Biography of Frederick
summary of my search of my great grandfather for more than a
My Search I am the 3rd daughter of 5 of Frederick Eugene Coyne, III.
He was born in 1923 and died of cancer - Lymphoma, non-Hodkins
type in 1987. I wish I would have asked him more questions of
his heritage, although I did quite a bit through the years,
especially in his last years. But I think he told me mostly
what he knew. He knew more of his mother's side, the ROWE
line and going back to the WINSLOW
line dating back to the Pilgrims and much more before that.
I was very intrigued as a child when I saw a
copy of the family tree his mother had worked on, but I was
just a child and I quickly forgot about it, more or less. Through
the years, I thought about it often and did ask more about the
Coynes. Very little was known. A few years after my father's
death, I set out to redo what my grandmother
had done. I remember alot of the names on her tree, but I am
vague as to which ones are COYNES and which ones are ROWES.
I called my father's aunt to see what she knew, the only info
she could really give me was on her mother's side, as well.
She did give me her cousin's name in Florida, son of Richard
Coyne, my grandfather, FE Coyne, Jr's brother. Unfortunately,
Richard, Jr was struggling looking after his parents (who both
had Alzheimer's) and talking to me at the same time. I could
hear alot of commotion in the background. All he could give
me were a few of his father's siblings names. I knew he had
his hands full with his parents so we closed the phone conversation.
My main question was, where do I go from here?
Who were my grandfather's parents? I knew since grandpa was
FE Coyne, the 2nd - his father had to be FE Coyne - it wasn't
rocket science. So, who was FE Coyne? Then it dawned on me -
I had been sitting on this book for years, had only skimmed
through it, many times. It seemed he talked so little of his
family and more of the history and recent times of Chicago.
But when I went through it with a fine toothed comb, some names
did pop up. Even now when I go through the book, more names
take my notice. But in this book, I finally found out my great
grandmother's name - Pauline Niehaus. And through the years,
I found some siblings names - Ann, George, Theodore. He never
mentions my grandfather by name, but does mention him, but his
other children he refers to are Jeanette, Richard and Mason.
What did I know about FE Coyne, he may or may
not have been born in Ireland, but I always knew his parents,
at least one or both were from Ireland. I knew he came to Chicago
with very little money, started a bakery business, and under
President William McKinley was appointed to US Post Master of
Chicago and collector of Internal Revenue. I do remember many
years before I started my search being in the library and finding
his name in the Who's Who of 1934. And all this stated, I could
not figure out why I could not find anything out about this
I first started using the internet in 1996.
Unfortunately, there weren't enough people online to help me,
at that point. So I waited and waited and waited. In between,
I repeatedly scoured his book and became a pain at local Family
History Centers in various towns. Then I discovered Rootsweb,
joined the COOK county mailing list and found many people who
helped me. People did birth, death and marriage lookups, most
to no avail. But some kind soul named Colleen found them in
the marriage index, went and copied their license
and sent it to me. I treasured this document more than almost
anything I could think of. Then another person found Pauline
in the death index, I was so excited because even though I know
so little of FE, I know even far less about Pauline. When I
recieved the death certificate, I realized this was not the
wife, but their daughter - of whose existence I knew nothing
of. But it let me know exactly what county in New Jersey he
was born. And someone sent me her obituary, which listed all
her siblings - so at least I finally had that. And I was also
able to obtain a death certificate of her sister, Jeanette,
and that gave me a little more info. I promptly did a search
for FE's birth certificate in New Jersey, but they could find
no records. No birth records aanyway, although he was on more
than 1 census.
Then one magical day in 1999, an Irish woman
by the name of Fiona emailed me and told me she received some
papers from the National Archives, but she knew they weren't
for her line. When she saw I was searching for FE Coyne of Chicago,
and she saw the subject of her papers, a James
Coyne, father of FE Coyne of Chicago, she knew this was
who I was searching for. She didn't tell me everything that
was on it. I was just expecting some Civil
War documents. But these papers were a gold mine. I finally
found out FE's parent's names, some of his uncles, and the fact
he disappeared as a senior citizen. These papers can be found
on this page.
Whatever happened to
James has been eating at me for years and was making me
nuts, so I put the papers away for years and figured I will
just have to wait. My sister's kept bugging me, when are you
going to put your search online. I kept putting it off and finally
decided I need to put what I have online so not only they can
see, but others who might be searching some of the other branches
of our tree. Maybe I will help them in some way, and maybe someone
will be able to help me. And it happens every now and then.
Then a few weeks ago, my cousin David from another
line emailed me with info about someone searching the ROWE
line. So I talked to him a couple of times, reviewed his gedcom
file on World Connect on Rootsweb, and decided what the hay,
let me do some COYNE searches again, when I found someone who
had James Coyne and Martha SNOW on
their page. Excitement is not the right word, even though he
did have some incorrect data. I emailed him and unfortunately
he had no info on James, but was able to give me some of Martha's
siblings. I did some more ROWE & COYNE searches and
found a lot of incorrect info on my ancestors and decided ok,
I need to get what I have online now.
And then a COYNE granddaughter emailed me saying
she was the granddaughter of Ernest,
brother of FE Coyne.....then my interest was renewed!