William Bernard Morey — or Bernard William Morey, depending on the records — was born on 11 Aug 1871 in Brighton, Suffolk Co., Massachusetts to Cornelius Morey and Anna J. Maloney Morey, both from Co. Cork, Ireland.
Here’s a photo of Cornelius Morey and his son — my grandfather — on his knee.
My grandfather, William Morey, on his father’s knee.
William — called “Billo” by the family — was described as a good kid whose dad, Cornelius, died when Billo was 10 years old. Suddenly, Billo’s mom was a widow with six children.
After that, Billo had to help take care of the family. As Cornelius and Annie’s oldest son, Billo worked at a variety of jobs, and became good at defending himself and his family.
According to my uncle Ted (Edward Morey), when Billo was older, he went to work in New York City where some of his cousins lived. Billo was a conductor on the street cars, and some passenger tried to pick a fight with Billo. Ted said that there were big, wooden mallet-type pieces that the conductors used to get the street cars to go in one direction or the other. Billo pulled one of those out and beat the unruly passenger pretty badly. After that, Billo had to leave New York in a hurry and didn’t go back.
That’s one of the few stories Ted told me about his dad.
Here are some photos of Billo in his youth:
I’m not sure which one is William “Billo.” Back center or (especially) middle right are most likely. Photo was marked to indicate that he was in it.
Another party, and I think Billo is the man in the front row, on the right side. In that photo, he looks a lot like my dad when he was young.
Ted said his dad had worked for the gas company. Billo was kind of a daredevil, and he was really bright. So, he’d go into buildings where a gas leak was suspected. Billo would close the line that was leaking, and then administer emergency first aid to revive any victims.
Here’s Billo in later life, with his wife, Mary Ann Loretta Boyle (1880 – 1960).
William B. Morey, Sr. with his wife, Mary Ann.
“Billo” Morey and his wife, Mary Ann.
And, here’s a photo of Billo with his sons.
William Bernard Morey, Sr., and his three sons. (The boys, left to right: John “Jack” Morey, Edward “Ted” Morey, and William “Bill” Morey, Jr.)
According to Ted, his dad (Billo) came to the dinner table one evening in May 1943, and complained about not feeling quite right. A few minutes later, he fell over, dead. It was an aneurism. According to Ted, it looked like his dad never felt a thing.