My mother, Annie, was born on August 7, 1908, the fifth child of James and Molly (Mary) Tangney, and the second girl. She began to attend school at the age of 3,and was given violin lessons very early; she told us that, much later, the Sister who taught music approached Jim Tangney and told him that she could teach his talented daughter no more, she was very gifted; but, that she could obtain a place for her at the London Conservatory if he would agree.
He would not: (1) "No child of mine needs anything from England; and (2) At her age, 14, she will not be allowed to go alone to London." So, my mother treasured her violin, all her life, including the velvet cover her mother made for her, to keep it in, and its case -- but, her music education never went further. Instead of going to London after graduation, she was sent to the milliner's shop in town as an apprentice, and learned to make hats! By 18, she told us, she was very bored, restless ... "there was nothing to do, and there were too many of us ..." -- She ("like everybody, then") wanted to go to America.
Her father's brother (name?) was living near Boston, and sponsored his nieces ...I believe that Mae and Annie (and later Peg) lived at first with him, and then each moved in with the family for whom they worked. My mother told us she landed in this country, in Boston, on her 19th birthday -- August 7, 1927.
Her mother died, very soon afterward ... My mother was so very close to her mother; and, so very homesick. I believe she never really recovered from the shock of her mother's death. She told us she fainted when told of it, sitting at her uncle's table with her sisters Mae and, I believe by then, Peg. She saved her money, and went "home" for the Eucharistic Congress -- in (1932, I believe) -- and stayed home, then, to help her father to run the household, including caring for the younger ones still at home.
She didn't last too long (bored again! -- plus, her father had a farmer in mind, for a suitable "match" -- to keep her home!) She spent time in England, with Kitty, next -- and by 1935 was back in Boston. The night she landed, she met my father, William Doherty (6-19-08.) My mother always made us laugh (but she was serious!) when she declared she was glad he was, at least, a LITTLE older than her! as was proper for the man to be! They were married on November 14, 1937; and I was then born on July 30, 1938, the first of 7 children.
P.S. Joe: I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you my mother's date of death: December 8, 1996. She suffered a stroke, in her apartment (a little place, that she loved -- all her own, and was in for that last 20 years of her life.)
She was a very private person, and we were grateful that it happened within her apartment, for her sake; AND, that my sister, Kathy, found her almost immediately (well, not more than an hour or so -- too late to stop the progress; but, there was really no hopeful future anyway; it was a massive stroke.) We were then actually glad that she did not linger, but died the following morning. I, and my next sibling, my sister Betty, were with her in the hospital, one on each side, singing and talking to her when she drew her last breath. (She never did wake up, from the stroke.) We'd stayed overnight (the others had gone home, thinking there would be more time...) -- Mom died at 10:10 in the morning, 12/8/96.