It’s time for another episode of “Heenan in the News” in which I share information from historical newspapers about people with the Heenan surname. I look out for items that are unusual, intriguing, strange, humorous or add details to people already in my database.
Today’s item is from The Capital Journal, of Salem, Oregon on 17 Oct 1945, page 9
James E Heenan, Pressman, Dies
James E Heenan died at a Salem hospital Monday after a year’s illness. He had been employed for 43 years by the Oregon state printing department as a pressman. Funeral services are to be held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church Wednesday at 9am with interment at St Barbara’s cemetery. Recitation of the rosary will be at 8 o’clock this evening at the Clough-Barrick chapel.
Born in Sant Francisco April 13 1865, Heenan came to Oregon 43 years ago to make his home in Salem.
He is survived by his widow Mrs Elizabeth E Heenan, Salem; two daughters Mrs Karl J Barr and Mrs John A Nathman, Salem; two sons J Edward Heenan, Salem and Dennis A Heenan of San Jose California; one sister Mrs Lucy Daugherty of Portland; ten grandchildren, three grand nieces and nephews and a niece Mrs Villard Keil of Portland.
Discovering James Heenan
This obituary helpfully gives a date and place for his birth which should make it easier to find his parents. I say should because James wasn’t always consistent with the information he provides.
In the 1930 and 1940 census he gives his place of birth as California but in the 1900 census when he is living with his in-laws his place of birth is listed as Pennsylvania. Perhaps the discrepancy can be attributed to the lack of accurate information possessed by his father in law, as head of the household, who provided the details to the enumerator.
Another curious piece of information is that in the 1930 James Heenan says his father was born in Ireland and his mother in Africa. In 1880 when he is staying with his sister Lucy and her husband his mother is recorded as being born in Scotland. I checked the 1930 census original and it does quite clearly say Africa – I can’t think of any possible explanation for this quite extraordinary difference in information.
Searching for his parents I found James in San Francisco in the 1870 census. His parents are recorded as Dennis Heenan, a grocer born in Ireland and Lucy Heenan born in Scotland. Now I am the first to admit my geographic skills could do with improving but even I know that Scotland and Africa are many miles apart. I can’t even think of a place in Scotland that might sound remotely like Africa. So I am baffled….