Brick Wall Case Studies #9: Finding the burial location of an immigrant from Ireland who died in New York

Thomas was a man from Ireland who died in New York. An offline newspaper obituary led to his burial location.

What We Knew

  • Thomas J O'Hare was born in Ireland 20 November 1904.
  • Thomas emigrated to the United States with his parents.
  • Thomas died in Smithtown, Suffolk County, New York, on 27 April 1995. His burial location was unknown.

Records We Located

  • We did some searches on,, and to see if an obituary or tombstone could be located for Thomas but we were not successful.
  • Obituaries often list a burial location, and we knew that Thomas had died in Smithtown. We contacted the Smithtown Public Library to see if they had an obituary available.
  • The Smithtown Public Library sent us an obituary from the newspapers they had on microfilm. Thomas J was listed as being interred in the St Mary's Cemetery in Queens. This is a Catholic Cemetery so this is where Thomas may have attended church and thus he was buried there.
  • The St. Mary's Cemetery is very large and not all photos of tombstones are online. Thus the tombstone doesn't appear on online websites as of yet.


Thomas O'Hare was buried in the St. Mary's Cemetery in Queens County, New York.

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