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Monday, February 28, 2011

Relationship Chart

I found this page in my "box of treasures" a number of months back.  It had fallen behind the sectional couch in our living room.  I finally retrieved it and, as promised many months back, I am posting it here.  Yeah!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Someone's Ancestor Sunday - Johann Georg Elser

My husband has recorded a PBS show called Hitler's Assassin - Elser's Bomb.  Has he found time to watch?  Not really.  He's pretty busy these days.  Now, have I found time to watch it.  Actually, I have not.  That sounds bad for someone so interested in history.  Well, I'm more interested in family history.  When I think about it, Johann Georg Elser is someone's relative.  He may, in fact, be related to my husband.  Maybe we have not sat down the watch the PBS presentation of the show because we know all about Georg Elser.

Johann Georg Elser attempted to kill Hitler with his bomb.  The bomb exploded in a bar but Hitler had already left by the time it went off.  He was caught and interrogated by the Gestapo.  He was held in special custody until he was killed in 1945.  It was suspected that the British were involved but also the Nazi's themselves may have been.  There's quite a bit of speculation there.  What is fact?  The 203 page document that was recovered in the 1960s.  It was the protocol from the Gestapo.

Is there family tree information available for Johann Georg Elser?  On Wikipedia, the facts of his family are listed.  Johann Georg Elser was born on January 4, 1903, in Hermaringen, Wurttemberg, Germany to Ludwig Elser and Maria Muller.  Ludwig was a farmer and lumber dealer.  Georg Elser did have a child, Manfred, but never married the mother, Mathilde Niedermann.

The following is a link online to his photo:

Georg Elser

Well, that is an interesting piece of history.  So is Johann Georg Elser a relative of my husband?  Maybe.  He's someone's ancestor and it is Sunday.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hope, Genealogy, and California

I've made it this far without including politics in my blog posts but I am about to enter the world of politics....kind of.  Hang in there with me on this one because I do have a point to make relating to family history.

On October 7, 2003, Arnold Schwarzeneggar won the recall election for governor of the State of California.  The State was recalling Governor Gray Davis.  As a new gorvernor (or rather the governator, as he was known since he was in the Terminator movies), there was renewed hope in California for future success of this fine state.  Maria Shriver (of the Kennedy Family) stood by his side.  She was from a big Democrat family and he, a Republican.  I think Arnold was overly optimistic.  Positive thinking is a good thing by the way but it must have substance and support.   I too was hopeful, at the time.

In January, our latest and repeat governor, Jerry Brown was sworn into office.  He is a Democrat and has been continually "around" in California government, except maybe when he took a break to be mayor of Oakland, California.  He is well respected by a diverse community.  I respect him for that myself.
During Governor Brown's speech, he spoke about his own ancestors migrating across the U.S. to California.  I found his remarks quite moving.  Now, he's not the most profound speaker but his message about being a native Californian really stuck with me.  What also stuck with me was the mention of the family diary in which he read an excerpt from.  I almost fell over because those types of readings are one my favorites, especially when it is my own family, but still wonderful when it is someone else's.  The words of his ancestor really amazed me.  As a result, I do remain hopeful that California will again thrive but know that there will be some pain and struggle that go along with it.

So I reflect on why my ancestors came to California.  I still have questions as to why they chose Northern California.  From my Borchers', Flanagan's, McLaughlin's, and Vienop's, I know varying historical facts of why and how they ended up in Napa, California.  I know that they had hope of a better life.  It seems that they found life here in Northern California with stuggles and successes alike.  I don't think any of these families had just success or some failures.  In fact, I know that they had both.

The family line continues on in California and beyond.  We all hope for better times right now.  Let's just hold on a minute though.  Are times really that tough?  Maybe if you just focus on the economy, they are.   If you focus on life, liberty, and family, then for me, they are favorable.  Not to throw out a random name but I do think this may, in fact, be what Michael Flanagan was onto with his desire to live in Napa, California and make it back here.  It gave him hope.  Let's not forget the weather too!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? - Rosie O'Donnell

I had the opportunity to watch Rosie O'Donnell's "Who Do You Think You Are?" Episode.  It was really good.  I have saved this episode on my DVR recorder for now.  I may just watch it again soon.  Being Irish and researching an Irish line can be daunting.  You never know what you might find.  I am starting to experience this too.  I acknowledge the fact that I will need to go to Ireland at some point to discover more.  This is exactly what Rosie O'Donnell did.

Her discovery about her Murtagh's in Kildare in a workhouse was moving.  I don't know much about workhouses in Ireland but have stumbled across the mention of them in several locations.  Watching Rosie walk through one with a guide explaining the purpose of them and living conditions was quite eye-opening.

My only criticism of this episode would be that it left me wanting more.  Rosie is not just Irish with one family line and could probably have gone to other locations in Ireland to find her roots.  She probably did but they only pick the most compeling story to show in the 42 minutes that is allotted for the running time.  You know, the network needs those other 18 minutes for commercials.

So next up is Kim Cattrall's episode.  I watched it already under the guise of the UK version and on YouTube.  Here's my previous post Kim Cattrall.  I will watch it again in hopes that they add some updated information from the original episode.  We'll see.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where are my Roman's? - Part 2

When I go looking for my Romaine's, I have determined that Mary was born in 1878, that she likely had a brother named John, and her parents were Joseph and Frances.  Next, I found an 1880 U.S. Census with Joseph, Frances, Mary plus a son Joseph and a daughter Rosa living in Manhattan on the lower Eastside.  The last name is spelled as Rohmann in the census.  Did I find them?  It certainly could be.  If so, Joseph and Frances are Prussian.

So where do I go next with this search?  At, I found that there are many records online for Manhattan to include marriages, deaths, and births.  It is hit or miss for this along with the timefarmes but my Romaine's seem to be a bit of a hit.  I can honestly say that I've had little to no luck with my other Manhattan family surnames.  Again, I kick myself for not trying this out sooner.

Here's what I've found............

Mary Roman

New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962

birth: 20 Nov 1878 — 240 Delancey St , New York City, New York

residence: Nyor, Newyork

parents: Joseph Roman, Francis Lindeaurm Roman

record title: New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962

name: Mary Roman

gender: Female

birth date: 20 Nov 1878

birthplace: 240 Delancey St , New York City, New York

father's name: Joseph Roman

mother's name: Francis Lindeaurm Roman

indexing project (batch) number: C71508-7

system origin: New_York-ODM

source film number: 1322134

Yes, I feel very confident that this is my great grandmother's birth record.  Her mother's maiden name is fairly butchered.  Just wait and see the various versions of her last name.  She must have had a thick accent or maybe Joseph did when speaking the name.

Joseph Rohman

New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962

birth: 26 Oct 1872 — Manhattan, New York, New York, USA

residence: Nyor, Newyork

parents: Joseph, Frances Lendevorson

record title: New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962

name: Joseph Rohman

gender: Male

birth date: 26 Oct 1872

birthplace: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA

father's name: Joseph

mother's name: Frances Lendevorson

indexing project (batch) number: C00772-1

system origin: New_York-ODM

source film number: 1315320

The above record would appear to be my great grandmother's brother.  Yet again we see a different spelling of the "Roman" name and Frances' maiden name.
John Rohman

New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962

birth: 23 Aug 1887 — Manhattan, New York, New York, USA

residence: Nyor, Newyork

parents: Joseph Rohman, Franeisca Luchwnrm

record title: New York Births and Christenings, 1640-1962

name: John Rohman

gender: Male

birth date: 23 Aug 1887

birthplace: Manhattan, New York, New York, USA

father's name: Joseph Rohman

mother's name: Franeisca Luchwnrm

indexing project (batch) number: C00539-1

system origin: New_York-ODM

source film number: 1322224

And here we are again.  The surnames are spelled differently.  I believe that this is another brother of my great grandmother, Mary.  Will I find more children?  Will I find my "Roman's"?

I still arrive back at a comment made by my Granddad made in 1990 as I sat at the dining room table in their house in Franklin Square, New York.  He said that his mother, Mary Romaine, was part Dutch.  There is a Dutchman ancestor somewhere back in the line who came through New Orleans.  Someone, maybe a Romaine or her mother's family, then made their way to New York.  Who was in New Orleans?  What's that story?

Let's just say my Granddad's information has been very right so far.  He's batting 1000 with the McGrath maiden name for his grandmother and indicating that his cousin was Coach Frank McGuire.  The proof is in my sourcing but his information has led the way.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where are my Roman's? - Part 1

Roman is a somewhat common surname.  Heck, I know someone with this last name even today.  I know another who has indicated that the Romanov name is one of their family names.  I too have a version of this surname in my line.  It is Romaine.....or is it Rohmann, Romain, Rohman, Roman, or what?

As one can tell, I am either lost in the suffle of trying to locate my "Roman" family line or maybe, just maybe, I am hot on the trail of my "Roman" family.  Now, that does sound rather funny to an extent.  I type my family surname as Roman and put it in quotes because that is how everyone in my family pronounces/pronounced my great grandmother's maiden name.  Even Mary Elizabeth Romaine McGuire said "Roman".  She was born in the U.S. and had no accent by the way.  How did they spell their surname?  That is a bit of a mystery.

What I have found and can discern from official source records is that, as usual, when spelling can really count, people just don't get it correct.  So I'm off researching a line where I am flying rather blind into the abyss ahead.  Oh, but sometimes I do get a little creative and hit on a way to gather up some genealogical "ammo" to trace a family line.

I have literally read the definition of the surname Roman online several times.  It means "someone who comes from Rome".  I never would have guessed.  Sorry for the sarcasm here but it does seem obvious.  I have found many variations of this name - Roman, Romain, Romaine, Rohmann, Rohman, Romanov, Romano, St. Romaine, St. Romain, Ronan, etc.  Depending on what part of Europe or Eastern Europe that your family originates, determines what form the name of Roman has taken for your family.

I had a priest on the phone one day tell me that Romaine is a French name.  He was based in Brooklyn, New York.  He seemed to be onto something but I have never heard back from him.  He was going to look up the church records for St. Louis Parish of Brooklyn.  It was the "French" Catholic church for the area.  It was absorbed into another church in Brooklyn and then another.   St. Pat's in Brooklyn said that they do have St. Louis' church records though.  I guess I need to make a journey there someday.  It sounds like a bunch of McGuire's go to that church even today in Brooklyn.  Maybe I'd find some Romaine's too.  You never know.

So am I hot on the trail of my Romaine's?  It's pretty slow going.  I do have so much more to discover.  I've found my McGuire's.  I have to believe that they knew the Romaine's, if not pretty well.  It can be hard to discover ancestors in New York City and the Five Boroughs of New York City.  Some records don't really differeniate the "Five" very well while others are specific.  Thank goodness my Dad taught (or rather had us memorize) this information when we (me, my sister, and even my mother) were younger.  I still get it confused at times and I wonder if my sister still has it down pat.   At least, I know the difference between the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island.  Then, there's Long Island (includes Brooklyn and Queens).  I've been to all in some way shape or form. 

Moving on with my Roman's.  How should I spell their surname?  My great grandparents marriage certificate has the surname spelled as Romaine for both Mary E. Romaine and her father, Joseph Romaine.  I've also found my granddad's baptismal certificate with Mary E. Romaine and a sponsor as John Romaine listed.  The marriage certificate is from 1903 and the baptismal certificate is from 1908 (from St. Louis Catholic Church).  It seems obvious to me that the family was definitely using the spelling of Romaine for their "Roman" name.  If that truly is the French way of spelling it, then are they French?  I still don't know.

To be continued........................

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stanly Lane Trees - Napa, California

Google Alerts can be an interesting internet tool.  I signed up for these alerts a number of months ago with one of my "alert" keywords as Stanly Ranch.  You'd probably be amazed at the number of precise hits and alerts I receive with just these words.  90% of the alerts that I receive are in fact related to the Stanly Ranch in Napa, California.  As you might guess, 90% of that 90% are related to wine.  Yes, lots of grapes continue to be grown on the Stanly Ranch in Napa and are not just used and supplied to the winery on the premises.  A few wineries use Stanly grapes.  I could probably list them off as I receive alerts about what red wine is being released next related to this location.

I love wine, especaily reds but my goal with reviewing alerts associated with the Stanly Ranch is not related to wine so much.  I seek historical information about the premises and try to keep up with the other "going's on" in Napa, California history.

A recent alert was about those old trees that line Stanly Lane.  So instead of wine or grapes, I write about trees.  "Treehugger" you might want to call out?  Not exactly.  We are, however, in California after all and many jurisdictions work to save trees.  An article in the Napa Register from February 18, 2011 -  Three dozen ‘diseased trees’ taken down by Caltrans on Stanly Lane, talks about some of the old eucalyptus trees on part of Stanly Lane being removed by Caltrans.

After reading the article that I have linked into my post above you may still ask yourself the following:  What is the significance to this blog and family history in relationship to these trees?  And, who the heck is Caltrans?  If you live in California, you probably know that the State of California can pretty much do whatever it is they want and deem necessary.  Caltrans is the department of transportation who maintain our highways and state roads.  I must admit to being a little confused and leary of their involvement in removing these trees.  The state must own the intersection at HWY 12/121 at Stanly Lane on the Carneros/Sonoma Highway.  I wonder how much the state spent to remove 36 huge trees.  Where did that money come from?  Was it really money well spent?  Remember, the State of California does not have any money right now...... 

Ok, I completely digress.  In the name of public safety and pumpkin patches everywhere, we certainly don't want a diseased tree to fall on anyone.  The eucalyptus trees in this area are over 100 years old.  I can hear my great-great grandmother, Kate Flanagan, saying "those darn gum trees.....providing too much shade to my vineyard....and the roots of those trees!".  Those are not her exact words but she did complain to Michael Flanagan about the trees in one of her letters from Napa to Termonfechin. 

So what am I referring to when I include the Flanagan's, The Stanly Ranch, and those eucalyptus trees?  I am referring to the "legend".  Can I call Michael Flanagan, a legend?  He is in my family history.  He is, in fact, rumored to have been the person to plant the rows of eucalyptus trees on Stanly Lane to provide a wind break protection for the vineyard.  Is it true?  Well, a "legend" is defined as a narrative of human actions that are perceived both by teller and listeners to take place within human history and to possess certain qualities that give the tale a feel of reality and real possibility.

Many of you might think that these are just trees.  I agree.  However, there is more of a story that goes with them and I seek to find more about it.  It is too bad that the marks of history - those trees - seem to be disappearing before our eyes.  The historical stand of the eucalyptus trees on Stanly Lane is currently protected.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

McGuire Family First Names

Before I post a McGuire Family Tree here in my blog, I need to take some time to fill in more of the blanks.  I have a long road ahead of me and welcome any other McGuire researcher's input.  I'm not sure if there are very many of us working on our family tree.

McGuire is a rather common Irish surname.  It is, in fact, Irish in origins and not Scottish.  This is not to say that you wouldn't find that name in Scotland or in other places of the world.  I am certain that you would.

Even with my other family lines, I find recurring first names on my tree.  On some of my family lines, there is little deviation from the male names that are used in every generation.  I seem to have hit upon this with my McGuire's too.  I must admit to this lending itself to putting one on the right path to finding source documents and proof of family connections.

My McGuire's seem to have used the following male names in the 19th and early 20th centuries:  Charles, Francis, Joseph, Robert, and John.  There is little deviation from these names until the 20th century when I find Brian, William, and Thomas.  As we move further into the 20th century, I begin to realize that all bets are off on the reuse of first names.  People started being more creative with naming their children in the 20th Century.  However, sometimes middle names still give a clue.

Female names sometimes tell little.  The use of the first name "Mary" is so common.  Do you know how many Mary McGuire's that I know?  I personally know at least two, and have spotted at least 5 on my family tree.  So far, I have fewer than 80 people on that family tree line.  That female first name is probably not the best way to go about locating my McGuire females.  But what about Cecilia or Veronica?  When I spotted those two names on a branch of my McGuire cousin's family tree, I looked back at another portion and have found those two names used too.  In fact, Cecilia comes up 3 times. 

So is the naming game a good way to find your correct family in a sea of people with the same surname.  It can help.  It certainly can't be the only thing you use but let's just say, it can lead you to success in conjunction with other clues and sources.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Francis Joseph McGuire - "Coach Frank McGuire" -- Part 2

I love it when I score online with some family tree information.  Wikipedia does sometimes point you in the right direction.  Let's talk about the score.  "549-237" - Now that is a winning coach. 

From 1947 to 1980 Coach Frank McGuire led St. John's, North Carolina, and South Carolina college basketball's winning teams.  His winning career is only matched by Bobby Knight of the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers.  Those are impressive stats.  It is always wonderful to find a McGuire with such success.

At least six months back, I popped on the internet and read the bio that is found on "Wiki".  Frank Joseph McGuire (November 8, 1914 - November 11, 1994) was born in NYC, the youngest of 13 children in an Irish-Amercian family.   His father, Robert McGuire, was a NYC police officer and his mother was Anne Lynch.   Robert died when Frank was only two years old.  Frank graduated from St. John's Universtiy on Long Island in 1936.  He was in the Navy during WWII.  After the war he returned to teaching and coaching.

With the scrap of family tree information provided above, I was able to "tree" a good portion of Robert McGuire and Anne Lynch's family unit and connect it to mine even before I found more definite information of the connection.

It is good note here, as indicated online, that Al McGuire and Dick McGuire are not related to Coach Frank McGuire, although he did coach both of them at St. John's.  Coach Frank McGuire was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1977, and he retired in 1980.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Francis Joseph McGuire - "Coach Frank McGuire" -- Part 1

In 1990, I sat at the dining room table of my grandparents house on James Street in Franklin Square, New York, talking "family tree" with my grandparents.  My parents were there, too.  Lot's of verbal information was provided by my grandmother (Josephine Hickey McGuire - 1915-2006) and my granddad (Francis "Frank" Robert McGuire - 1908-1993).  I took notes as quickly as possible.  Some of my notes are in my own shorthand of sorts. 

What I did not actually write down but remember is my Granddad indicating is that Coach Frank McGuire was, in fact, his cousin.  Did he ever meet his cousin?  That's likely but probably not in later life but as a child.  Is there anyone else who can confirm that Coach Frank McGuire was his cousin?  Well, my mom was there when my Granddad made the statement and she remembers it.  So there are two of us living individuals who recall this.

Now, I don't want to be smug or slight here but the rest of the family does not recall the "Coach" being a cousin.  My father's two brother's and a couple of my cousin's either say that is not the case or they just don't remember either way that this topic was ever brought up.  One of my Dad's brother's is very honest with me, though, and has said that the McGuire side of the family kept so many "secrets".  They never talked about the McGuire's of old or their relations much.

Why the secrets?  Well, Franics Joseph McGuire (b. 1878) was my Granddad's father.  He took off on the family for the "high seas".  Well, actually according to one of my uncles he was in Long Island City.  He apparently had a bit of a drinking problem and maybe some other issues going on.  I guess that's not much of a secret if everyone knows about him.  There could be other interesting secrets to discover about him but at this point, nothing would surprise or shock me.  His history is so cloaked in mystery that the worst of the worst (and I can think of some really bad stuff) is probably just not the case.  It might be likely that he married someone else.  I'll buy that if it comes up.

Ironically, Franics Joseph McGuire (b. 1878, NYC) is the uncle and apparent namesake of Coach Frank McGuire (Francis Joseph McGuire b. 1914, NYC).   The Coach was born to Robert McGuire (b. 1872, NYC) and Anne Lynch.  Robert McGuire was the older brother of Francis Joseph McGuire (b. 1878) who is my great grandfather.

In my recent search for the McGuire's, I finally can say with 99% certainty that Coach Frank McGuire is a cousin.  I suspected this all along and had created a research family tree on Ancestry using census information to connect the two families.  I set that tree aside for many months and had virtually forgotten about it.  Then, my missing links were found in Charles and Sarah McGuire, my great great grandparents.  I did find them on the marriage certificate of my great grandparents, Francis Joseph McGuire and Mary Elizabeth Romaine.  I went back and found them on the U.S. Census too. What a find!

Then, I remembered my research tree that I had set aside.  I reviewed that and it matched what I had created from the marriage certificate and U.S. Census.

So who was Coach Frank McGuire?

See my next post..............

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some Things in Life are Free!

Somedays I do kick myself for not looking or trying things out sooner than later.  Then again, maybe the present rather than the past was the right time for a discovery.  A while back, I had someone suggest that I try the LDS Library for my great grandparents marriage certificate.  They have all marriages for New York City on file and charge about $4 for them.

Well before I decided to make the trek to the local LDS library near my place, I decided to use the online search at  I decided to keep it simple and typed in Mary Romaine.  A lot of census information popped up.  I have access to all of the census at and find it hard to weed through.  I narrowed my search to marriages for New York.

The following information popped up right in front of me......It's what I have been looking for, waiting for, and in search of all of these months.

Mary Romaine

New York Marriages, 1686-1980

parents: Joseph Romaine, Frances Lakervine

spouse: Francis Mcguire

marriage: 04 Sep 1903 — Manhattan, New York, New York

record title: New York Marriages, 1686-1980

groom's name: Francis Mcguire

bride's name: Mary Romaine

marriage date: 04 Sep 1903

marriage place: Manhattan, New York, New York

groom's father's name: Charles Mcguire

groom's mother's name: Sarah Mcgrath

bride's father's name: Joseph Romaine

bride's mother's name: Frances Lakervine

indexing project (batch) number: M00391-5

system origin: New_York-ODM

source film number: 1570985

What a find!  This is the information for my great grandparents Mary E. Romaine and Francis McGuire.  They were, in fact, married on September 4, 1903.  And thanks to my Granddad - Francis Robert McGuire - for telling me in 1990 that his grandmother's maiden name was McGrath.  There she is!

I have to say this is worth its weight in gold and it was free.......Some things in life are free....amazing!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? - Tim McGraw

Last friday night the latest episode of "Who Do You Think You Are ?" was on with the celebrity at hand, Tim McGraw.  His story in finding his family roots was very interesting.  He wanted to know more about his dad's family line.   The show briefly talked about his father, Tug McGraw (1944-2004), and proceeded back in time at least 8 generations on this Chrisman and Hite Family line on the east coast.

They didn't actually venture out here to California.  I guess they didn't want to make the show about Tug McGraw so chose that route.  I bring up Tug McGraw because he actually went to my high school in Vallejo, CA.   He attended St. Vincent Ferrer High School in Vallejo, CA - SV'62.  My godmother, who lived in Napa growing up, was a year behind him at SV.  She finished her fnal two years of high school at Napa High instead of SV.

Tug was born in Martinez, CA.  I'm assuming that he either lived there or somewhere in Solano or Napa Counities when he attended high school.  He also went to Solano Community College in Fairfield, CA.  I noticed quickly on the program that they showed Tim's grandmother's (or it may have been his great grandmother) death certificate.  It stated "Napa County" across the top.  His family must have lived in Napa.  I wonder where they lived? 

Anyway, I always find it interesting when I come upon people from my "old stomping ground".

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day - A Valentine For My Researchers and Relatives

This year for Valentine's Day, I thought that I'd send a rather different kind of Valentine wish and thank you to all my followers, research collaborators, relatives, and those who I email and bug about our genealogy.  Without listing specific identities of my friends and family here, I am sending you a Valentine's wish with a code name or phrase in some cases.  Some of you will probably be able to guess who you are! :-)

- To my followers of this blog:  Happy Valentine's Day

My McGuire's:
- To my McGuire Family:  Happy V. Day......Let's start writing our McGuire/Hickey stories down!

- To my Uncle McG in VA:  I wish you Happy V. Day and thanks for your memories of your parents and our Hickey and McGuire Families.  Your info led me to the Hickey/Coughlin marriage in Rye, NY.  XOXOXOXOXOXO!

- To my Cousin A in Rye:  Happy V. Day!  Remember our deal, I know you do. :-) XOXOXO

My Maxwell/McLaughlin's:
- To my "Shirt-tail" Cousin Mac in TX:  You are awesome!  Happy Valentine's Day....without your information, I'd be lost! 

- To another somewhat distant cousin in Liberty - Hey JP, Happy Valentine's Day!

- To my all time wonderful researcher of the McLaughlin's - Mr. Rochester, NY, Happy Valentine's Day!

- To another McLaughlin cousin in NY who's from CA - Happy V. Day KME!  I know that I've been so busy lately and we really need to talk about our McLaughlin's!

- To my Oregon McLaughlin who led me to Mr. Rochester, NY - Happy V. Day Simplygib!

My Flanagan's

- To my Termonfechin Family - Happy Valentine's Day!  That includes you P, M, and the "D" man!

- To my new friends and family in Loma Rica and Citrus Heights - Happy V. Day to Nicholas' descendants!

- To my Flanagan Cousin in "The North Woods" - Happy V. Day!

My Flanagan/Maxwell/McLaughlin's

- To my Mom - Happy V. Day!  Thanks for the "box of treasures".

- To C. in San Mateo County -  Happy V. Day and feel free to email me anytime with memories of our family.

- To my "Red-Headed Cousin" in NYC - Happy V. Day!  Glad we found each other.  :-)

- To all of my Flanagan's and descendants of Jack and Minnie - Please share this blog with your relatives whether they are descendants of Kay, Robert, Dick, or John Flanagan.  We have so much to share.  Happy Valentine's Day!  Join in the fun too........Don't be shy.......Feel free to contact me. :-)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thomas C. Malloy, Jr.

Recently, I had a Walsh descendant email me some Malloy information.  In fact, the Walsh's are cousin's of the Malloy's and Duffy's who are cousin's of my Maxwell's and McLaughlin's of Napa.  Now, they all originate in some way shape or form in the community that was in Austin, Lander County, Nevada.  It is starting to become clearer to me just how tight the families in Austin were back in the latter part of the 1800s.  In fact, they shared their religion (Catholic) and the majority of them appear to have been Irish or of Irish descent.

The information that I have today is the obituary of Thomas C. Malloy Jr. of Napa, California.  I will strike the living people's first names from the obit. for privacy reasons.  This is my practice and should be everyone's who is involved in publicly posting genealogy information.  I will provide some commentary after the following information:

Napy Valley Register, 2/14/2008.

NAPA - Thomas C. Malloy, Jr., 96, died peacefully on Feb. 9, 2008, after a brief stay at the Meadows.  He was born in Napa on Sept. 4, 1911, to Thomas C. Malloy Sr. and Ella [Ellen] (Duffy) Malloy.

He began his business career as manager of the Uptown Theater in Napa where he hired youths for their first jobs.   Later, he was promoted to general manager of the Lawrence Borg Trust in San Francisco where he oversaw the acquisition and sale of real estate property and theaters.

He was predeceased by the love of his life and wife of 51 years, Dolly F. Malloy.  Tom and Dolly's proudest legacy was their family.................................

The funeral Mass will be held on Friday morning, Feb. 15, 10am, at St. John's Catholic Church.  The rosary and vigil service will be held tonight, Feb. 14, at 7pm, at the Claffey and Rota Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. John's Catholic School, 960 Caymus St., Napa, CA 94559, or to Queen of the Valley Hospital Foundation, PO BOX 2069, Napa, CA, 94558.

What can be really great about obituaries is the list of the family members, which this one does have but I have omitted those who I believe to be living.  I will, however, be adding them to my family tree on

One thing that I will say about Thomas C. Malloy, Jr. is that he worked on his family tree.  I, in fact, have some of the papers that he shared with my grandfather, his cousin, Richard J. Flanagan of Napa, CA.  My grandfather's grandmother, Ellen Maxwell McLaughlin, and Thomas C. Malloy Jr.'s grandmother, Catherine "Katie" Maxwell Duffy, were sisters.  Thomas provided my grandfather with the only photo that I have of the two sisters together.  It is actually the only photo that I have of Ellen Maxwell McLaughlin.

As my final comment, I do want to honor Tom Malloy for all of his genealogy research.  I'm not sure the full extent of his work.  I thank him for sharing what he did have with my grandpa.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Philip S. Duffy - A History - Part 2

When I read though the historical account of Philip Duffy, I can follow the path of his immigration and migration quite easily and see where he most definitely bumped into McLaughlin's and Maxwell's living Newport, New York along with others related to me.  He later found them in Austin, Nevada.  I am certain that he went there with purpose in cattle ranching by the late 1860s.  Is he the person who attracted Thomas Michael McLaughlin to Lander County, Nevada?  I wonder.  It seems very possible.

The Duffy ranch in Lander County, Nevada near Austin was called the Iowa Canyon Ranch.  He later named his ranch in Napa after this location as the Nevada Ranch.  The Nevada Ranch or Rancho Nevada, is at the end of Big Ranch Road in Napa, CA.  I find this historical account of Philip's life quite interesting.

Attached to the account of his life, I have his death certificate.  Below, I have included it in my post.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Philip S. Duffy - A History - Part 1

I may have a mini obsession with sourcing and locating Philip and Katie Duffy of Napa, California.  It is not for an unfounded or unrelated reason though.   Katie Duffy (Catherine Maxwell at birth) was the sister of my great great grandmother, Ellen "Maxwell" McLaughlin.  Katie and Ellen must have been close, I am pretty certain of that.  The only picture of Ellen that I have is with Katie in Walter Springs, California.  They, in fact, both lived in Napa after living in Austin, Nevada having migrated from Newport, New York.  They were both born in County Meath, Ireland.

The other catch to this is that their husbands' were friends.  That friendship may have originated in their youth in Newport, New York.  This type of family connection spans many years and three different locations.  I actually have more information about Philip Duffy at my fingertips than I have about my own great great grandfather, Thomas Michael McLaughlin.

I hope to someday connect with a Duffy or Malloy and share information.  They may have photos of my great great grandparents.  A Malloy gave my grandfather, Richard J. Flanagan, some photocopied information years and years ago in Napa.  I am posting it here.

The first two documents are from a history book.  The photocopy has become faded but has some great historical information about Philip Duffy.  By the way, he did spell his first name with one "l" only.  Enjoy reading below.  I hope that it is legible.  I will make comments in my next post.....To be continued.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Duffy's of Napa, CA

Recently, I started searching online for historical information about Napa which might include any information about my Flanagan's, McLaughlin's, Vienop's, Borchers', and even the McLaughlin's cousins, the Duffy's.  I was sad to find an obituary for Dennis Michael Patrick Duffy. 

DUFFY, Dennis Michael Patrick September 14, 2007 - SF Gate

Dennis Michael Patrick Duffy A life-long fourth generation Napa Valley resident, died suddenly on the golf course in Lake Tahoe on Monday, September 10, 2007. He was 59 years old. Born December 20, 1947 in St. Helena, Dennis graduated from Napa Senior High School in 1966 and then the University of San Francisco in 1970 with a BA degree in economics. Following college, he moved to Lake Tahoe adopting the beautiful basin as his home. Duff was best known for his work at River Ranch Restaurant & Lodge, where he became well-known for his Irish charm, quick wit and devilish smile. In the mid 70's, Dennis returned to his roots in Napa getting involved in the wine industry and, as a hobby, produced a private label DD that was enjoyed by friends and family. Dennis oversaw and maintained the Duffy Christmas Tree Farm on Big Ranch Road, a business started by his father. In early 1995, Dennis agreed to have the 1906 family farm house remodeled for the nationally syndicated "This Old House" program. The show's producer said at that time "I only had 15 minutes to meet Dennis, but it was love at first sight. I guess the combination of the man, the house and the setting conspired to make a good story." In recent years, Dennis went to work as a mortgage broker with Investor's Trust Mortgage. With his primary home in Yountville and his second home in Lake Tahoe, Dennis was blessed with a full life in two of the most beautiful places on earth. The true beauty of Dennis was what he brought with him into the hearts of everyone he encountered throughout his life. Dennis' life was made full six years ago when he was reacquainted with his college love, [a Living Kelly]. Happily engaged, they were excited to continue creating a wonderful life together. Dennis is predeceased by his parents Owen M. Duffy, Ann L. Duffy and brother-in-law, Dennis Mordecai. He is survived by his loving sister [a living Duffy], her daughter [a living Mordecai] and by his loving fiancĂ©e............A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, September 17 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Church in Yountville. A Celebration of Dennis' Life will be held at the River City Restaurant in Napa immediately following. Donations may be made in his honor to Napa Valley Hospice.

I've highlighted the clues that led me to know that this was a Duffy cousin.  I wonder what has become of the old Duffy property on Big Ranch Road?  Does any history of Philip Duffy and Catherine "Katie" Maxwell Duffy exist there anymore?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Source Document - Maxwell 1860 U.S. Census

As you can imagine, searching for ancestors in a census can be challenging sometimes.  It is handy when "pushes" the documents to you via their "hint" system.  I have a wealth of source documents that are attached to my ancestors because of this. also "pushes" documents that aren't actually relatives too.   You've definitely got to be on your toes to weed through the "mess" (for lack of a better word).

On the flip side, it can be very difficult to locate relatives as I found in trying to find Patrick Flanagan in Napa, CA.  His census information was filed under Polk Flanigan.  This reflects poor transcribing of "Patk" and further of that into Polk.  Well, I recently found something similar with my Maxwell's in 1860 Schuyler, New York.

The transcriber entered the Maxwell name (which is fairly easy to to read on the census form if you ask me) as Markwell.  Just that one typo forced me into a very lengthy search for my Maxwell's in 1860 Schuyler, NY.  See below and more commentary to follow:

To find this document, I had to narrow down the location of my Maxwell's in 1860.  I new with certainty that they were living in the Newport, New York area near the Irish Settlement.  I also knew with my research that their family farm was not probably in Newport but in the neighboring town of Schuyler.  I pulled the 1860 U.S. Census pages for Schuyler.  There were over 20 pages worth.  I went page by page and found my Maxwell's on page 11 with the last name mispelled in the transcription.  If I hadn't of done this, I never would have found them.

Another bit of information that I should share here is that Katie Maxwell (Catherine Maxwell Duffy) is not listed on this census with the family.  I am not sure why but am 99% certain that I did find the correct family.  Katie would have been about 10 or 11 years old during this 1860 census.  I have her living with her older brother Dennis in Newport, New York, in 1870.  She may have already been with him by then.  Based on what is written in the 1870 census, she helped with his family and children at his farm. 

I must admit that it was quite a bit more fun to some extent to look through the census page by page as if reading through a book.  The internet age with all of its search engines and "hits" sometimes leaves out the fun of a true "find".  Eureka!  I found it.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Request A Post! - Part 2

I've invited guest authors to my blog and now I'd like offer to write about anything that the readers want me to discuss.   Of course, it needs to be related to genealogy,, my family lines and locations.  I can even revisit topics that I've already written about.  I put this out here as a way for my collaborators, readers, and family tree seekers to interact.  Feel free to email me or put a comment below the post.

And never fear, I still have more to write about here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? - Vanessa Williams Episode

I just thought that I'd put a quick note out here about last night's episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?".   I found Vanessa Williams' story about the search for her ancestors to be quite interesting and moving.  Freedom is what America is all about and her ancestors lived and pushed for that.   I always find Civil War stories fascinating.  I am not one for the gore of the blood and guts but I acknowledge the importance of that part of our history in the U.S. 

A somewhat surprising part of this episode was that they did not go back very far on her family tree.  I know that it can be hard to trace people back further in time beyond the mid 1800s but I am always amazed when the show does go back in time a few hundred years.  I know not every episode and family tree is the same.  Sometimes I think the show leaves information out.   They only have 42 minutes of the hour to present the information.  The other 18 minutes are for commercials.  Gotta love U.S. TV!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who Do You Think You Are? - Season Premiere

Happy First Friday of February 2011!  That certainly is a mouthful.  Tonight on NBC TV in the U.S. is the season premiere of "Who Do You Think You Are?".  The first episode will have Vanessa Williams.  It should be interesting.  For me it has not mattered who the celebrity is on the show as much as the content and interesting path the person takes to find their roots.  Can't wait!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Guest Authors Invited

I continue to have an open invitation to guest authors.  I have suggested topics to include our Maxwell's, McLaughlin's, Gartlan's/Gartland's, Shaffrey's, Fox's, Flanagan's, O'Brien's, or any of my other surnames and locations.

I invite fellow researchers to consider writing bio's about those that they knew who have passed away and are connected to our family tree.  With this open invitation, I encourage you to consider this as a way for those memories to live on in our family history.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Source Document - U.S. Census 1900 - Napa, CA - McLaughlin

Pulling source documents off has proven itself to be quite challenging for me recently.  The only format option offered to save the document is JPEG 2000.  My husband has indicated that JPEG 2000 is a bit problematic.  I have not asked him further why that is the case.

He showed me another way to pull the documents off, however, but it does take a two step process for me to then post it onto my blog.  With that in mind, I do plan to continue to post source documents but they will come slower in my posts because of the time frame of the download and upload process.  Technology is grand but has its limitations, and a few tricks.

My following posts are two U.S. Census from 1900 Napa, CA for my McLaughlin's.  Why are there two?  Well, let's take a look.  I continue with my comentary below the pictures.

When I review both of these U.S. Census for Napa, CA for 1900, I can't help but notice that they appear to be my McLaughlin's in each.  So were my McLaughlin's counted twice in this census?  It seems likely.  The first document above has information gathered on June 15, 1900.  The second document has information gathered on June 8, 1900. 

The first document is transcribed as being from the Salvador Area of Napa which was mainly farmland back in the day.  All of the family members are listed including my great-grandmother, Mary E., who is indicated as being a school teacher which she was.  Several of the children are indicated as being born in Nevada. 

The second document is missing Thomas McLaughlin (my great great grandfather) and has the family living in town at 670 Main Street.  The reason why I believe that this is my McLaughlin family is because again several of the children were born in Nevada.  When you review the occupations of Ellen (head of household) it indicates diary.  My great-grandmother, Mary E. is listed as a school teacher.  Her year of birth is off but that was not unsual for a census taker to be off on that detail a bit.  I have found it was not that unusual for families to have a house in town while still maintaining a farm outside of town.  The Flanagan's of Napa did this for a while too. 

So it would appear that my McLaughlin's were counted twice.   Both census results appear to reflect the same family save Thomas McLaughlin in the second one.  Gotta love the U.S. Census, don't you?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Special Edition Post: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC)

This morning on the Today Show one of the producers of the Amercian version of the show "Who Do You Think You Are?" was interviewed.  She mentioned the season premiere of the show for this Friday, February 4, 2011, and that is the best place to get started on your family tree.  Ok, yes, I am very interested in what the show has to offer this year.  I am not so concerned with which celebrities are on the show.  I am more interested in their stories of discovering their roots.

One thing that the producer did say is that it is very hard to get records for Ireland and also for Jews in Poland.  There is apparently quite the demand for both.  I know that there is a demand for Irish records as I am one person who would like to see more of them on   Again and again, I read about how hard it is to come by records in Ireland.  I can't disagree across the board with this but I also can't fully agree with this. 

I have found various repositories online that hold information but you need to pay for it.  I can honestly say that I wish would pay for the records.  I already subscribe to their site but am starting to recognize some of the shortcomings when you want to "make the jump" to Ireland.  They don't even have the 1901 and 1911 Irish Census on their site that I've found.  Luckily, you can get to the transcribed information on other sites for free.   The National Archives of Ireland seem to have plenty of records.

Now, I do have connections in Ireland for the information that I have about my Flanagan Line.  The records are private family records.  Thank goodness they exist.  I am thankful and feel extremely fortunate.  The Flanagan records of family history are a rare find anywhere. 

Back to the Irish.....In general, the information available online can be quite lacking when it comes to Irish immigrants who departed Ireland for other places in the world. lacks source information almost all together.  There is information though.  At worst, it is patchy and inconsistent but it is not nonexistent.

One other thing....Not all of the Irish were poor.  The word "poor" was used today during the Today Show interview.  I agree that the Irish immigrants were mostly poor when they left Ireland and when they arrived in their new destination.  That does not mean they were always poor or that the previous generation was poor, too.  That was probably a "poor" choice of words today.  "Oppressed" would have probably been a better choice of words.  That would probably go for Jews in Poland, too.

So what is my point in all of this?  First and foremost, I don't give up very easily when it comes to my family tree.   Trust me, I have come so far in such a short timeframe.  I will continue to work on my tree.  Second, I think needs to ask the Irish for their records.  It may cost a fee.  That should be what the subscription fees helps pay for.  I'm sure that they'd have lots of volunteers to help them transcribe the information onto  The other bonus is that the records are likely in English.

For now, I will step back down off my soapbox but know that I have provided constructive feedback to along with completing a Survey that they sent me many months ago.

1880 U.S. Census Napa, CA - The Flanagan's

The above document of the 1880 U.S. Census for the Napa, CA area took some doing to locate.  As everyone can see, the document is filed under Polk Flannigan.  Talk about butchering Patrick Flanagan's name a bit.  The census taker abbreviated Patrick as Patk.  Then the transcriber onto wrote his name as Polk.  It amazes me sometimes that anyone can find what they are looking for with all of the mispelled names.  This one took some digging and various searches to locate.

The fact that the ages match my great-great grandparents ages as does the location helped me find this record.  Luckily the children are listed including my great grandfather, John Flanagan.  The best way to find my Flanagan's is to find Ignatius Flanagan.   It is not the most common name, especially in Napa, CA.