Sunday, October 5, 2014

Photographic Memory....

My cousin Mary recently shared some old family photos she had sitting in her album.  I couldn't thank her enough, as they sparked so many memories that time unfortunately erased in my mind.  Looking through photos of the family, i suddenly remembered the faces i hadn't seen in so many years.

It's a shame the tricks time plays with our minds.  There was a time i could remember a face just by hearing the name.  Not so anymore unfortunately.  More convenient to have the visual aid.  Luckily with today's new technology, it's easy enough to take pictures and share them with family in seconds.  But what about the old family photos.  Delegated to the top of a closet, half only see the light of day when someone is moving away or clearing out old junk. 

Taking the time to preserve these pictures electronically may seem rather inconvenient.  However, when you consider the alternative, it seems a small sacrifice to make to ensure the survival of the memories for your family.   As stated before, today's tech makes it a snap.

As most folks don't have a scanner at home, they figure they'd have to buy one or have the scans done at a store or library.  Not necessary however. In fact, you'd be amazed how easy it really is.  All you need is you cell phone camera and a foldable wire shelf (like you'd use in a  school locker or to organize your dishes). 

All you need do is place the photo on the table, under the shelf.  Position the cell phone cam lens to a good spot which sees through wire (the shelf keeps the cam steady and is about the right height for focus) and click the picture.  No expensive scanner necessary. An easy way to scan pics and preserve the memories for generations to come.  Once you scan the pics, save to the cloud or burn a CD that you can put in your safe deposit box.

Treasure your memories.  Keep them safe.  It's quicker and easier than you think.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

AncestryDNA to the Rescue...

I am so excited!!! I was able to track back a connection with a cousin listed on my Ancestry DNA results.  I found the surname "Hoare" on his family tree which i recognized from researching my father's family.  I checked back in my notes and the answer was there!  Bridget Hoare was the daughter of Daniel Hoare and Bridget McHugh (a name i didn't have on my tree).  When i researched Bridget McHugh, i found the common connection.  Bridget was actually the sister of my great grandfather Michael McHugh.  Their parents were Owen McHugh and Ann Brown.

There is still a mystery of an additional brother named Owen that i am trying to verify.  I'm hoping with this new resource from the DNA results, i can use the connections' trees to provide some information and unlock a few key facts. 

The DNA results have given me a great new tool.  The test was worth every penny!

                                         (Bridget McHugh and grandchild in Roosky, Ireland c. 1915)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

A bit of fun....

The Next Generation....backwards...

My eyes are red.  I've got a headache from looking at this screen for over 6 hours and the ringing in my ears has now become more of a persistent hum.  But it was worth it!  I found records opening another generation further back! 

Going over my DNA results, i found a lot of common surnames to check on and realized i still had a lot of holes in my research.  Especially on my father's side.  So,  I started delving into it and seeing what i could find and confirm.  I already had information on my father's grandfather Michael McHugh.  Michael married Anne O'Neil in 1887 in Kilglass, Co. Roscommon, Ireland.  Anne's father was listed as Bernard O'Neil from Knockhall.  When i researched Bernard O'Neil, I found his marriage record to Ellen Maxwell, still from the Roscommon area.  The big clue that document gave me though was Bernard's father's name - Arthur O'Neil - my great, great, great grandfather.

Amazed by my find, i thought i wouldn't have much more luck finding any records on him.  To my suprise, i found a registry entry for Arthur's marriage to Margaret Hobson. I also found baptism records for their children.  At that time, they lived in Moy, Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland (about 100 miles northeast of where they settled in Roscommon).

While i still have a lot of corroborating evidence to gather, some of the hints from the trees of my newly found cousins (via the DNA test), have proven invaluable.

Friday, March 28, 2014

It's All in the Genes....

It's amazing what science can do these days.  I've just sent for the DNA test kit from .  Once analyzed, the report will break down the percentages of ancestry from
different regions, any famous relations, as well as any relations that are on the Ancestry
DNA site. 

I can't wait to get the results.  I'm hoping they will be a new source of data for me, as
I've come to roadblocks on many of the branches of my tree.  I'll also be glad to make new
contacts that share my interest in research, as well as finding our common link.
Look for the updates soon folks. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Moving On....

Apologies folks, for not updating the page in so long.  Life has a tendency to disrupt the pleasurable activities we enjoy with the day-to-day drama we all have to deal with.  Luckily, however, spring will soon be here and i'm getting back to my personal priorities.  Quality of life is an essential part of everyone's dream.  I'm striving to find it more and more as i get older.  Hence, i traveled down to North Carolina recently and scoped out places to live and relocate to (hopefully in the near future - if i plan my finances correctly).  NJ winters are getting too much for me.

It struck me, as i was enjoying the sunny beach, that i'd be moving away from my family and friends (although i'd have relatives nearby) and wouldn't see them on a regular basis.  It's a big step.  Will i be able to do it. I can just imagine how it was for our grandparents.  They traveled over to a different country, some never seeing their parents and siblings ever again.  How do you prepare yourself for such a change?

The opportunity is what gets you.  The chance of a better quality of life.  For our grandparents, it was escape from poverty, religious persecution, unemployment, etc..  The "land of Opportunity" brought tons of immigrants from all over the globe to the shores of the US. The ability to give your children opportunities you'd never had yourself.  It's a lot to think on.

I want that life on the beach. I strive to find  what i need to get myself ready to make the move.  Just a matter of time.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

New Year Begins and Another Mystery Ends.....

Hi Folks!  Sorry it's been so long since the last update.  Winter weather and the holidays throw off all the schedules.  Good things come with the new year though.  In this case it was verifying my paternal grandfather's immigration.  I had been thrown off course by the 1930 census which showed my father's parents arriving when they were extremely young (less than a year - actually they listed their birth years in the immigration year column). Thanks to a newly transcribed record of my grandfather's enlistment for World War I, i was able to verify his arrival year, as well as where he was living at the time (in Brooklyn).  Armed with my new knowledge, i searched for the passenger list for his year of arrival.  Lo and behold, i got a hit.  My grandfather Bernard arrived on October 6, 1912 aboard the S.S. Caronia out from Queenstown, Ireland.  Another piece of the puzzle verified!