Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Civil War Ladies in Waiting

Dear Uncle,

Since last I posted you, brother Bill and I have spoken with each other nearly daily. The search for more information about our boys, telling their stories, investigating sources, comparing notes, verifying what I have and what he has for information, trying to get the military pages up to snuff on Ancestry has been exciting.  We found that we had so much information that it was beginning to get muddled up.  Ok...I was beginning to get muddled up.  Bill seems to have it all organized in his head.  I, on the other hand who has been living with over 2000+ individuals over the course of the years might have a slip or two when it comes to knowing offspring names at the drop of a hat. And I'm not as young as I used to be and my mind may suffer occasionally from C.R.S. (Oh please do not ask me to explain- you might blush).  But I think I've held my own for the most part.

As Bill writes about our boys during the war I am always aware of the ladies waiting at home.  My "Greats" as I have referred to them. Lucie Whitney Alden- wife of Selah B. Alden, Julia Russell Beal wife of George W. Beal,, Lucinda Barteaux Beal wife of Jesse Norris Beal, Abigail Fellows Beal wife of Eleazar C. Beal, even Delia Beal Gilson wife of Charles Estimer Gilson.

How did they cope with their men off to war? These are just some of my ladies in waiting. As I investigate another branch of our family- the ever mysterious Irish side - I'm pretty sure I have more ladies in waiting there also.  Did they know each other? Did they know of each other? Were they from separate worlds in a small town?  Had their husbands worked along side each other in the shoe factories? Did their men go to war?

The investigation takes another turn! Eventually the Irish side and the Beal side connect, the town was not so large, what are the possibilities?  Where are the clues? What, where , who or when or why?  Questions and answers to look foward to.

Should you have any suggestions I would love for you to let me know.

As Ever,
Your devoted niece

Friday, November 23, 2012

When A Number Isn't Just a Number

Dear Uncle,

As you know, brother Bill and I have been collaborating ( I use the word loosely) regarding our civil war boys. He going in depth and I assisting in research and making sure that the girls of the boys are not forgotten either.  That being said this evenings conversation with Bill had my stomach, at one point, turning into a knot.  We were looking at a PDF file that had documentation regarding the units that our boys were attached to. My reaction to the fact was so immediate, so painful that I literally clutched my stomach. What could possibly have caused such a visceral reaction?

As I have said before, I am so attached to these boys that hearing details about their time in service to the Union is heartbreaking to me and so when my brother said "see that number 1 in that column?" To which I replied "yes", he said "That's Merrill."  The pain was instantaneous.

A simple, single number 1 in a column showing killed in action on a particular date, in a particular battle, for a particular company.  1.  A number.  But you see, it's not a number, that number has a name and it's Merrill C. Beal.  A young man serving for the Union who was the only one of his company killed that day, at that battle.  Merrill, your nephew, another Uncle who belongs to ME.  But that was not all.

Bill then says "Scroll down til you see the next page.  See the date?  See the battle?  See that number 1?   That's George."  Again I felt the punch in the gut.  Two boys. My boys. A number.  Well, by God, not in my lifetime. George W. Beal , brother of Merrill, sons of Calvin and Sally are not numbers.

Page 73 of 119 of the PDF, Second Regiment, Company "M", Casualties By Engagement, 1864, Oct. 19, Cedar Creek, VA.  14th column from the left. That "1" is Merrill C. Beals.

Page 74 of 119 of the PDF, Third Regiment, Company "H", Casualites By Engagement, 1864, May 15 - 18, Yellow Bayou (Bayou de Glaize, LA), 14th column from the left.  That "1" is George W. Beal.

That's who the number "1" is. They stood about 5' 5", had dark hair, blue eyes, were of medium build and had ruddy complexions.  Merrill, 29, a single man, was a meat butcher, George,38, husband to Julia and father to son Lewis age 9, was a photographer. MY boys, MY uncles, YOUR nephews.  Two of THE Beal Boys.

As Ever,
Your Devoted Niece
PS Should you be so disposed just look at this book, this is the link I got from google:

  • [PDF] 

    t Camp Meigs,

    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
    Camp Meigs or the Camp at Readville

  • Should the link not work:
    Reservations and Historic Sites
    Camp Meigs Playground and Fowler Reservation, Vol. I & II
    Preliminary Data Compilation, Cultural Resource Managment Program
    Metropolitan District Commission, Boston, MA , April 1990
    Specifically: Mass Volunteers pages 161 and 163

    Sunday, November 18, 2012

    The "Great " Ladies of the Beal Family - Sentimental Sunday

    Dear Uncle,

    I'm sure you are aware of the chatting going on between my brother and I regarding his latest finds of our Civil War boys.  His blog is fascinating.  http://bealfamilycivilwarstory.blogspot.com/  His latest find came in the delivery of documents  (78 pages) from NARA regarding the Widows pensions for Lucinda Barteaux Beals.

    Lucinda was the bride of Jesse N. Beals, one of our group of Civil War boys from the same Beal family. Lucinda was born in Nova Scotia, 23 March 1837, the daughter of George Barteaux and Eliza Williams.

    Lucinda and Jesse had not been married long when he was drafted into the Union Army.  Jesse came home a very, very ill man.  The pension files have many depostions as to Jesse's condition both during his enlistment and after his return home.  I mention this because it is of no doubt to me that Lucinda was a woman of strength and character who cared for her debilitated husband until his passing.  What is remarkable to me is that like other women of the time whose husbands did not return from war they were courted and won by those men who were available for matrimony

    Many of those men, older, widowed, established, had a field of young bereaved, vulnerable women from which to pick as wife number 2 or 3. Our Lucinda was chosen by a widowed,well established, well placed, politican  who in the end treated her shamelessly and because his actions were so callous, and the neighbors had witnessed and came to her rescue, this heinous individual gave her money to go away and keep the details out of court (and the public). Heaven forbid a scandal should taint this  man.  It was three years before a divorce was filed and granted.  The plaintiff being the degenerate husband, the cause being desertion by Lucinda!  It all seems very clear cut until in her deposition she states that she was advised by her family and close friends not to file a cross complaint because of the nature of her husband and the possible or probable repercussions.

    How many other stories similar to our Lucindas have not been told?

    Julia Russell was born about 1826 in Meridith, New Hamsphire, the daughter of Phineas Russell and Mary Leavitt. She was the wife of George W. Beal. They had been married about 10 years when George was called to duty.  His time with the army was a short 5 months as he was killed in action at Yellow Bayou, Louisiana.  Julia and her young son stayed in Natick.  Julia remained a war widow who ran a boarding house on Central Street.  I would imagine that there were more than a few "eligible" men who would have attempted to court the Widow Beal. That she never remarried is not so much a mystery as perhaps she was being prudent in hanging on to what was hers for the benefit of her son.

    Abby Fellows was born 1830 in Chesterville, Maine.  The daughter of Jonothan and Betsey Leavitt.  She was the wife of Eleazar Carpenter Beal who served in the Civil War for three years.  When Eleazar went to war Abby was at home in Natick tending to her children Abigail age 10 and Wallace age 3.  Abby was a lucky woman, her husband came home from war and together they lived to old age.

    It would appear that the women would be close, if not by affection for each other certainly geographically. They all lived in Natick. Would it be too much to assume that these women would bolster each other daily as news came from the war? Would they not have attempted to comfort each other when tragedy struck their families?  Would they not have held each other standing at the gravesite in Dell Park? Would they not have cried with one another when the news came home but their loved ones remains would be forever lost and an empty grave with a name on a headstone was the only record that they were once loved?  Did they visit one another? Attend church together? Did they ever laugh together?

    I think that these women of that time in our history who suffered so much loss not only from war but from childbirth and disease have gone unrecognized as heroines in their own right.  In the genealogical line they are referred to as "great", in my heart I refer to them as GREAT.

    Uncle, if you happen to see them please let them know that I admire their courage and strength.  Bless them all.

    As always,
    Your devoted niece

    Tuesday, November 6, 2012


    Dad and Mom 1948

    Robert W. Beale
    1923 - 1971
    Dear Uncle,

    Tomorrow is Dad's  89th birthday.  Every year since his passing his birthday is bittersweet.  As you know I was just 18 when he passed so unexpectedly.  The word "Sudden" doesn't even begin to describe how one moment can change so many lives. A wife and 3 children in shock, their world shattered, off balance, surreal, a nightmare all too true. But to dwell on that part is to do a disservice to a man who was so kind, funny, intelligent and yes, handsome. Oh, he was far from a saint...he could be stubborn and he had an opinion and he was a debator and he was a staunch Republican.  There was no "gray area" with Dad.  It was or it wasn't. There were rules, there were commandments, there were laws. You were one side or the other, for or against. And he could confuse us kids.  Many was the time when I'd hear "Look I was raised this way, believing this [that or the other thing] and it's wrong."  So yes, his mind could be changed with facts, statistics and just plain morality. But it wasn't easy.  To discuss subjects with Dad, to argue a point, to attempt to change his mind you'd better have the facts and you'd better be prepared to be aggravated, frustrated, angry, and ready for a "fight". And the satisfaction of winning him over to "your" side was a real accomplishment.  Needless to say all 3 of us children are very good debaters. We all learned, eventually, to stand our ground.

    He had the black hair and blue eyes of much of his line. He was taller than his ancestors at 5'11" and he had the ruddy complexion of the other men in the family.  He was of average build, not small of frame, nor large.  Like much of his family he loved music and played several instruments.  Trombone was his instrument of first choice but he also played Trumpet, Cornet, Violin, and Banjo.  He played well enough to play in the Coast Guard Band and travel with the USO during WW2 .  When he and Mom were married in 1945, Dad only had a few days off duty.  Their honeymoon was aboard a train with the Coast Guard Band and they were serenaded to their compartment by the other bands on board.  My Mom said it was quite an evening and she remembered that Cesar Romero, a very famous actor at that time, was among the group of singers.  He was on board as a member of the USO Tour.

    Dad was brought up in a multi-generational Irish household. The ladies, his Mom, her Mom and then her Mom, were women to be reckoned with. Dad and his father were outnumbered by the girls.  I remember though that there were laps to climb up on and hugs and kisses to be had when we visited. I suppose being grandchildren had it's advantages.

    Dad had a wicked, dry sense of humor.  He had a twinkle in his eye and an eyebrow that he'd raise in question which meant you'd done something surprising, wrong ( as in what were you thinking?) or WRONG - as in your backside was about to be reaquainted with the palm of his hand. Now let me state here and now that spankings didn't happen often.  We knew the rules, we knew the consequences and he suffered more than we did when forced to back up what he said he'd do.  Usually "The Look" was more than enough to keep us all in line, and not just us but the neighborhood kids also.

    As for his humor, well it was usually something totally unexpected that he would do or say that would have us all rolling on the floor laughing. Like the time Ed Sullivan had Rudolph Nureyev on his show.  I ooh and aaahed at his graceful dance.  Whereupon Dad , not to be outdone, leapt into the air, twirled and landed gracefully with a bow and smile on his face. My jaw dropped.  I sometimes wondered if he saved it all up and then just exploded because he just couldn't contain it anymore.  Nowadays it would be known as an OMG moment.

    The phrase "Now the bit here is..." was Dad's way of beginning the explanation of a circumstance.  A way of explaining how things are not necessarily what they appear to be, how one thing may seem one way but digging a little deeper would reveal the real purpose, the motivation.  Dad loved political discussions and election years.  He would have had quite alot to say about this election year.  Of that I have absolutely no doubt.

    I envy those who can describe their parents in depth.  Their various traits and quirks, the minute details, the shape of the face, the angle of a smile.  But I am not that clever.  To me Dad is a feeling.  Warm, protected, defended, laughter, seriousness, strength, intelligence and being loved to the very core of my being.  Happy Birthday Daddy. I miss you very, very much.

    Saturday, November 3, 2012

    When Siblings Find Common Ground

    Dear Uncle,

    I'm sure you know brother Bill, my brother the history buff. Well, he has started a blog. Or rather he started one back in July but neglected to tell me about it. It's great! What Bill has done is to focus on our Civil War Boys, the Beal boys. Now Bill is one who reads voraciously and will spend untold hours doing research of an historical nature.  I shouldn't really be surprised that he elected to start this blog because in as much as I, the family historian, would LOVE to do in depth research on a particular person in the tree, I do not have that kind of time at present.  What Bill has done by focusing on our boys is to tell the tale as if he was an observer of the boys during their enlistment.
    Bill has scoured books and records and reports to find out what happened during those days when our boys put their lives on the line.

    Bill has called me on several occasions to relate his latest findings but I am so emotionally involved with these boys that I just could not listen to the gory details without becoming pretty upset.  You may think this silly as the boys are long gone but to me they are family and each time I discover something new it makes them even more alive for me. I can't read about their hardships without having nightmares.

    Bill tells the story so well citing his sources along the way.  If another person wanted to read what Bill has read then the link or source is right there. The story of the 5 Beal boys is an interesting one, not only from the perspective of the Civil War, but understanding what it must have done to their family as well.  The tragedy the family had to overcome.  It is fascinating.

    So my dear Uncle if you have a few minutes to spare please read what your nephew has written at http://bealfamilycivilwarstory.blogspot.com . Go ahead and click this link, it will open in a new tab, that way you can have us both at the same time.

    I must run now, enjoy Bills blog.  I did.
    As ever,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Finally

    Dear Uncle Selah,

    Forgive me for not writing sooner, but surely you understand from all that has been happening these months. In any event I am writing to let you know of the discoveries that I've made on the Irish side of the family.

    You know that the lack of information has driven me to distraction and on more than one occassion has had me cussing like a sailor. It seemed like just when I thought that I had the right individual it was the wrong individual...again. 

    Uncle, you of all people know how much I value tradition and honoring ancestors, and how much I try to impart the feelings of love and devotion to all the generations but....ah yes, the BUT.  BUT the naming traditions along with the large families on the Irish side and the people marrying neighbors in their villages who both had cousins of the same name in another village and they married each other, not to mention the brothers and sisters of one family marrying the brothers and sisters of the other family, and the charts I did  just to keep them all straight, and I know you may be laughing but it didn't seem quite so difficult when I was doing the English side.

    Then again maybe it was.

    Well the discoveries are these: Patrick Morris and Julia McNulty [3rd great grandparents] were from county Mayo. Thank the Lord I've finally made the Mayo connection. Patrick Morris was actually Patrick
    Morrisroe from Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland. 

    Thankfully through the wonderful world of  Familysearch.org, and Ancestry.com and Google and the help of some new found "cousins" we have pieced together the Moran-Greene line of the family and it goes like this:

    Helen Mae Greene daughter of William B. Greene and Ellen  [Mary Ann] Moran.
    Ellen [Mary Ann] Moran was the daughter of Martin T. Moran and Ellen Morris.
    Ellen Morris was the daughter of Patrick Morris[roe] and Julia McNulty. Patrick and Julia had several children.

    Now I don't know if you remember the problem that I had a while back as all I knew was that a Patrick Morris had a wife Julia and some alluded to her last name as being Mac-something. Thanks to Familysearch and their records we've connected a few things up. Thanks to Google, which makes life so much easier, I know where Swinford in County Mayo is and a bit of the history. Thanks to Ancestry for the clues and connections to link "cousins" and things up. Oh and before I forget Uncle, having Brian Mitchells "A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland", has been fantastic!  I've been able to get right down into the townships and villages and parishes and Baronys and all the divisions therein.

    How I wish I had had all of this information 30 years ago. I need to be younger again to discover all that I seek to know. I know the Irish side is smiling now that we've made some headway. And it's very nice to know that when we stopped by the cemetery those many years ago and shouted out loud "Hello! We're here! We've come to find you all!" that I've kept that promise as best I could, that I've been relentless in finding the families and that they are now on our tree with names and dates and places and are not forgotten. 

    Until next time,
    Your devoted niece

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Sentimental Sunday - Easter Memories

    After my Dad passed away and Nana and Auntie had also, the Easter Holiday became a non event.  My brother spent the holiday with his wife's family and my sister lived out of state. My young daughter spent the day with her father and his family. That left Mom and I.

    Realizing that it would be the two of us I wanted to spend the day as a day of renewal. So on the day before Easter I went to the local garden center and bought some Easter lilies, Daffodils and Hyacinths and mulch.

     On Easter Sunday Mom and I would plant them.  We would freshen up the gardens, spruce up whatever needed sprucing up. A hopeful, beautiful start to the year. Reminising about those who had passed. A chance to slow down and just talk.  Just the two of us.

    In the following years we could see the fruits of our labors as the gardens bloomed in shades of yellows and pinks, reds, orange, green, lavender and white.
    Tulips and Crocus, Lilies and Daffodils. The fragrance of the Hyacinths on the breeze saying "Spring".  People driving by the house and taking pictures. Spring the season of renewal.

    Mom has passed to be with Dad and our ancestors, I'm now on the other side of the country, far from "home". The house of the gardens a memory. But every Easter I remember the planting, the talking, and the exclamation "Oh Honey it's beautiful ! ". It was.  She was.  Happy Easter Mom.

    Monday, March 12, 2012

    Giving Back - Indexing

    Dear Uncle,

    My apologies for being away for so long.  Life got in the way.  In the midst of it all I did find time to sign up for indexing.  The 1940 census is about to be released and I can say that if it were not for all of the folks who had previously done indexing then I would not have found all of the members on the family tree that we currently have.

    It is my time to give back.  It was really very easy to sign up.  The instructions are very simple and while I and millions of others wait for the 1940 census to drop I signed up to do some indexing that needed to be done. I thought it would give me good practice.

    I signed up at Family Search.org. They sent me a batch of my choosing, something that I felt I could handle.  Each batch consisted of 20 records. I had death records for the state of Texas 1904, 1909 for a couple of different counties.  For the most part I did pretty well. There were a couple of records that I could not decipher and I would challenge anyone to decipher them - doctors handwriting...need I say more?

    I can say that all my years researching family history served me well.  Names and places were relatively easy to figure out.  And there were helpful things to be able to read the documents more easily.  If I had a better knowledge of the areas I'd have sped right through them. At the most each batch took about an hour.  It might seem like a long time but you can do a few records here and there when you have  time. 

    I have a greater appreciation of the folks who have done all this work before. And I feel pretty good about being able to give back.  I haven't done a huge amount, only about a hundred records, but now someone looking for a relative who died in Brazos or Bexar counties in 1904 or 1909 might actually be able to find them and that makes me feel good.

    Indexing has also had it's emotional moments.  Records of folks who died without a hint of where they came from- the dreaded "UNKNOWN".  Or the records of Black americans born before the Emancipation. Date of Birth : Unknown, Fathers Name: Unknown, Mothers Name: Unknown, Place of Birth : Unknown.  Granted there were folks of all races that had entrys like that but for the most part there was something that was known.

    I guess it hit me that without the records, without the information filled in, the trail to family stops.  Yes, I've been there but there was a way around it somehow and eventually I found a clue here and there.  And yes, the Irish side is a bucket full of aggravation but once I get a few more clues I can "jump the pond" .  How do you "jump" to anywhere when the record is "Mary" no last name, no mother, no father. The next record is "Jimmy"  and he died 2 miles west of a farm. No date of birth, no last name.

    Uncle, I am so very fortunate to have found the information that I have.  Fortunate that folks had the foresight to realize that these records attach to real people, someones kin and that perhaps that kin might come looking for them someday. And no matter what genealogy group or association or church or whatever began to make these records available it is a blessing.

    So now, when I type in a name of one of our ancestors and I come up with a new record I will bless the indexer for taking the time to enter the information so that I can find my kin.

    Until the next,

    Your devoted Niece

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    When The Fire Alarm Sounds - Again

    Dear Uncle,

    As you might remember, 2 years ago last October our apartment building caught fire. It took 11 minutes to run through the building.  Thank God there was no loss of human life largely due to the fact that the fire occurred in late afternoon,  although sadly many pets were lost. You might also remember the miracle that our apartment was the only apartment of 12 apartments, untouched by the flames and smoke and water.  I still thank the ancestors for pulling that one off. The Fire Marshall said in his opinion it was no less than a miracle.

    I'm sure that you can imagine my panic when the building alarm went off last Friday evening. When we moved last year we selected a complex that had sprinklers in every apartment.  You never quite get over a fire.

    We darted out into the parking lot looking for the flames. We didn't see any but that really doesn't mean anything.  Fire hides inside walls.  I ran back into our apartment hearing the sirens getting closer, ( I know it was a very stupid thing to do) grabbed a suitcase, loaded it with essentials, just in case. Again memories of smelling of smoke and shopping at midnight at Walmart for underwear and socks my motivator.  The prior time we had only the clothes on our backs.

    The second thing was the Genealogy.  I ran into the office and stopped dead.  What to grab?  I was paralyzed.  There was no way we could grab 3 computers and their monitors, the printer, 6 boxes of files and research, 10 photo boxes of pictures, a box full of CD's full of document scans and the old pictures on the walls of my parents and grandparents.

    Then there is the secondary stuff-- like clothes, receipts, insurance papers, passwords, bills and account information. It's amazing the things you can not do without account numbers.  And heaven forbid you don't remember who set up the account originally and what their social is, or what their "secret password" is. Yes, we learned the hard way the last time. That's why we have "THE BOX". Which I immediately forgot about. That's the first thing we are supposed to grab in case of whatever.

    I can tell you it's the LAST thing I remembered to even think about grabbing.

    As we stood looking at the apartment that had the fire ( grease fire and sensitive sprinklers) and all of the water from the sprinklers pouring out of that apartment, I was very thankful.  I am sure you heard my prayers that evening. No one was injured, only two other apartments were affected by smoke and water. And I'm relatively sure that the neighbor downstairs from the fire has some major issues.  Who fries Tater Tots in oil for goodness sake?

    I was also thankful for backing up my trees on ancestry and again sending my backups to my niece 1500 miles away. But this did teach me yet another lesson.  I need a fireproof/waterproof black box for original documents or a safe deposit box.  Files can be recreated bit by bit ( hence the 3 computers: old, older and does that thing still run?) Document/ picture scans are at least SOMETHING if I cannot have the originals.

    As organized as I am, there is still room for improvement. We need to once again document our belongings for insurance purposes.  Gather all receipts to one area and make duplicate copies of important info and put it into the fire box.  This is the second go round with fire. It's going to take me a while to relax again.

    And so my Dear Uncle, if you and the ancestors once again took it upon yourselves to assist in containing the fire I thank you- again.

    With much love,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    My Friend Now Has Siblings

    Dear Uncle,

    As I wait for results from enquiry's I have not been a lazy layabout.  To the contrary I have been a busy family historian.  But not for our family.

    My friend Mike had approached me several months ago and asked if I could find his birth father.  It wasn't an adoption situation but rather a divorce and the husband had disappeared, the wife remarried and the first husband never mentioned to my friend ever again. It wasn't discussed. (Just one of the banes of family historians)

    Now my friend, after all these many, many years wanted to know where he came from on his fathers side.  Me and my big mouth had told Mike that it might take quite a while to find him since Mike really didn't have any info other than the mans' first and last name, where they had lived and his mothers name. And one more thing...this man had walked out on his mother when she was pregnant with him.

    That evening I got on to the computer, went right to Ancestry.com and plugged in the name and hit search.  After a couple of double takes I was looking at a record of divorce. A few more searches and I had a public family tree that had been put up by actual, direct line descendants.  I sent an email  to Mike asking him for a few more details so that I might verify the info that I was looking at.  The pieces seemed to fit. 

    A couple of days later Mike presented me with a 3 ring binder that had a cursory genealogy of his family.  Eureka! People to check out!  Using the info I went on a mad search on Ancestry and at Family Search to see what I could come up with.  I had results, I had the right info.  I had some bad news. 

    How do you break it to someone that the person that they have wanted to make contact with has passed?  I hemmed and hawed as to just how I was going to tell Mike.  I finally decided I'd take the band aid route. Rip it off quickly.  I met with my friend and explained that yes I had information but sadly the gentleman in question had passed. BUT that the information that I did have might lead to other folks in the family.

    It did. I connected with some of the individuals, cautiously feeling them out.  Would they be willing to correspond with Mike? Was there anything I should "break" to him first? This was a very sensitive situation.  Fortunately all the folks were more than willing to be in touch. Mikes wife got on the Internet ( the woman has detective genes in her that she didn't know she had) and using general searches found an obituary for Mikes dad.

    And that's when things went crazy. He was married 4 times. The obit listed the names of his siblings. SIBLINGS !!!!!!!!!! Yes, indeed, not one or two but THREE half brothers!
    The names of his Aunts were in the Obit. We had hit the mother lode.  Mike was no longer an "only child".

    We've made a lot of progress since that day. Mike has had face to face visits with one of his Aunts who surprisingly, lived fairly close by.  And a very gracious widow, with a delicious sense of humor,  contacted the half brothers who responded with enthusiasm wanting to be in touch with the brother they didn't know they had. Handing Mike the emails with the contact information made me feel so incredibly happy.

    Mike's story is still unfolding.  Information is still coming in.  But Uncle I have to tell you that this has been the most rewarding search I have ever done.  Being told "You don't understand how much this means to me.  You have given me FAMILY.  I am not alone." 

    Goosebumps all over.  Yes, Uncle I do know that feeling.  Finding the lost and gathering them up to put into the blanks on the Family Tree. Knowing you have kin. Knowing that you are not alone. Bloodlines and Lovelines, the blending of families and what comes of it.

    "The Best Thing To Hold On to In Life Is Each Other".  I have that plaque on my wall.  I see it a hundred times a day. It's just opposite of the plaque that says "Family".

    My friend Mike likes both of those plaques.  Now they mean so much more.

    Until next, Uncle,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    Ancestor Birthdays This Month

    Dear Uncle,
    It is time again to acknowledge those who came before us.
    Anna Alden  144, Polly Andrews  240,  Samuel Alden 189.
    Clara Balcom 163,  George Balcom 134, Abraham Beal 290, Arabella Beal 159, Bathsheba Beal 319,  Bethiah Beal 277, Catherine Beal 208, Clifton Beal 150, Eliza Beal 326, My Grandfather - George Beal 114, Jacob Beal 278, John Beal 277, Mary Beal 360, Molley Beal 276, Olive Beal 212, Benjamin Borden 197.
    Child Chubbuck 285, Huldah Chubbuck 282, Jonathan Chubbuck 296, Thomas Chubbuck 280, Jonathan Chubbuck 331, Ephraim Cleveland 300, Emma Colbath 165, Savery Collins 191, Patience Crapo 251.
    Prudence Deacon 410, Hattie Downs 149, Hannah Dyer 329.
    Alice Eddy 297, Ebenezar Eddy 337, Edith Eddy 104, Joseph Eddy 208, Joshua Eddy 332, William Eddy 178.
     Abigail Fellows 182, Rachel Franklin 257.
    Lucy Gould 183, Sarah Greenleaf 329,  Samuel Gulliver 362.
    Persis Hildreth 352, Elder Hovey 270,  Betsey Howe  201, Philena Howe 195.
    Joseph Joy 367, Samuel Joy 373.
    Guy Leighton 127, Deborah Lincoln 295, Elisha Lincoln 315, George Long 113.
    Pluma McNeil 155, Nathaniel Martin 403, Ernest Morey 130.
    Jacob Perkins 328.
    Mary Rawson 196, Ebenezar Rood 308, Thankfull Rood 291, Phineas Russell 215, Rhoda Russell 230.
    Wilder Smith 143, Alden Spooner 179, Asa Spooner 183, Micah Spooner 194, Samuel Stodder 293.
    Seth Wasburn 261.

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    Organized - Really and Truly

    Dear Uncle,
    While pondering what to do next with my Irish folks I realized I needed to gather all the facts that I have on hand.  Which, much to my dismay were NOT all together.  So what to do?  I have been following Michelle Goodman’s blog – The Turning of Generations – and she just happens to be doing a series of workshops regarding getting organized.
    I have been pretty good about having files for families, and putting information into those files.  I have been pretty good about citing sources.  I visit Ancestry.com daily checking for more info as new collections crop up and I check in with Family Search on a weekly basis just in case.
    The other day I came across – in one of my many folders- an article that I had in my  “At some point in time” folder .  It was from Family Tree magazine, May 2010. The title of which was “Organizing Your Hard Drive”.  Why I had not done this , I mean Really done this before, is beyond me.
    I read the article and at 11:00 the other night I decided that right then and there was the perfect time to do it.   In the quiet of the evening, just me and my computer I began.  Somewhere around 1:15 AM I was done.
    Such relief and pride I had! I can now, in a moment, gather the information that I need. Amazing!  No more scrolling up and down in “Documents” looking for something that I knew I had if only I could remember just how I named it. No more jumping into folders searching for that one picture that I had scanned and put where?  The military histories of my boys in the Civil War are now in their respective folders.  Wow!
    Now if I want to send information about one of my folks I can just send a folder to whoever needs the info! Astounding!
    Uncle, it was just a wonderful feeling.  Genealogy File Management……who’d a thunk it.
    I think that I can now say with pride that I am a 21st Century Organized Historian! And I am even more sure that my next generation historians, my niece and nephew, will thank me for it.
    Personally, I thank Michelle for passing along the information and incentive for getting me started. I will go back to her blog and start at the beginning and follow her suggestions.
    Wow!  Organized!
    Until the next,
    Fondly, Your Devoted Niece

    Thursday, January 26, 2012

    Funeral Home requests...Any Advice?

    Dear Uncle,

    I have searched the internet looking for advice for the best way to ask for assistance from a funeral home in my genealogical search.

    It's been interesting to note that in my searching I have found several funeral homes who actually have a tab for genealogy requests.  When you go to the page they have forms to fill out and the fees that they charge. How fabulous is that? The Homes are right on top of things. Not to mention an additional little money maker or a very, very nice service.  I mean to say that if there were several homes in a town and one of those homes was pro- genealogy I would be more apt to rest my bones at that home than the others.  After all don't we all want to make sure our folks can find us?

    Mine, however, does not.  So I've copied the forms and pasted them to a Word document and compared them to each other.  They basically ask the same questions. So I think I will do up a form based on what I've seen and hope that I will get a response. I might just send an email to a couple of homes that I am (unfortunately) very familiar with with the links to these other homes on the web and perhaps that will cause some action.

    Before I do that I think it would be best if I asked some of the other folks who blog if they may have some suggestions as to how to approach the funeral home.  I will also ask their overall experience in doing so.

    1. Do I send a letter attached to the forms? 
    2. What do I say?
    3. How much money should I send?
    4. How much information do I ask for?
    5. Should I send a letter at the same time to the cemeterys?
    6. What is the best thing to ask for in that case?
    7. Do I ask for a copy of the internment card information or Lot information or both?

    Uncle, these are the days when I wish that I lived nearby the old home town and I could simply drive to these places and get the info myself.  I know Uncle, I need a pound of patience but today there doesn't seem to be one in the pantry. My Irish are driving me batty.

    Until the next,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    January In Memoriam

    Dear Uncle,

    Today we will Acknowledge and Celebrate the lives of the Ancestors who departed this life in the month of January.

    I realize that some of the folks are of my husbands line but they should be remembered also don't you think? I do because without them my Beloved would not be here with me.

    Please say hello to my parents and Aunt Gladys and to the  3G and 4G grandfathers Cyrus and Calvin who passed in the month of January.

    Levi ADAMS 180, Nathan ADAMS 180, Edmund ANDREWS 26,
    Alfred BEAL 62, Andrew BEAL 250, Calvin BEAL 80, Charles BEAL 80,
    Clarissa BEAL 166, Cyrus BEAL 115, Elijah BEAL 223, Elisha BEAL 325,
    Elizabeth BEAL 216, Jacob BEAL 294, Jael BEAL 250, Jeremiah BEAL 252,
    John BEAL 352, Sarah BEAL 237, Sibbel BEAL 182, Susannah BEAL 157,
    Barbara STAVELEY BEALE 21, Robert W. BEALE 41, 
    Mary BISBEE 294, Hannah BUSH 268, Ashsa BOWLBY 100,
    Elisha CARPENTER 71,  Jonathan CARVER 232, Martha CHUBBUCK 314,

    John DARRELL 394, Sarah DAVIS, 254, Samuel DUNHAM  325, Hannah DYER 290, Anne DYKER 450, Estelle EDDY 11, Ruth EDDY 100,  Ira FORBES 86, George FRANKLIN 98,

    John GALLOP 362, David GOULD 145,  Lucy HICKS 76, Abigail HOVEY 173, Abner HOVEY 170,
    Alvan HOVEY 148,
    Elizabeth LEAVITT 323, Ray LEIGHTON 110, Dorothy LONG 19,
    Robert MAIR 167, Christopher MARTIN 391,

    Delia POWERS 132, Marie PROWER 391, Danforth RAWSON 154, David RAWSON 191, 
    Thankfull ROOD 256,  Rhoda RUSSELL 145

    Gil SALVAIL Jr. 4, Patience SPOONER 158, Gladys STAVELEY 34, John STAVELEY 171, Achsah STODDER 248, Enoch STODDER 194, Mary TUCKER  274.

    Until the next,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    Stuck in the Bog- We Knew It Would Happen

    Oh Uncle Selah,

    Tis I, your less than patient niece. I knew it would happen. Hells bells EVERYONE knew it would happen, it always happens.  The search for the Irish ancestors goes to heck in a handbasket. Mine did.

    Yes, I have compiled information from Griffiths, and I've taken the surnames in the various counties and I've copied county maps and diocese maps and put the names in them and overlapped them.  I've google earthed the townland names and taken a virtual tour. How beautiful it all is. I've got the histories of the counties, the tourist spots in the townlands. and I'm learning so much.

    But I don't have my folks yet. I don't have my folks because I need to get more information here in the states.  My cousins and I are the only ones who have even a vague recollection of anything related to Ireland.  Our Elders are gone and we are trying to remember memories from 30 - 40 years ago if not longer. We are not doing well in that respect. When all either of us can remember is "Mayo" and we're pretty sure it belongs to the Moran line - maybe the Greene line- we are not progressing very much. And I am reasonably sure that the other 4 irish lines are not from Mayo - but they might be.

    I thought I was on a roll. And perhaps I've set things up so that if and when I do get better answers then I can jump back in and get down to business.  I need a helping hand in Natick to get me a little further along.  I may have to make contact with a few folks back there.

    In the meantime Uncle- should you happen to run across any Morans where you are- specifically Martin (1850 - 1904) and his wife Ellen Morris Moran (1851 - 1913)- have him drop me a clue please.

    Til the next time,
    Your aggravated Niece

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Dallas Public Library - A Wonderful Place To Visit

    Dear Uncle,

    Today my Beloved and I went to the Dallas Public Library to investigate their Genealogy section.  What a wonderful place! Neat, clean, organized, and friendly.  Microfilm and Microfiche readers. Nice and open and airy.  Not a stuffy place at all.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of information for Massachusetts.  Our trip was bascially a go see what it's all about.  I had a couple of things that I wanted to verify if the info was available and it was on microfiche. So that was a pleasant surprise.  I think it may be a place I will frequent. Family Historians and Genealogists can work side by side in a wonderful, fostering atmosphere.

    They also have a lot of Texas info which will benefit my friends who are just starting their trek into genealogy.  It will be wonderful for them to start here in Texas and work their way back to the East and then up to New England.  All without leaving Dallas.

    The 8th floor of the library is home to Genealogy and there are sections for each state in the Union.  There are State censuses, Passenger lists, maps, and a section is for searching overseas. I haven't gone into that section yet. That will be my next trip.  Once I get my Irish situation under control.  No, Uncle, I do not want to talk about it. Other than to say there are just too many Williams, Patricks, Martins, Bridgets etc., etc.  My spreadsheet is getting a bit out of hand.

    Until the next time,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    The Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, Spreadsheets & a Magnifying Glass

    Dear Uncle,

    It had been my intention a year ago to start on the Irish side of the family. In preparation for what I knew would be walls everywhere I mentioned to my family what I would be very happy to see under the tree.

    1. Brian Mitchells: A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland
    2. Family Tree Pocket Reference
    3. A book of humor regarding digging up the dead folk

    My Beloved gave me all three and made me a very happy woman.

    Now it's taken me a year and a bit to actually get down to the Irish side. I've played with it a few times.  Just sorting out what I already know, getting the easy online confirmations of what I had written down 15 years ago when I was on my trip up North.  I double checked the Natick database to confirm dates that I had.  I filled in causes of death for the ones I hadn't already. The filler stuff.

    Having done that there was my foray into the land of emigration where I shared with you finding William Sr. coming to America.  I guess it was that spark that really got me going.

    Now here is something you may not know about me Uncle.  I am a firm believer in there is no such thing as too much information.  Hence the spreadsheets.

    I've gone through Griffiths Valuation to find the surnames, the first names,the parishes etc. I've entered them into a spreadsheet. I also photocopied the cover of my atlas and divided it into 4 parts.  My brain likes things organized and this method was the easiest way for me to sort the counties out.

    Sections 1 - 4 are the Irish Free States.  Census records have indicated that the ancestors came from Irish Free States.

    Section 1: Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare  (Munster)
    Section 2: Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow, WIcklow, Laios/Leix,Offaly, Kildare, Dublin, Meath, Westmeath, Longford and Louth  (Leinster)

    Section 3:  Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo  (Connaught)

    Section 4: Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan   (Ulster)

    Section 5 : These would be the "other" Ulster counties. Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh, Down, Antrim and Derry

    So now I have a huge spread sheet with names of ancestors, having culled the lists to names that I believe are ancestral in nature. A thousand Johns but no Jonathans, Williams, James, you get the idea.
    Here are the headings of my spreadsheet:

    Surname, First Name, Townland, Parish, Roman Catholic Parish, Diocese, Barony, County and last of all, Section.

    Now with most of the information that I have already I can populate the fields with the help of my Genealogical Atlas ( I am currently blessing Mr. Mitchell hourly for this genius of a book.)  If you do not have this in your library ask for it as a gift or get it your self.

    I can manipulate the info by sorting it, I have the info by county ( color coded of course), or section or whatever way I want it. And as a result I think I may have found one of the couples I was looking for.

    He and she, same section, same county, same Diocese, same parish.  Not the same town but the same Roman Catholic parish. Pretty exciting.

    I am holding off getting deeper with these two because I must get the rest of the info into the spreadsheet.  We know what will happen if I go off on another tangent lol.

    Then the big map of Ireland will go up on the wall, the timelines will go up, the town historys will be found and accessed, may be even a picture or two that some generous soul has put on the web.

    This is getting VERY exciting!  So that's all for now Uncle.  I hope you are getting as excited as I am.  It's The Hunt! The Chase! The Mystery!  Following the clues!

    So until the next time,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Wednesday, January 18, 2012

    Ancestor Birthdays This Month

    Dear Uncle,
    I thought you might appreciate an update on the birthdays this month.
    January Births- 
    Ezra ALDEN 185, Ezra ALDEN 220, Susan ALDEN 187,
     George Balcom 110, Alice BEAL 138, Andrew BEAL 326, Azariah BEAL 255,
     Bethiah BEAL 310, Calvin BEAL 195, Charles BEAL 149,  
    David BEAL 243,  David BEAL 198,  David BEAL 328, Desire BEAL 301, Elisha BEAL 330,  Evelyn BEALE 81, Hannah BEAL 251,
     John BEAL 269, Joseph BEAL 341, Japeth BEAL 265, Lewis BEAL 194,  
    Mary BEAL 206,  Melinda BEAL 154, Phineas BEAL 255, Priscilla BEAL 280,  Ruth BEAL 278,  Ruth BEAL 294,
     Sally BEAL 200, Sarah BEAL 190,  Sarah BEAL 167, Sibbel BEAL 259, Sophia BEAL 216, Tabitha BEAL 265,  
    Anna CARPENTER 266, Jonathan CARVER 253, Martha CHUBBUCK 343, Eunice DOWNER 288,

     Hannah EDDY 289,  Patience EDDY 260, Charles E. GILSON 174, George GILSON 174, Phebe GOULD 247, Thomas GOULD 173,
     Urania HALL 303,  Miranda HARTWELL 219,  Nelson HARTWELL 201, Oliver HARTWELL 284,  Ruth HARTWELL 277,  Sally HARTWELL 217,  Esther HOVEY  309,  Abijah HOWE Jr. 208, Harry HULBERY 129,  
    Benjamin JONES 349,  Dorothy KIDDER 361,  Amos LEAVITT 253,  George LEIGHTON 108,  Dorothy LONG 108,  Florence LONG 106,  Molly MAY 233, James McNEILL 183,  
    Lawrence PARSONS  91, Hannah POLDEN 242, Ephraim PRATT 284, David RALPH 223, Experience ROOD 293,
     Rebekah SHAW 295, Rosewell SPOONER 172, George STAVELEY 181, Stephen TUCKER 240,  Hammond YATES 110.

    Until the next time,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    Back on Track for the Moment

    Dear Uncle,

    I needed a bit of a break and thought it the perfect time to drop you a note.  I am not working today and was not feeling up to snuff so I took it rather slow today. 

    For the past several hours I've been working on the Irish side again. I am trying to figure out the names of William Greene seniors' parents.  I have taken several ideas from the internet in regard to naming traditions.  I've played with the names, rearranged the names, rearranged the tables of names. Rearranged the arrangement of namesakes.

    I made my own charts to assist in the clues of naming within a family [ I am a visual person, charts and graphs work for me]. I even went so far as to try to find the Gaelic spelling of William ( Liam), John ( Sean, Eoin, Seaghan, Seon) and James ( Seamus, Seamas) so that when I look in the Griffiths valuation I don't miss someone by accident.

    So far the naming traditions have not panned out.  At least in so far as William Senior is concerned. He and Catherine named the first son John H., which theoretically should be the name of William Seniors father.  It may well be. The oldest daughter should have been named after Catherines mother, Bridget, but was instead named after Catherine. 

    It is my understanding that in those times Irish girls were referred to as "Brideys". The name "Bridey" being a nickname for the name Bridget.  However, at the time this nickname, among those unhappy with the Irish immigrants,  became somewhat akin to an epithet.  It could be that William and Catherine chose to wait on using the name Bridget for that reason since the name wasn't used until their 3rd daughter was born.

    The second son was named James. Traditionally the second son would have been named after the mothers' father and in that case his name would have been Laurence/ Lawrence.  The name of Lawrence/Laurance was given to the 3rd son.

    The fourth son was named William after his father, but according to tradition he would have been named after his fathers' oldest brother.

    So my only clues are John and James, hoping that there is someone in the family of those names.  I am crossing my fingers that the second daughter's name- Mary Anne -is the name of William Senior's  mother.

    That being said here is who I plan on looking for: John/ Sean/Seaghan/Eoin/ Seon and James/Seamus and Mary/ Maire/Muire Greene.   John and James and Mary Ann would have been born before or about - I'm guessing - 1800 +/- 10. William was born 1825. Emigrated to the US 1851.

    The other hint that I have is that both William and Catherine were born in the Irish Free State so that eliminates 6 entire counties. They were Catholic so that helps limit the selections even more.

    So the search continues.  Please keep good thoughts for progress.

    Your Devoted Niece

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    I look, I find, I research and I am amazed.

    Dear Uncle,

    Well now, I'm a bit calmer then the last time I contacted you and that's a good thing. But it did get me to thinking about just who have I been searching for.  Of late, as you know, it's been the Irish side because I have neglected it for so long.  Prior to that was your side of the Family, hence the name the Beal Family Tree.

    For many years I felt alone in my search, and got used to the eye rolls and the "gotta go and get dinner on the table" or the "sorry someone is at the door gotta run, love you, bye".

    Ok I got it, I was in it alone. Then like a miracle, a couple of years ago my brother got interested in our Charley.  He was the one who went to the Civil War and never came back.  Kind of. Now my brother is an educator and loves history as much as I do and seems to enjoy the deep research a little more than I do. After some digging and some contact from far flung, previously unknown cousins, the story took a different turn.

    My brother approached me with an idea that perhaps we should send for Charleys Army records, which we did. But you know how it goes, information leads to more searching and more info.  The next thing you know we're searching for the other Beal boys in the Civil War.  Five of them, from the same family. Two came home. One died a few years later and the other lived to a good age.

    I don't do war well.  That is to say I don't want to see the pictures or read of the horrors.  I have nightmares. Just skimming over the exploits of the boys battles was enough to keep me awake nights for months.  So I left that particular part of the research to my brother.

    He has done an outstanding job of recreating the days of battles, where the boys were on a particular day, what the days were like weatherwise and militarily. He has gone through diaries and military transcripts and logs and what all to bring the boys and their experiences to life. Sometimes too real for me. These boys break my heart.  So my brother will write and do it so well.  Our family will know what our boys went through and give them the respect that they and their parents deserve.

    I am thankful that my brother, who was once only vaguely interested in the family tree, has found the members of the family that stir him and make him want to tell their story.  Were it not for him it is doubtful that I could do them justice.

    Uncle, you knew these boys.  Your nephews, your brother Calvin and Sally's boys. Eleazar and Jesse who made it home.  George W., Merrill and William who didn't. Brave boys.

    That's who I look for Uncle.  No one famous, or rich. No high society, special groups, certificates or whatever. Yes, I've found the ones who would put me into groups, certificates, etc. but these are my kin. I've got my heros and heroines, remarkable people, to me anyway, pioneers, risk takers. Strong folk. Determined.  It was not easy, not privilaged.  I am so proud and humbled to be of their line. I look, I find, I research and I am amazed. That is why I look into the past. But you already knew that.

    And so my dear Uncle until the next,
    Your Devoted Niece

    Friday, January 13, 2012

    Digging for the rich and famous? Seriously?

    Dear Uncle,

    I've returned from the south and my all too short visit with the descendants (my daughter and grandson).  I had missed my computer time and was eager to catch up.  I stopped over at Greta's Blog and read with great sadness and then anger the discussion that was going on regarding whether Genealogy was a "Trivial Pursuit".

    A Mr. Ball, author of a book which I will not mention here as I will not add to his income, made the statement that " Most people who do family research are white, and most of them look for ancestors with the goal to unearth the whitest, most moneyed forebears they can."

    Here's what I can tell you about what that statement did to me.  It lit me up like a firecracker.  I'm talking Roman Candle, Blockbuster, the big boomers that we hear on the 4th of July and I don't mean in a good way.

    Uncle, if we were sitting on a front porch in a couple of rocking chairs, I can tell you that we'd both be about ready for take off. We'd be rocking so fast in agitation and our voices would be getting pretty loud, thinking about the audacity of that man.  I'm sure we'd have a couple of descriptions about  him and his character and a few other things that "het up" folks have a say about.

    Here's what I have to say.  He doesn't get it.  It's not in his blood or his soul.  And I guess I should read his book before I condemn him for his statement but it's pretty obvious.  He doesn't get it.  If he did he'd never have made a statement like that.

    Yes, there are all kinds of Genealogists.  Professional, semi-professional, certified, not certified, taking classes to be certified and then there's the family genealogist. The person who gathers the names and dates and puts them in a chart.  And then there is the family historian.  The one who saves everything, looks for everyone, wants the story behind the story, who looks at the maps because they really care to know the area, to learn about the ancestors, reads up on history to know what affected the ancestors, who can't remember what they had for breakfast yesterday but can tell you the circumstances surrounding the crop failure of 1698, the Flu pandemic of 1918 and what happened at Thanksgiving dinner 20 years ago when Aunt Mabel told the story about the traveling salesman and great Aunt Gert and Uncle Fred.

    So maybe he has a point.  But Uncle I think you and I both know that we are the HIstorians.  And because of folks like us, our ancestors never really die, they are just the next story to be discovered and told and remembered.

    Until the next,
     Your Devoted Niece

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    Optimism and the Bricks in the Wall

    Dear Uncle,

    Typical Gemini that I am I got so excited about finding Will Greene that I thought the rest of the Irish hunt would go as quickly.

     I’m sure that you also had your moments where a discovery got you pretty excited also.  And you can’t say you didn’t Uncle…I have your journal! It takes a Gemini to know one. We are optimists.

    The point is, Uncle, I am once again looking at the bricks in the wall.

    How could I possibly think that just because I have the year of immigration (after the famine ships) for an individual I would be able to lickety split, click a few searches and ta-da have who I was looking for.  Silly, silly woman. 

    Silly right up until 1:15 am when I finally looked at the clock last nite ( this morning) and realized that I had to get up to go to work today. If I hadn’t had to work…..well I’m sure you know where I’m going with that.

    I’ll be taking the next few days off to go visit your 6th great grand niece and your 7th great grand nephew.  I’ll give them your regards. I’ll also poke around the storage and see what I could possibly have left behind relating to genealogy.  (Doubtful as everyone knows where it all goes – with me- always- period.)

     But mistakes do happen. I may have left a couple of maps behind, possibly a magazine or 80. Photos – probably but there was only so much room on the moving truck and in my truck.

    I’ll take the next few days to rest my genealogy brain, let things ruminate a bit and see what happens when I get back. While I'm gone if you happen to run into the Irish side you might mention I could use another break, thanks!


    Your devoted Niece

    Saturday, January 7, 2012

    Finding William Greene & The Courage of our Immigrant Ancestors

    First let me thank you and the other ancestors who made last evenings success possible, even though it was in the midnight hour. I am not complaining! I am so excited!

    I've located my 3x Great-Grandfather, William Greene, in the immigrant records of passenger ships.  How long have I chased this particular record? Long enough to cause great consternation.

    How did I find him? I used Ancestry.com, found the record, decided it wasn't my kin, used Google, used NARA, used ships lists, looked through some Irish history websites- most of which I'd been to before, found a website that dealt with the famine that had a story.

    The main point that I came away with- in regard to my particular search last evening -was that the majority of the ships that came to America carrying the Irish emigrants departed from Liverpool, England and landed in New York. I had dismissed New York  as a point of entry feeling that in 1851, the very end of the famine ships, anyone leaving Ireland with intention of coming to Boston would take the ship going to Boston.  Shame on me for “figuring”.

    I went back to my notes on William and there it was, 1851 plus /minus 5 years.
    I’d tried to figure when I thought he may have immigrated based on his marriage in Massachusetts (1853) and the first census that he appeared in (1860).
    NARA had a record of William Green, age 24, departing from Liverpool on the Emma Fields in 1851, and landing in New York on 13 November. So then I had to find a ships list that had the passenger list, and then proceeded to find a copy of a NY Times notification of ship arrivals for that date. Then just to be absolutely sure, I found a ships list transcribers site that had transcribed the Emma Fields passenger list.

    After that I was pretty much right there with my William. But before I leave you I must leave you with a link to a letter that was sent by a young man who came by ship to America. He tells of his voyage across the sea.  Please read this letter. Then you will understand just how courageous these ancestors were.


    Your Niece
    NARA Info: Display Full Records  http://aad.archives.gov/aad/record-detail.jsp?dt=180&mtch=2&cat=SB302&tf=F&sc=17169,17170,17172,17189,17177,17180,17190,17181&bc=sb,sl,fd&txt_17169=Greene&op_17169=0&nfo_17169=V,20,1900&txt_17170=William&op_17170=0&nfo_17170=V,19,1900&rpp=10&pg=1&rid=591636&rlst=52131,591636
    File Unit: Famine Irish Passenger Record Data File (FIPAS), 1/12/1846 - 12/31/1851 in the Series: Records for Passengers Who Arrived at the Port of New York During the Irish Famine, created 1977 - 1989, documenting the period 1/12/1846 - 12/31/1851. - Collection CIR Brief Scope: These materials identify 604,596 persons who arrived in the Port of New York, 1846-1851, and the ships on which they arrived.
    Emma Fields (of Bath), [Captain]Snow, Liverpool, 28 ds.,[at sea for 28 days] mdse [merchandise] and 429 passengers to master [acting as agent]. Died on board, W. L. Baker,seaman, of Baltimore.
    NY Times Info:
    From: (Harry Dodsworth)
    Subject: [TSL] Five arrivals, NY, November 13, 1851
    Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 19:41:25 -0400 (EDT)

    New York Daily Times, November 14, 1851 (microfilm)
    IMMIGRANTS - The following Immigrant ships arrived at this port yesterday [all from Liverpool]
    Ship Telamon 561 [persons on board]
    Ship Martha J. Ward 400
    Ship Emma Fields 429
    Ship Constance 600
    Ship Universe 600
    Total 2,590 [persons]
    The Constance was reported as the Constantine in the arrival notices.
    I think Constantine was the correct spelling.
    Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild - Emma Fields