The WikiTree Challenge 2022 Challenge 2

Privacy Level: Open (White)
Date: 20 Jan 2022 to 27 Jan 2022
Location: WikiTreemap
Surnames/tags: wikitree_challenge challenges Gilmartin
This page has been accessed 634 times.


WikiTree Challenge Challenge 2

Guest Star: Paul Gilmartin

Notes From Guest

  • (Re Ethnicity) Yeah, my dad’s side is from Ireland. My great-grandfather migrated from Ireland. According to my family can be traced back to the border of Ireland and Northern Ireland. And my mom’s family, I’m not sure who emigrated from France, but they settled in the French part of Maine, right on the Canadian border.
  • (Interesting stories?) My father kept telling the story about my great-grandmother, was in church and collapsed and died. Not really a great story.
  • (Want to know more?) I’ve always been kind of curious about my mother’s father. He was a bit of a mystery. My grandmother told him to hit the road because he didn’t want to hold down a job, and moved to California, I think with the dream of being an animator, which I don’t think he really did.
  • My father’s father was a very successful insurance agent. He had his own agency. I think my dad said he was making $30,000 a year during the height of the depression, which was a lot. He was an alcoholic and verbally abusive. … These stories are not warm and fuzzy.


Note: Please check with your captain, Cheryl (Smith) Hess, if there are any questions about the images being protected by copyright.

FHL Lookuips




  • Tip: The census records are a good start, and you should be able to find images of all the birth records for each child on irishgenealogy. They have exact birth date, places, fathers Occupation, and mother’s maiden names. Once you get that, you can search for the marriage of the parents, and that gives their fathers names. The civil records are great, but only go back to 1864 for births, a bit earlier for marriages.

Tell Us What You Found!!

Interesting Finds

List interesting finds to share with the guest at the end of the week. We will also be voting at the end of the week to pick the top stories.
  1. Paul's maternal great grandfather, Frank E. Fisher (possibly Francois Xavier Buissoneire) was a dealer in horses, carriages and sleighs in Fort Fairfield and Grand Isle, ME and for a time owned a hotel in Grand Isle. He and his wife Nellie had twin daughters, Essie and Agnes, born prematurely in 1893; they both died within a day. (It was called the Frank E. Fisher Boarding House & Restaurant. He owned it from 1908-1912. (I'm waiting on permission to use this photo - Langholf-2 20:23, 26 January 2022 (UTC)))
  2. Paul's cousin Rosemary (Gilmartin) Smolker was managing editor of a prominent Biology publication. Her husband, Robert E. Smolker, was a co-founder of the Environmental Defense Fund and played a large role in banning DDT in 1972. ( I will be adding his profile with a link to a clipping of his obit soon)
  3. About 5 months before Pauls' Great grandfather Joseph Ignatius Stanislaus O'Donnell Sr. (1873-1948) was born, his next oldest sister, Kate O'Donnell (1871-1873), was killed when she was run over by a passenger railway train at the age of 2. In fact all 3 of the Joseph's next oldest siblings died before he was born.
  4. Paul is named after his third great grandfather, Paul Cyr, Jr. and his fourth great grandfather, Paul Cyr, Sr..
  5. His great great grandfather, Alexis Cyr, was named in memory of Alexis's uncle, Alexis Cyr (1799-1823), who drowned along with his cousin Helaire Thibodeau on 1 December 1823. Find A Grave memorial is at
  6. Anne (Gowley) Gilmartin (abt.1813-1875) did not get along with some of her neighbors once she was a widow. There are numerous complaints filed between her and two others for cattle, a mule, four pigs, and twelve geese trespassing on the others property. The final case was heard in 1873, less than two years before she died.
  7. Paul's great uncle, John Patrick McCoy (1867-1937) had a business manufacturing chaplets, which are "small metal insert or spacer used in molds to provide core support during the casting process." Philadelphia Chaplet and Manufacturing Co, Inc. He incorporated it in 1909. In 1920, 2 of his son's were working in the business, his daughter was a music teacher and another son was a newspaper reporter. His brother Joseph F McCoy (1892-1977) also was a machinist and listed the company as his place of employment in his draft registration for WWI.
  8. Paul’s great-grandma Mary had a brother James J. “Jerry” McCormick who played professional baseball in the 1880s for the Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia Keystones and Washington Nationals. He died of tuberculosis in 1905 and was buried at the Old Cathedral Cemetery in Philadelphia. Brother-in-law Thomas Gilmartin is mentioned in his death notice.
  9. Paul's maternal great-uncle Paul Morneault appears regularly in the Bangor papers, giving us a glimpse into the Aroostook County and New Brunswick culture. After serving in WWI, he became a veterinary doctor. He owned a series of racehorses, and participated in a track circuit in Van Buren, Maine, and Edmunston and Clair, New Brunswick, perhaps traveling farther afield to race his horses or drive those owned by others. He was in Clair, NB, one July 4th when back home in Van Buren a lit cigar ignited a large fireworks display on a lackluster, rainy 4th. The resulting explosion shattered the storefront windows and brought out the fire department.
  10. Which great-grandmother died in church?
    1. Marie Helene (Poitras) Fisher died Sunday, July 21, 1918, after dropsy of the intestines lasting only 1/2 hour, but she isn't in the Bangor papers.
    2. Mary Josephine (McCormick) Gilmartin died Monday, January 25, 1937, but the place of death in Pennsylvania was not stated. Interesting!
    3. Mary (McCoy) O'Donnell died on a Thursday at home.
    4. Susanne (Cyr) Morneault died Monday, May 14, 1917, in Grand Isle. She isn't in the Bangor papers.
  11. Sarah (Dougherty) McCoy (1872-1926) had a tragic life. She was Paul's great grand aunt (Alexander McCoy's wife) and had a child by him but did not live with him long. She lived with her parents and her child in 1900 and 1910. In 1910, Alexander was living with his parents, claiming to be a widower, but she was still alive. In 1926, she committed suicide by jumping of a bridge in Philadelphia.
  12. Alexander McCoy (1847-1906) and his wife Julia (Kennedy) McCoy (1849-abt.1917) led a difficult life as emigrants. They both traveled alone, about a year apart, aboard a ship from Ireland to America. Born during the potato famine, their families must have still been experiencing financial difficulty. Alexander and Julia had sixteen children, with only eight reaching adulthood. Many died as babies from Scarlet Fever, Diphtheria, or other conditions now vaccinated against or fairly easily cured. They were a close-knit family but likely not well off financially, as their children often worked at a fairly young age instead of attending school. Alexander lived to 59, Julia to 67. She had children and grandchildren in the home with her, so she wasn't alone.
  13. Joseph (Sinclair) St Clair (1861-) died about thirty-five years old. His wife Malvina died three years later of Typhoid Fever, at the age of twenty-nine. Their three children Joseph, Albert, and Charles were sent to an orphanage called The Healy Asylum.

Free Space Pages

List of Free Space Pages created for or linked to members of this family.

Military Profiles

Did any of the guests' family serve in the military or military conflicts?


Brick Walls

Note: Cheryl has identified a few brick wall ancestors that can earn you additional bounty points. You can check in Discord, or comment in the G2G post, if you want to know who is already working on some of them.
Please don't add other names to the list. Thanks!

Paternal Brick Walls

  1. Anne (Gowley) Gilmartin (Ireland)
  2. William McCormick (Ireland)
  3. Hugh Joseph O'Donnell (Ireland)
  4. Alexander McCoy (Ireland)

Maternal Brick Walls

  1. Bassien Godin (Canada) (edited)
  2. Marie-Francoise D'Amboise Bergeron (Canada)

Needs Work

  • Login to edit this profile and add images.
  • Private Messages: Send a private message to the Profile Manager. (Best when privacy is an issue.)
  • Public Comments: Login to post. (Best for messages specifically directed to those editing this profile. Limit 20 per day.)

Leave a message for others who see this profile.
There are no comments yet.
Login to post a comment.