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Archive for the ‘Whelan’ Category

There comes a time when writing a family history book that you have to stop researching. I am in the final phases of the Colbert-Whelan Family History book and I am putting aside interesting leads for future research. I am do a little “filling in the blanks” as I review the book.

My grandfather, James Whelan, had a first cousin named Thomas Phelan, born in 1891. The names may seem different, but in Ireland in the 19th century everyone used the Whelan and Phelan interchangeably.

With all the new Irish records available I easily located marriage and death records for most of his brothers and sisters, but couldn’t find Thomas. A quick check of Ancestry found that he had emigrated to the United States in 1916.

Thomas Whelan PAR 1916 1

Thomas Phelan, occupation: Ecclesiastical Studies

Thomas Whelan PAR 1916 2

Going to; Uncle, Father Wm. Ryan, St. Leo’s, Denver, Col.

Maybe Thomas had planned to be a priest, but he married in 1928 and had two children. He remained in Denver.

Who is Father William Ryan????

He wasn’t Thomas’ uncle – his mother’s name was Murnane, but his paternal grandmother’s name was Ryan, so maybe he was a cousin. This is on the list for further research.

Googling Father William Ryan (actually O’Ryan)  and St. Leo’s Roman Catholic Church resulted in a lot of hits.

Father O’Ryan was well known in his day. He was born in Cashel, County Tipperary in 1861 and became a priest in 1885. He left for Colorado not long after where he became the pastor of St. Leo’s.

He was known for his writing, his oratorical skills, and his charity work. Among the organizations he was instrumental in forming were the Hospital Association for the care of the sick poor and the Colorado State Tuberculosis Society. He was a member of the Colorado State Board of Charities and Correction.

In 1887 he helped found the Charity Organizations Associations. This was the start of the United Way.

FAther Oryan united way

He died in 1940 and is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery.

photo of father oryan

THE BOOK

So what is happening with the book? It’s close to finished. I’m reviewing each chapter and finding weird typos (and fixing them). I’ve been in touch with some cousins and will be in touch with more to double check the information I have about their grandparents and great grandparents. And I’ve been trying to fixing photographs as best I can. 

MIchael before and after

Michael Colbert, U.S. Army, World War II. I cleaned it up a bit and cropped it.

James Colbert before and after

James Colbert (1895-1943), my grandfather’s brother

 

Another project – taking pictures of some items we have that belonged to my grandparents.

WS Annie Shanley teapot 2

Teapot owned by Annie Shanley Whelan

Stay tuned for more information on the book.

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Today would have been my mother’s 100th birthday and she would have enjoyed a big celebration. Here’s a video I made for her 90th Birthday party in 2008.

“THE BOOK”

I had planned to have the family history book completed by today, but I missed that deadline. It WILL be completed in her birthday year – 2018. Target date now is September to have ready for the printer.

What have I been doing? reviewing and editing, with the help of my sisters. Updating the genealogical summary with the help of my many cousins. Some are “new” cousins I’ve met since I started writing the book.

Fixing the photographs for the book. I’m also getting some more photographs from cousins. To paraphrase the old Girl Scout song: “Find new cousins, and keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”

I have created a list of objects to photograph – some large, most small – they include: an Al Smith campaign button my Aunt Bessie (Shanley O’Hara) had; my grandmother Colbert’s locket; my grandmother Whelan’s Irish accordion; and much more.

Happy Birthday Babsie

A few pictures of her through the years.

Babs 001

Babs 001Babs and Larry099

Babs dental office

Babsie – dental hygienist

babslarry.jpg

Babs 006

Larry Colbert in the Navy

Christmas 2007 043

Babs with her grandchildren and great-grandchilren.  Christmas 2007.

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I haven’t posted in a long time, but I have been busy. The book won’t be printed by my mother’s 100th birthday, but it will be well on it’s way to completion. I am now in “production” mode.

The draft is done and my sisters are reviewing it. I’m busy formatting the book. I finally figured out how to set up styles and templates in MS Word and have prepared a template. It wasn’t as hard as I thought, but I will have to be careful when I start transferring the draft into the template. It’s the kind of computer project where one change in one section can mess up other sections, and then you have to figure out where  you messed up. The good news is, I think I know where most of the mess ups can occur.

 

I have to avoid the temptation to research, but who could resist the newly uploaded indexes to Archdiocese of New York’s baptisms and marriages? And what did I find, after 40 years of looking? my grandmother’s baptism, with her birth date. I should have had this information years ago. I called St. Augustine’s and they told me they couldn’t find anything for her.

CR Josephine Ryan098

Johanna (Josephine) Ryan Colbert, born January 4, 1888, baptized January 11, 1888, at St. Augustine’s Church, Bronx

For now I will prepare the photographs for input into each section. I’ve scanned most of the old photographs, but I have to photograph objects – like my Aunt Nan’s christening gown, and my grandmother’s accordion. For that I need my tripod and that requires a search of my house. It’s in a safe place, but I know not where.
I can do basic fixes on Photoshop Elements. I can’t fix everything, and I can’t make the pictures look new, but I will try to improve them.

Working on Aunt Joan

Here’s one I’m working on. This is my Aunt Joan, I think it’s her high school graduation picture. Most pictures in the book will be black and white, so that means converting photos that have any color.

James Whelan compare

James Whelan, 1907. This one could use more work, but it’s complicated. At least you can see him better.

 

John Colbert compare

John Colbert (1858-1899) A third cousin fixed this one for me.

For more damaged photographs I may use a wonderful Facebook page where volunteers help to restore old photos.

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“The Book” is progressing and on schedule. I finished the citations and now I am scanning, and locating photographs, illustrations, maps, and charts.

Task List - Book

Going through the photographs is enlightening. The Whelans, probably Aunt Nan or Uncle Jimmy, had a camera in the 1920s. There are a lot of snapshots and they are in pretty good shape.

WS Vincent Peggy and Thomas

Vincent, Peggy, and Thomas

WS the kids

“The Kids” – Billy, Thomas, Vincent, and Babsie

My grandmother took the children for studio portraits to send back to her mother in Ireland.

WS Angela Communion

Angela – First Communion

The Colberts didn’t take studio portraits. There is only one – of my father’s First Communion. It’s possible they took pictures of the other kids, but they didn’t survive.

They didn’t have a camera, but someone took pictures and gave them copies. There are a few snapshots, but they are in bad shape.

Colbert 053

Joe and Larry, around 1918.

Micky, Joan, Jackie and friends

Micky, Joan, Jackie and friends, around 1930.

In 1939 my Uncle Joe bought a camera and loved taking candid shots, writing detailed information on the back of each picture.

Colbert_0125

Joe – around 1939

Colbert_0126

Joe went to the fair with his brother Larry, and their cousins Bill and Jim Rogers.

Nan Whelan went on to become a photographer and in the 1940s she took a lot of family pictures and printed them out herself, usually on 8 x 10 paper.

In December of 1942 Uncle Vincent, who enlisted in the Army right after Pearl Harbor, came home on leave. He’d gone through almost a year of training and was going overseas.

Nan took pictures of him, in uniform, with as many family members as she could.

 

WS Bill Annie Vincent and Jimmie

Billy, Vincent, and Jimmy with their mother, December 1942

 

WS Vincent and Peggy Anne 164

Vincent and Peggy Anne

It never hit me until scanning them that she, and the rest of the family were worried that  he might not come back. He did, but he never saw his father or brother Jimmy again. He returned in April on compassionate leave because of the death of his father, only to learn after he arrived home that his brother had died a few weeks earlier.

 

 

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For the past month I’ve been reviewing citations – correcting them and making sure they are consistent.

Researching in the 1970s

As I reviewed the citations for passenger manifests I realized how much had changed since I started researching 40 years ago.

NancyShanley

Annie Shanley

Today it takes a few seconds to find my grandmother, Annie Shanley, on a passenger manifest in Ancestry.

Annie Ancestry index

Before the internet it was more complicated.

I was lucky, I had a reliable family story. My grandmother told her children about her trip and my mother told me. Grandma arrived in New York on the day McKinley was shot, or maybe the day he died. When she got off the ferry in Battery Park with her mother the bands were playing. She thought they were to welcome the immigrants, but they were playing for the President.

President McKinley was shot in Buffalo on September 6, 1901 and died on September 14, 1901.

Passenger manifests had been microfilmed by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA). Some were indexed, some were not. Today all the New York records have been grouped by Ancestry into one index: “New York, Passenger Lists, 1820 – 1957.”

Fortunately, the records for 1901 were indexed. I would need to order the correct microfilm roll from the Family History Library or through my local library. After finding the ship and the date I would then need to order another film. This could take weeks.

There was another way, request NARA check the records; for a small fee they would copy the record.
Scan_20170709

I did that, putting the date McKinley was shot, September 6, 1901, and sent the form to NARA in June 1977. I got the results fast –  they couldn’t find it!! How was this possible?
Scan_20170709 (2)

In September 1978 my cousin Pat decided to order the index from Family Search; she found two Ann Shanley’s but

I have 20-20 vision, borrowed a magnifying glass, had four people there trying to decipher the 2 cards (2 x 3 each)…NO WAY could any of us come up with anything.

A trip to Washington D.C.

It would take a trip to NARA in Washington D.C. in  June of 1981 to find Grandma on a ship’s manifest.

The original index had been done on 2 x 3  cards, one for each passenger with information on name, age, former residence, ship, date of arrival, and a few other details. These cards had been microfilmed and the section I needed had been damaged, the names were gone, but a few bits of information peeked through. Two important pieces of information survived: former residence and ship information. I slowly went through that roll of microfilm and was rewarded with “ROSS” – former residence and the date of arrival.

Next I had to pull Microfilm roll # 222 for September 11, 1901. I didn’t have to look long. There she was: Annie Shanley, age 19, arriving on the S.S. Oceanic with $4.00, meeting her mother who had paid for her ticket.

I ordered a copy – the old readers at NARA did not have printers – and I still have it. It’s about 18″ x 24″.

oceanic passenger list

SS OCeanic

Grandma was in steerage, she called it “the hole of the ship.”

Flash forward to the internet age and I was able to find out more about Grandma’s arrival. The bands were playing to celebrate the expected recovery of the President. A few days later sepsis set in and he died on September 14.

The Oceanic was a big ship and I found several articles about her and about my grandmother’s trip.

Immigration and Naturalization Slides Family version

Back to citations, working on census records now. About halfway through citations, started gathering photographs, maps, illustrations.

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Every county had a Petty Sessions District – the closest ones to the Aherns were in Oldcastle, County Meath and Mount Nugent, County Cavan. Justices of the Peace heard the various complaints in these courtes which covered criminal charges as well as complaints between neighbors. The clerk recorded the information in books which have survived and make for very interesting reading.

Irish Petty Sessions

Irish Petty Sessions

In Oldcastle court was held on Mondays and the Aherns were often there – they brought charges against their neighbors – for trespassing, allowing their animals to wander and destroy the Ahern crops, assault and the ever populer “abusive and threatening language”. Charges were also brought against them – for the same reasons. They evicted their tenants, tried to get apprentices to continue working and fought with one another. Great great Aunt Kitty seems to have had a thing about breaking windows and her husband, William Knight, did not get along with his mother in law – Bridget Gibbons Ahern. He “threatened to take her life” more than once, and in 1876 spent a few days in jail. He was sent to jail on the first of November  for 20 days, but before he went got drunk in Oldcastle.  After his release from prison he was fined for that offense.

Court in Mount Nugent was held on Thursdays and the Aherns were represented there too, although not as frequently as at Oldcastle.

 

John and James Ahern, along with several other men from Ross were involved in a riot.

– John and James Ahern, along with several other men from Ross were involved in a riot. – 1875 a

James Somerville accused John Ahern of threatening to run a turf slane through his body.

James Somerville accused John Ahern of threatening to run a turf slane through his body.

An example of a turf slane and a man using one to cut turf.

An example of a turf slane and a man using one to cut turf.

Map of Ross showing where James Somerville and John Ahern lived. The turberry was held in common by all the families in Ross.

Map of Ross showing where James Somerville and John Ahern lived. The turberry was held in common by all the families in Ross.

 

John and his son, John got into a few disputes.

John and his son, John got into a few disputes.

These records can be found on Find My Past wh.ich has many Irish records

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George Ahern and one of his brothers with the family greyhound.

George Ahern (on right) and one of his brothers with the family greyhound. Probably early 1900s

Dogs were popular in Ireland and they roamed free.  Complaints about them were frequent – they attacked and even killed the livestock and people lived in fear of being bitten by a rabid dog. No one knew who the owners of the dogs were so, in 1865, Parliament passed a law requiring the Irish to register their dogs –

By March 31st of every year the owners had to go to the local petty sessions court to register their dogs. For the Aherns that would have been in Oldcastle. In 1866, the first year of the law, John Ahern went to Oldcastle in February to register his black mastiff. Within a few years, most people were waiting until March to register the dogs. The real rush came the last few days with several hundred people lining up to make the deadline.

In 1866, my great great grandfather was one of the first to register a dog, a black mastiff. In future years, most people waited until the end of March to register their dogs.

In 1866, my great great grandfather, John  Ahearn, was one of the first to register a dog, a black mastiff. In future years, most people waited until the end of March to register their dogs.

John Ahern registered a black mastiff.

John Ahern registered a black mastiff.

My great grandmother, Margaret Shanley had a collie in 1912.

My great grandmother, Margaret Shanley had a collie in 1912.

In this 1920s picture she's holding a cat, but Margaret Shanley owned a collie for a few years.

In this 1920s picture she’s holding a cat, but Margaret Shanley owned a collie for a few years.

Look closely and you'll see the dog standing in front of the house (Quarry House in Ross)

Look closely and you’ll see the dog standing in front of the house (Quarry House in Ross)

Stamp that was affixed to the dog license. Different colors were used throughout the years.

Stamp that was affixed to the dog license. Different colors were used throughout the years.

This would have been given to the owner of the dog.

This would have been given to the owner of the dog.

Patrick Whelan, who may have been my grandfather's uncle was fined because his dog was unlicensed. Note Anne Whelan who was fined for letting two asses run free. She may have been my grandmother.

Patrick Whelan, who may have been my grandfather’s uncle, was fined because his dog was unlicensed. Note Anne Whelan who was fined for letting two asses run free. She may have been my great grandmother.

If you didn’t register the dog you were subject to fines.

The copy of the “Bill for regulating Keeping of Dogs and for Protection of Sheep and other Property from Dogs in Ireland” comes from http://eppi.dippam.ac.uk/documents/14740; Sessional Papers 569, Volume 1, Session 1865

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