GMG contributor Pat Dalpiaz (yours truly) was recently interviewed by renowned genealogist and podcaster Lisa Louise Cooke for an episode of Genealogy Gems Premium. It was Gloucester hero John Handran’s story as told here on Good Morning Gloucester as well as on my personal family history blog Gathering the Cousins that Lisa thought her listeners might like to hear.
It’s a story I’ve told here previously. John Handran was a US Naval seaman on duty in Lisbon Portugal in 1876 when he rescued a fellow seaman from drowning. Apparently this was not his first successful rescue, and it did earn him the US Medal of Honor as presented by President U.S. Grant. He was only 24 at the time. A few years later he married Sarah Campbell and they made a home here in Gloucester with 3 children.
John’s life was cut short in 1885 upon the sinking of the Schooner Cleopatra, itself an amazing tale. His story has been told in our family circles for many years thanks largely to the research skills of our cousin George Handran, a former Gloucester resident and esteemed genealogist.
Now, thanks to the work done as told in this podcast episode, John’s memory is honored by a plaque placed at Calvary Cemetery just prior to the quarantine. This was an arduous effort finally come to fruition due in part to the wide reach of the Good Morning Gloucester blog. Researchers looking to honor John Handran found me through GMG and the story began! It’s a lesson in how far and wide the interests of the readers and followers of the blog stretch.
When restrictions are lifted, a dedication ceremony will be held at Calvary Cemetery and I hope anyone interested or related can attend. I would love to meet you all.
Lisa Louise Cooke has generously made this episode freely available here. Genealogy Gems Premium is a paid subscription service and is worth every penny of the $49.95 per year for its reasoned advice and responsive nature. Please give a listen as yours truly tells the story of researching Gloucester resident John Handran to verify his service to our country and his heroic acts. If you cannot listen, read the story as told in the shownotes. His story might have been lost to history but now can be celebrated.
Thank you readers and listeners for sharing these stories widely. Thank you Joey for your vision and support for all of us who love Gloucester.