Tuesday, January 06, 2015

D & O Celtic Jewelry

When I began to study our family history, I expected some family members to be more interested than others. What I did not expect was for our son, Dan, to create a business based on items found in our heritage. But that's what he did.
I publish several blogs about the various family lines from my mother and father and from my wife's family. Most of my early research was based on Irish families than settled in the Saint Louis, Missouri area. When Dan coupled this with his natural artistry skills and his engineering skills, he started to develop some jewelry designs. A new industry also caught his attention, 3-D printing was just emerging, and also interested him.
He put this all together from home, developing new designs on software and having them 3-D printed at Shapeways.com where he has an online store.
He has done Irish events, festivals, fairs and has a web site of his own located here
D & O Celtic Jewelry

My favorite design of his, although I admire many, is this nod to genealogy, the Family Tree design:
He has developed quite a number of designs. The Motherhood Knot has also been very popular for him, pictured here:
A few of his others are his Shamrock
 And his Celtic Warrior.
He can order these, and many others, in many different metals and costs. He has some on hand at the link above and can get others if you are so inclined.
As a parent and an avid amateur genealogist, I am so proud of Dan and his work!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Foley DNA

I have not posted to this blog in quite a while but I thought I should provide an update on my DNA test results. I first posted about having my DNA tested many years ago. Since that original test, I have had additional testing done on two occasions. I wouldn't call DNA testing a "racket" but it does get you hooked a little bit with some tantalizing results and then ordering more tests on the original DNA sample is very easy.
There was a certain expectation, on my part, that people who matched my Y-DNA, that is my father's father's father DNA, would be Irish. I expected names like Murphy, O'Brien and Fitzgerald. I have traced my family tree back to a specific year and location in County Waterford so this was not an unreasonable expectation. But it was not historically informed. 
I have had 12 imperfect matches to my Y-DNA on Family Tree DNA but I have also uploaded these results to another site, Y-Search where I have 96 exact matches.
These results are matched with names and email addresses and some family tree information. They usually have the oldest known location where this matching DNA was found. These 96 break down as follows based on oldest known origins:
USA or "Unknown"  42, England  13, Ireland   10,  Scotland   8,  Germany  7,
N. Ireland and Spain  3 each, France, Italy and Sweden  2 each

Poland, Nigeria and Puerto Rico  1 each.

These are not conclusive but do represent a wide spread in my Y-DNA. The 12 matches on Family Tree DNA also come with the names Olsen, Karlsen, Boderck, Belter, Gertson, Trollsaas and Lenningsvik. 

Put these two facts together and in a more enlightened view of history, I think it can safely be said that Foley, which in Gaelic means "plunderer", is descended from a line of Vikings who invaded Ireland the first time in 795 AD.  There was also a Norman invasion of Ireland in 1169AD. The commingling of Viking descendants with Normans would give us this range of matches.
Of course, there is always more DNA testing to be done.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ireland Research Proves Fruitless

I went in search of more information about my third great grandparents, William Foley and Alice Fitzgerald. I was hoping to discover new data and perhaps, locate their final resting place. We started at the National Library in Dublin where they have a genealogy staff to assist with research. The lady was very nice and when I showed her the research I had already done, informed us that we were already at the edge of the frontier of Irish genealogy records. I had been able to get back as far as 1817 when the marriage of William Foley and Alice Fitzgerald took place. Their records from the churches of marriages and baptisms do not go back much further than this.
This turned out to be the theme of each of our stops to talk with experts and we saw plenty of folks who should know. We visited the Waterford County Museum and talked with the curator. He gave us insights into how to read gravestones that are severely worn by weather. But he also was skeptical that we would find anything. We visited Saint Bartholemew's Church and grave yard in Pilltown. Lots of Foleys were buried there but none that we could identify as our relatives. I think it is most likely that they are buried there. We also visited the librarian in Dungarvan who my cousin Donny had visited long ago. We went to the Waterford Heritage Center. This was the outfit that did the research for me four or five years ago. We even met the researcher who looked up the records back then, John O'Conner. We gave all of these folks everything that we knew and each was impressed with what we had found and thought it unlikely that we would find much more.
The long and the short of it is that we have evidently gotten all of the information that was relatively easy to gather and now we will have to pursue other avenues. My thinking is that I need to go to Boston and try to find the records of the Foleys here before they went back to Ireland around 1800. So thats a topic for consideration when planning next year's vacation.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

637 And Counting

Wow is all I can say.
I started with Family Tree Maker Software in October, 2008. I wanted to buy a software that would help me organize my family records. It was a simple endeavour. My existing tree was about 130 people.

Before long at all, I had added another 100 to my Foley family tree. I thought it was time to add my mother's Fleming family information and do a tree for my sister Margie. This added another 200 since I found through Ancestry.com a descendant of my great great grandfather who had already done some of the work.

I called my sister to tell her the good news and she starting reading me Finnegan death certificates. Finnegan was my mother;s mother's maiden name. So here add another 100 of them.

Then my sister's husband's name tripped a "hint" at Ancestry.com and I found myself adding more than a few Koellers, a mini-tree.

As of today I am waiting to get information from two cousins who have 15 children between them, 31 grandchildren and 14 great grand children. This plus spouses will likely add another 100. Then I am also waiting to hear from 6 nephews and two nieces with additional descendants.

These trees, with only my sisters and I as a common link, already have 637 individuals. I am sure they will grow to over 800. And I still have many dead ends to follow up on.

It seemed like a good idea to buy the software. Now I know what I was missing.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The White Pocahontas

When I was a boy, my Dad asked me if I was familiar with the "White Pocahontas" legend. Of course, I was not. Well, I was very young but basically remember the story that the Indian princess Pocahontas, daughter of a Powhatan Indian Chief, was captured, and while being held prisoner, fell in love with a Pilgrim, John Rolfe. She was a daughter of a Powhatan Indian chief but lived her life among the English community, much of her time was spent in London.
My Dad's story was that there was another person, with whom we were related, who had lived among the Indians. I believe I have found a plausible explanation of this. Pocahontas had a cousin, Keziah Arroyo who married Richard Bryant. They had a daughter Martha Bryant, who married Thomas Foley. Now, the information is sketchy but does go back to the 1600s and I can find few other mentions of the name Foley back this far. Fortunately, this family tree is pretty well defined so I should be able to reach some conclusions.

New "Stuff"

Having bought Family Tree Maker software some time ago, I have been studiously entering information into one spot. The tree was growing nicely.
One disappointment had been that this purchase included a one month subscription to Ancestry.com. I had not been able to get my account established and was still going to the Davenport Public Library to search. Well, I finally figured it out and voila, new information has deluged me ever since.
New discoveries:
1. Michael Foley, his soon-to-be wife Bridget O'Brien, his brother Patrick and Patrick's wife Mary, all came to America together on the ship Lesmahagow, arrivng in Massachusetts on May 3, 1852. Lesmahagow is the name of a city in Scotland. The ship came from Tralee to Liverpool. I am still looking for the exact destination in Massachusetts, probably near Cohasset.
2. Michael's brother Edmund and his sister Ellen both settled in Abington, Massachusetts and we may still have relatives there. They were both entered into the census next to each other , may have been next door neighbors. Edmund was born in 1835, Ellen in 1832. Ellen was married to Patrick O'Donnell.
3. Ellen and Patrick O'Donnell had twin sons Nicholas and William, son Thomas and daughters Mary and Alice.
4. Edmund and Margaret Foley had daughters Alice, Ellen, Mary, Margaret and Annie along with a son, William. Annie was the baby and Edmund would die before her 8th birthday.
5. Michael and Bridget Foley's daughter Alice buried two husbands before the age of 45, both due to accidental deaths. Her first husband Patrick Dunbar died in a train accident. Her second husband, Charles Whitcomb "Red" Donohue, died in an electrical explosion at his laundry in Champaign-Urbana.
6. Michael and Bridget Foley's daughters Delia and Ellen both never married and lived together in Chicago. They were housekeepers and kitchen help and may have worked for religious.
I need to especially thank my new-found cousin, Karen Malone who filled in many of the gaps, in particular about Alice Foley Dunbar Donohue. Alice was the oldest daughter and had an interest in family genealogy which she passed down through the generations to Karen.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Berbaums of Champaign, Illinois

Finding genealogy fascinating these days, I decided to do some sleuthing. Went to the library for information on Alice Marie Foley and her descendants. Alice buried two husbands before she was turned 45 years old in 1899. I knew about how many children she had and who her husbands were, but I did not know which husband was the father of which children, except for two. Alice's first husband was Patrick Dunbar. I knew he was the father of Wilhemina. I also knew her second husband was Charles Donohue, father of Charles Jr. I also knew there were two other daughters and one other son, but did not know their first names or their dads. The library came through, as usual and before long on Ancestry Library, I was sleuthing the old census records.

It turns out Patrick Dunbar was born in New York to parents who had been born in Scotland. He married Alice in Massachusetts. They had several children together. In addition to Wilhemina, he had daughters Beatrice and Agnes. Charles Donohue was the father to Charles and Tina. I also discovered that Wilhemina was married to August J. Berbaum. This being an unusual name, I decided to look further and was surprised with what I found. It turns out that the Berbaum name is alive and well in Champaign Illinois. When I googled the name I found 32 Berbaums residing there. It took only two calls to talk to a Berbaum who had the family records.

My initial contact was David Berbaum and he quickly told me that I needed to talk to Clarence, so I did. After a short and pleasant phone call, Clarence promised to send me what he could. We did determine that Clarence was not related to the Foleys but he had cousins who were. And he knew those cousins very well.

Today's mail brought the details. Wilhemina was known as Minnie, She and August had four children: Eloise, Kenneth, Edwin and Lawrence. Clarence had known Lawrence well, and his older brother Charles was friendly with Kenneth.and Edwin. Clarence has a wealth of information about the children, their jobs, their families and so on. Current relatives most likely would be descendants of Eloise and would be named Malone. Time to google again.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family Tree Maker Software

I have finally done it. I broke down and bought genealogy software. I needed to organize the information on this blog into one spot. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Well, I now have over 200 people in our family tree with many more to go. My inspiration to do this is the fact that I am having to rely on so much of this information from cousins. In looking down the road, there is nothing in place to maintain this information in an orderly way. So, I am off on a quest to complete a family tree, at least as far as can be verified. What I plan to do is to get the information together and publish it, then share it at a Foley family reunion, in Saint Louis next year. Asking cousins for old pictures etc.
Now when I say "publish", take that with a grin of salt. I could have just said "photocopy" but the software uses the word publish. See I'm learning already.
And, of course, I have generated a lot more genealogy dead ends. Such as, Mike and Naomi had a daughter named Ruth. What happened to her? Bertha was born in Germany and married to Thomas, what was her maiden name? William also worked for the railroad, but in Indiana, where is he buried? So, the software has one useful aspect to it that I did not anticipate. It makes you address your dead ends.
Of the 220 or so folks in our tree, only about 60 are named Foley. My inspiration to draw a tree came from a trip we made this past summer to the Mennonite Museum in Kalona, Iowa. There, on the wall, was a family tree of a Mennonite family, containing over 800 names.