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Scully Family Collection

Identifier: CHC057

Collection Description

The Scully Family Collection consists of official documents, commemorative pins, photographic materials, a newspaper, and large objects. The records contain information about two generations of the Scully family beginning with Daniel Scully, a Cambridge cooper who emigrated from Ireland in 1872. Topics include service in WWII, the St. Mary church of Annunciation in Cambridgeport, Irish heritage, U.S. citizenship, and Norumbega Park in Auburndale, Mass. The items were created between 1872 and about 1970, with the bulk generated during WWII, when Daniel’s sons were serving in the Army and Navy.

A water-front port pass, a cooper’s mallet, and a grappling hook connect Daniel Scully to the Goepper Bros. Co., a manufacturing company that mainly produced sugar barrels. Created in 1871, the company relocated to Cambridge a year later for additional space. The pass also associates Daniel with the Revere Sugar Refinery, established in 1871 and situated near Miller’s River in East Cambridge. Daniel’s papers also include his document of citizenship granted by the Massachusetts Circuit Court in 1872.

The WWII military documents and pins pertain to Daniel Scully’s sons, James J. and George J. Scully. The James J. documents detail his honorable discharge as a sergeant from the 7th Fighter Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group after the conclusion of WWII. The ribbon and pins were likely his possessions. The George J. letter is addressed to James and reveals George’s MIA and subsequent death status after the Battle of Savo Island.

The photographic material is made up of one original photographic print, multiple copy prints, negatives, and an encased tintype. The original photograph displays 165 Spring Street, one of the family’s residences in Cambridge.

Sources consulted:

  1. “Goepper Brothers.” Cambridge Historical Society.
  2. ““Revere Sugar Refinery.” Cambridge Historical Society.


  • 1872-ca. 1970
  • Majority of material found within 1942-1945

Language of Materials

Material in English.


Collection is available for research under the CHC rules of use.

Copyright Notice

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives.

Historical Note

Daniel Scully (ca. 1870-ca. 1936) Born to Daniel Scully (1832-1903) and Ellen O’Connor (1827-1885), Daniel immigrated from Ireland with his family and became a U.S. citizen on October 20, 1872. He was employed as a dock worker and cooper for the Goepper Bros. Co., located on 30 Water Street in East Cambridge. As a worker for this company, he participated in the production of barrels and other items for the Revere Sugar Refinery. The Goepper Bros. provided him with housing at 181 Spring Street as well as 111 Third Street in Cambridge, near their manufacturing factory. According to the 1880 United States Federal Census, Daniel had a lame arm. On November 4, 1901 he married Mary Tackney (1875-1930), also an Irish immigrant who lived on Broadway in Cambridge and worked as a waitress. They had eight children: Bernard P., Daniel J., James J., John J., William, Francis G., George J., and Mary. All his sons went into service during WWII. At an undetermined date, Daniel and his family moved to 165 Spring Street, where his namesake son would continue to live until the 1980s.

Daniel J. Scully (March 26, 1902-April 30, 1985), Daniel’s namesake, was born when the family lived at 181 Spring Street. He became a bookbinder in Cambridge and he married Leona Gertrude Joyal (1907-?), a stenographer from Newton, in June 1929. They lived at 165 Spring Street until he sold the home in 1987 and moved to Danvers. He died in Greenfield, Mass. They had two sons, Daniel E. and Robert. Daniel E. Scully (April 4, 1942-October 17, 2017) married Tia Scully, a legal secretary, and became a gallery director. He died in Schenectady, N.Y.

James J. Scully(June 12, 1915-January 1968) left Cambridge High and Latin School in 1930 after completing 11th grade. From 1939 to 1942 he was a shipping clerk for the Simplex Wire and Cable Co. in Cambridge and lived with his family at 165 Spring Street. During WWII, he served in the Pacific theatre as an Airplane & Engine Mechanic. Initially a private, he received training as an Engineering and Operations Clerk at Fort Logan, Colorado, and became a sergeant for the 7th Fighter Squadron of the 49th Fighter Group. James received multiple decorations and citations for his time in the service and he was honorably discharged at the end of the war. Afterwards, he worked as a postal employee, lived at 165 Spring Street, and died in January of 1968.

George John Scully (April 21, 1914-August 10, 1943) served as a U.S. Navy Reserve Fireman third class during WWII. He was deemed Missing in Action on August 9, 1942 while serving on the U.S.S. Quincy. The U.S.S. Quincy sank during the Battle of Savo Island against the Imperial Japanese Navy. He was officially pronounced dead a year and a day later on August 10, 1943.

Bernard P. Scully (July 7, 1904-March 24, 1986) began working at the Watertown Arsenal in 1936, which had expanded into a manufacturing complex during WWI. He received a commemoration for 10 years of service by the arsenal in 1946. Bernard lived in Cambridge at 165 Spring Street until his death on March 24, 1986 at the age of 81.

William Francis Scully (April 8, 1910-January 25, 1987), another of Daniel’s sons, was a machine shop laborer and construction worker in Cambridge. Residing in Cambridge and 165 Spring Street for most of his life, he died on January 25, 1987 at the age of 77.

John (Joe) Joseph Scully (December 20, 1906-March 13, 1975) was an electric typist. Staying in Cambridge with his family for the duration of his life, he died on March 13, 1975 at the age of 68.

Mary Scully(January 31, 1908-November 27, 1981) lived in Cambridge at the family residence on 165 Spring Street. It is possible that she was a baker for Cara Donna Pastry Shop on Medford Street in Magoun Square, Somerville.

Francis (Frank) Gerald Scully (April 15, 1917-April 13, 1989) worked as freight handler for a railroad company. He later moved to Port Orchard, Washington. According to the U.S., Department of Veterans Affairs BIRLS Death File, 1850-2010, he served three times in the U.S. Signal Corps: 1941-1946, 1952-1957, and 1966-1970.

Additional Biographical Note

The donor had speculated that the Scully family was related to Reverend Thomas Scully (1832-1902), hence why the family saved the article on him. However, after researching the genealogical history of the Scully family and the Reverend, it is currently not believed that they had a familial relation. This conclusion has come from evidence found that Reverend Thomas Scully was born in County Cork, Ireland on March 24, 1832 to Jeremiah Scully (d. February 17, 1862) and Mary Connor. According to vital records, he did not have any siblings. He came to the United States in 1860 and acted as the Chaplain of the 9th Regiment in the Civil War. In 1863 he became a pastor in Malden and Medford before being tasked with leading the St. Mary’s church in Cambridge in 1867.

In contrast, Daniel Scully’s parents, Daniel Scully Sr. (1832-1903) and Ellen O’Connor (1827-1885) had six children near Newmarket, Cork: John T Scully (1858–1888), William Scully (1859–1880), Bridget M Scully (1863–1896), Benjamin Scully (1865–1880), Jeremiah Scully (1866–1880), and Daniel Scully Jr (ca. 1870–1936). The family immigrated to the United States and became citizens in 1872. The “Jeremiahs” of the two families have contrary vital dates and although Daniel Scully Sr. was born the same year as Thomas Scully, there seems to be no indication that Thomas Scully’s father, Jeremiah, was related to Daniel Scully Sr. in any way. The only possible connections come from the fact that both families originated from County Cork and Ellen O’Connor was sometimes referred to as Ellen Connor in some vital record documents. Further research into Ellen and Mary indicate that the two women were not related.

It is most likely that the Scully family met Reverend Thomas Scully in Cambridge and the similarity of their names led to a personal connection. However, further research into Irish vital records may offer further insight into a familial connection further down the family trees.

For further biographical information on Reverend Scully, see Cambridge Tribune, Sept. 13, 1902 and “Policy Order Resolution O-12.” Cambridge City Council, Sept. 28, 2015.


1 flat box,

1 object box


The Scully Family Collection consists of official documents, commemorative pins, photographic materials, a newspaper, and large objects. The records contain information about two generations of the Scully family beginning with Daniel Scully. Topics include service in WWII, the St. Mary church of Annunciation in Cambridgeport, Irish heritage, U.S. citizenship, and Norumbega Park in Auburndale, Mass. The items were created between 1872 and about 1970, with the bulk generated during WWII, when Daniel’s sons were serving in the Army and Navy.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is divided into four series based on the subject matter of the records These are: Series I: Military Service and WWII Records; Series II: Family Photographic Materials; Series III: Daniel Scully’s Work Material; Series IV: Social Life Memorabilia. Most of the items were created during the WWII era but go up to about the 1970s as indicated by a 25-year commemorative pin.

Processing and Arrangement Note

For preservation purposes, the paper and photographic records in this collection have been encased in protective plastic sleeves. The items have also been stored according to size, which is different from the organizational arrangement of the series. In the Scope and Content section, the overview paragraph explains the content of the series and the succeeding Physical Locations sub-section relates the storage location of the individual records.

Due to the fragile nature of some of the items, including the ribbons and pins, assistance with handle and care may be required.

Some objects and records were removed from their original enclosures since they were determined to be inadequate for preservation needs. A small plastic box and commercial photo envelope were discarded. On the envelope were some handwritten notes; the pertinent information has been added to the records and finding aid and a note from “Marge” was deemed irrelevant to the collection. Information from additional notes provided by the donor have also been added to the identification information of the records.

Physical Location

Collection is stored on-site


Donated by Tia C. Scully, March 2018 and October 2019.

Related Material

The Cambridge Room at the Cambridge Public Library contains a file on John T. Scully, 1878 in its Cambridge Subject File, 1817-present collection.

Processing Information

Processing and original finding aid by: Brittany Fox, November 2019.

Encoded by: Brittany Fox, April 2020.
Scully Family Collection
Processing and original finding aid by Brittany Fox, November 2019. Machine-readable finding aid created by Brittany Fox, April 2020.
Description rules
Finding Aid Was Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives Repository

831 Massachusetts Avenue
2nd Floor
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139 US