A new family mystery!

I was working on my Christmas project for my family.  I wanted to scan a photo of my sister-in-law when she was about three years old.  When I opened the frame I found this photo behind the photo of Margaret.  I think this photo has been hiding since about 1945.  There wasn’t a name or date on the back of the photo.  The only clue, it looks like she is wearing a wedding ring.  Grandma Scanlon was a Blackstone, so she might be one of Ella’s sisters, aunts or cousin. Ella was one of five daughters of William Blackstone and Mary Elizabeth France. Grandma Ella died in 1969, so I now have a mystery to work on.AuntT


Liverpool to New York in 1850

Liverpool to New York 3,168mi.jpg

A map helps visualize the journey that my family made.  Abraham and Margaret (Molloy) Neville traveled on the William D Sewall from Liverpool to New York.  They arrived on 11 April 1850 in New York City.  A voyage of 3,168 miles on the cold North Atlantic Ocean.

Margaret gave birth on this voyage, William Neville was one of 15 babies born.  They brought their daughters Mary Ann age 7 and Bridget age 5.  They left their two sons, Joseph age 9 and John age 3 with family in Lynally Glebe, Kings County (Offaly).

My grandmother Mary Veronica (Neville) McTygue told me the story of her father John being left in Ireland.  Her version was that the English wouldn’t let them take all of their children.  I think the real reason was John was only three, they left Joseph age nine to help look after him.   Margaret knew she would be giving birth on the voyage. I don’t think she could watch a three year old and also take care of a new infant.

John Neville arrived and found the family about 1864. I know from land records that John was in Wisconsin in 1874 when the family was purchasing land in York County, Nebraska.

Looking into the eyes of my ancestor – Patrick McTygue!

Patrick McTygue/Tigue born 1838 Shrule, Mayo died 1924 Eddyville, Dawson County, Nebraska.

Patrick McTygue/Tigue born 1838 Shrule, Mayo died 1924 Eddyville, Dawson County, Nebraska.

On December 31st I received a package in the mail from my mother. What a surprise! It was full of “McTygue” family pictures. Most of them I have copies of, but a couple of them were real gems! Thank you Muriel Shea for passing on the photos!

Patrick McTygue, my great-grandfather, was the person who started me on my genealogy journey. Patrick was born in May of 1838 in Shrule, County Mayo. Patrick traveled to America with his family about 1849. The first record I can Patrick in America is the 1860 Census. Patrick is living with his mother and siblings in Killingly, Windham, Connecticut.

I just discovered that Mary O’Connor who Patrick married in 1864 both used the same Post office at West Killingly in Killingly Connecticut. Mary was the daughter of Timothy O’Connor and Mary Kennedy. Mary was born in Rome, New York in 1844.

Patrick fought in the Rhode Island Light Artillery. After the war Patrick and Mary McTygue moved to Wisconsin where their daughter Julia was born in Aug of 1868. It was a member of Julia McTygue’s family who sent the package of photos to my mother. Julia had married Richard Shea.

Patrick’s mother Bridget Tygue née Purcell and brother Michael Tighe remained in Clinton, Rock County Wisconsin. Patrick and Mary were in Saline County Nebraska by 1870.

Patrick and Mary both died before my father was born in 1924, so my dad didn’t have any memories of them.

When we would visit my grandparents on Sunday we had to take a nap after Sunday dinner. I finally figured it out – that was the only way the adults had time to visit!

On one of those Sunday afternoons I found a small piece of paper in the McTygue family bible. On that piece of paper was  a story about Patrick coming to America and fighting in the Civil War. I had to find out more! I did my first genealogy interview! I sat down with my grandfather and asked him about his dad! My first genealogy mistake….I didn’t ask any questions about his mother – Mary McTygue née O’Connor.

My grandfather died in 1964, I was about 12 years old when I did that interview, but I still have that piece of paper over 52 years later! I have learned so much about Patrick and his family. I have found that the family has spelled their surname many different ways: Tigue, Tygue, McTygue and Tighe. Other people have added their variations of our surname: Tygne, McTygur, McTague and more! This is just one of the ways Irish genealogy is so much fun!

It was a real thrill to open a package last week and find a picture of Patrick McTygue! I know of only 3 other photos of Patrick. I have e-mailed a copy of his photo to members of my family.

The last thing I have learned about genealogy….It is so important to share what you know and love with the rest of the family!

Breaking down an Irish Genealogy Brick Wall

Patrick and Mary McTygue about 1920, Eddyville, Dawson County Nebraska.

Patrick and Mary McTygue about 1920, Eddyville, Dawson County Nebraska.


My father has only Irish ancestors, therefore I have some genealogy “brick” walls.  Mary O’Connor McTygue has been one of those brick walls.

I know from her death certificate that her father was Timothy O’Connor, born in Ireland.  Mary’s mother was Mary Kennedy and she was also born in Ireland.  Mary’s death certificate said she was born in Rome, New York.  Mary died in October 1922 a couple of years before my father was born.  Her husband Patrick died a couple of months later in February 1923.  Their son Fred McTygue filled out both death certificates.  Fred was knowledgeable about his father’s information including naming ‘Shrule’ Ireland as where Patrick was born. I have those baptismal records from Shrule County Mayo. Thank you great-uncle Fred for putting that on the death certificate for you father!

Mary O'Connor McTygue's death certificate from 1922

Mary O’Connor McTygue’s death certificate from 1922


I also have a copy of the Certificate of Marriage for Patrick and Mary 10 November 1863. Remember when working with Irish ancestors you have to work with variations of spellings of names.  I have Patrick’s surname spelled a variety of ways. Mary’s name was listed as Connor.  The O’s and Mc’s are added and dropped often.

Patrick McTyuge & Mary O'Connor marriage record.

Patrick McTyuge & Mary O’Connor marriage record.

Facts I have for Mary O’Connor McTygue

1. Names of Parents, Timothy O’Connor and Mary Kennedy

2. Mary was born about May 1844 in New York

3. Mary married Patrick Tiague/McTygue in November 1863 in Moosup, Plainfield, CT

I had tried to find Mary’s family in New York, but Timothy & Mary O’Connor are very common names.

This morning I tried a new approach.  Why not look for the family in Connecticut!  That is where I found the family in the 1860 census.  Timothy & Mary O’Connor and their children:  Jeremiah age 22, Mary age 18 (born in New York), Julia age 14 and Joanna age 13.  The family was living in Brooklyn Windham, Connecticut – their post office was West Killingly. The piece of the puzzle that fit – where was Patrick McTygue in 1860?  Living with his family inKillingly, Windham, Connecticut and his post office was West Killingly.

Mary O’Connor McTygue moved with her husband after the Civil War to Wisconsin and by 1870 they had one daughter Julia and they had made their way to Nebraska.

Mary Kennedy O’Connor born about 1804 Ireland- found in 1875 Rhode Island Census, is listed as the Mother-in-law and Widowed. No further records.

Jeremiah O’Connor – born 1838 in New York found in 1860 census living with his parents, and 1875 New York Census living with his sister Julia and her husband Adelbert Trask in Providence, Rhode Island.

Julia O’Connor Trask born about 1846 New York. Married Adelbert Trask.  Adelbert Trask is found on Find-A-Grave (1845-1880)They have three daughters: Elizabeth Mary Trask born 1869, Julia Bell Trask born 1874 and Johanna Trask born 1879.  No record of May after 1880.

Johanna/Joanna O’Connor born about 1847 in New York.  Found in 1860 and 1870 Census and in the 1875 Rhode Island Census.  No record after 1875.

Timothy O’Connor’s family uses Connor as a surname.  I need more time to research to see if Jeremiah O’Connor served in the Civil War. I need to research Adelbert Trask and his Civil War Record.


Doing Irish Genealogy in “Reverse”!

Mary and Bridget find the grave of the grandaunt Mary Finnegan Rogerson.

Mary and Bridget find the grave of the grandaunt Mary Finnegan Rogerson.

Mary and Bridget came to Kansas City from Ireland wanting to find their grandaunt Mary Finnegan Rogerson.  Mary Finnegan had left Kilquaine Craughwell Galway about 1890.  Mary was the only daughter of William Finnegan and Bridget Finnerty.

The first record that we found was a marriage record in 1894 for Mary Finnegan and Patrick Rogerson. Patrick was also an Irish immigrant born in 1864 in County Roscommon.

The 1900 Census for the Patrick Rogerson family had a surprise for Mary and Bridget.  Martin Finnegan, Mary’s younger brother, was living with the family. Martin had left Ireland in 1899 and the family never heard from him. We searched for him in other records, but we couldn’t find him.

The 1920 Census for the Patrick Rogerson family had another surprise for Mary and Bridget.  There was a Bridget Finnegan age 73 living with the family.  I was able to find her death certificate from 1928.  At that time Bridget was living with Annie and Delia Finnegan at 3319 Baltimore in Kansas City. The real surprise was that Mary and Bridget recognized Annie and Delia as Finnegan cousins.  They had records of their births in Ireland but Mary and Bridget didn’t know what had happened to Annie and Delia Finnegan.  Delia Finnegan was born in Nov 1865 and Annie was born in July 1874, their parents were Thomas Finnegan and Mary Lawless. Neither Annie or Delia married.

In July of 1915 Mary Finnegan Rogerson got a building permit to build a 2 story house at 4523 Montgall.  We had found a 1940 tax assessment photo of their home on Montgall.  There was a rocking chair on the large stone porch with plants. The house remained only in Mary’s name until she added her daughter Florence to the deed.

The youngest son of Patrick and Mary Rogerson was Augustine Rogerson who was born in 1907.  We found that he had attended Rockhurst Hight School in 1923. And that he had served in WWII.

Patrick and Mary Rogerson had eight children, James had died at age 12.  Of the other seven children only two had married.  Neither John or Margaret had children.  So there were no living descendants.

I volunteer at the Kansas City Irish center.  I help people looking for their Irish ancestors and where they came from.  I really enjoyed doing Irish genealogy in reverse.     The different documents helped to tell the story about Mary Finnegan Rogerson and her family.  Mary and Bridget now know that Mary had a good life, she lived until she was 92 with her children around her.

Nancy Bruner’s will adds a new branch to my family tree!

Nancy Bruner my GGG Grandmother's headstone in the Veale Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Daviess County Indiana.

Nancy Bruner my GGG Grandmother’s headstone in the Veale Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Daviess County Indiana.

It is exciting when one document can change your family tree.  This past weekend I found a will for Nancy Bruner.  Nancy Bruner was my GGG Grandmother.  I visited her grave with her grandson Thomas “Ed” Morgan by Great-Grandfather.  We were visiting him in Washington Indiana in 1963.

Nancy left 1/3 of her estate to her daughter “Elizabeth” Christina Morgan 1/3 to her daughter Rosetta Bruner and the remaining 1/3 to her grandchildren:  Virginia Masten, Nancy A. Masten, Charles Masten, Cora Masten and Lucy Masten.

What an exciting find!  I knew about Rosetta Bruner because Nancy is buried with her two daughters Rosetta Bruner Thompson and Elizabeth Christina Morgan in the Veal Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Daviess County Indiana.

I was able to find the parents of the 5 children — Stephen J Masten and Laura Bruner Masten.  And when I checked to see where Stephen and Laura Masten were buried – yes in the Veal Creek Baptist Church Cemetery! Many members of this family lived in Washington, Daviess County Indiana.

Nancy Bruner referred to her oldest granddaughter as Virginia Masten.  I found her using “Jennie” and she married Oliver Perry McCracken.  I have not found any children for this family. Jennie Bruner McCracken died in Nov of 1950.

Nancy Masten was born in 1872 and died in 1887 at age 15.

Charles Franklin Masten was born 8 Nov 1876 and he married Glendora Myers Smead a widow in November of 1905 in Daviess County Indiana.  They had four children Leigh born 1907, Elmer born 1911, Irene born 1914 and Pauline born in 1918.

Cora Masten was born 6 Oct 1879 and she married twice.  First to William S McCament in 1902, and they had a son Carl in 1907.  She then married George Hinkle in Aug of 1920. Cora and George had two children Walter H Hinkle and Wilma Hinkle.

Lucy Masten was born June of 1881 – I found her in 2 census records, but I don’t know if she married.

I am looking for my new cousins! To think it all started with Nancy Bruner’s will dated 31st of March 1883.


John Morgan & Mary Flynn from County Meath Ireland

John Morgan and Mary Flynn Morgan headstone in Bloomington IL.

John Morgan and Mary Flynn Morgan headstone in Bloomington IL.

John Morgan and Mary Flynn were married in Moynalvey parish County Meath on 2nd March 1824.

I am very lucky to have such an early marriage record for a family member.  John and Mary were the parents of James – 1825, Jane – 1827, Patrick – 1830, William -1834, John – 1838, and Mary – 1840.

The family moved to Bloomington, McLean County, IL.  John died 10 April 1861. Mary lived until 20 Feb 1880.

I found a bio of one of William and Rose’s children, ” At the age of nineteen the father came to the United States with his parents and first settled in Albany, New York.  From there he removed to Bloomington and was for many years a member of the police force of that city.  Because of an injury to one hand resulting in the loss of a finger he was not accepted for active service during the Civil war but entered the secret service.  He had two brothers, however, who were in active service.  In 1875 he came to Nebraska and live for one year in Saline county at the termination of which time he came to York county and bought a relinquishment of one hundred and sixty acres on section 34 West Blue township.  Here he engaged in farming until his death in 1894.”

I am taking time this week to see if I can find any more information about this family.  I did make an exciting discovery a couple of years ago.  When I stopped to get the photo of John and Mary’s headstone.  I discovered another headstone of Mary Morgan Hanley.  I discovered that Mary was also a daughter of John and Mary Morgan.  Mary Morgan’s husband was Edward Hanley who was also from Moynalvey County Meath.  I identified Mary in her brother’s obit. It is exciting to find a new branch of the family tree.

A couple of years ago I found out that they don’t have have any records for people who might have worked in the ‘Secret Service’ during the Civil War!

William and Rose Morgan are buried in Exeter Nebraska.

I am a descendant of William and Rose Morgan’s daughter Anna Morgan who married John Neville.