Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kilkenny city, here we come

The following post is my first entry to an event called the Carnival of Irish Hertitage and Culture
What is a blog Carnival ?

An organizer brings together people who love to post on a particular topic. You name it; there are hundreds of topics. Just a few examples: the carnival of satire (humor), the carnival of all about Alzeimer's(medicine, health and fitness) or even a carnival of beautiful babies (art and entertainment). Then, each organizer publishes the recieved posts together to make a Carnival.
Here's the website to BlogCarnival .

My carnival is of course concerning our Irish heritage. The organizer of this subject is Lisa, who publishes an excellent blog named The Small leaved shamrock.

Lisa's post on the Irish carnival is named everyone loves a good Irish story .

Here is my carnival post :

In August 2007, my friend, Rita sent me an unforgettable e-mail. Rita had found through her personal research, a woman that she believed to be my relative.She gave me Mary's phone number and address and encouraged me to call her.Which I did the following day.

I remember being very anxious to call Mary, and after asking several questions to about her family ( and vice versa), this charming lady did confirm that she is my late Grandfather's(John Bernard Carroll Sr) niece. I was quite moved by this telephone conversation. I made the promise to Mary that I would write a letter and slip in a few recent photos.In the meanwhile, the word had spread among the clan...

I heard from Mary's daughter, and then from a another cousin.Her name was Gerry. She is Mary's niece. Gerry shared with me the family genealogy notes. She was largely responsible for taking those precious notes and putting them into a modern form. The original work was done by Gerry's father and her Uncle many years back. In the following months,a slew of e-mails,PDFs,notes, and photos arrived at my mailbox. I was also able to start a correspondence and learn more about my cousin and her family.This was all incredible, and I was feeling as if I was walking on a cloud .

But it was one mention in the notes caused me to jump. For the first time in my life , I knew exactly where in Ireland our ancestral village was located.This was if I received an electroshock to my brain... After several years of combing the net for Carrolls in Ireland , I had THE ancestral village.
This is a name that has since become very important to me :
Kilkenny City, Kilkenny County, Ireland.

In a sense, I found another part of myself,and of my entire clan in the USA.
We were home, at last...

Once the emotion had gone down, I began checking for websites about Kilkenny genealogy.And through my humble beginnings, I would like to share two websites that have greatly contributed to my newfound knowledge about our ancestral homeland : http://www.ireland.com/ancestor/browse/counties/leinster/kilkenny2.htm

This is a website run by the newspaper, The Irish Times. Their online version has a genealogy section, which is also divided by County . There is a summary of some key references that are important to genealogists ( Census,local History,Catholic records, etc).The references do not have internet links for the most part. But, there are some excellent book references and timetables. Being a brand new researcher in this Irish county, my first instinct was to click on "Catholic records".
A map of Kilkenny County is displayed. For our ancestor, his baptism took place in Saint Canice parish in Kilkenny City. I click on Kilkenny City Parishes on the map. As an example, the following information came out. These are the dates of the registers in Saint Canice and where the microfilms of these registers can be viewed : I found that the registers start from April 6, 1768 for the baptisms,June 12, 1768 for the marriages, and 1777 for the burials.

They can be viewed on microfilm at the folllowing institutions :

Kilkenny Archeological Society
LDS Family history Library
National Library of Ireland

This is very useful information for someone who is very new to research in Ireland. Click here for Irish ancestors page of The Irish Times: You will be able to do a similar search for the other Irish counties.

The second website complements the first.It is run by rootsweb:County Kilkenny Ireland Genealogy and History There are more sources here, including some History,place names, Genealogical sources (including online bases, when they exist), and a very important feature, maps.
I sometimes have a hard time finding a suitable map .I'am not very knowlegeable about my ancestral area being American born and never having lived in Ireland. These maps are very helpful !
Once again, this website is just for Kilkenny, but going to the main website, you can visit any other Irish county :http://www.irelandgenweb.com/ Do visit these excellent websites. If you do know where your ancestral parish is located, you will be able to find some very valuable information about your Irish homeland.

Happy Carnival of Irish Heritage and culture to everyone !

Monday, December 17, 2007

News from the Free Library of Philadelphia

I received my answer to my obituary request made to the Free Library of Philadelphia.
The following image is the page taken from Public Leger for the date of March 24, 1914.
Click on the image for a larger view.

By curiosity, I'am wondering if the persons who are listed with the longer obituaries pay for these more detailed mentions of their family member?
In 1914, my Great-Grandparents lived at 1916 Waterloo Street.According to the family genealogy, this same address was also the residence of Edward Patrick Carroll Senior and his family.
It can be assumed that John Joseph's widow, Jennie "Jeannette" Mc Entee lived with the family until her death on July 10, 1936.

I'am satisfied with the Free Library's Service and plan on trying a second lookup in January. This time for my other Philadelphia branch, Christian Hansen and Catherine "Kate" Morrris. These were my paternal grandmother's parents.

I can only highly reccomend a try if you happen to know the exact death dates of your ancestors .
It might only be a modest trophy, but it is interesting to have your ancestor's obituaries in one's records.

Have a nice day and Happy holiday preparations to all.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Introducing PaHr-Access.

I'am just getting in some news about the People For Better Access to Pennsylvania Historical Records.There is some news to note.
First of, the group which was called "PBAPHR " is now under a more easier name now called :


Secondly, the group's spokesman, Tim Gruber, has announced the opeing of PaHr-Access' official website !
You can find the website at the following address :


This website will be evolving and growing as this movement grows.

Once again, spread the word !

Get your PA genealogy friends and even your kin involved in letter writing. If you are a state resident of PA, contact your elected officials and let them know how you feel on access to State records.
As I said to spokesman Tim, I never have been a resident of PA, but I did allow myself to write a letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania. In this time of instant messages, taking the time to write an old fashioned letter, with a pen signature means a lot.

I will be updating news and their happenings of PaHr-Access in the coming months.

Please feel free to comment on the subject, and give me any kind of feedback.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Genealogy memes- 161 and Can you top this ?

There is a first time for everything...
I have already done some memes on my personal blog, which is called Home in France.
But, never a genealogy meme !

I have been tagged by Miriam of AnceStories, to do these two memes.Miriam is a super genealogy blogger; I marvel at the variety of interesting posts that she writes.

Here are my memes:


Here are the rules :
In this meme, you're supposed to go to page 161 of the book you're currently reading and list the 6th sentence on that page. Then you tag five other bloggers to do the same.

I'am not currently reading a book; my last novel dates from this past summer. I hope that it's OK if I just quote the page 161 from this book.
It is called "Absolution by murder" by Peter Tremayne.
If you would like to read my book review of this excellent medeval mystery, set Ireland in the 7th century.You can click here, to be directed to this post on my personal blog.

Here's the sentence. Since I read the book in French, I will publish the original sentence, than my translation.
" Dites-vous que certains désaccords devaient être réglés avant la discussion publique ? "
It translates :
"You say that certain disagreements had to be settled before the public debate ? "
I 'am not sure what is the exact sentence in the English version, so this is just my translation.

These are excellent novels if you are interested in the History of Ireland, and I can only highly recommend them !

The second meme that I have been tagged with is called " Can you top this ? "
This meme was started by John Newmark of Transylvanian Dutch.
It's purpose is to list your most prolific ancestor. John's great-great-grandfather had 22 children with three wives. He gives you extra credit if you show a screen shot from your family tree program to illustrate your ancestor's feat.

I do not have a family tree program to illustrate my most prolific ancestors, and I think that I already can't beat you.

The couple that are my most prolific are Patrick McEntee ( June 15 1830,Ireland-November 15,1916, Philadelphia,PA) and Agnes Haines ( January 22,1830-Feb. 14,1907 )

According to family sources, that still has to be verified, this couple had 24 children. I can account for 12 , through the Census, and a genealogy collegue.
This line still needs to be carefully checked.I'am wondering if there could have been several multiple births, and I can't rule out high infant mortality.And who knows if there could be also other marriages??
For the moment, I'am just going with the 12 known names...

Otherwise, with my Carroll line, it is much more modest; 8 children.

So, John & Miriam, you topped me !

Does anyone want to try these memes? I don't know a lot of genealogy bloggers. It could be a nice chance to get to know other bloggers and each one's genealogy work.
I may keep an eye open on genealogy blogs that are new for me, maybe try and tag someone !

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I'am just letting everyone know about some new items...
Since my last post , I had been slowed down to get my letter out to Governor Rendell. I will spare you the details, but I did mail my letter to the Governor of Pennsylvania yesterday.
Signed,sealed and( soon to be )delivered..

I sent an e-mail to Tim Gruber, spokesman for the PBAPHR ( People For Better Access to Pennsylvania Historical Records ). Tim had a few bits of news to share.
Quoted from Tim's e-mail :

"We are making progress and have several state legislators onboard and starting to gain endorsements from historical and genealogical societies".
So, this is encouraging, if there are some State Legislators that have joined us.

Once again, here is Tim's e-mail address for all those who would like to join us :



Getting back to my Carroll family research, we have so far struck out twice for obituaries.

I made two requests for searches by genealogy volunteers ( one of which I'am still waiting for).
The one request that was to try and find an obit for Andrew Carroll,the son of James "Big Jim" Carroll. After a lead found in ancestry, there was an Andrew Carroll who died in 1939 in Chicago.Unfortunately, no obit was found for him.
I always say, if you don't try, you will never know...

Always Thank people for their efforts, even when the answer is a negative one.

The second obit lookup was done by my friend, Rita. She put out a search through the Free Library of Philadelphia. Thank you again, Rita. She was searching for an eventual notice about Catherine Burke's passing. Although Catherine ( widow of Andrew Carroll ) moved to Chicago with her children, and passed on there in 1904, there could have been an obit for her kin in Philadelphia.
No such obit was found in the Philadelphia newspapers.
It was exactly for Catherine Burke that my second obit look up request was made.The volunteer in Chicago has answered me, and I can expect an answer in the coming weeks.

Adding to the Chicago look-ups, my letter sent to the Free Library of Philadelphia.

If the luck of the Irish is with us, there may be either an obit for John Joseph Carroll or his spouse, Jeannette "Jenny" McEntee .
FYI about look ups at the Free Library of Philadelphia :

Send a written request with the person's name, date of death(month,day,year) or burial date
and Self addressed stamped envelope. They will check only two newspapers. Photocopies cost 50 cents per page with a one dollar minimum.Maximum of two obituaries can be requested at the same time.

Send request to :

Free Library of Philadelphia
Newspapers & Microfilm Center
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia,PA 19103

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all !

May your blessings be numerous and your worries few.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

YES for better access to PA archives !

Note: This is a new and updated copy of the announcement that I previously made. For those of you here for the first time, this is a campaign to obtain an online database for PA death records. Something which is currently unavailable in the State.

Special Thanks to Tim Gruber. He contacted me and sent me a rewritten version.
I'am in, folks... I just finished my letter to the Governor this morning. It just needs to be proof read and off it goes to Harrisburg.... Au revoir !


In an effort to bring Pennsylvania into the current century; this grass roots effort may help :

Requesting Genealogists/Researchers/Historians Lobbying Participation

People For Better Access To Pennsylvania Historical Records (PBAPHR)

We are asking for your help in a grassroots lobbying campaign to make older Pennsylvania state death certificates available on-line. As you may already know, all death certificates recorded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since 1906 have restricted access and require the knowledge of when and where the person died, the expenditure of $9 and a wait of 5 weeks or longer for each and every death certificate, regardless of how long ago the person died. We’re sure many of you have experienced the frustration of either being told they couldn’t find
the death certificate or being sent the wrong death certificate.

Several other states have already made their older death certificates available on-line including
Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, Utah and West Virginia. But Pennsylvania continues its outdated and costly process of issuing these older death certificates one at a time.

We understand the concerns about privacy, identity theft and terrorism. However, there is no reason to keep all of these records restricted indefinitely.
Therefore, our basic proposal is that the death certificates that would be accessible on-line would have to be at least 50 years old . Currently that would mean only persons who died before 1957 (and if necessary were born before 1907) would be made accessible on-line. As each year passes the next year in line would be added to this on-line to the public.

The Social Security Death Master File (with names, dates, places and numbers), which is updated quarterly, is an identity verification database used to thwart identity theft and fraud. Expanding our proposed database to include all death records (but with the same limited public access as outlined above) could be used in a similar manner by law enforcement and government agencies including the Division of Vital Records.

We are asking you to contact certain Pennsylvania state officials, preferably in writing or in person since it will have the most impact, but at least by phone or email. As we understand it only the Pennsylvania State Legislature can change the law. The governor would have to approve this change and the Pennsylvania Department of Health would have to implement any change. If you live in Pennsylvania please contact your representatives in the state legislature in person, by letter, by phone or at the very least by email. Everyone, including out of state
residents, should write, phone or at the very least email to the governor and even the Division of Vital Records. Naturally the more letters and other forms of contact that are made and the more people involved the better.

Here is an example of what our goal is. This one is for the State of West Virginia:

http://www.wvculture.org/vrr/va_select.aspx or

(www.wvculture.org) (Archives and History) (Births,
Deaths, and Marriages) (Deaths)

Contact information for Pennsylvania State
Representatives can be found at:


(www.legis.state.pa.us) (Find Members By)

Contact information for Governor Ed Rendell :

Governor Edward G. Rendell's Office
225 Main Capitol Building Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120

Telephone 717) 787-2500
Facsimile: 717-772-8284
E-mail link : http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Governor/govmail.html

Contact information for Pennsylvania Vital Records Division can be found at:

Talking points:

1. In the long run, having death certificates on the Internet in a publically accessible database would be a cost savings to the state and the state gets away from the antiquated system of manually processing each request one at a time. If the database was expanded to include all death records, the Division of Vital Records would be able to use this database to process requests electronically. Law enforcement and government agencies would be able to use this same database for identity verification to thwart identity theft of deceased persons.

2. The public would be much better served and easier access would allow far greater utilization of these historic records by the many people who would be interested in such a database. As indicated above, government itself would also be able to better utilize these records.

3. There is no practical reason all of these records should be kept confidential indefinitely especially after a fairly long lapse of time. The year of death guideline addresses privacy concerns.

Other states have already made death certificates available on-line. Why not, Pennsylvania?

If you have any questions or would like to see some sample letters please contact the spokesperson for PaHR-Access: Tim Gruber 610-791-9294 or timarg@rcn.com

Thank you for your help and support, and remember the slogan : Just do it .

Monday, October 29, 2007

More on Chicago research

I have been learning about some excellent resources for research in IL . Prior to this year, I had never researched in this state. Since discovering our Carroll branches in this state, it has been important to learn about the various resources offered.

My friend Rita has come through again. She offered the links to Illinois Vital Statistics Indexes. Click on the following to access :

Data base of Marriage certificates ( 1763-1900 )

Data base of pre-1916 death certificates

Data base of IL death certificates ( 1916-1950 )

This is a fabulous initiative that I can only dream of for our research in Pennsylvania.

Some promising findings from Ancestry.com U.S. Census sources have pinpointed one of the Chicago branches.

1900 Census :

This concerns James Carroll (a.k.a Big Jim ), (1857) and wife Jennie (1865) and his wife Jennie. 3 children are said to have been born from this couple :

-Andrew ( 6/ 1886 )

- Jennie ( also known as Jean ) (3/1888)

- Mary (12/1884).
Also, living with this family are 2 cousins, Lucy (2/1892) and Mary (5/1893) Kelly, both born Pa.

1910 Census :

James and Jennie Carroll are living alone - they list 3 children born and 2 living. It appears that Mary (12/1884) has passed on. Seems there is no indication of a Robert, that I had seen on our family's genealogy papers.

Then, the following information concerns Andrew Carroll :

WW 1 Draft Registration of Andrew J. Carroll (born 6/25/1886), Pa. - he is married w/ children.

1920 Census:

Andrew (policeman-city)
Anna (his wife)

1930 Census Andrew (policeman-city)
Anna (his wife)

Andrew (police)- wife and children:

Gertrude - age 19
Jerome - age 15
Elmer - age 13

There was no Andrew Carroll in the WW II Draft Index at Ancestry.com. Which leads my friend to think that Andrew, son of James & Jennie Carroll may have passed on before this time. Rita came up with a complete date of death of an Andrew Carroll ( died Cook County - Chicago, Sex (N/S), age, unk. Date of death 8/30/1939 ), that may be the person. Of course, pending confirmation .

Which lead me to search for a Cook County based obituary volunteer look-up . What is an obit volunteer ? These are genealogists who kindly donate their time to look up newspaper obituaries in their local areas. This is no limited just to Cook County and Illinois. There are obituary look up volunteers in many states. Here are some websites :

RAOGK ( Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness). This is not limited just to obits. Here, volunteers do many kind acts; search vital statistics certifiacates, photograph tombstones,and other nice deeds. I have already used the services of the RAOGK volunteers, and have had some excellent help.Sometimes, you may obtain free information; other times, pay for the copies . But, the fees are minimal.

US Genweb project which has a website for each state. There is a lot of good basic information here. It was while I was on the main page at this website, I saw a box marked "Counties of the month- Allegan County MI and Cook County IL " . Great ! I got a direct feed into the county website and could consult the look ups section ! There were obituary look-up volunteers, that can search in the IL newspapers.

If you scroll down the page, there is a list for other type of volunteer researchers; some will research for free, while others will make a copies for a small fee.

It was this morning that I decided to ask for an obit look up with Cook County US GenWeb. I opted to pay a small fee to have copies ( if any obituaries are found, of course).I will keep you all posted of the outcome.

Kudos to you again, Rita :) I'am very grateful for your help.

Good luck to all and have a nice day.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Our Chicago based Carrolls

When I was a young girl, my Dad ( John Bernard Carroll Jr), used to tell stories about our family.Besides the usual tales about being descendants of kings ( that I can't guarantee !),there have been a few that were more authentic. Among these, my father used to say that we also had kin in Chicago. He mentionned an "uncle" who moved to Chicago.

It turns out that my father was not very far from the truth on this one.

Thanks to the help of my Cousin Gerry and her Uncle Ed, than a recent finding by my friend, Rita Bianchetto,we know that several members of our family left Schuylkill County PA to live in in Chicago.There could be a potentially large branch of the Carrolls in Chicago and the rest of Illinois.

The following are two sons of Andrew Carroll and Catherine Burke who left Schuylkill County to settle in Illinois.

1) Name: James J. Carroll
Born: 1858
Died: 1939 in: Chicago, IL
Married: Date unknown.
Spouse: Jennie (wife of James Carroll)

This is the link here to a previous post that I published about the children and grandchildren of Andrew carroll & Cathrine Burke .

Children of James J Carroll & Jennie :

Andrew Carroll. Chicago Police Officer.
Jean ( Jennie ) Carroll. She was wife of Bernie Borg, of B.B.B. Advertising of NYC).
Robert Carroll.Died at 6 months of age.

I'am lacking further information on the children of James & Jennie.
This is the famous "Big Jim" Carroll that was pro-Molly McGuire. He left Schuylkill County PA, possibly fearing for himself and his family, after the arrestations for various murders after 1875;

I went through the SSDI ( Social Security Death
Index) on the excellent website Family Search. This link is on my sidebar.
There were 4
Andrew Carrolls in Illonois on the SSDI :

1) Andrew "KAROL"
Birthdate : 6 June 1890
Death Date: Apr 1975
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Illinois

Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 60091
Localities: Wilmette, Cook, Illinois

2) Andrew CARROLL
Birth Date: 26 Sep 1897
Death Date: May 1977
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Illinois

Death Benefit Localities
Zip Code: 46947
Localities: Logansport, Cass, Indiana

3)Andrew CARROLL
Birth Date: 25 Jun 1885
Death Date: Dec 1963
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Railroad Board
Actual Death Residence: Illinois

Note: This one seems unlikely because of the occupation .

4) The last Andrew CARROLL was born later ( 5 Jul 1911-18 Mar 1997)
Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 60464
Localities: Palos Park, Cook, Illinois

I found a Jean Borg :
Birth Date: 16 Mar 1888
Death Date: Apr 1963
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Illinois

Actual Death Residence: Illinois


2) Name: Martin Carroll
Born: 1868 in: Lost Creek, PA
Died: 1940
24 December, 1892, Chicago, Cook County, IL Spouse: Ellen Conroy

On the marriage certificate, there is listed that Martin was 25 years old, and Ellen was 20 years old at the time of their marriage.
Certified by Henry Wulff, the Clerk of Court of Cook County.Date of marriage the 24 December, 1892. Certificate dated, 25 December, 1892.
Religious ceremony performed by John.M. Dunne, Rector-Church of the Blessed Sacrament.

My friend, Rita, had recently e-mailed to me a copy of Martin & Ellen's mariage certificate. Thank you again Rita !

Children of Martin Carroll & Ellen Conroy :

Martin Carroll, born 1890 in Philadelphia, Pa; died 1910.
James Patrick Carroll, 1893; died 1985. He married Josephine Kouba .
Marie Carroll, 1897; died 1993. She married Edward Finnegan

I have a few questions about the date of birth of the first child, Martin.If the 1890 date was correct, could the couple been living together before thier marriage? I'am also lacking information on the surviving children,James Patrick and Marie.

As for James Patrick Carroll, I know that this: 

Birthdate: September 11, 1893, Chicago, Cook, Illinois, United States.
Married: Josephine Kouba on July 3, 1919, Chicago, Cook Co,IL. This was seen on Family Search.
Death date: March 6, 1985.

I still have to put my fingers on my other sources for this ancestor ( without a doubt, lost in my papers/DVDs!)

Josephine Kouba was found on Family Search. I have the following information for her:( souce: State of Illinois Certificate of Death):

Birth Date :
February 12, 1895, in  Austria.
Death Date: September 22, 1945 in  Proviso Township, IL, USA Burial at Mont Carmel Cemetery.

Also very interesting, an EXACT match for Marie Finnegan :
Birth Date :18 Apr 1897
Death Date: Dec 1993
State or Territory Where Number Was Issued: Illinois

Death Residence Localities
ZIP Code: 60137
Localities: Glen Ellyn, Du Page, Illinois

Then of course, we cannot forget the mother to James J Carroll & Martin Carroll;
Catherine Burke. She moved to Chicago towards 1899-1900. She lived there 3 years before passing away in Chicago on April 3, 1904;
I presume that she lived with either James or Martin and their familes.

This is just the start on this research.Seeing that the dates of death are incomplete( they list just the month & year; the day is missing), for those Carrolls that I listed above, I cannot ask a volunteer genealogist to help me. They require a complete date of death to work with newspapers. Old newspapers or microfilms of them, often provide obituaries. Often, they are a precious source of information on names of family members.
However, I can ask a Genealogy volunteer to search for a possible obit for Catherine Burke, in the old Chicago newspapers. She passed away the 3 April, 1904. With a little bit of luck, we could have other information on the family.

I will get started on that.

Have a nice day and Happy hunting to all.

P.S. A big Hello to members of my Carroll family in Pennsylvania, and throughout the neighboring states.Thank you Gerry, for passing the word among the family about this blog .

Friday, October 12, 2007

Celebrating our family's musical talents (II)

My research seems to be tapering down a bit, but I'am still going through the family photos.

A sincere Thank you again to my cousin Peggy in California. She was able to find two very pretty photos of her mother( and my aunt), Virginia ( Carroll) Jefferds at the organ. This is one of the photos that she graciously sent to me. I had some problems downloading the second photo on this blog.

This is my Aunt Virginia, playing the organ at a friend's house.The photo is unfortunately undated, but I would say that this was taken in the 1960's ( remembering her hairstyle that was similar in other photos taken during this period).

This beautiful and talented lady was the daughter of John Bernard Carroll Sr. and Mary Agnes Hansen. My father's only sibling.

My cousin said to me in her letter that Aunt Virginia played the organ at weddings for many years. She was like that; happy to share her music with others. Among my cousins in California and Minnesota, only the younger ones play an instrument on a regular basis.These include several children of my cousins, such as Mike ( cousin Kathy's son), who plays drums, and Chrystel ( Cousin Patsy's daughter), who plays banjo in a local blue grass band. And, there may other younger cousins that I have forgotten who study music in Intermediate or High school.

The musical genes still seem to be alive and kicking in the family !

Have a nice day and happy hunting .

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Celebrating our family's musical talent

Our grandparents, John Bernard Carroll Sr. & Mary Agnes Hansen .
This is the only photo that I have of our grandparents together in front of their piano.

When my husband and I visited my family in San Diego ( in 2006 ), my cousin Kathy gave me some of Nan Nan's ( our Grandmother, Mary Agnes Hansen) precious sheet music. Our Grandmother loved playing the piano in her spare time, and owned a collection of popular tunes that she enjoyed playing. Glancing at the titles itself is a trip back in time
Here are photos of the sheet music that my cousin Kathy gave us :
Click on the photos for a larger view :

These are very old tunes with soft and sentimental titles such as: " I love you just the same, sweet Adelaide " or " Those songs that my mother used to sing ".

Some of the sheet music pages are well worn, and most of them have my Grandmother's name on the front. A few are signed " Mary Hansen". These pieces would then date before 1919, when our grandparents were married.

John and Mary's daughter ( my Aunt), Virginia Rose, also studied the piano , and also excelled in playing the organ. This is Virginia with Duke, the family's Cocker spaniel :

Although, I do not have any photos of Virginia playing the organ.I'll ask my cousins in California, if any of them has one.
My aunt played organ at her church, and this is how she met a very handsome young man from New York, Donald Jefferds.It was said by one of my cousins that the young ladies at church only had eyes for the handsome Donald.But he could only see that beautiful young organist.
In 2006, my Aunt passed on, and joined her beloved Donald in heaven.

I'am sorry to say that I have not kept up my musical studies ( I played some violin ) and that I can no longer read sheet music.So these pieces of sheet music only have a sentimental value for me. They are precious because they were songs that our Grandmother enjoyed playing and singing.I have begun choosing the less damaged pieces to put in frames. This is the latest one that I framed :

A beautiful lady in blue.

Cherish the objects of your kin. Although they may not be made of gold or precious stones.But,they are the treasures of those that we love.

Have a great day and happy hunting to all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

A message board query that allowed me to have the "mystery photos"

I found the original query sent to Mike B Egan on the Carroll-McEntee connection.It was in the McEntee surname message board at Genalogy.com.
Several years back, I was quite a frequent reader of various surname message boards.
They are valuable for contacting other genealogists and exchanging information.I have included the main Carroll message boards on my sidebar ( under "links").

It was through this query, that I was able to get in contact with Mr. Egan, who would be my cousin through the McEntee line ( the spouse of John Joseph Carroll, my great-grandfather, was Jennie McEntee) .
All of the following is just FYI, to correctly document my sources. The photos that you can see in the next post we went by Mr. Egan.

February 21, 2000 at 17:54:58

I am looking for a relation between the Carrolls and McEntees, probably in Philadelphia. I recently found a picture of John and Mary Carroll from 1919, they were the "Carroll Cousins' of my McEntees. I did find a John Carroll married to Jennie McEntee married in 1866, Philadelphia, but can't make the connection yet. John was in Railroading at the time of marriage.Is there any Philadelphia McEntee with a Jennie or Jane.Thanks

Have a nice day.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

John and Mary Carroll- the mystery photos

These are photos that were sent to me by a genealogy collegue about 3 years ago. I had originally seen a forum query about John & Mary Carroll of Philadelphia. I was able to enter into contact with Mr. Mike Egan, and he graciously sent me these photos.

They are of John & Mary Carroll, and were taken in 1919 ( the year when my grandparents were wed). Click for a larger view :

Left; John Carroll; on right, a photo entitled "Maes and Hayes ". I have no idea who these ladies are.

Two younsters next to Mary Carroll. This was taken in Willow Grove, PA. This lady has a resemblance to my grandmother.

Finally, a photo entitled Mary Carroll, and the last one, cousins John & Mary Carroll.
You will agree with me that this Mary Carroll does not look very much like the one in the first photo at Willow Grove.
These photos were taken from an old family album, as you can see a part on the handwriting below each photo. My own family never had any similar photos.
Have a nice day and happy genealogy searching to all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Carroll research update

This is just to let you all know about the latest genealogy findings.

This was done byKate Gibbons, a professional genealogist who searched records at Pottsville, in Schuylkill county.

My research goal was to try and obtain information about Andrew Carroll's date of death through additional sources. Initially, my cousins, Edward P Carroll Jr and John Joseph Carroll, were the first to search for any information on Andrew Carroll's date of death. This took place in 1920's. Unfortunately, they did not have any success finding Andrew's date of death.

Not knowing what other sources that my cousins consulted besides the Index of deaths, I asked Ms. Gibbons to look into the following: Following are portions of the final research report :

1- Index to Deaths 1893-1905

The county, as noted above, did record deaths for the period 1893-1905. Not all deaths were included as it was not mandatory. Schuylkill County Death Index Book 1 on microfilm consisting of handwritten indexes for the period 1893-1901 was researched and no Andrew CARROLL was contained. There were just over one dozen individuals with the CARROLL surname who died and were recorded here or were legible. I then proceeded to the actual records for each male CARROLL and reviewed each male listing in case of spelling errors, typographical errors/mistakes in first names, or even the possibility that Andrew used two first names as sometimes was the case (for example, “John Joseph”, who might have been known as “Joseph”). Of the seven males reviewed with different first names, none matched with known information on Andrew or his spouse.

Index to Deaths, Book 1, 1893-1901, A-D. Schuylkill County Register of Wills, Courthouse, Pottsville, PA.

2- County Census for 1890:

A Directory of the Eleventh Census of the Population of Schuylkill County was researched in the following townships/boroughs where the CARROLLS were known ore believed to have resided according to client information and census records provided. No Andrew or Catherine CARROLL was found in: Tamaqua; Shenandoah; Mahanoy Township (includes Lost Creek, the birthplace of one child); or New Castle Township.
A Directory of the Eleventh Census of the Population of Schuylkill County. Lebanon, PA: E.E. Schartel, Publ., 1891.

3- Wills :

The Schuylkill County Register of Wills recorded wills and estates for the period in question, the Index to Estates for 1811-1936 was researched and no Andrew CARROLL was contained in the index. The Index to Wills Book #1 was also reviewed and no Andrew CARROLL was contained. An individual may not be contained in either of those if he/she died without real property (such as real estate, for example), so not all those who died will be found in either of these listings. Index to Estates, Schuylkill County, 1811-1936. County Archives and Record Management. Schuylkill County Courthouse, Pottsville, PA.

4- Newspaper Compilations and Book Index

The Miners’ Journal newspaper was a newspaper in Schuylkill County. The Schuylkill County Historical Society has an index compiled by staff of deaths listed in that newspaper. This is the only newspaper there for which deaths are indexed. For the period 1829-1899 two CARROLLS were listed, but no Andrew. One was “A.H. CARROLL, but the date of death was too early and it was a female who died in New Jersey. I’ve listed those below for your information exactly as they appeared:
Carroll, A.H. 55. Blarestown NJ 09/26/1847 wife of J F of Port Carbon, at son in laws Rev J A Reily
Carroll, Joseph F, aged, Port Carbon 01/25/1855
The Miners’ Journal, compiled index to deaths, 1829-1899 , #250A, Schuylkill County Historical Society, Pottsville, PA.

For the period 1899-1935 there were no matching CARROLLS of any first name who died in 1900 or before.

The Miners’ Journal, compiled index to deaths, 1899-1935 , #250B, Schuylkill County Historical Society, Pottsville, PA.

The Index to Schuylkill County and Its Residents includes an index to primarily prominent residents. No Andrew CARROLL or Catherine CARROLL was included
History of Schuylkill County, PA with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. New York: W. W. Munsell & Co., 18

I'll just taking a raincheck for awhile on the question of when our ancestor died. Ther are either no known written sources, or we have not yet hitten on the right ones.I'am always open to any research suggestions., and your comments are very welcome.On the otherhand, the new-found knowledge about Andrew's Irish origins, could just push me on to research with the LDS genealogy services in France . If I could get a microfilm for St Canice's cathedral in Kilkenny in the future, this may begin a new research possibility.

As we often say in genealogy "to be continued ".

Have a great day and see you soon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A closer look at the J J Carroll tavern photo

My sincere Thanks go to Mr. Marvin Barrash.This gentleman, who knows my friend Rita, is a whiz with photo enhancement. Marvin has isolated some details out of the J J Carroll tavern.

Once again, the tavern in Tamaqua :

Marvin got this :

From the sign on the extreme right hand side.One can read the word "cigars".

From the large sign that looks like a coat of arms.

Picking out the lettering on the sign.

Finally, the small sign at the left of the entrance :

It appears to read LV Girard, which made Rita think of Leigh Valley, and Girard, as in Girardville. This sent her searching for any photo clues, and she found this one in Girardville :

This is not the same tavern, but it is another site of the Mollys.We still do not know why the words " LV Girard " are up there. Perhaps it has to do with other Hibernian society branches ?

Speaking of Girardville, Rita came up with an interesting link about Girardville and the Mollys
. This one is named Hometown Tales

Any clues or information relating to the signs or possible meanings would be welcome. I did not grow up in Schuylkill County, so I do not have a close working knowledge of the area.

The blog is open for your comments, as usual.

Have a nice day and happy hunting to all .

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

This is a traditional Irish recipe that was graciously given to me by my friend, Rita Bianchetto.


Pre-heat oven to 350°

3 ½ cups sifted Flour
½ cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
½ teaspoon Baking Soda
1 cup Golden Raisins (Golden raisins are plumper but regular can be used)
2 teaspoons Caraway Seeds
2 Eggs beaten with fork
16 ounces Sour Cream


Mix all dry ingredients well with a fork

>Add beaten eggs – mix thoroughly

>Add Sour Cream – mix thoroughly till blended

>Knead all together

>Use margarine or PAM and grease bottom of loaf pan>NOTE: use margarine because butter burns easily.

>Lightly flour bottom of loaf

>Fold into loaf pan and press into sides

>Bake 1 hour

NOTE: Add 5 to 10 minutes to cooking time if using glass loaf pans.
After 1 hour test center with toothpick

Thank you again Rita, for sharing this delicous recipe.

Have a nice day.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Schuylkill County links

I would like to Thank me friend Rita, for sharing the follow links on Schuylkill County. The first concerns the city of Tamaqua. This is where the JJ Carroll saloon was located (see following post).

The link comes from Tamqua station . This gives a very complete description of what is called the "Tamaqua National Historical District ", which contains 976 buildings, and several sites ,structures, and monuments.I have never been to Schuylkill County; but I can easily imagine myself using this article to discover some of the interesting historical sites in town.

The second link is from the website, JimThorpeToday . Through a group called the "Baker street irregulars", which are admirers of Sir Conan Doyle, we learn that Doyle's novel "The Valley of Fear" is based on the Molly McGuire murders. Read " Following the Molly Trail ", to discover more on the Molly McGuire sites, and to see a few pictures. Including this one :

This is how the JJ Carroll saloon looks today .If you didn't know that the saloon was once there, you would pass right on by ! Compare with the older photo of the saloon ( scroll down to the next post).

The final link is the list of the Molly McGuires from the Pinkerton & Reading Railroad files. The AOH stands for "Ancient Order of Hibernians ". This can be an useful list for all those who do genealogy in the Anthracite region.

Thank you again, Rita, for the website links. We all will be learning many new things.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

James J Carroll tavern

This is a photo of the tavern that was owned by James J. Carroll, Andrew Carroll's brother.

My cousin Gerry once again provided me with another fascinating old photo . Thank you again, cousin ! This is what she had to say about the tavern in her e-mail :

" I also attached a copy of a tavern owned by James J. Carroll in Tamaqua, PA. Circa 1860-70. This tavern was supposedly owned by Andrew's brother James. There was a James Carroll hung with the Molly Maguires, who owned a tavern where the Mollys met. Could it be? My Dad and uncle went up there trying to find out if it was a relative, but ran into dead ends since most of the records were destroyed ".

I promised myself to purchase a book about the Molly McGuires, and to learn something about this period. I'am just learning about this secret order of Irishmen. Here is a Wikipedia article about the MollyMcGuires to fill you in . It gives History a special dimension when you learn that your own family was involved in one way or another.

Have a nice day.

Sources in Kilkenny County, Ireland

I might be slightly ahead of myself, but I have been searching for resources for the Irish county where Andrew Carroll was born.
I was able to find two excellent sources that I want to share with everyone.

First, coming from rootsweb is County Kilkenny Ireland Genealogy and History . This site is a volunteer operated website with a variety of sources on each county. Click for example, on the Kilkenny records subjects, and you will find a long listing for all types of records. There is also a Maps of County Index. That is very handy for those researching from outside of Ireland.
I highly reccomend this website as a key reference for your research.

Then, there is a second website about Kilkenny that I liked.The newspaper The Irish Times has a genealogy section in it's online home. I already think that it is an excellent initiative to have a genealogy section on a national newspaper. This is the first time that I have seen one ! There is the link to Kilkenny Local History . On the left hand side, is a selection of topics you can browse ( Census, local journals,directories, etc).By clicking on the topic "Catholic records", you arrive at a map showing each parish in the county. Click next on the parish that interests you; I did of course, Kilkenny City parishes Scroll down to find a neatly presented table that has the starting and ending dates of the records, and where you can find them.

What always interests me is the oldest date. If Andrew Carroll's parents were also Kilkenny city natives, I cannot go no further than 1768. The oldest parts of the birth,marriage and death registers begins in 1768.
We have a date of baptism for Andrew Carroll on 5/31/1817 in St. Canice's R.C Church Dean St., Kilkenny, Ireland, Diocese of Ossary. We will very likely find Andrew's baptismal record on the microfilm, and with some luck, find his parent's marriage in the same parish. Like most genealogists, I hope to go as far as the existing records may allow me to do.

My greatest wish is to one day, do my first trip to Ireland. I have the option of researching in any of the numerous LDS (Later Day Saints) genealogy centers, or to go to the National Archives in Dublin, to examine the microfilm of Saint Canice parish.

Have a great day and Happy hunting !

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Photos of John B Carroll Sr and family

Cousin Gerry and her Uncle, Edward Carroll Jr. have downloaded more old photos. Edward Jr. has been a big help finding these precious photos at home. Thank you to you both for sharing; it does mean a lot to me.

My grandfather, John Bernard Carroll Sr.( last man on the right) with the De Bow brothers. These are the brothers of Mary De Bow, his brother Edward's wife.

Elsie, Andrew "Wimpy" Carroll, and John Bernard Carroll. Andrew was the son of Grandfather's brother Andrew Martin Carroll, and Elsie, Andrew's wife.

Edward Patrick Carroll Sr. (1892-1957) with his brother, John Bernard Carroll Sr.(1888-1962). Edward was my cousin Gerry's grandfather.

My Grandfather, John Bernard Carroll Sr. as a young sailor.

Wishing everyone a nice day, and see you again soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Recent family portraits

The children of Edward P Carroll and Mary De Bow
Photo taken in 2005.
Left to right : Mary Irene,John Joseph and Edward Patrick Jr. They are the niece & nephews of my Grandfather, John Bernard Carroll, Sr.

Cousin Gerry next to her Dad, John Joseph Carroll .

Some of the Carrolls at Gerry's house at Christmas 2005 - Shawn and Lora Crowley; Kevin, Arin & Colin Crowley, Bill (Gerry's husband), John J. Carroll (1916) my dad; Gerry ; Brian, Erica and Neala Carroll; Michael & Erica Carroll

Wedding portrait of Michael Carroll and his wife Bridget. Michael is the son of John Patrick Carroll, Gerry's brother.On both sides (in red), are Micheal's brothers ;Bob (left) and Brian. In the middle is Lynn, John Patrick's wife, and Mom to Bob.

This includes , Kevin Crowley ( Gerry's son),his son, Colin,John Joseph Carroll and daughter, Gerry.

Shawn Crowley, Gerry's son, wife Lora and daughter Cameron, born in 2007 .

Kevin Crowley, and Rian his daughter born in 2007

I welcome my new found cousins who may be viewing their portraits ! It was through Gerry that I was able to put the all information and images on line. She was really so much help , and I thank her again !
Then, there was a very big hearted genealogist named Rita who got the ball rolling. It was her that researched after seeing the obit that I put on the blog for Edward Patrick Sr. She found cousin Mary, and was able to provide a phone number and postal address.You also, threw me the ball. And boy, did I run afterwards !
Thank you so much Rita.
Have a nice day and see you all very soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The family of Edward Patrick Carroll Sr.

These are portraits of my Grandfather's younger brother, Edward Patrick Sr.Thanks once again to cousin Gerry for these precious photo memories.

Edward P Carroll Sr.,John Joseph,Edward P.Jr.,Mary De Bow and Mary Irene .They are on the steps of the home that they rented in Philadelphia.

The children of Edward Patrick Carroll and Mary De Bow :
Edward P Jr.,Mary Irene and John Joseph, cousin Gerry's father.

Edward P Sr. and Mary De Bow .

Portrait of Edward P Sr.

Taken in 1943, at the time he ran( unsucessfully ) for Philadelphia City Council.

Edward P Sr. and wife Mary De Bow

Informal portrait taken in 1943 .

John Joseph Carroll

High school graduation photo of Cousin Gerry's father from 1938.

John Joseph Carroll in 1943 .

Have an excellent weekend and see you soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Portraits of John Joseph Carroll and Jennie McEntee

Here are two more family portraits that come from cousin Gerry's family:

John Joseph Carroll ( 1861- 1914 )

Jennie McEntee, ( 1862- 1936 ), as an elder.

There is a second photo on the blog entitled Photo of Grandmother Carroll . Click on the link to see it.My cousin Gerry confirmed that it was indeed Jenny in that photo..

Their descendants currently exist on 3 branches :

1) John Bernard Sr ( March 24, 1888, Phila-August 3, 1962, San Diego,CA); married to Mary Agnes Hansen .
John Joseph (1920-1999)- 3 living children.

Virginia Rose (1922-2006) - 4 living children + descendants.

This is the blog author's branch.

2) Andrew Martin ( March 9, 1890, Phila.-1946 ), married to Elsie.


Andrew " Wimpy "


The descendants of these children are not known.

3) Edward Patrick Sr, ( Jan 8, 1892, Phila. - July 1, 1957, Paramus,NJ). married to Mary De Bow.
Children :
John Joseph
Edward Patrick Jr.
Mary Irene

Edward Sr's family includes many living descendants in several East Coast states. This is my cousin Gerry's branch.

John and Jenny also had two other children who died at a young age; Agnes who died the 22 Dec 1891 at 3 years, and William who died the 3 June 1898 at 4 years.

Have a nice day and see you all soon.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Portraits of the Carroll children

Here are some beautiful portraits of the children of Andrew Carroll and Catherine Burke.
Many Thanks once again to cousin Gerry.

James J. ( "Big Jim " ) Carroll ( 1858-1939), of Molly McGuire fame.

Mary ( 1862-1931) & Catherine Carroll(1876-1925)

Thomas Carroll ( 1865- ?)

Martin Carroll ( 1868-1940 )

Elizabeth Carroll ( 1869-1960)

Have a nice weekend, and see you all very soon.

Correcting an error

I would like to Thank Dave for e-mailing me about an error in one of the texts that I recently printed.My cousin had already warned me, but in all my excitement, I neglected to change it !

Here is the link to the page for Andrew Carroll and Catherine Burke

Originally it was printed :

" Catherine Burke, his wife, was seventeen years younger and there is nothing to show if they came to America together or if her family followed later based upon the birth date of their first son, Patrick in 1855 probably in Tamaqua, PA (now called Jim Thorpe, PA) St. Jerome's."
The original text sent by my cousin Gerry, had the wording Jim Thorpe, that Gerry admitted was an error.

I have fully corrected this portion. Tamaqua is not the same city as Jim Thorpe.
I just wanted to bring it to your attention. I'am sorry if this may have caused some confusion.

Thank you again Dave.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Portraits of Andrew Carroll & Catherine Burke

I wish to thank cousin Gerry for sharing these family portraits. It means very much to me able to see the faces of our ancestors. They are precious reminders of our past that Gerry's family had kept throughout the years.

Early photo of Andrew Carroll

Andrew Carroll as an older man.

I'am really struck how much the older Andrew looks like my Dad in his last years.

Catherine Burke, wife of Andrew Carroll

Catherine reminds me of my Aunt Virginia, and my cousin Peg .

Gerry sent several other photos this morning. I will download a few tomorrow.This will thrill my cousins and will excite all those who are a part of our clan.

Have a great day and see you all tomorrow.