Category Archives: Saturday Night Fun

SNGF – Ireland is my dream

I love Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! Randy at Genea-Musings is always posting some great things to get fellow genealogists to think about their research and have fun doing so. This week, his post centers around’s contest, The Ultimate Family History Journey! You can enter this contest daily through 30 Apr 2010!

The question’s he is asking: 

Where would you go? Tell us your dream genealogy trip, using the prize money.

Here is my reply to Randy’s question?

If I won the contest I would love to dig deeper into my Irish roots. As my readers already know, this is the hardest line in my family to research. Before any travel takes place, the 8 hour session with a professional genealogist would a wonderful consultation to help me prepare for this excursion. 

Beginning my journey in Washington County, NY to get the final pieces of information I need, such as John O’Connell’s death certificate (one of the items on my 2010 goals). Since I  am unemployed, and have been for almost a year, I have not been able to order this record yet.  While in NY there are a few things for me to see. Where John and his son Dennis were buried, it is the same cemetery. Visit some of the address’s where the family has lived. Check out the paper mill that the family worked at. Move to Warren County and visit the cemetery where John’s wife was buried. See if the Church Dennis had been baptized at is still standing. It closed almost 1 year ago. Then finally move on to Jefferson County to meet with family members. Once I have completed this, I would live to visit Canada.

Thorold, Canada is where John O’Connell’s son, Dennis moved in 1917. Dennis is my Great Grandfather. I want to see where Dennis lived and worked while he was in Canada. 

Now that I have the death certificate and seen where Dennis moved to, the next stop on my journey is Ireland! This is truly why I entered this contest. I am not 100% where my Irish ancestors came from in Ireland, which is why I need John’s death certificate. Hopefully, that will have my final clue!

I have looked up some pricing and if I go to Dublin, for 26 days for flight, hotel and car, the total cost would be $2494 per person (I searched for 7/1- 27). That would leave $15,012 for spending. I have not looked into pricing for the NY/Canada part of the trip. I could technically do that by car and it should cost less than $1500. So that would leave $13,512 for spending, $519 per day for 26 days! I believe I can do a lot of sight-seeing and eating for that amount. 

Once in Ireland, I would like to find the church that the family attended and see what records are left. I would love to go back further than John’s family. But, I refuse to get excited about anything else. 10 years of searching has only given small hints into the life of this family.

As for this trip, I am planning the NY part for this summer. I have found cousins of my Grandfather Larry O’Connell and they both 80 + years. This is not a trip that should be put off any longer. If I do, it is possible I would miss the opportunity to meet these relatives. 

To walk were our ancestors once walked is what is all about! 

So, what would you do?


SNGF The Happy Dance

Randy, continues to delight us with a fun post for Saturday night.

Hey, it’s Saturday Night (again), time for some Genealogy Fun!

Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Think of any number of genealogy events or moments that make you have a genealogy happy dance, an ah-ha moment, or a genea-gasm.
2) Tell us about them in a blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a comment on Facebook.

Here our mine:

Reply from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church

Information on my paternal 2 Great Grandmother

Obit of A. Poray Koshits

Obituary of my Mother in Laws Grandfather, from Russia

The Start of my Climb, Dennis O’Connell 

This is the reason I started my blog. My O’Connell line is the toughest to research so far.

Along with these posts, some of the great moments I have had are getting in contact with relatives that I did not know. Spending the day with Bob in West Virginia, he showed us 4 different cemeteries and the relatives we shared within them. I will never forget this day or his generosity, he spent his day with strangers, that happened to be family. I met Bob through, on a site dedicated to Raleigh County, WV.

How do you utilize the calendar feature in your genealogy program

Randy has once again come up with a great idea for SNGF.  So, here we go…

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1) Open your genealogy software or family tree program of choice and make yourself the highlighted person.

2) Find out how to create a Calendar to show birthdays and/or anniversaries of yourself and all of your ancestors (or all relatives, or all persons – your choice!). The “Help” button is your friend here!!! It can be done in all of the current software programs.

3) Create your calendar. Pretty it up if you want. Save it. Can you show us a page from your calendar – say January 2010?

4) Which of your ancestors (or relatives, or descendants – your choice!), if any, were born on 30 January? 

Have fun with this. How can you use this information during the coming year?

I use Reunion 9.07, creating the calendar took all of 1 minute. Reunion shows the calendar in a list format, which is ok. it does give me the option to save it, but I did not choose to do this. I can also create alerts to let me know when dates are approaching. As for the month of January and the 30th of the month, I have no birthday’s, death’s or marriages to report.

I have decided that in the coming year, I could use this tool to do a few things:

  1. spotlight relatives on my blog
  2. double check facts/sources on that specific ancestor
  3. decide who to work on for that specific day

Randy, thanks for the great ideas that keep everyone thinking weekly.

My other hobbies

Once again, we end our week with SNGF. Randy’s mission this week is:

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to: * Tell us about your “other” hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc. * Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or add a comment on the Facebook version of this post.

I have a few other hobbies that I enjoy. They are in no particular order.

I love photography and am seriously considering taking some classes to improve my photo’s. I have many taken many pictures were someone has asked if I am a professional photographer.

Scrap booking, I love to put together our family photo’s and chronicle what we did and who was involved. Plus, I love to show off my scrap books.

Reading, I love historical fiction!

I currently have a part time job at Bath and Body Works, I have been unemployed since March, I was laid off from Disney due to the economic conditions.

Also, I have 3 kids ages 13, 17 and 21. That is enough to keep anyone busy.

My Celebrity Look a Likes

Last night, Randy Seaver at Genea Musings posted his SNGF, I have finally made it work for me. Thanks Randy for the idea. I will have to go back wit a picture from when I was younger to see if I get the same celebrities.

Childhood Memories

5376_130621732305_672157305_3096539_8228776_sWhen I was a child, my brother and I spent our weekends at our maternal Grandparents (The Richmond’s) house. There always seemed to be something going on. In the backyard, there was this great Apple Tree that we would climb. I remember that I could never get very high into the tree. I was not a natural born tree climber. I needed a small chair or a boost from Mom to get me into the tree. My brother would go up high as possible and tease me because I could never catch up to him.

We spent a lot of time in this yard sitting outside on the patio, running around and even hanging laundry with Grandma. But, it is not the yard or the tree that are the best memories here. It’s Grandma’s house! That is why it is special. I spent weekends and my summers there.  Her kitchen holds many memories, helping her cook dinner and then making Grandpa’s lunch (for work). Here is where I learned to cook. My best recipes come from Grandma and today, I laugh and tell her that I can make some of them better than her.  

Besides the cooking in the kitchen, there was plenty of playing cards and other games. Some of my favorite card games played here are Rummy, Gin and Solitaire. We also learned how to play dice! That was a favorite for a long time. Grandpa’s friend Bill would come over and we would laugh for hours. We were never treated as “kids” and sent to bed early. If someone was visiting, we were there having the same fun the adults were. After Grandpa passed, Grandma moved out of state. When I pass her old neighborhood, there is a feeling of sadness. Knowing that she is not there, and that I cannot just walk in and smell a wonderful home cooked dinner waiting for me to eat. I cannot wait to go and visit, to have those meals we would eat as kids, cooked by my Grandma!


Thanks to Randy at Genea Musings, not just for giving us fun things to blog about. But, for reminding us to sit back and think about our lives as well. This was definitely Saturday Night Fun!

SNGF Ahnentafel Roulette

Tonight’s request for SNGF by Randy Seaver from Genea Musings is Ahnentafel Roulette. Here are the instructions:

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!):

1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!


So, here is mine:

1. My Dad was born in1949, right now he is 59.   59/4= 14.75, rounded up it is 15.

2. # 15 is Mary Jane Hilton. She was 14 Dec, 1903 to John James and Susie (Kerr) Hilton. She married Joseph Lachney in IN. They had seven children together. Mary died 18 Jul 1992 in Seminole, FL.

Mary Jane was my Great Grandmother, I was in my early 20’s when she passed. She did get to meet 1 of my 3 children. 

3. Three facts about Mary Jane:

In 1910 census she is 6 years old, 1 of 7 children at home. They lived in Dover, Athens, Ohio.

In the 1920 census she is 1 of 10 children at home, though 1 is a Grandchild to John and Susie. They lived Nelsonville, Ward 4, Athens, Ohio.

In the 1930 Census Mary Jane is married to Joseph Lachney and they have to children. Lawrence is 6 and Joan is 1 9/12. They live in Dana, Vermillion, Indiana.  They resided on East C Street. It shows she was married at the age of 19.

Mary died in the home of her Grand daughter Debbie, while vacationing in 1992. She passed the day they arrived. The family the returned to OH for services. 

There really was not a lot of information to post from the census records. Mary went from being a child in the home of her parents to a wife with children. What I learned from this post is:

1. I need to go through each ancestor and make sure I have found them in all census records available. I did not have Mary in the 1930 census until I did this post. 

2. Mary and Joseph were married about 1922, I need to search for their marriage record. 

5534_1101491654370_1139047548_30279254_2849421_nJoseph and Mary (Hilton) Lachney

Trading cards for Genealogists

Randy Seaver at  Genea-Musings has once again put out his call for some Saturday Night Genealogy Fun! This week, we were asked to put together a Genealogists Trading Card and think about how we could use them.

Here is my card:


Looks ok, but I wish I could play with the picture a bit more! 

As for what we could do with them, I think they would make a great name badge for all of the conferences we attend (or wish to attend). Maybe even used as a calling card when yo are out interviewing those distant relatives. It already has our web address on it, just add a bit more personal information and it is ready to go.

Go ahead and make you card at Big Huge Labs. Also, thanks to Sheri, this was her original idea, you can read about it at The Educated Genealogist.

Treasures of mine

It is that time again, Saturday night. Time for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Tonight’s request is to look into the treasures we have found in our research, no matter where the find occurred. Thanks to Randy Seaver at Genea Musings  for reminding us to have fun with our research!

Within my family, the finds have been minimal, but none the less, very exciting. Just after I started my research, my Dad was getting ready to sell his house. He told me that there was a photo album in the basement that had belonged to my Grandpa, Larry O’Connell. Larry died on 28 Feb 1975, I was almost 4 years old. The album had been in flood water about 12 years prior. Luckily, no real damage had occurred. I had looked through the album and did not really know who most of the people were in the photo’s. The album stayed with my Dad for many more years, until I asked to go through it again around 2000, I told him I wanted to put everything together in a new scrap book. This is when I found the most important piece of information for my research. Inside the photo album was a full Canadian newspaper. The St. Catherines Standard, dated 18  Nov 1950. I scoured the paper for over an hour before I found why this specific paper was saved. Inside was the obituary for my Great Grandfather, Dennis O’Connell, (d. 17 Nov 1950). Because of the Newspaper listing all of Dennis’ siblings and where they were located, I was able to trace his sister Catherine’s family. I have found  a niece and nephew of Dennis’ in NY. Neither of them met Dennis, but were excited to hear from me and know that there is more family out there. I hope to get to meet them sometime in the near future. Also, because of Dennis’ obituary, I knew what city in NY he was buried in. I just had to find the cemetery, and I did. That brings me to the next treasure, within the same cemetery is Dennis’ father John O’Connell and I believe a brother and his wife and a sister. There is one more O’Connell buried there, I assume she will end up being a relation, but I have not proven that yet.

This image is from my treasured photo’s from Grandpa Larry.

img004L to R

Dennis, Larry (Ambrose), Joe (Linus) O’Connell

Photo taken in Canada

The day my Dad showed me the album, he also showed me a metal lock box the size of a legal folder. Inside the lock box was everything important from my Grandma, Ida (Jaeger) O’Connell, she died 15 Apr 1980, I was 8 years old. I stood in the basement, going through this box carefully. I was amazed at the things I found.  Their marriage certificate. My Great Grandpa, Fred Jaeger’s, naturalization papers. Sympathy cards from when my Grandfather died. Grandpa’s wallet, which had been on him the day he died, it still had all the pictures he was carrying at that time. I took whatever would go through the fax machine and made copies and left the rest, I told my Dad that I wanted this box if anything was to happen to him. 

The photo album and the locked box mean a lot to me. Unfortunately, I believe the locked box is missing (last I heard). As for the album, I have that. Since, the album itself was ruined in the flood, I have taken all of the photo’s out and have them in a photo box. I still have not decided what to do with them. I have read that they should not be set into a scrapbook because they are too fragile. I spoke with someone at a scrapbooking store and they said to put them in an album.  The one thing I do know is, with the help of my Aunt Terri, I have placed most of the people in the pictures. Slowly, I am scanning them so I have a digital copy as well. 

Let me know your thoughts on the older photo’s that have already been through so much, should the be put into a scrap book or not? Will the glues/adhesives hurt them anymore?

SNGF – What genealogist would you like to meet?

Randy at Genea Musing has asked that we answer the following questions tonight?

1) Identify one genealogist that you would like to meet. The person could be living or deceased.

2) Why do you want to meet with this person? 

3) What would you talk about? What questions would you ask this person?

So after giving this a lot of thought. My choice would be, Megan Smolenyak  Smolenyak.

I would like to meet Megan, because over the  past year, I have watched her on Roots Television. It seems she has traveled everywhere and has been interviewed by everyone. 

I would love to talk with her about my family history of course, who would not want to get a little help. I would also like to discuss her work on tracing President Obama’s lineage. But, I would also want to discuss her work on the Annie Moore dedication this past year. Also her work at Unclaimed Persons, and how her efforts have help bring the bodies of many John/Jane Does home. 


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