Pictures of My Irish Grandfather

Sometime ago, I wrote about finding my Irish Grandfather’s birthplace. I never got to meet my grandfather – William J. Smith, He died well before I was born. William was born in Ireland in 1871 and died in New York State in 1940. The only way I knew him at all was through the wedding pictures of him and his wife Mary Carolan. They married in 1905 on Staten Island.

William J. Smith and Mary E. Carolan on their wedding day, June 28, 1905

William and his sister-in-law – my great-aunt – Elizabeth (Bess) Carolan bought summer houses in the Catskill Mountains. The last of these cottages that was owned by the family was that of Aunt Bess. It was called Carolan Lodge. I spent a great deal of time there when I was growing up. For my paternal first cousins, and my siblings and I, it became home. It was with great regret that my father had to sell the Lodge. Prior to leaving for the last time, I gathered up all the family pictures that I could find. Including those wedding pictures above.

The other picture hung in that house was the group wedding photo of Alice Carolan to Harold Hood in 1917:

William J. Smith (top row, fourth from left) at Alice Carolan (bottom row, third from left) wedding to Harold Hood April 9,1917

Later as I researched more, I found that another researcher had attached a photo of him from the Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania, Volume 3

William J. Smith circa 1915

Then a newly found cousin sent me a bunch of photos and I found one with William and some of his family (including my father)

William J. Smith, daughter Margaret, sister-in-law Elizabeth (Bess) Carolan, son William G., and wife Mary. Date uncertain but likely late 1920s or early 1930s.

And lastly, this faint photograph of his gravestone had been in my possession for some time.

Gravestones of William J. Smith, His wife Mary and sister-in-law Elizabeth Carolan

They aren’t much but these pictures do help me to get to know my grandfather.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.