27 February 2015

Albany's Veteran's Memorials

When Spring and warmer weather finally get here a blog post will be posted on the many Veteran's Memorials located throughout Albany.  It's just too cold to drive to and photograph the monuments. The idea for this upcoming post was put together after a surprising drive down Sheridan Avenue in Arbor Hill last week.

There is a lot of construction going on in that area.  Lower Sheridan Avenue previously named Canal Street was an Irish slum neighborhood known as Gander Bay.  Most of the homes in that area have been long torn down including number 172 Sheridan Avenue where my great great grandparents, Michael J. Gannon and his wife Anne Cummins Gannon lived and raised a family.  Their home was located where the New York State steam plant is now.  The homes that were left were very dilapidated.

The level of construction going on there did not surprise me.  The area definitely needs rehabilitation. What did irk me was the fact that a veteran's memorial, building, and flag pole dedicated to those from that neighborhood who served and died in World War II was completely torn down.  There was no remnant left. Everything was gone.

When I got home I contacted a couple of Veterans of Foreign War posts and they were aware of this. One person who I spoke with mentioned that the building had seen better days and was in rough shape.  I do not know how bad it was but I am assuming that it could have been saved with a little effort.  Also I was told that one of the construction contractors wanted to take the flag pole that was located on the site for his own personal use.

I may be off course but I do not know how Albany's officials could let this happen.  Shame on them!

Christopher White: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Week 5

This week's ancestral biography is a very short one.  It is on one of my uncles.  Actually my great grandfather's younger brother, Christopher White.   I happen to have the same name also; however the family was unaware of another Christopher White in the family.  He unfortunately died at two years of age.

Christopher White was born 1 August 1875 at 445 Clinton Avenue in Albany to Charles William White (1835-1917) and Mary Ann Wilson (1839-1908).  Both were Irish immigrants.  Charles immigrated with his parents and siblings and landed in New York harbor on 2 November 1843.  They sailed on the Salem.  It is still unknown when Christopher's mother immigrated to the United States.

Charles was a steadfast Episcopal and his wife Mary was Roman Catholic.  Charles was long associated with Grace Episcopal Church located on the corner of Clinton Avenue and Robin Street while his wife Mary was a communicant of St. Patrick's Church on Central Avenue.  Christopher was baptized at St. Patrick's on 7 August 1875 and his sponsors were William Delehanty and Sarah Doyle.  I have yet to find a family connection with the child's sponsors.

Information gained from the 1880 Federal Census lists Charles and family as living at 193 Lark Street in Albany.  Also among the family was an uncle Christopher McGrath.  I am assuming that the child was named after him.  The census image is below.

According to records at Albany Rural Cemetery, little Christopher White died on 1 August 1877 at 55 Lark Street in Albany from lung congestion.  He was buried two days later in the family plot.

Christopher White at the grave of his great grand uncle Christopher White