Sunday, February 9, 2020

When your lines inttersect.....unexpectedly!

Well, it was bound to happen........two lines of my ancestry intersected in a most unexpected way! 

I was searching the descendants of a JELLARD line from the South Hams of Devon.  The descendants went to Victoria, Australia..  While searching Agnes Paige Jellard (my 4th cousin 4x removed), I found that she married John Richard Tozer Potton.  Their son Earnest Walter Potton married Henrietta (Hetta) Elizabeth Trudgeon in the early 1900's in Victoria, Australia.

Well the name Trudgeon was familiar to I went searching and found her Father Richard Trudgeon was born in Sancreed Cornwall....and his parents were Gregory Trudgeon and Jane Trezise.

When I checked my Family Tree I found Jane Trezise -- she is my 3rd cousin 4x removed.  (Actually doubly related through both Rodda and Shetford lines)

So now I have my Devon and Cornwall lines connecting with:

Earnest William Potton (5th cousin 3x removed)   marrying
Henrietta "Hetta" Elizabeth Trudgeon (my 5th cousin 2x removed)

Of course, this has led me down the rabbit hole of tracing the Trudgeon, Bottrell and Shetford families of Cornwall --- when I was originally working on a Devon and Australia connection! Such is the life of a genealogist!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

TOULSON DNA breakthrough!!!!


For years I've been brick walled at about 1650 in Lincolnshire/Nottingham with my TOULSON family.  We've long suspected that possibly a TOULSON from the North (possibly Yorkshire) migrated down during the Civil War.   There are clusters of TOULSON's in Yorkshire, Durham, Cumbria, London, and Kent.  We suspect there is some connections, but have never been able to prove it.

Recently the new Ancestry DNA results from the Christmas sales have begun appearing, and I found a new match that goes back to Bridekirk, Cumbria  - where there is a well documented TOULSON/TOLSON family.  This got me to thinking that maybe I should check the alternative spelling in my DNA matches -- so I put in TOLSON in the search engine.  Why had I NEVER thought of this before????

What an amazing result, suddenly across all 4 kits that I manage for my immediate family, I had matches on the surname TOLSON, TOLESON and TOLLESON that all go back to Dewsbury in Yorkshire (as well as a few to Bridekirk, Cumbria).  There seems to be a definite connection from Dewsbury into South Carolina in the USA during Colonial times.

There are also multiple matches to TOLSON's in Northumberland County, Virginia.

This is hugely exciting, and I will be working with one of my cousins to continue sorting all of this new information out!

Friday, November 29, 2019

RootsTech 2020 4 Day Pass Giveaway

It's the 10th anniversary of RootsTech!!!  When people ask me what RootsTech is, I tell them it's the Super Bowl for genealogists!

 I cannot wait for February......wouldn't you like to attend also?

Well, as an Ambassador for RootsTech, I have the opportunity to give away a free pass to a lucky reader!  This is a 4 day pass, which is worth $299!  The pass gives you access to:

  • over 300 classes
  • Great Keynote speakers and General Sessions
  • A massive Expo Hall packed with vendors, family history societies, and experts
  • Evening entertainment events

RootsTech takes place Feb 26-29 at the Salt Palace in downtown Salt Lake City, just a block from the Family History Library.  So maybe you can come in early or stay afterwards for a little research at the Family History Library!

RootsTech is full of learning opportunities for genealogists, no matter what your level (hobbyist to espert!).  Between the classes, the vendors, the keynote speakers and entertainment it is an incredible experience!  And who knows, you could meet a cousin (I have!).

So if you'd love to attend, leave a comment here on my blog! I'll be choosing a winner on Dec. 16th!  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Moycullen......records into the 1700's!

Irish research is notriously hard before the Famine, but how about back into the later 1700's? Especially in the West, if you're a poor tenant farmer and Roman Catholic? Basically you have little to no hope.

Imagine my surprise then when I decided to revisit my GGG Grandparents, who were from the Moycullen area of Galway.  First I discovered there is a local census of the married men of the Parish, taken between 1793-1813!  Beyond that there are actual Catholic Parish records of BMD's back to 1775 or so! And there are Tithe Applotment records from 1827 or so. 

What an absolute bonanza of records!

I have some oral history that points at 3 different townlands within Moycullen, and some specific names (Morgan and Larry) that relate to my family -- so armed with those details and all those records, I've spent 2 days trolling through everything and putting my family together.  There are still many gaps, and some is supposition, but it's obvious I'm related to most of these folks in some fashion.

The offhand comment that a cousin told us back in 1999 that my Gt Grandfather Seamus Conneely was called "Larry", was something I never thought I'd figure out, but luckily I took down the note....and now can see that there are several Laurence Conneely's in Moycullen that are likely where his nickname came from.

Our Conneely's were also from "The Morgan Conneely's", and sure enough there are Morgan's in the family lines back to about 1765!

Note sure I'll sort out the Morgan, Laurence, Patrick, Roger, John and James Conneely's.....but these are my people!

Friday, November 22, 2019

Connolly connections.....

Irish research is difficult as you move into generation that pre-dated the Famine.  Records often don't exist and you increasingly have to rely on oral history and local knowledge.  Recently Facebook has been a tremendous help, in that localized groups have been formed to search specific areas of Connemara in County Galway.  I belong to a Rosmuc, Lettermore, Carna and now a Moycullen group.

The groups are great for sharing old photos, connecting cousins, and sharing records.  I joined the Moycullen group, as my Connolly's go back to that area.  My Gt Gt Grandfather and his brother left Moycullen and went to Glantrasna around the time of the Famine.  From oral history, we had the names of his parents - James and Nora (Seamus and Honour), and that they were both Conneely's. The villages were Pollnaclogha, Ballydotia and Cloonabina.  We didn't know which side belongs with which village -- but surmised that the "Morgan Conneely" branch (as they're called) belongs to Pollnaclogha.  And we have some thought that Nora/Honor is from this branch.

James/Seamus is probably from Ballydotia/Cloonabina, as there are some early local census records which show a James and a Laurence in those villages.  Later on my Gt Grandfather Seamus Conneely was locally known as "Larry", so this seems likely that his Grandfather Seamus in Moycullen was part of this branch that had a Laurence in it.

Again, a bit of conjecture, but it helps put the story together in the most likely fashion.

So, I posted a quick query on the Moycullen page about what I knew regarding the Pollnaclogha relations, and that we heard we were from the "Morgan Conneelys" -- withing 10 minutes someone posted a response that she knew our family! What an absolute joy.....after years of searching, bingo an instant connection.  The family is in Chicago and the "Morgan Conneelys" term is still used by their family today.  She knew exactly of the house I was referencing that is on our family land (per a now deceased cousin).  She has put me in contact with other members of the family and we're actively sharing information!  So excited to have found a whole new branch and possibly breaking through a brick wall!

Genealogy Karma

Sometimes, it all comes together at once!!

Have been in a bit of a rut, research wise......not sure what to search next, no new records to tackle, etc.  So I decided to go back to an old question a cousin had asked me to look into regarding her Great Uncle Michael Walsh.  He had come to the USA in 1895 or so, and never been heard of since, although there was some rumor that he died young in an accident or was shot by the police.

In revisiting what I'd researched, I found a few new clues -- and sent them along.  When she asked me what relation I was to this cousin Michael Walsh, I paused and though - wow this would be my Grandmother's 1st cousin.  I had assumed this was a relation on my cousins other side, that didn't connect to me.

That fired off a memory of my Grandmother's Sister listing a "cousin" Michael Walsh on her passenger list in 1904, as the relative she was going to.  At the time I thought, oh right -- how on earth will we ever figure out who this cousin Michael Walsh is, such a common name, it could be anyone!  Now I think this Michael Walsh is one and the same! 

So searching for my cousins question, helped me resolve one of my brick walls!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Reflections on RootsTech London 2019

It's been a few weeks since I've returned from here's a few reflections on the first RootsTech to be held outside of Salt Lake City.

As usual, you come away from the 3 days absolutely jazzed, ready to research away, put all your new learnings to use, etc......then real life gets in the way!  If only we could stay in this RootsTech euphoria bubble for a week or so and utilize all the new learnings while they're fresh in our minds! This is why I try and take good notes, so I can refresh my memory. I now need to download the presentations/handouts off the app, so they will jog my memory as well.  (And I wish this process was simpler, I am having difficulty getting any of the handouts to email off the app).

One thing I noted was that the London crowd seemed to be experienced genealogists (intermediate to advanced). There weren't nearly the amount of beginners that you see in Salt Lake City. I suppose the pricing, venue, and 3 day nature attracted the more serious genealogists, and not just the curious who drop in at other Family History events to collect leaflets and have a wander around.

After attending every RootsTech in Salt Lake City for the past 9 years, I knew what to expect, and was pleasantly surprised that the London event closely followed the Salt Lake City format. A few things I'd change though:

  • Make classes an hour long. 45 minutes was too short and there wasn't enough time for Q & A. Many presenters were clearly trying to condense an hour long presentation, and racing through or skipping slides altogether
  • Expand the Vendor Hall - the SLC Vendor Hall is massive and there is room to spread out. The space at Excel seemed too small, not enough computer stations for researchers, and the demo theatre spaces were too small. Also there was a distinct lack of local Family History societies and some of the other smaller archives.
  • Food offerings - I know this was probably a restriction with Excel Centre, but the limited food offerings (especially on Days 2-3) was disappointing. The vendors also seemed overwhelmed, struggled to cope with the crowds and the food options were limited.
Generally at SLC, the vendors make a big splash of releasing new record sets, demonstrating new beta tools, and promoting DNA sales.  I didn't see much of this, just the usual show specials at booths, which may or may not compete with the "Black Friday" November sales prices.

  • My session with in the Coaches Corner was excellent. I had submitted a case around my Father's Y-DNA results, and needed help with his matches and next steps to take his ancestry back further. The "coach" was execellent, she was well prepared, had looked at everything I'd submitted and gave me some really valuable "next step" tips. 
  • My classes were excellent, particularly those with Maurice Gleeson, Brian Donovan and Crista Cowan (who turns out to be my 10th cousin!)
  • Donny Osmond and Dan Snow were fantastic keynotes -- entertaining and insightful
  • Loved the T-shirts and other RootsTech merchandise on offer
Final Thoughts:
  • I brought my Sister with me, who had been away from Genealogy for several years. She came away re-energized about all the new records, tools, and techniques.  She was VERY impressed by RootsTech, as was I.  Great job by the organizers and I hope it returns to London!