Friday, April 3, 2009


Moved my blog to wordpress and renames it Finding Our Ancestors, since I have moved from research on just my O'Connell line. You can read it hear at

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

My Brickwall Ancestor - John O'Connell

In spending time today reading AnceStories older posts and I came across one on blogging about our Brickwall Ancestors and why we do not put out all the information we have and maybe others will be able to help. What an idea. I know for one, I have mentioned mine here and there. But I have never really put all my information out there. So today I am taking a stab at it. 
I am looking for John's parents and to see if I can find where he is really from, the information from census records is conflicting.

John O'Connell

1900 Census 
Enumeration District 138, Supervisors District 5, Sheet 10A
Sandy Hill Village, Kingsbury Town, Washington County, NY
7 Mill Street

John is head of house, M, W, born Nov 1857, age 42, widowed, born in NY, both parents born in NY, he is Grinder at the Pulp Mill.

Also in the house are:
Elizabeth, daughter, F, W, b. Sept 1880, age 19, single, born in NJ, parents born in NY.
Dennis, son, M, W, b. Nov 1882, age 17, single, born in NY, parents born in NY, he is a day laborer.
John W, son, M, W, b. Apr 1885, age 15, single, born in NY, parents born in NY, he is a laborer.
Daniel, son, M, W, b. Apr 1887, age 12, single, born in NY, parents born in NY, he is at school.
Kate, daughter, F, W, b. Dec 1888, age 11, single, born in NY, parents born in NY, she is at school.
Mary, daughter, F, W, b. Dec 1893, age 6, single, born in NY, parents born in NY.

1910 Census (very hard to read)
Enumeration District 109, Supervisors District 6, sheet 9A
Hudson Falls Village, Kingsbury Township, Washington County, NY

John is head of house, M, W, age 52, widowed, born in Ireland, parents born in Ireland, he is a laborer at the pulp mill.

Also in the house are:
Mrs. Hattie Langdon, daughter, F, W, age 30, Married, born in NJ, parents born in Ireland. (she had been married for 11 years)
Fred Langdon, son in law, M, W, age 35, Married, born in NJ, parents born in Ireland.
Dan, son, M, W, age 22, single, born NY, parents born in Ireland, operator in bag mill.

Burial information:

John died 26 Sept 1931 and is buried in St Paul's/St Mary's Cemetery in Hudson Falls, NY. He was 73 years old. This has been confirmed with Dorothy at St Paul's/St Mary's Church through the listing of his wife Bridget Curran (who is not buried there) on his records. Also buried here are his son John W, and his wife Beatrice. Daughter Hattie, and son Dennis. There are a total of 5 O'Connells buried here, Marie is the last one (I have not been able to place her in the family yet). They have no other records on this family.  They did find it odd that there are Irish buried in this French cemetery.

I have been trying to get a copy of death records for any of them through Kingsbury Town Hall, unfortunately, I never get an answer on the phone. I will continue to try that way and via email. 

I have not been able to find John in the 1880 Census (he should have been in NJ, which is where his daughters were born that year) and have a few possibilities for earlier census records, but need to have more family information on him before making a guess as to which he really is. 
I have also spoke to Our Lady of Mt Carmel Church in  Granville, NY, which is where Bridget O'Connell (John's wife is buried). The only other information they have is their son Dennis baptismal information. The only thing they could tell me is that Bridget might have a sister named Catherine, but they are not positive. She was listed on something they have. 

Any suggestions are welcome. 

Wordless Wednesday, West Virginia Coal Mines

More pictures of the West Virginia Coal Mine, taken from our moving vehicle by my daughter Brittany in June 2004.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, Besoco, West Virgina

June 2004
Besoco, West Virginia
Mary Jane, Zedith and Susie Lachney
in front of the house they grew up in.
Picture taken on a Trip to WV for the Hilton Family Reunion, 
by Terri O'Connell.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Susie Hilton

This photo was taken by Terri O'Connell,
at Sunset Memorial Park
1915 Harper Road
Beckley, WV 25801

Resting place for (inscription reads)
 Susie Hilton

Susie (Kerr) Hilton was born 12 Feb 1876 in Arlington, Ohio to John and Margaret (Garlinger) Kerr. She married John James Hilton around 1893 and had 11 children. She passed 11 Sept 1943, in either Beckley or Oswall, WV. Here she lies to the right of her husband. She is also resting with many family members nearby.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday, West Virginia Coal Mines

Coal Mine in West Virginia

June 2004
This photo was taken by my daughter Brittany from a moving car, 
while on our way to Beckley, WV. 
We were just outside of Charleston, WV when she took this. 
We come from a long line of miners. 

Tombstone Tuesday - Joan Lachney

This photo was taken June 28, 2004 by Terri O'Connell

Sunset Memorial Park
1915 Harper Road
Beckley, WV 25801

Joan Lachney
A Little Bud of love
Gone to Bloom With
God Above

This stone was decaying badly at our visit in 2004. It has since been replaced by her sister Mary Jane.

Joan was a sister to our Grandmother who passed so early in her life. We feel those who are here for such a short time are on the other side watching over our daily lives. We are truly blessed to have someone watching over us.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reply from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

Today in the mail I finally received a few papers. One is a listing of 1883 Baptisms. Dennis O'Connell was baptized on the 16th. His sponsor's were Edward and Mary Leonard. I wonder if they are related in some way. Leonard is not a name I have come across before.

The other paper was a listing of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery, Granville, Washington County, New York

Bridget (Curran) O'Connell (wife of John) 1862 - 1895.

Need to really plan a trip to NY, I would really like to visit Washington, Warren and Jefferson Counties.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not So Wordless Wednesday - Stoco School

June 28, 2004
Stoco School in Lego, WV.

Stoco school where my Grandparents and my mother attended (until she was 8). 

Stoco was built around 1925 and housed students from grades K-12 originally. The building has been abandoned for roughly 30 years. The building was not secure, we  were able to walk right in. The first room we went into was the gym, it was in terrible shape. My Grandmother cried as she looked around. You could tell by looking at the building that it was a beautiful building in its day. My youngest daughter and one of the other cousin's that were with us told my Grandmother not to worry, that when they grew up they were going to buy the building and fix the school. It is wonderful how the mind of a child works. They see the ache in a loved one and just want to fix it. My daughter, now 12, still talks of how sad this building was and how they are going to fix it to make her Granny happy. 

In the writing of this I have found that in 2008 the school was in a  fire that left the building a complete loss. I hesitate to even tell this to my Grandmother because I am not sure how she will take the information. She left West Virginia as a young mother and moved to the big city of Chicago. When she speaks of WV, you can hear the love for the home of her childhood and where she gave birth to her children. Often when we speak, there is the conversation of "if the Lord is willing, I want to visit one more time". I truly hope that I can make that trip with her. There is so much more I would like to see and learn about.

Tombstone Tuesday - John Hilton

Sunset Memorial Park
1915 Harper Road
Beckley, WV 25801

Inscription reads:
John Hilton
1869 - 1947

This photo was take June 28, 2004. John Hilton is my Great Great Grandfather. His resting place, as well as other family members,  is on the side of a steep hill in Sunset Memorial Park. This trip was taken with my Grandmother and  two of her sisters; one who had just gone through a few major surgeries the previous year. The steepness of the hill made it extremely difficult for me to visit. I can only imagine that Grandma and my Great Aunts found it challenging to maneuver. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Saturday Night Fun - True Confessions of a Genealogy Junkie

Ok its my first time playing this from Randy at "Genea Musing

1. When did you start genealogy research? 1999
2. Why did you start doing research? My Grandfather was in the hospital dying and I did not know much about his family. I wanted to know everything and he was unable to speak and we never talked after that, he died within the next few days.
3. What was your first big success in genealogy? Finding my O'Connell relatives in a folio at the Newberry library in Chicago, IL
4. What is your biggest genealogy regret? Not starting before 1999
5. What are you best know for in the genealogy world? Nothing yet!
6. What is your professional status in genealogy? Not certified, but I truly want to be!
7. What is your biggest genealogy achievement? adding over 30 members to my family tree through old obituaries and then finding family I had no idea was there.
8. What is the most fun you have had doing genealogy? Right now, between facebook and twitter meeting others interested in the same thing.
9. What is your favorite genealogy how to book? Not sure at this point. 
10. What notable genealogist would you like to meet someday? Maureen Taylor 

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Update on John and Bridget (Curran) O'Connell

I called Our Lady of Mount Carmel today for my update on their search for my ancestors. So the good news is they found Dennis O'Connell listed in their baptismal book and they will photo copy it and mail it to me. However, they found nothing for marriage records on John and Bridget. The only information she could give me on Bridget Curran is that she was born in 1862 and died in 1895. 

They also found the name Catherine Curran listed which is probably a sister to Bridget. This makes sense because many of the children seemed to have been named after family members. John and Bridget had a daughter named Catherine as well.  I have notated this and will see if I can find Bridget and Catherine in a census as children.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Rose O'Connell - McAvoy

Rose and Frank Mc Avoy

Rose O'Connell is my mysterious Great Grandmother. It seems there was a falling out with her son Larry and the family never reconnected. I ordered a copy of her death certificate and found out that she was buried only 3 blocks from my house. I was so excited to have found this information, that I was at the cemetery the next morning. 

Rose was born 30 Mar 1888 in either Maine or NH (not 100% sure yet). She married Dennis J O'Connell before 1905 and had 4 children with him, Ambrose Lawrence b. 1905, NH. Linus Joseph b. 1908, NY. Theresa May b. 1909, NY. The fourth child was a male that did not survive. 

Dennis and Rose divorced and he moved to Canada before 1920. 
The boys took to the rails and settled in Illinois. Theresa and Rose followed. By 1930, Rose was remarried to Frank McAvoy. 

We have reconnected with a family member, who has added some of the McAvoys to our family tree. I hope to connect with them at some point to learn more about this branch of my family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Fred Jaeger and Ella Jonas

Ida Margaret Jaeger
Ambrose (Larry) Lawrence O'Connell

Fred and Ella's daughter Ida was Ambrose O'Connell's third wife. Ambrose and Ida are my Grandparents.

1860 Federal Census -3

1860 Federal Census -2

1860 Federal Census -1

Kreativ Blogger Award

Lucky for me that I checked my Blog today. I have not really been doing a lot of research on my family tree this past week. Today, I happened to make a phone call and of course I had to blog about it. To my surprise, Gini  picked me to receive the Kreativ Blogger Award. I never really felt my blog was creative, I just wanted somewhere to keep track of my research and how it makes me feel when I find answers that I have been searching for. It is great. 

Thanks Gini, you have inspired me to make sure I am doing something on my tree each week and to keep blogging about it. 

The instructions for the Kreativ Blooger Award are:
1. Copy of the award to your site.
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers. (how to choose only 7!!)
4. Link to those sites on your blog.
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

My nominee is:

Since I do not have many blogs that I follow, (only 2) and it seems all those I have looked at have received the award as well.

John and Bridget O'Connell

Today I called the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Middle Granville, NY. It seems this is one of a few Churches in this Catholic community. I spoke to a very nice lady who is going to look in their records to see what she can find for Bridget (Curran) O'Connell. I am hoping that this is the Church that Bridget grew up in. Obviously I know that she was buried there. I also know that her son Dennis was baptized there.  So it seems there is some tie with Bridget and this Church. She asked that I give them a week to go through their records and give them a call back. I look forward to making the follow up call, hopefully they will have a some great finds for me.  

Sad news is this Church will hold its last service on Easter Sunday of this year. This Church has been in this community for 100+ years. It is sad that something that has been around so long is going to close it's doors for the last time.

With working full time it seems there is never enough time to put into my family tree. Though this past week I have been able to put my family tree on Which has been great, I have found some links on other lines of my family that I have not been paying any attention to. I am really excited about that. Of course, I need to go over all of the sources to double and triple check everything. I have some ancestors that I need to go and prove some family stories on. Which I look forward to spending time on that.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dennis O'Connell and sons

Right - Dennis O'Connell
Middle - Ambrose Lawrence O'Connell
Left - Linus Joseph O'Connell

Rose and Frank McAvoy

Rose (Springer) O'Connell McAvoy and Frank McAvoy

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rose (Springer) O'Connell - McAvoy

OK. So one goal for the New Year was to do more in depth research on my Springer line. I was reading old O'Connell posts today and found a message my aunt put up a few years ago. This message stated that Rose had a sister Sophia. I already know that she had a brother William and her mother was Mary. I searched the 1900 census and found a family in Maine that fits these family members. The one exception is that the Mother is listed as Mosel, I cannot read the original copy to clearly. It looks like it could be Mary instead of Mosel. There is another brother listed as well. His name is Arthur. Will see if I can find them in 1880, 1910 and go from there.