Saturday, October 31, 2015


I am writing this time about FRANCES GRACE TIERNEY (AUNT FRANKIE) the second oldest daughter of JOHN TIERNEY and MARGARET DELANEY.

AUNT FRANKIE was born in March of 1888 in Brooklyn, New York.  I have found her with her family in the 1892 New York State Census at the age of 4.

I have found AUNT FRANKIE in the 1900 Census living with her Grandparents, Aunt and Uncle and Sisters.  So much has happened in the family in the last 8 years. AUNT FRANKIE’S brother, JOHN was born and died. AUNT FRANKIE’S Mother, MARGARET died giving birth to another daughter who they named MARGARET.  Her father, JOHN left the family with a broken heart and died a few months later.  At the age of 12, AUNT FRANKIE and her older sister MAY with the help of AUNT KITTY took care of the other children.

By the time 1910 comes around, the sisters are now on their own, Grandfather, MICHAEL DELANEY, Grandmother, MARY DELANEY, and AUNT KITTY have died. UNCLE MICHAEL DELANEY is not capable of taking care of five girls.  They are found living with “cousins” (that is what is listed in the census but I have not found how they are really related, if at all).  In this census AUNT FRANKIE indicates she is a telephone operator.  During a recent conversation with AUNT FRANKIE’S daughter FRANCES (with her daughter-in -law) she said her mother was a telegraphic operator so possibly she did both. 

In the summer of 1911 AUNT FRANKIE lived through one of the hottest heat waves, the temperatures stayed around 110 degrees for about a week.  I can just image working at the telephone company with no air conditioning during that week.  Sometime after starting work AUNT FRANKIE met her future husband at a New Year’s Eve party.  He had noticed her walking by where he worked and wanted to meet her. WILLIAM was a Linotype Setter and Proofreader for a variety of Newspapers over the years.  FRANCES TIERNEY and WILLIAM STAUNTON MILLER married around 1917.

In the 1920 Census AUNT FRANKIE and WILLIAM MILLER are living with their 9 month old son STAUNTON EDWARD (known as ED) and AUNT FRANKIE’ sister, ALICE TIERNEY.  In the 1930 Census they have two more children, WILLIAM and FRANCES.  The census indicates that WILLIAM and AUNT FRANKIE have bought the house at 5105 Avenue L, Brooklyn, NY.  They continued living in that house for many years.  The 1940 Census which is the last census available to view they are all living at the same house in Brooklyn.

I remember having Thanksgiving dinner at the house on Avenue L in the 1950’s.  We lived in Hicksville on Long Island and usually went to dinner at our grandparents in Brooklyn, but this time we all went to AUNT FRANKIE and UNCLE BILL’S.  During the day many children came to the door dressed as vagabonds or hobos asking for handouts. AUNT FRANKIE would give them an apple.  It was a custom my sister and I had never heard of.  The only dressing up and going door to door we knew was on Halloween.

When my Grandfather, JOHN MOORE died in 1980 and ALICE TIERNEY’S husband, JACK FARRELL was living in the house on Avenue L.  I believe he and ALICE lived with AUNT FRANKIE for many years after WILLIAM MILLER died.

During all these years AUNT FRANKIE and her husband were always having fun with their political discussions, one was Democrat and one Republican.  They said they cancelled out each other’s vote. My Grandmother, ISABEL TIERNEY also was very interested in politics.  I believe because they were young women on August 18, 1920 when the 19th Amendment was signed giving women the right to vote, they were much attuned to making the right choices when voting.

AUNT FRANKIE always had a great sense of humor. AUNT FRANKIE loved to read and was very organized.  She did very fine needlework and did French Stitching.  AUNT FRANKIE made a beautiful long christening gown, slip and hat that was worn by all of her Daughter, FRANCES’ 4 children and 8 grandchildren and probably her 6 great grandchildren as well.

AUNT FRANKIE’s husband, WILLIAM STAUNTON MILLER, died January 13, 1961 in New York.  They had been married 44 wonderful years.

The last one or two years of AUNT FRANKIE’S life she lived with her daughter in South Carolina and at her son’s in Durham, NC.  AUNT FRANKIE died in Durham January 3, 1980 at 91.  Her daughter and one son are both in their 90’s today.

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