Annie Skehan Gerow


Annie Skehan Gerow mother of Richard O. Gerow seventh bishop of Natchez was born 15 January 1854. In Bishop Gerow’s book Catholicity in Mississippi it is recorded that his mother Annie was born in County Tipperary Ireland, although the 1880 federal census and the 1900 federal census show that she and her siblings, Lizzie, Mary, Delia and Richard were born in New York. However, the 1920 federal census shows that Annie was born in Ireland and the year of her immigration to the United States was not listed.

While Reverend David O’Connor was in seminary in Ireland, Bishop Gerow visited and spoke with the seminarians about his visit to Nenagh, Tipperary County, the area from which his mother had come. Father O’Connor was not sure if Annie Skehan Gerow had lived in Nenagh or its surrounding area.

Mary Woodward, Chancellor and Director of Archives for the Diocese of Jackson, said that diocesan records show that Bishop Gerow's mother was born in Ireland.

Genealogy research is usually a task that requires solving mysteries and riddles as census records are not without errors. Births were initially registered with churches and that is where all birth records were maintained until the 19th century.

Annie's parents William and Ann Vickers Skehan died sometime before 1880. The 1880 federal census shows that Annie Skehan was head of the household and that all of her siblings were residents within the same home. She and her sisters Lizzie and Mary were dressmakers while Delia and Richard were students.

Annie married Warren R. Gerow on 11 April 1883, and they had two children; Richard, born 3 May 1885, and Angela, born 28 June 1889. Warren died in 1894. Angela married Peyton Norville a well respected Mobile attorney. She died 22 March, 1933.

Richard became the seventh bishop of Natchez on 15 October 1924, in Mobile, Alabama. He retired in 1971 and died 20 December 1976, in Jackson, Mississippi. He is buried on the grounds of the Cathedral of St. Peter The Apostle in Jackson.

Annie Skehan Gerow died 24 November 1935 in Natchez, Mississippi and is buried next to her husband Warren in the historic Catholic Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama.

Lithograph on stone - St. Mary Cathedral