52 Ancestors – Week 5 – Branching Out

Yes life has gotten in the way so it is time to start playing catch up. This is a fun topic. I have been doing a lot of what I call shrubbing. Shrubbing is working on all those collateral lines to figure out some dead ends or to try and learn more about a family.

I have been concentration on Gerard’s Roddy (Riedy) line. For years I have put off attempting researching Gerard’s Irish relatives because it gets quite confusing.

Mary Roddy was Gerard’s Great Grandmother and we know almost nothing about her. She was born 25 Jun 1885 in Brooklyn, Kings Co, NY. She died 22 Jul 1921. She was 36 years old of tuberculosis. I am discovering how common tuberculosis was.

Copy of Mary. Roddy Mc Mahon’s Death Certificate.

Obituary of Mary Roddy McMahon

As I go back in my research which isn’t very far on this line, I am discovering the utter tragedy of Mary’s life. I hope she was happy in her married life.

Mary Roddy was the daughter of James Roddy and Margaret McGuire (Maguire). I have only been able to find out a little about them. James Roddy was born in 1854-55 in Ireland and sadly he died at 40 years of age of pneumonia. He had been in New York for about 20 years.

Death Certificate of James Roddy. Courtesy of NYC DORIS – Historical Vital Records,

Mary was only 10 years old and an orphan.

Margaret Maguire died at the age of 30 years old following the complications of a miscarriage. She had been in the United States for 15 years. It was 1886.

Margaret Maguire Roddy Death Certificate courtesy of NYC DORIS Historical Vital Records

For years I wondered what became of Mary Roddy before her marriage to James McMahon in 1907. I decided to delve a bit deeper and see what I could find.

I found the Baptism Register for St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Brooklyn, NY on Ancestry. In it was an entry for John Thomas Roddy who was the son of James and Margaret Roddy. Sadly, he died at about 3 weeks old, but this baptism record yielded a clue into the family of James Roddy. One of the sponsors was a Winifred Roddy.

So, I decided to see what I could find out about Winifred Roddy and I turned to the 1900 Census.

Year: 1900; Census Place: Brooklyn Ward 6, Kings, New York; Roll: 1044; Page: 10; Enumeration District: 0051; FHL microfilm: 1241044 Ancestry.com

I found Mary Roddy, living with not one aunt but 2 so this opened up the family of Jame Roddy a bit. During the pandemic I found a parking lot angel who went to the Family History Library and was able to find the death certificate for Winifred Roddy.

DC for Winifred Roddy. Courtesy of NYC DORIS Historical Vital Records.

Sadly Winifred Roddy died at the age of 48 of pneumonia and a cardiac arrhythmia. According to her death certificate she came over to the United States at 8 years old but the 1900 census has her arriving 1876.

I am in the process of searching for the death record of Mary Johnson but it has been slow going as to the commonality of the name. I would also love to find her marriage certificate if one exists.

I haven’t been able to definitively find any of the immigration records into the United States for the Roddy siblings or find their origin in Ireland. So with the exception of their parents names I am at a stand still for now. It just makes me sad at how young they all died and they must of lived a tremendously hard life.

Also between 1907 and 1919 Mary Roddy McMahon gave birth to 6 children who survived to adulthood. After the life she lived that must of also taken a toll on her.

So branching out and shrubbing did help me find other details into this family line and I find it an extremely useful tool to move forward and find a fuller picture of the life our relatives lived.

Breaking down some walls…

Today was a big day in genealogy research. New York City Records & Information Services released their brand new Historical Vital Records website.

Screen shot of the landing page.

Well I immediately went down a little rabbit hole and had the most success with Gerard’s family. I was able to get his family back another generation on one line which is fabulous. The other thing is the files are so crisp so it will be fun to go through the records I have to see if I can find better copies.

Here are the records I found and was able to get death dates for both of his 2nd Great Grandparents on his paternal side.

The first one I found was Martin Lynch who died in 1931.

Screen shot of Death certificate of Martin Lynch.

Best part is that it had his parents names so I hope to be able to find them in Ireland. Also states he was a resident of NYC for 50 years. I will try to see if I can find his grave in Holy Cross Cemetery also.

Next I was able to find Martin’s wife Bridget Larkin Lynch. She died a few years after her husband in 1935.

Screen Shot of Bridget Larkin Lynch’s Death Certificate.

I can definitely see this leading me down lots of rabbit holes and working on NYC lines. I am excited to see what I can find for more of Gerard’s family and what I can find anything new on my Dad’s family. Between this and the upcoming 1950 census I am super excited.

It’s been a Long time

Long time no post. I have missed writing to you all. 2020 was an eventful year to say the least. Besides living through a pandemic, our family re-located from New York to Arkansas. We lived in a rental from October 2020 until May 2021 when we moved into our forever home. So Genealogy was on the back-burner, I did a little bit of research but not much.

Well it is now time to get back to the things I love and genealogy is one of them. Yesterday and today I have been responding to messages and e-mails and the passion is re-ignited. Since I am not doing 52 Ancestors this year I am going to have to discover new things to write about but I do have a couple of ideas planned.

One thing I did find while I was going through some papers was the elusive marriage certificate for Robert B. Bass and Patricia Moran, who are the parents of Barbara Ann Bass. So Gerard’s Grandparents. This was a breakthrough I needed as the wrong parents are listed on Barbara’s Death Certificate.

Marriage Certificate of Robert B. Bass and Patricia Moran, Married in Elkton, Maryland on 28 April 1941.

The importance of this document means I can complete a supplemental DAR application for my daughter and she will have patriots who fought in the American Revolution on both sides of her family. This would of made her Nana laugh and proud.

Check back for more posts soon

52 Ancestors – Week 14 – Water

The prompt for week 14 is Water. I am going to follow the trend and continue with Gerard’s family as they are who I have been focussing on during this period of social distancing.

Gerard’s family is primarily recent Irish immigrants, as in post 1840 or 1850s except for a couple of his lines on his Mom’s paternal side which are German and English (I would say, haven’t gotten to the gateway ancestors on the Bass line). Those Irish immigrants then settled in NYC primarily Brooklyn.

His paternal great-grandfather James McMahon was born 12 November 1875 in County Limerick, Ireland. He arrived from Ireland 3 August 1893 aboard a ship named the Germanic. On the Census records and his naturalization papers he lists his occupation as a Longshoreman.

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 9.17.34 AMScreen Shot 2020-04-11 at 9.17.05 AM(1910 US Census & 1915 NY State Census)

A longshoreman is a dock worker who is a laborer involved with the loading and unloading of ships.

James McMahon died in early January 1956 and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

Funnily enough Gerard’s 2X Great-grandfather on his maternal side also worked in a water based business. He owned a dredging company. Peter J. Moran was born April 1880 in New York. He died 23 October 1945 in Brooklyn, NY.

Screen Shot 2020-04-11 at 9.23.53 AM

One of my future projects is too read about the William Beard & Co Dredging Company and seeing what it was.

 

52 Ancestors – Week 13 – Nearly Forgotten

The prompt for Week 13 was nearly forgotten, to me the people in the family tree who died as infants, children, teenagers, young or without children are the ones who tend to not have their stories told.

I have been researching on a couple of Gerard’s lines. One of the people I found in his tree is little William McMahon. William was born 25 May 1913 in Brooklyn, New York to James McMahon and Mary Roddy McMahon. Baby William died 27 February 1914 at 9 months old, according to his death certificate the  cause of death was bronchial pneumonia. His parents must of been heartbroken.

williammcmahondc(death certificate for William McMahon)

The line I have really been looking into is the Butler/Hurley lines. My husband’s great-grandmother is Mary Elizabeth Butler. She was born in about 1888 in Ontario, Canada the daughter of David Butler and Mary Hurley Butler. All these Marys are why I am not a fan of Irish research.

The 1905 New York state census for Brooklyn shows us the Butler and Hurley families living at 713 Leonard Street. In the house hold are wife Mary, daughters Mary and Margaret and sons William, age 9 and David age 7. The family has been in the United States for 6 years. Also living in the household are a David Hurley age 69, Joseph age 24 a David Hurley age 30. The Hurleys are possibly the father and siblings of  Mary Hurley Butler. William Butler was at school and in my mind he was probably a mischevious  little boy.

Screen Shot 2020-04-09 at 3.54.58 PM(1905 New York State Census)

The 1910 United States Census for Brooklyn reveals Mary Butler was the Head of the household and widowed. Living with Mary were daughters Mary and Margaret and sons William and David. William and David have no occupation. They are living at 108 Milton Street in Brooklyn.

Screen Shot 2020-04-08 at 9.25.22 PM(1910 US Census)

Sadly William Butler died 12 April 1913 at 859 St. Johns Place Brooklyn, NY. William was 17 years old. He was working as a clerk for a fruit broker. The cause of death is listed as chorea, acute aortic (?) ulcer, rheumatis, acute endocarditis. It sounds like poor William had a lot going on for such a young man. Sadly he died only 5 years after his father. His poor mother was probably broken hearted.

williambutlerjr(Death Certificate of William Butler)

So by writing about both William’s I am ensuring there is a record of them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

52 Ancestors – Week 41 – Context

And just like that this post will have caught me up with the prompts for 52 Ancestors and that is making me feel pretty proud.

As I work to become a better researcher, I find myself thinking of Context. I find myself thinking of how the pieces fit together between history, social events and family stories. It at time becomes quite daunting as sometimes the records are not there to prove or disprove a story.

If you have followed me for a while you will know I am a complete novice when it comes to Irish Research. It along with Italian Research gives me a headache. I have a hard time with the naming patterns and such. I am seriously considering an Institute on it or other class on it. There must be an Irish Research class for complete idiots. Anyway back to the post I am writing instead of self-deprecating humor.

When my mother in law was alive she would talk about her family and I would listen. I actually should of been writing down her stories or recording her but I was not quite the level of genealogist as I have become. Anyway the story goes that her family immigrated to the United States in the early 20th Century from Ireland.

Screen Shot 2019-10-12 at 7.40.01 AM

We are going to concentrate on the Mary Elizabeth Butler line for this post because in all actuality it fascinates me. I tend to want to research the female branches of the tree as their voices are lost a lot of the time.

The first hint I had that something was wonky with Mary Elizabeth Butler’s line was looking at the 1940 Census in Brooklyn, NY of the Peter Moran Family.

1940 Census Peter J Moran Family

Clear as day it says Mary Moran was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Also thank you Peter and Mary for naming one of your children, Edith it made life so much easier. So Mary was born in about 1889-1891 in  Canada, but wait I thought everyone came from Ireland, what is the story here.

A quick search yielded Mary and Peter’s marriage certificate in NYC and after receiving it I had her parents names of William Butler and Mary Hurley. It was now time to see what I could find about a William and Mary Hurley in Canada.

I searched the 1891 Canada Census and found the Butler Family in Hamilton, Ontario.

1891 Canada Census William Butler CensusAccording to the Census both William and Mary were Roman Catholic and were born in Ontario. Their parents were born in Ireland. Very interesting because this did not fit in with the family narrative I had, but since I did not have information on the parents. I will say it was about this time I fell in love with Canadian records and their wealth of information as this census also said that William was a GBV conductor.

Since I found the family in 1891 and their oldest child was 3 I decided to see if I could find their marriage record.

William Butler Mary Hurley Marriage Record

Now it is time for me to rant about how horrible New York is about getting records. IS this not the bomb. IT lists religion and parents names. Witnesses. How awesome is this.

So William Butler and Mary Hurley were both born in Ontario and married in 1887. So did Mary Elizabeth immigrate alone or did her family move together. Well I did not find the family on the 1900 US census but I did find them on the 1905 NY State Census.

1905 NY Census

According to this Census they came in 1899, what provoked them to move to the US from Canada. How many people went to Canada instead of the United States? When did their Parents immigrate to Canada?

I have yet to find the Death Certificate for Mary Elizabeth Butler Moran or even her obituary. I did find the Obituary for Peter Moran in the Brooklyn Eagle and it states he was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Which coincide with what my mother-in-law stated to me many years ago. Maybe Mary Elizabeth is buried with him and lets hope their is a stone. Guess I will try calling Calvary as the next step in the process.

I guess I also need to see what happened to Mary Hurley and William Butler when they came to New York and to see about their lives before they left Canada. I see new things on my horizon.

I am thinking a book of Research Questions and next steps in order. Along with finding how many people went to Canada before later coming to the United States.

52 Ancestors – Week 6 – Surprise

I have been mulling the topic of this post for a few days. Trying to figure out where to go with it and trying to figure out if there was a big A-Ha moment in my research and I really couldn’t come up with anything.

Looking back I would have to say the biggest surprises would have to be in my husband’s family. Researching his family has been fun and interesting as everything I learn is new to me.

The first surprise, I would have to say is when we did his DNA test in early 2018. G. DNA Results

I was surprised by the amount of Norwegian ancestry he had, though he wasn’t as his grandmother had always told him he had it but he hadn’t paid attention. The 16% is in line with having 2 Great Great grandparents who were born there. I am still trying to learn more about Neils Osborne and Bergetti Netland Osborne and their life before the United States.

The other surprise on his DNA is the European Jewish. I am thinking that has to do with his maternal Great Grandmother’s line Marguerite Brucks Bass, as her parents were from Germany.

As I said previously his entire tree is a surprise to me. gfamilytree

As you can see there is a lot of Irish in there. I will admit as there is so much Irish it is super slow going for me. I am honestly thinking the next time there is an institute or conference I need to get my feet wet with Irish Genealogy.

I did find his Butler and Hurley lines came from Canada and spent several years their before coming to the United States. I haven’t found them entering Canada from Ireland as of yet but I am sure I will.

I am excited to see what the next surprise I can find  on his tree. It is an ongoing process and I am sure I will fill in more and more blanks as we go.

 

Some of my Favorite Podcasts

I love podcasts. I find them a great source of personal development. It fills the time when I am driving back and forth to work or while waiting for the kids to get out of activities. I became addicted to podcasts when I first started as a Beachbody Coach and my tastes have evolved over the years.

Here are some of my favorites.

Extreme Genes – This is a fun one. Scott Fisher is the host and I have learned a lot. It is broken into segments. – News from David Allen Lambert from the New England Historic Genealogical Society and I also throughly enjoy the Preservation Authority segment with Tom Perry.

The Genealogy Guys – This is a great one for all the ins and outs. I have learned so much from the listener emails and the guys tips. I also enjoy the Genealogy Connection they put out with professionals in the field.

Genealogy Gems  – hosted by Lisa Louise Cook is another great informational segment with stories, tips and dna feature is another go too.

Research at the National Archives and Beyond – this is another go to. This one has a lot of tips for African American Research. I have learned so much with this one. It is so informative. I think one of my favorite shows on this one was about publishing your work.

The Forget-Me-Not Hour – I have listened to every episode of this podcast from Jane E. Wilcox. Her segment with Henry Z. Jones on the Palentines is one of my favorites. I am so sad that she is no longer producing it, I suggest you listen to it as it is such a wealth of knowledge.

These are my go to podcasts. There are others that I have recently started listening too but I haven’t gone through enough episodes to finalize an opinion. If you are into family history these are great listens. Let me know if you listen or if you have a favorite podcast. I would love to add to my rotation.

 

 

 

 

 

Decoding those leaves…

 

ossborne

We all know about those shaky leaves on ancestry. See these leaves here they sit for a long time. These in particular because they deal with Irish Ancestry. I you look you will see a lot of Peter, Marys and Bridgets. They give me a headache after a while. Decoding a leaf for me is a long process.  If the hint is another tree, I hit the ignore button. While trees are great hints for a starting point the facts have to be verified so I would rather not have any preconceived notions.

The following trees I am trying to set up research questions for and concentrate on finding answers. Having a research plan will hopefully keep me more organized and help finish some lines.

This is the Maxwell tree. This one has so many fabulous names. I am going to start with who was Byrd C. Maxwell and some basic facts of his life.maxwell

Another thing that hints from Ancestry that I love and do spend time perusing is photos. I stumbled across this one of Byrd Maxwell.

maxwellbyrd

Byrd is seated in the front row and he looks like a character. I wonder the stories he could tell.

Below is what I have termed the Hoffman family tree.  Charles Hoffman is actually a Robinson. HE was adopted. I am in search of his actual obituary and not the copy I found online.

dillenbeck

I also love the fabulous names in this tree including George Wesley Collison and Cornelius Collison. These families came from the East and moved west.  I am trying to piece together Cornelius Collision and am having a hard time as their is either another Cornelius or it is possible the had 2 families (not unheard of).  I recently bought some poster board to see what I could find out. Sometimes I have to revert back to old-fashioned paper and pen research to figure things out.

Here is another tree I am loving. This one has some fabulous names. I am trying to flesh out some Revolutionary War Ancestors for someone. I am also trying to find the immigrant ancestor on the deeply Irish side. This tree currently has over 200 hints I need to review. I timed myself one day. Each hint takes me around 5 minutes to decide if it is correct.

norris

This last tree I am loving. I showed you a portion of this family in my last post about Israel and Golde Angert. This is a different branch but equally as interesting. Number one, what a fabulous name Monteville is.

monteville

Also that Sylvanus Judson is a twin. This tree has so many names on both sides speaking to me that I am deriving several questions including the first one of who is Rose Gross. We know she was adopted but we need to find out more. This is where the release of the Birth and Death Records that Reclaim The Records is pursuing is so important.

I am thinking of offering a history of one ancestor snapshot – 30 minutes of research for the fee. If interested email me at Chiara@decodingthefamilytree.com and we can chat.

Off to work on writing those research questions.

 

 

 

Leaves, potential mothers & fathers

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 7.55.00 PM

Ancestry has a new feature to go along with their shaky leaves. They now give you potential hints for Mothers and Fathers. If you have followed me for a while you know I am not a fan of the shaky leaf, so it goes to say that I am not a hyuge fan of the potential mother and father boxes either.

To me the give people the option to put a tree together without doing their due diligence and connecting the dots.

Above is my 3X – Great Grandmother Jane A. West. I am still not 100% sure of her 1889 death date so their is no way I can give credence to any potential mother or father’s ancestry has decided to recognize.

Now as I have branched out into doing genealogy research for others their is no way, I could in good conscience just click and add people to a tree. Also I have found researching for others is slow going as these are not names that I know like the back of my hand. I have 4 projects in process and I am getting to know some wonderful people in various places. Tennessee has a big one as has Ohio and Indiana.

Screen Shot 2018-07-03 at 7.53.15 PM

In this tree I have hints and potential mother and fathers and so far I am not having luck which is why they are still green. Every hint should be evaluated on its own merit. While I was at GRIP last week, one of the instructors said not to be a source snob and to use everything as clues which I am a big proponent of but remember we need to source everything and employ the best genealogical proof standard.

So my final thoughts on shaky leaves and potential parent hints use them as clues and not fact.