Monday, October 22, 2012

Petition for Pardon of Francis Cushing

I recently found more information about the incarceration of Francis Cushing in Washington in 1891.  The Washington State archives have been a great source of information, making digital copies of old records available on line.  In 1893, about 200 residents in the Arapahoe, Nebraska area sent a petition to the governor of Washington, asking that Francis be pardoned.  I've posted a scan and a transcript on my Cushing genealogy web site, under Cushing: Data and Sources.  The first page, the cover letter, is shown below.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Possible Casey-Cushing connection

[posted 9 Oct '12; added to web site 23 Jan '15] [This is a redacted form of a letter I sent to some Cushing genealogy cousins about a year and a half ago.  I haven't been able to do any more research on the Caseys since.]

For those of you who have looked through census records, you know that there was a Casey family "next door" (can you say that with farmland?) to Dennis and Katherine Casey Cussen/Cushing in Fort Winnebago.  There's an awful lot of information online right now, especially through the website, and through census, marriage, and birth records there, supplemented with Find-a-Grave records and usgenweb files, I fleshed out what I could about these Caseys.  I added them to my online tree, so if you want to take a look, go to my Cushing Genealogy website at , select "family trees" from the menu, then "my family", then type in either "casey, james" (select the one born in 1800), or "casey, patrick" (select the first one, born between 1800 and 1803).  Click on "descendancy" to see their family trees, as far as I traced them.

Here's what I know, in brief.  Dennis and Catherine Casey Cushing left Stoughton in about 1847, may have stopped in Madison, Wisconsin, but arrived in Fort Winnebago in about 1849.  James Casey immigrated from Ireland in 1849 and arrived in Fort Winnebago on the farm "next door" to the Cushings.  Patrick Casey immigrated with his family in 1848, was in Lawrence, Massachussetts in 1850, but moved shortly thereafter to Fort Winnebago, to a farm very near the Cushing and James Casey families.  In 1850, Patrick Casey is listed both with the James Casey family in Fort Winnebago and with his family in Lawrence, Mass.  My speculation is that Patrick and James Casey and Katherine Casey Cushing were brothers and sister, born in about 1800, 1803, and 1806, respectively.

Of the few Caseys found in Cushing birth records, John Cussen/Cushing's godfather, in Galbally, was a Patrick Casey.  (John was one of Dennis and Katherine's older sons, who also had a farm in Fort Winnegabo.)  Patrick Cussen's godfather, in Galbally, was Margaret Casey.  (Patrick was another of Dennis and Katherine's sons.  The James Casey who emigrated to Fort Winnebago was married to Margaret Brady Casey.)  There are a few other possible connections, but these are such common names that they are not proof of a connection to the Fort Winnebago neighbors.  My great-grandfather, Francis Cushing, was a witness (best man?) at the marriage of William Casey in Fort Winnebago.  William was the son of nearby Patrick Casey; Francis was the son of Katherine Casey Cushing.  This could be an indication of family, but could also be simply because they had been neighbors and friends for many years.  (I think this is more likely an indication of family relationship because William was seven years older than Francis and in the pre-teen and teenage years they were neighbors, with such large families, I don't think they would have been neighbor buddies.)  That's pretty much all I know about Caseys in Fort Winnebago.

I know of 6 children to Patrick Casey.  I don't know what became of the 5 daughters.  Son William moved with his parents to Rudd, Iowa, then after the parents died moved on to Lake Co., South Dakota.  After James' death, much of his family moved to the Rudd, Iowa area, too.  Daughter Ellen married James Durick and their descendants remained in the Portage area.  Son Patrick F. stayed on the family farm in Fort Winnebago (you may have seen his name on the 1873 plat map next to Dennis Cushing) for a few years, but then moved on to Iowa.  Son James moved on to Watertown, Wis.  More details are in my family tree.

I don't spend a great deal of time on genealogy these days.  I was hoping to find some descendant to contact that might know something about the Caseys, but the free online records only get me to about 1930, so I haven't found families to contact yet.  I'm thinking of looking for Caseys in Galbally church registers, Caseys in St. Mary's church (Portage) registers, land/deed records for the Cushings and Caseys in Fort Winnebago, naturalization records for Dennis Cushing and James and Patrick Casey (Columbia Co. records available through LDS).  There were also some rather prominent Casey descendants - an Archbishop of Denver in the early 70s, and a state representative, I think in Mitchell Co., Iowa, whose families might have some genealogy information, if I can locate them.

My Opinion: Nearly All Cushings from Cork, Limerick, Tipperary Area are Related

The whole point of that table was to show that Cushing (or it's Irish variants: Cushen and Cussen) was not a very common name in Ireland.  The estimated number of Cussens in about 1840 was 800.  To play around with some numbers (I'll try to use more accurate numbers after I do a little research), if a typical family is two parents and six children, 800 Cussens is about 100 families.  Almost all of these, nearly 80%, were in southwest Ireland.  Roughly using the population chart at , there were about 50 Cussen families in 1790 and only about 25 in 1700.  We'll never trace individual Irish Cussen families back to 1700, but I think it's certain that the Cussen/Cushen/Cushing families from southwest Ireland are somehow related.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Surnames in Ireland

A helpful resource in locating families in Ireland is Robert Matheson's Surnames in Ireland.  Published in 1909, the report makes use of the 1890 Births Index to count and locate surnames throughout the country.  Two tables published in this report are particularly interesting: One Hundred of the Principal Surnames in Ireland and Surnames in Ireland having Five Entries and upwards in the Birth Indexes of 1890.  Below, I combine these tables and modify them to show the most common Irish surnames in our family tree.  My modification changes the population estimates to reflect the population in about 1840, since our Irish ancestors emigrated between about 1825 and 1841.  [Note 1: Between 1841 and 1891, the population of Ireland dropped by about 50%.  50%!  The potato famine and emigration depleted the Irish population enormously.  Even today, the population of Ireland is less than it was in 1841.  The loss of population was not the same in all counties (Tipperary dropped 60% and Cork dropped 49%, for example), so my correction of simply doubling the population is not entirely accurate, but it should be quite a bit more accurate than using population numbers from 1890.]  [Note 2: You may notice that some of the population estimates don't follow the top 100 ranking.  I lumped some name variations together that slightly changed some relative rankings.  It's not important.]

Connaught is western Ireland (counties Mayo, Sligo, Roscommon, Leitrim and Galway); Munster is southwestern Ireland (counties Kerry, Limerick, Clare, Tipperary, Cork and Waterford); Leinster is eastern Ireland (counties Longford, Westmeath, Meath, Louth, Dublin, Kildare, Kings/Offaly, Queens/Leix, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Wexford); and Ulster is northern Ireland (counties Donegal, Londonderry, Antrim, Tyrone, Fermanagh, Monaghan, Cavan, Armagh and Down).

In the table below, I have included the 10 most common names and added the most common Irish names from our family tree.

SurnameMy estimated
population in ca .1840
1890 birthsPrincipal counties
Murphy126,00011386476611189110Throughout Ireland, but greatest numbers in Cork, Dublin, and Wexford.
Kelly114,00021251438215267331Throughout Ireland, but greatest numbers in Dublin, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, and Cork.
Sullivan89,0003975618751524Throughout Munster, but greatest numbers in Cork and Kerry.
Walsh85,0004932476611189110Throughout Ireland, but greatest numbers in Cork, Mayo, Waterford, Galway, Dublin, and Wexford.
Smith68,00057532326241247Antrim, Cavan, and Dublin.
O'Brien69,00067642164147361Throughout Munster, and Dublin, Cavan, and Galway.
Byrne67,0007734583525346Dublin, Wicklow, Wexford, Louth, Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Cork, Waterford, Donegal, Galway, Mayo & Roscommon.
Ryan65,00087151804731349Tipperary by far, but also Limerick, Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Kilkenny, Wexford, Clare & Galway.
Connor63,500969816033681121Connor (432): Kerry, Dublin, Mayo, Cork, also Roscommon, Galway, Antrim, Londonderry.
O'Connor (266): Kerry, Cork, Limerick, Dublin, Clare, Galway.
O'Neill64,5001070922619025439O'Neill (407): Throughout Ireland, but 50% in Dublin, Antrim, Cork, and Tyrone.
Neill (244): Antrim, Cork, Kerry, Carlow, Dublin, Wexford.
McNeill (58): Antrim & Londonderry.
Campbell32,0003134939827923Antrim, Down, Armagh, Tyrone, Londonderry, Donegal.
Casey23,00059254611341742Cork, Kerry, Dublin, Limerick.
Donnelly22,00065240641913522Antrim, Tyrone, Armagh, Dublin.
Hogan17,5009119359115514Tipperary, Dublin, Limerick, Clare, & Cork.
16460613310Gorman: Antrim, Dublin, & Tipperary.
O'Gorman: Clare.
603312510Dublin & King's
49443-221 in Limerick, 11 in Kerry, 8 in Cork, 3 in Clare.
252-23-Antrim & Londonderry.
2042122Antrim.  Many more Cummins, in Dublin, Cork, & Tipperary.
11-101-7 in Cork, 3 in Clare.
917-13 in Cork, 2 in Limerick

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mannings & Enrights

Several years ago, I looked up some information for my cousins.  I just came across it and decided to post it here in case I can help them connect with more of their family history.  This was mostly from census records, and not a comprehensive search of other records.  This research is six years old, so more information is undoubtedly available now.

John and Bridget Manning, born about 1811 and 1813, respectively, emigrated from Ireland to the US in the 1840s, with their son, John, born in about 1839, and probably some other children.  I found them in Clyman, Dodge County, Wisconsin in 1860.  (Since earlier censuses are not available through my service, I don't know if they were there earlier.)  There were several Manning families in Clyman, but I don't know how they're related.  John was a blacksmith and a farmer.  I think that John married a Catherine (born about 1850 in Ireland), and that they had a daughter, Katherine, in about 1884.  In 1900, John was a widow living with his daughter, Katherine, still in Clyman, Wisconsin.  Katherine married Joseph L. Enright in about 1907, and their son, Paul Manning Enright, was born in Texas in 1908.  In 1910, this family was living in Waco, Texas, including Katherine's father, John.  They had a daughter in about 1913, but I couldn't make out her name.  Something like Alline or Alsine.  Joseph was a Bridge Builder for the railroad.  By 1920, the family had moved to Texarkana, Texas and were still there in 1930.  John Manning probably passed away between 1920 and 1930.  So on the Manning side, your grandmother, Katherine Manning Enright, was born in Wisconsin, but her parents were born in Ireland.  Your great grandfather, John Manning, emigrated from Ireland in the mid 1840s with his family while a child.  Your great grandmother, Catherine Manning, was also born in Ireland, but I don't know her maiden name or when she emigrated.

I believe that your Enright emigres are John and Sarah Enright, born in Ireland about 1802 and 1820, respectively.  I don't know where they married - Ireland or the US.  Their son, James, was born about 1842.  Most of the census records say James was born in New York, though one says Ireland.  Other children were born in New York and Massachusetts in the mid to late 1840s, so the family lived in that area for a while.  I found the family in 1860 in Milford, Jefferson County, Wisconsin.  James married a Johanna (born 1851 in Ohio).  Johanna's parents were both born in Ireland.  James and Johanna had at least 8 children in Wisconsin, including your grandfather, Joseph L. Enright, born about 1880.  I may have found another brother who was born in Arkansas in 1890, so the family may have moved to Arkansas in the 1880s.  Two of Joseph's brothers, James and William, were also bridge builders for the railroad in Texas, so there was some kind of Civil Engineering strength in the family.  I found Joseph in Pine Bluff, Jefferson County, Arkansas (again building bridges for the railroad) in 1900, before he married.  It was interesting that of the 100 persons on his census page, he was the only white.  So on the Enright side, your grandfather, Joseph L. Enright, was born in Wisconsin, and his parents were probably born in New York and Ohio.  But all 4 of their parents, your Enright great great grandparents, were born in Ireland.  I'm not sure when they emigrated, nor even what all of their names were.

I learned a few years ago about your father visiting with a cousin, Ray, on the East Coast when returning from some business trips.  Joseph L. Enright's brother, William, a RR Bridge Builder in Texas, had a son Raymond born in about 1909, one year younger than your dad.  I think the 1930 census said he was an insurance agent.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Can't Follow the Names in my Posts?

Most of you are probably lost when I start mentioning names, like Patrick Donley.  To see how someone fits into your tree, use the Rootsweb family tree in the list of links on the right of this blog page.  One way to see how someone is related to you (if they are) is to go to the family tree and find your nearest deceased relative.  (For privacy reasons, no living persons are included in the family tree that I've publicly posted at Rootsweb.)  This could be a parent or a grandparent.  Then at the top of that person's page (but below the banner ad), click on "pedigree".  You should see Patrick Donley in the last column.  To see his family, or his descendants, click on his name.  If you have trouble, leave me a comment and I'll try to help.

Margaret Donnelly no. 2

Our second Margaret Donnelly, aka Maggie, was the niece of Margaret no. 1.  Maggie was the daughter of James Donley (the oldest of Patrick and Nancy's sons, the only one born in Ireland) and Mary Buchannan.  I don't know alot about this family.  James and Mary were married in the early 1850s.  Maggie was born in 1856 in Fort Covington, about 40 miles east of Waddington (where our Donnelly family first settled) along the St. Lawrence river.  It could be that James and Mary lived in Fort Covington, or that Mary was from there and she had the baby in her parents' home.  In 1860 they were living in the village of Waddington.  In 1868, when Maggie was 12 years old, they sold their home and moved to Burlington, Vermont, where they remained.  What little I know about Maggie is that in 1880 she was selling or making hats, that in 1899 she died of heart disease, and that as far as I can tell, she never married.  She is probably buried in Burlington in a family plot.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

J. Lufkin Douglas Genealogy

Just a note about a valuable resource for our Douglas genealogy.  Our Douglas family is descended from a John Douglas who, at the age of 12, ran away from home.  In 1707 he was kidnapped on the docks of London and forced to work on the crew of a ship that sailed for the New World, where he was sold to pay for his passage.  (Apparently, this was not uncommon at the time.) In 1890, Joshua Lufkin Douglas published a genealogy of this family, as best he could, from available records and from correspondence with as many of the descendants as he could contact.  I first found this book several years ago on Heritage Quest, through the New England Genealogical and Historical Association.  At the time, I painstakingly entered the over 2000 individuals into a family tree, and added it to my own.  Now I find it in several places.  Google has scanned this book, which is available in Google Books in several different formats.  Amazon offers printed copies for about $20.  When I transcribed the individual vital records (birth, marriage, death), I decided to leave out the descriptive information about all these families, which is really the more interesting information.  There was just too much for me to copy.  The other day I came across someone who has transcribed all this information, and made it available on his genealogy website.  The Wilde Genealogy site is at and our Douglas family starts here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lemuel Patchen, 1770 - 1850s

My great great grandfather was Thomas Patchen, born about 1796 in Canada.  I was able to follow his family from Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence co., New York in 1830, to his death in Janesville, Waseca co., Minnesota in 1870.  This article is about Lemuel Patchen, who is likely Thomas' father.

A Lemuel Patchen and his wife, Lucy Davern, had two children, Lewis and Talcott, in Saratoga county, New York, in the early 1790s.  Saratoga county is located in east-central New York, not far from Schenectady or Albany.  Lemuel was born in Connecticut in about 1770.  In about 1808, a court record says that Samuel Crofut became guardian for Lewis and Talcott Patchen, whose father, Lemuel, had "absconded to Canada".  We don't know what happened, but it appears that Lemuel had abandoned his family and gone to Canada, sometime between about 1793 and 1808.

Skipping ahead to our Patchen family.  We know that we are descendants of Andrew Jackson Patchen and Emily Douglas.  Through census records and other genealogy research, I was able to trace our family back to Thomas Patchen in Oswegatchie, New York (along the St. Lawrence river, opposite Ontario, Canada) in 1830.  Andrew Jackson Patchen was one of his sons.  Thomas was born in Canada in about 1796.

It turns out that there is a Lemuel Patchen in Oswegatchie beginning about 1820.  (At least that's the first record, the 1820 census.  He could have been there up to several years earlier.)  The information in this census is not precise.  It appears that he is with eight children born between the early 1790s and about 1810.  Following Lemuel in subsequent censuses, I find that he was born in Connecticut in about 1768.  All of these proximities in date and place make a strong case for linking our Thomas Patchen to this Lemuel Patchen, and that this Lemuel could be the same that "absconded to Canada".  One additional piece of information is that Shirley K.,  a Patchen descendant, informed me several years ago that she had found a census record from August township, Grenville co., Ontario, Canada, from the 1813 census, showing Lemuel Patchen and Thomas Patchen, and that Thomas was living next to a Perrin family.  Though I have not seen any such records myself, Shirley and other Patchen researchers have said in the past that Thomas Patchen's middle name was Perrin (or Perrien), and they suspected that was Lemuel's wife's maiden name.  So the Patchens living next to a Perrin family would be further evidence of the link to our family.

So while I'm not absolutely certain, yet, I think it is very likely that this Lemuel is Thomas' father, and that this is the same Lemuel whose sons are Talcott and Lewis.  It's like a tooth that a dentist puts a "watch" on.  For now they're related, but we'll keep an eye out for any evidence that either supports or refutes the relationship.

(BTW:  If you have further information on Lemuel, or Thomas, please contact me or leave a comment.)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Migration of Children of Dennis Cushing and Alice Gleason

I've seen a few posts recently from folks seeking information about the families of Dennis Cushing, Jr. and Alice Gleason.  In my first conversation with a Cushing genealogy cousin, I was told that most of Dennis and Alice's kids moved to Chicago.  There were so many Cushings in that generation that I can't keep them straight.  Since my own grandfather was in Chicago after about 1906, I've been curious which of his cousins lived nearby.  As far as I know, he had no contact with them.  Anyway, a few weeks ago I decided to map out where Dennis and Alice's kids went from Fort Winnebago.  I've added this information to my genealogy web site.  Go to the Cushing section, then down to Dennis, Jr. in the American born children section to find the link to the new page.  Someday, I'll do the same for  William's and John's kids.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Margaret Donnelly no. 1

I was once told that my Aunt Peggy (given name Margaret) had wanted to research and write a book about the Margaret Donnellys in our family before she passed away.  I don't think she knew about the first in our American family ...

Margaret Donnelly was born in 1837 in Madrid, New York, the seventh of Ann and Patrick Donley's nine children.  We know little about her youth.  She did not marry and was principally helping her mother run their farm home until about the age of 30.  She must have learned to sew well, as she earned a living as a dressmaker after she left home, probably in the late 1860s.  I haven't found her between about 1860 and 1875, when she was living in Chicago.  Her brother, Edward, may have been living in Chicago in 1872 (according to a marriage record), so perhaps they met there after Edward's service in the army ended in 1865.  Her younger sister, Mary, joined her in Chicago after their mother died in 1875.  Margaret remained in Chicago, working as a dress maker, until about 1883, when she returned to Waddington, New York, formerly part of Madrid, her native town.  By this time, her only sibling in the area was Kate Donnelly Gorman, though the husband and some of the children of her late sister, Bridget Donley/Donnelly Gorman, lived in Waddington, and her brother John and his young family lived just across the river in Morrisburg, Ontario.  I can only speculate on what happened between 1883 and 1900. [I've removed the perhaps and maybes from the following, which is "historical fiction" - my guess at what might have happened based on what little we know.]  Margaret probably lived in Waddington a few years, working as a seamstress, enjoying visiting with her many nieces and nephews and her sister, Catherine, just five years older than she.  When her brother-in-law, Jim Graham, passed away in the early 1890s, she went to Memphis, Michigan, to help her sister, Ann, now widowed and with no children. She ended up staying in Memphis.  Her older brother, also Jim, came to live with her at some point, possibly when Jim Graham died, possibly after the death of his daughter, Maggie Donnelly, in 1899.  Ann passed away in 1895.  When brother-in-law Christy Gorman passed away in 1900, Margaret and Jim moved back to Waddington.  I wonder if, at this point, Margaret was mostly living off of inheritances and relatives.  (She was named in the wills of her mother, Nancy, in 1875, and brother Michael in 1881.  Being Ann's only family in Michigan when she passed away, I would guess that all of Ann's property was passed on to her and Jim.  The 1900 census says that Margaret had not worked for most of the previous year.  In 1910, she was living with the family of her niece, Catherine Gorman Murphy.)  In October of 1912, Margaret moved back to Chicago, where she developed a severe bronchitis.  Two months later she passed away.  She was returned to Waddington for burial.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Leo Hogan

Leo LaBrune Hogan was born in St. Louis in 1900 to James and Anastasia Hogan. He was a great competitive swimmer.  He began college at St. Louis University, probably in the Fall of 1917.
Alton Evening Telegraph, Alton, IL, April 21, 1918
Leo Hogan of St. Louis in the Navy
   Friends in Alton have received word that Leo Hogan, eighteen year old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hogan of McPherson avenue, St. Louis, has enlisted in the radio service of the navy and is at the Great Lakes Training Station near Chicago.  Hogan was a student of the St. Louis University and enlisted upon reaching his 18th birthday.
   He is the son of James Hogan, formerly of Alton, and is well known here, where the family visits frequently.  His elder brother, Lieut. Dan Hogan, is in the 432nd Aero Squadron, in the state of Washington.  Miss Marie Hogan, a sister, visits with Mrs. James B. Cahill of Madison avenue very often.
He served at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station for 16 months, first as a radio electrician, then as a hospital apprentice.  He stayed at Great Lakes as a swimming instructor and in 1920 travelled to the Summer Olympics as a men's swimming coach.

Alton Evening Telegraph, Aug 3, 1920
Leo Hogan, son of James Hogan, a former Altonian, but of recent years residing in St. Louis, has sailed for Antwerp, Belgium, as coach for the men from the Great Lakes Training Station at Chicago, who will participate in the Olympic meet.  Hogan is 21 years of age and is the youngest coach at the Great Lakes.  He has been coach at the Great Lakes since 1917.  He will spend the summer in Europe.  Hogan is the brother of Miss Marie Hogan, who visits frequently in Alton.

You can imagine the world wide excitement at the 1920 games.  The 1916 games that were to take place in Berlin had been cancelled in turmoil preceding the start of the first World War.  The 1920 games were held in Belgium, a country that had been occupied by Germany in the War.  [I don't know whether this location had been chosen long in advance, or was selected to symbolize the victory of the Allies in the War.]  Germany was not invited to the 1920 games.  In what must have been the lingering  euphoria of victory, a record number of athletes were sent to these games.  The five ring symbol of the modern Olympic Games was introduced that year. Duke Kahanamoku was the best known of the men's swimmers that year.

In about 1922, Leo graduated from St. Louis University and moved to Chicago.  In 1927, he founded Hogan & Farwell real estate, of which he was president until his death in 1948.  Hogan & Farwell owned some of the most prominent buildings in Chicago.  He joined the Navy again in World War II.  The following is probably from the Chicago Tribune:

One of his nieces remembers Leo saying that the most exciting thing he ever experienced was when his ship returned to the US mainland from duty in the Pacific, having crossed the Pacific Ocean.  When the ship passed under the Golden Gate bridge it was covered with cheering people welcoming them home.  Another recalls hearing Leo's stories of some of his shipmates tortured during the War.  They say he was not the same after his return.

His obituary in the New York Times summarizes some of his achievements:

New York Times, 5 June 1948
Leo L. Hogan, Headed Chicago Realty Men
Chicago, June 4 - Leo L. Hogan, former president of the Chicago Real Estate Board and a prominent real estate broker here since 1927, when he founded the firm of Hogan-Farwell, Inc., died today after a long illness.  His age was 48.

Mr. Hogan was elected president of the Chicago Real Estate Board in 1946 after serving a term as president of the North Central Association, a group of real estate dealers.

He came to Chicago in 1922 after he was graduated from St. Louis University in the city of his birth.  After working as a salesman for five years he established the firm of which he held the presidency until his death.

A veteran of both World Wars, he spent three and a half years as a lieutenant commander in the Navy during the recent war and won the Silver and Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart while serving aboard the carrier Intrepid in the South Pacific.

He was a member of the Racquet, the Chicago Golf, the Tavern and the Mid-Day clubs.

Surviving are a sister, Mrs. James L. Donnelley of Evanston, and a brother, Daniel.

Although he never married and had no children of his own, he spent a great deal of time with his sister's family, also in the Chicago area.  He reportedly drove his big sister nuts, his wild personality the opposite of hers.  But the children loved his antics and his stories.  He passed away at his home in 1948.  In a reflection of both his wild side and his prominence in the business community, his funeral was attended by the mayor of Chicago and the entire kick-line from the Club Alabam, one of the hottest night clubs in Chicago.

Edmond Cussen

[posted 24 Mar '12; added to web site 23 Jan '14] When I first started researching our family, I could find no information on Edmond Cussen, oldest of the Dennis and Kate Cussen kids.  I thought he might have died en route to America, or was left behind in Ireland.  In the last few years, an amazing quantity of historical information has become available, either directly or through indexes of available records, and I've been able to piece together Edmond's life.  At least an outline of facts.  It's always hard to find "color", what he was like or what his interests were.  But he must have been fairly close to his brothers' families in Nebraska.  A few days ago I found a death certificate from Chicago, which I believe to be his.  Here is what I know about Edmond ...

Born in 1828 near Galbally.  Emigrated with the family in about 1841 (13 years old).  Lived with family in Stoughton, Mass. from at least 1845.  When family moved to Wisconsin in about 1847 (19 years old), he remained with younger brother William (17 years old) where they worked as boot makers in the shoe factory.  When William married in 1856, Edmond moved out but remained in Stoughton.  He was living with Maryann Barrett O'Donnell from at least 1865.  They married in 1871.  They had no children.  She passed away in 1882.  Edmund then moved out to a farm in Frontier Co., Nebraska, in an adjacent county and not far from Arapahoe where some of his brothers lived..  Because of later connections between his nephew, J. Frank Cushing, and Edmond, I'm guessing that Adam, Francis and Edmond were quite close, being the only Cushing family in the area.  In 1892, Edmond was committed to a state hospital  for the insane.  Francis had been sent to prison in 1891.  I'm wondering if Francis had been doing something to help Edmond, who may have been suffering from some dementia or something that required some assistance, and that when Francis was incarcerated Edmond could no longer live by himself and, with no local family, was put in the state hospital.  [I don't know where Adam was at this time.  Family records say he died in Kansas in 1893. And when Francis was released and moved back to Nebraska in about 1894, Edmond stayed at the state hospital, so maybe his condition was more serious.]  We know that nephew Frank asked Uncle Edmond for financial help at Notre Dame, I think after Francis died, and Edmond sent him some money.  Frank graduated in 1905 and moved to Chicago, where he married in September of 1906.  A year later, in October 1907, Edmond was released from the state hospital and, if this is his death certificate, moved to Chicago where he passed away just 2 months later.  He was buried in Calvary cemetery.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Keeping Them Straight: Madrid, Potsdam and Waddington

Just for your general information:

Madrid was formed in 1803 and included the current towns of Potsdam and Waddington.

The town of Potsdam was formed from the south east part of Madrid in 1806.

Following that event, the two main hamlets in Madrid were Columbia and Hamilton. In 1859 Columbia became the hamlet of Madrid which exists today. Hamilton was renamed in 1818 to Waddington. There were two Hamiltons in NYS at that time and the Postmaster
 General required that one name be changed. Incidentally, Joshua Waddington, for whom the hamlet was named, was land agent for David Ogden who was the oeiginal land owner as well as being his brother-in-law.

The hamlet of Waddington continued to grow and became an incorporated village in 1839. Town offices remained in the hamlet of Columbia (Madrid) about nine miles away which made transacting legal business difficult for Waddington residents. In 1859 the town of Madrid was divided in half to form the current towns of Madrid and of Waddington with Waddington being the north west half. Of the three towns, Potsdam is by far the largest in population and probably has been for 150 years. Potsdam had excellent water power from the Raquette River, was a center for sawing logs from the Adirondacks and offered higher education in the 19th century. Today Potsdam's major industry is education with SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University located there. I do not know why Potsdam was listed as the birthplace of two Donnlleys unless Patrick was working in a saw mill or one of the small water powered industries there,
perhaps as a seasonal laborer.


Fred from cold and snowy Waddington

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Other Irish

For the McClintock/Pyne branches of the family:  The McClintocks and Pynes came from Ireland, but how Irish are they now?  For the benefit of those who are first cousins you only share half this lineage, so pick your half.  Stan (and his brother and sister) is 1/2 Italian, 1/8 Irish, and the other 3/8 "old American" (which means the families have been here a while, and are probably predominantly of English descent.  Betty (and sibs) is 3/4 Irish and 1/4 "old American". You first cousins will have to add one of these (your side of the family) to the mix from your other parent and divide by 2 to get your own mix.  Their children are then 7/16 Irish, 1/4 Italian, and 5/16 "old American".

How Irish Are We?

The Cushings and Donnellys came from Ireland, but how Irish are we?  For the benefit of those who are first cousins - and you are many - we only share half our lineage, so pick your half.  Dad (and all his brothers and sisters) is 1/4 Irish, 1/2 English (or sometimes I say "old American", since they've been on this continent for many generations, since before there was a United States, and there may be a small mix of other nationalities, including Native American), and 1/4 Welsh.  Mom (and brother and sisters) is 7/8 Irish and 1/8 French.  You first cousins will have to add one of these (your side of the family) to the mix from your other parent and divide by 2 to get your own mix.  For me and my sibs that comes out to 9/16 Irish, 1/4 English, 1/8 Welsh and 1/16 French.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Settling, Part II

How did they get employed, find a home, etc?

This next part will take a little explaining...

Lots of people were moving out of the cities to the wilderness in the west where they could get free or cheap land and get away from all the rules and laws, people and crime and where they could grow and trap their own food, and where they could raise their kids in a more wholesome environment.  In a lot of ways, their motivations were probably the same motivations that parents have today.  When enough people moved to an area, they would need to get more organized about getting rid of garbage and protecting people from criminals and building schools and roads, and would form new states.  Wisconsin became a state in 1848.  So there was a lot of new construction going on and a lot of cheap land to encourage people to come out to the state.  In one part of the state two rivers, the Fox and the Wisconsin, almost meet.  I think they are about one mile apart.  The Fox River goes to Lake Michigan.  The Wisconsin River goes to the Mississippi River.  Back then, rivers were like our Interstate Highways today.  They were very important for selling and shipping goods into the interior of the country.  So factories or importers would ship things (books, clothing, rifles, axes, whale oil (?), etc.) to customers in the West (like Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, etc.) by putting them on a ship up rivers and down rivers and across Lake Michigan and up the Fox River in Wisconsin.  Then everything would have to be unloaded and carried a mile to the Wisconsin River (carrying things across land is called "portage"), where it would all be loaded on to a new ship that could take the goods to the Mississippi and to all the states through which that river flows.  And even though that was alot of work and took alot of time, it was the best and cheapest way to get things from the East to the "West" (at least as far as the Mississippi) and was extremely important for people that lived out there.  By the way, the traffic went both ways.  Lots of animal furs were sent from the wild frontier back East along this same route.  Wouldn't it be great if the two rivers were connected so one ship could make the entire trip?

Eventually, a canal was built to connect the two rivers.  Lots of workers were needed to work on the canal, and homes and farms and towns were needed for the workers and their families to live there for a long time.  So cheap land was offered to attract lots of people to this area.  The Cushings must have decided that this would be a much better place to live and raise a family than the town where they lived.  Also, I think that some of Catherine's family, the Caseys, were coming over from Ireland, and in Wisconsin they could all live near each other.  (I'm guessing this because there were two Casey brothers who came to Wisconsin with their families at about the same time as the Cushings and lived very near them.)   I think that that is why the Cushings moved to Wisconsin.  The town that was built near the canal was called Portage.  The Cushings and Caseys lived a few miles north in an area known as Fort Winnebago.  You can read about most of this on my website, too.

Settling, Part I

How did they survive when they arrived?
How did they get employed, find a home, etc?
I don't know what they did when they first arrived.  It could be that there was family in the area.  We think they came to Canada in about 1841 and Dennis (a son) was born in Massachussetts in 1845.  I really know nothing about where they were or what they did between those times.  When Dennis was born in Stoughton (about 12 miles southwest of Boston), his father, Dennis Cussen from Ireland, was working as a cooper for a whale oil producer.  So next time you hear about the whaling ships and burning whale oil in lamps, remember that your family used to work in this industry.  Apparently he built barrels to hold the whale oil so it could be stored and shipped.  I know that lots of people in Stoughton were employed at the boot factory, including some of the older Cussen boys.  So my guess is that the family headed overland from Canada to Boston, where lots of Irish lived, heard about jobs that were available in nearby Stoughton, and found a place to live there.  Mary was born there in 1847, so we know they lived in or near Stoughton for at least a couple of years.  Being new to the area and having come from overseas, and being Irish, they probably did not have much money, so Dennis and Catherine and their ten children probably lived in an apartment, or a small house, or maybe the older kids lived in other houses.  They were from the Irish countryside, so I imagine they worried constantly about whether it was safe for their younger kids to play outside, or whether their older kids would get involved in crime or gangs, or whether they'd get beat up because they were Irish.  And I think that other family members from Ireland wanted to come to America, but it was too expensive near Boston.

Why and How Did They Travel to America?

Why did they immigrate to America?

Let's see if I can give you some quick answers.  I wish I knew more about the family that came to America.  It might seem to you that I know alot, but for every question I can answer there are ten that I can't.  One of the fun things about genealogy is that you gather as much factual information as you can, but then have to imagine the rest because there are many things we just won't ever know.

Why did they immigrate?  One reason was probably the way they were treated in their own country.  They could not own land and had to pay an Englishman rent for the land they lived on.  They probably had to pay a tithe to support the Church of Ireland, which was not their church.  Although the great potato famine was still two or three years away, there were probably plenty of crop failures and destitute Irish in pockets around the country, so they knew that more and more Irish were having a hard time.  Mostly, they probably thought that they had a little money and an unknown opportunity across the sea and they saw a very dismal future for their children in Ireland.  So they decided to put themselves in God's hands and leave behind everything they knew (the
Cushings had been in that area of Ireland for at least a couple hundred years) and try to make a new life for themselves (and mostly for their kids) in a wilderness across the ocean.

How did they travel to America?(boat, etc.)
What was their port of entry?
I'm attaching that Cushing history document that I mentioned in my last message.  It's more than you want to know right now, but it says a little about their ocean voyage and where they went.  The last page I'm sure was added many years later by Paul, but I'm just keeping it as I received it.

Family Stories: RJ and Uncle Leon

Any interesting family stories? 

Interesting family stories ...   Hmmm.  I suppose the most interesting story is probably how your great great grandfather John worked his way up from a poor kid from a broken family to become a very successful businessman and has a building named after him at Notre Dame.  I'm sure your mom knows that story.  My mom points out that John's father, Francis, must have put a very high value on their Catholic faith and on the importance of education, since he struggled so hard to send his son to Notre Dame, that Catholic school so far away.  Look around at your cousins and aunts and uncles and you can see that these are values that have been passed down to us from them.  The whole family is like a story, too.  Learning about your family is like taking a personal walk through history, which makes history a lot more interesting for me.  I think the story of Francis and his trouble with the law is interesting.  You can see that on my web site.  There are some small interesting stories.  Your aunts would probably have some good stories.  Some of my more interesting tidbits are about your great great grandaunts (great great grandfather John's two sisters, Kate and Mary).  Actually, about their husbands ...

Kate married Leon Jenkins, a Portland police officer who later became the Police Chief and then the Commissioner of the Portland Police department.  I recently found out that Uncle Leon was a very innovative  Police Chief who was responsible for modernizing the Portland Police.  He was the first to use a new technology called radio for police communications back in the 1920s.  Later he tried organizing Police Chiefs around the country to agree on how to write police reports so they could understand crimes in other cities and this work later led to the founding of Interpol, a famous international police department.  But Uncle Vin remembers taking the train from Chicago to Portland to visit, and Uncle Leon would meet them at the station with a paddy wagon (a big police truck where they can lock up lots of trouble makers and take them to the police station) and the kids would get locked in the back while Uncle Leon would turn on the siren and the flashing lights and take them on a ride through town.  I'll bet they were the only ones that enjoyed being locked in a paddy wagon!

Mary married Roderick MacKenzie, oldest son of the so-called King of the Canadian Railway, Sir William MacKenzie.  Sir William (with a partner) was responsible for building the transcontinental railroad across Canada.  Roderick managed some of the railroad construction, but it sounds like he was kind of a wealthy investor who lived much of the time in the United States.  The family story is that Mary (Mary Elizabeth, aka "Lizzie") used to sell flowers at a stand in front of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, where Roderick used to stay, and they met there.  Roderick (or RJ) loved horse racing and used to travel around the country racing his horses.  After the San Francisco earthquake in 1906, he bought lots of property and in 1908 he bought the Pleasanton Racetrack and renovated it into one of the most famous race courses in the world.  He led the effort to make the racetrack the centerpiece of a new Alameda County Fairgrounds.  (I think it's still there.)  After a few years, he sold the racetrack.

Well, that's probably much more than you wanted to read.  I hope there's something in all those words that you can use for your report.  I assume you know that my family history web site is at .

BTW, your great great grandmother Harriet Webber Cushing was a Webber.  The Webbers are one of the oldest American families, here since at least 1650, more than 100 years before the United States!  You can read about them on my web site, too.

I'm sending you a genealogy of the Cushings from Ireland down to you.  I've included your closest Cushing cousins to make it more interesting to you.  Genealogy charts and reports are pretty easy to make, so maybe you and/or your mom can tell me if you want something different.  You might also need to tell me if I made a mistake somewhere.

Good luck with your report.

Family Artifacts?

Any family artifact or heirloom?

Artifacts or heirlooms?  Hmmm.  The closest we have would be some old photographs, but there aren't many of those.  Does your mom have a copy of the slide show that was shown at the Cushing reunion in 2006?  I could probably post those on line for you to look at.  I might be able to put them on a CD for you, but I'm very busy getting ready for a trip, so I can't promise that very soon.  Maybe one of your cousins or aunts.  I had hoped to find other Cushing families with heirlooms when I created a Cushing web site about 10 years ago.  Although I did meet many Cushings that we are related to, it turns out that our branch of the family is the only one that knew about the whole family and how they came from Galbally.

Getting From There to Here

Do you have any documents showing our  immigration from Ireland?

I have not found any official documents showing immigration from Ireland.  We're not quite sure of where they immigrated to.  It turns out that while England was trying to eradicate the Irish in Ireland, they also had a huge, mostly unoccupied territory called Canada.  To fill it up with British citizens they would offer really cheap boat passage to Canada and cheap land, so lots of Irish people took boats to Canada, then continued on to the United States.  Some simply crossed the border, while others took boats.  Since our Cushings lived in the Boston area in the late 1840s, which is not that far from Canada, I think they probably came by land to the United States.  (From Canada.  Of course, they traveled by ship across the ocean to Canada.)  Travel across the border was not very well controlled.  There may be a ship register somewhere that shows them on their way to Canada.  There's probably no record of their entry into the United States.  There's probably a court record of Dennis' citizenship.  But I haven't found any of these documents, yet.  (Maybe someday you'll find them!)  If you like, I can send you our oldest family document, titled "Family History (exclusive of Darwin's age of monkey!)".  My dad thinks it was written either by your great grandfather, Paul, or his brother, Jerry, in about 1929.  We're guessing that he must have sat down with his father, John, and written down everything John knew about his family history.  It's about 20 pages long, but if you don't have a copy I can scan it and send it to you.

The Cushing Name

How did the name get changed from Cussen to Cushing?

Dear my favorite name-withheld-to-protect-our-privacy young person,

I can only guess at why the name was changed.  Try to imagine yourself as an immigration clerk or as a census taker in the middle 1800's.  You were probably hired for your job because you could write, because you'd had a few years of school, probably no more than a fifth grader today.  So you walk a half mile from farm to farm and ask all these questions about names and birth dates and when they came to America, and whatnot.  They're farmers, so maybe the smells of animals, dirt, and hard working men & women is offensive to your city bred nose.  And you must certainly think that these people are far less educated than you, so you wouldn't need to ask them to spell anything for you.  If they can spell.  So you go to this farm house and ask your questions, and someone with a very thick Irish brogue says "Cussen".  You can't quite make out all the letters from sound, but you've never seen the name Cussen and you've heard of Cushings, since at least one Cushing family from England had been in the US since 1638.  (As you know, they weren't even states yet, just colonies.)  So you write Cushing.  The Cussens, meanwhile, wanting to be Americans, might just adopt that name to be "more American".  Lots of names were changed this way.

Another factor was probably that the "Cussens" were Irish.  For many years the English tried to take control of Ireland.  (I don't know the exact dates for these actions.)  The Irish (in Ireland) were forbidden to attend school.  The Irish language was banned.  They were forbidden to own property.  Their land was given to Englishmen and Scots (northern Ireland), to encourage these others to populate the island of Ireland.  Their religion was banned, and replaced by the official Church of Ireland.  All of this was an attempt to exterminate the Irish people and their culture.  So in this environment, you can see that it was difficult for Irish to get an education.  (I hear they had secret schools to educate their children, anyway.)  Most Irish in the early 1800s probably could not spell their names, so there are many different spellings, even in Ireland.  Cussen and Cushen were common, and I've seen Cushing in some records.  It just depended on who wrote it down.  When Dennis Cussen, your great great great great grandfather (sometimes we say 4th great grandfather), married Catherine Casey in Galbally, Ireland, the priest spelled his name Quishian, so I suspect this was close to the way it was actually pronounced.  If someone with a heavy Irish accent told an American clerk with a fifth grade education (by today's standards) that his name was "Quishian", it's easy to see how the clerk might not know quite how to spell that and might write down Cushing.  I believe that the most common spelling in Ireland today is Cussen.

That was a long answer to a short question.  Since we can only guess at the real reason, you get to choose what you think is the best explanation!

The Cushings Come to America

A few months ago, one of my younger cousins, give or take a few "removed" 's, wrote to me asking for information on the Cushing family history for a Heritage Report she was doing at school.  She had some great, very practical questions, and it made me think about the information we have and speculate on what we don't have.  Since I rarely take the time to write narratives about our ancestors, I'll share here what I wrote, in the next couple of posts.  These answers were intended for a ten year old audience, but the story is suitable for any age ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Genealogy software

I haven't been in the market for new software in many years, and there are lots of sites that review genealogy software, so I won't make any comparisons.  Well, not many.  But I can tell you that I use Legacy Family Tree and am very pleased with it.  Information is easy to enter and view.  Keeping track of information sources is easy.  I tend to stay away from proprietary features, like adding pictures and video clips because I assume that it will be difficult to change software, if I choose to do that one day.  But I would recommend this software to anyone.  (And if you're in my family, it certainly makes it easier to share information by using the same file format.)  There is a supplemental charting program to make up for the very limited built-in charting capability.  There may be other features you want that I don't use, like DNA tracking or collaboration over the Internet, or searching genealogy sites for matches with your family tree.  Legacy does all of these things, but I don't know how they compare to others and I personally don't use them.  I think that all of the software companies offer free versions of their software, at least on a trial basis, and I would recommend trying some out.

I also use GenSmarts to analyze my family tree and make research recommendations to me.  Legacy's built in research helper seems less specific and too complicated.  I also use an app called Families to display my family tree data on an iPad.  You can make changes on the iPad and sync with your desktop file, but I haven't tried that yet.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Other Gormans

[A warning:  I'm new to this, and now I see that this is way to long to be interesting.  I'll try to keep future posts small and easy to read.]

This should be my last Gorman post for a while.  About two years ago, I received some information about a Gorman family that had passed through Madrid, New York.  I'm not a Gorman, but two of my Donnelly relatives married Gormans in the Madrid area, so we have lots of Gorman cousins.  (In theory.  I've only been in touch with one.)  The Gormans interest me for two reasons.  One is because some of us share a common Donnelly ancestry.  Another is because it's been a great puzzle trying to sort out all the Gormans in that area and trying to figure out what the relationship is between the two Gormans that married the Donnelly sisters.    We're fairly certain that Thomas and Christie were first cousins, but have no proof, yet.  So in that context ...

The posted information said that a widowed William Gorman come from Ireland to Madrid, New York in about 1834, bringing his six children (Patrick, Michael, Christopher, John, Bryan, and Catherine), and accompanied by two or more brothers or cousins and their families.  Their years of birth ranged from about 1814 to 1828.  According to the family history, they stayed in the Madrid area until William passed away in 1847, then moved on to Columbia Co., Wisconsin, and some moved on to other locations.  William was buried in Madrid.  I've skipped some of the detail, and reported the rest fairly loosely.

Now come back to Madrid and compare what we know from there.  I find Gormans in the Madrid area in the census beginning in 1840.  The two large families are those of Michael and William.  We know from alien reports and the birth places of Michael's children, that he came to the US in about 1818, when he was about 26 years old.  He married Catherine in about 1819, and all of their kids were born in New York.  Catherine Donnelly married their oldest son, Christie.  I don't know where Michael's family lived prior to 1840. William had seven kids with him in 1840, five boys and two girls, one more girl than in the Wisconsin family history.  We know from alien reports from some of his kids (at least Patrick and Michael) that they immigrated in 1834.  Bridget Donnelly married a Thomas Gorman in the early 1840s.  His death certificate says his father was William Gorman, we assumed the same William buried in Madrid/Waddington.  His alien report also says he immigrated in 1834, the same year as William's Wisconsin family members.  I cannot find a Thomas in 1840, and assume he was among William's children.  The other Gorman family in Madrid was that of 26 year old Connor Gorman.  He reportedly immigrated in 1833, a year earlier than William's family.  My guess would have been that he was another son, the first to marry, and so was living in his own home in 1840.  Connor was not made a citizen with Michael and Patrick in 1844, and I have not been able to find him in other census records.  Perhaps he moved to Canada, or passed away, or used a different given name in subsequent censuses.  I would assume all of these Gormans were one family. There was also a thirty-something Bridget Gorman living in nearby Oswegatchie with three kids.  Other Gormans popped up in subsequent censuses.

Based on all this information, my story would be ...  Michael Gorman came to the US in 1818, married Catherine and they settled in Oswegatchie, New York. [I'm not quite sure about this one, but a John and (possibly) Bridget Gorman came to the US and were in Oswegatchie in 1838.  This family may have moved to Racine co., Wisconsin, near the other closely related Gorman families in Wisconsin.] In 1833, Connor Gorman came to this area, possibly married with an infant daughter.  The following year, his father, William, brought the rest of the family, including Thomas, Patrick, Michael, Christopher, John, Bryan, and Catherine.  Michael relocated from Oswegatchie to Madrid, where William and Connor had settled, in about 1838.  I suspect that Michael and William were brothers.  Upon Williams's death in 1847, most of the family moved on to Racine, Wisconsin, then on to other locations. Thomas had married Bridget Donnelly, whose family still lived in the area.  There's a Pat Gorman in Madrid in 1850, married with children, and I suspect that Thomas and Patrick elected to stay with their young families.  Patrick's wife, Jane, died in 1854, after which, I'm guessing, he elected to rejoin his family in Wisconsin.

My next step would be to try to reconcile this story with that of the Wisconsin Gormans, especially addressing the questions "Were Michael and William brothers?", "Were Thomas and Connor also sons of the William Gorman buried in Madrid/Waddington, whose other children moved on to Wisconsin after his death?", and "Were the John (alien reports) and Bridget (census) in Oswegatchie related?".  Some of this is of interest because I usually include in-laws (Thomas) and their immediate families into my tree, and I would like to know how Thomas and Christie ( the other Donnelly in-law) were related.  The Gorman descendants of the Wisconsin families, and the search for more generations of Gormans in Ireland I'll leave to others, as they are not related to me.  By the way, the Wisconsin genealogy says that William and family came from Ardbraccan Parish, Co. Meath, Ireland.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Multiple posts?

After I post an article, I usually go back and revise or correct it, two or three times.  I wonder if those who subscribe then receive those posts each time I make a correction, which would be a nuisance.  Please let me know if this is happening ...

The Beauty of Blogs ...

My genealogy has always progressed in spurts of activity here and there.  There's always more to uncover, and most of us just don't have the time to devote to the research.  Then I'll stumble across a name somewhere, check my family tree, look for a little information in my favorite Internet spots or library databases, add a family or two to my tree, and move on.  Usually, I raise more questions than I answer, then put all my notes in a file for later reference.  Or I learn interesting things about a family that's not in my direct line of ancestors, so is beyond the scope of what I intend doing with my family history web page, so put all my notes away in a file.  The problem for genealogists is always how do I get so much information out where people can see it?  So the beauty of blogs is that now I can make my notes here to share, to remember later, maybe someday to add to my history.   But most of this information will probably just stay here.  Out where others can learn from it, instead of in my filing cabinet.  Maybe I'll get lucky and connect with someone who can help move my research back to the other side of the ocean.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I don't know how to go back further in time with the LaBrunes.  I first found them in 1840 in Stonelick Township, Clermont co., Ohio.  Ten years later they were in Dubuque co., Iowa, where they settled.  By comparing the two censuses you can see that two children are no longer with the family in 1850: a son born between 1820 and 1830 in France and a daughter born between 1835 and 1840, we know not where.  I'm assuming the daughter passed away since she would only be 10 to 15 years old in 1850, so probably still living with the family.  The missing son, on the other hand, would be 20 to 30 years old and could easily have gone his own way.  Somewhere.  There are not many LaBrunes in the United States in the mid 1800s, which should make it easier to find any stray family members.  But I haven't found any.  A while back I found a LaBrune was married in Brown co., Ohio, adjacent to Clermont co. where our LaBrunes had lived, in 1868.  I was hoping that this might be the missing son, who had stayed in Ohio.  Recently, though I found some more information.  The 1868 marriage was between a Philip LaBrune born in about 1796 and  a Josephine Oligee born in about 1804.  Not what I was looking for.  But it is odd that a LaBrune would live so close to where our LaBrunes used to live.  And he has the same name.  And the same age.  So now I'm considering this: Our last record of Philip in Dubuque was on an 1865 property tax list.  Ann, his wife, died in 1868 and is buried in Rickardsville, near Dubuque.  But Philip is not buried there.  I'm starting to think that after the death of Ann, Philip went back to Ohio - I'd like to find out why - and remarried.  I'm going to look into this more ....

Which is straying from my original point.  The LaBrunes came from France, since Philip, Ann, and some of the kids were born there.  They probably sailed to French-speaking Canada, then headed into the United States.  All of this travel took place between the birth of Nicholas in about 1831 and their presence in Ohio in 1840.  Where to look for records?

More Campbell Families

Our Campbell family begins with Cornelius Campbell and Anne Hayden, whose ten children were born and raised in Dundas Co., Ontario, near the St. Lawrence River.  I'm assuming they met and married in Canada since all their kids were born there.  Daughter Margaret married Edward Donnelly and began our branch of the family in western Missouri.  Half of the Canadian Campbell kids moved to Denver, Colorado after the death of Cornelius.  Perhaps also after the death of Anne, but I don't know when that was.  Oldest son Thomas remained in Dundas co. where he married, raised a family and lived his entire life.  One of his kids, Leonard, made his way across the river to Ogdensburg, New York, bringing more Campbell relatives into the US.  My grandfather and his sisters used to go back and visit their Donnelly and Campbell cousins from time to time, but as far as I know we are not in touch with any from this area anymore.  Some of the kids never married.  A few I just have no record of.  The only other branch with kids that I know of are the descendants of Joseph Campbell and Mary Mackey, married in the Denver area in 1883.  My mom and her sisters have been in touch with one of Joseph's grandchildren; they're all 2nd cousins.

While poking around the information our Campbell cousin passed on to me about the Denver Campbells, I found a link to lots more information about some related descendants that's been posted on Rootsweb.  It starts here with John Campbell, Joseph's oldest son, and his wife, Ellen Solis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rootsweb tree updated

Just updated my rootsweb online family tree.  4684 individuals.  No living persons should be included.  If you find yourself there, check your pulse and contact me.  To find someone, do not use the first set of search names.  This is an ad, and will produce pages of possibilities.  Go down just a little further to where it says "Enter surname, OR enter surname, given" and type in a name, such as "donley, patrick".  You can find the Rootsweb tree at Our Family Forest .

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Donnelly Exodus from Waddington

The mid-1870s were hard on the Donnellys.  They had been in the Potsdam/Waddington area since the late '20s, and the 9 kids were raised there.  Patrick (father) died in 1854; Michael headed for the California gold country in the 1850s; Edward left to fight in the War in 1861; James moved to nearby Vermont in the late '60s; and Margaret seems to have left as well, by 1870, though I don't know where.  Five children remained in Waddington, as did mother Nancy in the 1870s: Ann lived in town with her grocer husband, James Graham; Bridget was building her dream home with farmer husband, Thomas; Catherine was married to Christie Gorman, probably a cousin to Thomas, and lived on their farm; and John and Mary lived with their mother on the family farm.  Then 1873 happened.  Jim Graham got in a fight.  The following are excerpts taken from an article that appeared in the Potsdam, NY Courier Freeman in February 1874.:
Mr. Graham was indicted and arraigned in October last for manslaughter in the 3d degree. The killing occurred in the Blacksmith shop of Hughes & Rollin, in the village of Waddington, on the 28th day of August 1873. Mr. Hughes was a young man of limited means and his wife and small child, born since his death, were present in the court room the last day of the trial. Mr. Graham is a fine looking and appearing man, fifty years of age, with hair as white as the driven snow, and wears a care-worn and haggard look, caused we are told by those who are personally acquainted with him, by the anguish and grief which he has suffered since this sad misfortune befell him. Graham & Hughes had not been on friendly terms for several weeks before the encounter.  Their enmity arose from a difference in opinion in regard to a buggy waggon, which Hughes had made or ironed for Graham in the summer of 1873. Upon taking the wagon home, Mr. Graham was so dissatisfied with the looks of the dash, that he determined to have it fixed; instead of going to Hughes to get it fixed, he went to another man.
Henry Rollins sworn: Reside in Waddington; was a partner of John Hughes, deceased, in the blacksmith business; have known James Graham five or six years; was present at blacksmith shop, Aug. 28th, 1873, when Graham came into the shop and asked me if his oarlock was done; I told him no, but to sit down a few minutes and I would do it for him; Graham took a seat near the door; in a few minutes, Hughes, who was at work at another forge in the shop, spoke to Graham, and asked him if he'd seen Dalton's new buggy, that it was done and he'd better go down and look at it, and see if he couldn't find some fault with it, or with the dash; Graham replied that he had nothing to do with Dalton's business, but had all he could do to attend to his own; Hughes then called Graham a liar; Graham in reply called Hughes a liar; Hughes then called Graham a G-- d--n liar; Graham called Hughes a G-- d-- liar; Hughes called Graham a G-- d--m lying son of a bitch; Graham called Hughes a d-- lying son of a bitch; Hughes then called Graham a d--n lying thief; Graham got up then and said, Hughes, you must take that back. I am no thief; Hughes and Graham advanced towards each other; Hughes had his hammer drawn as if to strike; I stepped in between them, and tried to keep them from quarreling; Hughes said, keep the son of a bitch away, or I'll kill him. Graham pushed me aside and caught Hughes' hammer from his hand, and threw it under the desk; They then clinched, two or three times and let go; upon letting go the last time, Hughes picked up a buggy reach and struck Graham a full blow on the left hip; the blow staggered Graham, and turned him partly around; then Graham caught a sledge, standing near by and drew it up and threw it at Hughes, who was 9 or 10 feet distant; the sledge hit Hughes behind the left ear; Hughes fell unconscious; I went to Hughes, and said "Graham you have killed him;" he said I know it, and am sorry for it.
On the convening of the court Thursday morning, the case for the defence, was opened in a very able manner, by D. Magone Jr.  The defence was, that Graham when he threw the sledge had reasonable ground to fear that a felony would be committed upon him, or that great bodily injury would be inflicted upon him by Hughes, and that hence it was clearly a case of justifiable homicide, and Mr. Graham was legally justified in what he had done.

Thomas Myers sworn. Reside in Waddington; am a blacksmith; was at work for Rollin and Hughes in August last, was present during the affray... A few nights before the affray, Hughes and witness were passing Graham's store and Graham said "Good evening," after going by a little ways, Hughes said to me, "He need'nt say good evening to me, I'll fix him; I have been told to take a hammer, tongs or any thing else and beat his brains out."  James J. Myers sworn: Reside in Waddington; know John Hughes; had a conversation with him about Graham, in which Hughes said, "He wasn't afraid of Graham anywhere, and if ever he got into a row with him he would kill the d--m son of a bitch". This conversation was on the same day Hughes was killed.
Defence rests.
Leslie W. Russell then presented the case to the jury in behalf of the prisoner. His argument was able, complete and was attentively listened to by the jury, bar and the spectators who thronged the court room. At the reassembling of the court at 2 p. m. District Attorney Brinckerhoff presented the case to the jury in behalf of the people... It was of the best "jury efforts" we have ever had the pleasure of hearing in the St. Lawrence Circuit.
The jury took the case at 4 p. m. and went out. In thirty minutes they returned with a verdict of "not guilty," which was received with applause.
 So in August of 1873, Jim Graham killed John Hughes.  He was jailed until his trial in February of 1874, when he was acquitted.  In August of the following year, Nancy Donley (mom) passed away.  In October of that year, Jim Graham was back in court, being sued by the widow John Hughes for damages caused by killing her husband.  She was awarded $1,000, a huge some of money at that time.  The newspaper article reporting this civil trial recapped the original crime in a completely different light than the article above, painting Jim Graham as the irrational aggressor.  I would guess that many in the town had taken sides over the trial and the killing/murder.  In many ways similar to the the infamous OJ trial that most of us are familiar with.  It wouldn't surprise me if Jim Graham's grocery business was suffering by the time he was sued in 1875.  Shortly after the trial, Ann's closest sister, Bridget, passed away.  Around this time, Mary left the farm and moved to Chicago where Margaret was living.  John married, but within a couple of years sold the family farm and moved to Canada, where his wife was from.  Ann and Jim Graham left town, moving to Memphis, Michigan, where they took up farming.  All of a sudden, only Catherine Donnelly Gorman remained of the original Donnelly family.  Margaret and James did come back briefly to Waddington shortly before their deaths, and both passed away there in the 1900s.  And the Donnelly Gorman descendants remained, some of whom are there today.

Friday, March 9, 2012

James H. Gorman and family

The relative I came across in a rootsweb tree was in the Donnelly-Gorman branch from upstate (Waddington) New York.  After comparing my tree with this new one, I found one branch that was not in my tree.  The others were all cut short, so this one branch must be that of the cousin who posted the information.  The branch I found was that of James H. Gorman, born in Waddington in 1867, fifth child of Christy Gorman and Kate Donnelly.  (We actually have two Donnelly-Gorman branches.  The Donnellys are sisters, but we haven't figured out the relationship between their spouses, Thomas and Christy.)  The new information showed two marriages.  So I dug into the Family Search databases (need I say they are located at ?) and the great archive of Northern New York Historical Newspapers .   It turns out that James' married life was somewhat tragic.  He married Margaret McCall in Madrid, NY in 1900, and they lived in Somerville, Massachusetts, near Boston.  Margaret apparently became very sick with a flu shortly before the birth of their third son in 1905.  The boy was born dead and Margaret succumbed one week later.

I don't know what happened in the intervening years, but 5 years later James was living and working in New York City while his two boys, Fred and Charles, just seven and eight years old, were living with a family in Boston.  James married Nora Lynch that year.  I'm guessing the boys came back to live with them, but I do know that James and Nora had a son in 1911 in New York.  At some point the family moved to Fitchburg, Nora's home town, where James (dad) died of pneumonia in 1918.  Sons James and Charles were living with  Nora in Fitchburg in 1920, I found some articles and a great photo of Charles playing football for the Normal School in Fitchburg.  I couldn't find any trace of Fred after his father's funeral.  I'm wondering if he passed away at a young age.  Charles passed away in 1965.

James married Dorothea Cunningham, probably in Massachusetts in 1938.  They lived in Fitchburg and had two daughters (I won't mention any more names, because they may be living).  I think the cousin that posted the tree on Rootsweb that started me on this search lives near me.  I'll contact her.  When I find the time.  And I should update my own rootsweb tree with all this information.  When I find the time.

Noisy genealogy

I don't even remember what I was looking for, but I stumbled across one of my genealogy lines in a Rootsweb family tree a week or so ago.  Once in a while, I find a relative in a family tree, usually in several family trees, all with exactly the same information, all identical to mine.  Once in a while the owner of the tree is someone I exchanged information with so I understand that their information might be the same as mine.  It's gotten much harder to connect with good, fresh information and make contacts with fellow researchers.  So much seems to be just copied out of others' trees because there's a relation to a relation.  Kind of annoying when you look for someone, get six matches, but they're all your own information.  Oh, well.  I'm sure there are some persons that I just copied, especially from the early days of my research.  Now that was too big a sidetrack, so I'll start a new message ....

Start here

I hardly ever update my web page, usually just with big updates.  So I'll post my occasional little finds and links and additions here, for anyone that's interested in learning obscure little tidbits about our family history.  My family history web site is at .  For now, leave comments.  I'm not sure how that reaches me, but we'll find out.