Tuesday, February 12, 2019

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks – Love




Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is Love.



This week the challenge is Love, but being it is the week for Valentine’s Day I will write about Valentine Glessoff Zito.

Alfred Zito & Valentine Glessoff



Valentine’s birthday was 27 June 1907, so not on Valentine’s Day.  She was born in Newark, New Jersey. Were they just thinking she was their Valentine and professing their love for each other? Or was it a family name? Valentine’s parents, Ivan and Alexandria were both born in Russia.

The name Valentyna is a popular Slavic name for girls, meaning healthy and strong.  I believe this was why they named their second girl Valentine (Americanizing the name).

Valentine was my husband’s Aunt, sister to his mother Mary.  Valentine lived a full and happy life.  She married Alfred Zito (Freddy) in 1929 in Brooklyn. They had one daughter, Jacqueline born in 1945.  Valentine was called Aunt Val or DeeDee by her nieces and nephew.  When her sisters started having grandchildren, they also called her DeeDee.  She was a second grandmother to all the grandchildren.  She would come to visit and play games, swim in the pool, cook and reorganize cabinets and closets.  She was always busy.  She worked for many years for the Town of Oyster Bay in the Clerks office and was very involved with the Republican Party of Nassau County.  Valentine’s daughter, Jacqueline married in the 1980’s when Valentine was in her late 70’s.  Jacqueline and her husband George then had 2 sons.  They were the love of Valentine’s life.  She spent every spare minute of her day with the boys and I am sure they returned the love.

Valentine lived until she was 94 and enjoyed every day of it.  She died 20 January 2001 in Hicksville where she lived for over 50 years

Saturday, February 9, 2019

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks – Surprise




Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is Surprise.


This week’s challenge is Surprise.  Many years ago, I searched and found the Mother’s name of my husband’s grandfather.  Thomas J. Murphy’s mother was Honora Quinlan.

One of the first things I check when I am looking at a new family is the Census Records.  The records put the family together at a particular time and place.  I knew Thomas J. Murphy was born about 1877 from family and then his death certificate.  The 1880 Census would be the first census he was enumerated.  I found the family in 1880 in Brooklyn at 517 Court St.  The family consisted of John, the head of household, his wife Nora (short for Honora), Mary, Patrick, Thomas and Maggie.  Also, in the household was Mary Quinlan, mother-in-law of John.  This was how I found the maiden name for Honora/Nora.

I then found Honora’s siblings, Jane, Margaret and Michael.  Many years later more documents became available on-line.  The wills of people who died in Brooklyn were digitized and I started checking everyone to see if they had a will.  I wasn’t going to check the Quinlan’s or Murphy’s at first figuring they were not a rich family, but I checked anyway.  I found the will of Honora’s sister Margaret from 1904, (she never married so was still Quinlan).  This was a surprise at first that someone in the family had a will at all.

The most surprising thing about the will was that she left her estate to her sister, Honora, and her BROTHER, Alexander!   Not once in all the years and documents I had found, did it mention this brother. Margaret’s sister Jane died 8 years before her so was not mentioned in the will. Her brother Michael also died before her in 1879.

It pays to check out all new databases you never know what surprises you will find.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks – In the library


Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is In The Library.



This week’s challenge is In the Library.  The last 20 years I have volunteered at the local Family History Library.  I help everyone who comes in and have learned so much from each person I have helped.  When I first started there were three volunteers and we worked together with the patrons and on our own families.

One day I had come in with a new Internment List from Calvary Cemetery in Woodside, New York.  It was for my grandfather, William Mathews’, oldest sister, Mary Jane Mathews Flanagan.  Mary Jane was the only one of the siblings to be born in Ireland.  She was born in 1864 in the parish of Urney which includes parts of Tyrone and Donegal.  The Mathews, or at that time they were Mathers, family lived in Sion Mills, Tyrone.

Mary Jane Flanagan died 29 September 1916 and was buried 2 October 1916.  The internment list for Section 34, Range 7, Plot 0, Grave 14 includes the following names –

·        Katherine Flanagan         8 Jan 1905           11yrs     Born in New York

·        Nell Flanigan                     25 Feb 1907        10yrs     Born in New York

·        Mary J. Flanagan              2 Oct 1916          48yrs     Born in Ireland

·        Joseph Flanagan               28 Aug 1935       61yrs     Born in United States

·        Bernadette Connolly       13 Oct 1939        2yrs        Born in United States

·        James Connolly                 3 Aug 1962         64yrs     Born in United States

·        Anna Connolly                  23 April 1983      84yrs     Born in New York

I was showing this list to Anne one of the other volunteers when she said that the name and date for James Connolly was the same as her brother-in-law and he had a sister Bernadette who died young.  We then started checking the family tree and found that her brother-in-law was my third cousin. Anna Connolly was James’ mother who Anne new personally too.  We were both surprised, amazed and very happy to find the connection. 


Sunday, January 20, 2019

52 Ancestor 52 Weeks – I’d like to Meet




Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is I’d like to Meet.



I’d like to Meet Emily Caroline Moore, the sister of my 2nd Great Grandfather, Horatio Nelson Moore.

Emily Caroline Moore was born Christmas Day 1820 in Moore’s Mill, New Brunswick, Canada, the tenth of 14 children.  Emily married Charles Williams who was from Kennebec, Maine but had moved to New Brunswick.  They married 1 September 1842 and moved from New Brunswick to Anson, Maine.

I have a lot of information on the woman and feel she was a very interesting, caring, strong, and family-oriented person.  Through all her travels and problems, she wrote back to family members in Canada.  Many of the letters have been saved and I have transcripts. The letters were from 1856 and then 1878 through to 1892.

In one letter Emily said that after careful consideration and because of her husband’s poor health, they decided to move south to Alabama around 1845.  The following years found them in various places in the state, Shiloh where their second and third children were born.  Then in Spencerville where another child was born.  They also lived in Nanafalia, Citronelle, Marion and Mobile.

Several family members also moved to Alabama and visited frequently with each other.  In 1861, Emily’s husband, Charles died leaving her with 3 children, their first son George died around 1850. During the Civil Was many of the women lived together with their children while the men were in the service. As her children grew, they became very busy with their businesses. Her son Frank Williams became the owner of the  largest lumber company in Louisiana. He employed many of the family in his company. Emily Caroline Moore Williams died 23 March 1906 in Patterson, St. Mary’s Parish, Louisiana where she had been living with her son Frank.  She is buried with her husband in the Pine Crest Cemetery, in Citronelle, Mobile County, Alabama.

I would love to have visited with her in her home and had tea.  I would love to hear the stories of all the family.  Some of her letters describe what she is viewing out her window, the scenery, the animals and the children playing.  I would love to hear how they decided on Alabama and exactly how they transported themselves from Canada.

Monday, January 14, 2019

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks – Unusual Names




Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is Unusual Names.



Most of my ancestors have simple names.

There is one family that has two unusual names.  My 3rd great grandmother, Thankful Foster Moore and her husband, Tristram Moore.  I was thinking at first only about Thankful then I realized her husband has an unusual name also.

Most women with that name were Puritans.  They were famous for the names Charity, Thankful, and Blessing back in the 1600’s.  My Thankful was born in 1783 in Machias, Maine to Benjamin Foster and Elizabeth Scott and I don’t have any indication that they were Puritans.  Her siblings’ names were basic for the time, Jeremiah, Simeon, Sally, and Susan.  Something extra ordinary must have happened at that time in their lives to name their daughter Thankful.  I have not found any other Thankful’s in my family except my 3rd great grandmother.

Tristram Moore was born 1780 in New Boston, New Hampshire to William Moore and Hannah Livingstone.  His brothers had very basic Irish names, Thomas, William, John, and George.  His sisters were Elizabeth, Martha, Jane, Mary, Hannah and Anna.

The first Moore to come to America was Tristram’s grandfather, William Moor/Moore.  William came from Colraine, Londonderry, Ireland.  I looked at some church records from that time and place and found a couple of Tristram’s.  I have not connected them to my family at this time though. The only other Tristram I have found is my great grandfather, Tristram Anderson Moore born in 1851 in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, Canada.

Monday, January 7, 2019

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks – Week 2 Challenge




Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is Challenge.

I think doing genealogy research is a challenge every day.  Just recently I received an email from a distant cousin asking if I had proof of her great grandmother’s parents’ names.

Her great grandmother, Elizabeth McCrudden Mulraney, was a sister to my great grandmother, Mary McCrudden Mathers. 

I had been told by my father’s cousin, Bunny Morris, that Mary McCrudden and her sisters Catherine, Elizabeth. Teresa and Ann were born to James McCrudden and Catherine Harvey.  Bunny had lived with Mary McCrudden and spoke to her often about her family in Ireland.  All the sisters came to America. They did have two brothers Thomas and William who stayed in Ireland.

The challenge I had was finding proof of the parent’s names, hopefully in a document. I found the proof in the marriage certificate of Elizabeth McCrudden which indicates her parents are James McCrudden and Catherine Harvey.

City of New York    Return of a Marriage

Full Name of Husband                      George Mulraney

Place of Residence                             337 Washington St., New York

Age Next Birthday                             27

Occupation                                        Shoe Maker

Place of Birth                                     Ireland

Fathers Name                                    George

Mothers Maiden Name                    Ann Martin

No. of Husband Marriage 1st

Full Name of Wife                              Lizzie McCrudden

Place of Residence                             134 W. 28th St., New York

Age Next Birthday                             26

Place of Birth                                      Ireland

Fathers Name                                    James

Mothers Maiden Name                    Catherine Harvey

No. of Wife Marriage                        1st

New York February 5, 1876


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

52 Ancestors 52 Weeks 2019 - First




Blogger Amy Johnson Crow has challenged us with writing about an Ancestor once a week for the year 2019.  She will give us prompts to get us started.  This week's prompt is First.



My father, James Robert Mathews was born 31 July 1920.  About 1927 he made his First Holy Communion in Richmond Hill, New York.  My father was also known by the name Buster to his family.

Here is the earliest picture I have of him on his First Holy Communion Day.

James "Buster" Mathews
First Holy Communion

#52Ancestors52Weeks