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The Lavery Family: Belfast to Brooklyn

Family lore says that Hugh and Kate Lavery married in Belfast, Ireland, on October 18, 1888, and arrived in America that same month. A ship’s manifest for arrivals in the Port of New York, dated October 25, 1888 for the S.S. State of Nevada, lists Hugh Lavery and “Mrs.,” both from Ireland.[1]

Related families include these surnames: MALLON; PATTERSON; SCHENOT; SCHEUBLIN; and VETTER.

Clara and Lillian Lavery

Table of Contents

Immigrant Ancestors:
Hugh LAVERY and Kate PATTERSON

First Generation Americans:
Clara LAVERY
Elizabeth “Lillian” LAVERY

 

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Endnotes

Sources

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Lavery Immigrants

HUGH LAVERY was born in Ireland (possibly Belfast) on December 25, 1861, the son of Bernard Lavery and Mary Mallon.[2]   In his home country, Hugh Lavery had been an “elocution teacher,” his grandson Malcolm Schenot told us. (“Not a ‘speech’ teacher – an ‘elocution’ teacher,” is how he put it.)[3]   This bit of lore would indicate that Hugh did come from a city like Belfast; elocution teachers aren’t likely to find jobs out in the countryside. The fact that Hugh and Kate Lavery made their new home in Brooklyn, NY, also suggests that they were city folk, not farmers.

Hugh’s wife’s maiden name was Catherine Patterson. Her given name was noted as “Kate” in all US records we’ve found, except one – her daughter Clara’s birth record, in which her name was recorded as Catherine. According to family lore, Kate was born in Belfast, Ireland, on July 12, 1865.[4] Her death record tells us her father’s name was Harrison Patterson; her mother’s name, “unknown.” The name Harrison Patterson comes up in several different references to the Belfast area, most notably as a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary. In 1861 Kate’s father was listed as one of two Belfast police “Detective Officers.”[5]   An IGI record obtained at the LDS website www.familysearch.org suggests that Kate’s mother may have been Elizabeth Deans:

FamilySearch™ International Genealogical Index v5.0 British Isles[6]

A possible photo of Harrison Patterson and his family

CATHERINE PATTERSON
Female
Birth: 06 JUL 1865   0307, Belfast, Antrim, Ireland
Parents:
Father: HARRISON PATTERSON
Mother: ELIZABETH DEANS

(An extracted birth or christening record from Irish civil registration records. The place listed is the county, registration district, and page number of the birth entry; it may not be the actual birthplace.)

The IGI birth date, while not an exact match, is very close to that provided by family lore. Kate Lavery named one of her daughters Elizabeth, which – though a common Christian name – may have been in memory of a long-dead mother.

More extracted IGI records tell us that Harrison Patterson and his wife Elizabeth Deans had at least three daughters – Agnes, Catherine, and Isabella. A photo from Malcolm Schenot’s collection shows a family of three young women and a young man, possibly siblings, sitting with a mustachioed gentleman, perhaps their father. The woman standing behind the young man looks a great deal like the mature Kate (Patterson) Lavery photographed on May 30, 1916. And we are struck by the resemblance of the young man to Kate’s grandson Louis Herbert Schenot, Jr. We’d wager that the group photo is of Harrison Patterson with his daughters and son, circa the mid-1880s.

Photo collage

Kate and Hugh Lavery left Ireland from the port of Larne in Northern Ireland, about sixteen miles north of Belfast. They traveled alone to America; it seems no other family members came along, unless the “Jas. Patterson” listed on the second page of the State of Nevada’s manifest was a relative of Kate’s. The Laverys on the manifest for the S.S. State of Nevada> We expected to find Hugh’s occupation listed on the ship’s manifest as “teacher” or something to do with “elocution.” The notation for Hugh’s line of work seems to read as “Draper.”[7]  

According to Wikipedia, “Draper is the now largely obsolete term for a merchant in cloth or dry goods, though often used specifically for one who owns or works in a draper’s shop or store. A draper may additionally operate as a cloth merchant or a haberdasher. The drapers were an important trade guild.”

Brooklyn city directories for 1889-90 and 1897-98 list Hugh as a salesman, which fits with the above description of a draper:[8]  

Hugh Lavery salesman 99 Hamilton avenue Brooklyn NY
LAVERY Hugh salesman h 108 N Elliott pl

The 1910 census also lists Hugh as a salesman, employed to sell “retail dry goods.”

Kate and Hugh Lavery had two daughters (surname LAVERY):

  1.   Clara Katharine (1893-1961)
  2.   Elizabeth “Lillian” (1898-1985)

Clara Lavery was born at home in Brooklyn, NY, on September 2, 1893; the family was living at 165 57th Street, in Brooklyn’s 8th ward. On her birth record, Clara’s middle name was written as “Catherine,” like her mother’s. Clara may have chosen to use a different spelling: On her marriage record, Clara’s middle name was given as “Katharine;” other records give Clara’s middle initial as “K.”

Their second child, Elizabeth, known as “Lillian,” was born at home on the 8th of June in 1898, also in Brooklyn. By this time, the family was living at 581 Warren Street.

When we found the Lavery family in the 1910 census, we were confused initially because we knew of Clara’s sister as Lillian, not Elizabeth. Lillian’s surviving child wrote that “...my mother’s given name was Elizabeth, not Lillian. She was always known as Lillian, but I don’t know why.” Our research has turned up at least one other instance in which a child named Elizabeth was called “Lillie.” Perhaps this was the case with Elizabeth “Lillian” Lavery.

We have never succeeded in locating the Lavery family in the 1900 census. We suspect that, given all the different addresses showing up in the records we have found, the Laverys moved frequently and may have been between residences during the taking of the census that year. When Hugh Lavery and his family were enumerated in April 1910 in Brooklyn, they were renters at 169 Park Avenue. Their census data tell us a great deal about them.

Hugh was listed as 49 years old; Kate was 44. They both gave their birthplace as Ireland and the year of their immigration as 1888. Hugh was listed as a naturalized US citizen. Kate Lavery was listed in the 1910 census as a seamstress, “working out” on her “own account.” (Might Kate have been shopping for fabric when she first met Hugh?) Hugh and Kate had been married (a “first” marriage) for 21 years; they had had two children, both of whom were living. Clara, age 16, had not attended school that year (i.e., “any time since Sept. 1, 1909”). She was employed as a bookkeeper at a paper box factory. Elizabeth – “Lillian” – was 11 years old and a schoolgirl.

Family notes say that Hugh Lavery died at age 49 in Brooklyn, and that he was “ill 15 minutes.” His death record tells us that Hugh died around 7:00 a.m. on June 16, 1911 at his home, which was 169 Park Avenue (a tenement building), the same address where Hugh and his family were enumerated in Brooklyn in 1910. The primary cause of death was “Acute Gastro-Entero Colitis,” with “Asthenia” noted as a secondary cause.[9]   At the time of his death, Hugh’s occupation was that of “laborer.” Hugh’s passing was noted in a few lines of the June 18th edition of the New York Times:

Hugh Lavery’s obituary>

Following his funeral, Hugh was buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Brooklyn, in a single unmarked grave, #8450, in the section called Nazareth. The coordinates for this gravesite are 40 41.535N, -73 53.662W [MinDec] (also expressed as: 40.69225N, -73.894366W [DegDec]; and 40° 41′ 32.1″N, 73° 53′ 39.72W [DMS]). This gravesite is very nearby Cypress Avenue, which borders the Nazareth section of the cemetery.[10]

Hugh Lavery’s gravesite>

Kate Lavery probably moved again after the death of her husband: When daughter Clara married in 1912, she gave her place of residence as 5802-2nd Avenue in Brooklyn, presumably where she lived with her mother and sister. Lillian married in 1915; we don’t know if she and her husband Harry shared their home with Kate, or if Kate simply lived alone after her daughters married. That her death record gives Kate’s occupation as “housekeeper” suggests that Kate may have gone to live with and work for another family.

Family notes state that Kate resided in Brooklyn until her death on November 18, 1917 at the age of 52. Kate’s death record gives her residence, apparently where she died, as 336 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn. While family notes declare that Kate was “ill one month in bed [with] heart disease,” the official cause of death was given as “chronic pulmonary tuberculosis” (duration of two years) with “asthenia” and what looks like “apnoea” as contributory causes.[11]  Kate’s death was noted in the November 20th edition of the New York Times:

Kate Lavery’s obituary>

 

 

Why Kate wasn’t buried next to Hugh in Evergreen Cemetery, we’ll probably never know. Clara (Lavery) Schenot buried her mother in the same plot in Calvary Cemetery where Clara’s husband Louis was interred scarcely three months earlier.

Calvary Cemetery in Queens, NY, is a Roman Catholic cemetery. Because both Clara and Lillian Lavery were Episcopalians, we have assumed that both their parents were Protestant. Perhaps Kate was Roman Catholic by baptism (though we think this unlikely, considering that her father was a member of the police force in Northern Ireland). Perhaps it was financially expedient for Clara to bury her mother in a grave she already owned. We can’t help wondering if the officials at Calvary Cemetery ever inquired as to what religious tradition Kate Lavery belonged.

Kate Lavery was buried on November 21, 1917 in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, in the part known as “Second Calvary,” section 42, range 6, plot D, grave 4. There is no headstone marking the burial of either Kate or her son-in-law Louis Herbert Schenot. The coordinates for this gravesite are 40 44.083N, -73 54.717W [MinDec] (also expressed as: 40.734716N, -73.91195W [DegDec]; and 40° 44′ 4.98″N, 73° 54′ 43.02W [DMS]).

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The Camp News> Clara Lavery>

 

CLARA KATHARINE LAVERY was born September 2, 1893 in Brooklyn, New York. She was 19 years old when she married Louis Herbert Schenot, born July 11, 1891 in New York City, the son and eldest child of Joseph Francis Schenot and Mary Louise Winter.

It was a double wedding with Louis’s Aunt Annie (his mother’s widowed sister, Anna [Winter] Hagerty), at whose home Louis had been living. Annie, age 30, married 24-year-old Frederick Clarence Ranich, a long-term boarder at Annie’s house. The ceremony was performed on Sunday, November 10, 1912, at Trinity (Episcopal) Church in Hoboken, NJ. The wedding was announced in The Camp News, a publication of the Hoboken, NJ, Christian Woerner Camp of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

 

Louis and Clara had two children (surname SCHENOT):

  1.   Louis Herbert, Jr. (1913-1987)
  2.   Malcolm Robert (1915-2006)

Photos of Louis, Clara and their children, and a letter written by Louis to Clara just days before his death, reveal the love Louis had for Clara and the boys. On August 3, 1917, Louis composed a letter (apparently from the hospital) in shaky handwriting on lined paper. He wrote:

Louis Schenot’s letter to wife Clara, 1917

My Dear Wife

Hoping you all got over the hot spell When you get this I will be up on the hill Can tell you better on Sunday too weak to write any more Kiss my Louie for me and my bouncer Malcolm and great love and kisses to yourself And don’t be lonesome

Love to mother and all

Your Husband
Louis
XX

 

On Monday, August 13, 1917, after ten days in a Secaucus, NJ, hospital, Louis died at age 26 of tuberculosis. Louis, Jr., was not quite four years old; Malcolm was almost two. Clara Schenot buried her husband in Calvary Cemetery, Queens, New York, in the part known as “Second Calvary,” section 42, range 6, plot D, grave 4. [Coordinates for this gravesite are 40 44.083N, -73 54.717W; also expressed as: 40.734716N, -73.91195W; and 40° 44′ 4.98″N, 73° 54′ 43.02W.]

Gravesite of Louis H. Schenot, Sr., and Kate Lavery>

Clara told her son Malcolm a story about his father’s last days: Louis and Clara, whose wedding vows had been exchanged in an Episcopalian church, were re-married in a Roman Catholic ceremony as Louis lay on his deathbed. The two children, who had been baptized in an Episcopalian rite, were also given a Catholic baptism, presumably by the same priest administering the matrimonial rite in the hospital room. No certificates for these baptisms have survived, if ever there were any. Apparently this was done at the request of Louis’s father, Joseph F. Schenot, a lifelong Catholic.

Clara observed the wishes of her late husband’s family by having Louis buried in a Catholic cemetery. She and her two sons would travel by bus to the cemetery, bringing along pots of geraniums with which to adorn Louis’s grave. In November of that same year, Clara buried her mother Kate in the same grave, which remains unmarked to this day.

Her short married life with Louis ended, Clara still maintained contact with her late husband’s family. Clara’s nephew Robert C. Schenot, Jr. (Bob Scheno) recalled how Clara would arrive for family occasions, announcing as she walked in that the party could now begin. As Bob once put it, if the event were a funeral, “you weren’t really dead until Clara got there.” (This observation was made, poignantly, at Malcolm’s funeral in December 2006.)

Malcolm told us some interesting stories about his mother. No matter how many bills were left unpaid or that the monthly rent was due, Clara liked to have nice clothes to wear. Bob Scheno has vivid memories of Clara with her red hair, all dressed-up in her favorite royal blue and looking wonderful in her big hats. And he remembers her speaking in a cultured, “upper class” manner. Malcolm recalled that they had to move frequently because they were often on the verge of eviction. He also remembered with admiration how his mother took him and his brother many different places by whatever means it took. However one might view Clara’s priorities, she seems to have been a strong and resourceful woman, and her dealing with the family deaths in 1917 certainly demonstrates this.

Eddie Vetter

The 1920 census recorded Clara Schenot in Brooklyn, living at 154 57th Street with her sons Herbert, age 6, Malcolm, age 4, and a twenty-year-old boarder named Edward Vetter, who delivered newspapers for a living. Clara’s occupation was listed as “filing clerk.” Perhaps Clara arranged with Edward to have him at home keeping an eye on her young sons when she had to go to work. Edward Martin Vetter, born June 16, 1899, was the son of George Vetter, a tailor, and his wife Catherine (“Katie”). Ed was one of eleven children, nine of whom survived infancy. When Ed completed his World War I draft registration on September 12, 1918, he listed his mother, Catherine Vetter of 75 Bleecker Street in Brooklyn, as his nearest relative.

Despite a nearly six-year age difference and the fact that Ed was Roman Catholic, Clara’s and Ed’s proximity apparently grew into love. No one remembers the exact date of their marriage; it probably occurred around 1927 or 1928. When the 1930 census was taken, Edward and Clara (Lavery) (Schenot) Vetter were living at 952 42nd Street in Brooklyn. Ed’s occupation was that of “chauffeur” for a delivery company, and Clara was working as a superintendent of an apartment building (presumably the one where they lived).

Ed and Clara Vetter had one child (surname VETTER):

  1.   Claire Julie (1929-1975)

Clara and Ed’s baby daughter Claire was enumerated in the 1930 census, as were her half-brothers, 16-year-old Louis Herbert Schenot, Jr. (known as “Herbert” or “Herb”) and 14-year-old Malcolm. Both Herb and Mal had left high school the previous year and gone to work. The census noted their occupations, each an “errand boy” for a “checkbook printing company.”

Headstone for Edward and Clara Vetter

Mal remembered that first job after dropping out of high school. As he described it, he worked as a shipping clerk at a commercial banking stationery company, located “at 480 Canal Street, over the New York entrance to the Holland Tunnel.” (Malcolm stayed at this job for a number of years, earning enough money by 1933 to buy a used 1929 Model A Ford for $35.)

1930 census data notwithstanding, Mal always maintained that he and his brother “had to leave school to go to work” during the Great Depression because their stepfather “couldn’t hold a job.” Bob Scheno told us that Ed Vetter had “terrible cataracts.” After the cataracts were removed, Ed had to wear thick “coke bottle” glasses. Because of his poor eyesight, Edward was limited to working at night watchman-types of jobs. Bob also remembered that Ed was a kind man, “lovely to children.”

In their last years, Ed and Clara lived at 91-01 216th Street in Queens Village, NY, with their daughter Claire and her family. Clara suffered from tachycardia (a rapid and irregular heartbeat) and painful arthritis. Her death at age 67 on January 21, 1961, was sudden; Clara’s death record says she died at Memorial Hospital in Queens. She was buried three days later in Pinelawn Memorial Park & Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY. Ed Vetter died later that same year, on June 2nd, from cancer. He was buried with Clara at Pinelawn.

 

 

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Lillian Lavery>

ELIZABETH “LILLIAN” LAVERY was born June 8, 1898, in Brooklyn, New York. As noted earlier, her given name was Elizabeth, but she was known as Lillian.

After graduating from the eighth grade, Lillian Lavery went to work in a paper box factory, probably the one where her sister Clara already had a job. This is where Lillian met her future husband, Harry Scheublin, also of Brooklyn, who was employed there as a foreman. Lillian was 17 years old when she and Harry married on October 10, 1915. Harry, born March 10, 1894 in New York (probably Brooklyn), was the son of Rudolph Scheublin, a tailor, and his wife Henrietta, both immigrants from Germany.

Harry, Lillian, and baby Harold Scheublin>

Harry and Lillian had three children (surname SCHEUBLIN):

  1.   Harold, Jr. (died in infancy)
  2.   Mary (died in infancy)
  3.   Raymond (1 June 1919 - 30 December 2011)

Between 1916 and 1919 Lillian and Harry had three children. Harold and Mary died as infants, both victims of influenza. Fortunately their third child, son Raymond, survived. The 1920 census listed the Scheublin family – Harry, Elizabeth (Lillian), and seven-month-old Raymond – at 766 43rd Street in Brooklyn. By 1930 the family had relocated to New Jersey, where they lived at 65 Mills Street in Morristown. In both these censuses, Harry’s occupation was foreman at a box factory. Eventually the Scheublins moved to the Boston, Massachusetts, area.

Harry and Lillian Scheublin retired in Laconia, New Hampshire. Both lived to ripe old ages, long enough to enjoy grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Harry died at age 88 on October 18, 1982, little more than a week after their 67th wedding anniversary. Lillian (Lavery) Scheublin was 86 when she died on the 19th day of January 1985. They are buried together in Shawsheen Cemetery in Bedford, MA.

Raymond Scheublin passed away in late December 2011 at age 92. We will always be indebted to him for his generous contributions to this family history.

 

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Endnotes

1  Database “New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” Ancestry.com:
Year: 1888; Arrival: New York , United States; Microfilm serial: M237; Microfilm roll: M237_526; Line: 47; List number: 1457.
Also: Passenger lists and emigrant ships from Norway Heritage:
S/S State of Nevada, State Line: Burden: 2,488 gross; Dimensions: 332.1ft x 36.3ft
Built 1874 at Glasgow by London & Glasgow Co. Ltd.; Shipowner or operator: State Line

2  Hugh Lavery’s death record – the most informative piece of paper we’ve found on this man – states his date of birth as December 25, 1862, but gives his age at death as 49 years, five months, 22 days. Comparing this with both family lore and the 1910 census, we’d wager that the clerk at the NYC Dept. of Health should have written “1861,” which is what we choose to note as Hugh’s probable year of birth. Also, the handwriting on Hugh’s death record makes it difficult to read his mother’s maiden name. It could be either Mallon or Mallou. We think Mallon is probably correct.

3  We found a description of the name Lavery at an Irish surname website. We are fascinated by knowing that Hugh Lavery was an elocution teacher in his native Ireland, and that apparently the root of the surname means “speaker:”

Lavery, ó Labhradha A Gaelic surname; descendant of Labhraidh meaning ‘speaker’. A sept of Down, Who were based at Mag rath, now Moira in the Barony of Lower Iveagh. There were at three branches;-bán ‘white;-ruadh ‘red’; and-tréan ‘strong’. Branches migrated to Kilkenny and Galway. Also see Armstrong, and Lavery. In 1890 Lavery was principally found in Armagh, Antrim and Down, and the estimated number of bearers was 2,285. In the United States it is the 8,820th most numerous surname with an estimated 2,750 bearers.

4  Given that Kate was 52 years old (according to her death record) when she died in November 1917, this bit of lore is probably reasonably accurate.

5   At the “Lennon - Wylie - Keenan - Moore - McClelland - Wilson - Gunning” website, describing the Borough of Belfast, Police Office: “...Detective Officers, Hugh McIlroy and Harrison Patterson.”

6  International Genealogical Index® (IGI) records were obtained at the website of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, www.familysearch.org. Citation for Catherine Patterson (obtained August 13, 2004): Batch #: C701262, Sheet #: 00, Source Call #: 0101110, Printout Call #: NONE, Dates: 1865.

7   A comparison of the initial letters handwritten on the four pages of this ship’s manifest gave us the impression that the first letter of the word describing Hugh Lavery’s occupation is either a D or a P. Since the word “praper” doesn’t resonate anywhere on the Internet, we suspect that Hugh may well have been a draper at the time of his immigration.

8   Ancestry.com database “Brooklyn, New York Directories, 1888-1890;” and 1897 Lain’s Brooklyn Directory:

LAVERY Hugh salesman h 108 N Elliott pl
SCHENOT Jos. brasspolisher h r 144 22d – this is Clara’s husband Louis’s father
SCHEUBLIN Rudolf tailor h 85 Bergen
VETTER Geo. tailor h 75 Bleecker

9   According to The Free Dictionary, gastroenterocolitis is an “inflammation of the stomach, small intestines, and colon.” According to Wikipedia, “Asthenia is a medical term denoting a feeling of weakness without actual loss of strength.”

10   Evergreen Cemetery (“The Evergreens”), 1629 Bushwick Avenue in Brooklyn, NY 11207 (718-455-5300).

11   From Diseases and Medical Terms for Genealogists: “Apnoea -- Transitory cessation of breathing.”

 

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Sources

Vital records were obtained from the Municipal Archives, 31 Chambers Street, Room 103, New York, NY 10007

Birth Certificate for Clara Catherine Lavery, #11875 – Brooklyn
Birth Certificate for Elizabeth Lavery, #8314 – Brooklyn
Death Certificate for Hugh Lavery, #12130 – Brooklyn
Death Certificate for Kate Lavery, #22453 – Brooklyn

Ancestry.com subscription databases:

New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
Social Security Death Index (SSDI)
U.S. Public Records Index
U.S. Veterans Cemeteries, ca.1800-2004
World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918

US Federal Census records:

1900 US federal census, ED #113, Brooklyn Ward 9, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1048, page 3A – household of Rudolph Scheublin.

1900 US federal census, ED #512, Brooklyn Ward 28, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T623, roll #1067, page 11A – household of George Vetter.

 

1910 US federal census, ED #462, 20th Ward, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T624, roll #970, Part 1, page 106B, lines 18-21 – household of Hugh and Kate (Patterson) Lavery.

1910 US federal census, ED #532, 22nd Ward, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T624, roll #970, Part 2, page 123B – household of Rudolph Scheublin.

1910 US federal census, ED #867, 28th Ward, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T624, roll #981, page 5A – household of George Vetter.

 

1920 US federal census, ED #1706, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T625, roll #1149, page 4B – household of Clara (Lavery) Schenot.

1920 US federal census, ED #534, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T625, roll #1158, page 14A – household of Harry Scheublin.

1920 US federal census, ED #1246Brooklyn Assembly District 20, Kings, NY; NARA micropublication T625, roll #1175, page 6B – household of George Vetter.

 

1930 US federal census, ED #47, Morristown, Morris county, NJ; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1374, page 14B – household of Harry Scheublin.

1930 US federal census, ED #1193, Brooklyn, Kings county, NY; NARA micropublication T626, roll #1511, page 5B – household of Edward and Clara (Lavery) (Schenot) Vetter, and the Schenot/Vetter children.

 

Conversions for gravesite coordinates were obtained at www.jeeep.com/details/coord/.

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