Mary Bradley is my 2nd great grandmother. She was born 18 December 1867 in La Salle County, Illinois. Her father was Charles Bradley. Her mother is up for debate. The death certificate for Mary states that Catherine Carey is her mother. Stories passed down in my family state that Catherine is not her biological mother. The story continues that Mary was forced on Catherine by her new husband, Charles. I have written a blog post Mystery Monday - Who was Mary Bradley's mother? to summarize what I already know.
I sent an inquiry to the Catholic Church, St. Columba to see if they had any birth or baptismal records for Mary Bradley. This is the church that Charles Bradley and Catherine Carey were married at 31 days before Mary was born.
In my email inbox on Tuesday was a reply! I was excited to hear a response since I sent my letter several months ago. Unfortunately, there are no records of Mary Bradley. The wonderful woman who assisted me looked in a multi-year range from 1865-1874 but was unable to find anything. She did confirm the 18 November 1867 marriage of Charles and Catherine.
So there is still on answer to who is Mary Bradley's mother. I need to make a plan of attack for further research. First, I need to look into what other records are available in La Salle county, Illinois. There may be something I missed the first time around. I also want to find the death records for Catherine (Carey) Bradley in Chicago. This includes her death certificate, obituary, and any probate records filed in the county. Also on the list is more research on Mary's brothers, Walter, Norbert, and Charles. It might be wise to move sideways instead of up in this case. I may also do a search to see if anyone with the last name Udell was living in La Salle county in or around the 1860's. That is a shot is the dark so it is low priority.