Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Fotos (April 26, 2013)

Margaret (Collins) Hayes

Margaret (Collins) Hayes is my wife's great grandmother and my sons' great great grandmother. She was born in Ireland in February 1859 and she died in New York (the precise location and date presently unknown to me).  

Margaret Collins married Thomas Hayes in Ireland (date and location currently unknown).  She and Thomas emigrated from Ireland and arrived in the United States with three daughters in 1889 (according to the 1900 Census).  The family lived in Queens, New York.  Margaret and Thomas eventually had six children -- all girls: Mary (b. 1884); Nellie (b. 1886); Hannah (b. 1889); Margaret (b. 1891); Nora C. Hayes O'Kane (my wife's grandmother, 1893 - 1981); and Katharine (b. 1896).

Almost nothing is known at present about Margaret's husband Thomas, except that he died while all of his daughters were still young girls.  Margaret was left alone to raise their daughters, and, as reported by my wife's aunt, Margaret did so by keeping babies from the New York Foundling Home.  The babies were kept in the Hayes home for two years each and Margaret is reported to have kept 29 babies over the years as she struggled to keep her own family together.  Margaret had many and repeated offers from various social agencies to take some of her six girls, but she steadfastly refused to give up any of her children.  She raised them all to young adulthood.  As my wife's aunt says, "She is a woman to be admired."  She is indeed!  

What little I know of Margaret Collins makes me want to know more.  She is on a list of people about whom I need to do more research.  She clearly was a particularly strong and resilient woman. In the future, I hope to learn more about Margaret and her life -- and to report on any discoveries here at The Prism.
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Photograph of Margaret (Collins) Hayes courtesy of my wife's aunt, Grace (O'Kane) Herbert.
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. The photo caught my eye - lovely older woman, all dressed up, waiting for the photographer to be finished, sitting by the fireplace. Who was the photographer, I wonder? She's well-worth more research - hope you find more of her story. Interesting post, John.

  2. I'm glad you mentioned this post in your Serendipity Saturday post, because I had missed it! Like you, I would be interested to hear more of Margaret's story.