Category Archives: Carnival of Genealogy

COG – Our Ancestors’ Place of Worship

The words Irish and Catholic always seem to go together. But, not in my family. We are Irish and Lutheran, which people always find hard to believe. Recently, I had a conversation with a priest and he made a comment about my being Irish Catholic, it was a bit odd to correct him on my being a life long Lutheran.

My Grandmother, Ida (Jaeger) O’Connell’s family was Lutheran and I just assumed that is why we are as well.

Well, studying my families genealogy brought some other reasons to light. Back in the 1800’s my Irish line was Catholic. My great-grandfather Dennis O’Connell was baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Middle Granville, NY on 16 Sept 1883. This is the church the family worshiped at while living in Granville, NY. Dennis’ mother, Bridget (Curran) O’Connell died in 1895 and is buried in Mount Carmel Catholic Cemetery.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel (taken June 2010)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel closed its doors on Easter sunday, 2009. The church still stands and they were trying to sell the building the last time I checked. It was sad to read this, knowing that it was a place my family worshiped and that the church was over 100 years old.

Some of the items that are within St Mary’s came from Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Church bell originally from OLMC, now it sits outside St. Mary’s.

Originally from OLMC, now placed in St Mary’s.

There were many catholic churches in the area and worshipers chose their church based on the ethnicity. It is obvious that Our Lady of Mount Carmel was the chosen church for the Irish. The current priest has closed all of the other catholic churches in this area and everyone now attends St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

St Mary’s Church, Granville, NY

When the family moved from the Granville area to Hudson Falls, they attended St. Paul’s Catholic Church. St Paul’s had a bad fire and now all of the surviving church records are held at St Mary’s. St Mary’s opened their church to all of St Paul’s parishioners and it is now known as St Mary’s/St Paul’s.

In 1917, Dennis O’Connell left his wife (Rose Springer) and children to move to Canada. Sometime before 1930 they divorced and Rose remarried. Since then divorce has run through my family so much, that I am sure the catholic church would never let us back in.

In 2010, I was lucky enough to take a road trip east with my aunt and cousin to visit the places my ancestors lived, worshiped and were put to rest (which were all catholic cemeteries).

I was confirmed at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Chicago, IL and all three of my children were baptized there.

This post was written for submission into the 109 Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy.


2011 Resolutions

At least 3 different times I have taken my pen to paper to write my genealogy goals for 2011, for the 101 st Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy and for week 51 of 52 Weeks to Better Genealogy. With less than 48 hours til 2011 rings in, there is no time like the present to finish this up. What a great way to end the year and submit this post for week 51 and 52. Week 52 asks what steps you will use to accomplish your goals.

Here are both my goals and the steps I plan to take:

1. Attend a conference, it has been great networking with others in the field, but I would like to actually meet some of you. Since IL is hosting FGS this year, I am hoping to be able to attend. Springfield is not too far that I cannot make this happen.

2. Continue research on my O’Connell line. Find out more about Denis O’Connell and his parents.

  • Check for marriage records
  • baptismal records
  • death records
  • obituaries
  • ship records
  • naturalization records

3. Start researching Teahan line. Specifically Helen Teahan.

  • Check for marriage records
  • baptismal records
  • death records
  • obituaries

4. Spend time giving back to the genealogy community by transcribing records. I plan to start this with Restore the Ancestors Project. I am not going to give myself an actual goal of how many records I would like to do, but I will keep you up to date as I move forward with this.

5. Education – I have 1 class to finish for my first set of classes that I am taking through NIGS. I hope to finish this one and move on to the next group.

6. Blogging – I spent an evening looking back at 2010, it seems that I am not consistent in my posting. I want to commit more time and post more consistently. I have recently found that if I actually write with pen and paper I seem to get more done. I have committed a notebook specifically to the blog and hope this will help me. I also hope to move the blog to a self hosted site in the near future.

Thanks to Amy for her hard work getting these 52 weekly events together and to Jasia on her hard work for the Carnival of Genealogy.  I look forward to what 2011 will bring.

There’s One in Every Family…

The keeper of family records and photographs. For my generation, that is me and if you are reading this post, it is most likely you as well.

On my maternal side, it was my Grandmother, Zedith Richmond. As a child I never knew of the items she treasured. She kept them safely hidden from prying eyes and grabbing hands.

After the death of her husband, William H. Richmond Jr., she pulled out her treasured box, (which was an old shoe box) to share them with me because my interest in genealogy had been more than ignited. As we went through these treasures we came across her most treasured item which she had saved from the 1950’s, it was the obituary of her brother-in-law, James Richmond and a newspaper article about his sudden death.

Other items found in her “treasure” box were her grammar school photo’s, numerous birth announcements with photo’s attached, and many funeral cards as well. I was blessed that she gave me a few of the school photo’s back then. Also in the box were other photo’s that were sent to her throughout the years.

A few months before she passed away, I had called and asked her to send me a copy of the obituary and newspaper article on James Richmond, because I had not been able to find copies. She was sweet enough to send me the originals, making me promise to take good care of them because she had saved them for 50 years and they had survived that long. I told her I would copy them and send the originals back to her, she decided that I should keep them. Bless her heart!

Over Christmas of last year, she went through this box with one of her daughters, after that the box has disappeared. I am thankful for the few items that I have from her treasured box and that she had removed the funeral cards from the box and inserted them in her photo albums, which have been passed on to me at her death as well.

This post has been written for the 100th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Congrats on the first 100 and looking forward to the next.

2010 New Years Resolutions

As stated in my post, Summing up 2009 Goals, I was not very successful at obtaining the information I was looking for in those goals. I has been a very rough year for our family. We have had a death, 2 cancer diagnosis’ and job loss to name a few of the things we have gone through. Not to mention the personal goals I did not achieve. For 2010, I am hoping for a healthier, happier and employed year!

The 87th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is on our Resolutions for 2010. This year, I thought I would be a bit more specific in my goals. The goals will be in bold and then I will list the steps I plan to take to obtain each goal.

Find out who the parents are of John O’Connell and Bridget (Curran) O’Connell.

Order death certificates for both John and Bridget. 
Continue to search for any marriage record
Search archives of newspapers for any reference to marriage or death of either.

Check with a local funeral home to see if they handled the burial and see what information they might have. 
Find out who Marie O’Connell that is buried in St Mary / St Paul’s cemetery is? Does she fit into the family. She is the last O’Connell there.

Search archives of newspapers for any reference to a marriage or death.

Visit the NY Cemeteries were my family members are buried. While in NY, meet the remaining family members that are there.

Pretty self explanatory, road trip in the spring/summer I hope.

Continue research into my Springer line.

Look for Marriage Record of Rose Springer/Dennis O’Connell.

Look for any type of divorce decree pre 1930 for Rose and Dennis.

Search for birth record for Rose.

Search archives of Newspapers for mention of births/marriages of Rose or siblings William and Sophie/Sophia.

Find a very nice person who is willing to translate Russian to English for me so I can continue research on my Mother-in-laws family.

If you have any other thoughts on how I can be successful with these goals, please feel free to leave a comment for me.


May your New Year be filled with love, laughter, joy and many new leads in your research.

Dear Genea Santa

Dear Genea Santa,

As I am sure you know, it has been a rough year for most everyone. While I have been hard at work trying to research may different lines in my family, I am certainly having a difficult time with two of them.

What I would love most this holiday season, is the death certificate for my Great Great Grandfather, John O’Connell (Nov 1857 – 26 Sep 1931). With the economy being is such a bad way, I have not been able to find a job yet and cannot afford to order this record. With this record I would also love to get a little bit more information on John and his family growing up, and his marriage to Bridget Curran (1862-1895).

Since I have started researching my in laws Russian line, I would love to be able to have someone willing to translate the emails I am receiving from Russia (I do appreciate the websites out there that help,  but I would love a thorough translation). I would also like to have the death certificate of  Anatoli Poray – Koshetz (9 Aug 1875 Russia – 29 May 1937 Stamford, CT).

I have been a good genealogist this year, with helping to transcribe records for family search, assisting others when I can find the information. I have spent time with my Great Aunt’s recording some of their family stories on audio and plan to do the same with my Grandma in the next few weeks. I hope to be able to transcribe their stories and put together a few, fun articles for my blog. So please Genea Santa, help me and my other friends out this season and grant of few of our genea wishes. 


Terri @ Finding Our Ancestors

PS. The cookies and milk will be on the coffee table, plus a special treat for Rudolph and his friends await!

December 18, 2009 The Other Holiday Happenings

My eldest child, Brittany, was born a short 14 days after Christmas on January 8, 1989. This birthday is the big one, 21! How did that happen so fast, I swear it was just yesterday I was running after her trying to keep the ponytail holders in her hair. Little girls, they are a handful and a joy all at once. Though she is now in college and doing her own thing. I am so proud of her. She is the second child in our family working towards a college diploma. I know that for many families this seems strange, but in my family everyone got married and had babies early. Brittany has 1.5 years left for her under graduate and we will see where she goes from there. Granny passed away 2.5 years after this photo was taken. 

Three generation photo

Brittany, Linda, Terri 

November 2009


Novemeber 1989

Terri, Mary Lachney, Brittany

This picture was taken in OH, in 1989.  Brittany was 9 months old. The dress she is wearing still hangs in our house. My Mom bought the dress for her Uncle’s funeral, which is why we were in OH. On this day, we were lucky enough to take a 5 generation photo. Not only was it 5 generations, but it was 5 generations of women! This picture is generation 1 (Mary), generation 4 (Me) and generation 5 (Brittany).

As for her birthday’s, I do not feel any of them were ever small because we just had a holiday. All in all, I think we did a great job making sure her day was special. We never celebrated it during the holiday either, we celebrated the week of her birthday with special dinners out, maybe a play and even a Broadway in Chicago show!




Another birthday that is celebrated around the holidays is my Mom’s. This year Mom is turning 60! See her picture above with Brittany and myself. It seems like Mom’s birthday was always lumped in with Christmas when we were growing up. My parents were divorced and we lived with my Dad, so we had to give Mom her birthday present at Christmas. This year is different! Mom has moved out of state and our plan is to go and see her. It was going to be a surprise, but Grandma has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer, so Mom now knows we are coming because she had to help me pick dates that would be better for a visit with Grandma. I plan to still make her 60th very special!


Launching vacations and birthday blasts!

Growing up we had numerous vacations. We frequented Walt Disney World, drove to Mississippi every summer and also visited family in California. I have many memorable vacations, we consistently saw wonderful things. If I can say anything about my childhood, it would be that we had great trips throughout the USA and my Dad loved to stop and see something different or to see something that we all love. It is the one thing that I know I have inherited from my father, the love to drive the open roads while vacationing. When I get in the car and drive for a vacation today, I always look for something nearby that we might have stopped at when I was a child, I do this to make sure my children get to see some of the great places I visited as a child.  The vacation that stands out the most for me is one special trip we made to Florida.

It was June 1983, we traveled by RV to Florida. We camped for a week at Fort Wilderness in Walt Disney World. The week at Disney was jam packed, we were consistently in the park from open to close. Never a dull moment, there was way too much to see and do.  I was 12 on this trip, I can only assume that at this age I had finally overcome my fear of these giant characters. The laughs my family would have at my expense. Who would think that Mickey Mouse could actually frighten a child.


When we were leaving Disney World, my father decided that we should drive to the Kennedy Space Center. As we were touring the space center, I looked up and above us was hanging a large countdown clock from the ceiling. This is truly the only thing I remember inside the space center. I have never been back, so I have no clue what is really inside to see. The large clock was calling to me. There were 4 days left until the next launch. I pleaded with my Dad to stay in FL, how cool would it be to see the shuttle launch with the first women astronaunt. He agreed and we looked for a campground with an available site for what seemed like forever. Because of the impending launch, the campsites were jammed. The good news was we found a site, the bad news we were miles from the launch site and it was not something you could just go and watch.


My brother turned 16 on this trip, June 14, 1983. I remember celebrating his birthday. Since we did not plan to still be in FL, there was nothing for him on his special day. No gifts, that would wait until we got home. No real cake, because we were not supposed to be celebrating his birthday here and the store at the campground did not have birthday cakes, our only option was Hostess Cupcakes. I will never forget the look on his face when we presented him with his “cake” with 17 candles on it (we always add one for good luck). For sure this “cake” would launch itself. We never laughed so hard. 


The morning of the launch, we got up and pulled together our things to leave later that day. Then we sat outside and waited. I had no clue what we were waiting for, I knew the shuttle would launch, but we were too far to see it. We had either a radio or tv on and sat and talked with our neighboring campers. The countdown was finally low, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and blast off. The ground shook hard, like an earthquake rocking California. Above, in the sky, you could see the exhaust from the shuttle. We watched as the shuttle disappeared into the Earth’s atmosphere. This was a huge day in history for all women, we had just launched our first female into space. I will never forget the day we watched Sally Ride blast off into space!  June 18, 1983 what a day that was. 

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