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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Laurel Street, Napa, CA

Recently, my mom said that her aunts drove her by the house in Napa where her mother (my grandma) was born.  It's a house on Laurel Street.  She could not recall the exact address.  Also, the Vienop's lived in several different homes on Laurel Street over many years.  In fact, the house that my grandma (Dorothy Marie Borchers) was born in was Ernest's house.  My mom was thinking that it was Uncle Ernest's house (he was my great grandma's brother).  I told her that I actually think that the house was Uncle Ernst Vienop's home.  I know that sounds confusing but Uncle Ernst was much older and the brother of John Henry Vienop, Sr.  Uncle Ernst was born in 1848 in Germany.

My mom further indicated that the house was where the prune orchard was located.  My grandma and her siblings even had the great pleasure of picking prunes in this location.  My aunt indicated that her sister, Dorothy, did not like to do this and would rather have slept in on a Saturday morning.  I do love those stories and understand further why I am not a morning person.  It does not really run in my family to get up at the crack of dawn.

As I dig through the "other box of treasures" that mom has lent to me, I look for the address of the house on Laurel Street.  My mom can't remember it off the top of her head.  I looked over my grandma's birth certificate.  All it says is that she was born in a residence near Napa, Calif in the Rural Registration District of Browns Valley, no. R. 2, Box 21.

I do know that the the section of Laurel Street where the house is located falls on the west side of Highway 29.  It is also before Driggs Lane and the bend in the road where Laurel then starts to head north.  

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Irish Geography

My own personal Irish geography lesson may or may not be the most exciting post in my blog.  The details are very important to my research.  How else can I track down my origins in Ireland?  It helps to pull out a map and understand the counties, the parishes, the towns (or just villages), and the general lay of the land.  Ireland is really not a very large land mass but yet so many people have origins there.

I have attempted to create a address directory of sorts for my family surnames in Ireland.  Now, my attempts range from specific property titles in exact locations to general origins for a surname.  I must write these addresses down somewhere and apologize if I am giving anyone's current address away.  I just don't want the information to get lost in a drawer somewhere as a lot of genealogy does in families.   Then, we forget our roots and future generations just don't know where to find where we came from.

O'Brien, Gleeson
-Castleconnell, County Limerick, Ireland (near County Clare Border) 

Hickey, Minogue
-Loughatorick, County Clare, Ireland (near County Galway Border)
-Derrycon, County Clare, Ireland
-Woodford, County Galway, Ireland

Coughlin, McMahon, McNamara
-Revail, Ballyvannan, County Clare, Ireland
-Reveal, Ballyvannan, County Clare, Ireland
-Caherhurly, Ballyvannan, County Clare, Ireland
-Parish of Tuamgraney, Ballyvannan, County Clare, Ireland
-Tuamgraney Rock, Caherhurly, Ballyvannan, Clare, Ireland
-Revail, Caherhurly, Ballyvannan, County Clare, Ireland

-County Fermanagh, Ireland

Maxwell, Shaffrey
-Parish of Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland
-Dunshaughlin, County Meath, Ireland
-Shancarnan, County Meath, Ireland

-Parish of Edgeworthstown, Ringowny, County Longford, Ireland

Gartlan, Fox
-Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Ireland
-Clontibret, County Monaghan, Ireland

Flanagan, Maguire, Kirwan, Bellew
-Galroostown, Termonfechin, County Louth, Ireland
-Ganderpark, Termonfechin, County Louth, Ireland
-Tubbertoby, Termonfechin, County Louth, Ireland
-Strand Road, Termonfechin, County Louth, Ireland
-Baltray, Termonfechin, County Louth, Ireland
-Termonfeckin, County Louth, Ireland
-Duffsfarm, Termonfeckin, Louth, Ireland
-Tobertoby, Termonfeckin, Louth, Ireland

Clearly, I have a varying degree of information for my Irish origins.  In the U.S., we'd be looking for street addresses with zip codes and definitive street names.  Well, outside of the large cities of Ireland, it just does not work that way.  Buried in the information above, are a few real to life mailing addresses used even today.  How would a researcher seeking their family roots in Ireland know this?  It was explained to me by my Irish relatives.

Maybe this post will help others understand how finding a location of your ancestors in Ireland works.  I have learned to not brush off a property title or seemingly strange proper noun/word written on scratch paper.  It may be the key to unlocking your origins.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Not To "Tree" on and McLaughlin Update

Since I started working on my family tree lines on back in the Spring of 2010, I've learned so much.  Yes, I made a few mistakes along the way using's technology.  I accepted "hints" that I should not have and later had to back those off along with deleting people who were not my McLaughlin's.  Most of the time, I just had to delete duplicate people.  Nicknames can drive you crazy, mix you up, when they are used on a Census.

Anyway, my first lesson was not to take the "hints" that pushes to you via their technology at face value.  You've really got to look those hints over as much of the time, they are not correct.  How many James McLaughlin's, Patrick Flanagan's, or Frank McGuire's do you think there are in the world?  Let's just say those names are not all unique to my family as much as each of the individual's in my family were who held those names.

My other lesson early on was not to grab information about those "matching names" based in Irish locations without first mapping where they were from.  My Patrick Flanagan was not from County Clare.  Let's just say, that is not even close to where he was from when you are talking about Ireland.  Yet, I could have grabbed several source documents that indicate this.  I'd have been wrong and way off the mark.  A lesson in geography is important.

The latest geography lesson, for one of my family lines, is in a church document that indicates a Thomas McLaughlin and Mary Stafford from Cavan, Ireland.  They had some children.  They lived about 15 miles from County Longford.   Someone added a Michael McLaughlin to their children's names and "Ta Da", the person starting borrowing all of my/our McLaughlin research for Michael in Newport, New York.

Well, Michael was born in or near Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland.  I do not see anyone from Cavan.   Also, those Cavan McLaughlin's were Protestant based on the document that was scanned into and now at least 5 people have grabbed it.  I grabbed it to read it and have since removed it from my tree.  Those Protestant McLaughlin's were actually Presbyterian.  That is fine and dandy, for them.  As near as all of my McLaughlin researchers have been able to pull together, our family was Roman Catholic.

To sum up the McLaughlin "Member Connects" on, the Cavan McLaughlin's were from the Coroneary Parish, County Cavan, and were Presbyterian.  They also had children by various names but I don't actually see a match to Michael and his brother Patrick of Longford and Newport, New York.  Oh, and let's not forget that Michael and Patrick were Catholic.  Without source documentation, I can't really disprove the supposition that these McLaughlin's are relatives but I can't prove it either.

At this juncture, here's the information that I am rather stuck at for my McLaughlin's of Edgeworthstown:

1.  Thomas McLaughlin of County Longford near Edgeworthstown circa 1750 is a "guesstimate".  A very well versed McLaughlin researcher investigated our line years ago and his best guess is that our ancestor is "Thomas".  He's pretty sure that's his first name.  I'd bet money on his educated guesses if I were a betting person.

2.  Michael, his brother Patrick and their sister, Bridget were all from a location near Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland.  Some strong rumor is that Bridget was actually the sister-in-law of Michael and Patrick.  Another McLaughlin brother was her husband but he died.  Bridget married Michael Mahady (Mahardy).  They all immigrated to the U.S. via Quebec, Canada sometime between 1822 and 1824.

3.  My Irish relatives who live north of Dublin drove over to find out about the McLaughlin's of Edgeworthstown in 2010 and found only the following:
------Bridget McLaughlin and Michael Mahardy were married in that location.
------The Edgeworthstown Historical Society has been disbanded.

4.  The following is the specific research about Bridget McLaughlin and Michael Mahardy of Newport, New York:
-------BRIDGET McLAUGHLIN, b. abt. 1802, Edgeworthstown, Co. Longford, IRE; d. 30 Jul 1890, Norway, Herkimer Co. NY. Her surname is listed on son Michael‟s Death Certificate dated 1907, Herkimer Co. NY. She m. by 1823, probably in Co. Longford, IRE to MICHAEL MAHARDY / MAHADA. They appear on a New York City Passenger List Index, dated 30 Sep 1822, having departed from Liverpool, ENG on 19 Jul 1822. No children were listed. MICHAEL, b. c. 1799, prob. in Co. Longford, IRE; d. 17 Apr 1851 in Newport. His Will is dated 15 Apr 1851, probated 16 Jun 1851 in Herkimer, NY. They are both buried in Old St. Patrick‟s Ceme. located at the Irish Settlement, Town of Newport, NY.
--------I have the names of all of their children, the first of whom with specifics appear to have been born in Newport, New York, in 1825.  One child was born before 1825.

5.  I can pretty much spot every male of my relations on the 1830 U.S. Census for Newport, New York.  Most of them are found on the same page including the above McLaughlin's and Mahardy's.

6.  As I move forward in time, I have much more specific and sourced information including details of my direct line ancestor, James M. McLaughlin, son of Michael McLaughlin.  James was born in or near Edgeworthstown or Ringowny, County Longford, Ireland on 25 Dec 1814 and died in Newport, New York on 15 Apr 1905.  His immigration through Quebec is indicated as about 1823.

I suppose that I should go find James M. McLaughlin's origins and source records in Ireland along with any of his siblings before I get to into finding Michael's parents.  Just because you can't get to the information in Edgeworthstown does not mean the information has not been taken down somewhere else.

My McLaughlin line beckons!