This letter from Our Lady of Mount Carmel is another precious document in my collection from my Great Grandfather, Larry O’Connell’s scrap-book. According to this letter, dated 7 July 1940, Dennis O’Connell was born on 6 Sep 1883 to John and Bridget O’Connell and baptized 16 Sep 1883. His sponsors were Edward and Mary Leonard. The officiating Rev. was J.J. Hayden.
I spoke to the church office just over a year ago and Our Lady of Mount Carmel closed its doors on Easter Sunday, 2009. All records are being kept by St. Mary’s Church in Granville, NY.
Week #29: Write about your favorite genealogy web sites. It seems like a new web site pops up every day. Tell us about the ones you like best. Thanks to We Tree for the continuous inspiration to keep us blogging.
There has been a lot of talk this past week about the different genealogy websites and what we would like them to do. Personally, for the longest time Ancestry has been my favorite website. I love being able to connect with other members and find those possible connections to my family. In the past 6 months, I have found 3 different distant cousins on 2 different family lines. I have been able to meet one of those families.
Though Facebook is not a “genealogy” website, it has been a wonderful tool to assist me with keeping in contact with other bloggers and family researchers. It keeps me up to date with new blog posts, anything that is news worthy is posted quickly. For instance, everyone on Facebook was posting the news on the passing of Michael Jackson, before CNN would even report it. News travels very quickly through this site and I would not leave it for the world. Besides keeping me up to date in the genealogy world, it also keeps me updated on family and friends. I cannot ask for anything more then to keep all my contacts together.
Most of the talk on websites this week has been on GenealogyWise. They are in the process of some growing pains, as all new sites go through. I give them credit for acting quickly to the many negative things that have been said. They cancelled a contest that was not properly thought out and apologized for the removal of a post. Though there still are some current “pains” due to this. Besides all of this, GenealogyWise is a happening place for the genealogist. Wether beginner or professional. There is something for everyone. Groups range from surnames to locations, from those offering help to others looking for help. Plus, many groups on those cemeteries that we all love to go and look for our ancestors at.
I have previously covered my top ten websites. As you can see there has been some changes. The genealogy world is ever changing and we need to change with it.
We have been asked to write down our genealogy goals. So we can look back and see what we’ve accomplished. Thanks to Amy at We Tree, for you great ideas to keep us writing. Thanks to Genea Bloggers for reminding us of these great ideas.
In the beginning of the year, I put together some goals for my research. Before I talk about new goals, I think we should review the old ones.
1. Find out who the parents are for John O’Connell. (No progress as of yet, see post on my brickwall ancestor)
2. Find out who the parents are for Bridget Curran O’Connell.(no progress yet)
3. Place the remaining 2 O’Connell’s at St Paul’s/St Mary’s Cemetery into the family tree. (no progress yet)
4. Go to NY and visit the cemeteries and get photo’s of grave markers (St Paul’s/St Mary’s, Black River and Mount Carmel). Plus meet the family I have found. (planned for June with my Aunt)
5. Continue to blog my research and findings on a regular basis. (continuous work)
6. Start more in depth research on the Springer line. (have not started yet)
Ok for the 6 goals that I started the year with, I have only progresses on 2. Not so good. But, it is not for lack of trying. I just have not had a successful search for these items. As everyday passes, my research has moved to different family lines. So, I truly do want to work on the first 6 goals still, I want to add a few more.
7. Katherine Stuart, need to document this relationship which I have just started working on yesterday. According to other online family trees, she is a direct ancestor. According to legend “she is a descendant of King Charles”.
8. I have been thinking about applying to DAR, need to make a decision and work from there.
9. Want to find who the Mason was that sponsored Nettie Warden to the Order of the Eastern Star.
10. Need to make Contact with the Warden side of my family. Email went out, waiting on reply!
Prompt #14 asks us to talk about what different types of technology we use in our genealogy research and how it is working for us. At this point, I have never replied to a weekly prompt, I figured this would be a good one to start with. Thanks to Thomas at Genea Bloggers for keeping us updated with each weekly prompt. Also thanks to Amy at We Tree for her many ideas to blog about this week.
When it comes to technology, that is where the majority of my research is done. I use many different websites. Ancestry.com, Geni.com, familysearch.org, and Newspaper Archives.com. Ancestry has helped me connect with many distant cousins, find many census and other records I was looking for. The only issue I have with this site is that the search function could be more efficient. There are a few things that I have had to have someone else look up, give me specifics as to where the records is, so then I can search on Ancestry for it by State and County.I have finally uploaded two family trees, after a few years of membership. With this I have been able to take one line of my tree back even further. Though, the main line I have been working on is still at its brickwall. Ancestry seems to be making changes to their site all the time from adding new sources to now adding the help of proffesional genealogists in the near future (though it is unclear as to how this is going to work at the moment). Geni is a great site for your family to come together and work on the tree collectively. Though, some of us are protective of the work that we have done, you wonder about what is being placed. For our family, the Geni site has brought forward our next generation Genealogist. We have also had luck with relatives that I personally have never met, logging on and sharing things that I did not know. Overall, it is successful for sharing and networking with your family. The Family Search site is not used as often as the other sites for myself. Not to put others off, but I have not had much success finding things on this site. Newspaper Archives on the other hand, has added so much to my family tree this year. Through searching old obituaries, I have been able to find relatives back in NY that I did not know where there. I have made contact with them and hope to be able to meet them this summer.
Of course, I am on a few of the social networks as well. I started out on Facebook looking for friend that I lost contact with. After I found her and before I could delete the profile, many friends over the years have popped up. So I continued with this site. Which now I use more to network with others that love Genealogy as much as I do. I am also on Twitter, which I am not 100% with. But, I am there and will continue for now.
I started my blog Climbing the O’Connell Family Tree on Blogger and recently moved it to WordPress. As stated in my last post, WordPress has a crisp, more elegant look, which is why I moved the blog. I started the blog to help track my research, now I use the blog and many of the sites listed to network with others. I feel that through this I have made friends and people I can trust to help me along when needed.
The one other site that I truly have utilized in my search is the USGenWeb project. With the obituaries I found, this project has helped me find the final resting place for many of my ancestors. I am grateful to all those invested in these volunteer projects that help the rest of us with our research.
To keep everything organized, I have used a few different programs. I started with Family Tree Maker in 1999, which I loved, it searched the internet for me, helped create a web site, and had the ability to put together books. Was there anything not to like for someone just starting in their research. Currently, I am running on a MAC, so Family Tree Maker is no longer an option. I currently use Reunion, which organizes my information and has the ability to input the sources as well. It is user friendly, I have had no real problems or learning curve with it. Also, I love that the company stands behind their product and is great with the support they give their users.
The only thing that I would like to see is more products for the MAC, most genealogy based products are for the PC. Any correspondence I have had with multiple companies advises that it is not in the near future do to economic conditions. As always, we are putting everything on the economy!