Saturday, 12 October 2013

Mary Clarissa Wynne

John Wynne was my great granduncle, Patrick Wynne's brother.  John moved to Dundalk in the 1870s. His daughter, Mary Camillus, was Granddad Kevin’s first cousin.

Mary Clarissa Wynne (
Mary Clarissa Wynne was the youngest daughter of John Wynne and Margarita (Maggie) Armstrong, born on Saturday, 9 September 1893, in Bachelor’s Walk, Dundalk, Co. Louth, Ireland. John and Maggie Wynne lived in Dundalk with their ten children: John Augustin, Margaret, Mary Frances, Joseph, Mary Agnes, Nora Mabel, James, Gerald Patrick, Mary Clarissa and Philip Camillus.

Mary Clarissa’s mother died of tuberculosis in 1900, when she was just seven years old, and she was raised by her father and older siblings. Her father was a cork manufacturer, in Dundalk. In 1901 the family lived at 16 Bachelor's Walk, Dundalk in a five-roomed house. In 1911, Mary Clarissa and her brother James lived with their eldest sister, Margaret Stewart.

Mary Clarissa first traveled to Sydney, Australia, where she worked as a domestic servant, or at least that is what I think occupation ‘h’hold’ means in the passenger list; another lady on this passenger list was listed as a ‘h’wife’. At the end of 1929, Mary Clarissa returned from Australia and sailed to New York, via Southampton, England, aboard the S.S. Ausonia.

Her elder brothers Joseph, James and Gerald Patrick had already made their home in New York. In New York, Mary Clarissa worked as a laboratory assistant, in a hospital.  She obtained U.S. citizenship on 6 January 1936, in the district court in New York City. Her declaration of intention to apply for U.S. citizenship describes her physical appearance as: ‘blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion, 5 feet 1 inch in height, weight 155 pounds’ and provides the above photograph.
US Declaration of intention,  Mary Clarissa Wynne, 1933,

As soon as her citizenship came through, she again crossed the Atlantic, presumably for a visit home to Ireland. She was recorded as a passenger on the S.S. Georgic, returning to New York from Southampton, in July 1936.
Mary Clarissa Wynne, death notice, 
 Irish Independent, 28 October 1965
Mary Clarissa never married, nor had any children. At the end of her life she returned home to Ireland. She died of cancer on 27 October 1965, in the Blessed Oliver Plunket’s Hospital, Dundalk, aged 72 years. Her brother James, who she shared a house with in New York, was also home when she died. She was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Dundalk.

Mary Clarissa’s grandfather and my great great grandfather, John Wynne (c.1820-1911), remains one of my most elusive ancestors. I started researching her family, to see if it would shed any light on John Wynne’s origins. I like Mary Clarissa's story. She traveled the world and back, long before it became so easy and fashionable! 

Sources available on request.

© 2013 Black Raven Genealogy

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