Sunday, October 19, 2014

Connecticut Research Trip

Several years ago, through the wonder of connecting on the internet, I discovered that my mother had relatives. My mother had no siblings and, although her mother was the oldest of seven children, my mother had no known Irish first cousins. All my known cousins came from my father’s side of our family. However, after my mother’s death, I have discovered third cousins; Irish cousins living in the northeast.




Our little group has grown over the last several years. We try to assemble once a year and this year’s gathering is approaching. Two of us, Pat Brady & I, are the researchers. We uncover bits about our history to share with the rest of the group.

In preparation for the trip I am making an excel spreadsheet with a quick summary of what we know about the children of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. Thomas & Catherine spent most of their lives in Co Cavan, Ireland. Eight of their children came to the USA, settling in CT & NJ. The spread sheet will make it easy to see what facts we are missing, such as birth, immigration, marriage or death dates.

Last year we searched in Derby City Hall & the Derby Library. We found bits of our family puzzle in both locations. This year we plan to focus our research in these locations:

Ansonia City Hall
253 Main Street, Ansonia, CT. We are hoping to find a death certificate here. We have a range of years when we believe he died.

·         AnsoniaPublic Library
53 S Cliff St, Ansonia, CT. Our family lived in the area & I hope to find genealogies or histories or city directories. It is hard to get a feel for the library’s holdings from the website.
·         DerbyHistorical Society
37 Elm Street, Ansonia, CT. The website looks very promising. They are only open 3 hours a day so I want to be there when the door is unlocked and they might need to boot us out at four o’clock!
·         EvergreenCemetery
New Haven, CT. Pat is lining up the cemetery research by contacting the offices in advance. We are hoping for maps, lot cards & opportunities to photograph the stones.
·         Mt.Saint Peter’s Cemetery
219 New Haven Ave., Derby, CT. We know that some of the main characters in our family’s story are buried here. Perhaps there are even more.
·         PineGrove Cemetery
15 Church Street, Ansonia, CT. The online search option shows two of our family members.

We will have two weekdays for our research. Then we will meet up with the cousins on Saturday for catching up, sharing our findings & just enjoying each other! Last time we gathered we had dinner at an Irish pub. Our ever increasing group gathered around a very large table for good food & laughter. Looking around the table at all the cousins from preschoolers to teens and on up to us seniors I thought of my mother and how much she would have loved to join in.

Related Posts:



Friday, October 17, 2014

My Great Great Great Grands – Life Spans & Other Comparisons

I have been posting about my ‘grands’ for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks & started to wonder if they were all contemporaries and how their life spans compared. So I compiled these statistics on my 3x great grandparents for my father’s family. I am not strong with statistics so these are just basics.


My father’s family:

Edward Brown                  1806 GA – 1856 MS          49 years
Mary Spurlock                   1800 GA – 1888 MS          88 years

Wyatt Smith                       1809 LA – 1894 MS           84 years
Euseba Fortenberry            1809 SC – 1878 MS           68 years

Nathaniel Brumfield           1813 LA– 1852 LA              39 years
Charlotte Ott                     1815 LA – 1895                   80 years

Edwin Alford                      1792 NC– 1878 MS           85 years
Martha Smith                     1802 SC– 1861 MS            59 years

Abraham Mark                  1812 PA – 1872 OH           59 years
Mary Heffelfinger             1819 PA – 1904 OH           84 years

Isaac Ritter                          1823 OH – 1880 OH          57 years
Isabell Fisher                        1828 OH– 1870 OH           41 years

Christian Gruissy              1811 Swiss– 1907 OH      96 years
Mary Grorisclauss            ?      - c 1849

John Wolf                            1809 PA– 1883 OH            73 years
Elizabeth Burkholder           1814 PA– 1856 OH            42 years


These ancestors were born over a span of 36 years with Edwin Alford standing out because he was born in an earlier century than the others.  They died over a span of 55 years with two born in a later century. It is interesting to look at these ancestors as a group. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #41; Thomas Brady; 110 years old?

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. She suggests we write once a week about a specific ancestor. Here is one of my mother’s Irish ancestors.


Thomas Brady
d c 1914 Ireland
My 3x Great Grandfather
County Cavan, Ireland. Home of the Brady Family

Thomas Brady lived his life in Ireland. He married Catherine Gibney on 17 May 1841 In Foxfield [also called Omard], Cavan, Ireland.[1] He was still in the area in 1857 when he leased land from Anne Coyle.[2] [His daughter, Margaret, married a Coyle.] His wife, Catherine, died 27 March 1873.[3]

In 1901[4] & 1911[5] Thomas Brady was in Killykeen, Drumlumman, Cavan, Ireland where he was a farmer. He lived with his son, Patrick, daughter in law, Ellen and their children. Interestingly, in 1901 someone told the census taker that Thomas was 85 years old. Ten years later the census taker was told Thomas was 110 years old. He had aged 25 years in 10 years and we not know which age was accurate! 

Family stories say Thomas was a pig farmer & he went blind in later life.

Of Thomas & Catherine’s ten children we believe only two stayed in Ireland. Patrick, the oldest, raised a family in Killykeen, Cavan, Ireland as his father had. Stories say Thomas Jr. went to the USA but was not allowed to stay in the country because he was missing a finger.

Those children who came to the USA lived in two different areas, either CT or NJ. William Brady lived in the Derby, CT area where he was a laborer. His sister, Ann Brady Kilday, also lived in the Derby Ct area. Margaret Brady married Patrick Coyle and lived in the Waterbury, CT area. John Brady was a chauffeur who started his own company in New Jersey. Bartholomew Brady was a police officer in New Jersey. Catherine Brady also lived in New Jersey.

Through the internet I have found Brady cousins, from both the NJ & CT areas. Bringing these branches of the family together once again has been wonderful. We get together periodically to research our ancestors. Maybe our combined efforts will yield more data on the Thomas Brady family.

Thomas & Family:

1 Thomas Brady b: Ireland, d: 1914
... + Catherine Gibney b: 1818 Ireland, m: 17 May 1841 Ireland, d: 27 Mar 1873 Granard, Cavan, Ireland
......2 Patrick Brady b: c. 1847 Ireland, d: Unknown
...... + Ellen Reilly
......2 William Brady b: c. 1848 Ireland, d: 4 Oct 1926 New Haven, CT
...... + Bridget Hart b: Abt. 1852 Ireland, d: 02 Aug 1914 New Haven, CT
......2 Owen Brady b: Abt. 1849 Ireland, d: Unknown
...... + Mary McGovern
......2 Margaret Brady b: c. 1855 Killykeen, Cavan, Ireland, d: 22 Nov 1934 Waterbury, New Haven, CT
...... + Patrick Coyle b: 20 May 1841 Moate, Cavan, Ireland, m: 11 Feb 1870 Granard, Cavan, Ireland, d: 21 Jun 1925 Milford, New Haven, CT
......2 Thomas Brady b: 29 Mar 1860 Cavan, Ireland, d: Unknown
......2 John Brady b: 14 Jul 1864 Finnea, Cavan, Ireland, d: 28 Nov 1957
...... + Mary Mc Cartin b: Aug 1868 Ireland, m: Jan 1895 NJ, d: 1958 E Orange, Essex, NJ
......2 Ann Brady b: c. 1865 Ireland, d: 27 Jul 1952 Milford, New Haven, CT
...... + James Kilday b: c. 1850 Ireland, m: 18 Aug 1881 CT, d: 11 Nov 1899 CT
......2 Bartholomew Anthony Brady b: 20 Oct 1866 Cavan, Ireland, d: Dec 1943 NJ
...... + Mary Agnes Reddan b: England, m: c. 1901, d: 28 Jul 1956
......2 MaryAnn Brady b: 23 Nov 1869 Cavan, Ireland, d: Unknown
......2 Catherine Brady b: 15 Jul 1872 Ireland, d: 17 Dec 1930 Newark, Essex, NJ


[1] Marriage Record of Thomas Brady and Catherine Gibney, 17 May 1841, photocopy of microfilm record from Kathleen Coyle, Sun City West, Arizona.
[2] Griffith's Valuation 1847-1864;Thomas Brady; Omard, Ballymachugh, Co Cavan, Ireland, 1857; Database. Find My Past.
[3] Civil Death Record for Catherine Brady, 27 March 1873, Deaths Registered in Union of Grarard in the Counties of Westmeath and Cavan; from Cavan Genealogy, Johnston Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland.
[4] 1901 Irish Census. Thomas Brady in Killykeen, Drumlumman, Cavan, Ireland. National Archives of Ireland website.
[5] 1911 Irish Census. Thomas Brady in Killykeen, Drumlumman, Cavan, Ireland. National Archives of Ireland website.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Census Sunday – William M Fortenberry & Christina Brown in MS


William Magee Fortenberry
28 December 1799 SC – 27 October 1867
Son of Isaac Fortenberry & Bethany Magee









Christina Brown
2 February 1805 SC – September 1860 MS
Daughter of Moses Brown & Sarah Robertson
My 3rd great grand Aunt



1850 US Census, MS, Lawrence County

William Fortenberry, 50 b SC; farmer; value of real estate: $1,200
Wife, Cristine, 46 b GA
Children: Isaac 21; Eliza 16; Jesse C, 14; John, 10

1860 US Census, MS, Marion County

William Fortenberry, 60, Baptist clergyman; value of real estate: $300
Wife, Christian, 55



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Treasure Chest Thursday – Golden Pitcher & Glasses

This pitcher & six glasses were owned by my paternal grandmother, Ivy R Mark Brown. My aunt & uncle recently shared some of Ivy’s treasures with the family in a ‘No Tag Tag Sale’ that allowed family members to select items once owned and used by Ivy.

The color of this glassware caught my eye. The orange/peach color shines like gold when held in the light. Then I noticed the Dutch design on each piece. I wonder if the windmills reminded my paternal grandmother of her German & Swiss roots.  Her ancestor, Heinrich Ritter, sailed from Rotterdam, Holland in 1732 with his family and made a new home in Pennsylvania.

I know nothing about the manufacturer of these pieces. I don’t see any name or logo. I doubt that they are of any great value except that they were once owned and used by my grandmother. I plan to use them when the family is gathered so we can share memories and raise a glass to Grandma.




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks = Week #40; Michael Coyle

This prompt comes from Amy Johnson Crow at her blog, No Story Too Small. She suggests we write once a week about a specific ancestor.

I have been moving back through time & generations as I write for this prompt and, naturally, as I move back in time, especially to other countries, evidences of my family are more incomplete and imperfect. I have some limited knowledge of Irish records; have used Find My Past & Roots ie; and hired a genealogist in Ireland; but still results are meagre. 


Michael Coyle
b c 1805 Ireland
My 3x Great Grandfather

St. Paul’s Ballymachugh Church, Co Cavan, Ireland. 
Several Children of Michael Coyle & Mary Cunningham were baptized here.

Michael Coyle married Mary Cunningham, born c 1810 and the daughter of James Cunningham. Her siblings were: Laurence, Anne, Catherine, Bridget & Rose.[1]

Michael & Mary were married 31 August 1833 in County Westmeath, Ireland.[2] The witnesses at their wedding were Bridget Cunningham [most likely the bride’s sister] and Terence Brady [in the future their son would marry a Brady].

In 1837 Michael was still in County Westmeath, according to the voters register.[3] After that they moved across the county border to County Cavan where their four children were born: James Coyle[4], Patrick Coyle[5], Margaret Coyle[6] and Michael Coyle.[7]

Mary did not live to see her children become adults. She died 25 January 1848 in Moate, Co Cavan, Ireland.[8] Michael’s death date is unknown at this time.


1 Michael Coyle b: Abt. 1805 in Ireland, d: Unknown
... + Mary Cunningham b: c 1810 Ireland, m: 31 Aug 1833 Ireland, d: 25 Jan 1848 Moate, Cavan, Ireland
......2 James Coyle b: 01 Mar 1839 Magherboy, Cavan, Ireland, d: Unknown
......2 Patrick Coyle b: 20 May 1841 Moate, Cavan, Ireland, d: 21 Jun 1925 Milford, New Haven, CT
...... + Margaret Brady b: c 1855 Killykeen, Cavan, Ireland, m: 11 Feb 1870 Granard, Cavan
County, Ireland, d: 22 Nov 1934 Waterbury, New Haven, CT
......2 Margaret Coyle b: 29 Aug 1843 Cavan, Ireland, d: Unknown
......2 Michael Coyle b: 7 Mar 1847 in Moate, Cavan, Ireland, d: Unknown



[1] 1821 Irish Census, Drumlummon, , Cavan Genealogy, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland.
[2] Marriage Record for Michael Coil & Mary Cunningham, Mount Nugent Parish, Co Westmeath, 31 August 1933. Rootsireland.ie
[3] Electoral Register, 25 March 1837, Michael Coyle in Borough of Anthlone, Co Westmeath. Findmypast.ie
[4] Baptismal record for James Coyle, 1 March 1839, Register 33a, page 12, Ballymachugh Roman Catholic Church Records, Cavan Genealogy, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland.
[5] Baptismal record for Patrick Coyle, 20 May 1841, Register 33a, Page 30, Ballymachugh Roman Catholic Church, Cavan Genealogy, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland.
[6] Baptismal record for Margaret Coyle, 29 August 1843, Register 33a, Page 48, Ballymachugh Roman Catholic Church, Cavan Genealogy, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland.
[7] Baptismal record for Michael Coyle, 7 March 1847, Register 33a, Page 76, Ballymachugh Roman Catholic Church, Cavan Genealogy, Johnston Central Library, Farnham Street, Cavan, Ireland.
[8] Record of Death for Maria Cunningham Coyle in Moate, 25 Jan 1848; Parochial Registers of Drumlumman South and Ballymachugh, 1837 - 1935, Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, Carrick Finea Parish, Microfilm #1279229, Family History Library, Loudonville, New York. Record of Death page 16.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Grandmother Remembers


Grandmother Remembers
Conceived & written by Judith Levy
Designed & Illustrated by Judy Pelikan
Stewart, Tabori, Chang Publishers, New York

If you have a grandchild, I recommend this book. It has pages for you to complete; personal messages from you to your grandchild. This hard cover book is delightfully illustrated and has pages of writing prompts such as:

The Day I was Born
As a Young Woman
My Wedding Day
Your Parent was Born
Your Parents
Your Birth
Holiday Traditions
Thoughts I'd like to Share with You
The Future



 I first bought this book about 20 years ago, when our children were little. I gave copies to my mother-in-law [my mother had died already], asking her to fill them out for our children. She did a great job, telling stories about herself as a child and young woman; adding photos and family recipes. Our children grab the book when they want the recipe for their grandmother's apple pie or meatballs.



Recently I was in Glenn Ellyn, Illinois with one of our daughters and we were browsing in a little book store. I saw this book and was happy to discover it is still in print. I had to buy a copy because my husband & I are about to become grandparents. I have already begun filling  in the family tree and printing out photos to include. Maybe reading this will inspire a love of genealogy in our future grandson.

Grandad, don't feel left out. There is also a Grandfather Remembers Book.