Mary Elizabeth Markey (1878-1938)

Edward Miller, Mary Elizabeth Markey and family

According to the genealogy chart my maternal grandfather, Earl Miller,  created in 1968, his mother’s name was Elizabeth Markey. The chart gives no birth information and no death information. To further confuse the issue, my great-grandmother’s death certificate gives the same name for her mother.  So, when I began my search for Elizabeth Markey, I had very little information to start with. My initial questions were when and where was she born, who were her parents and when and where did she die?

Edward Miller, Mary Elizabeth Markey and family
Edward Miller, Mary Elizabeth Markey and family

The above photo was provided by my mother’s cousin, Lois Miller. It shows Edward Miller (1877-1954), Elizabeth Markey (1878-1938) with their five sons, Harvey Miller (1902-1984), Earl Miller (1903-1972) (my grandfather), Lawrence C Miller (1908-1991),  Laverne Albert Miller (1909-1946) and Harold E Miller (1918-2000).

Start with What You Know

I knew that my grandfather had a cousin, we always called her Tuts. When I married in 1975, she gave me a little green teacup that she said was an antique, over 100 years old. I knew that Tuts’ real name last name was Schnitzer and she was from Colden, Erie County, New York. With that information, I was able to go through all the Schnitzer’s in Colden census records and find a Rose Schnitzer, her husband Louis Schnitzer and their three children, William, Winifred and Ethelyn. Checking with my mother, that was the correct family. Winifred Marie Schnitzer, known as Tuts to me, now had a name and parents. If Toots was my grandfather’s cousin, could her mother, Rose, be Elizabeth’s sister?

Next Steps

I next looked for Rose’s maiden name. I found Rose’s and Elizabeth’s brother, Augustus Markey, living with the Schmitzers in the 1925 NY Census in Aurora, Erie County, NY. Bingo! Well, not so fast. My mother suggested talking to her cousin, Lois Miller to find out if she had any additional info. Lois knew that Elizabeth Markey was the correct name and that she died in 1938, due to complications from gall bladder surgery. She also told me that Colden, New York was predominately German Lutheran and the Markey Family was Irish, never the twain shall meet she said. The Miller family was not happy when Edward Miller married Elizabeth Markey.

I stepped back through the census records and found Augustus Markey in the 1905 NY Census, Wales, Erie County, New York. He was enumerated with Thomas Markey, 63 and Mary A Markey, 55. I’ve got it now. I decided to search in Wales, Erie County to see if I could find other Markeys in Wales, New York instead of Colden, New York.  Starting with Find-a-Grave, I found Gus Markey, correct birth and death dates. Everything matched. It seems that Augustus Markey was a life long bachelor who lived with his parents until their death and then various family members.

So far, what I have is that Elizabeth Markey was born in 1877 and died in 1938.  She was the daughter of Thomas Markey and Mary A Markey and had a sister, Rose and a brother Augustus. They were Irish and lived in Wales, Erie County, New York.

Thomas Markey

I found a historical newspaper site for New York.  I found Thomas Markey and Louis Snitzer of Buffalo calling upon friends in Java Center, Wyoming, New York. Louis Schnitzer married Rose Markey in 1896. A funeral notice for Mrs. Thomas Markey in 1892. A funeral notice for Mrs. Ann Mooney and Mrs. Catherine Gallaher, sisters of John Markey and Thomas Markey of Java Center in 1904.

Back to my list of Markeys on Find-a-Grave. I have two Anna Markeys on the list.

I find a biography of a James Markey with biographies of his sons, John Markey and Thomas Markey.  John Markey married Anna E Tuite. It states that Thomas Markey was born in 1842. He married Anna L. Conroy. Now I have both the Anna Markeys on Find-a-Grave.

I find another biography stating that Thomas’ father James Markey, married Margaret Kerwin and had 5 children. His three daughters were listed as Ann Markey, who married John Mooney, Kate Markey who married Gallagher and Mary Markey wife of Thomas Murray. John was listed as married to Ann E Twite who died in 1893. Augustus Markey lived with the Murray family, cousins, at one point.

All of this biographical information mixed with census records and Find-a-Grave records really doesn’t prove the points for me to find out what I need to know for Elizabeth Markey. Who were her parents?

The Proving Point

Looking for any Markey wills or probate records, I found Anna L Markey on 7 July 1893. Anna L Markey died in 1892, her will and probate was settled the following year. All three of her children, Rose, Augustus and Lizzie are mentioned with a guardian appointed for the two younger children, Augustus and Lizzie. Anna, it seemed required her own will and probate because she had extensive debt for her business and Thomas had to sell land he inherited from his father in  order to settle the debt.

Mary Elizabeth Markey went by Lizzie. Her parents were Thomas Markey and Anna L Conroy. Anna L Conroy died in 1892. Thomas Markey and Anna L Conroy had three children, Rose, Augustus and Mary Elizabeth.  Further, Thomas Markey was the son of James Markey and Margaret Ann Kerwin.

The Mystery

In the 1905 NY Census, Augustus Markey is enumerated with Thomas Markey and Mary A Markey. Anna L Conroy, Augustus’ mother, died in 1892. Mary A Markey is noted as 55 years old. She can’t be his mother, nor can she be his sister, Mary Elizabeth. In 1905, Mary Elizabeth would not have been 55 and she was already married to Edward C Miller.

If Thomas Markey is the father of Elizabeth Markey and he married Anna L. Conroy, why is Thomas living with Mary A. Markey in the NY census in 1905? This is the stuff that makes my genealogical brain hurt. Did Thomas Markey marry again after Anna died in 1892? When did Thomas Markey die? When did Mary A Markey die?