Saturday, June 12, 2021

When Obituaries Get It Right (And Sometimes Wrong)

In building my Broderick family tree, I have relied upon obituaries to fill in many of the blanks. Recently, with the discovery of my 3rd Great Grandfather Michael Broderick's obituary, I contacted my fellow Broderick researchers (and DNA matches) to ask them a question:

Is it possible that Marcus ("Mark") Broderick (1838-1912) pictured below with his son Marcus (1868-1945), was not my 3rd great-grandfather Michael Broderick's nephew, but rather his son?

Photo source: American cousin T.S.: Broderick Father and Son: Marcus Sr. and Marcus Jr Taken about 1895 in Holland, Ottawa Co., Michigan, USA

Friday, June 4, 2021

Randy Majors "Ancestor Search" Yields Surprising Results

Randy Majors created an online tool called "Ancestor Search" for genealogists and it is one of the BEST search engines that I regularly use and one that often yields surprising results. 

Today, while using "Ancestor Search", I found another Broderick family history researcher (at Irelandxo) AND an obituary for my 3rd great-grandfather Michael Broderick (1801-1889) for the very first time.

Those two findings inspired this blog post in the hope that this method can help others locate their ancestors as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

My May 2021 Webinar: "Finding Our Female Ancestors"

In May 2021, I was invited by the Essex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society to present a webinar entitled "Finding Your Female Ancestors". This one hour presentation is now available on the Essex OGS Ont YouTube channel.

Link to Webinar on YouTube:

Below is a brief outline of my remarks as well as links to the two handouts that I created that include worksheets and links to resources.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Mortimer ("Morty") Moynahan (1833-1881)

Police arrived at the tenement house No. 445 Cherry Street in New York City in July 1874 and inside they discovered Mortimer Moynahan "in a dying state while the dead body of his wife lay in an adjoining apartment". 

The initial headlines of the day reported "Husband and Wife Commit Suicide As A Relief From Poverty"

Source: Clipped from Boston Post Boston, Massachusetts 14 Jul 1874, Tue  •  P

Something did not seem right to me about this story. As I dug deeper, and with the help of William Casey at the Skibbereen Historical Society, I came to learn that Mortimer Moynahan was a dominant leader in the Fenian Uprising in 1867.

Despite O’Donovan Rossa’s words, today Mortimer Moynahan is largely forgotten in all of the history books.  

I am so thankful that William Casey has examined Morty Moynahan's life and work in the hopes that it "will go a small way to redressing that ‘treason’" and I am happy to include Morty Moynahan's story in the Moynahan Scrapbook. section of my blog

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Minahan Titanic Story

I have collected A LOT of "Moynahan" stories  (and all spelling variants of the surname) over the years. The Moynahan/Minahan stories where I have not yet established a DNA or paper trail linking them to my Moynahan family roots are filed in my "Moynahan Scrapbook". 

This is the story of Dr. William Edward Minahan who decided in 1912 to take a six-month vacation with his wife and sister Daisy to their ancestral Ireland. While away, Dr. Minahan's sister Daisy was suddenly stricken with appendicitis while they were in Italy and Dr. Minahan rushed her to Paris to perform the operation.

Dr. William Edward Minahan
The family decided to cut their vacation short after visiting Killarney, Ireland and return to the port of New York to make their way home to Green Bay Wisconsin. They purchased tickets on the Titanic.

They were the only First Class passengers to board the Titanic at Queenstown (now called Cobh, Ireland). They paid £90 for their ticket and were assigned to cabin C-78

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Part II: The Curds of Dover, England

My maternal grandmother Dorothy Claire (Moreland) Creighton (1909-2000) never really knew her mother Florence Mary (Curd) Moreland (1886-1915) because Florence died at the very young age of 28 years after suffering for two years with pulmonary tuberculosis.

Dorothy Claire (Moreland) Creighton (1909-2000) and her mother Florence Mary (Curd) Moreland (1886-1915)

What I love about the Curd family story is how loved and close Dorothy felt to her mother's sisters (Dorothy's three aunts: Frances, Alice and May) despite the fact that Dorothy's mother died when she was only six years old and Dorothy was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia and her aunts lived their entire lives in England.

Florence Mary (Curd) Moreland's sisters Frances, Alice and May Curd of Dover, England (Source: Chandler Family Archives)

Sunday, April 11, 2021

An eBay Photograph Leads Me (Incorrectly) To Minehan DNA Matches

The Scene: It's Monday morning and I'm clearing my email inbox and I come across an eBay alert for Minahan's Wendell Inn at Crooked Lake, N.Y." dated 1914.

eBay Item: Antique Postcard: Minahan's Wendell Inn, Sand Lake,  New York, (note the Model T Car) ( $29.99 USD)

So naturally, I looked at all of the  Minahans in my family tree and ran some newspaper searches for the "Wendell Inn".

One thing led to another and, fast forward five hours later, this lovely 1914 photo had led me from New York to Massachusetts to Michigan to Texas and to several Ancestry DNA matches! I immediately created and posted a blog post in all of the excitement only to confirm hours later that the DNA match family tree had several significant errors

Below is the chronological description of my discovery, excitement and the reality check that all was NOT what it appeared.

Friday, March 19, 2021

Daniel J. Coughlin's Elgin Pocket Watch

 During the period of COVID-19 in 2020 when all of the archives and museums around the world were forced to close, many museums and individuals started posting photos with the hashtag #MyMuseum on twitter .

In particular, I was inspired by the tweets being posted by @farmersfriend who shared a photo and story of an item from his personal museum every day on twitter. He wrote, 

"As we grow older 
many of us create
our own museum of things.

The idea of sharing photos from our personal museums inspired me to create this new genealogy series entitled  #OurMuseum. 
Here is the story of an Elgin Pocketwatch that was given to Daniel J. Coughlin as a retirement gift and has been lovingly handed down over the years.
Daniel John Coughlin (1874-1948)

The Coughlin China Cabinet

During the period of COVID-19 in 2020 when all of the archives and museums around the world were forced to close, many museums and individuals started posting photos with the hashtag #MyMuseum on twitter .

In particular, I was inspired by the tweets being posted by @farmersfriend who shared a photo and story of an item from his personal museum every day on twitter. He wrote, 

"As we grow older 
many of us create
our own museum of things.

The idea of sharing photos from our personal museums inspired me to create this new genealogy series entitled  #OurMuseum. Here are some of the treasures and trinkets in #OurMuseum that have meaning for members of our large extended family. 

This is the story about Daniel J. Coughlin's China Cabinet pictured below (on the right) in June 1946 beside the Shea-Coughlin-Pucino family dinner table (Manchester, Connecticut)

This photo was colorized at My Heritage

Oh the conversations that China Cabinet must have witnessed!

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Indiana Covered Bridges Road Trip

Due to COVID-19, the Creighton sisters (my aunts Barb and Deb) have not visited each other since October 2019. One sister lives in the United States and the other one lives in Canada. The borders between the two countries have been closed to non-essential travel since March 2020.

Barb and Deb have had to rely on regular telephone conversations and during a recent call, they reminisced about that time back in September (28-29) 2016 when they both headed off to Indiana to see how many covered bridges they could visit.

The "Indiana Covered Bridges Road Trip" was a trip rich in wonderful memories for the two sisters and this is a photo record of that trip.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Elizabeth (Moynahan) Burke (1959 - 2018)

In memory of a dear cousin Elizabeth (Moynahan) Burke (March 31, 1959 - March 5, 2018)

The shock of Elizabeth's sudden passing on March 5, 2018 in her Windsor, Ontario home was felt far and wide. Anyone who had ever met her will tell you that she lit up the room with her positive energy, generous spirit, loving heart and incredible sense of humour.

Elizabeth, nicknamed "Liz" and "Bummer", was a force to be reckoned with.This page is written in remembrance of her.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Moynahan Horse Tale

We hope that the reader enjoys this horse tale that begins one cold January winter night in 1971 at a farmer's auction in Snelgrove, Ontario. 

The Moynahans had not gone to Snelgrove to purchase a horse. In fact, no one in the Moynahan home ever even said "I wish we had a horse" (although a nunnery eagerly recruiting young girls may have played a small part)

On Wednesday January 13, 1971,  E.J. Moynahan purchased a horse and this is their "Moynahan Horse Tale".

Sunday, January 31, 2021

COVID Lockdowns and Genealogy Gold!

In 2020, because of COVID lock-downs and staying at home, I finally tackled a storage closet on my third floor that had boxes that had not been touched in over a decade!

I read and sorted through over thirty years of genealogy notes and letters and a letter from my first cousin (2x), fellow artist and genealogist Evelyn (Lennon) Janice (1916-2009) is pure gold.

Evelyn (Lennon) Janice (1916-2009) (lower left) writes about her connection to Timothy Moynahan (1813-1902) (seated upper write)

Evelyn’s letter connects the Maidstone Moynahans to Timothy Moynahan (1813-1902) who lived at the corner of Mercer & Tuscarora (Windsor) and had a spare room for a grand niece (Catherine (Moynahan) Lennon) who needed a place to stay so that she could attend Windsor Collegiate (Goyeau and Elliott)

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Great Sport: John Moynahan (1849-1904)

I collect "Moynahan" stories whenever I find them and I share them online in my "Moynahan Scrapbook"

When I first read about John Moynahan "a famous sport" I thought it would be easy to find information about him. After all, he had made a fortune for the famous boxer John L.Sullivan. But it wasn't easy to find information about him at all.

Fort Scott Weekly Monitor Fort Scott, Kansas 02 Mar 1904, Wed  •  Page 3

When I wrote to history author and writer Christopher Klein (who wrote "The Life and Times of John L. Sullivan, America’s First Sports Hero.") he said that "I'm afraid I've never across a mention of John Moynahan in my research into Sullivan.". I just knew that I needed to create a blog post about  John Moynahan (1849-1904)   

Friday, November 13, 2020

Deck The Halls: Create A Family Tree Christmas Tree

Since 2015, I have been posting my Family Tree Christmas Tree annually on social media (on my twitter and Facebook). This year many folks were curious about how I created it so I thought I would create a quick tutorial on how to turn your family tree into a Christmas tree using word cloud generators.

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Essex Land Registry Office

In October 2020, the Ontario government ended counter services at all 54 Land Registry Offices (LROs). That means that access to valuable genealogical material (Crown patents, deeds, wills, etc.) can no longer be achieved in person and must be done online through the new OnLand / ONtario Land Registry Access portal.

SWODA (1905) Image: Essex County Registry Office, Sandwich, Ont.; The Township of Sandwich: Past and Present (1909) by Frederick Neal. Page 89
This nostalgic blog post looks back at the old days when three Askins (Col. James Askin, John Alex Askin and J. Wallace Askin) served successively for a total of eighty-three years as Essex county registrars. It is possible, in searching for your ancestors Essex county records, you have come across their names.

The Windsor Star Windsor, Ontario, Canada 12 Sep 1925, Sat  •  Page 24

In 1801, "on the third of June at 10 o,clock in the forenoon, a rider drew up before a tiny building in Sandwich, Ontario, dismounted and walking inside, laid a paper on the table."To be registered please", he said.

He had come over the trails from the British fort at Amherstburg and the paper he bore with him was one of the world's little known treaties - one of the numerous land exchanges between the British Crown and the Indian nations..."

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Colorado Mining Town & A Famous Burro

My brother is reading the memoirs of James Moynahan  (1842-1919) (now available on Amazon in paperback or as an eBook) and he shared with me a collection of Historic South Park County photos in a slide show on YouTube (see below).  

James Moynahan, (grandson of Matthew Moynahan of Maidstone, Ontario) was mayor of Alma, Park County, Colorado and the video offers glimpses of the landscape, the buildings and the people in the area during James lifetime.

Source: South Park City: the amazing, authentic restoration of a Colorado mining Boomtown.

James Moynahan (and his many enterprises) are featured in the video as well as a photo of a very famous burro (small donkey) "Prunes" who worked (and later roamed freely) in the South Park area during James' lifetime from 1867-1930.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Family Photos & Negatives

Recently, I de-cluttered a storage closet and found a large number of old family photographs and negatives. Some of the photographs were in pretty rough shape and the negatives were quite old as well.

Many of the negatives in these yellow envelopes had photos from the 1930s

Scanning Negatives With Your Smart Phone

When I told my sister about the large quantity of negatives, she told me that she had downloaded an app to her smartphone called FilmBox by Photomyne! Once I downloaded the app and developed a method for holding on to the negatives (using tweezers), I was able to go quickly and capture images of the negatives on my iPhone.

Negative scanned and colorized by  FilmBox; Left to Right: Grandson Danny and brothers Ernie, Raymond and Gerald Moynahan

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Dr. Albert Eugene Casey's Blackwater Irish in Ontario

When my brother, sister and I searched for our Moynahan roots in Ireland in 2019, the Kerry locals directed us to the Sliabh Luachra area on the Cork/Kerry border. "That's where the Moynahans are" said the owner of O'Carrolls Cove Restaurant (Kenmare Bay) and sure enough, we found three cemeteries and many, many Moynihan's/Moynahans there.

See blog post "Try Where the Old Chapel Was at Freemount” .

I researched the Sliabh Luachra area and learned that this area was also the ancestral grounds for a Dr. Albert E. Casey (1903-1982), an Alabama pathologist, who collected Irish records from this area obsessively through the 1900s and published them in a 16 volume collection called, "O'Kief, Coshe Mang, Slieve Lougher and the Upper Blackwater"

Fast forward to October 2020, the Essex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society invited the Olde Sandwich South and Area Historical Society (OSSAHS) to give a presentation for their October 2020 meeting and I learned that some other Irish settlers in Sandwich South (Ontario) were from the same Blackwater area in Ireland as well!. 

Source:"Casey Aid" by Michael Patin

Saturday, September 26, 2020

The Memoirs of James Moynahan Published On Amazon

It gives me great delight to announce that the Memoirs of James Moynahan are now available in eBook AND paperback form on Amazon. 

I am SO delighted to see this work published and available to others. 

I have been aware of the existence of these memoirs since 2002 when I was corresponding with Lynn and Andrew Muras' aunt June Frances Woeber (1930-2014). I regrettably lost touch with June, and I often wondered what could have possibly happened to those papers? 

Friday, September 25, 2020

Pictures = 1000 Words: Ray Krolicki & Jacqwyn Moynahan

 "A picture is worth a thousand words" is an English language adage meaning that complex and sometimes multiple ideas can be conveyed by a single still photograph. 

When I received the wonderful photo below (taken in August 1941, Santa Monica) of  Ray Krolicki (1920-1986) and Jacqwyn Mary Moynahan (1918-1994) from the Muras-Woeber-Moynahan photo collection, my first reaction was "Ray has two legs!"

Photo: Courtesy of the Muras-Woeber-Moynahan Collection:
Ray and Jacqwyn (Moynahan) Krolicki

With thanks to Zelda (Moynahan) Woeber (1901-2002), the reverse side of the photograph contained over one hundred words explaining the circumstances of this photo. That led me to research some more details not previously known!

Monday, September 14, 2020

John Moynahan:" Son Of A Ford Worker"

In 2014, I created a blog post to honor my Uncle John Moynahan (1934-1987), 52 Ancestors #26: John Moynahan: Labour Leader.

Circa 1935: John Moynahan in the arms of his father Ernest Moynahan
with his mother Rhea (Coughlin) Moynahan and sister Patricia Moynahan
Today's blog post, on the 33rd anniversary of my Uncle John's death September 15, 1987, repeats most of my 2014 blog post with additional photographs and news clippings. This post is VERY, very long. It was impossible to make it brief.

A testament to a life unfairly cut far too short that accomplished so very much in such a short time.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Our Museum: Bernard Moynahan's Wallet

During the period of COVID-19 in 2020 when all of the archives and museums around the world were forced to close, many museums and individuals started posting photos with the hashtag #MyMuseum on twitter .

"As we grow older 
many of us create 
our own museum of things..."

The idea of sharing photos of of treasures and trinkets from "our own museum of things" inspired me to create this series called  #OurMuseum. Here is my great uncle Thomas Moynahan's leather wallet.

Thos. Bernard Moynahan's Wallet 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Story of Rose LaCroix (1909-2002)

"Family is more than blood" as the saying goes. Families can include those who you welcome in and who share the highs and lows of life with you, and those who you love with all your heart. 

I have always been curious about a woman named Rose LaCroix (1909-2002) who is buried in the Moynahan family plot. She is not related to the Moynahan family (genealogically) and family lore recalls her as a very special friend of my great uncle Gerald Moynahan (1908-1961). Gerald served as a medic in the Second World War after which the story about Rose and Gerald becomes less clear.

Gerald Moynahan (1908-1961) and Rose LaCroix (1909-2002)
(Photo credit: Jerome Boyle)

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Assumption Cemetery - Windsor, Ontario

In the 1956 aerial view of the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario below, the Assumption Cemetery can be seen in the bottom right. This blog post pays homage to the cemetery, its history and to the countless people who, even this year and THIS month (during COVID-19 restrictions and challenges), are working toward preserving this special place for future generations.

Aerial View Of The Ambassador Bridge Showing The Heavy Traffic,
(Assumption Cemetery is on the southeast
corner of Wyandotte Street West and Huron Church Road;
Assumption University is visible north of Wyandotte Street West;)
Source: Southwestern Ontario Digital Archive
Established in 1748, Assumption cemetery is the oldest European (Roman Catholic) cemetery in Ontario. It was relocated to its third and present site in 1859, from what was the Cemetery’s second home, the area now known as Assumption Park.

NB: In an ongoing effort to decolonize my settler ancestor story-telling, I have included information at the end of this post on "The Non-Protection Of Canadian Aboriginal Heritage (Burial Sites And Artifacts)" with additional details on The Sandwich Burial site (AbHs-24, formerly AbHs-2.) which "consists of two documented Native burials... many burials ... under Sandwich Street near the Ambassador Bridge." (Douglas 1964)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Our Museum: James Annal's Model Ship

During the period of COVID-19 in 2020 when all of the archives and museums around the world closed, many museums an individuals started posting on twitter with the hashtag #MyMuseum.

In particular, I was inspired by the tweets being posted by @farmersfriend who shared a photo and story of an item from his personal museum every day on twitter. He wrote, 

"As we grow older many of us create our own 
museum of things..."

I loved it! The idea of sharing photos from our personal museums inspired me to create this new genealogy series entitled  "Our Museum". 

This model ship is a treasure in #OurMuseum because it was made by the hands of our 2nd great-grandfather James Henry Allen Annal (1849-1930) who was a sailor and built model ships as a hobby.

My brother has been the caretaker of this most valuable family heirloom passed down to him through the generations.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Malachi D. Moynihan - Escaped The Noose Twice!

Through the years of researching Moynahans from Kerry, Ireland, I have come across so many different surname spellings: Moynihan, Moynahan, Moynehan, etc.

I feel compelled to collect them all even if there is no paper or DNA trail to connect them to my ancestors. I collect their stories and whatever facts I can gather about their lives and share them online in my "Moynahan Scrapbook". In the story that follows, misspelling of a surname saved Malachi's life!

Malachi D. Moynihan Escapes the Noose Twice!

Source: Screenshot:

Malachi's story takes place in Canon City, Fremont, Colorado and involves a mule, a murder and a mean-spirited railway section boss named Fitzpatrick.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Windsor's Whale of A Tale

I have been fascinated with the subject of whaling ever since I learned that my 2nd great-grandfather  James Henry Allan Annal (1849-1930) was a sailor and "as a boy was on a whaling expedition for three years in the Arctic" and "sailed every windjammer on the Great Lakes a hardy and fearless sailor," until his retirement at 73 years of age!

Naturally, when I heard the story about a 68-ton black finback whale named "Colossus" who visited Windsor, Essex co., Ontario in 1936, I had to investigate!
The Windsor Star: 12 Apr 1978

Monday, June 8, 2020

Who Was Henry Collins?

(Photo is undated and found on Page 53 of " St Mary's Anniversary Booklet 1874-1974" , Maidstone, Ontario)
My great-grandfather John Moynahan (1866-1933) is smiling in the photo above with Henry Collins and this is unusual because in  ALL of the other photos that I have of him, he always looks so serious!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Searching for the Descendants of Matthew and Catherine (Carr) Minahan

When I started researching my Moynahan family history, I spent all of my time looking through the historical records for Essex county, Ontario. Later, in the 1980s, I struggled finding records in Kent county, Ontario where two brothers, Matthew and Timothy Moynahan, moved to Tilbury and married two sisters, Catherine and Julia Ann Carr.

Today's blog post is about the family of Matthew and Catherine (Carr) Moynahan. The idea to write about them was triggered last February when I noted that February 1877 must have been a particularly rough month for this family.

Source: Windsor Star: The Vault: showing Main St. in 1887 with Essex county on the left and Kent county on the right.