All Articles

1960 Postal Cover from Warrensville, Ohio, to Duncan, British Columbia

On March 11, about 1960, Mr John L Alline of 19415 Wickfield Road, Warrensville Heights, Ohio, sent a letter to Mr W D Wadsworth, of Gibbins Road, Duncan, British Columbia. Who were these men, and what was the correspondence about?

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Harry and Agnes (Gratton) Billups, Letters

The documents section of this website has a transcription of thirty-five letters sent by Henry "Harry" Billups and his wife Agnes Gratton from Mifflin County, Pennsylvania, to Agnes' sister Emily Hall in Derbyshire, England.

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Anna (Cunningham) Rodgers, of Kilkeel and Cleveland

Anna Cunningham was born 3 Oct 1845, possibly in Ballymadeerfy Townland, County Down, Ireland, the daughter of James Cunningham and Catherine Devine. The exact date of her birth comes from her granddaughter Nan (Gallagher) Fleming's research.

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Edward and Anna Rodgers: the Cleveland Years

There are enough railroad tracks on the southeast side of Cleveland that the train from New York could have dropped the Rodgers off at their doorstep, but they probably had to find their way to their new address on their own. Fittingly, in the 1874 Cleveland City Directory there is a listing for an Edward Rogers living on the south side of Railroad, near Walnut, in Newburgh.

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Edward and Anna Rodgers: the Outbound Journey

As mentioned earlier, the Rodgers descendants believed that Ned fled Ireland for England and then went back to get his wife. This might be reflected in their information on the 1900 Census. When asked for their year of immigration to the United States, Ned said 1867 and Anna said 1870 ...

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Edward "Ned" Rodgers of Kilkeel and Cleveland

When I started working on the Rodgers' family history I was immediately impressed by two things: 1) the accuracy of the earlier research done by my mother's cousin Nan (Gallagher) Fleming, and 2) the reliability of the oral family tradition in the Rodgers clan. Here is just one example

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Mary (Rodgers) Kelly Anderson, of Cleveland, Ohio

When I started working on Edward and Anna Rodgers' daughter Mary, she was mostly just legend. It went: "She was married to a Patrick Kelly and a Dudley Anderson, she was on stage, we had a picture of her with Lillian Russell." Well I haven't found any picture at all of her, but there is enough information to fill out the rest of the story.

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Ned Rodgers: a Fenian in the Family?

Another bit of family oral tradition about Edward "Ned" Rodgers goes like this: He had to leave Ireland because of some "trouble" with the predecessors of Sinn Fein. He went to England, then went back to get his wife, and then they came to America. He changed his name from something like McGillicuddy to Rodgers.

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Ned Rodgers and the Blind Pig

Here I am almost at the end of this series of articles about the Rodgers family and I haven't mentioned the story of Ned Rodgers and the blind pig.

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Agnes (McKenzie) McGrath Rodgers, of Cleveland, Ohio

Agnes was born in Gore of Lochaber, Ottawa Co., Quebec, Canada,  on March 27, 1876, the daughter of George McKenzie and Bridget Doherty. They are found on the 1881 Census of Gore of Lochaber.

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Alice (McGrath) Mulzer of Cleveland, Ohio

The young lady on the right in this picture was identified in the Rodgers' anniversary picture on the Ohio photos page as Alice McGraw. I believe her name was actually Alice McGrath, since there was a McGrath family connected to the Rodgers, but no McGraws.

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An Earlier Matt Sloan, Kilfeaghan to Cleveland

In a letter dated December 28, 1888, from Ballintur, William Doran told his brother Peter in the United States, that 'Tom Murphy and Mathew Sloan is home from cleveland a few days agow.' For a long time I've wondered who this Matthew Sloan could be. My mother's aunt married a Matthew Sloan in Cleveland in 1907, but he was born in 1879, so he would be too young. Now, I think I might have found this earlier Matt Sloan in the Newburgh section of Cleveland.

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Anastasia (Lawton) Hankard—of Cork and East Boston, Massachusetts

In the first article in this series, we identified John Aloysius Hankard's paternal grandparents as John Hankard and Anastasia Lawton, both born in Ireland. On her marriage record, Anastasia said her father's name was John. Could we find Anastasia's Irish county of origin?

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Ann Ellen (Sloan) O'Leary of Cleveland, Ohio

Ann Ellen Sloan was born about 1861, the daughter of James Sloan and Bridget Cunningham. She and Dennis Francis O'Leary were wed in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on September 5, 1882. They were living at 1310 Broadway when their first child was born on June 16, 1883, or at about 4600 Broadway according to the current numbering system.

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Ann (McAlister) Paige, Bucksport, Maine

Ann McAlister was born in Bucksport, Maine, Dec 16, 1905, the daughter of Frank and Josephine (Delano) McAlister. In 1910 and 1920 she was living in Bucksport with her parents and her brother, Royce.

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Another James O'Rourke, Killowen to Cleveland

James O'Rourke was born Jul 7, 1894, presumably at home in Ballintur Townland, Kilbroney, County Down, the son of Francis Rourke and Sarah Brennan. In 1901 he and his parents were living with his grandparents James Rourke and Mary Hughes in house 18 in Ballintur. I believe this family occupied parcels 1A, 1Ba, 1C,and 1Da in the townland.

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Augustus "Zeke" Paige, Bucksport, Maine

Augustus Ezra Paige, or "Zeke" as he was known, was born Apr 13, 1905, most likely in Bangor, Maine, the first son of William Paige and Margaret Jenkins.

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Barbara (Paige) Deegan, Ritchfield, Connecticut

Barbara Ann Paige was born August 27, 1931 in Old Town, Maine, the daughter of Augustus and Ann (McAlister) Paige, of Bucksport, Maine. Between 1935 and 1940 Barbara's family moved to Orland, Maine.

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Bartley Carr of Tonabrocky, Galway, and Cleveland

In 1910 there was a man boarding with my great grandfather named Bartley Carr. He was unrelated to our family. Here are a few things about him from my research. Bartley Carr was born about 1884 in Galway, Ireland, the son of Walter Carr and Honora Kelly.

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Benjamin Cowan of Monson, Maine–Brief Ancestry

Benjamin Cowan was born between 1834 and 1838, probably in Salem, Maine, the son of James Cowan and Lucrecia Winslow. According to a descendant, Benjamin Cowan's great grandfather Thomas Cowan arrived in America with a group of Scottish Presbyterians from northern Ireland, led by a minister named James McGregor.

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Benjamin Cowan of Monson, Maine—His Families

Benjamin Cowan was born between 1834 and 1838, probably in Salem, Maine, where his parents James and Lucretia Cowan were living in 1840.  The earlier date reflects his age as given on his censuses, while the later date comes from his age at death in 1903.

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Benjamin & Sarah (Newell) Cowan of Monson, Maine

After Benjamin Cowan's divorce from Rosanna Inman, he apparently went back to Salem, Maine, for a while. The 1870-71 Report of the Selectmen of the Town of Hampden says that Hampton had received $351.34 from Salem for support of residents of the town farm. That would have been for Benjamin's children, as explained in part two of this series.

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Bridget McCartan—Kilkeel to Cleveland

As mentioned in her husband's article, I was pretty sure that Bridget McCartan was from the Rostrevor - Kilkeel area of County Down, but I couldn't prove it using only her records. What made the difference in her case was her death notice. It called her the aunt of Michael White and the late Thomas Fearon.

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Charles and Margaret (O'Rourke) McNally of Cleveland, Ohio

Before we get back to Michael O'Rourke's family, we need to say a few words about the family of his wife, Mary McNally. It looks to me like Mary McNally was born in the fourth quarter of 1876 in the Stockton Registration District of Durham, England, and was baptized in Pontop, Durham, England, on February 11, 1877.

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Christina O'Rourke, Killowen to Chicago

Besides the children we mentioned in the last article, Michael Rourke and Alice Cunningham had two other sons and another daughter listed in the Kilbroney Church Records. they are ...

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Elizabeth Lawler, Kilkenny to Cleveland

Elizabeth Lawler was born about 1838 in Castlecomer, County Kilkenny, Ireland, the daughter of Michael Lawler and Mary Curran. Elizabeth was married on November 27, 1855, in Notre Dame Basilica, Montreal, Canada, to John Kerwin.

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Henry Sands, Killowen to Cleveland

Henry Sands was born October 18, 1867 most likely in Ballincurry Townland, south of Rostrevor, County Down.1 He was the third son of Daniel Sands and Susan Sloan.

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Hugh Quinn, Kilkeel to Cleveland

Hugh Quinn was born between 1846 and 1852 in Ballynahatten Townland, Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland.1, 2 He died on Dec 12, 1928 in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and was buried on Dec 15, 1928 in Calvary Cemetery.3 He was the son of William Quinn and Ellen Clark. He married Maria Cunningham.

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James and Henry O'Rourke, Killowen to Cleveland

While looking through some other O'Rourkes in Cleveland, I came across first James then Henry O'Rourke and filed them in the "mysteries waiting to be solved" category. As soon as I started working on them I realized they were father and son. Here is a brief account of both of them.

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James Carrigan of County Meath, Ireland, and Salem, Massachusetts

Earlier this week I received a photocopy of the naturalization papers for a James Carrigan, naturalized in Manchester Police Court, Manchester, New Hampshire, on March 13, 1866. He wasn’t our James Carrigan, my wife’s great, great grandfather, as I had hoped. But he was someone’s James Carrigan, so rather than let the work go to waste, I thought I would put it here.

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James Dudley and Abigail Hook, of Orono and Veazie, Maine

There are a few family trees on ancestry.com, familysearch.org, and rootsweb.com that identify James Dudley, the husband of Abigail Hook, as the son of Samuel6 Dudley of Pittston, Maine. None, however, show how to make the connection between a James Dudley born in Pittston and one who died in Veazie. Since there was more than one James Dudley in Maine at the time, I thought I would lay out the reasons why we can come to that conclusion.

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James Murney, Killowen to Cleveland

While we are still at one degree of separation from the O'Rourkes and Rodgers families, let's spend a few minutes on James Murney. James was born 31 Aug 1878 in Ballinran, County Down, Ireland. His family, and those of his uncles who remained in Ireland, are on the transcription of the 1901 Census of Ballincurry.

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James O'Rourke, Killowen to Cleveland

On 9 Jun 1900, James O'Rourke, son of John Rourke and Ellen Rodgers, arrived in the United States aboard the HMS Campania, which had left from Liverpool. He was on the way to his brother William's home on Harvard St. in Cleveland.

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John Aloysius Hankard, East Boston, Massachusetts

On November 22, 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts, my wife's great aunt, Abigail Ellen "Abbie" (Page) Heise married John Aloysius Hankard. John's parents were recorded as John Hankard and Hannah Keegan. I recognized Keegan as an Irish name, assumed Hankard was also, and decided to see if I could trace either family back to at least the county of origin in Ireland.

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John and Henry O'Rourke—Kilkeel to Cleveland

While looking for the John O'Rourke who came with my grandfather from Killowen to Cleveland, I found another John O'Rourke in Cleveland instead. This man and his brother Henry were from Kilkeel. The evidence is a bit circumstantial, but I think it is solid enough to put the family together.

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John and Mary (McGee) McVeigh of Dunnaval Townland, Kilkeel

John McVeigh was born in County Down, Ireland, about 1813. As we have seen in the article, Christina O'Rourke, Killowen to Chicago, John was a widower living in Dunnaval Townland in 1901 with granddaughters Christina and Joanna O'Rourke and a grandson James Doyle. John had been on parcel 38A and 38B in Dunnaval from 1866 onward according to the Valuation Revision Books.

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John Hankard of East Boston, Massachusetts

Having found John Hankard's father's name (Thomas) and a range of years for his birth (1820-1830), I started to look for his county of origin in Ireland. The first thing I did was to try the Irish Times surname search page for "Hankard". The results said ...

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John Mcavoy—Rostrevor to Cleveland

While I was working on, I came across John and Bridget (McCartan) Mcavoy living on Elmo Street, Cleveland, in 1900. Both of their mother's maiden names were Sloan. With surnames like those going for them, they almost had to be from the Rostrevor - Kilkeel area of County Down.

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John McGee, Kilkeel to Cleveland

John McGee was born October 7, 1875, most likely in Tullyframe Townland, Kilkeel District, County Down, Ireland, the son of James McGee and Mary O'Hare. He was baptized that same day; the record is on the Kilkeel Parish Register.

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John O'Rourke Who Arrived in 1899

When my grandfather William O'Rourke emigrated from Ireland in 1899, he was accompanied by a John O'Rourke age 37. He was a single man who said he was from Ballintur Townland, County Down, as was my grandfather. John had been in the United States before, and had been a citizen for six years.

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John Rourke of Ballintur, Killowen, County Down

John Rourke of Ballintur Townland, County Down, Ireland was baptized on January 19, 1827, likely at Killowen Chapel. He was the son of James Roarke and Nancy Colgan. The sponsors at his baptism were Patrick Doran and Mary Colgan. John's sister Margaret had been baptized in 1822 and his brother Edward in 1824.

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Joseph Drummond, of Montreal, and the Irish Famine

At first glance it might seem strange to talk about Joseph Drummond and the Irish famine in the same article. After all, Joseph and his first wife, Judith Shea, were in Montreal, Canada, by 1844. Joseph is identified as a "gentleman" and a "man with a knowledge of commerce" on some of the parish records in Montreal.

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Joseph Whalen of Lockport and Cleveland

To a genealogist, siblings are your friends, as illustrated by the case of Catherine Rodgers' husband Joe Whalen. His death notice on February 5, 1968 said that he was survived by a brother Fenton. It was through Fenton that I found Joe Whalen's ancestry.

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Lizzie Trainor—Kilkeel to Cleveland

Elizabeth "Lizzie" Trainor/Traynor/Treanor was born in Corcreaghan Townland, Kilkeel, County Down, Ireland, July 28, 1882, the daughter of John Treanor and Annie Sloan, who are on the 1901 and 1911 Census of Ireland in Corcreaghan.

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Mary Burke of Cloondergan, Galway, and Cleveland, Ohio

It's hard for me to pass up looking for an Irishman's county of origin, so after finding Another James O'Rourke, Killowen to Cleveland, I thought I would try to find his wife, Mary Burke, in Ireland.

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Mary (Nugent) Keyes, of Wexford, Ireland, and Cleveland, Ohio

I’ve been looking at the family of my grandfather’s brother James O’Rourke, and have hit a soft brick wall. His wife, Mary Keyes, was the daughter of James Keyes and Mary Nugent. Mary Nugent’s death record said she was born about 1851 in County Wexford, and I can almost prove it, but not quite. Here’s the story.

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Matthew Sloan, Killowen to Cleveland

Matthew Sloan was born 27 Apr 1879, in Ballincurry Townland, Kilbroney Parish, County Down, Ireland, the son of James and Mary (Brennan) Sloan. He was baptized the same day with John Fearon and Kate Brennan as godparents.

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Michael McAneny of Cleveland: naturalization

Having found James McAneny's death record, I was inspired to keep going on the family. Here is his brother Michael's naturalization card. As far as I can tell, this was some kind of summary of information made after the fact, along with the immigrant's current address.

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Michael O'Rourke, Killowen to Cleveland

Just because a man's name is O'Rourke doesn't mean he is from Killowen, County Down. But if he is living on the East side of Cleveland in the early 1900′s, and has an aunt named Mrs Farron, you start to get "suspicious." So it went with this man, whom I came across while working on my own O'Rourkes.

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Other Hankards in Eastern Massachusetts in the 1860s

Another way to find a Irish townland of origin is to trace the brothers and sisters of the person you are interested in, in this case the John Hankard who married Anastasia Lawton. His siblings' records might have the information we are looking for. There were a few other Hankards in the Boston area at the same time as John. Were they related?

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Patrick Lanagan of Sligo and Waltham

Every human being is unique and no doubt that was true of Patrick Lanagan as well. But what makes him special to me is this: he is the only person whom I have found who is recorded in Griffith's Valuation of Ireland and then emigrated to America.

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Patrick McQuaid of Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania

In April 30, 1827, "Patrick McQuaid, the son of Rudy McQuaid dec'd, of Hempfield township, Westmoreland county, and state of Pennsylvania," signed indenture papers beginning his apprenticeship to George W and Jacob S Kern of Greensburg "by and with the advice and consent of his Mother."

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Peter and Mary Ann (McMahon) Keegan of Boston, Massachusetts

In the first article in this series, we established that John Aloysius Hankard's parents were John Hankard and Hannah Keegan. Hannah's death record, May 15, 1899, said that she was born in East Boston and her parents were Peter Keegan and Mary A McMann, both born in Ireland.

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Peter Curran of Galway and Norwood

A friend of mine asked me to see if I could find the Irish origins of her mother's Curran family who settled in Norwood, Massachusetts. As I soon found out, there were a lot of Currans in Norwood, but my friend supplied me with enough specifics to get going.

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Peter, Michael, and Henry Farron—Kilbroney to Cleveland

In 1910 Peter and Michael Farron were living on East 89th St in Cleveland, across the street from my great-grandfather Ned Rodgers. In that neighborhood, with a name like Farron (Feran, Fearon), they seemed "likely suspects" for being from the Kilbroney/Killowen area of County Down, Ireland. It turns out that they were.

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Richard Cunningham, probably Kilkeel to Cleveland

While working on the article, I noticed that Mary's cousin Bertha Raimer married a Cunningham. That got my attention, since my great grandmother's maiden name was Cunningham, and they lived in the same part of Cleveland as the Raimers. As it turned out, Bertha's daughter married one of my second cousins. But let's begin at the beginning.

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Robert Carroll (Dudley Anderson), Actor, of Chicago, Illinois

In the last article, we learned that William Dudley Anderson had a stage name of Bobbie Carroll and died in Chicago in 1932. Can we fill in anything else in his life between the death of his wife Mary Rodgers in 1898 and his own death?

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Rose (Sloan) Farrell, Killowen to Cleveland

So far in this series, we have discussed some young men who left Killowen for Cleveland, but this time we will consider a young woman, Rose Sloan, from the same area.

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Selina (McVeigh) Kelly, of Kilkeel and Chicago

We arrive at Selina (McVeigh) Kelly by way of her niece Christina (O'Rourke) Flood ... Christina O'Rourke, Killowen to Chicago.

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Some Children of Michael Rourke and Alice Cunningham

Michael Rourke and Alice Cunningham of Killowen, County Down, Ireland, had at least seven children. Three of their daughters emigrated to Cleveland, Ohio. Let's discuss them first, since we have referred to them earlier in this series of articles.

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Susan Brennan, Kilfeaghan to Cleveland

Susan Brennan was born, probably between 1873 and 1874, the daughter of Peter Brennan and Ann Savage.1, 2 She was very likely born in Kilfeaghan townland, Kilbroney District, County Down, Ireland.

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The Hamilton Family and the 1889 Johnstown Flood

n 1889 my great grandparents Joseph and Eckie Hamilton were living in and managing a boarding house at 136 Jackson Street, Johnstown, Pennsylvania. On May 31 of that year the Johnstown Flood hit the city taking 2209 lives, the greatest one day loss of life on U.S. soil until September 11, 2001.

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Thomas Cunninghams in Miles City, Montana

While trying to find the parents and Irish origin of a Peter Cunningham who lived in Miles City, Montana, from 1908 onward, I noticed a Thomas Cunningham on the records. "Oh, that will help," I said to myself, "tracing siblings always helps."

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Thomas, William, and Daniel Feran—Killowen to Cleveland

As I mentioned in an earlier article, when you see the names Michael O'Rourke and Mrs. Thomas Feran in the same household in Cleveland, you start to think of Killowen emigrants.

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William D Anderson of Richmond, Virginia

Some people pass through your family's history like a shadow in a dream that turns toward you and waves, then walks across the stage and out the stage door. Such was Dudley Anderson for the longest time, a trace of a person and nothing more

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William O'Rourke, Killowen to Cleveland

In the merry month of June 1899, William Rourke salutes his father dear, kisses his darling mother, and heads on down the rocky road to America, never to return. Soon after leaving his home in Ballintur Killowen, County Down—and probably on the crossing to Liverpool—William re-instates the O' in front of the Anglicized version of his name.

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William Rogers and Elizabeth Murphy of Killowen, County Down

William Rogers was born about 1790, probably not in Killowen, possibly in Kilkeel, and almost certainly in Ireland. He and his wife Elizabeth Murphy have three children listed on the baptism records of Kilbroney Parish

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A Positive View of Our Hamilton DNA Research

In the last two articles, I looked at the shortcomings of the DNA research into our Hamilton line. In this article, I will take a look at the positive side. What have we gained?

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Alice (Brownsword) Hawkes of Rockland, Rhode Island

In December 1915, Alice B Hawkes of Rockland, Rhode Island, sent a postcard to her friend Mrs Green which read ...

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Andrew Bernard and Catherine Conrad, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

This website includes a picture of the 1922 second grade class at Holy Name Parish on Broadway on the southeast side of Cleveland. My mother was in that class and identified most of the children in the picture. She identified the sixth young man from our left in the front row as Bernard Conrad.  She also identified the third young lady from our right in the back row as Catherine Conrad.

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Anna (Cummisky) Lynch of Curraghan, County Leitrim, and Port Jefferson, Suffolk County, New York

In 1941, Mrs Martin Lynch of Port Jefferson, Long Island, received a letter from the town of Sligo, County Sligo, Ireland. Can we identify Mrs Lynch, and can this envelope help us find her county of origin in Ireland?

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Barbara (Hynes) Tarsney, Moycullen, Galway, and Glen Ridge, NJ

In 1941, Mrs. Felix Tarsney of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, received a letter from Gaillimh (Galway City), County Galway, Ireland. What can we learn about Mrs Tarsney? Was she from Galway?

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Bernice Hurley, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Bernice was born July 22, 1914, in Cleveland, the daughter of Edward Hurley and Catherine Sadler. In 1920 she was living at 9408 Cassius Avenue with her parents and her maternal grandparents, William and Anna (Heffernan) Sadler.

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Catherine Timony, San Rafael, California

In 1937 Miss Katie Timoney of 654 Lincoln Avenue, San Rafael, California, received a letter from Ballyconneely, County Galway, Ireland. Did this correspondence have anything to do with her family's county of origin in Ireland?

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Cunninghams in Ballymageogh Townland, Kilkeel, County Down, 1868 to 1908

While working on a Peter Cunningham family in Miles City, Montana, I thought it might help to make a list of Cunninghams in Ballymageogh Townland, in an effort to find Peter's parents. Here are the results.

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Cunninghams in Mullertown Townland, 1864-1905

While working on a Cunningham family in Washington State, US, I found it helpful to make a list of the Cunninghams in Mullartown from 1864 to 1905. Here are the results.

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Daniel Orschak, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Daniel Orschak was born May 31, 1912, the third child and first son of Fred W Orschak and Margaret Isabel Kearney. His two older sisters were named Henrietta and Angela; his younger sister was Beatrice.

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Della Feely, of Oak Park, Illinois

On September 30, 1938, someone in Tullylease, County Cork, mailed a letter to Mrs Della Feely, 405 South Maple Avenue, Oak Park, Illinois. Did this letter come from a relative in Ireland? If so, can it help us trace back Mrs Feely to her county of origin?

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Done and To Do in Cape May for James D. Hamilton

James D Hamilton was not found in any of the following:

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Dorothy Vincent, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Dorothy Louise Vincent was born December 9, 1913, in Maple Heights Village, Ohio, the daughter of William J Vincent and Frances D O'Connor. In 1920 the family was living on Broadway in Maple Heights.

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Evaline B Jeralds of Yalesville, Connecticut

In September 1882, Miss E B Jeralds of Yalesville, Connecticut, received a letter from someone in Wilmore, Pennsylvania. What can we find out about Miss Jeralds and her correspondent in Wilmore?

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Evelyn Presgrave, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

In 1920, Evelyn was living at 11321 Miles Avenue, Cleveland, with her father Lee, mother Lillian, and brothers Raymond and Ralph. Her father was managing a garage. By June 5, 1917 when Lee registered for the draft, the family had moved one block east, to 11410 Miles.

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Even the Snails Came from Spain

The legend among the Irish for the longest time was that they "came from Spain." You could say it was the mother of all family stories.

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Family of Richard Cragg and Sarah Ann Tower

Some time ago, I tried to help a descendant find the mother of Eleanor Cragg who was born in Boston in 1900, likely "out of wedlock."

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First Thoughts on the O'Rourke Autosomal DNA

My sister recently tested the autosomal DNA of a cousin on our mother's side. A person inherits autosomal DNA from both their mother and father, unlike y-DNA which comes only from their father.

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Found on Roadside

While looking through the Irish Catholic parish registers, I found this entry ...

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George and Lucinda Kerns of Kankakee, Illinois

About 1863, Mrs Lucinda Kerns, of Kankakee, Illinois, received a letter from American Ranch, Colorado. Who was Lucinda Kerns and whom might she have known in American Ranch, Colorado?

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George Welling, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

George W Welling was born in Cleveland on April 20,1914, the son of William M Welling and Catherine Farron. The family was living at 13124 Harvard in 1920, in the same home as Catherine's widowed mother Sarah. Beside George, the family included his sisters Catherine and Sarah and a brother Thomas.

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Helen Finnerty, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Helen Finnerty was born about 1914 in Ohio, the fifth of eight known children of Michael Finnerty and Helen "Nellie" Kennedy. The family lived at 9423 Meech Avenue from at least 1904 until at least the time of Nellie's death in October 1948.

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Hellier Family of Bangor, Maine

I had the opportunity to look at two old Bibles which apparently once belonged to members of the Hellier family of Bangor, Maine. They are in a private collection and are not for sale. I am presenting the family record information here for the benefit of anyone concerned.

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Henry "Harry" Billups, Pittsburgh, 1890

 checklist

Henry Billups was last known to be alive in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in January and February 1890.

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Hiram Lansford Fields of Hawkins County, Tennessee

  •   Mon 08 October 2018
  •   DNA

I ask Fields family members and experts in early North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky genealogy to be patient with me and this article.

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James and Jennie Patterson of Washington County, Pennsylvania

On August 9, 1912, Miss J L Patterson, of Washington County, Pennsylvania, received a post card from her brother Jim postmarked South Euclid, Ohio. The message read

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James Cusack, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

James Cusack was born December 23, 1913, in Ohio, the son of James Cusack and Anne Rice. In 1920 the family was living at 7424 Spafford and included James' brothers and sisters William, Eddie, Joseph, and Kathleen who is recorded here as Helen C. for some reason. In 1922 they were living at 7817 Homestead Avenue.

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James Hawkins, Portland, Maine, 1860 to 1892

In 1871 Mr James Hawkins of 1 High Street Court, Portland, Maine, received a letter postmarked in Wexford, Ireland ... Who was James Hawkins and does this postmark tell us anything about his place of origin in Ireland?

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James Kennedy, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

James Kennedy was born November 15, 1913, in Ohio, the son of Cornelius and Anna Kennedy. In 1920 the Cornelius Kennedy family was living at 4072 East 76th Street, Cleveland, and included Cornelius, Anna, and children Cornelius, Helen, James, Les, and Irene.

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James McAneny of Cleveland: his death record

While I was going back through the information on my mother's side of the family, I solved one mystery: what ever happened to Catherine Rodgers' first husband, James McAneny?

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John and Jane (Hazlett) Hamilton

In the last article we learned that the parents of Joseph Hamilton of Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, Scotland, were John Hamilton and Jane Hazlett. What can we say about this couple?

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Joseph and Agnes (Rennie) Hamilton, Ayrshire, Scotland

In 1841 Joseph Hamilton, age 20, was living in his mother Jean (Hazlett) Hamilton's household on Donny Holm Street in Kilbirnie. He had been born in Ireland and was working as a coal miner.

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Joseph Murphy, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Joseph Murphy was born in Ohio on January 17, 1913, the youngest of five children of William J Murphy and Catherine Hunt. Their other children were Edward, Catherine, William, and Robert.

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Joseph Page of Orono, a Timeline

Before 1775: Lived for sometime in Rhode Island ... 1775: Living in the area of present day Bangor, then called Kenduskeag Plantation.

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Joseph Page of Orono, Maine

Joseph Page was among the first non-Native American settlers in the area of Orono, Maine, arriving there no later than 1783. Joseph was born about 1727, possibly in Rhode Island ...

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Julia (Mowry) Paine Greene, of Glendale, Rhode Island

Julia (Mowry) Paine Greene was born in Rhode Island on February 8, 1847, the daughter of Emer and Melaura (Mathewson) Mowry. On August 16, 1864, she married George Carpenter Paine ...

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Kilmore Quay Post Office

A while ago my cousin sent me a number of photographs of our family ... This picture of Kilmore Quay Post Office is one of them.

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Leonard Kohn, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Leonard P Kohn was born September 2, 1913. In 1920 he was living with his parents John and Delia (Coleman) Kohn at 4909 East 84th Street, Garfield Heights.

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Lillie B. Chase of Valley Falls, Rhode Island

In about 1863 Mademoiselle Lillie B. Chase received a letter from Vienna, Austria, sent in care of Saml. B. Chase, Esq, of Valley Falls, Rhode Island. The letter was addressed to Mlle. "Chase" although the family spelled the name "Chace."

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Lillie B. Chase of Valley Falls, Rhode Island, part 2

Lillie B. Chase, age 30, was married on 29 Oct 1878 to John Crawford Wyman, age 56, the son of Abraham Wyman and Sarah Crawford. John's first wife Emma Willard had died in 1861. John too was an abolitionist ...

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Madeline Gutbrod, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Madeline Gutbrod and her family were living at 11010 Miles Ave in January 1920 when the census was taken. Besides Madeline there was her father John O Gutbrod, her mother Nora (McGuire), her sister Mary, and her brother John.

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Manufacturer of Shoddy Goods

How would you feel if your ancestor was described as a 'manufacturer of shoddy goods'?

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Margaret (O'Donnell) Carpenter, Bruckness, Donegal, and Detroit, Michigan

In 1915, Mrs Charles Carpenter of 693 Meldrum Ave, Detroit, Michigan, received a postcard from her sister Cassie in Bruckless, County Donegal, Ireland. Here is a transcription of the text ...

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Margaret (Penn) Keane McGrath, of Ennis, County Clare, Ireland

Having found William McGrath's parents, James McGrath and Margaret Penn, I decided to look for parents.

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Marguerite Tulley, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Marguerite Tulley was born April 25, 1913, in Cleveland, the daughter of Simon F Tulley and Mary Keating. In 1920 the family was living at 4140 East 139th Street, and Marguerite's father was a rivet worker.

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Mary E Keane, Nahant, Massachusetts

About March 1943, Miss Mary Keane of 93 Fox Hill Road, Nahant, Massachusetts, received a letter from Gaillimh (Galway) Ireland. Can this postmark tell us anything about her family's Irish origins?

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Mary Ellen (Gaffney) Lavin of Cuilmore, Sligo, and Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York

In the 1940's, Mrs M G Lavin of 179 East 32nd, Brooklyn, NY, received a letter from Co. Roscommon, Ireland. The name of the post office is unreadable. Can we identify Mrs Lavin? Did she come from Roscommon?

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Mary Raimer, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Mary Raimer was born October 26, 1913, the daughter of Philip and Rose (Alten) Raimer. In 1920 the family was living on Libby Road in Maple Heights. The address is not on the census, but later records show that it was 17325 Libby.

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Michael Harwood, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Michael Joseph Harwood was born in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest son of Michael Joseph Harwood and Mary Fogarty. In 1920 the family was living at 7426 Spafford. All five children were in the household ...

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Michael Malone, a butler, of New York City

Died at sea: Name: Michael Malone, second cabin passenger.

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Mildred Gaughan, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Mildred Gaughan was born January 17, 1916, in Cleveland, the youngest of three children of Edward Gaughan and Sarah Kelly. In 1920 the family was living at 7818 Vineyard Avenue. In the household with Mildred and her parents were her older brother Henry John, and her older sister Geraldine.

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Miss Carrie I Martin of Rochester, New York

In November 1906, Miss Carrie I Martin of Rochester, New York, received a postcard from Miss. J.C.V. Moore, of Tamney, Letterkenny, County Donegal, Ireland. Can this postal cover tell us anything about Carrie Martin's ancestry? What can we learn from the online records?

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Missing Grandfather, Boston or Bangor

Do you recognize the man in this picture? He may have come into your family's history about 1925, probably in the East Boston or Roxbury, Massachusetts area but possibly in Bangor, Maine.

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Nellie (Callahan) Gibson, probably of County Cork, and of Rye, New Hampshire

In 1947 Mrs N J Gibson, of Rye, New Hampshire, received a letter postmarked CeannToir (Kanturk), County Cork, Ireland. Can this letter help us identify Mrs Gibson's Irish county of origin, if any?

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Oscar Cowan of Rockland, Maine-Solved

I am looking for information about an "Oscar Cowan" of Rockland, Knox County, Maine. I have some reason to believe that this was an alias for William Jerome Page, husband of Margaret Jenkins. I would like help either confirming or disproving that suspicion.

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Our y-DNA Mutation Rates

... When you put my family's paternal Hamilton y-DNA results and our maternal O'Rourke y-DNA results side by side, something doesn't really make much sense.

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Patrick J Slowey of Syracuse, New York, and Holyoke, Massachusetts

I came across P.J. Slowey while looking through some postal covers at the Jim Forte Postal History site. In 1939 he received a letter from Ballyjamesduff, Ireland. As a genealogist I wondered if that was his place of birth.

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Patrick McQuaid, Jacob Kern, George W Kern, of Greensburgh, PA, Indenture Papers

Below is a transcription of the indenture papers of Patrick McQuaid, apprentice to Jacob S and George W Kern in Greensburgh, Pennsylvania, beginning April 30, 1827.

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Patrick O'Rourke's naturalization information

Summarized: I, Patrick O'Rourke, a native of Ireland, arrived in the United States on 11 May 1900. It is my intention to become a citizen of the United States.

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Paul Downs, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Paul Downs was born October 7, 1912, most likely in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Michael Downs and Mary Elizabeth "Bessie" Perdew. Paul's mother died in January 1919 of influenza–probably the Spanish influenza outbreak–and his father moved to Cleveland with his three remaining children—Beatrice, Paul, and William.

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Peter Bolan, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Peter T Bolan was born in 1914 in Ohio, the son of Peter T Bolan and Elizabeth Sadler. In 1920 they were living at 4063 East 91st and Peter Bolan, Sr., was a scales man for a steel mill. Besides Peter and his parents, there were Peter's sisters Geraldine and Annette, and his younger brother Thomas.

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Preston Fields of Pike County, Kentucky

I have become interested in the family of Preston Fields who was born about 1795 probably in Tennessee, and if so, then likely in Hawkins County.

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Richard G Powell of Nenagh, County Tipperary, and Oakland, California

In 1910, Richard G Powell of Oakland, California, received a letter from Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ireland. It was sent in care of Matthew Ryan, at 487 Moss Avenue. Can this envelope help us determine Richard's county of origin in Ireland, if any?

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Rose McNamee, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Rose or Rosina McNamee was born about 1914 in Cleveland, the daughter of James McNamee and Anna Famera. In 1920 the family was living on Sladden Avenue in Garfield Heights. Besides Rose and her parents, there were her two brothers James and Charles.

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Rourkes of Ballintur--1793 to 1901

In this, as it turns out rather long, article, we are going to start in 1901 and walk ourselves back through the Ballintur records, looking only at the Rourke families, trying to trace each family back as far as we can.

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Rourkes of Ballintur in the Valuation Revision Books

Below are the Rourke families listed in the Valuation Revision Books, 1864 to 1933, in County Down, Barony of Iveagh Upper-Upper Half, Parish of Kilbroney, Union of Kilkeel, Electoral Division of Killowen, Townland of Ballintur

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Samuel Crim of Pedricktown, New Jersey

According to Kurtz - Sittler Genealogy Lines database at rootsweb.com, Aaron Crim and Lydia Harrow of Pedricktown,Salem County, New Jersey, had four children ...

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Some Conclusions on the Hamilton DNA Research

... If your DNA matches someone else, it means you are related to them. DNA doesn't lie ... If someone submits their DNA to a project and says that their earliest known ancestor is John Doe Hamilton, it doesn't mean a thing.

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Some Hamiltons in Hawkins and Sullivan Counties, Tennessee, 1784 to 1796

In the first two articles we placed Preston Fields and Hiram Lansford Fields in Hawkins County, Tennessee, in 1796 and afterward. That was the easy part.

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Some O'Rourke Records

I finally broke down and paid for a few marriage and death records for my Irish ancestors from Northern Ireland. Here they are, all from the General Records Office of Northern Ireland.

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The Carsons and the O'Rourke DNA

As mentioned in the last article, the results have come back for my cousin's autosomal DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA.com.

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The Colgans and the O'Rourke DNA

Before I talk about the DNA test results, a little background. When I first started researching my family the only thing I knew about my maternal grandfather's grandparents were that they were named James Rourke and Ann Colgan.

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The Cunninghams and the O'Rourke DNA

My cousin and I have a great-grandmother named Anna Cunningham so I wrote to two different Cunningham contacts about the DNA matches. The odd thing is that their DNA matched ours but didn't match each other ...

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The Father of James D. Hamilton of Cape May

Assuming the father of James D Hamilton was living with his wife when James was born, and assuming that James actually was born in Cape Island (Cape May) ...

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The O'Rourke Land in Ballintur - 1865

My sister called my atttention to the fact that our O'Rourke family rented 16 acres of Ballintur in 1864, according to Griffith's Valuation. This was a parcel twice as big as almost everyone else. I decided to take a closer look at the land records.

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The O'Rourke Land in Ballintur, Killowen

My aunt Theresa "Tiny" O'Rourke, went back to Killowen about 1960 to visit her relatives, presumably her aunt Elizabeth. When Tiny returned she said that the O'Rourke property "ran down to the Irish Sea.

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The O'Rourke y-DNA - latest updates

The first time I wrote about the O'Rourke y-DNA matches, I ended the article on a despondent note ... Since then we have had a few more matches ...

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The O'Rourke y-DNA Results

We were tested on 67 markers the first time, and on 37 markers the second. Here are the facts. I don't know what conclusions to draw, but I will give it a try afterward.

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Thomas Hamilton of Bedford County, Virginia, and Some DNA results

I looked again at the family of Thomas Hamilton of Bedford County, Virginia. Specifically, I looked at the DNA results that have been submitted from his descendants ...

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Timothy D Keating of Baltimore, Maryland, and Rockchapel, County Cork, Ireland

n 1942, Mr Jim T. D. Keating of 2121 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland, received a letter from D. C. Keating of Rockchapel, County Cork, Ireland ... Can this postmark and letter help us locate Mr Keating’s origins in Ireland?

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Vera Looby, 1922, Newburgh, Cleveland

Vera Looby was born April 6, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of William Looby and Matilda Divis. In 1920 she and her family were living at 4080 East 108th Street. Beside Vera and her parents, there were her sisters Isabelle, Jane, Marie, and Marcella. The family was still there in 1922

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Was Charles Jenkins Really Samuel Crimm?

That question will only make sense to you if you let me explain the mystery we are facing: It begins with Margaret Louise Jenkins, who was born in East Boston, MA, on March 27, 1889 ...

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Will of John McVeigh, of Dunnaval Townland, Kilkeel

Will of John McVeigh, transcription, from Will Calendars. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

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William McGrath, Ennis, County Clare, and Butte, Montana

In March of 1936, Mr. William McGrath of Butte, Montana, received a letter from Ennis, County Clare, Ireland. It was addressed to him c/o the Post Office, and there was a stamped note on the envelope that said "Second Notice." What can we learn about Mr McGrath? Was he from County Clare?

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William O'Rourke's Naturalization Information

A transcription of William O'Rourke's petition for naturalization, April 14, 1909 and other naturalization papers.

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William Page and Oscar Cowan—Where They Are Not

William Page/Paige is not buried in Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose, where his father, mother and his brother Augustus are buried. ... Nor with his brother Stover ...

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Mrs Ramon Guiteras of Bristol, Rhode Island

About December 1883, Mrs Ramon Guiteras of Bristol, Rhode Island, received a letter from Vienna, Austria. Who was Mrs Guiteras, and whom did she know in Vienna?

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The Wallace Sisters, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1872

On Friday August 30, 1872, the Wallace Sisters–Jennie, Minnie, and Maud–appeared in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, most likely at Johnstown's theater, the Union Hall, at the corner of Washington and Franklin streets. The photograph accompanying this article probably has been in my family ever since that date ...

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It Has All Been Said

a yawning cat

While I was setting up the new format of this site, I was trying to think of things to write about. Then I realized "Why bother opening your mouth? It's all been said by now."

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A Christmas Party, by Georgette Heyer, a Review

A Christmas Party cover

I liked Hercule Poirot's Christmas, by Agatha Christie, so I figured I would probably enjoy Georgette Heyer's A Christmas Party as well, having just finished her Why Shoot a Butler. I was right.

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Why Shoot a Butler, by Georgette Heyer, a Review

Why Shoot a Butler Book Cover

A few weeks ago, in the review of Toured To Death, I made fun of the "damsel in distress" motif that I kept coming across in modern mystery stories. Now, having read Georgette Heyer's Why Shoot a Butler, I might have to eat my words. This lady gets it right.

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Two County Cork Mysteries by Sheila Connolly, a Review

Scandal in Skibereen, Cover

Buried in a Bog and Scandal in Skibereen are the first two in the County Cork Mysteries series by Sheila Connolly. I would have reviewed them one at a time but they were so good and read so quickly that I was through with the second before I could write about the first.

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Toured to Death, by Hy Conrad, a Review

Toured to Death Book Cover

Lately I've read mysteries about unattached thirty-something year old women who solve mysteries while running 1) a catering service, 2) a book store, and 3) a chocolate company. This time, in Toured to Death, the young lady, Amy Abel, age 30 or so, owns a travel agency with her mother Fanny.

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You Have Nothing to Fear

a spider web

A poem about spiders

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Some Observations on Jane Eyre

Edmund Garrett's illustration from Jane Eyre

I don't see the point in writing a review of a two hundred old classic that everyone but me—until last week—has already read, so I will just make a few observations to motivate you to finish it. It's a long book.

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Lyrics to a version of "The Rambling Boy"

This is not your grandfather's Ramblin' Boy. And the lyrics are not from the versions by Tom Paxton or Joan Baez. Listening to Tom Paxton after this is like listening to Pat Boone sing "Blueberry Hill," nice, but just nice.

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Spiders and Clean Windows

a spider web

Do spiders have a "thing" for clean windows? Do they lie in wait for you to wash the glass before they come out in the spring? Or is it just coincidence, timing—both spiders and window cleaning being part of the rites of spring?

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About
Most of the information here is about my family or my wife’s, or about families with ties to Cleveland, Ohio, or the area near Rostrevor and Kilkeel in County Down, Ireland. There are also some unrelated families included that I came across. Whatever the case, I hope the material is helpful in your own efforts.
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-- Ed Hamilton