NewsClips: 1961: Another Year, Another Birthday Party Story

Today’s clip is another in a series of articles about birthday parties for my great-great Aunt Maggie (Haigney) Roache (or Roach, or Roche). I know — I think it’s a little odd myself, and I used to be in journalism and everything. What can I say; the Troy Times Record just kept covering her birthday parties. I’m beginning to get the feeling she was buddies with somebody on the city desk.

A few months ago I wrote about this article and did a partial quote of it, but to be thorough for my NewsClips project, I’m including the full text here. It’s another engagingly written story with charming details about Maggie’s feisty personality. However, as my notes indicate, it contains inaccuracies, too. You do have to be careful about newspaper stories. But they can be tremendously valuable in pointing out new avenues for research.

The [Troy, NY] Times Record, Thursday, Jan. 12, 1961, p. 48, Watervliet News

Headline: Mrs. Roach Notes 91st Birthday

Mrs, Margaret Roach prepared a birthday party yesterday.

She baked a cake and set the table for the party which was for herself. It was her 91st birthday.

The wisp of a woman, who weighs less than 90 pounds, lives alone at 2509 2nd Ave. Many of the friends whom she has been associated with throughout the years were present. She was born in Watervliet and has lived here for the last two years and in Verdoy where she lived for 20 years prior to that.

Her father, the late Martin Haigney Sr. was a sergeant at the Watervliet Arsenal for many years. She moved from Watervliet to Troy and Green Island and later to Verdoy before moving back to this city. Following the death of her husband, James Roach, who had been employed by the former Kevin’s Meat Market in Troy, Mrs. Roach resided with a brother, Martin Haigney Jr., until he entered Veterans Hospital in Albany about three months ago.

She now lives alone and cooks, sews, shops and does about everything else for herself. She voted at the polls last November because she felt it her duty. In her leisure time, she reads and is up to date on the various news happenings. She wears glasses because of a cataract operation performed one year ago, but her eyesight is still as keen as her hearing. The former Mary [sic] Haigney, she was the sister of the late Mrs. Robert Walker of Verdoy.


  1. There is a mistake in the final sentence – Mrs. Roach’s name was Margaret, as reported in the lead. Her younger sister, Mrs. Walker, was the former Mary Ann Haigney.
  2. Margaret Roach’s surname is also spelled in various sources as Roache or Roche, including in other articles in the Troy Times Record.
  3. Neat find: In the fourth paragraph, we learn where Maggie’s late husband worked.
  4. In the third paragraph, we get a run-down of Maggie’s residences, very helpful to have.
  5. Martin Sr. got a promotion in this article, but in fact, he was a private first class at the arsenal, as statements of military service from the War Department in his Civil War pension file confirm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s