Tuesday, April 18, 2017

This One Is Personal

Jack & me, costume party

     You may have noticed a resounding silence from me of late.  Other than the blog about my rebel ancestor which was written quite some time before I published it, I haven't posted in awhile.  I've debated whether or not to do so now, but in the end I wanted to do something to mark the passing of a wonderful man, so here it is.

     My loving husband passed away last month and concentrating has been difficult, so writing has been impossible.  I have no words to express how much I miss him, but I hope to return to blogging soon.  Until then, sincere thanks to all of you who have written to me.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Announcing a New Holiday


     I've come to the conclusion my County Carlow ancestor Patrick Hore, who was hung by the British for defending Ireland's freedom during the rising of' '98, deserves some recognition.  To that end, April 5, the day on which he was murdered, will hereafter be observed, (in my family at least) as Patrick Hore Day.  I designed the t-shirt above and everyone in the clan is getting one which they had better wear.

     Patrick's offense was to administer an "unlawful oath" to Matthew Brennan.  Something along the lines of "damnation to the king and all the royal family".  Supposedly he also conspired to kill Luke Lyons, but I'm not sure if the conspiracy ever came to fruition.  Probably not since he was not charged with Luke's death.  Regardless,  I feel great pride at having a rebel in the family and now that I've finally found him, I couldn't bear to have his memory lost again.  Here's to you Patrick, may the Saints bless and protect you.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday's Tip/Getting Techie...Just A Little Bit

     When I first began using the internet decades ago, there was a feature called "cache" that was visible every time a search was performed and hits resulted.  It was right there in smaller letters below the title and description of the web page -- and then it wasn't.  Cache by the way is basically a snapshot in time of a website.

     Cache was useful if previously viewed content had been removed from the site or if it was down for some reason or just taking FOREVER to load.  Even if the page had been removed, it was still possible to view the cached version.

     I never even noticed it was gone until the day I went to use it.  Well, it turns out cache is not gone!  It's simply hiding.  It can now be found residing right after the site's URL as circled in red above, just click the green arrow and there it is.  An alternative is to use Internet Archive's Wayback Machine which involves a bit more work than just clicking an arrow, but may have an even older version of the page of interest.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Grandpa Jeremiah And That Hussy Betsey

Death  of Betsey Grandy Garner,  born Sterling, NY -- died in Hastings County, Ontario, Canada
     Yesterday, instead of cleaning up my desk like I promised myself I would do, I spent the day figuring out the seeming inconsistencies in the life of Betsey Chase, the wife of John M. Grandy and then of Jeremiah Garner.  Betsey is not even related to me, but she did marry my third great-grandfather Jeremiah, so I needed to clear up a few things.  By the way, the back story of the Garner/Grandy nuptials is a somewhat sordid one that involves international borders, abandonment and bigamy, you can read it here if you'd like. 

     Although I was convinced Betsey died only a year and a half after her 1868 marriage to Grandpa Jeremiah in a foreign country, (OK, it was Canada), annoying contradictory evidence kept popping up.  One was the record in a database on the Wayne County, NY Historian's website saying Betsey Grandy married  Eugene Morris in 1874.  Did she tire of Jeremiah, return home and marry again?  Another was a pension record dated 1892, with the names John M. Grandee and his widow Betsey A. Grandee of New York.  But... Betsey died in 1869...didn't she?  Of course she did, the record of her demise is at the top of this page; I was convinced at one time and I'm not that easy to convince.  I read somewhere that while researching you should just go ahead and assume there was another person of the same name living in the same area as your ancestor.  That way you'll be extra careful before accepting the evidence you find at face value. I think it's good advice and try to keep it in mind while chasing my ancestors.
     I couldn't just assume Elizabeth Garner was Betsey Grandy even though I had their marriage record, and the likelihood of another Elizabeth marrying a Garner who was coincidentally an innkeeper like my Jeremiah, and lived in Hastings County, like my Jeremiah, and was from Sterling, NY like Jeremiah... oh heck, it's her!  I wouldn't even be questioning it if not for those nagging contrary records that turned up; in census after census my Jeremiah Garner is the only person of that name in Hastings County, or the entire Provence of Ontario for that matter.

     Still, those records did exist and they needed to be reconciled.
What if the pension referred to a different couple with the names John M. and Betsey Grandy, living somewhere in New York?  The record at Family Search didn't give a home address, just "New York State".  It did however give the next best thing, John's unit, the 10th Regiment of NY Heavy Artillery.  Unlike modern day soldiers, those of the Civil War era usually enlisted locally and served alongside their family, friends and neighbors.  Checking to see where this regiment was formed, I found the 10th was made up of soldiers from Jefferson County, far north of  Cayuga County where the Garners and Grandys lived.  Now I checked the 1850 census of Jefferson County for a John Grandy and found him in Clayton.  At age 17 he was just the right age to be a Civil War soldier.  Strangely, Ancestry had nothing at all about John Grandy, Civil War soldier; I sometimes wonder if they are transferring their military information to Fold3 which they now own?

     Family Search though, had lots on John.  Along with the above mentioned pension record they had the 1890 veteran's schedule showing John still in Jefferson County and the marriage of Daniel, a son of John M. Grandee of Clayton and (I crossed my fingers here) BETSEY Robbins!  YES!  There WAS an explanation for the pension, it was a different couple bearing the names John M. and Betsey Grandy/Grandee.  But there was still that pesky local marriage in 1874.  Now I searched the 1850 and 1860 censuses of Wayne and Cayuga Counties, because they lived in an area right on the border of the two counties, and there in Butler, Wayne, New York I found Betsey Grandy, daughter of Lewis Grandy, seven years old in 1860; she could easily have been married fourteen years later.  This must be the future wife of Eugene Morris.

     I do this all the time and I'll bet I'm not alone.  I research a subject and find what I deem to be conclusive evidence, but as years go by I move on to other lines and the memories of my fantastic finds fade. When I return to the other family I find myself doubting my own conclusions.  And that is where this blog comes in so handy, and why it has a search function.  All I have to do is check past posts and oftentimes there is an analysis of the research I've already done.  For me this is so much easier than keeping a research journal, even if no one ever read what I wrote it would be worth the effort.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mappy Monday/Finding Uncle John Crotty's Farm


     My third-great-grandmother Honora Crotty Power was born in the Catholic Parish of Tramore, County Waterford in 1814.  I know this because on March 12 of that year, her parents Ellen Kelly and Patrick Crotty had her baptized in that place.  I also know Honora grew up and married Edmond Power there sometime around 1834.  They made their home in Cullencastle, still in Tramore Parish, where they had at least three children.  I believe there were others born to them, but unfortunately Tramore church records are missing for the early years of  the Power marriage.  Their youngest child Philip, born in 1857, is the lone baptism found in Tramore.  I know of the existence of the other two children only because they appear in obituaries in the USA. 

     Honora came to America between 1875 and 1880, probably alone as a widow.  The 1875 New York census shows all three of her known children in Farmington, New York but she is not with any one of them.  In 1880 Honora was living with her daughter Ellen Mahoney in Farmington, where she died in 1888, her death certificate being maddeningly devoid of any genealogical information.  That was about all I could find for a long time, but although the church records are missing for the period when Honora married and began her family, earlier church records survive.  I was able to find the marriage of her parents in 1809, and along with her baptism, that of her older brother David, and her younger brother Patrick Jr.

     Farmington had several different Power families living there at the time Honora arrived, some were from Waterford and were probably related, but I'm not sure how at this point.  There was only one Crotty family however-- that of John Crotty, his wife Ellen and their daughter Mary.  Could this be Honora's brother?  There was no baptismal record for him in Tramore, but what were the odds the only two Crottys from Ireland living in a small town like Farmington were not related?  Not good as I discovered, they were related!  The story of how I proved it is here.

     But back to maps; since I grew up one town over from Farmington, I was naturally curious about where the Crotty's had lived there.  So I went to Ancestry and searched their collection of ownership maps. It took a little persistence, John was mistakenly indexed as J. B. Cratty, but I found him.  I'm sure it's my Uncle John-- right across the street is the Wallace farm.  James Wallace was John's brother-in-law, husband of his wife Ellen's sister Mary Mullett.  Even today  these two families from across the Atlantic remain together, buried side by side in St. Patrick's Cemetery in nearby Macedon, NY.

     I took a drive out to the spot pictured on Ancestry's map but things had changed a bit.  The old map showed the two families on a road that goes straight through to an east-west road.  No such road exists.  Being familiar with the area I was pretty sure I was in the right place, but things were not lining up. I then looked at a satellite map which brought everything into focus.

      Look there, right below the T formed by the two roads.  The outline of an old, long unused road can clearly be seen in darker green running though the wooded area.  It's overgrown, but still visible.  The house on the left was the spot John and Ellen Crotty lived a century ago.  While their home is gone now, and another has taken it's place, the fascination remains for me. This spot is a tangible link to my Irish past.  I've surrendered any notion of being able to fully explain the emotions kindled by standing in my ancestor's footprints, but if you're reading this, I probably don't have to.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday's Photo/Ned Burke, Irish American Hero

Edward George Burke

     Looking around Ebay today, I came across this photo while searching one of my ancestor's localities.  The picture is labeled a "memorium" of Edward George Burke of the US Navy-- I just had to know more about this handsome young Irishman.  His story is a tragic one that occurred in the summer of 1911 at Owasco near Auburn, New York; the place my Irish immigrants settled after leaving Ireland during the famine.

     A search at the Old Fulton newspaper site produced this sad story featured in the Oswego Daily Times dated July 12, 1911:

     Owasco Lake last evening, added another canoeing tragedy to the list due to this frail craft when Edward George Burke, of Philadelphia, a graduate of the United States Naval Hospital service, was drowned with his cousin, Miss Adelaide McCarthy, a pretty high school girl and niece of Mayor O'Neill of Auburn.
     Burke reached here yesterday, and Miss McCarthy was showing him the lake as they paddled south.  Suddenly a terrific windstorm burst and their canoe capsized.
     A motorboat coming to the rescue was swamped by the heavy seas.  Burke shouted, "Save the girl, don't try to take me in."  The engine of the motorboat stalled however as the wind blew the helpless craft away.  Burke, still trying hard to tread water while holding his cousin, disappeared.
     The bodies of the unfortunate couple were not recovered.  Burke's parents are both dead, but his brother resides in Philadelphia.

     Ned and his cousin Adelaide were eventually found, and buried in the same plot at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Auburn a few days later.  A monument consisting of a bronze tablet affixed to a boulder stands in Emerson Park overlooking the lake, it reads:





Thursday, February 16, 2017

All Roads Lead To Garrettstown


     Now that my Vincent family has been fairly well figured out, at least until I'm able to get a peek at those 1812 pension applications, I've turned my attention back to Ireland and Counties Carlow and Kildare.  Mostly because a recent DNA match appears to link me to John McGarr who I believe is the father of my Daniel in Ballyraggan.  

     When the NLI put the Catholic parish records online, I spent days pouring over them and creating lists of baptisms and marriages from Rathvilly and Baltinglass Parishes, but my organizational skills being somewhat lacking, they were all over my computer; some were transcriptions, some were screen shots, a few downloads... you get the picture.  Deciding that the best way to handle this mess was to create one document arranged chronologically by parish, I set to work and now have a useful set of records.  I still have a folder containing the above described mess, but now I also have a neat index of what I've found.  I like duplicates because I still do NOT trust computers.  And every time someone's airline cancels their flight due to a "computer glitch" my mistrust is vindicated.

     Looking down at the addresses in my ever so neat list,  three places dominate--Ricketstown, home of the Hore family, Ballyraggan where the McGarrs resided and Garrettstown, where it appears both lines lived before moving to the other two townlands.  All are quite close together.  The earliest event mentioning Garrettstown is the 1802 baptism of Richard "Magah", son of John & Catherine, alas no maiden name is given.  This couple are, I believe, John McGarr and Catherine Murphy, also the parents of my Daniel (I think) making Richard and Daniel brothers.  In 1803 Elizabeth "Magah" was born at Garrettstown to a Michael and Mary.  They, I believe, are Michael McGarr and Mary Hayden, Michael being a brother of the above John McGarr (again, I think).  If I'm right about this, that would make Daniel and Elizabeth first cousins, and following my tree down to the present day, Elizabeth my 5th cousin which is exactly what the DNA match says.

     I didn't find any early Hore baptisms with a Garrettstown address, but there is a barely legible one from another family in 1801 for whom Michael and Winny Hore acted as sponsors.  Also, when my third great-grandfather Michael Hore married Mary Travers in 1814, the address was Garrettstown.  That year is the last time I find Garrettstown in my ancestor's records. Checking the Tithe Applotment books I found no family members in the townland, they had clearly moved on before the book was compiled for that area.  Michael McGarr is believed to have died about that time, and his widow Mary Hayden was among the early Irish immigrants to Auburn, New York.  The only individual that I found named Hore in the area is John living at Ricketstown.  I know there were others in the area, but the books don't reflect this.

     The Tithe books did show my Daniel McGarr in Ballyraggan and a John "McGra" living about 5 miles away in Knocklasheen More!  This John could be my man, especially since the name right next to his is "Widow Murphy", his wife Catherine Murphy's mother perhaps?  There's really no way to be sure, so I go on collecting puzzle pieces.  As I once read somewhere, the more pieces you have the easier it is to see what the picture will eventually be.