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Bridget J. Smythe

Female 1815 - 1898  (83 years)

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  • Name Bridget J. Smythe 
    Born 1815  Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Female 
    Occupation housekeeper at St. Andrew’s Rectory 
    Died 21 April 1898  Grand Rapids, MI Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried St. Andrew’s Cemetery Find all individuals with events at this location 

    • Bridget Haney was the godmother of Ed and Charles Tooher in 1866, when the family just came to Grand Rapids. Her husband Patrick died sometime before 1870, leaving her a widow with six children. I can find no clues as to who those children are; perhaps they were all girls who married and took different last names. There is no sign that these six children lived in Grand Rapids.

      1859-’60 GR City Drectory—no Haney

      1865, ‘68-’69, and 1870-’71—Edward G., Jeremiah, and Elijah Haney all living in GR. I don’t think they’re Bridget’s sons because I can find no tie-in. Elijah and J.B. are buried in Greenwood Cemetery, a Protestant cemetery, and George is in Woodlawn Cemetery. These men are also in the 1880 Census. J. B. died in 1882, Elijah in 1923, and George M. in 1926. All of the men reported that their parents were from Vermont, which is further evidence that Bridget Haney was not their mother.

      1870 Federal Census—Bridget Haney was the 50-year-old widow of Patrick Haney, living with Thomas and Mary Jemmars (Gemars) and their daughter Theresa at #828, street not listed. The Finns lived next door—Michael (40), Bridget (30), Patrick J. (5), and Thomas (3). Patrick Haney’s death certificate is not found at the Kent Co. Clerk. There is also a Ellen Haney (1821-1889) buried at St. Andrew’s, but her death certificate is not at the Kent Co. Clerk’s office or the Transient Death List (where it would be if she died in another county and was buried in Kent Co.).

      1870-’71—Haney, Bridget, domestic, resides 47 Sheldon
      1872—Rev. Patrick J. McManus became pastor of St. Andrew’s Church
      1873-’74—Haney, Bridget, housekeeper for Rev. P.J. McManus
      1874-75—Hanny, Bridget, housekeeper, Rev. P.J. McManus
      1876-’77—Haney, Bridget, domestic, 143 LaGrave
      1877-’78—Hanny, Bridget, housekeeper, sw corner Maple & Sheldon
      1878-’79—Haney, Bridget (widow Patrick), domestic 145 Sheldon
      1879-’80—Haney, Bridget (widow Patrick), domestic, 147 Sheldon
      1880-’81—Haney, Bridget, domestic, 147 Sheldon

      1880 Federal Census—Bridget “Hanney” is living as a housekeeper and boarder with five nuns and six other people on Sheldon St.—St. Andrew’s Convent or Rectory.

      1881-’84—Haney, Bridget (widow Patrick), housekeeper, 147 Sheldon

      Thus, Bridget Haney was a housekeeper at St. Andrew’s Rectory from 1870-1884 or ‘85. Fr. Patrick McManus, “Fr. Mack,” was the pastor during Bridget’s tenure, and he was described as “dynamic” and “ebullient.” Fr. McManus was the driving force behind the opening of the first Catholic grade school, St. Andrew’s School (1873), as well as the current St. Andrew’s church (completed 1876 and elevated to cathedral status in 1882). “On Sunday evening of December 27, 1885, Father Mcmanus rushed out of his neighbor’s horse-drawn carriage across for the St. Andrew’s rectory and in the dark ran toward the rectory entrance and headlong into a hitching post. Though he recovered enough to leave for dinner, he fainted at the home of his hosts, the architect John Grady and his wife. In little more than a day, Fr. McManus died of peritonitis at the age of 45.” (from Where the Star Came to Rest, Gaspar F. Ancona). It makes sense that Fr. McManus’s death percipitated Bridget’s retirement.

      1884-’89—no listing for Bridget Haney.
      1889-’90—Boarding with Patrick Finn at the Parnell House at 44 Plainfield.
      1891—Hanney, Bridget (widow Patrick) bds 263 E. Leonard st. (with Finns)
      1892-’94 + 1897—Hanney, Bridget (widow Patrick), bds. 67 Carrier (with Finns)
      1898—Hanny, Bridget (widow Patrick), died April 20, 1898

      21 Apr 1898—Bridget dies at age 83 of heart disease and old age. She was living at her niece Mary Finn’s home at 67 Carrier St. and is survived by six children. Bridget’s obituaries in the local newspapers read:
      Grand Rapids Herald, 22 April 1898: “Mrs. Bridget Hannay, aunt of Mrs. Patrick Finn, No. 67 Carrier street, died Wednesday evening at the age of 85 years. Funeral will take place Saturday morning at 9 o’clock from St. Alphonsus’ church.”
      Grand Rapids Democrat, 22 April 1898: HANEY—Thursday, April 21, 1898, at the residence of her niece, Mrs. Patrick Finn of 67 Carrier street, Mrs. B. J. Haney. Funeral from St. Alphonsus’ church at 9 o’clock Saturday morning.”
      Bridget is buried in her brother-in-law Thomas Gemars’ lot (2 Old 9-3) at St. Andrew’s Cemetery.
    Person ID I1617  Moore-Bek
    Last Modified 9 December 2011 

    Father Mr. Smythe 
    Mother Mrs. 
    Family ID F1162  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family/Spouse Patrick Haney,   d. c. 1868, Grand Rapids, MI Find all individuals with events at this location 
     1. 6 children Haney
    Family ID F1163  Family Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

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