By the Bridge

The Swantons of County Cork,
Boston, MA and Brooklyn, NY

by Ginni Swanton

Elizabeth Anne Cleary
Frances Michael Lenihan

Elizabeth Ann Cleary Burns died in April of 1971. She died of heart failure in the Hinsdale Hospital in Hinsdale, Illinois, and was buried in the Oak Brook Cemetary, Oak Brook, Illinois.

On September 3, 1927, Dorothea Frances Lenihan, the daughter of Elizabeth Anne Cleary and Frances Lenihan, married John Downing Cooke Jr., the son of John Downing Cooke Sr., and Amy Thankful Crabs.

Dorothea and John Lenihan had three children:

  1. John Downing Cooke II
  2. Elizabeth Anne Cooke
  3. Zelda Frances Cooke

John Downing Cooke III, provided the following personal sketch about his mother, Dorothea Frances Lenihan:

“My mother was an Irish Catholic girl born and reared in the Boston area, and fiercely independent. She married my father, who was a Scotch-Irish Presbyterian farm boy from a backwater town called Aledo, Illinois. They met when he attended Harvard Law School from 1924-1927. They were married in September of 1927, and I was born the following July.

She left the church because my father refused to have anything to do with the Catholic Church. In the spring of 1928, they moved to Chicago, where they made their home until their deaths--my mother in 1984, my father in 1987.

Theirs was a tumultuous relationship. So much so that my mother rarely spoke of her family and at the time of her death, I knew nothing except that her father was Frank or Francis. I also knew my grandmothers maiden name was Cleary and a little of her family.”