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!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What's in a Name...

Beatrice - (Gaelic:"bringer of joy", "blesses").

November has given me two blessings named Beatrice in my lifetime, both who have brought a lot of joy into my life. The first was my mother and the second is my niece (her granddaughter and namesake).  With Beatrice not being the most common name, you'd think it would be easier to find records when looking back in the family tree.  Not quite the case when dealing with an Irish genealogy.  It was actually quite popular back in the day.

I had always heard Mom mention that she had been named after an aunt named Beatrice.  I'm still trying to find said relative, with no luck as of yet. Of course, with all the diminutives and nicknames, finding an ancestor's given name can be quite the quandry.  I can't tell you how many forms of Elizabeth i've tried  (Liza, Betty, Beth, Lizzie, just to name a few - and God only knows how they get Peggy from Margaret) in locating my grandfather's sister's records. Additionally, many folks went by their middle names rather than their first (which i'm finding to be the case with my grandmother's father). Don't let it discourage you though.  Determination wins out in the long run (from what they tell me).

Case in point is my grandfather's sister Helen.  All the census' for 1901 and 1911 the name was listed as Ellen.  When researching the census' themselves, i found that many of the census takers were from England and had a tough time understanding the Irish brogue.  Hence Helen became Ellen.  In 1911, they saw Ellen on the previous census and it continued in the census record.  It only clarified itself, when thanks to the aid of a cousin, we located a picture of sister Helen (who actually was a sister - nun that is).  Helen's archival record from the convent confirmed the date of  birth (which proved her to be the Ellen on the census).

Additionally, let's not forget naming traditions were used quite a bit more in times past.  First born sons were named after their grandfather many times (which can be quite useful when locating relatives further back in the tree).  Keep an eye out for similar names amongst the branches of the family as well.  They may lead you back to even further generations and uncover another whole set of names to look for.  And in genealogy, that's the name of the game!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Memories.....

Well, as I won't be able to sleep tonight (i should have known better than to watch  Dark Secret of Harvest Home) , I thought i might share a bit of my family Halloween memories.  Mom had a bit of a dark side when she saw the opportunity to scare the kids a bit.  She loved dark stormy nights, when the lights went out, and the wind went howling through the trees. Then every so softly she'd start reciting the poem she learned when she was just a girl... About the Gobluns coming to eat you up!
Little Orphant Annie
Little Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other children, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you
Wunst they wuz a little boy wouldn't say his prayers,--
An' when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an' his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An' when they turn't the kivvers down, he wuzn't there at all!
An' they seeked him in the rafter-room, an' cubby-hole, an' press,
An' seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an' ever'-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found wuz thist his pants an' roundabout:--
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
An' one time a little girl 'ud allus laugh an' grin,
An' make fun of ever' one, an' all her blood-an'-kin;
An' wunst, when they was "company," an' ole folks wuz there,
She mocked 'em an' shocked 'em, an' said she didn't care!
An' thist as she kicked her heels, an' turn't to run an' hide,
They wuz two great big Black Things a-standin' by her side,
An' they snatched her through the ceilin' 'fore she knowed what she's about!
An' the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
An' little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An' the lamp-wick sputters, an' the wind goes woo-oo!
An' you hear the crickets quit, an' the moon is gray,
An' the lightnin'-bugs in dew is all squenched away,--
You better mind yer parunts, an' yer teachurs fond an' dear,
An' churish them 'at loves you, an' dry the orphant's tear,
An' he'p the pore an' needy ones 'at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns 'll git you
Ef you
  - James Whitcomb Riley

To this day, my sister and I still cringe when we hear those words.  Needless to say, having experienced many sleepless nights over the years because of that poem,  i find it rather satisfying that i can pass it on, and scare the hell out of our next generation!  Yes, I do have my mother's twisted sense of humor!

Happy Halloween, folks!!!!  Keep an eye out for the Gobbluns!!!


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Gang's all here....

It's been quite a summer!  Recently, I attended a reunion of some of our old neighborhood where we grew up, as well as impromptu family get-togethers when cousins came up to the area.  It was great to see everyone again and catch up with what's been happening with them all.  I got to see the next generations (the big kids to the smallest).  Amazing how when folks collaborate, the memories come flying right back.  Things we hadn't thought of in years bounce to the front of our minds.

Now that the weather starts to chill and the holidays loom ever closer, i find myself ready to relax and get back into my research during the colder months.   I was glad to present the first hard copy of my research to my cousin Gordon (like most folks in the family - i call him Skip) , who has always been the one to keep in touch with all the family. 

Enjoy the winter folks.  A toast to our families, one and all!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Pay it Forward...

My initial objective when i first started my research was to trace my family tree back to my great grandparents.  Having accomplished that goal, with the help of great online resources, i wanted to help others with their research.   I decided to volunteer my skills to the World Archive Project through, keying in data from scanned records, so they are indexed on the Ancestry website.

The World Archive project allows people to help others gain access to new records that will help them in their own research.  It also allows the data entry operators know what new records will be coming online, and if it is useful to them.  The greatest benefit to me,personally, is knowing i can provide one more clue to someone solving their family mysteries.

Give back, pay it forward, any way you say it - help others when you can.  It may not seem like much, but your efforts can mean a great deal to the people you've helped.