Thursday, February 22, 2024

If I Knew Then . . .

If I Knew Then . . . I was fortunate to be in Florida when MyHeritage genealogy expert Daniel Horowitz was touring the state and giving free lectures. The Manatee Genealogical Society hosted Daniel Horowitz’s lecture at the State College of Florida’s lovely “Together Manatee Community Room” in the college’s Library & Learning Center. 1. Back Up -The first thing on Daniel’s list of “If I Knew Then What I Know Now” presentation was Dick Eastman’s reminder: Back up. Mr. Eastman posted this reminder on the first of every month. Mr. Horowitz expanded on this suggesting backing up to multiple media. 2. Naming Documents – This slide was the first of how he names and stores his digital files. Make sure the document, image, or photo is identified so it can be easily found. 3. You See It – You Get It – How often have we seen documents or images online, but continue to search because we are hot on the trail? The document or image is forgotten for now, but when we need it later it can’t be found. Daniel Horowitz reminds us to stop and capture the item by either downloading or photographing it. 4. Dates – He posted several familiar ways to record dates that we either said no to or yes, that’s the way. Not. For sorting purposes, start with the year, then the month and date. Make sure you include the zero. i.e. 1980 07 05 5. Facts – He showed a photo of a family photo of a tombstone in Israel he’d found on Billion Graves. The photo showed a bit of the next stone which turned out to be another family member. A reminder to check cemeteries for other relatives as they tend to be buried near each other. Check the dates. He showed an example of a stone with a death date of April 20, but when he checked the death certificate, the person died on April 17, and the burial date was the 20th. 6. Source – Goes without saying, but do your best to get to the original source. 7. Associations – When you have documents, images, and photos of ancestors, look closely to see how they relate to each other. 8. Google Maps – He showed a photo of his aunt standing in from of her grocery store. The sign above the store had the number 722. He figured that was the address, so mapping where his relatives lived in Brooklyn, he looked for that number. They would not have traveled far to work like some do today. He put in 722 in Google Maps and it gave him several addresses with that number. He found one within a couple of blocks from his aunt’s home. Then he found a photo of what the store looks like today. He ended his presentation by sharing all the free opportunities that MyHeritage provides. They have a free Genealogy Course, you can upload your DNA results taken with other companies to the MyHeritage website, and you can have a free tree with a limit of 255 people, though you can transfer a Gedcom file with a larger tree. Daniel Horowitz covered a lot of ground in an hour, interspersed with a few laughs, and he spent another thirty minutes answering questions. I’m glad I took notes! After his Florida tour, he will be on his way to RootsTech. I’ve developed my schedule for the online courses. Have you?

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

A Growing Family

I thought my Irish ancestors would want their story told. Apparently not. They have been difficult from the start and the reason I was forced to leave them and research other ancestral lines. I'm not one to give up, so I'm back channeling my paternal grandmother's side, Patrick and Maggie Doyle. They had two daughters: Mary b: 1899, who we called "Nana", and Winifred b: 1903, which I found out later was "Nanny." This weekend I went the DNA route and contacted a second cousin once removed. He wrote right back and gave me his mother's email. His mother is Winifred's granddaughter. I couldn't believe my luck! Finally. I carefully composed an email to his mother not expecting a response. She did respond a couple hours later. My heartbeat quickened until I read her note. Neither she, nor her siblings, knew anything about their grandmother. In fact, they thought their grandmother, Winifred (Doyle) Farley was an only child. We went back and forth all Sunday morning as I shared information and photos of the Doyles and the two sisters, Mary and Winifred. What a wonderful feeling to share my research with new relatives who had no idea they had more family. I hope they feel the same.
James Farley was born 1901. He arrived in Portland, Maine in 1923, and then made his way to Bronx, New York where he met Winifred and they married in 1930. James was born in County Longford, Ireland, which is adjacent to Roscommon and Mayo, the area from where I believe the Doyles were from.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Irish Ancestors - Patrick and Margaret (Conlon) Doyle

I've broken down two brick walls over the last week. I found the death certificates for my greatgrandparents, Patrick and Margaret (Maggie) Doyle. Identifying their exact birth and death dates had been frustrating for me over the years, but now those records are digitized. Patrick Doyle was born 17 May 1858 in Ireland. He died 31 May 1924 at 1948 Cruger Avenue, Bronx, New York. I know this is "my" Patrick, because my grandparents, my father and his siblings lived at that address. It gives his occupation as a Street Cleaner, which I knew. What I didn't know was his parents names, John and Mary Doyle. Margaret (Conlon) Doyle was born abt 1867 (no exact date), and died 1 January 1928 at 1948 Cruger Street, Bronx, New York. What I didn't know were her parents Michael and Catherine Conlon. The executor is listed as Mary Nunn (incorrectly listed as Neenn), who is my grandmother. When I found these folks I jumped up and did a happy dance. But these documents did not tell me where they were from in Ireland. Information I want to learn before I attend the Irish SIG hosted by the Manatee Genealogical Society on December 12. This new SIG is being offered due to the generousity of Irish genealogy expert Donna Moughty. Through the census years I had documented the "cousins" who had lived with the Doyles. One set of "cousins" were the Gormley brothers. I had researched them at an earlier date and found they emigrated from Ballinclee, Ireland. Maggie Doyle had Conlon cousins that I knew about, in fact I met two of them when I was small, but so far have not been able to find documentation of the relationship to Maggie. Those cousins weren't helpful because they were all born in the U.S. I remembered I had noted a woman, Margaret Hoey, who lived with my grandparents in the 1930 census. I searched Margaret Hoey in the Ancestry database and Bam! She was really easy to find. The immigration database showed her birth date as 13 Sepetember 1908, her birthplace Ballinclee, Co, Longford, Cobh, Ireland. She arrived in New York on 29 March 1926. Then the cincher: Her parents were listed as Ernest Hoey and Catherine (Conlon) Hoey. Could Margaret's mother be Maggie's sister, named for their mother? I will have to make a trip over to the Godfrey Library and use their International Ancestry subscription to work on that angle. She listed the person in the U.S. as John Conlon, but she stayed with the Nunn family (my grandparents) at 1948 Cruger Avenue, Bronx, New York. Margaret Hoey married Michael Lennon, of County Monaghan, Ireland. They lived at 1807 Archer St. Bronx, New York. With this research, I'm pretty certain my Patrick and Maggie Doyle were from the Ballinclee area of Ireland.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Noah Agard, Jr.

I started working on the Agard family history twenty-four years ago and have taken the family up through the ninth generation. I am revisiting this monograph to flesh our all those ancestors a bit more. I will double check the citations (from when I was a baby genealogist), and edit the write-ups for a more narrative flow. Yesterday, when working on the the sixth generation I realized I hadn't done any research on the last child of Noah and Rebecca Ann (Fletcher) Agard. The only thing I had was his name, Noah Agard, Jr, his birth and death dates - 14 March 1866 - 15 Jan 1887. Poor Noah died just before his twenty-first birthday. Since the Agards are a long line of farmers, I assumed that Noah, Jr. was probably working on his father's farm at the time of his death. But I couldn't be certain. I checked the 1880 census and no occupation was listed for him. I went to the Fulton History website for newspaper articles. There I found that Noah died at his father's house. Still, no occupation. Further down the newspaper listings was an article from 1885. Bingo! The article pasted below is what I love about genealogy. I still would like to get his death certificate, and will work on that. The Watkins Democrat of June 24, 1885, told me what I really wanted to know about Noah, Jr.: “Noah Agard, Jr., a resident of Mecklenburgh, N. Y., who makes a business of coloring, retouching and throwing up with oil colors, photographs of almost every variety, is in town taking orders for work in his line. His prices are so much lower than the general average, for this kind of work, that his orders cannot fail of being numerous. He will call at your residence and receive your orders or they may be forwarded to his address as above, where they will receive prompt attention. We have seen some very fine specimens from his hands, which evince no little ability.”

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Esther Agard's Journey - June 18, 2023 Update

Writing helps you make sense of things, so that's what I decided to do on this Sunday afternoon. With the help of a timeline, I've disproved previous assumptions of John and Esther Agard's journey to America. Previous researchers assumed that the child born on 16 July 1683 and listed by the Boston Vital Records as "Esther, daughter of John and Esther Agard" was a mistake and actually a son, John the Younger Agard, was born on that date. I don't think so. I found a baptism of "Esther, dau of John Agard" on 22 July 1683 in the Old South Church, Boston, MA digitized records. Today I found the baptism of John, son of Widow Agard baptized on 30 November 1684 in the Old South Church, Boston, MA. I'm assuming that baby Esther was born 16 July 1683 and died before 1685 when Esther married Samuel Storrs. Because the record stated her as "Widow," John the Elder Agard must have died between July 1683 and November 1684. That's all great information. But, I cannot find a birth record for John the Younger, or a death record for John the Elder Agard. There are no Findagrave entries for either. I learned John the Elder was a weaver and Seth Perry became surety for him. Maybe I should track down this Seth Perry. Any thoughts on where I should go next would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Esther's Journey

I attended the New England Regional Genealogical Conference this past week with a specific goal in mind. That goal was to discover Esther Agard's journey. Esther is the wife of John the Elder Agard, purported to be the founding father of the Agards in America. The only information we have of John in America is that he either died on the ship or upon arrival in Boston. Is that true? And if so, then it is actually Esther that is the founding member of the Agards in America. The research so far has them landing in Boston in April 1683 with the birth of their son, John the Younger in July 1683. Two years later we find Esther in Barnstable, MA marrying Samuel Storrs. The couple had three childre, Thomas Storrs b: 1686, Esther Storrs b: 1688, and Cordial Storrs b: 1692. That information isn't enough. I want to know if John made it onto America soil before he died. I want to know how Esther got to Barnstable, and why. I want to connect with her and learn about what her life was like. I realized through the conference that to get these answers, I'll need to read about the early history of Boston, try to find a death record for John, and trace Samuel Storrs. Finding out when and why he settled in Barnstable might give me a hint as to that migration pattern. The Massachuetts Genealogy Society staff were helpful and gave me some ideas. They also said Barnstable has great records. That historical society will be opening mid-May. The Fall River Historical Society will have information. I will have to bone up on Massachusetts laws at that time. A lot of work ahead of me, but at least I can now design a new research plan. The Mormons believe your ancestors want you to find them. I've learned that is true. You just have to work at it.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Winnie Doyle and James Farley

My father's side, the Nunns and Doyles, have been difficult to research, and my grandmother's sister, Winifred Doyle has been lost to me. My recent 23 and Me DNA test put me in touch with one of Winifred's descendants. Yay!!! Winnie Doyle married James Farley, and with this information I still had trouble placing them until their descendant told me they went back to Ireland for a time. I've sent my second cousin photos of Patrick and Maggie Doyle and a photo I hope has her great-grandparents, Winnie and James. It is a great photo (showned above) as it also shows my grandparents, Mary Agnes (Doyle) Nunn, Harry Nunn and Maggie Doyle. I'm waiting for confirmation that the couple on the right is Winnie and James. I have messages out to some other "cousins," though none are a very close match. And I also have more names to work on. Genealogy is never-ending, and that's what we love about it.