I will be spending today in a sea of green.  I don’t care for crowds, but we’re only living in Savannah for one year and I can’t miss the humongous St. Patrick’s Day parade that they put on here. The fountains and river will be dyed green.  It should be quite a sight to see!

I am very proud of my Irish ancestry.  I thought I would highlight my 3rd great-grandparents, the O’Connors.

Patrick O’Connor was born in County Cork, Ireland in about 1830-1832.  According to family history, his wife Mary Denahy was the first to immigrate to the United States.  She was pregnant at the time and was sent to Dubuque, Iowa to work at a monastery.  I still have no information on their marriage, so I don’t know if she was married before she left or not.  I thought that it would be odd for her to have been sent to a monastery if she were married. Another mystery to solve.  Anyway, according to family history, she sent money and he was supposed to follow.  He spent the money and she had to send more.  He did eventually make it to Iowa, where they farmed the monastery for a number of years before moving to Hubbard, Nebraska.  I am related through their daughter, Ellen Louise O’Connor.

Patrick looks a little like a leprechaun to me.:)Maybe it’s the Abraham Lincoln beard with no mustache.  I’m not sure.

And Mary.  I wouldn’t want to mess with her!

The poor woman doesn’t look very comfortable in her dress, does she?

I wish I had a picture of them when they were younger, but I am eternally thankful for this one.






  • Aillin - March 17, 2011 - 5:09 pm

    Happy St Patrick’s Day!ReplyCancel

  • Jo - March 19, 2011 - 10:54 am

    I bet Mary gave Patrick “what for” for spending the first lot of money she sent :-)ReplyCancel

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I’ve always loved this picture of my great-grandfather, Theodore Sanchez.

This is one of the only ones I have of him when he was young.

The banjo cracks me up.

Did he really play it?  Or was it simply a prop?  Would someone want their picture taken with a banjo if they didn’t play it?

I’m sure that there are people out there nowadays that would love to get their picture taken with an electric guitar, even though they don’t play it.  It would be cool.  Is he just trying to play cool with the banjo?:)

  • Dee Blakley - March 16, 2011 - 10:01 pm

    Even if it was a prop, that is a very cool picture.ReplyCancel

  • Wendy B. - March 16, 2011 - 10:44 pm

    That is so cool! I wonder if he actually *could* play it. That would be even cooler!ReplyCancel

  • Cherie Cayemberg - March 18, 2011 - 12:00 am

    Jen, he’s got a “playa’s” smile! What a handsome man! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Jo - March 19, 2011 - 10:56 am

    He does look very laid back and cool. That’s a very decorative wicker chair he’s sitting in :-) JoReplyCancel

  • Trevor Sanchez - March 29, 2011 - 3:47 pm

    I’m guessing he could play it. His left hand fingers are on the chord of “C” and his thumb and finger placement of his right hand on the strings is correct.ReplyCancel

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While I was vacationing in Florida this past week, I came across this sign, marking the site of an African Cemetery on Higgs Beach, Key West.  It is so sad.:(

Here is a transcription of the sign:


Near this site lie the remains of 294 African men, women, and children who died in Key West in 1860.  In the summer of that year, the U.S. Navy rescued 1, 432  Africans from three American-owned ships engaged in the illegal slave trade. Ships bound for Cuba were intercepted by the U.S. Navy, who brought the freed Africans to Key West where they were provided with clothing, shelter, and medical treatment. They had spent weeks in unsanitary and inhumane conditions aboard the slave ships. The U.S. steamships Mohawk, Wyandott, and Crusader rescued these individuals from the Wildfire, where 507 were rescued; the William, where 513 were rescued;  and the Bogota where 417 survived. In all, 294 Africans succumbed at Key West to various diseased caused by conditions of their confinement. They were buried in unmarked graves on the present day Higgs Beach where West Martello Tower now stands. By August, more than 1,000 survivors left for Liberia, West Africa, where the U.S. Government supported them for a time. Hundreds died on the ships before reaching Liberia. Thus, the survivors were returned to their native land, Africa, but not to their original homes on that continent.


  • Dee Blakley - March 15, 2011 - 1:58 pm

    Wow, what an interesting bit of history – a really sad part that I never recall reading or hearing about in school when I was taking history.ReplyCancel

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My ancestor, Austin Agee, served with the Confederacy during the Civil War.

After his death in 1890, his wife Eliza applied for and received a widow’s pension.

I was so excited to receive this packet a number of years ago. Up until that point, I had assumed that those who served under the Confederacy didn’t receive pensions.  This was only a few pages long, so nothing compared to the Union pension packets, but it is full of very helpful, important information.

Here are the scanned images of what I have.

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Did you ever have one of those moments where you just want to kick yourself?

Sometimes I’m my own worst enemy when it comes to my research.

I have a Rubbermaid tub of papers that I have yet to enter into my computer program.  It seems like such a monumental task that I’ve put it off for years now.

But what I’ve found is that often the answer to my brick wall is lying in there, waiting for me to re-find it.

Another researcher contacted me through this blog after finding we shared a common ancestor – John Robertson.

John has been one of my biggest brick walls for years.  I knew he was from Kentucky, but not where.  Finding a John Robertson in the 1840 census proved to be difficult.  It’s a common name in a large state – and without the names of the family along with him, I haven’t been able to pinpoint which one might be him.

And I had the answer of where he was from (or at least a good clue to the answer) sitting in that tub for years.

I pulled out the Civil War records for John Robertson’s son, Hugh – so that I could scan them and send them to this researcher. And as I started reading through it, I realized that Hugh’s birthplace is listed on this record.

I believe that it says Brick/Breck county. My guess is that it’s an abbreviation of Breckenridge County. The only other option would be Bracken county. Either way, my search for John Robertson has now narrowed considerably.

It looks like I need to take a vacation at home and get to digitizing and entering in this information that I have.

The only question is where do I put the kids?:)

Do you ever find yourself hampering your own research by your lack of organization? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

  • Amy - March 14, 2011 - 6:25 am

    I am truly jealous of your collections of so much fun stuff! Seriously, how did you get it all? I wish someone would suddenly just open up a forgotten rubbermaid tote & mail it to me… FULL! You have truly been blessed :)ReplyCancel

  • Jen - March 14, 2011 - 8:39 am

    Oh, no one sent it to me. It’s a collection of stuff from over the years. Actually, the reason I have a tote full of stuff that isn’t entered into my computer is – after we took our genealogy class, I realized that I needed to better source my information. So, I started my database completely over. Which means I never got around to re-entering all of the information I already have. Big mess.
    I have probably 10 Civil War pensions that I need to digitize amongst that stuff. Thankfully, I ordered them years ago when they were cheap in comparison. :)ReplyCancel

  • Susan - March 14, 2011 - 3:23 pm

    You are not the only one – there are at least two of us. And I’m betting there might even be a third somewhere…ReplyCancel

    • Jen - March 14, 2011 - 4:54 pm

      Maybe we need to start a group – Unorganized Anonymous. Oh wait, that wouldn’t work, because we’ve just announced it to the world! :)ReplyCancel

  • MHD - March 24, 2011 - 4:12 pm

    No, you are not alone! I’ve been working diligently at getting all the ‘stuff'(defined as “valuable genealogical research info needing to be synthesized and added to database &/or clue lists”) into my system. And, even though I’ve made a little rule about “No New Research,” as I work on inputting the old stuff, of course, I find a great clue and off I go, working on it and, utlimately, adding to the inputting pile. I take a bit of comfort in seeing that there are now “only” two piles where there used to be three…. I’m now trying to not let it upset me: this is supposed to be fun! You’ll get it done!ReplyCancel

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