Fifth Wedding Anniversary – November 1953

James and Mary Mirota Doran celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.

James and Mary Mirota Doran celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.

On Thanksgiving Day, November 1948, James Doran married Mary Mirota. It was a double wedding, and Mary’s brother, Joseph Mirota, married Stefie Mosch. The two couples were celebrating their joint fifth wedding anniversary at the Mirota farmhouse in these photos. The large picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus seems to be watching over all who gather at the family table. The wedding had been held at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Whitehouse Station, Hunterdon County, New Jersey.

Joseph and Stefie Mosch Mirota celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary - November 1953.

Joseph and Stefie Mosch Mirota celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary – November 1953.

This is one of my favorite photos of Joe and Stefie – it shows their joy and happiness – and Stefie never looked more beautiful. The children on the other hand look a little bored and restless and ready for the cake and pie.

Getting the table ready.

Getting the table ready.

Stefie Mirota is helping her sister-in-law, Mary, while their other sister-in-law, Jean Pucilowski Mirota, is looking on with the children. The traditional gift for fifth anniversaries is wood, and the modern gift is silverware. I wonder if the silverware coffee server was a new gift.

James Doran and children - November 1953

James Doran and children – November 1953

Jim Doran is relaxing in his work clothes with his three young children. Possibly they celebrated on the actual day, November 25th, and not on Thanksgiving that year.

Mary Mirota Doran relaxing at her home.

Mary Mirota Doran relaxing at her home.

How cute is Mary in this polka dot dress with a warm looking sweater! I love how the newspaper is on Mary’s lap, and a bookcase is next to the sofa. She enjoyed reading, and shared that joy with her children. The radio had been the center of the current news and entertainment, but the television was taking center stage.

To read more about their wedding day in 1948 you can click here, and you can also click on any image to enlarge it. I wonder what the headline was on that newspaper? Thanks to my sister for sharing these photographs with me.

Best wishes for a very happy Thanksgiving Day here in the USA on Thursday!

Copyright by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters 2016.

Posted in Doran, Family Names, Hunterdon County, Locations, Marriage Records, Mirota, Mosch, New Jersey, Pucilowski, Readington Township, Research | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Resarching Mary Kane Doran of Belfast, Northern Ireland

I’m hoping to find out more about the second wife, Mary Kane, of my Irish great-grandfather, Bernard Doran. His first wife, Mary Hall, was my direct ancestor, but it always helps in family research to look at all sides. From research done for our family at the Ulster Historical Society in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland we found the first inkling of Bernard’s second wife’s name in 2002. We also knew from a written family history by Sal Rafferty, that after Bernard’s first wife died he married a woman that owned a public house (pub) and was thought to have lived happily ever after, and that he died circa 1920 in Belfast. This record only shows that they are Roman Catholic, living on Weaver Street, and gives their ages as full age, meaning over twenty-one. Mary Kane had never been married. Since Bernard’s father was listed as John Doran, and deceased, we are fairly certain that Mary Kane is the person we are seeking to research.

Recently I was contacted by someone on who is researching the Kane family of Kirkinriola, Ballymena, County Antrim. In 2011 I had found a baptism record for a Mary Anne Kane, born or baptized on 16 June 1861, at the Roman Catholic church in Kirkinriola. Her parents were listed as James Kane and Susanna McQuillan. The sponsors were William Chushnahan and Catherine McCauley.

Researching Irish records there was a marriage record for Augustine Kane to Robert McKane on 15 February 1908 in Belfast. The witnesses were Bernard Doran and Elizabeth Jane Griffith.  Since Augustine Kane also was living on Weaver Street, it is a very good lead for searching the Kane family. Kane is a very common surname in Ireland, but her first name is more unique. From both of these marriage records it looks like Bernard Doran had a close enough relationship that he was chosen as one of the witnesses.

On I found a birth/ baptism record for Augustine Kane, born on 4 September 1870, to James Kane and Susanna McQuillan. living at 51 Nail Street, in Belfast. I know that our Doran family was living at 19 Nail Street when John Doran (Bernard’s brother) was born on the 26th of September 1878 to John and Ellen Little Doran. This makes me think that Mary Kane and Bernard Doran may have known each other from childhood.

Looking at the 1901 Irish Census for the Kane family was a challenge. Finally I found Susanna Kane living on Weaver Street with two of her daughters, Augustis, age 36, and Mary, age 32, both single. Susanna was listed as a widow. The family was Roman Catholic and had two male boarders living with them. After a check up and down Weaver Street I didn’t find Bernard Doran living there yet, or simply not recorded. The Kane family was enumerated as O’Kone, but the house and building return clearly shows Susan O’Kane.

Since Mary Kane’s year of birth is off by about eight years, it is possible that the birth record from Kirkinriola in 1861 was for another child that died. Looking at the Irish birth records for James Kane and Susanna McQuillan or Mcquillan, I have found other siblings of Mary and Augustine Kane. James Kane, born 27 June 1864, male, Ballymacarret. Eugene Kane, female, born 1 August 1866, female, Ballymacarret. Susanna Kane, born 22 September 1866, female, in Belfast. Susanna Kane, born 19 December 1872, female, in Belfast, Annie Kane, born 3 January 1875, female, in Belfast. and Margaret Kane, born 28 June 1877, female, in Belfast. What is also interesting to me is that Bernard Doran was baptized in Ballymacarret in 1858.

The only other information about Mary Kane Doran is that in 1914 she came to the USA with her step-son, Joseph Doran, to visit her step-daughter, Nellie Doran in New Jersey. Mary listed herself as a widow, but we know that Bernard Doran was still living later in the year when Bernard’s daughter, Elizabeth Doran Rafferty, left Belfast for Canada.

Name: Mary Doran
Arrival Date: 16 Mar 1914
Birth Date: abt 1869
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: Columbia

Joseph Doran, son, age 18

I hope to find out more about the Kane family, and what would be fantastic is to find an ancestor of the family that had photographs.

Good luck searching for your family’s roots!

Copyright 2016 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

Posted in Belfast, Birth, Doran, Family Names, Ireland, Kane, Locations, Marriage Records, Research | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Searching Federal Census Records – Mirota Surname

Jopseph and Sophia Mirota with two of their children, taken at the back of their house. Copyright 2016 Genealogy Sisters

Joseph and Sophia (sitting on the running boards) with Mary and Joe, Jr.,  – taken at the Mirota house on Mountain Road, Readington Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Copyright 2016 Genealogy Sisters.

October is National Family History Month, and one of the ways to search for your family is through census records. If you watch any of the TV genealogy shows, you will notice that the census records are almost always checked very early on in the search.

It used to be in the USA that you would go to one of the National Archives and search through microfilm, if you at least knew the state, county, and town or township your family lived in. Now there are many online sources, both free and paid subscription sites.

Searching for our Mirota family was one of the more difficult surnames in our family tree. We knew that Joseph and Sophia Mirota should be found starting in the 1910 Federal Census. My sister and I had found them early on in the 1930 Federal Census by looking at microfilm at the National Archives. We knew they should be in New Jersey, in the county of Hunterdon, and the township of Readington. We also knew the names of many of their neighbors. We found the family living on Cushetunk Road which is now called Mountain Road. They were listed as Joseph and Sophia Miratos, with their four children: Genevieve, Stephen, Mary, and Joseph. Joseph Mirota was listed as working with a section gang on the railroad. This record can now be found on sites such as

Source:; Year: 1930; Census Place: Readington, Hunterdon, New Jersey; Roll: 1361; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0030; Image: 620.0; FHL microfilm: 2341096

Source:; Year: 1930; Census Place: Readington, Hunterdon, New Jersey; Roll: 1361; Page: 8A; Enumeration District: 0030; Image: 620.0; FHL microfilm: 2341096

By using neighbors names, my sister and I found the Mirota family in the 1920 Federal Census, also living in Readington Township, Hunterdon County, NJ. They were living in the same house and listed as Joe and Sophia Mesrato, with their children: Jennie, Staffy, Mary, and Joseph. Joseph Mirota, Senior was listed as a farmer.

When the 1940 Federal Census was released, we were excited when we found the Mirota family again. We knew they were still living in Readington Township. They were enumerated  as Joseph and Sophia Mirada, with their son, Joseph Mirada, Junior, listed as farmers.

The 1910 Federal Census for Joseph and Sophia Mirota was a mystery for quite some time. We knew they lived in Washington County, Pennsylvania from the time they immigrated from Poland between the 1900 and 1910 censuses. Finally by using the name variations from the other census records, I was lucky to find them living in Smith Township, Washington County, PA. They were listed as Joe and Sophia Murata, with their first child, Genevieve, but she was listed as Jenove Murata. Joseph Mirota was listed as a coal miner.

The Mirota surname can be found around the small Polish village that Joseph Mirota came from in 1906, dating back to the early 1700s in Roman Catholic church records. It also is found in other sections of Poland, but it isn’t a common surname.

Between the 1910 and 1940 censuses, our Mirota surname was enumerated as Murata, Mesrato, Miratos, and Mirada. That surname isn’t as difficult as many more! So you can see why you have to be persistent when searching for your family history. Interestingly the Mirota  surname can be commonly found in places like Japan, Indonesia, Italy, and Hawaii.

Joseph and Sophia Mirota by the front of their house in Readington Township, New Jersy.

Joseph and Sophia Mirota by the front of their house in Readington Township, New Jersey. Copyright 2016 by Genealogy Sisters.

There are census records in the USA from 1790 – 1940, with only fragments of the 1890. A few sources for these records that I use are: (free). subscription site). (found often at your local library with free online access from home).

For searching the 1940 Census for free:

Good luck searching for your family!

Copyright 2016 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

Posted in Census Records, Family Names, Family research, Hunterdon County, Locations, Mirota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Readington Township, Research, Washington County | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments