Sunday, July 27, 2014

Obituary Sunday ~ Elizabeth M. Dougherty Famosa

Elizabeth M. Dougherty Famosa was my great uncle Mimi's wife. This is going to be a short post because I know very little about her. I know that she was born on September 12, 1887 in Philadelphia, PA. Her parents were John Dougherty and Mary McGrath. According to a census, her parents were both born in Ireland.

Elizabeth and Mimi got married around 1906 or 1907. I have heard that they met while performing. Mimi was a musician and Elizabeth was a singer. I have to guess that they met in Atlantic City, New Jersey. I have spent a lot of time and more than a few dollars trying to find Elizabeth and Mimi's marriage record. I have searched in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Camden, NJ, New York City, Delaware, Maryland and the archives of the Philadelphia Archdiocese. I am still at a loss as to where they got married. They could have gotten married somewhere else in Pennsylvania outside the City limits, I just don't know. I haven't found Elizabeth's birth record yet either.  

Elizabeth gave birth to two children, Charles (1908) and Dorothea (1913). Both children had beautiful singing voices or so I am told. It is rather hard to speculate about Elizabeth because both of Elizabeth and Mimi's children are deceased. Elizabeth has no living descendants.. The fact that she did not really allow the Famoso's to visit her makes it even more difficult.  I was recently told that one of my cousins did meet her during a visit in 1957.  He says that both Uncle Mimi and Elizabeth were very cordial to his family.   

Elizabeth was very proud of her Irish heritage and wasn't thrilled to be associated with Italians. She must have really been in love with Mimi since he was definitely an Italian (right off the boat). She did her best to make sure that her husband and children were put in the best possible most "Irish" light. In fact, she made Uncle Mimi use the name Charles or C. Dominic rather than the more Italian form of Domenico. She also had him change his last name to Famosa instead of Famoso. Maybe just to differentiate them from the rest of his family. 

I have never seen a photo of Elizabeth. I am sure that photos did exist and they may still be out there somewhere  Maybe I will see a photo of her some day..  

Photo by Stan Jett

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