Obituaries: a good source of information

It seems that name-checking a lot of people helps to sell newspapers. As mentioned in “Benefits of sharing” the article in the Marshall Daily News reporting the death of Susan (Kelly) Cronin in 1907 contained information on her place of birth. The article on her funeral has a list of some of the mourners. They included Mr and Mrs John J McHugh and Mrs Barney McHugh of Chicago.

Susan’s sister, Catherine, married Patrick McHugh, in Michigan, sometime in the early 1850s. Their eldest daughter, Anna, stayed with Susan and her husband Jeremiah Cronin when the others moved to Missouri in 1873. Anna would have been about 18 at the time. She had spent a lot of time with her aunt whilst growing up. It appears that she elected to stay in familiar surroundings.

Susan’s brother-in-law was a McHugh. Does this alone explain the presence of other members of the McHugh family. Chicago is approximately 175 miles (280 km) from Marshall, so Mrs Barney McHugh made a considerable effort to attend the funeral. And who was she?

Susan was buried in St Marys, Calhoun County, just outside the Marshall City limits. A search reveals the presence of 14 people with the McHugh name in the same cemetery. This cannot be a coincidence. Who were these people and how are they connected to Patrick McHugh? More research is required.