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How quickly our daily lives can turn into history! Ever heard of a Catholic church attached to a brewery? Patrick are close neighbors. The building is actually St. Speaking of neighbors, St. John the Baptist Church in Quincy, Massachusetts played a large role in the lives of members of the Tierney family for the majority of the 20th century — in many ways. John the Baptist Parish, Quincy, Mass. It looks to be straight out of a storybook! Joseph Catholic Church in Houston, Texas. It celebrates its th anniversary this year.

Craig Manson introduces us to St. Katy tells how her family first settled the area and how the entire church cemetery is probably related to her! Visit her article to read about the genealogical challenge presented to her by one of her ancestors who had lived in a neighboring state, died across the border in another state, and was buried back in Maryland at St. The last article is a special one to me. I was thrilled to learn this bit of history, and to be able to share it here in celebration of the opening of the Year of Faith. Visit Years in America to find my article What a surprise!

May our deepening of faith during this Year of Faith help us to long for justice and peace in the world. Thank you for joining us to celebrate the opening of this special Year of Faith here at The Catholic Gene. Dorene from Ohio said:. October 11, at am. Jasia said:. October 12, at am. You did a beautiful job in putting this together, Lisa! Very impressive. Thank you for your time, effort, and dedication to our Catholic faith. Jacqi Stevens said:. October 12, at pm. What an amazing collection of inspiring stories, Lisa.

Amanda said:. October 13, at pm. What an impressive round-up of churches and stories! Lots to read here for a while. Thanks for doing this, Lisa! Daithi O Luineachain said:. December 23, at am. Most people are glad to hang a beautiful, "completed," family tree in their homes, even if they wouldn't be nearly as interested in the research that went into it.

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Scrapbooking Not all genealogists are crafty, or fans of scrapbooking. For a long time I thought that I wasn't. Two weeks ago, at my parents' house, I stumbled across not 1, not 2, but 3 forgotten scrapbooks that I had made when I was in high school and college. Apparently, I was actually quite the scrapbooker at one point!

If you're a genealogist with that scrapbooking gene, a well-done scrapbook about a family, person, or event in your family's history makes a beautiful gift for a relative. If you're interested in digital scrapbooking, try the MyMemories Suite. It's the tool I used to create the header for this blog recently, and it can make wonderful scrapbooks, as well. Watch this space for a full review and a giveaway in the coming weeks! Family Stories The gift that I'm most looking forward to giving this is year is a compilation of family stories that I wrote up and had published, using Lulu.

Before my grandfather passed away, he used to come over for dinner frequently, and often regaled us with stories of different eras and events of his life. One night, my mom remarked, "Someone should be writing these down! At the time, I was in high school, and later college, and it was before I was officially interested in genealogy - but I was, thank goodness, interested enough to write down notes after Pop left each evening. I wasn't perfect - my most frustrating oversight is a note that says "meeting Nan," to remind myself to write down the story he'd told about meeting my grandmother, which I never got around to.

I've forgotten the story, as has apparently everyone else who heard it that night, and the story of how they met seems to have been lost to history, though I'm on a mission to ask everyone who might know. The book - about 20 pages, with illustrations using scanned family photos - is a gift for my dad, but I've also ordered a copy for each of my aunts, and will make it available via Lulu.

The more copies of something that exist, the more likely it is to survive for future generations. Again, I know almost no one in my family reads this blog, so I have no qualms about revealing their gifts here. If any of you happens to check in, I'd appreciate your discretion. Family Cookbook This wasn't a Christmas gift, but it was one of the best gifts I've ever gotten. When my cousin got married several years ago, she asked for a book of family recipes, and her sister enlisted the help of the whole family in compiling one. When I got married 18 months ago, my sister piggybacked off of the recipes our cousin had already collected, adding to them recipes from the other side of the family, from my husband's family, and from our friends.

When another cousin got married just this month, we piggybacked again, adding recipes from her dad's side of the family as well as from her in-laws. The book keeps growing, and it's a wealth of information, delicious recipes, and family history. Of course, there are somewhat more modest ways to go about this project, too the most recent version nearly burst the spine of the book it was in! I could envision taking a dozen or so of a family's favorite Christmas foods and creating a family Christmas cookbook, or requesting a single recipe from each contributor not half a dozen each, which is what some of my relatives tend to share.

I hope you can take away from this post some creative ideas about how to share your research and your family's history with your loved ones this holiday season, as well as a bit of insight into the mind of a genealogist and how to shop for him or her! Disclosure: This post contains Amazon. This means that if you choose to make a purchase from Amazon after clicking one of these links, I will receive a small portion of your purchase price as a commission.

I personally make a point of starting my Amazon shopping through the affiliate links of bloggers and friends whenever possible, so that large corporations are not the only beneficiaries of my purchases, and encourage others to do the same, regardless of whether they use my affiliate links or another blogger's. Labels: Christmas , modernity intervenes. Monday, November 26, The Gathering: Listowel. My husband Ben had the good fortune to inherit a collection of letters belonging to his great-grandfather, Frank Gleasure, who - God love him - saved every letter his family ever sent him from their hometown of Listowel, Co.

Kerry, Ireland. We've been transcribing them and posting them online at The Gleasure Letters. A few months ago, we had the good fortune to be interviewed on Skype by Tadgh Kennelly. Kennelly is an Irish athlete living in Australia who, as part of the tourism initiative The Gathering, returned to his native Listowel and hosted the Listowel-focused episode of the tv show The Gathering. During the episode, they tell the story of my ancestors-in-law among tales of other Listowel residents, past and present.

They got only minor details wrong. For example, Frank was Ben's great-grandfather, not his grandfather. But for the most part, it was pretty accurate. The Skype interview with Ben and yours truly airs towards the middle of the episode, but pieces of the Gleasure story are told earlier, too. There's a major surprise involved for us! Since the episode has recently become available on YouTube, I wanted to share it here. Labels: Ben's family , modernity intervenes , videos.

I decided on two storms that I wanted to look at in more depth, since they would have impacted my Brooklyn and NYC ancestors - the hurricane, and the "Long Island Express. The Long Island Express was that hurricane? I've heard of that hurricane! Most people with even a passing interest in the history of New England have heard of the hurricane that decimated the coast and killed hundreds, but it had never even occurred to me to wonder what effect it had had on New York.

Hurricanes do not usually manage to hit New England without impacting NYC and Long Island, of course, but I never made the connection, not even when I spent two days thinking about New York being hit by a hurricane in New York papers from the day after the Long Island Express hit were substantially more alarming than from the day after the storm. Technology had advanced considerably since the hurricane that had hit 45 years earlier, and so you don't have to rely on my meager writing skills to give you an idea of what it was like.

Instead, we have these remarkable videos to show us. Perhaps the most haunting part of the Eagle 's coverage is the list of the dead, the missing, and the injured. Even a brief reading of the articles, though, shows that the list, and the count, far understate the actual damage.

For example, left off the list are the 25 children who were attending a party at the home of Mrs. Norvin Greene in Westhampton Beach, none of whom had been seen since the storm. The Greenes and their guests were later discovered to have survived. Murray, Around Westhampton. Below is the list of dead and missing:. Labels: Brooklyn Eagle , newspapers , weather. In the wave of Hurricane Sandy madness that's spreading through New York City as well as through my Facebook newsfeed, my cousin posted a link to an article, The Big One by Aaron Naparstek, which is about how NYC is due for a major hurricane, and the conditions that make it particularly susceptible to serious damage, should one occur.

What I found most interesting besides the parts that made me think "Uh oh! Am I about to witness the end of New York as we know it? I'll focus on the storm in this post, and try to write about the storm if our power holds out. The article begins by calling Brooklyn "remarkably lucky" and describing the damage as consisting "mainly in the disfiguration of the fine streets of the town by the destruction of shade trees. It was clear that New York took a rather different approach to storms then than it does now.

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When the rain began at pm, "wise persons who had read the latest weather forecasts were prepared for the trouble. Trees fell pretty extensively, and the Eagle reported the next morning that were down. It also reported their locations, and being cooped up in my apartment with nowhere to go, I took the opportunity to map them using Google maps. Every blue marker on this map is a tree that fell in "down town" Brooklyn, as reported to the Eagle by the superintendent of streets.

View Trees Felled in the "Ruinous Gale" of 23 August in a larger map No downed trees are represented in South Brooklyn, where much of my family lived. Either it was not considered "down town," and so downed trees there weren't included, or it didn't have the quantity of trees that other neighborhoods in the city did, and so there were none to fall. Beyond the trees being uprooted, roofs were ripped off of houses throughout the city.

The family of Mr. Henry Brandt at the corner of York and Gold streets were asleep in their beds when the roof was lifted off of their house and then dropped back on it, throwing debris into their home and trapping them on the second floor. They had to escape through a ladder out the back window. Five houses on Ryerson St.

Flooding was extensive, too: Around the corner of Ashford and Fulton streets "the thoroughfares were flooded for two blocks around. The water was easily four feet deep at that point. The boy may not have been swimming, but he was truly enough in bathing costume and he simulated natatorial progression. A crowd watched him and cheered him in his efforts. Perhaps most disturbing is what happened to the "Bolivian Indian Village" "exhibit": The Bolivian Indian Village, at the end of Tilyou's walk, was swept completely out of existence.

All the Indians were asleep in the native huts in which they live. They were awakened by the water dashing over them and panic stricken with fright, howled dismally. One big wave came in and knocked the whole foundation out from under the place and the roof fell in. The falling timbers struck a big heavy pole which had been used by one of the natives named Samson in exhibiting feats of strength.

The pole fell over on one of the frail huts in which three indians were sleeping, injuring them quite badly and pinning them down under the debris. Their cries attracted the attention of W. Yost, J. Donnelly and T. Ornsbee, who were assisting the work of rescue and the three alleged aborigines were hauled from under the wreck of their hut and the big pole, half choked with salt water and nearly scared to death. According to Ask Mr. Coney Island , "The extent of injuries to the indians is unknown and the show did not reopen.

In , it was reported that "the fruit crop is practically ruined and the corn, which withstood the drought, is leveled to the ground and in many places torn up by the roots. The situation of the farmers is thus made particularly distressing. I saw pictures of Red Hook flooding by early this afternoon, so I'm sure that my South Brooklyn ancestors had to contend with the same. Between that, and reading that Brooklynites had spent the night of 23 August "listening all night to the beating of the rain on roofs and windows; they had heard the howling of the gale and the crash of falling trees and their curiosity was stimulated," I was able to begin to imagine my ancestors living through that storm, as I was living through this one.

Labels: Brooklyn Eagle , disaster , modernity intervenes , newspapers , weather. The Genealogy Event. Although it wasn't quite on the scale of what I understand something like RootsTech or Genealogy Jamboree to be, it was the first event of its kind that I was able to attend, as the West Coast conferences aren't really a feasible option for me. Although I'd been looking forward to The Genealogy Event for a while, I neglected to register until last week, and so was unable to preregister for any of the speaker sessions. This had me really worried, but I needn't have been.

On-site registration on Friday was limited to 3 session per person, but after the rush subsided, I was able to go back to the registration table and get tickets for all of the other sessions I wanted to attend, too. My only complaint would be that the "minute power learning sessions" didn't offer enough time to explore topics in depth. I would have preferred that the sessions be longer, or that there be offered both quick overviews and in-depth explorations of various topics in different sessions. On Friday, one of the best sessions I attended was Judy G. It was a good, engaging, and informative overview of DNA research.

Although there wasn't much presented that I didn't know, she did make one point that was revelatory: because autosomal DNA isn't associated with surnames, you shouldn't be trying to match surnames, but rather times and places. This seems self-evident - I wanted to slap myself in the forehead and say "Duh!

I got home that night and immediately sent an e-mail to my closest match on FamilyTreeDNA , with whom I haven't yet been able to document a connection. Still no luck, but we're working on it. God willing, we'll be able to take a trip to Ireland one of these days, though it may be years before we can accumulate enough vacation time to even see all the ancestral hometowns we'd like to visit, much less to have enough time to research all of those lines while we're there!

One interesting-looking resource that was included in this last talk on Irish Genealogy was the website localhistory. These local groups are listed by county, and several exist for most counties. I imagine many are terrific resources to use when you've pinpointed your Irish ancestral hometown. I was also able to talk to Joe after the session to get a remedial lesson on Irish geopolitical divisions Registration District vs.


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Civil Parish vs. Townland and so forth , because no matter how often I look this up, I can never keep them straight. After attending alone on Friday, I was joined by my husband on Saturday. Saturday was a longer day, but, I thought, somewhat better organized. The three session limit for on-site registration had been lifted, but I didn't want to seem greedy, so I only registered for 4 in the morning, and then went back a little later to get tickets to a few more sessions, because I didn't want to worry about closing other attendees out.

The former seemed to be directed more towards people who had ancestors come through NY than those of us who spend every waking minute researching our NYC ancestors, but it still reminded me of any number of sources that went on my lists as places that need to be checked again, more thoroughly, or in a more organized fashion. While I'm not an author, I've got a handful of half-baked ideas rolling around in my brain, covering everything from wanting to put my research into book form to make it more palatable to relatives, to having come across one story that's interesting enough to maybe be attractive to the general public, to trying to type up a couple of family stories in a booklet in time for this Christmas.

Never having given much though to the how, when, or why or any of these projects, the information in this session was invaluable. I had tried to register late for the Timelines session, and they were already out of tickets by then, so I almost didn't go. Luckily, there were extra seats available, and I was able to get in anyway, because it was a particularly interesting session.

I walked out with a list of timelines I need to make, including a Brooklyn history timeline, for general comparison with my family's history and an Italian history timeline, to back up or not the stories about why my great-grandfather immigrated to this country. The NYPL talk didn't present much that I didn't already know, but it reminded me of some things I had forgotten, and it got me really fired up to get back to the library, a resource in my own backyard that I have been seriously underutilizing.

One of the best parts of the weekend were the vendors and booths. Although the DNA session wasn't an in-depth look at issues in genetic genealogy, I was able to meet the folks from FamilyTreeDNA at their booth and ask them some specific questions I had about my test results and matches. I was introduced to the Irish Family History Forum , a local Irish-focused genealogical society that meets right on Long Island, and that I'm now seriously considering joining. But they meet on Saturdays, and my weekends tend to be so busy I'm afraid I'd never make it!

All-in-all, I thought it was a terrific weekend, and I hope that the organizers found to be as successful as I did, because I'm really hoping that this becomes an annual event. This post contains Amazon.

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Labels: conference , learning , modernity intervenes , resources. Monday, October 15, On serendipity, and obstinately ignoring conflicting evidence. My paternal great-grandmother was Mary Quinn "Grandma Molly" , and to my knowledge - and according to information given me by other relatives - she was always known as Molly. She was born in Brooklyn to Mary Gillan and Hugh Quinn, but though she was supposedly born 22 March , she doesn't appear on the Federal Census with her family.

Labels: Beato Giacomo , churches , Italy , religious. Is there an embarrassing typo in the title of this post? Or have I come up with a particularly clever name for a little project I've been working on recently? Much to the relief of every English teach I've ever had, it's the latter. I've recently opened up a store on Zazzle. If you've hit so many brick walls that your ancestors must have been masons - well, I can't help you find them, but I can help you talk about it! Labels: humor , modernity intervenes , WearYouCameFrom.

Many of my ancestors lived in Red Hook, Brooklyn, from the s and for a century thereafter. Their earliest sacraments in America took place at St. Paul's Church, an Irish church founded in , but by the mids they were attending the recently founded churches closer to home: either St. As a result, when I recently went to the Brooklyn Historical Society to do some research in the Brooklyn Land Conveyance Collection , I was intrigued to realize that, in those record abstracts, I was watching the parish - and indeed, the diocese - grow before my very eyes. Now, what, you might ask, is the Archbishop of New York doing buying land for a church in Brooklyn?

At least, you might ask that if you knew that the Diocese of Brooklyn and the Archdiocese of New York are two neighboring but distinct entities. As it turns out, it wasn't until that the Diocese of Brooklyn was founded from territory that had theretofore been part of the Archdiocese of New York. I can't find an actual date in when the Diocese of Brooklyn was created, but it seems to have somewhat predated the consecration of the Right Reverend John Loughlin on 30 October of that year.

John Loughlin. I'm not sure why it took 10 years for the land to pass from the diocese to the parish.