Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – Your 16 Great-Great-Grands

It is time again for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings. Somehow by the time Saturday night rolls around, I’m much too tired to assemble one of these — but they’re just as much fun on Sunday afternoon, when I have more brain cells available.

1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents in pedigree chart order. List their birth and death years and places.

2) Figure out the dominant ethnicity or nationality of each of them.

3) Calculate your ancestral ethnicity or nationality by adding them up for the 16 – 6.25% for each (obviously, this is approximate).

4) If you don’t know all 16 of your great-great-grandparents, then do it for the last full generation you have.

5) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on Facebook or in this post.

Well, I’m missing 3 of my 16 great-great-grandparents still, but it’s safe to assume they’re all Puerto Rican, so without more ado–

16. Eloy Diaz y Gotay (8) was born at Penuelas, Puerto Rico, USA. He married Edwigés Yrigoyen y Márquez de Diaz (441).

17. Edwigés Yrigoyen y Márquez de Diaz (441) was born circa 1869 at Puerto Rico, USA.

18. [Belen’s husband, surnamed Silva, is unknown as yet, but most likely Puerto Rican.]

19. Belen Fernandez (498) was born circa 1870 at Puerto Rico, USA. She married Silva (953).

[20 and 21 are missing but can be safely assumed to be Puerto Rican.]

22. Marcelino Gonzalez (1003) was born at Naguabo, Puerto Rico. He married Petrona Valentin y Roman (1004) at Puerto Rico. He died before 15 Apr 1910 at Naguabo, Puerto Rico.

23. Petrona Valentin y Roman (1004) was born circa 1860 at Puerto Rico.

24. Lott J Tierney (635) was born on 15 Aug 1833 at Clare, Ireland. He married Margaret Connell (496) on 27 Nov 1860 at St. Mary’s Church, Lowell, Middlesex, Massachusetts, USA. He died on 9 Apr 1915 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 81.

25. Margaret Connell (496) was born on 1 Aug 1835 at Tipperary, Ireland. She died on 6 Dec 1918 at 1526 Richard, Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 83.

26. John Kelly (684) was born on 24 Nov 1840 at Tipperary, Ireland. He married Johanna Leahey (75) circa 1865. He died on 16 Feb 1905 at North Union St, Union City, Randolph, Indiana, USA, at age 64.

27. Johanna Leahey (75) was born in 1848 at Tipperary, Ireland. She died on 9 Aug 1894 near Union City, Indiana [but I don’t know which side of the Ohio-Indiana state line].

28. John Kohl (693) was born in Aug 1840 at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. He married Gertrude Berg (580) circa 1867 at Germany. He died on 5 Jan 1903 at 320 W North St, Springfield, Clark, Ohio, USA, at age 62.

29. Gertrude Berg (580) was born in Feb 1843 at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. She died on 14 Apr 1908 at Springfield, Clark, Ohio, USA, at age 65.

30. Philip John Weyrich (812) was born on 17 Feb 1844 at Hesse Darmstadt, Germany. He married Mary Engel (397) on 20 Dec 1870 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA. He died on 10 Jan 1906 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 61.

31. Mary Engel (397) was born on 15 Jul 1851 at Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA. She died on 1 Dec 1919 at 1232 Xenia Ave, Dayton, Montgomery, Ohio, USA, at age 68.

…. for a grand total of 50% Puerto Rican (16-23), 25% Irish (24-27), and 25% German (28-31). Which I could have told you before doing this exercise, but as Randy points out, it’s nice to have your tree published so searchers can turn it up.

The numbers in parens in the list are each individual’s ID in my TMG database.

Smile for the Camera: Great-Grandma’s Pearls

Two sisters and a daughter-in-law on a warm summer’s day. Bess, on the left, never married, but you can see a brooch at the top of her dress. Pauline, my grandmother, sports her wedding ring. Nellie, Bess’ sister and Pauline’s mother-in-law, shows her wedding ring, watch, and three strands of pearls. Mom and I think this was taken in the back yard of Nellie’s house.

Here are the pearls on display again, in the formal portrait taken for her 50th wedding anniversary in 1955:
Nellie McKinney on her 50th wedding anniversary

Going through Grandma’s jewelry box was eternally attractive to a magpie child. Along with the big bright costume jewelry and the beautiful rings, were these pearls. They had an intricate silver box clasp. I remember handling the necklace and wearing it, even, but I don’t have the pearls now, haven’t for years. I hope my mother managed to rescue them from the chaos of my college years, but I haven’t had the nerve to ask. They may be gone forever. (I took better care of the is-it-aquamarine-or-is-it-blue-topaz ring my mother handed down to me from Grandma; the stone, whatever it is, is too soft to take daily wear, but I know where it is.)

Written for the 16th edition of Smile for the Camera! carnival.

The word prompt for the 16th Edition of Smile For The Camera is “Bling, ancestor Bling.” I am always drawn to the beautiful jewelry worn by our ancestors in old photographs. The locket that was your Great Grandmother’s treasure, the pocket watch proudly displayed by a male ancestor, the beautiful crosses of old, and the children with their tiny bracelets. While not many of our ancestors were wealthy enough to own multiple pieces of jewelry, there was the one good piece that held sentimental value. Some of us have been fortunate enough to inherit those treasures. Show us a photograph of your ancestor wearing their “Bling,” or photographs of the pieces you have inherited. Admission is free with every photograph!

Fiske’s Law of Genealogy in action

This article charmingly states “Fiske’s law of genealogy: ‘Genealogy is finding the person who has done all the research.'”

Well, this has been a particularly lucky summer for me, as I have been contacted by not one but TWO cousins who have done just that!

Leo Hart, whose grandfather’s grave stone is pictured here, has shared a wealth of material pertaining to our TIERNEY origins in and around Dysert, County Clare. This includes material from another genealogist cousin whose mother was in the US for some years as a housekeeper for her great-uncle, Rev. Michael M TIERNEY (mentioned here), and who then returned to Clare. Most breathtaking is a photo of the gravestone of John TIERNEY and his wife Bridget MARKHAM TIERNEY (my ggggrandparents), taken by Leo in 2003. That stone was erected by Rev. Michael, who apparently spent all of his career (1874-1914 or thereabouts) in Iowa, ministering to communities which seem to have been largely composed of other immigrants from County Clare.

Jan Branham contacted me because of my “brick wall” post on John KELLY, also her brick wall. (If you’ve been wondering if genealogy blogging is worth the trouble, wonder no more — the answer is yes. Your audience can be just you and Google’s search spider, until someone goes looking for the information *you* have!) Jan is revisiting the graves in Union City, Indiana, and together we are going to take aim at the brick wall and tear it down, stone by stone.

Finally, Junel Davidsen, CG, (not a cousin of mine as far as I know) has been helping me accumulate the probate papers and related laws and lawsuits surrounding the estate of Julia Anna TIERNEY of Dayton Ohio, mentioned here, so that picture is coming clearer.

Tombstone Tuesday: Edward Joseph Kelly, Jr (1915 – 1917)

Kelly, Edward grave marker, St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Union City, Randolph, Indiana, USA; photograph by Suzanne Stamper-Youmans, 23 Apr 2008. Digital copy privately held by Jean Marie Diaz, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Linden, California. 2009.

Little Edward Kelly is buried here with his aunts, uncles, and grandparents, but his family moved to Dayton within a few years after his death, and his parents are buried there in Calvary Cemetery.

My Brickwall Ancestor: John KELLY, (1840-1905) – Madness Monday

Per Miriam’s splendid suggestion, I’m going to attempt a writeup of one of my current challenges in family history. (I’m not overly fond of the phrase “brick wall”.) As a novice genealogist, however, I am modifying Miriam’s instructions, in that I am perfectly glad to be told “you should check database thus-and-so.” I don’t expect anyone to do my work for me. 🙂

What I Want to Know:

John KELLY’s parents, and the date and location of his marriage to Johannah LEAHEY.

Known Timeline:

Searches Done:

Phyllis Crick of the Garst Museum in Greenville, OH kindly sent me their surname files on KELLY. She found an 1865 naturalization for a John KELLY, but in Darke County. A check of KELLY naturalizations in Miami County in this time period only turned up a Samuel KELLY. She also sent me the will and letters testamentary for John KELLY, the purchase and sale records for his farm in Darke County, and copies from extraction books of the Union City newspapers. search (exact) for KELLY/KELLEY in Brown, Miami, OH in the 1800s in census and voting records shows three groups of KELLYs: a John born in Ireland which I believe is my subject, a group born in Delaware (includes a John and a Samuel), and a group born in New Jersey.

A search for John KELLY between 1845-1880 in Ohio turns up four Civil War pension file index cards. I dismiss two because they are for widows (we know my John outlived his wife). The other two are for invalid pensions. It seems like an unlikely lead (see my Theories, below), but if someone tells me I should check it out, you should also tell me how. 🙂

Searched and for KELLY and KELLEY. Found an obit for Thomas Francis KELLY, John’s son. Found a 1902 directory for Union City, IN which lists on Rural Route 5 “Kelley John — Thos, Ed, Maggie, Mary, Robt., Jose, Celia”.

Unchecked Possible Resources:

  • Request Indiana death certificate (in process).
  • Query St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Union City, IN for records.
  • Research extant Catholic churches in Brown Twp, Miami OH during the period he was there, and query them for KELLY records.

Suspicions and Theories:

I have two theories for why his eldest daughter was born in Canada, when all her younger siblings were born in Ohio or Indiana. First: he was ducking the Civil War by skipping north over the border. Second, that he went back to Ireland to marry his wife (I don’t know where the marriage was, or when, except that Johannah first appears as his wife in the 1870 census, and their oldest child was born in 1865) and returned with her through Canada, taking enough time at it that Catherine was born north of the border. Speculation on these lines very much welcome!

My mother (b. 1946) reports being taken, a couple times, to reunions for ARMSTRONG-KELLY-CULLEN-LEAHEY. Of note is that she remembers the older attendees lamenting that the younger generation didn’t have much interest in the reunions, as they didn’t know their cousins. This made me very excited when I determined that Johannah LEAHEY KELLY’s mother was Catherine ARMSTRONG. It also makes me think of chain migration. I have ample evidence that these LEAHEYs originated in Tipperary, which makes me trust the information from Catherine KELLY DILLON’s 1920 census the more.

Tombstone Tuesday: Thomas Francis KELLY (1873-1942)

Kelly, Thomas grave marker, St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Union City, Randolph, Indiana, USA; photograph by Suzanne Stamper-Youmans, 23 Apr 2008. Digital copy privately held by Jean Marie Diaz, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Linden, California. 2009.

Thomas Francis KELLY, brother to my great-grandmother, apparently never married. At various times he is listed as a farm laborer or as a worker at Union City Body (I believe those were automobile bodies being manufactured). He and his brother Edward are standing together in this shot, but I don’t know who is who. (Robert Emmett, the youngest brother, is on the left.)

Note this shot gives a shining example of why one should not always trust the dates engraved on tombstones. His birthdate is given as 1874 on the stone, but both his obituary in the local paper, and (more significantly, I think) the WW1 draft card he filled out in his own hand, give his birthdate as 21 Dec 1873. (Reminds me of my mother, remarking on a family obituary which gave Bertha’s name as “Beth”: “It’s a real shame to lose your name.”)

Finding John KOHL (1840-1903)

Early in my genealogy career, I ran into a third cousin (hi, Craig!) who was a gem with sharing information and photographs. This naturally inclined me to pay more attention to our shared line, the TIERNEYs. When I turned my attention to my grandmother’s German lines, I was feeling distinctly intimidated (maybe it was the umlauts). And as my mother reminded me, KOHL is KÖL in German (the city of Cologne begins with this syllable, I’m told) and can be transliterated as COLE or any number of things. Eek! (Need I add that I’ve never studied German?)

I had been reading quite a lot of what Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak had to say, and she mentioned Progenealogists more than once. I was curious about what a pro could deliver, so after doing my due diligence, I engaged them for a four-hour “taster” project, namely, finding John KOHL‘s parents.

I supplied the information I had to that point, which was death certificates for John’s two oldest children, the household’s appearance in the 1880 and 1900 censuses, and (my gem) spotting them on the 25 Jun 1872 passenger list for the Hansa, via All the sources were unanimous in placing them in Hesse Darmstadt, but nothing more specific than that.

The wait for the report seemed endless (but was delivered in the time frame promised; it wasn’t late. Waiting is just hard!) It was educational, both for what was searched, what wasn’t searched that I had found in the intervening weeks, and (best of all) the suggestions for further research.

In short, the strategy was to locate the record of the death of John KOHL. Ohio’s state collection of death certificates, Clark County probate records, county histories, and the available cemetery transcriptions all came up empty. They did find a record of the death of his wife, Gertrude BERG KOHL, and succeeded in narrowing the window for John’s death from 1900-1910 to 1900-1904.

Their recommendations for further research were to look up Gertrude’s obituary and investigate Catholic church records in the hands of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. In the interval, I had found the RB Hayes Presidential Library and their obituary index, and the Clark County library came through with the obits of both John and Gertrude. Alas, no more specific information about their origins came with them. So I turned to their second suggestion, writing the Archdiocese, and after another breath-holding wait, I had a grand pile of photocopies, some quite faint (and annotated with apologies by the archivist). Buried in someone’s baptismal record was my answer:

Kimbach, Darmstadt, Germany.

Speaking of buried in records, those photocopies have found somewhere in my house to hide. I keep slashing at mounds of paper, and the recycling bin gets fuller and fuller, but I haven’t turned them up since I started working through Dear Myrtle’s monthly organizational checklists. I found the empty envelope, today, so I know I’m not just imagining it!

My next stop was where their pointer to navigating the Meyers Gazetteer has me staring at a location in Google Maps and thinking “Hmm!”

But then, there’s a reference in the HESSE-L mailing list that there are four separate Kimbachs in Hessen, so perhaps I’m not done yet.

Edit: I found those papers and turns out my memory was bad. That’s the origin of a different German ancestor! Clearly there’s a new post to write.

Written for the 16th edition of the Carnival of Central and Eastern European Genealogy.