Posted by on Apr 12, 2014 | 1 comment


The trip to Holy Cross Cemetery answered a question that had eluded me since the beginning of the project: “When did Lizzie’s husband Patrick die?”

Since he was buried in Malden, I reached out to the Malden City Clerk for his death certificate. Unfortunately, no record existed, indicating that he likely wasn’t a Malden resident at the time of his death. So, if not Malden, where? A fresh look into online research revealed two more clues:

  1. According to an 1892 Boston City Directory, a cigar maker by the name of Patrick Milligan lived at 200 Friend Street in Boston.
  2. According to Massachusetts death records, Patrick Milligan died in Boston, Massachusetts. The cause of death listed was “Consumption,” the colloquial name for the terrible disease, Tuberculosis.

With both a death date and a city, it was just a matter of filling out a form (and enclosing a $14.00 check) to get Patrick’s death certificate. It said that Patrick J. Milligan, a cigar maker of 1 Lynde Street in Boston, died on November 10, 1894 after a six month battle with “consumption.” Born in Canada to Edward and Catherine (Clou Ghessy) Milligan, both of Ireland, he was 30 years, 6 months, and 16 days old.

The information helps us piece together a little more of the story. Counting backwards 30 years, 6 months, and 16 days gives us a birth date of April 24, 1864, which means that he was four years older than Lizzie. Therefore, on the day of his wedding, June 22, 1885, a 21-year-old groom married his 17-year-old bride.

So when did they immigrate? The 1900 and 1910 United States Federal Censuses list Lizzie’s immigration year as 1890, while the 1920 and 1930 censuses are suspect due to Immigration Shenanigans. In lieu of our new information and the consistency of that 1890 date on two consecutive censuses, let’s consider the following theory:

26-year-old Patrick Milligan immigrated to Massachusetts with his 22-year-old wife and 4-year-old son, Edward in 1890. They moved to Boston, where they lived in two locations, 200 Friend Street (1892), and 1 Lynde Street (1894). He died in 1894, leaving behind a 26-year-old widow and an 8-year-old son.

Sources used in this Post: