Let the Good Times Roll

bw crop MCCARTHY

Pete and John McCarthy (left and center respectively) were brothers, two of nine known children born to Peter and Ellen Donahoue McCarthy.  The family lived in Frampton, Quebec, Canada.  As far as Jim Fitzmaurice or Fitzmorrise, although this surname may sound unusual to some, it definitely is not.  I found too many men with this name to be able to make a positive identification.  Maybe this is a mystery meant to be solved at a later time.

Pete and John’s brother, Hugh, the oldest of the McCarthy siblings, immigrated to the United States about 1882 and was married in Lancaster, New Hampshire in 1889.  Another McCarthy brother, William, was also living in Lancaster when he was married in 1890.  I mention the marriages because I can imagine these three sitters stumbling into a photographer’s studio after a wild bachelor party.


On a more practical note, following Hugh’s and William’s movements help fill in the story of how these brothers from Frampton, Canada came to be in New Hampshire, as  I wasn’t able to find a record of Pete and John crossing into the US.


Unfortunately, Pete died in Lancaster in 1893, at the age of 21.  The cause of death was gangrene of the lungs, which can be a complication of aspiration pneumonia.  In other words, Pete may have breathed something (food, liquid, vomit) into his lungs which caused an infection.

According to an unsourced family tree on ancestry, John, who was 25 at the time of his brother’s death in 1893, returned to Canada where he married Lea Bissonette in 1915, had several children, and died in 1942.

I’m ending with a couple song lyric snippets that seem fitting.  Click on the titles if you’d like to give them a listen.

Let the Good Times Roll, by B.B. King

Hey, everybody, let’s have some fun
You only live but once
And when you’re dead you’re done

So let the good times roll
Let the good times roll
I don’t care if you’re young or old
Get together, let the good times roll

Good Times Roll, by The Cars

let the good times roll
let them knock you around
let the good times roll
let them make you a clown

let them leave you up in the air
let them brush your rock and roll hair
let the good times roll
let the good times roll
let the good times roll

let the stories be told
they can say what they want
let the photos be old
let them show what they want


US census records
Canada census records
New Hampshire death records

2 thoughts on “Let the Good Times Roll

  1. Hi Shayne: So glad to have found this picture and thank you so much for posting it. John McCarthy, the handsome fellow in the middle is my grandfather and as you reported, he married Leah Bissonette my grandmother. They married in 1915 in St. Clair, Province of Quebec and had 4 children – Doris, John, Joseph (my dad) and Henry. John McCarthy died in 1942 while his son, my dad Joseph McCarthy was in a Nazi Prisoner of War camp. Joe flew as a navigator with the Royal Air Force (12 Squadron), was shot down over occupied Holland by a German Night Fighter in September of 1941 and taken prisoner-of-war for 4 years. This devastated his father John and probably led to John’s death in 1942 at age 74. My dad Joe McCarthy was liberated by the Allies in1945 while on “The March” to Berlin at the end of the War when Hitler ordered about 80,000 POWS from all occupied territories to walk to Berlin under armed guard. One day in March 1945 (after 4 months on the road in a bitterly cold winter – many of his fellow prisoners died) my dad and his buddies woke up, and the German guards had deserted. The war was over for them. Hitler of course killed himself on April 30, 1945 as the Allies were advancing on Berlin. Joe McCarthy went to McGill University in Montreal, became a Civil Engineer, married my mom Virginia Sutherland in 1950, and had 4 children- Jane, me, and twin boys John and Patrick. Dad became the Superintendent of Construction for the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco) in Hamilton, Ontario. He died in 1994 at the age of 74 – the same age as his dad. We are all thrilled to have found this picture of Grandad and our Great Uncle Pete in their younger years. Thank you so much. Margaret (Peg) McCarthy

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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