggie, who was 17 years old at the time,  emigrated from Ireland the year before in 1899.  Winifred and John had a baby that died in infancy as the 1900 Census states Winifred was the mother of 1 child not living.  They had 2 other children, that we know of, born in 1902 and 1906.

In 1920, the family lived at 77 Church St. in New Rochelle with their daughters, ages 18 and 13.  John was employed as an Automobile Driver and the oldest daughter, Margaret was employed as a bank Stenographer.  They also had 3 lodgers living with them at the time.  By 1925 they had moved to 22 Lincoln St. New Rochelle.  According to the 1930 Census they owned that home, valued at $15,000 and they also owned a Radio Set.  John continued to work as a private Chauffeur.  Margaret was no longer living at home as she had gotten married a year earlier in 1929.

The 1940 Census has John & Winnie living at 22 Lincoln St. with their daughter Mae (Cox) Schoenherr,  Mae’s husband Ralph and their oldest daughter, their second child not having been born yet.  John was 70 years old at that time and not working/retired.  John Cox II died in 1940.  He is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY with Winifred who passed away in 1956.  Their daughter, Margaret, and her husband, Thomas Hennessy are buried in the same plot.  The younger daughter, Mae, passed away in 1954 at only 48 years old, and is buried elsewhere.

Children of John and Winifred Cox:

  • Margaret F. Cox (1902-1981) – married Thomas F. Hennessy (1899-1954) and had 4 sons and 2 daughters
  • Mary Katherine (Mae) Cox (1906-1954) – married Ralph Schoenherr and had 2 daughters

Thomas F. Hennessy and Margaret F. (Cox) Hennessy

On August 1, 1929 Thomas F Hennessey and Margaret F. Cox (nickname Flo) were married in New Rochelle, NY.  They went to Europe on their honeymoon and are recorded as returning aboard the SS Franconia on Sept. 15, 1929.

Thomas Francis Hennessy (1899-1954) was born in Brooklyn, NY, the second of four sons born to  Patrick J. Hennessy (b.1874) and Mary (Archer) Hennessy (b. abt. 1873).  Thomas’s mother, Mary, passed away in approximately 1909, when he was just 10 years old.  His father remarried Annie Hussey in 1914 and began a second family.  It appears Thomas continued to live with the family until his marriage in 1929. Thomas served in the Military briefly from October to December 1918.  He then went to Fordham University, receiving his undergraduate degree in 1922 and his law degree in 1925.  He went into general legal practice and served as a professor at Fordham Law School.

In 1930, Thomas and Margaret are reported on Census records as residing in apt. 3B, unit 1 of Wykagye Gardens in New Rochelle, NY.   In 1940 they resided at 56 Northfield Rd., New Rochelle in their own home valued at $23,400.  At that time, Thomas had his own legal practice.   They were also the parents of 3 sons and 1 daughter.  In 1943, Margaret gave birth to twins, a girl and a boy.

Children of Thomas and Margaret (Cox) Hennessy:
Thomas F. Hennessy Jr.  -1931-1996
Son (Private- living)  – b. 1933
John Archer Hennessy (Jack)  -1934-2013
Margaret Anne Hennessy (Peggy Ann) – (1935-1989)
Son (private- living)  – b. 1943
Daughter (private- living) – b. 1943

In 1954,  Thomas Francis Hennessy passed away due to a heart condition.   That same year Margaret’s sister, Mary (Mae) Catherine (Cox) Schoenherr, passed away due to a brain tumor.  Two years later in 1956 Margaret’s mother passed away.  Margaret, herself, died in 1981 at the age of 79 in Poughkeepsie, NY at a hospital where she had spent most of the remainder of her life after the passing of her husband.