Saturday, September 24, 2011

Surname Saturday - Hennessys Where do They Come From and Why are They all Named Timothy.

My great grandmother (b about 1800) was a Hennessy from Ballylanders, Limerick, Ireland. Mary Hennessy was the daughter of John Hennessy and Mary Hayes. While attempting to track the ancestors of Mary Hennessy, I joined several cousins who were working to the same end. Some of them were the descendants of Mary Hennessy and some were the descendants of Mary Hennessy's sister Winifred.

We decided to pool our resources and see if we could determine who was who. In my experience, the Irish have a propensity to call everyone cousin, especially if the came from the same county and were acquainted with each other. Actually they probably were cousins when you think about it.

A Timothy Hennessy of Chicago had written a history of the Hennessy family of Counties Cork and Tipperary in 1954. This history began with birth, about 1700, of Timothy Hennessy in Dagan, County Cork.

As we combined our information, we were able to establish a 10 generation Hennessy Family Tree. It consists of 588 individuals and covers a span of 311 years. The family migrated from Cork and Limerick to Chicago, Houston, California, and Australia. There are 8 Timothys, 7 Thomas', 9 Michaels, and 7 James' and 8 Johns. 7 Marys and 5 Alices add to the confusion. Just to make it more difficult, about 1820 (+/- 10 years) Alice Hennessy (duaghter of John Hennessy and Mary Hayes) married Timothy Hennessy (son of Thomas Hennessy and Bridget Cleary).

Is the John Hennessy who married Mary Hayes an ancestor of Timothy Hennessy who married Alice Hayes? If not, where did he come from. This tree is not sourced and may never be due to the state of Irish records, but we do know the villages/parishes to look at for proof. What will we find.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

The Tech Savvy Genealogists' Meme

I invite anyone with an interest in genealogy to participate. If you don't have a blog and wish to participate you can write them up on Google+ or post them as a note on Facebook. Or you can just create your own document to keep track of your own goals.

The list should be annotated in the following manner:
Things you have already done or found: bold face type - Since I can't bold, I will use **
Things you would like to do or find: italicize (colour optional)
Things you haven’t done or found and don’t care to: plain type
Feel free to add extra comments in brackets after each item

Which of these apply to you?
Own an Android or Windows tablet or an iPad - will try to adapt my nook color.
Use a tablet or iPad for genealogy related purposes - see above
** Have used Skype to for genealogy purposes - introduced a cousin to video calls.
** Have used a camera to capture images in a library/archives/ancestor's home
** Use a genealogy software program on your computer to manage your family tree
Have a Twitter account
Tweet daily
** Have a genealogy blog (!!!)
Have more than one genealogy blog
** Have lectured/presented to a genealogy group on a technology topic - creating a gedcom file and uploading/downloading.
Currently an active member of Genealogy Wise
** Have a Facebook Account - use it all the time
** Have connected with genealogists via Facebook - very educational!
Maintain a genealogy related Facebook Page
** Maintain a blog or website for a genealogy society - Schertz Cibolo Valley Area Genealogists
** Have submitted text corrections online to Ancestry, Trove or a similar site
Have registered a domain name - it's under consideration.
Post regularly to Google+ need to establish the habit!
** Have a blog listed on Geneabloggers - Thanks, Thomas MacEntee!
** Have transcribed/indexed records for FamilySearch or a similar project
Own a Flip-Pal or hand-held scanner - use my camera
Can code a webpage in .html - why? Then I could figure out how to bold on my blog!
** Own a smartphone - and now I'm spoiled
** Have a personal subscription to one or more paid genealogy databases
Use a digital voice recorder to record genealogy lectures - still use pen and paper
** Have contributed to a genealogy blog carnival
** Use Chrome as a Browser
** Have participated in a genealogy webinar - every one I can!
** Have taken a DNA test for genealogy purposes - Not personally but purchased them for my daughter and son-in-law.
** Have a personal genealogy website - thinking about it.
** Have found mention of an ancestor in an online newspaper archive
Have tweeted during a genealogy lecture
** Have scanned your hardcopy genealogy files - trying to scan all documents
** Use an RSS Reader to follow genealogy news and blogs
** Have uploaded a gedcom file to a site like Geni, MyHeritage or Ancestry - have trees at both Ancestry and MyHeritage can have made contacts from both trees.
Own a netbook - have a 12" laptop
** Use a computer/tablet/smartphone to take genealogy lecture notes - will try to use mt nook's note taking feature.
Have a profile on LinkedIn that mentions your genealogy habit
Have developed a genealogy software program, app or widget
** Have listened to a genealogy podcast online - and was an audience member
** Have downloaded genealogy podcasts for later listening
Backup your files to a portable hard drive - use a cloud storage option.
** Have a copy of your genealogy files stored offsite
** Know about Rootstech - wish I could go
** Have listened to a Blogtalk radio session about genealogy - and won a prize
** Use Dropbox, SugarSync or other service to save documents in the cloud - Google Docs and dropbox
** Schedule regular email backups - I use backupify.
Have contriibuted to the Familysearch Wiki
Have scanned and tagged your genealogy photographs - a planned project for the future.
Have published a genealogy book in an online/digital format

Thursday, September 15, 2011

From My Inbox - Treasure Chest Thursday

It appeared in my inbox on Thursday. An e-mail from my cousin's husband stating that the Library of Congress is putting the entire Victor catalog online. I can only presume that Victor refers to the RCA Victor recording company. What a find! He included a link to the website that listed 4 recordings by Nathalie Hansen.

Nathalie was my great-grandfather's second wife and an opera singer in Norway. It would seem, judging from the recording dates that she came to the United States on more than one occasion. I had known of a trip in 1915 to visit her daughter Lili who was living in New York but hadn't looked further. I can see that more research is in order. It appears that Nathalie was recording in New Your between Oct 1916 and Sept 1918. Here I always thought she was in Norway with her children.

Thanks for the treasure cousin Paul!

Try this link to listen to Nathalie sing.

photo courtesy of Victor Discography.
© 2008-2011 Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

11 September 2001 - My Experience

I was at work that Tuesday morning and got a phone call from my husband who had just returned home. He walked in the door and turned on the Today Show just as the first plane hit. He called me since he knew our office would have no knowledge of the event. At first everyone thought it was just a terrible accident. Then the second plane hit. Shock and horror were setting in rapidly. Stunned disbelief can best describe my emotions. Then the Pentagon was hit. I knew immediately that we were at war!

Since I worked at a moving and storage warehouse, most of our crews were out on deliveries. There were no radios other than the dispatch radio in the trucks. I got on the radio and told our crews what was happening and said "We are at war!"

That night after work, we watched the towers fall over and over again, along with everyone else in the country. All of us were looking for something, anything to explain what had happened.

All air travel was grounded. My husband and I were to have gone to Germany on September 12. I wasn't afraid to fly, but there were no planes flying for several days. Finally on Saturday the
, we were allowed to board a plane for Germany. By chance we had chosen to use a German Airline originally. We had to go to Tampa to get the plane. I don't think the smaller airports, like Ft Myers, had the desired security yet. Security was so tight in Tampa that the man in front of us set off the alarm by having a foil wrapped stick of gum in his pocket. The crew on our plane had been grounded in the States for the past week and I'm sure they were very anxious to get home.

We landed in Germany on Sept 16. The Frankfurt airport was well populated with armed soldiers watching everyone. Our granddaughter Brigid didn't wait for us to get there. She arrived on Sept 14, 2001. We almost made it in time!

photo: Copyright© ShutterPoint Stock Photography 2003 - 2011.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun -- Good Genealogy Luck?

When have you had a dose of good genealogy luck? What document or resource did you find just by happenstance or chance? By being in the right place at the right time? By finding a family history treasure in your family's attic or basement? By finding a helpful document or reference without even looking for it?

I have a family tree posted at and just having it out there has led to new found connections on 2 different occasions recently. Interestingly both connections have reached out from Norway.

The first was the descendant of an ancestor of my great-grandmother Dorette Christensen Hansen. Jon lives in Norway and is my 4th cousin once removed. I will visit Jon when I am in Norway next May.

In the second instance, I received an e-mail from the grandson of my great-grandfather's son with his second wife. I haven't quite figured that relationship yet. Bjorn was asking about his great-great-grandfather. I was able to provide Bjorn with the name and approximate birth year for his great-great-grandfather.

What did I do to find these connections? Absolutely nothing! I published a tree and let it sit there.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lightening the Load - Tech Tuesday

As my genealogy horizons have expanded to include more traveling to more distant horizons, I have actively tried to reduce the weight of my load. For example, a flash drive is a lot lighter than a binder full of files. Last year I changed to a 12" laptop so I would have less to manage. I am still actively seeking ways to lighten my load.

Recently I read an article by Dick Eastman about turning an "iphone" into a scanner. It was very interesting but I don't have an "iphone". However, one of the comments was about the same type of program for droid phones. I have downloaded the Droid Scan Lite program to my phone and will be trying it out to see if it is a better choice than using the camera on my phone. It is free and added no extra weight to my phone.

Another recent change is my new nook color. I lost my previous nook and decided to replace it with the color version. That is reported to be able to be used the same way as a tablet. I can download and read PDF documents on the nook, but if I convert them to EPUB files, I can use the note taking capabilities of the nook. The program to convert PDF files to EPUB is a free download. I can access my google docs from the nook and log on to dropbox through the internet search capabilities. Further lightening my load through technology.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day - See How They Work

Listening to GenaBloggers Radio the other night I began thinking about the occupations of our ancestors. Taken overall, this encompasses a large part of the occupation spectrum. There have been farmers, soldiers, cattle drivers, grocers, butchers, saloon keepers, realtors, fishermen, sailors, musicians, furniture makers, cabinet makers, painters of Pullman Cars, policemen, bankers, lawyers, coal miners, a dentist, travel agents, iron workers, jewelers, funeral directors, writers, postmen, accountants, salesmen, insurance agents, landlords, priests, poets, and railroad workers. There were union workers and non-union workers, blue collar and white collar workers alike.

Some of our ancestors changed occupations and some stayed with their original path. A soldier/musician in Norway remained both a soldier and musician. A German farmer immigrated to the United Stated and went from a laborer to a cattle driver to owning a meat market. An Irishman progressed from bartender, to saloon owner, to owner of a bowling alley, to owner of a Real Estate company and landlord. Said Real Estate Agency also incorporated both an Insurance Agency and Travel Agency. Another immigrant became treasurer for a large ship builder and then part owner of a iron work construction company.

Not to be outdone the distaff side of the family provided teachers, librarians, secretaries, a founder of a candy company, Sisters, a Postmistress, sales clerks, a travel agent, and most of all mothers. Mothers who taught the values of their parents to their children. Mothers who kept the cultural ties that were passed down from the immigrants who worked so hard to provide a better life for their families.

Let's salute the workers who saw that their families survived