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Friday, August 31, 2012

Rerun Friday - Genealogy Research Accurancy and Sourcing

"Genealogy Research - Accuracy and Sourcing" was originally posted on Thursday, August 12, 2010

I find that the more research I do on my family tree, the more questions I have. Who were all of these people on my tree? How did they live? How did they interact with each other? What did they do for a living? Were they content with life or was it difficult? The list goes on. I hope to find some answers along the way. Of course, as more people show up on my family tree, there are more questions.

My brother-in-law asked me recently about the accuracy of my tree. I did admit to him that the further away on the tree I get from myself, the more I have to question the accuracy. When it comes to cousins down other lines, I have to question how far I should take my tree. I’ve been warned by other family “treers” to be careful of the information that you bring into your tree from I know that I found a mistake on my tree just last week.

The time will come when I need to, again, carefully review each and every person on my tree. I need to make sure that I have source information to cite for everyone. I need to scan some information and make it source information in the future. I never thought there’d be so much to do and so little time. Again, I need to remind myself that it’s "not a sprint, it’s a marathon". I’ve got to pace myself.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rerun Friday - Napa History

"Napa History" was originally posted on Thursday, July 29, 2010

When I research the history of Napa, Napa County, Napa Valley, or Los Carneros, I find a recurring theme. That theme, and I’m not sure how to make this sound polite, is bias. As you can imagine everyone has their own take on history and those who author (or fund) a project do have a say in what is written.

I have my own bias and facts for my personal Napa family history. There’s nothing wrong with that. As an amateur genealogist (but an expert underwriter in my past life), I work hard to “source” my information to establish the facts. History, however, is full of influence by the individual who puts pen to paper, or in this day and age on the web.

So Napa Valley had or has the Wappo Indians, Padre Jose Altamira, Nathan Coombs, Nicholas Higurerra (and really that Mexican Land Grant doled out by General Vallejo), Catholic priests, Tulocay Cemetery and lots of wine. Let’s not forget my Flanagan’s or the Stanly’s. I’ve also got my Borchers’, Vienop’s, McLaughlin’s and Maxwell’s. As you can see, my Napa history is skewed by my own bias.

Another point that I’d like to make is that the historcal information in Napa is only as plentiful and complete and those who have provided it. When I visit the Napa Valley Biographical and Genealogical Society pages, there are huge holes in the information. Also, I’m not sure that they have the manpower (or womanpower) to review information that is sent their way.

I blog away with my diary about my research available in cyberspace for anyone who wants to read about my version of Napa history and beyond.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

McGuire - New York City - Part 4

The New York State Census for 1892 might be a bit helpful except that I can't find Charles and Sarah in that census.  As best as I tell, Manhattan (New York County) is not online at clearly states which counties of New York that they have online for the NY State Census and NYC (Manhattan) is not part of them.

By the 1905 New York State Census, I find Charles living wife his daughter (Margaret Hogan) and her family.  He was living with them in 1910 as a widower in the U.S. Census.  The Hogan's were also living with Charles and Sarah in the 1900 U.S. Census.  

Household Gender Age Birthplace
Head Charles Maguire M 60y Ireland
Head John Hogan M 38y United States
Wife Margaret Hogan F 29y United States
Son Robert Hogan M 6y United States
Daughter Madeline Hogan F 4y United States
Son Charles Hogan M 2y United States
Daughter Emily Hogan F 0y United States

At this point, Charles is indicated as having been in the U.S. for 57 years and is a citizen.  He was originally from Ireland.  His occupation is indicated as "park laborer".  He's still living on Greenwich Street.  The house number is 653 Greenwich Street, Manhattan, New York.
The 1865 and 1875 New York State Census do not include New York County.  I think that I've exhausted the New York State Census for now.

Not to get too far off the path to my family tree, I found the death record of a Richard McGrath.  He died on 22 Apr. 1904 in New York City at the age of 60.  He was born in 1844 but does it not say where.  The source film is 1304643.

Another quick suggestion that my husband made involves the Civil War.  He suggested that maybe Charles McGuire was in the Union Army and that's what took him from NYC to Pennsylvania.  Now, wouldn't that be interesting to find out that he fought in the Civil War?  Only time will tell but the time-frame is actually correct.

I do wonder if it might be easier to trace my McGrath line but I must remain focused on the McGuire's as I have not finished locating them.  I am stuck trying to find Charles McGuire in 1860.  I might just need to wait awhile.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

McGuire - New York City - Part 3

Sometimes I think that I see double when searching a U.S. Census for my ancestors.  Well, I am seeing double in 1870 where Charles and Sarah McGuire and their family are indicated in both the New York Ward 5 District 2 census and again in the New York Ward 5 District 2 (2nd Enumeration).  It almost looks like the government went back to double check things.  The handwriting is different in the census also.  The first count was on 22 June 1870 and the second was on 31 December 1870.  There is actually nothing different to report including that Sarah is indicated as being from England.

I actually find it rather comforting that I don't find another Charles and Sarah combination with the McGuire name in New York City or the boroughs at this time.  It makes be realize that I've probably found my great great grandparents.  What a search it's been and yet they were right under my nose.

So where were Charles and Sarah McGuire in 1860?  Well, Isabella McGuire was born in Pennsylvania in around 1859.  I should find them there, right?  I am having a hard time finding them.  Maybe that is because the census indicated that Sarah did not emigrate until 1865.  Charles emigrated in 1850.  So, what about Charles' children who were born before 1865?  How did that come about?  Are they his children?   Was he married before?  Before I delve back into the earlier census, I suppose I should really search to see if I found the correct people in 1870.

The following are indicated under "New York, Births and Christenings, 1640-1962"

Maggie McGuire
Birth Date:  22 Nov 1872
Birthplace:  Manhattan, New York, New York
Father's Name:  Chas. Mcguire
Mother's Name:  Sarah Mcgrath Mcguire
Source Film Number 1322057
Cecilia Cath McGuire
Birth Date:  28 Nov 1875
Birthplace:  Manhattan, New York, New York, USA
Father's Name:  Charles Mcguire
Mother's Name:  Sarah McGrath
Source Film Number:  1322096

John Richard McGuire
Birth Date:  21 Jun 1881
Birthplace:  Manhattan, New York, New York
Father's Name:  Charles McGuire
Mother's Name:  Sarah McGrath McGuire
Source Film:  1322163

Wm. John Mcguire
Birth Date:  25 Feb 1884
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, New York
Father's Name:  Charles Mcguire
Mother's Name:  Sarah Mcgoath
Source Film: 1322188

The following are indicated under "New York, Marriages, 1686-1980"

Francis Mcguire
Bride:  Mary Romaine
Marriage Date:  4 Sep 1903
Marriage Place:  Manhattan, New York, New York
Groom's Father:  Charles Mcguire
Groom's Mother:  Sarah Mcgrath
Bride's Father:  Joseph Romaine
Bride's Mother:  Frances Lakervine
Source Film:  1570985

Joseph Mcguire
Bride:  Julia McCabe
Marriage Date:  2 Feb 1888
Marriage Place:  Manhattan, New York, New York
Groom's Father:  Charles
Groom's Mother:  Sarah McGrath
Bride's Father:  John
Bride's Mother:  Elizabeth Garrity
Source Film:  1557049

Mary Maguire
Groom:  Robert Braine
Marriage Date:  3 Feb 1886
Marriage Place:  Manhattan, New York, New York
Groom's Father:  Thos. M. Braine
Groom's Mother:  Caroline Hall
Bride's Father:  Chas. Maguire
Bride's Mother:  Sarah Magrath
Source Film:  1570943

Above I found some answers, I think.  Four of Charles and Sarah's children show up in the birth records on the LDS site and another three children, including my great grandfather, show up in the marriage records.  I now have 7 children for sure with some sort of record attached proving that Charles McGuire and Sarah McGrath were their parents.

Now, there are still three other children that I have not totally accounted for.  I am challenged by the fact that Sarah McGrath McGuire indicated that she did not arrive until 1865.  Does this mean she did not arrive to New York until that date or to the U.S.?  There are two children who were born in Pennsylvania - Isabella and Charles.  Is Sarah their mother?
The 1900 census is throwing me for a loop.   It indicates that Sarah arrived in 1865 and had been in the U.S. for 35 years.  This census also indicated that she mothered 10 children, with 5 living.  Where are Charles and/or Sarah in the 1860 U.S. Census?

I also can't seem to find Robert who was born after Mary Anna and before Margaret.

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

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rerun Friday - Irish Naming Patterns for Children

"Irish Naming Patterns for Children" was originally posted on Saturday, July 10, 2010

A wonderful, maybe relative, provided this information to me all the way from England. Thank you Anne!

Irish Naming Patterns for Children:
The 1st son was usually named after the father's father
The 2nd son was usually named after the mother's father
The 3rd son was usually named after the father
The 4th son was usually named after the father's eldest brother
The 5th son was usually named after the mother's eldest brother
The 1st daughter was usually named after the mother's mother
The 2nd daughter was usually named after the father's mother
The 3rd daughter was usually named after the mother
The 4th daughter was usually named after the mother's eldest sister
The 5th daughter was usually named after the father's eldest sister

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

McGuire - New York City - Part 2

The 1880 U.S. Census for Charles and Sarah McGuire has them living at 611 Greenwich Street, New York, New York.  He is indicated as a grocer and she as "keeping house".  Their children are Isabella, Charles, Joseph, Mary, Robert, Margaret, Cecelia, and Frank.  Those names are almost like hitting the replay button on a CD player.  I find Charles, Joseph, Mary, Robert, and Cecelia more than once in my family tree for sure.  I take that as a big clue.

Clues are great but I am looking for more proof of my family tree.  The 1880 U.S. Census has Charles and Sarah both form Ireland plus their two oldest children born in Pennsylvania with the rest of the children born in New York.  I am taking Pennsylvania as a hint also.  How often did you find Irish immigrants that went through Pennsylvania?  I am not sure but this gives me some specific information to investigate.  By the way, my husband thought it made some sense.  He's from back East and does not think much of going from CT to NY to PA to NJ.

So the 1890 U.S. Census just did not make it.  What a shame!  It would answer a lot of questions on my family tree.  It burned in a fire though.  In today's world, we would say that they should have backed the records up.

By 1900, I find Charles and Sarah McGuire living in New York, New York, District 141, at 527 Hudson Street.  My great  grandfather, Frank McGuire, is still living at home with the occupation of "driver".  Charles is a coachman, came to the U.S. from Ireland in 1850, and is a naturalized citizen.  Sarah is also from Ireland and came to the U.S. in 1865.

The 1900 household also includes Margaret Hogan (daughter), John Hogan (son-in-law), Robert Hogan (Grandson), and Richard McGrath (Brother-in-law and widower, born June 1842, came to U.S. 1865, naturalized citizen).  So, Margaret is Charles and Sarah's daughter.  I do feel like I scored in finding Richard McGrath.  It reaffirms in my mind that Sarah's maiden last name is McGrath.  I love the discovery process and success!  (How do I know Sarah's maiden name?  My grandfather told me in 1990.)

The 1910 U.S. Census does not let me down.  I find Charles McGuire as a widower living with his daughter, Margaret Hogan and her family (John, Robert, Madelaine, Charles, Eveline, and John).  At this point, Charles is 74 years old.  The census indicates that he immigrated to the U.S. in 1847 and is a naturalized citizen.  He is a caretaker for a park.  By the 1920 U.S. Census, Charles is not listed with his daughter, Margaret McGuire Hogan.

There seems to more to find on this line...............


Saturday, August 11, 2012

McGuire - New York City - Part 1

Well, there they are.  Charles and Sarah McGuire are indicated in the U.S. 1870 Census in New York City Ward 5 District 8.  Are these my great great grandparents?   I have looked at this record many times and wondered.  As I've indicated previously, looking over a record a second or even a third time after some time has past, may give you perspective.  I suppose this time is no different.   I have searched my Charles McGuire and Sarah McGrath on a few occasions and found them....maybe.

New York City is a big place and it was "big" on a relative scale to other cities of 1870.  The fact of the matter is that it was probably the largest city besides Boston in the USA during this time-frame.   Let's just say that most immigrants arrived in NYC during the time-frame in which I seek my Irish Catholic immigrant ancestors.

So, have I found my ancestors?  Given the fact that my great grandfather, Francis Joseph McGuire, was not born until 1 August 1878, means that he does not show up in the 1870 census.  He seems to be the youngest of the children in this McGuire Family.  I will get to him soon in the 1880 U.S. Census but for now I am stuck in 1870.

This particular Charles McGuire was a private coachman in 1870 who had been born in Ireland.  He's 35 years old at this time so he was born around 1835.  His wife's name is Sarah.  She is employed at a "Fancy Store" at the age of 32 with $300 worth of personal estate and is from England.   What?  Yes, the census says England.  Did I find the correct people?  I just don't know.

This Charles and Sarah McGuire have children by the name of Isabella, Charles, Joseph, and Mary Ann.   Those names all fit quite nicely into my family tree as they repeat down the line.  Before I get too excited though, how can I be sure this is them?   I see that Isabella was born in Pennsylvania while the rest of the children were born in New York.  I am left scratching my head for sure.

You must take census with a grain of salt and yet they are more like a peppercorn that makes you react and keeps you tracing your family tree for more.   Just below Charles and Sarah are more McGuire's in a neighboring household on this very same page of the Census.  I have what looks to be a 72 year old Roger McGuire with another 35 year old Charles McGuire and a household full of male McGuire's.  I count 7.  I am now in the midst of a bunch of McGuire's.  Is that a good thing?  On the previous page is a Patrick McGuire with his "wifey" and children.  Ok....So Patrick...You go live in house 40, family 166, Charles in house 41, family 179 and Roger in house 41, family 180.  And how are you all related?  I don't know.  And we are not even in Brooklyn.  This is for NYC - Manhattan.  This is almost maddening for me.  Did I find my relatives?

The 1880 U.S. Census might answer my questions.  I find Charles and Sarah McGuire living in New York City, District 217 for this census.  They had to change the numbering of the districts for this census, of course.  They now have more children including my great grandfather, Frank.  In this census, it is clearly indicated that they live at 611 Greenwich Street.  Do you think that this is in Greenwich Village?  I've got to prove it!

The boundaries of Greenwich Village are Houston to 14th St., Fourth Ave. to Sixth Ave.  I can tell you though that Washington Square is in Greenwich Village.  Therefore, I think that the boundary is closer to Fourth Ave.  Knowing that my grandmother grew up on Charles Street is helpful to in determining where Greenwich Village and all of these Irish were located.  Based on my analysis, my great great grandparents were in Greenwich Village.   That's no surprise!

Is my review of the U.S. Census all supposition though?

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



Friday, August 10, 2012

Rerun Friday - People not interested in Genealogy

"People not interested in Genealogy" was originally posted on Saturday, June 19, 2010.

So where you came from, or rather who you came from, can explain a lot about you.  While your immediate family unit has the most influence over you while growing up and moving into adulthood, those extended family members are usually involved too.  I have come across people who are not interested in their family tree because of past experiences with their immediate family unit and extended family.
When bad things happen within the family, sometimes people shy away from their relatives.  I can only imagine how people feel when multiple catastrophic or even uncomfortable events occur.  I do say that exploring your family tree is a personal choice.  If you explore back far enough and then drop down into cousins and other relatives, you may actually find some distant cousins that you do want to be around.

Adoption; now, that can be a different story, especially if you are the child of a parent who was adopted.  That does make it hard to trace that line in your genealogy but hopefully not all lines.  I do know someone who was adopted and as an adult she found her real parents.  She has been able to find out why she was put up for adoption, their medical history, and actually build a relationship with them.  That is amazing to me and wonderful.  Her adoptive parents are still her "real parents" by the way.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Descendant - Thomas S. McLaughlin - Part 2

Sent: Monday, May 28, 2012 9:41 AM
Subject: RE: McLaughlin Relative

Hi T, 

This is very exciting and I am so glad that you got in touch.  I have been slowly finding other McLaughlin relatives over the past two years.  For whatever reason, the McLaughlin side of our family didn't keep in close touch.  I don't exactly know why.  I have found that though after a few generations pass that people forget to keep in touch or just don't know who people are.

My great grandmother was the oldest child of Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell.  Her name was Mary "Minnie" Elizabeth McLaughlin.  Her married name was Flanagan.  She was born in Austin, Nevada in 1870.  Her siblings were Ellen (Ella Heflin once married), Catherine (Katie, never married), Thomas S., Anna "Dolly" (Anna Lewis), Joseph, and Hugh Robert.  The family moved to Napa, CA in 1886 from Austin, Nevada.  All of the children except Hugh Robert were born in Nevada and he was born in Napa.  I also have Thomas Michael McLaughlin's death certificate.

My mom was born and raised in Napa, California as were both of my grandparents.  My grandfather, Richard Joseph Flanagan, was one of Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin's children.  I have quite a bit of family history in Napa.  I spent a lot of time there as a child. 

About two weeks ago, I finally got a photo of the whole McLaughlin family.  My side is definitely short on any photos of the McLaughlin's.  The photo that I have is of Thomas and Ellen McLaughlin's 50th wedding anniversary in about 1919, Napa, CA.  I would love to have photos.  My mom's cousin's can probably identify the people if we don't know who they are too.  So feel free to scan and send them via email.

I must say that where I lack photos,  I have information about our family tree.  There have been at least five researchers that have really paved the way on the McLaughlin/Maxwell Family tree back to Ireland.  Ireland is where the research is rather stopped and stuck right now.  Needless to say, what we have stateside in the way of information is pretty amazing though.  I only found it about 2 years ago.

When it comes to Austin, Nevada, I have never been there but I do have the church records that were retrieved by another relative from Napa.  His name was Thomas Malloy and he is a cousin on our Maxwell side.  That might be a little confusing as there is a bit of information to explain on who is who.

I too have been to Ireland but was not researching our family tree at the time.  I did stay with Flanagan Relatives.  My Flanagan's first came to Napa in 1870 and kept ties to Ireland.  There was a brief break in ties but they found our family in Napa and we've kept in touch ever since.  The Flanagan Family farm is in Termonfechin, Louth, Ireland.  For 240 years, generations of Flanagan's have lived in that same location.  It's pretty amazing.  They actually drove over to County Longford almost two years ago to find McLaughlin information for me but to no avail.  I have not given up on that just yet though.

Did you go to St. John's in Napa, CA to do some research?  Funny, I have never been there to look at their church records but have been to that church many times.  I was baptized in Napa at that church.  My parents were married there and the history goes on.  The original church was torn down in the 1960s and the church was replaced.  Both my mom and my grandfather went to St. John's Catholic School.

There is a lot of longevity in our genes. I can share a lot more information with you too.  My great grandmother, Minnie McLaughlin Flanagan, passed away in 1949, aged 79.  My grandfather, one of her sons, Richard Flanagan, passed away in 2000 at the age of 88.  My mom was basically an only child. 

I leave you with this information:

Thomas Shaffrey McLaughlin's parents were Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell.  Thomas Michael McLaughlin was born in Upstate New York on 19 Feb. 1840, at the Irish Settlement in Newport, Herkimer County, New York.  He was the oldest of 7 children.   His parents were James M. McLaughlin and Mary Ellen Gartlan.  James was born on 25 Oct. 1816 in Ringowny, Parish of Edgeworthstown, County Longford, Ireland.  He immigrated to the Irish Settlement in New York around 1823 via Quebec, Canada with his parents and siblings.  Mary Ellen Gartlan was born on 1 Aug 1816 in and around Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Ireland.  She too immigrated to the Irish Settlement with her parents and siblings around 1824.

James M. McLaughlin's parents were Michael and Marcella McLaughlin.  Mary Ellen Gartlan's parents were James Gartlan and Hannah Fox.  They are all buried at the Irish Settlement Cemetery just outside of Newport, New York.

Thomas S.'s mother, Ellen Maxwell, immigrated from the Shancarnan area, Parish of Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland in 1854 with her parents and siblings to the Irish Settlement in Newport, New York.  Ellen was born in Ireland on 22 March 1846.  She was the 4th oldest of 8 children for Joseph Patrick Maxwell and Judith "Julia" Shaffrey.  After Julia passed away, Joseph married Rebecca O'Harriet and had two more children.

I have more information.  A McLaughlin researcher dug through all of the church records in Newport, New York and wrote it all down.  He also visited Austin, Nevada, to complete extensive research.  He found information in the local newspaper archives there.

Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell (married in 1869) were not the only ones to leave the Irish Settlement in New York and head to Austin, Nevada.  Thomas' brothers followed.  They were James, Francis "Frank", and Hugh McLaughlin.  Ellen's sister Catherine Maxwell also ended up there where she married Philip Duffy.  The Duffy's moved onto Napa, CA too.

I hope that I did not just throw too much information at you to overwhelm.

I have more.  I'd love any photos that you might have too.

Let's chat soon. 

By the way, I live in Carmichael, CA near Sacramento.

I was recently looking for Thomas S. McLaughlin's last resting place.  I have it written down in family records at Rockville Cemetery in Fairfield, CA (Suisun Valley).  I actually grew up near there in Fairfield.  Upon my visit to the cemetery, they could only find Alice Loney's headstone.  They went through records but did not find information to indicate that Thomas is buried there.  I could send you their reply.  He and Alice both passed away in Mendocino County.  There are other Loney's buried at Rockville Cemetery. I am assuming they are more of your ancestors. 


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Descendant - Thomas S. McLaughlin - Part 1

Just as I received a photo of my McLaughlin's of Napa, CA a few months back from a cousin, I found a descendant of Thomas Shaffrey McLaughlin, my great grandmother's brother.  Ever since I started researching my family tree just over 2 years ago, I have been slowly finding living descendants of Thomas Michael McLaughlin and Ellen Maxwell.

The irony of my search was that I was working and continue to work on finding the final resting place of Thomas Shaffrey McLaughlin.  According to the Rockville Cemetery in Fairifield, California (Suisun Valley), only Alice M. Loney is buried there.  There is no sign of Thomas S. McLaughlin despite my own family records that indicate he is interned at that location.  I might need to check in Napa.  Why wouldn't he be buried with his wife?

Anyway, as has become my habit, I have started including email correspondence in my online blog/journal so that it does not get lost in a drawer or in my Outlook folders.  As always, living people and details of their current lives, are kept private.

Here's the first correspondence with Thomas S. McLaughlin's descendant that was sent to me found via

Sent: Sunday, May 27, 2012 6:01 PM
Subject: McLaughlin Relative


I am the granddaughter of Thomas S McLaughlin.  I never met him since he died before I was born.  My father never spoke of him and I don't believe my mother ever met him.  It wasn't until I was in high school that I learned I had an aunt and uncle.  My uncle had no children but my aunt had one son.  Unfortunately, he is now gone so I have no information other than what I find from the census.  His widow did have a lot of old photographs from the Napa Valley photography studio.  I am going to have her send them to me so I can try to figure out who they were.  There was one family picture in particular that was a little creepy looking.  It looked like a patriarch, his wife and all the children.  You could certainly tell they were Irish because of the bushy eyebrows.

I went to our public library and did some family history research years ago.  My father's side of the family is the only information I found out of all the relatives I looked for.  From the census, I was able to see that Thomas was born in Austin, Nevada and that his father was born in New York.  I did not have Thomas' father's name or where in New York.  My goal is to eventually travel to Ireland to where it all started.  I have traveled to where Thomas was born in Austin, Nevada.  The Catholic church has been sold and all the information is in Reno at the Archdiocese.  One of these days I will go back to Reno and look at the birth, death and baptismal records to see if there are any other names to investigate.  The cemetery in Austin did have an Elizabeth McLaughlin headstone.  She was an older woman.  It is funny while in Nevada I visited a tourist stop that had silver mining equipment and history.  They mentioned a McLaughlin discovering silver nearby.  One can only wonder!

It looks like it is only the females of families who care about the history of the family.  On my mother's side, a relative has done all the research on the female side.  I still need to investigate the male side.  I have been to the church where my grandfather grew up and seen some of the records but not all of them.  Most churches will let you look for yourself, they do not do the research for you.

I hope I did not scare you off with my rambling.  I am in the middle of getting a 90th birthday party together for my mother.  At our last reunion in 1995 we had my parents, four daughters and six grandchildren.  This time there will be my mother (dad passed away at the last reunion), four daughters, five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.  The age range is from 2 years to 90 years!  I am glad there is longevity in my genes.  There are more but not everyone can attend.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekly Rerun Friday - It begins with where you came from.

Currently, I post new journal entries on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the most part.  I've decided to add another "post day".  It will be on each Friday.  The catch is that it will be reruns.  I've decided to pick out some of my more interesting posts and rerun them on "Rerun Fridays!"  My first rerun is the very first post of my blog from Monday, June 14, 2010..............

It begins with where you came from.
It begins with where you came from. Right? Well sure. You came from your parents after all.  Where did they come from?  The simple answer might be "their parents". As we all know this builds on itself and follows a line backward in time.  The line also splits off to others, creating more branches.  I suppose that's why it's called a Family Tree. Genealogy is more than that.  In my opinion, it is the network of family histories that builds on each other.  It can allow us to discover our national origins and others who are distantly, or not so distantly, related to us.

I am seeking to discover not just my family tree but a network of family who may be scattered across the United States and beyond, or who might be living in my neighborhood.  Sometimes it disappoints me how family can lose touch over time.  In another instant, I start to think about my own situation and how "busy, busy, busy" I am in my daily life.  I run out of time to keep in touch, I suppose.  Or is it a choice?  Personalities can sometimes interfere as can life's experiences some of which are not so kind.  They can really split up a family despite individual's best efforts to remain close.  I see that in my own family line going back and find that some days I am confronted with it in my own expanded family dynamic.

Anyway, I thought I'd start a blog of sorts about genealogy called "Mine, Yours', and the Other Guy's Genealogy".  I've been working on my family tree off and on since about 1990.  In the past, whenever I had an opportunity to grab onto to some information, I took it.  At the age of 19, I recall sitting at my grandparents dining room table in Long Island, New York, asking them about their parents and on up the line.  I wrote the information down as quickly as I could on one sheet of paper. I remember my grandmother correcting my granddad on facts of his family line.  It was pretty funny to witness. They knew each other very well along with all of those family members which they really weren't in contact with any longer.  For various reasons, everyone seemed to have gone their own way.  Maybe some individuals or families moved away, passed away, or just got "busy, busy, busy".

My mother recently gave me the sheet that she'd held onto for the past 20 years.  It had some definite "hints" on it that I'd forgotten. I only wish that I'd asked for more information and written more down.  On that day in the summer of 1990, I did receive a gift though......a gift of finding out where my dad came from.  At least it was a start.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mysteries in my Family Tree - Part 4

Who was Owen McLaughlin and why does he show up attached to my family tree?  Well, attached is hard to pinpoint.  I consider him a mystery cousin.  Another McLaughlin researcher discovered him while researching our line.  Below is my original post from almost 2 years ago.

Mystery Cousin - Owen McLaughlin - July 19, 2010

He sponsored at least one baptism and was witness to at least one wedding for the McLaughlin Clan in Newport, New York.  Owen is found living in the Village of Newark, Town of Arcadia, Wayne County, New York. He's indicated around 1830 in Newport though.  His parents John and Mary McLaughlin joined him from Ireland in Arcadia by at least 850.

We know that Owen was born in County Longford, Ireland on 20 Oct. 1814.  It appears fairly clear that he is not a child of either Patrick or Michael McLaughlin of Newport, New York.  We know this because Owen's parents are with him in Arcadia.  Is his father, John McLaughlin, a brother of Patrick and Michael?

Owen died in Newark, New York on 22 Aug 1881.  What is interesting about his obituary is that most of his surviving relatives lived in California at the time.  The link within this post to my previous post has a plethora of information about Owen and his fairly well sourced family tree.  The only thing really missing is how he connects to his probable McLaughlin relatives from Newport, New York.  And the mystery continues for now.