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I am researching the ancestors of my Great-grandmother Eunice Berry (Sweeney). According
to her head-stone, she was born on 25 March 1888. I have located her in the 1895 Iowa
State Census as one of the daughters of Daniel and Maggie Sweeney of Mason City.
According to un-written family accounts, her mother died and the father lost or gave up
custody of their children (listed in 1895 as Joseph (b1885), Barney (b1887), Eunice
(b1888), James (b1890), Annie (b1893) and Maggie (b1895)), with Eunice and a sister being
sent to an orphanage in Dubuque. I have located them both (Eunice and Anna Sweeney) in an
orphanage in in Dubuque in the 1900 census. Eunice lived in Dubuque (confirmed by 1905
census and 1909 DBQ city directory) and went to nursing school, eventually marrying my
Great-grandfather Frank P. Berry in late 1909.
At least two of the other kids seem to have been scattered about the area between 1895 and
1900. James looks to be living with another family (McNamara) in Worth County in 1900 and
in 1910, Barney is living with another family (Valentine) as well in Mason City.
Now, also in the 1910 Federal census, there is a Dan and Maggie Sweeney household. They
have two children James and Marie. The age of James matches the age Eunice's brother
James who was with the family in 1895 and in Worth County in 1900. Also, Maggie is listed
as having 7 total children. If one adds the number of children in the 1895 and Marie
(born in 1896), this adds up to seven. The age of Dan on the 1910 is spot-on 15 years
older than the Daniel Sweeney in the 1895. Maggie is a few years off. The birth
countries for everying in the 1910 line up perfectly. If this is in fact the same couple
I found in the 1895, it pretty much blows the whole "Maggie Died" account out of
Whew . . . And that's not even everything I have. I have scatterings of Dan,
Maggie/Margaret and James Sweeneys in other census records from 1900, 1915, 1920 and 1925.
Is anyone else researching this family in Cerro Gordo County? If so, I would love to
compare notes. If anyone else can help my shedding any light on this family, I'd
greatly appreciate it.
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