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.

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.


Adrian Farrell Consul General of Ireland visits Kansas City Irish Fest 2015

Adrain Farrell visits the Genealogy area of the Kansas City Irish Fest.

Adrain Farrell visits the Genealogy area of the Kansas City Irish Fest.

Adrain Farrell the Consul General of Ireland from Austin Texas visited the Kansas City Irish Fest this year. The genealogy area is inside the Crown Center atrium. We don’t have to worry about rain with all of our computers and printers.

We had 8 computer stations each with a volunteer helping people. This year we had over 100+ appointments during the festival. One appointment can mean 1-6 people from a family. It is so rewarding to help families connect with their Irish ancestry!

Many families do not know where in Ireland their family came from. Oral traditions can be lost within 3 generations. I have a 3Great Uncle, James Smith lived in Friend Nebraska, who wrote a letter when he was trying to get his Civil War pension.

“On this 18th day of June 1913 personally appeared before me a Notary Public duly appointed in and for said count and State. James Smith of lawful age and who being first duly sworn according to law says: That he was born in county Meathe (this is the spelling that James used) Ireland, that his parents came to the United states when he was but two years old, that he does not know what parish he was christened in, or whether he was christened at all or not. That his parents are dead and all brothers and sisters were older than he are dead, there is no Bible or family record to which he and refer in order to establish his age at this time. That he is unable to furnish any other evidence of his age at this time other than. That his parents always told he he was born on the 6th day of May 1843 and that he had always kept account of his age from the information given him by them and from no there source.”

My question for James, “You never asked your parents where in Ireland you were born?” Smith is a very common name for County Meath!

Kansas City Irish Fest Genealogy Volunteers

Barbara with the 5-year volunteers. Cicily Mahoney, Terry, Davin, Stacey Hodges, Coleen O'Gorman, David Kite, & Amy Fitzgerald.

Barbara with the 5-year volunteers. Cicily Mahoney, Terry Davin, Stacey Hodges, Coleen O’Gorman, David Kite, Max Breeze & Amy Fitzgerald.

We honored some of our fantastic KCIF Genealogy Volunteers.  We couldn’t do it without them!  These are the 5-year veterans for our festival.  We also now have 3-10 year volunteers, Collette Kiszka, Don Kiszka and Cheri Piersee.

Most of our volunteers sign-up for multiple shifts over the weekend. They have so much fun helping find Irish ancestors for people.

2015 is our 13th year.  With over 30 bands on seven stages, heritage workshops and displays, comedy, genealogy, a massive children’s area and so much more, there is no better way to celebrate Celtic Pride in Cowtown!

The Genealogy area is located in the air-conditioned Crown Center Atrium, genealogy staff will be available on Friday from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Setting a goal for your genealogy research this year!

Have you set a goal for yourself and your genealogy for 2015? Are you going to research one line?  Maybe find documents to support a family story.  Or maybe you want to start writing your family history.

I still like to learn new things relating to my genealogy.  I am going to the National Archives in Kansas City this week for a workshop on the Alien Files (A-Files) these contain U.S. immigration documents generated and collected since the mid-20th century.  they include visas, photographs, applications, affidavits and correspondence.  There is another workshop I am looking forward to at the National Archives in Kansas City – “Township, Section, Range: Looking at Land Records”.  I found where some of my family came from in Ireland by using land records!

I am also going to the Mid-West Genealogical Library’s Spring Seminar in Independence Missouri.  Paul Milner is the main speaker and he is an expert in British Isles research.  This is a chance for me to learn a little about my Scottish and Welsh ancestors!

I am also going to the National Genealogy Conference in St. Charles in May.  I am really looking forward to this also.

My main goal this year is to organize my family photos!  I am scanning the older photos and putting names on photos.  It is the end of January and my desk is almost cleaned off!  One big reward was I found a photo of my father in his Navy uniform that I have been looking for!  I think this might be the year that I get those photos organized!!

Now what is your goal for 2015?

My first genealogy interview was with Francis Patrick McTygue

My grandfather Frank McTygue.

My grandfather Frank McTygue.

I found this photo this morning on my desk.  My goal this year is to work on scanning my family photos.  This is my grandfather who we all called Granddad.  In about 1962 one Sunday I found a little piece of paper in my grandparents bible.

Patrick McTygue bio

This small piece of paper intrigued me.  I was about 12 years old and this story about Patrick McTygue being born in County Mayo and fighting in the Civil War changed my life.  I had to sit down with a small tablet and ask my grandfather questions about his dad!  I still have that piece of paper!  My love of family and history evolved into what is now known as genealogy.  I just had a spiral notebook that I kept track of the family.

I find the stories and the photos bring my family history to life.  I have been to Ireland and walked the streets of Shrule County Mayo where Patrick McTygue immigrated from about 1850.  I have photos of Patrick and his brother Michael.  These brothers spell their last names differently.  “Bridget Tygue” is on their mother’s headstone in Clinton Wisconsin.  Michael is buried in the same cemetery as his mother and his headstone reads”Michael Tighe”.  Patrick left Clinton Wisconsin about 1870 and moved to Nebraska. Patrick is buried in Eddyville Nebraska and his headstone reads “Patrick McTygue”.

This is one of the reasons that I love genealogy – each document, photo and story add make the picture of my ancestors more complete.

Francis Patrick McTygue born 28 March 1886 and died 4 Oct 1964.  Frank married Mary Veronica “Vera” Neville 19 Nov 1913 when he was 27 years old.  They had nine children: John Patrick, Anna Marie, Catherine Elizabeth, Loretta Laverne, Patricia Ann, Francis Bernard, Robert Emmett, James Edward and Michael Joseph.

Thank you granddad for sitting down with me and telling me about your family!  It has been a wonderful journey!

Can Genealogy be exciting after 40 years?

William Nevil's signature. William was born about 1680 in Ireland.

William Nevil’s signature. William was born about 1680 in Ireland.

2014 has been an amazing year!

When you work on a family for many years you think you have found everything.  I started asking questions about my family in 1962.  My grandmother was Mary Veronica Neville.  She was born in 1893 in York Nebraska and was the daughter of John Neville who was born in Lynally in Feb 1847.  John was left behind with an older brother Joseph Neville when their parents Abraham and Margaret Neville left for America in 1850.

My first trip to Ireland was in 1990 and we visited Tullamore, and that is where I found I had cousins still living west of the castle walls.  I have found this family in Griffiths Valuation, the Tithe Applotment Books and a 1802 Church of Ireland census for Lynally.  Matt Mooney told me the family had moved to Tullamore about 1798 from Mountmellick.

This summer I found a deed for William Nevill of Mountmellick.  The deed identified William as a ‘clothier’ and named his three sons: Henry, William and Joseph.  I discovered that they were Quakers and I visited the Quaker Library in Dublin.  William married Elizabeth Pleadwell in 1792 and after she died he married Anne Atkinson in 1719.  I take Irish genealogy class in Salt Lake City every fall.  I laid out the deed and where I thought my Neville family connected to William Nevill of Mountmellick.

If William married the first time in 1702, he would have to be at least 21 years of age. I know that my William was married twice because he named his parents on both marriage documents!

So now I have a signature of William Nevill of Mountmellick, the son of Henry and Mary Nevill. This is nine generations for me back into Ireland.

Can genealogy be exciting after 40 years? Yes, it can!!

Thanksgiving is time for family!

Laura, Mary Ann, Joe, Kathleen, Margaret & Ed

Laura, Mary Ann, Joe, Kathleen, Margaret & Ed

Thanksgiving is time for family. This year the Howe (Hough) cousins had a chance to reconnect in Kansas City. I had a special treat for the cousins.  Theresa McCormick Liewer gave me a copy of “The Howes who Left” that I shared with Ed’s family. This is the story of 29 members of the ‘Hough’ family who left Lorrah, County Tipperary between 1847 and 1850.  The 3 generations of the Hough family settled in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  Several years later part of this family traveled south and ended up in Chapman, Kansas.

  A special thanks to the cousins that researched this story and shared it with us.  Families drift apart and the stories are lost.  I think of Thanksgiving as the best time to reconnect with family. Cousin Laura lives in DC, Mary Ann just moved back from St. Louis and Margaret lives in Columbus Ohio.  All the cousins had a great time telling stories on Friday evening.

  I am seeing the need in January to have a “SOS” party.  “Save Our Stories” – invite those cousins back for an afternoon get together  and have each bring some family photos and a story to share.  I want to use drop-box and store the stories there.  That way cousins who live from DC to Oregon and can’t attend, can also see the stories that we and photos we have collected.

   I saw a post last summer from a regional National Archives, they were saying that unless you make an effort to save your family stories the stories can be lost in three generations!

   How many families are searching for the stories of their ancestors?  Where did they come from in Ireland?  Why were they the ones who left?  So many questions!  Very few of our ancestors left diaries.  Or if they did, where are they now?

  2015 is a new year, it is time to start working on those stories!


Taking Time to Research

Researching my Irish family at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

Researching my Irish family at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.                (This photo was taken in 2013)

On my way to Salt Lake City to attend the 2014 British Institute.  I have learned to much about Irish genealogy from David Rencher.  The class is usually about 20 people from all across America and Canada.  Many of us are alumni and love the chance to spend a week really digging into our Irish roots.  David shares his wealth of knowledge and for someone who loves genealogy – this is like summer camp!

A special thank you to my husband for letting me attend this class again!