Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Week Challenge: #2 Julia Maria Mosher Gaffney


 Julia was the youngest child of Walter Mosher and Eliza Magee Mosher.  She was born on the 10th of February in 1841 in Leroy, Lake County, Ohio.  Lake County butts up to Lake Erie and is quite close to Pennsylvania.  Julia had two older brothers, Hugh Wesley Mosher and Norman Goodwin Mosher, both of whom fought in the Civil War.  There were two other children born to Walter and Eliza, but Marintha Mosher and Lucian Mosher did not live to adulthood.  A cousin of Julia's was also raised in her family home, Sally Mosher's father, Henry had died and Sally made her home with Walter, Eliza and their family.

I don't know much at all about Julia's youth.  Her grandparents lived close by, as did many aunts and uncles.

A gentleman by the name of Patrick Henry Gaffney came into Julia's life, and a romance ensued.
"Family traditions and stories can often be, well, a bit far from the truth sometimes.  It is interesting to learn the bits and pieces of the true course of events, and put them up against the lovely family stories.
A favorite family story is one of my Maternal Grandmother's Grandmother and Grandfather, and how they met and fell in love.
Growing up, we were told how our Grandfather Patrick Gaffney was befriended by the two brothers of our Grandmother, Julia Maria Mosher.  Her brothers were Norman and Hugh Mosher.  They had both fought in the Civil War, for the Union side.  The story goes that after the war, as they were making their way home to Leroy, in Lake County, Ohio, they happened upon a Southern Gentleman in Virginia.  They became fast friends, and encouraged their new friend to come along with them.  [Some cousins remember hearing that this Gentleman (our own Grandfather Patrick Gaffney) had fought for the Confederate Army during the War Between the States.]  So, Patrick decides to go along with Norman and Hugh, back to Ohio.  The trio at last reached Leroy.  When Julia meets Patrick Gaffney, it is apparently "love at first sight" for both of them.  They married not long after.
As I began trying to research our Gaffney line, I came across several documents that began to clarify some of the details of our own "family fairy tale." 
Patrick Gaffney and Julia Maria Mosher were married on the 31st of December in 1859.  Hmmm, a few years before the Civil War began.  Many of the documents that I have found state that Patrick was born inIreland, so while he may have had the manners and bearing of a Southern Gentleman, he was apparently an Irishman.  Some information leads me to believe that Patrick came to Painesville with some of his siblings, at least with a brother Edward/Edwin.  They were in the boot/shoe making business together.  Norman and Hugh may have made a new friend in Patrick whenever they met him, and they may have brought him home.  Quite possibly Julia and Patrick did indeed fall in love at first sight. . . .  At least I like to think that they may have!  
It is good to have a few fairy tales in our family stories, and to have bits of mystery that provoke our imaginations! "  2011 by D.Biggs

The  photo above is presumed to be the wedding photo of 
Julia Maria Mosher 
Patrick Henry Gaffney
What a handsome couple!

The top entry of this above document is the Wedding Record for Patrick and Julia.

Julia and Patrick had eight children that we know of: 
William "Will" (my Great Grandfather)
Mary Eliza "Aunt Liz"
Henry P.
Katie Estelle
Cora May
Walter Stephon Douglas.
The sons Edward, Stephon and Henry P. were all born in the mid 1860's
and all died prior to 1870.  
They are buried in the North East Leroy Cemetery.

This is a photo of Julia (on the right) with 2 of her
daughters, Cora and Katie Estelle.

In 1897, Julia's husband, Patrick, was hospitalized with mental illness.
He was in the Newburg State Hospital in Cleveland.  It was there he died in 1901.
I can only imagine the strain and the pain Julia must have went through.

In May of 1904, Julia and Patrick's eldest child, William suffered the loss
of his wife, Ettie Flood Gaffney.  Will and Ettie had a little two year old
daughter, Evelyn Frances Gaffney, my Grandmother.
Evelyn went to live with her Grandmother Mosher in Painesville.
She lived with her Grandmother for six years. 
Evelyn often spoke of those years with Julia and said that they
were the happiest years of her life, until she met and married
my Grandfather, Frederick August Dostal.
She felt wrapped in love and completely cared for.
She said that her Grandmother was unselfish with her love and with herself.

On the 18th of March, 1910, Julia Maria Mosher Gaffney
passed from this world to the next.  
Among those who mourned her loss, was a little eight 
year old Evelyn, who had now lost her 2nd mother figure in her
short little life.

The legacy of love that Julia passed to her children and to Evelyn
lives on and on through passing generations.

Julia is interred in Evergreen Cemetery next to her husband Patrick.

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