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.

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


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.

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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 9 – At the Courthouse

For me this prompt was tough. I haven’t been to a courthouse or a town hall in ages, that isn’t saying that I haven’t found legal documents anywhere.

Right now I have a super long list of things I would like to find at a courthouse and I even have plans to visit the Surrogate’s Court in Clinton County when I visit in May because I want to look at the probate record of David Weatherwax with my own eyes. So for this prompt I decided to share all the records I really want to look at.

  • Probate/Guardianship for Beverly Beardsley (d. 1815) – location Essex Co, NY.
  • Probate of David Weatherwax (d.1841) – location Clinton Co, NY.
  • Murder trial transcript for the man who killed Berlindo Moro (d. 1927/8) – location Queens Co, NY. (also need to find all the Long Island Star Journal articles).
  • Court Records for Henry Bass aka William Kirk (from 1913) I have records of him at Sing Sing trying to determine if this is my Henry Bass.
  • Annulment proceedings of Patricia Moran and Robert Bass. I have the final decree but I tend to be nosy.

I am sure there are more but I think these ought to be a good start and realistically I know we will probably never see the annulment proceedings everything else should be fair game though and it will satisfy my curiosity.

Until next time.

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.


Making people real…

It is more about names and dates. It is about putting the meat on the bones. To make our ancestors real. It is about researching their daily lives and proving or disproving family lore. Unfortunately, we are not all descendants of Pochahontas, some of us are just regular folks.

Newspapers are a fabulous way to make our ancestors real. My family settled in upstate New York after the American Revolution, mostly in Clinton County. For me I have found a wealth of information in the Plattsburgh Sentinel. New York has a fabulous resource of New York Historical Newspapers. BEWARE, it is a fun rabbit hole to go down. I spend countless hours there.

I know very little about my husband’s family and my mother-in-law passed in 2013. I remember many moons ago her telling me that her grandmother lived in a hotel. Well I am not sure if they really lived in a hotel but her mother went on vacation with them to Canada. I also found some of the only evidence of her grandparents together though I can not confirm it except in these two news clippings. Patricia Moran and Robert Bass are my husband’s grandparents.  We are slowly building  pictures of his Bass line and it is interesting and makes me feel like a detective as every piece I prove was done with no help. I do talk to my mother-in-law about what I find and I know if she was here she would get a kick out of it all.

Obituaries are fabulous sources for information also, you can sometimes find next of kin and children and grandchildren.

If you have research that leads you to Brooklyn, make sure to check out the Brooklyn Eagle. It is where I found the 2 articles about Patricia Moran and Robert Bass.

I am in the process of drawing up some research goals and a plan for 2018, I am going to want to practice some of what I learned in the Boston University Genealogy Certificate Program so stay tuned for an exciting announcement.