There is a new blogging prompt at GeneaBloggers called, Family Friends Friday, and I think it is a perfect way to add those extra stories to genealogy. These are the folks that were considered family, and invited to every family function. They were the elders that we used to call auntie or uncle, because they were such great friends of our parents or grandparents. Shown above, in the middle, was my “Great-Aunt” Lilly Flaherty Bannon, who was my grandmother’s best friend in Harrison, and then Newark, New Jersey. Lilly is sandwiched between two of my favorite aunties, Margaret and Elizabeth Doran. She was best friends with their mother, Mary Margaret Mahoney Doran. Lilly was a great Irish beauty inside and out.
My grandmother, Mary, and Lilly both moved to Harrison when they were very young – about three or four years old. Mary had been born in Brooklyn, New York, and Lilly in Connecticut, and both had parents born in Ireland. Lilly’s parents were Thomas and Mary Flaherty. Both Mary and Lilly had lots of siblings, but they became kindred spirits from the first time they met, and that frienship lasted all of their lives. When my grandmother, Mary, married Bernard Doran in January 1917, Lilly Flaherty was her maid-of-honor. After Mary and Bernard’s wedding, Lilly became the favorite auntie to the large tribe of Doran children.
Lilly Flaherty married Michael Bannon and soon after moved from Harrison to Newark, NJ. As far as I know they didn’t have any children. Lilly took a huge interest in all of the Doran children and grandchildren. I remember her, as well as any of my true great-aunts. She had a lovely sunny disposition and a twinkle in her eye. She was my Lilly with the white hair Great Auntie, and I called her that, to differentiate with another great-aunt called Rose, who must have dyed her hair red, since she was Rose-Red in my mind.
I’ve found that I’ve mentioned Lilly in some of my other blog postings, because she was such a part of my childhood. She was a favorite “auntie”, because she had a great Irish love of music, dancing, and celebrating any, and all, special occasions. I miss all my dearly departed aunts, and I keep Lilly Flaherty Bannon in my family tree with all the others.
Above, Lilly is at a Doran family wedding, and below she is shown with one of her “nephews” that adored her. I’m sure she had lots of “real” nephews and nieces, too. All I know is that the Mahoney and Doran families really loved Lilly, as did my sister and I! Here at Genealogy Sisters we salute Lilly!
Family Friends Friday is a daily blogging prompt suggested by John F.W. Goodwin of Remember When Genealogy. Thanks, John, and also thanks to GeneaBloggers for posting the prompts!