Category Archives: Weekly Prompts

Sunday Supper at Grandma’s House

I grew up in a divorced family, probably the only divorced family in my school. Our friends could never keep our family straight. All of our friends always asked the same question when I walked about my mom, “Which Mom?”

Being from the only divorced family is school was odd. I will not deny that, but I will not tell you that my childhood was horrible because of the divorce either. My brother and I lived with our Dad, and we saw our Mom over the weekends. Most of our life, she lived with her parents, I thought that was grand. No matter what, I got to spend the weekend with my grandparents. Grandpa showed us many card games and Grandma fed us well! Most of my favorite memories of childhood center around Grandma and Grandpa’s kitchen table and lots of food.

Sunday mornings started with fried eggs, toast and a big glass of chocolate milk (in your favorite character glass of course). We would eat until our hearts were content. My favorite eggs remain the same, fried in with lots of pepper in a cast iron skillet. There is no other way. Granted I love scrambled and omelets as well. But those fried eggs bring me straight back to grandma’s kitchen.

Once breakfast dishes were hand washed, dried and put away, my brother and I always had the same question for Grandma. “What’s for dinner?” How she would laugh at us and tell us we just finished eating and did not need to worry about dinner. We always had to have an answer, because honestly, the only thing better than breakfast at Grandma’s, was dinner.

How I miss the meals in her kitchen. We lost her to cancer last December and we will never be able to enjoy a meal with her again. There are a few things I learned from her though, cooking being one of them. I have a few meals that friends call and request I make for them, or give them the recipe. I refuse to divulge the family secret and insist they have to wait until I am ready to make these meals again.

Though we cannot all break bread with Grandma in her kitchen, I am thankful that I can at least sit at the table I grew up eating these amazing meals at. She passed the table to me in 2000 after Grandpa passed away (from cancer as well). One day, her china will grace my table as well. For now, it remains with my Mom until I have the space and a place to put it out and show it like Grandma did.

Come back next Sunday to read about some of the amazing dinners we shared at Grandma’s!


Family Recipes Friday

What a great idea, who does not like food? Sharing recipes that we have come to treasure over the years. I am going to have to take some time to get mine in writing, most of them are all stored to memory and who measures anyway? LOL, I will make sure to get working on this so that I will be able to share with everyone. For now, I would like to redirect you to my post, Spending Sentimental Sundays With Family Recipes. Here I shared our families recipe for Milk Pie. Don’t be like me and judge it before you try it, it is delicious!

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Brick Wall Ancestor (post 2 of 2)

After spending yesterday with my family celebrating a birthday and my sons going off to college, I came home and went through all of my information I have on John O’Connell and his family. I also went through my brickwall problem that I laid out on GenealogyWise in September 2009, I reread all of the replies, searched for some of the tips I had received from others and even added a new reply. I also blogged about this previously, you can read more here at, My Brickwall Ancestor, John O’Connell. Though most information is posted in both of these links, I will still give you all the information I have gathered thus far, with all of the sources as well.

In 1892, John O’Connell and wife Bridget are living in Granville, Washington Co., NY. John is a Quarrysman and was listed as a citizen. Living with John and Bridget are their  6 children, Hattie, Lizzie, Dennis, John, Daniel and Kate.

In 1900, John is raising his 6 children (Elizabeth, Dennis, John W, Daniel, Kate and Mary) alone, in a rented house, in Kingsbury, Washington Co., NY. By this time, he is a widower and has not remarried. Here we learned that John was born in Nov 1857. John is now working at the Grinders Pulp Mill. Sons Dennis and John are also working as laborers. With all information John has given for this census, he also states he was born in NY, as were his parents.

In 1905, we find John living in Kingsbury, Washington Co., NY on River Street. John is still listed as a widow and is raising his children alone. Here he has 4 children with him and 1 grandchild; Daniel, Mary, Lizzie Cossy and her daughter Irene (?).

By 1910, John has moved his family to Mark (?) Street in Hudson Falls, Washington Co., NY were they still rent their home. Most of the children are gone, daughter Hattie has returned to live with her father, with her she brings her husband Fred Langdon. There is also a son, Dan living there. The record shows that Dan is a Langdon, and son of Hattie and Fred. But if you look at the ages of Hattie and Fred, Hattie would have been 8 at his birth. This fits more with her brother Dan, who was 5 when she was 12 in the 1892 NY State Census. John is now telling us the he and his parents were all born in Ireland. My how 10 years changes things.

For the longest time, this is where my census information stopped on John and his family. I had speculated that he remarried a woman named Marie who is buried in the same area of the cemetery John is in, but I had no real proof to support this theory.

On my recent trip east, I stopped at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, to look up whatever information they might have on my O’Connell line. In my research here, I found a marriage index for a John O’Connell. It states that on 9 Apr 1915, John O’Connell and Marie Goyette married at St Paul’s Catholic Church, in Hudson Falls, NY. Witnesses to this event were Rev. L. Guerin and Marie Louise Groulx. No other identifying information is listed and the church has no other records.

I also found a death index for St Paul’s Catholic Church, here I found a listing for Mary Herring (I knew she was a child of John and Bridget from Dennis’ obituary). In this death index, it states the residence of Mary Herring was “Chesapeake, MD; Edw. B. Cheney, son.”

So, I took the information and did some more research last night, because until now, John has escaped me in the 1920 and 1930 census records. When I went through my GenealogyWise discussion, GeneJ, advised that I should seek information from the 1920 census in Nassau, Rensselear, NY. Listed there is a John and Marie O’Connell, plus with them is daughter Mary Cheney and her son Bruce. Well none of this fit, until now. I have added this information to my tree on ancestry and I am happy to finally have found John in the 1920 census. Now, I just need to find him in 1930 and I will be happy.

The 1920 census also shows that John had become a farmer in his latter years and he finally owned his home. This record also states he had become a “naturalized” citizen, but no year was given.

John died 25 Sep 1931 and rests at St Paul’s Catholic Cemetery in Hudson Falls, NY.

Information I am looking to gather on John:

  • Who are John O’Connell’s parents?
  • When did he arrive in the USA?
  • Where in Ireland is he from?
  • Where did John and Bridget marry?
  • Where did John die?
  • Besides the index of the marriage record for John and Marie, will I be able to find the actual?

Places and items I still need to do some research on:

  • land Records, now that I know John owned some land, it is time to start looking at these records
  • city directories to fill in none census years
  • vital records, see what I can find for each member of his family
  • probate records
  • hopefully ship records (if I ever get enough information to find it)


John O’Connell household, 1892 New York State Census, Washington County, population schedule, town of Granville, page 1, line 5; ( 23 Sep 2009.

John O’Connell household, 1905 New York State Census, Washington County, population schedule, Kingsbury township, page 18, line 9; ( 10 Mar 2010.

John O’Connell household, 1900 U.S. Census, Washington County, New York, population schedule, town of Kingsbury, enumeration district 138, supervisor’s district 5, sheet 10, dwelling 7, family 179, National Archives, ( 16 Dec 2008.

John O’Connell household, 1910 U.S. Census, Washington County, New York, population schedule, town of Hudson Falls, enumeration district 109, supervisor’s district 6, sheet 9A, dwelling 299, family 169, National Archives, ( 16 Dec 2008.

John O’Connell household, 1920 U.S. Census, Rensselear County, New York, population schedule, town of Nassau, enumeration district 16, supervisor’s district 10, sheet 3, dwelling 64, family 64, National Archives, ( 31 Jul 2010.

O’Connell-Goyette marriage, 9 Apr 1915, arranged by date, St. Paul’s Catholic Church, New York, American-Canadian Genealogy Society (index), New England Historic Genealogical Society, 25 Jun 2010

John O’Connell burial, St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery, New York, American-Canadian Genealogy Society (index), New England Historic Genealogical Society, 25 Jun 2010

Mary O’Connell – Herring burial, St. Paul’s Catholic Cemetery, New York, American-Canadian Genealogy Society (index), New England Historic Genealogical Society, 25 Jun 2010

Wordless Wednesday, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church

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Wordless Wednesday, Ontario Paper Company

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Tombstone Tuesday – John O’Connell

John O’Connell is my great-great-grandfather, finding his place happened to be a lucky find for me when I was at Newberry Library about 1 year ago. I was searching through a folio of cemetery transcriptions for Washington County, NY, I was looking for my great-grandfather Dennis O’Connell, because I knew from his obituary in the St. Catherine’s Standard that he had been sent home to Hudson Falls for burial. When I found Dennis in the book, he was listed with 5 other O’Connell’s buried in St. Paul’s Cemetery in Hudson Falls, NY. I called the church the next day and confirmed that Dennis and John were both related to me (I did this through the wives they both had listed in their cemetery books). It took me about a year, but I finally made it to the cemetery and the surrounding area.

John O’Connell 1858 – 1931

John O’Connell b.1858 m.(date unknown) Bridget Curran b. 1862 d. 1895

they had 7 children:

Harriet (Hattie) O’Connell b.1880 m. Fred Langdon/Langevin

Elizabeth O’Connell b. 1881 m. Frederick Daha

Dennis O’Connell b. 1883 m. Rose Springer

John O’Connell b. 1885 m. Beatrice (unknown last name)

Daniel O’Connell b. 1886 (not 100% on his line yet)

Catherine O’Connell b. 12 Dec 1887 m. William Pratt

Mary O’Connell b. 1893 m. WC Herring

Wordless Wednesdy, Hudson Falls Paper Co

Not sure how long it has been closed, but you can still see the writing on the building.

Tombstone Tuesday, Dennis O’Connell

I have many posts that are dedicated to my Great-grandfather, Dennis O’Connell, and I am sure there are many more to come. You can read previous posts about Dennis and his personal documents that I have by clicking here. This post is many years in the making, I took me 10 years to find where he is buried and finally be able to visit. Last month, I made the journey to his home of Hudson Falls, NY with his granddaughter Terri (my aunt) and my cousin Tracy. The excitement I had at be able to find his final resting place is beyond words. My cousin made jokes about how I could go from being sleepy and cranky to over excited when we would drive into a cemetery and find what we were looking for.

When it came to looking for Dennis, I only knew the name of the cemetery is St. Paul’s in Hudson Falls, NY. I thought when I found his name indexed in a book that I drew a picture of the map and marked the section he was in. Nope, with the excitement of that find all I did was right down the section and plot number and I had no clue what to do once we got to the cemetery. St. Paul’s Cemetery is not large by any standard, but we probably spent the most time searching through this one, my guess is probably at least 1/2 hour.

Entrance to St. Paul’s Cemetery

We had not found any of the O’Connell family, so we decided to go to the very back of the cemetery where there was a handful of graves that we could see. My aunt and cousin had been way ahead of me. We had found so many headstones with the last name of Daha and I had decided to photograph all of them. I knew that one of my great-great aunts had married a Daha and I did not have any family information on them. I figured take the pictures today and figure the family out another time. I am so glad that I did this, if I had not, I probably would have missed the O’Connell graves. I found everyone that I knew would be there, and a few more. I will save those surprises for another day.

Dennis O’Connell 1883 – 1950

Treasure Chest Thursday – Military Census Record

Continuing through the personal documents of Dennis O’Connell (my paternal Great-Grandfather), I also found his 1917 Military Census Record.

This record shows that Dennis was living in election district 1, in the town of Moreau, Saratoga County, NY. As for other genealogical information, there is none. The card was filled out by Dennis, the handwriting matches many of the other documents in my possession.

(Not So) Wordless Wednesday – Family Photo’s

Standing in back: Joanne and Fred Fischer

Sitting in front: (L to R) Betty Fischer, Terri, Ida, Ella Jeager and Dan

Terri, Ida and Dan are all O’Connell’s


My aunt recently sent me this picture via email and I could not wait to share it here. I love to look at the older pictures and look at the family resemblances. Ella is my Great Grandmother whom I never met. When I see her in this picture, I see the face of my Grandmother, Ida O’Connell

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