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.
L 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?
Within the past few days, I have found my ancestor that fought in the Revolution. I have requested a look up from the DAR to confirm. A special thanks to Nancy who has helped with this. I really appreciate it.
b.12 Dec 1755, Blacksburg, Montgomery, VA
d. 14 Jul 1849, Blacksburg, Montgomery, VA
In spending time today reading AnceStories older posts and I came across one on blogging about our Brickwall Ancestors and why we do not put out all the information we have and maybe others will be able to help. What an idea. I know for one, I have mentioned mine here and there. But I have never really put all my information out there. So today I am taking a stab at it.
I called Our Lady of Mount Carmel today for my update on their search for my ancestors. So the good news is they found Dennis O’Connell listed in their baptismal book and they will photo copy it and mail it to me. However, they found nothing for marriage records on John and Bridget. The only information she could give me on Bridget Curran is that she was born in 1862 and died in 1895.
Today I called the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Middle Granville, NY. It seems this is one of a few Churches in this Catholic community. I spoke to a very nice lady who is going to look in their records to see what she can find for Bridget (Curran) O’Connell. I am hoping that this is the Church that Bridget grew up in. Obviously I know that she was buried there. I also know that her son Dennis was baptized there. So it seems there is some tie with Bridget and this Church. She asked that I give them a week to go through their records and give them a call back. I look forward to making the follow up call, hopefully they will have a some great finds for me.
So, I have written another letter looking for more information and also wrote a letter to his sister. Hoping to get a little more information with each letter. Also, to form a family relationship for all of us. I am of course, ever thankful that he replied to me. Hopefully, he and his sister will be willing to meet with me and whoever is willing to go to NY with me in the spring. I would like to meet with them and any other family member I can. Maybe do some interviews and find out more about the family.