Friday, June 6, 2008

Carnival of Irish heritage & culture.

This is a contribution to the Carnival of Irish heritage & culture that will be published on June 9.
To read other entries, please come and take a look at Small Leaved shamrock

Lisa ( of Small leaved Sharock) asked if I could write a post on the Carnival theme of "What does Ireland mean to you ? ".Those of you that are still following my blog know that I'm on a "blog hiatus" as I construct a new Genealogy website.

But,I have of course agreed to help my friend Lisa out.

What does Ireland mean to me ??

For myself, Ireland means " to never forget the ancestral homeland "

I'm US born and a fourth generation Irish American. I have never set foot in Ireland, yet I hope to do so in the near future.

That means that culture wise, I count myself more US than Irish, but I always remember that there is Irish in me also.

The anecdote that follows is true and underlines this pride :

My father told me the story of how his Mother, Mary Agnes Hansen Carroll, became ill. I don't recall at what age this was, but Mary contacted Tuberculosis. Mary was becoming thin and her parents wanted desperately to spare her.
What happened is that Christian and Kate ( nee Morris) Hansen, sent Mary away to a healthy place where she could recover.
I can only imagine the sacrifice that this modest family must have gone through to save up money for Mary's ticket to Ireland. Christian, Mary's father worked as a Railroader, and Kate was a homemaker.But, NanNan was procured a ticket and she left Philadelphia to discover her Mother's native Ireland.

This was Mary's first trip to Ireland. I never knew where or with whom Mary stayed with. But I can only assume was either her grandparents or other kin such as Aunts or cousins.
According to my Dad, "Nan Nan" ( Grandma) got stronger and regained her appetite and force.

Once she was healthier, Grandma took the boat back to Philadelphia. One of the quotes that Dad passed down to me he said " they( I suppose our relatives) watched her go away, shook their heads & said 'Poor Mary Hansen' .
And our Irish kin never saw poor Mary Hansen again.

Bless our kin for taking care of this lass.

Mary Agnes Hansen in an undated photo.

Mary as a bride in 1919. She married John Bernard Carroll Sr.

Even if we are children of Irish immigrants, no matter how far down the generations we are, that Irishman/woman is still breathing & kicking inside us.

Shall we never be ashamed our our origins.

Happy Carnival to all.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Website update N° 2

Hello everyone,

Just another short update as I embark on this adventure that is website creating.

I had my two (real ) website work sessions, and I can say that it went better than I imagined. Didier, my husband said " First, you need to make a Welcome page".

OK... I sat down and really did a hands on experience.

I wrote my Welcome page, colored the background and chose my script. I even got to experiment with the famous link buttons, that will enable you all to change pages or return to the home page. Ooooh....

Not too bad to start :)

The next work session I tried the photo album option.This is an excellent feature with this website creation program. You can actually add an album, which allows your visitors to see a variety of images.
I whipped out my CD's & started choosing images of our oldest ancetors to be included in the first album ( lucky you; there will be several albums !). It was e-a-s-y ! I ended up with a photo album on my second page that was not bad at all.

This is going to give our family photos the setting that they really deserve.

The easy and "user friendly" publishing that our website creator uses does remind me a bit of Blogger. Of course, you have more of a margin; choosing the color for background pages,adding text of different sizes,and lots of help with adding links, and organizing the information.

I'am taking it slow, but I feel more comfortable with the program than the first day. I'am happy with my first tries, but of course, there will be more adjustments as we go on.

So, family & friends, stick around.

Thanks to all for coming back to check up on me. I do appreciate it.

Have a great weekend.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Website Update Number One

Just a short update on the website...

If anyone is( still )reading this blog, it was Lisa of the blog Smallest leaved Shamrock, who suggested that I may leave progress reports now & then.

This month, we are just in the thinking and planning mode.

My husband found the system to develop the new website from A-Z. It is a French based system named Cariboost. Of course, I will be publishing in English, and most likely also in French too. But, this will help us develop the website.
We purchased our licence which will enable us to publish without space limitations.

Today, we started looking at the publishing page.It still looks very new to me, so I'am just taking it nice and easy.
Now I can say that the big work will begin.

My next goal : Start using a HTML software, to begin putting in my family tree.That's how my husband described it to me. We shall so for all that.I would like to at least have an index of names and if possible, some type of graphic family tree. To have both a textual genealogy and a graphic one to visualize it.

It's going to be challenging for the both of us.

Thanks for stopping by and have a nice day.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

See you all later on my new website

This is a note to inform everyone that I will no longer be writing posts on this blog.

I 'am feeling the squeeze, to expand into a real website.

A place to put a genealogy program, a decent photo gallery, and more things.Yes, this means work and good work takes time. But, my husband is willing to help set this up with me.

In the meanwhile, this blog will stay open for browsing.I'am far from being at my goal, but when the future website becomes reality, I will announce it here.The only change is that I closed the comment option on all the older posts, and will eventually do the same with the last 2 posts.

Once again, hear the call...

Anyone that may think my family is related to yours, or anyone who wishes to contact me is always welcome. A special call to anyone that has relatives named James Carroll who lived in Chicago, IL .Find all the info under the "Cook County IL " label on the sidebar.

barb92(at)gmail dot com .

This e-mail is also on top of the sideboard to serve as reference.

Thank you to those who participated, left comments or just were interested enought to return and view more than once. I know from my visitor counter that you were quite numerous !

Special Thanks go to Rita,Gerry, and all my cousins in CA,PA,NJ,NY,and FL who shared in this adventure.

I hope to see many of you back when my new home is completed.

Wish us luck and Good luck to you all in your research.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tiobraid Árann and I

To honor the Irish Gaelic theme of the 5th Carnival of Irish heritage & culture, I chose to highlight Tiobraid Árann .
How I would have loved to pronounce it correctly like my ancestors did !

Tiobraid Árann is known as Tipperary in it's Anglised form.

Tipperary was a name that I have heard more than once in my youth. My Dad often explained to me our family heritage. When I was a teen, he started sharing his family's oral history, and was proud of his Irish-English and Danish heritage.

Somewhere along the line,the seeds were sown for the future genealogist.

I remember Dad saying that we were descendants of kings ,and also that we were related to Charles Carroll,famous Carroll who signed the Declaration of Independance. He also stated that our family originated from the counties of Cork and Tipperary, and he even produced one place name in the county of Tiobraid Árann : Thurles.

That's quite a mother lode of family history but honestly, I don't believe the first two stories.

To return to my Irish Genealogy, it is only in it's infant stages and it is going to take work to either refute or confirm these County conections .But, there remains that name of Thurles or Dúrlas Éile, that just happens to belong to Tipperary county.This town of Dúrlas Éile could be a Wild Card for my future work. I suspect that it could be my great- Grandmother, Kate Morris who could be from here or it's surroundings. This based is based on deduction, as my Dad did not know at that time, the names of his other Irish born ancestors.

Honestly,I'am so glad Dad mentionned that village name. In later years, he almost never talked about our ancestry.

Thurles Cathedral in Tipperary County

For myself as a youngster, the name of Tipperary had a lilting and joyful quality it.Back then,I had already heard an old song which was of course "It's a Long Way to Tipperary".
I don't remember my Dad singing it, but I'am more than sure that he knew it :

It's a long way to Tipperary :

It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go.
It's a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye Piccadilly,
Farewell Leicester Square!
It's a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there.

I don't want to offend any Irish with this song, as I learned during my research that some Tipperary natives find this song objectionable.I'am American and was unaware of this story behind this song before I did this research.

So, let there be light...

This tune is actually from a "black and tan" song .The black & tans were a paramilitary troup used by the Royal Irish Constabulary from 1920 to 1921, to put down the than revolution in Ireland.
The people in Tipperary prefer this tune named " Tipperary so far away" .

This song was dedicated to a native son of Tipperary,Seán Treacy. He died at the hands of British forces in Talbot Street, Dublin in October, 1920.

I have never been to Ireland yet, but it is one of my dreams to do so. It is sure that this city will tug on my heart strings to go and experience it.

Genealogy gives each of us a thirst to understand the past. But what it also teaches us is to not take our family folklore too seriously. Pretty stories they all are, being descendants of Kings or paupers,Philanthrophists or modest farmers.

Let us sift facts from fiction, but not be ashamed of what we find.

I'am leaving you with the lyrics to
Tipperary so far away :

The sun had set with it's golden rays
And the bitter fight was o'er
Our brave boys sleep beneath the clay,
On this earth they are no more
The moon shone down on the battlefield
Where a dying rebel lay
His arms were crossed on his body outstretched,
And his life's blood flowed away.

There were none to weep for you Seán Treacy
Or were keen in to sing in your praise
To decide your deeds like the Gaels of yore
On your face we no longer gaze
In that kingdom of love may your dear soul rest
On the word that we fervently pray
That we'll all meet above the old friends we love
In Tipperary so far away

The soldiers of Erin bore him high
On their shoulders, they solemnly tread
And many a heart with a tearful sigh
Wept for our patriot dead
In silence they lowered him into the grave
To rest till his reckoning day
Seán Treacy who died, his home to save
In Tipperary so far away.

Happy Carnival of Genealogy to all !

Thursday, April 17, 2008

April 17- Poem in your pocket day

I was called upon by my friend Lisa, of the Small Leaved Shamrock, to do a Poetry challenge. April 17 is Poem in your pocket day.

The idea is to choose a poem and share it with those around you.

You can find the Poem in your pocket website here .

Since my genealogy seems to be on a "stand-by" mode, and my awaiting my next snail mail requests, I can afford myself a poetry pause.

My choice of the following poem is a classic American poem by Robert Frost.It's probably not the most original choice, but it is a poem that I have loved since college.

It's a great philosophy on life itself and about the courage to make different choices.


Robert Frost - The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Have a nice day.

Monday, March 31, 2008

The descendants of Edward Patrick Carroll Sr & Mary De Bow

This is a series of posts to showcase the genealogy of my cousins who are on the East Coast. They are the descendants of my Grandad's brother, Edward Patrick Carroll Sr.

Since my husband & I will be passing through Philadelphia next September ( a family reunion is planned and we will have the chance to meet my kin !), this is the time to spotlight my family. My cousins live throughout PA,NJ,NY, and FL .

Edward Patrick Sr. came from a family of 4 children.
They were the children of John Joseph Carroll( August 15, 1861,Schuylkill Co,PA-March 21,1914,Philadelphia) and Jeannette "Jenny" McEntee (May 2,1862, Phila-July 10,1936 , Phila).

To view past posts with short biographies about John Joseph Carroll and his own siblings, click here.
Another post features some of the fabulous old photos that cousin Gerry sent last summer.A few photos of Edward P Carroll Sr and his family can be seen here .

To return to the parents of Edward Patrick Sr, 4 children were born out of this union :

-John Bernard Carroll Sr ( my Grandad) born March 24, 1888,Phila; died August,3, 1962, San Diego,CA.
-Andrew Martin Carroll born March 9,1890,Phila; died in 1946.
-Edward Patrick Carroll born on January 8, 1892 , Phila; died on July 1,1957 in Paramus,NJ.
-Agnes Carroll ( dates of birth and death not known). She wed Charles Grieb Sr ( date of union unknown).
I have very little information on Andrew Martin Carroll and Agnes Carroll Grieb.If anyone knows members of their families, please drop me an e-mail at barb62(at) or through a comment.

On February 1,1915 Edward married Mary De Bow( November 8, 1894,Phila-21 December,1990, Meadowbrook,PA. )

Edward and Mary De Bow had 2 sons and a daughter

-John Joseph Carroll Jr
-Edward Patrick Carroll Sr
-Mary Irene Carroll
( married name :Maloney)

I'am tracing each of these families down in 3 seperate posts, to not mix everyone up .

Each post includes all known decendants of John Joseph Jr,Edward Patrick Jr and Mary Irene.

I have wanted to keep the privacy for all living members of my family. I have just put the years of birth to avoid confusion between similar named family members.

Please scroll down to find the post concerning your family member: My apologies if I have forgotten anyone, or if I made a mistake in the information. Please let me know at barb92(at) or through a comment. Thanks in advance.

Cheers to all in the family and we will be in Philly in September " with bells on " !!

The family of Mary Irene Carroll & Frederick J Maloney

The third child of Edward Patrick Carroll Sr & Mary De Bow is Mary Irene Carroll.

She was born in Phila, and married Frederick J Maloney Jr, who deceased in 2002 in New Jersey.

Mary Irene Carroll & Frederick J Maloney had three children :

Mary Ellen Maloney; married to Richard Reinthaler .

They have 3 children :

Brian L Reinthaler married to Sara.

Brian and Erica have 2 children :

Anne June

Scott Reinthaler , married to Sarah .

Amy Carroll Reinthaler

Joseph Frederick Maloney married to Katherine Bissell

Joseph and Katherine have 2 children :


Michael E Maloney
married to Marcie Riger.

Michael and Marcie have 4 children :


Just a call for the children or grandchildren of Mary Irene Carroll Maloney:

I have very little biographical or historical information on Mary Irene's life. I would be more than happy to add this information to what Gerry has previously provided me on John Joseph Jr and Edward Patrick Jr.

The family of Edward P Carroll Jr and Marguerite Logue

This is the second son of Edward P Carroll Sr. & Mary De Bow.

Edward Patrick Carroll Jr was born in 1918 at, Phila. For his sponsors at his christening,he had as sponsors my grandparents, John Bernard Carroll Sr and Mary Agnes Hansen.

He was a graduate of St Edward's parochial school in June 1931, and went on to graduate in 1935 from the Northeast Catholic High school.
In October 1939, he was a apprentice machinist at the Frankford Arsenal and worked in the Fire control instrument division as an instrument worker.

Edward was a WWII Veteran who served in the US Navy from 1944-1946, as a Motor Machinist. After the war,Edward returned to the Frankford Arsenal became Director of the Industrial Services Directorate. He was responsible for a workforse of over 2200 workers involved in the manufacture of fire control,artillary case,fuze,small arms and propellant actuated devices.
Edward also was a special assistant to Congressman Joshua Eibert, from 1974-1977.

Edward Patrick Carroll Jr and Marguerite Virginia Logue were married in 1948,
at Holy Name Church in Phila.

Edward & Marguerite have 3 children :

-Marguerite Virginia Carroll married to George Kelly .

George and Marguerite have 2 daughters :

-Patricia Ann Carroll , married to John Leith .

-Edward Patrick Carroll III ,married to Denise Marie Tomes .

Edward and Denise have 2 daughters :


The family of John Joseph Carroll Jr & Geraldine Manning

John Joseph Carroll ( 1916,Phila - 2008,FL )was married to Geraldine Marie "Gerry" Manning (1918,Phila- 2002, FL).

John Jr was a U.S Veteran, having entered the US Army as a private on August 13,1941. He was assigned to Officiers candidate school in August 1943 and commisioned 2nd Lieutenant ,Army Ordnance and corporal Officer on October 31,1943.After several assignments overseas in Australia,New Guinea and the Philipines, John was discharged as a Captain in April 1946.He was recalled to active duty in January 1951 with the Phila Ordnance distict until 1943, then left for Korea in March 1953. John returned to Phila in December 1953.

In civilian life, John worked as a Sales Representaive of Automotive products from 1945-1950;After Korea, he continued to work in several automotive product companies from 1954-Jan 1964. John than worked forthe City of Phila as Safety Officer in the Dep't of Public Property.

This was until his retirement in 1982.

John Joseph Carroll Jr. and Geraldine Marie Manning were married on May 5, 1943 at Saint Joachim's R.C. Church, Phila.

John and Geraldine had 2 children :

-Geraldine Marie "Gerry" Carroll
-John Patrick Carroll

Gerry Carroll is married to William Joseph "Bill "Crowley .
Gerry and Bill have 2 sons :

-Kevin David Crowley, married Arin Manale .
Kevin and Arin have 2 children :

Colin Crowley
Rian Crowley

-Shawn Steven Crowley married to Lora Ann Forscht .

Shawn and Lora have two sons and a daughter :

Cameron Crowley

Devon Crowley

William " Will" Crowley

( Note: Devon & William are twins)

John Patrick Carroll's first wife was Marlene Painz
They have 2 sons :

-Brian Carroll, married to Erica.

Brian and Erica have two children :


-Michael Carroll , married to Bridget Machio .They have a son :

Liam Carroll.

John Patrick Carroll's second union is to Lynn Kiersey.

They have one son :

-Robert "Bob" John Carroll

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The wearing o' the green

Just a note in passing that I have posted some photos of Saturday's Saint Pat's concert in Paris.

This huge combination sports arena and concert hall held 17,000 participants to various artists and dancers from Brittany ( West France),Wales,Scotland, and yes Ireland.

Leaving you with this view of the Coleman Irsh dance company :

They were just so beautiful and talented !

You can see other photos at Home in France , which is my personal blog.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

James J Carroll and the Molly McGuires

When I made the acquaintance of my cousin Gerry last summer, she passed on several old photos to me.
One of these was a photo of the J.J. Carroll tavern :

If you click
here you can see another post on the tavern. A friend of my friend Rita, did some photo enhancing of this image.

I had just finished reading a book called "Making Sense of the Molly McGuires" by Kenneth Kenny.I highly recommend this book for anyone that has Schuylkill County ancestors and especially miner ancestors.Instead of doing an in-depth critique, I'am sending you to the following link to discover this book.Click HERE to see Making Sense of the Molly McGuires on Google reader.Some parts of the book may not be included, but this will give you the general feel for the book.

I think that Google reader is a nifty tool. Of course, not authors are available here, but it is nice to browse titles of those available.

I was reading the book to learn more about the who were the McGuires and exactly where the violence came from.Having miner ancestors in Shenandoah, I could not deny what a huge impact all this had on my family.

It was a "bonus" in reading this book, to finally learn who the saloon keeper James J Carroll was. A brief run down :

James Carroll was born towards 1837 near Wilkes Barre, in Luzerne County,PA. He was born of parents who immigrated from Ireland;His wife was a member of a large O'Donnell family of Wiggins Patch PA. In 1872, Carroll moved to Tamaqua. He took over the saloon in the photo.He was secretary of a society called the AOH, or the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, in Tamaqua.

He was one of 20 men who were executed for murder. In the case of Carroll, we was charged for the murder of Benjamin Yost, who was a Policeman. The murder of Yost was planned in Carroll's tavern.This took place on July 14,1875 in Tamaqua.

Carroll and four men named Thomas Duffy,Patrick McGehan,James Roarity, and James Boyle were charged with Yost's muder.This was thought up in the Carroll tavern in Tamaqua.
On May 4, 1876, the above mentioned men were set on trial in Pottsville, and on July 22 of the smae year, were found guilty of first degree murder.Carroll and the 4 other men were hung in Pottsville on June 21, 1877.

I encourage those with Schuylkill county ties to read through this book.

Objectively, I do not see a direct link between our Carroll family and James J Carroll. Although, one cannot rule other lines, including distant cousins that I may still ignore.

We do have a member of our family, the son of Andrew & Catherine Carroll, who was also named James ( Big Jim). To add to the confusion, he was said to be pro-Molly McGuire.You can read his biographical information here and find his photo here .

According to our family history, he fled for his(and his family's) life, to live far away in Chicago. What incident could have make him run away with his family ??

These remain our family mysteries...

Have a nice day and Happy ancestor hunting to all.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Carroll links !

I very recently did a reorganization of my sidebar links.

Take a few moments to discover some of the newer additions to the Carroll links.The surname links are now in three categories :

Also included is a category for Carroll reunion sites.

I call upon all those who may have a Carroll website that I have missed, or other Carroll reunion groups. You can e-mail your link address to me ( my address is on my blogger profile), or write me a comment with your info.

I'am currently finishing up an excellent book that I will be posting about the next time. This will take us back to the era of the Molly McGuires, in Schuylkill county.No genealogist who has miner ancestors in the area, can neglect learning about this History.

Have a great day and Happy Hunting to all.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Lester Hirsh sings about the Schuylkill County, Pa

A musical tour of Schuylkill County.It's a bit lenghty but there is some interesting History and sites.
A look at the place that my Irish ancestors called home.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A look at my French family

Just a note to say that I have written a genealogy related post on my personal blog.
You may access this post here . This personal blog is named Home in France.

I'am in a photo mood... the post before this one was about my ancetor's photos that I recently put up on the wall at home. But, those of you that know my Carroll blog will already recognize the photos and descriptions.

Some of you that may just be reading this genealogy related blog, may not know my second personal blog.I usually write on non-genealogy topics, usually centered around home life, but also with occasional travel,photo or writing posts.

Once again, ... everyone is welcome at our "Home in France". Come on in.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Working the 1841 British Census

I honestly felt like entitling this post : " Where do I go from here ? ,
All of this after completing my first ever peek at the Britsh Census of 1841.

The ancestor that I was hoping to spot was named Agnes Haines. Because she is linked to my Carroll family, I decided to include her in my research finding on this blog.

Agnes' daughter, Jenny, was the wife of John Joseph Carroll.
It has been over a year that I had been toying with the idea of paying a 72 hour trial with British Origins ( which also includes Wales ).If you don't know this website, you can look at it here . Irish origins are also available for subscription, but Scots origins are free when you subscribe to any of the others.
I was very interested because a 72 hour trial seemed pretty good for myself. At this point in time, Agnes Haines is my only British born ancestor. Because she was born on January 22, 1830, in England ( place still unknown; the date was obtained by another genealogist), she would have logically been in the 1841 Census.

But, every genealogist knows that logic and the Cenus enumerator don't often meet hand in hand...
Some first impressions on working with the 1841 British Census at British origins ?
The research engine was very correct. It allowed you to search either exact spelling,close variants or all variants. I always throw a wide net, so I did all variants for Haines.

Which gave me : Hains,Haynes, Hans, etc.

Since I also did all variants for the first name "Agnes", the results came up with many more Anns' than Agnes'.

The Census listings themselves were clear and well oragnized.It was written in table form with columns detailing place of birth,county of birth, place of residance, etc.On that point, it is easy to read and understand.

The only thing that I regretted that there were no groupings by households, which would have facilitated the job ( lucky though, I only had 4 1/2 pages to study.

That meant that I had to search for the household number of each girl ( the ones within a 5 year range of my ancestor) and do another search to find other Haines in her city and county of residence.
Sometimes, I found what I considered to be whole families ; an adult male, an adult female and several children. It is a shame that in 1841, the enumerator did not put the relationships between the perosns living in a household.

I checked the parent's place of birth... many were both UK born, which eliminates them as my ancestors. Agnes Haines was listed in the 1880 Philadelphia Census as having an English Dad and an Irish Mom.

Tedious, to say the least, but I managed to find some "potential" ancestors. But, I only found NO couples with an Irish born wife ! I don't know if I should wave my white flag or not... I noted all the couples with a wife born "out of county". That's vague... I don't know if they would have put Agnes Haines Irish born Mom in the same category. But then again, I saw no Irish born lady, with a daughter around the age of my ancestor.

To sum up my trial of this paid website, interesting,clear Census charts, even if a lack of household groupings may slow you down ( if you have many Census items to search, you may want to take a longer subscription).

Now, two questions for those of you who know British genealogy :

-Knowing that I have a birthdate to work with , would it be recommended search for the birth info for my selected Agnes/Anne Haines in the census ?

-How is when it comes for British birth information ?

Thank you in advance for any advise you may spare.

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

What's new with PA-HR-Access ?

I sent an e- mail to see how Tim Gruber( spokesman for PA-HR-Access )was doing.

For those who don't know this organization, it was started last year to obtain online access to PA death records.There is currently no way to consult these records on the internet, and this group is fighting to change that. The PA-HR-Access website is here .

Tim was telling me of some of his frustrations in convincing Genealogical and Historical associations to join in them.

"A number of historical and genealogy societies we've asked for endorsements and help from haven't been forthcoming. Part of it I believe is because they don't take this cause all that seriously. It's not a priority for them even if they allegedly like the idea. Others are bothered by the notion that if the state is made to have their records on the net they will too".

Mr Gruber urges genealogists to contact their societies that they belong to and get them to get involved in letter writing . Even if you are not a member of a Genealogical Society, send a letter to your County or State society.Currently, 18 groups that have joined with PA-HR-Access.

A website named Census finder, has a list of Genealogical socities in PA. Click
here to find the complete list

Then, to touch a word about support coming from the Legislators...
On the PA-HR-Access website, here, there are currently 7 PA State Representatives and 5 PA State Senators that have given their endorsement ! These are excellent beginnings...

Mr Gruber wrote :
" As for the legislators, a few people are getting rather negative responses. Some seem so condescending they are insulting...Interestingly when I've been able to sit down and discuss the matter I am usually able to win over a legislator. Some have gone from being against or unsure of the idea to liking it a lot. Unfortunately it's not practical for me to meet with all 253 legislators "
Once again, if you want online access to PA death records, and don't like the wait and the costs of the traditional methods, join us !

Write to PA or other Genealogical societies...
Write to the PA Legislators....
Write to the Governor of PA.... ( I wrote my letter to the Governor) .

It's your choice to whom you write and how many times you do it, but make your voice be heard !!

You will find letter models on the PA-HR-Access website to help to write your letter quickly and painlessly. Click here, to find your sample letter.

I'am concerned for my research in Schuylkill County and Philadelphia county( I live outside of the USA),and I join Mr Gruber in his cause.

Thank you to all who join us.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


This is my entry in the Carnival of Irish heritage and Culture.Once again, this Carnival is open to all. For this third edition has the of the theme of visitng places, either in or outside Ireland :

"If you know it, tell us about the county, city or village in Ireland where your family originated. If not, tell us about a place that figured prominently in an Irish history book that you enjoyed, or a place that you visited (or hope to visit) that is steeped in Irish history. The Irish place that you describe need not be in Ireland itself. Your entry can include a place where the Irish settled once they emigrated, or a place that has seen Irish culture grow within its boundaries ".

Entries are due 29 January and will be published on 1 February.
To find out more, click on Lisa's excellent blog, Small leaved shamrock


I have a fictitious place very much connected to Ireland, whose story fascinated me for the first time at age 15. I read the book at least three times during my teen years and early adult years.

This was Gone with the Wind, which features the plantation named Tara.

Tara was the well-named, as going back to ancient Irish history, Tara was tha ancient capital of Eire, being the center of the four kingdoms of the country.A symbolic spot for all Irish and their descendants around the world.

Tara was also used by author Margaret Mitchell to evoke the now famous O'Hara plantation, founded by Gerald O'Hara. In the film, Gerald O'Hara is, played by Thomas Mitchell ( I do not believe that he is related to the author of Gone with the wind).For those who remember Mr Mitchell in the film,also may remember the wonderful Irish accent that Scarlett O'Hara's father had. Thomas Mitchell was for the record, born in New Jersey a son of Irish immigrant parents.

Of course, when I was younger, this story interested me much more for the doings of the fiery Katie Scarlett O'Hara, then for the historical or political setting. But, I knew the rags to riches story of Gerald O'Hara, who immigrated to America, and won the plantation in a card game. This interested me because even as a teen, I was interested in our family's history. I knew that my own ancestors had also immigrated from Ireland.
I was not yet into genealogy, but the pride in my origins was already handed to me by my father.

The "home away from home" with the lovely Irish name of Tara, was a reminder of the strenght of the ancestral homeland for immgrating Irish.

It's a shame that Tara does not really exist, as it is so beautiful in the film. But,it is symbolic of these homes that our ancestors may have built in the New World.With all the promises of new beginnings, but still with the sweet nostalgia of the land left behind.

Happy Carnival to all !

Friday, January 11, 2008

Where was your family in 1908 ?

To begin the New Year's genealogy projects, I have accepted a challenge by my friend Lisa. She is not only the author of Small leaved shamrock( her Irish heritage in Schuylkill County,PA) but also has yet another beautiful blog named 100 years in America.

This time, Lisa turns back the hands of time through her Hungarian ancestors of Croatian descent. You can read the original article on 1908 here.
It is through 100 years in America ,that Lisa challenged her friends to write about their ancestors and the lives that they led in 1908.

If I could have the marvellous oppurtunity to do time travel, I would return to Philadelphia in the year 1908 A.D. This is what you could see in my three families in Philly:

Carroll Family

In 1908, John Joseph Carroll and Jennie McEntee( my great-grandparents), were parents of 4 living children. John was 47 at this time,and Jenny 46.John was born in Schuylkill County,Pa, and Jenny in Philadelphia.

The head of the family, struck me as being a such a handsome lad. I could easily imagine him singing good old fashioned Irish tunes. I don't know if he was gifted for song, but he was said to be for playing the organ. John worked in the Pennsylvania Railroad, up until the time that he could no longer work because of illness.

This was John Joseph Carroll :

And this was Jennie Mc Entee in her older years :

As for their children, my grandfather John Bernard was 20 years old in 1908, his brother Andrew was 18, and brother Edward, 16. There is also a sister named Agnes, but I do not have any date of birth for her.

My family history has it that my Grandfather, John Bernard Sr, that would have cheated on his young age ( he was 16) when he enrolled in the U.S. Navy. If true, that would have been in 1904. Already in the 1900 Census, John Joseph had been unemployed. Probably, John Joseph's illness of the father had forced him out of work ( in the 1900 Cenus, it was said that he was unemployed), and his eldest son took it upon himself to seek employment.

If that tradition was true, then, young John Bernard Carroll was certainly not in town in 1908.In the 1910 Census for Boston, MA, he was listed on the now legendary U.S.S. Missouri.

In 1900, the family lived at1935 Waterloo street. At the time of my grandfather's death, 21 March, 1914, the family lived several blocks up the street at 1916 Waterloo street .My poor great-grandad died from the disease he contracted in the coal mines, called Miner's asthma.

McEntee family

The family of Jennie McEntee;

The parents of Jennie were namedPatrick McEntee and Agnes Haines.They were my great-great grandparents.Patrick was born in Ireland ( village still unknown) and Agnes was born in England.Patrick was 78 in 1908, yet Agnes had passed away in 1907.This couple was supposed to have 24 children, but I have only been able to identify 12 of them,which included a nun, named Sister Obdulia, and a Lay brother, Sixtus.

In the 1880 Phildelphia Directory, Patrick was listed as a Tinsmith at 2023 N 2nd St.When Jennie married John Joseph Carroll, she was at this address.

I have no pictures of this family.

Hansen family :

The family of my paternal grandmother.

In 1908, Christian Hansen and Catherine (Kate) Morris were probably living at 2037 American street ( in the Philadelphia Directory in 1909 at this address).

Christian would have been aged about 28 years,and his wife Kate, about 31 in 1908 ( birthdates still to be found).Christian was US born (listed as born in NJ on his daughter Mary's marriage license), and Kate was Irish born.

I must have been destined to have railroaders in my family tree. As John Joseph Carroll, Christian worked in the Pennsylvania Railroad. He worked both as breakman and freight conductor in his career.

Christian and Kate had listed 3 children in 1900; Mary,William and Thomas later Census returns, two other children were listed;John and Catherine.

In 1908,Mary ( my Grandmother), was 17 years old, Wiilliam was 15, and Thomas was 10.The last two children were born in 1901(John) and Catherine in 1909. My grandmother was listed in the 1910 Census as a "clothes mender". Like for her future husband, John Bernard Carroll, she only had basic schooling. But, both my grandparents were literate .

I only have one photo of Christian which was taken when he was older :

This is Kate :

My Grandmother, Mary Agnes Hansen .

I find it very sad that excepting Mary and John, all the other children deceased either in childhood or as young adults( without marrying

This post dedicated to my ancestors who worked hard and sarificed so that their children may have better tomorrows.

I love you all .

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Calling all Carrolls in Milwaukee and beyond

I received an e-mail from Dr. Joseph Carroll, who resides in Milwaukee,WI.
Joseph asked if I could publish a notice to announce a Carroll reunion.

It is my pleasure to do so.

On August 14-17 2008, a Carroll Clan Reunion will be held with Milwaukee's Irish Fest.If you live in this area or in the state and would like to join in, I suggest that you take a look at the reunion website :

I will eventually set this as a permanent link.Take a few moments to browse this website, where you will find information the reunion. Among the events is a special book signing session by Ronald Hoffman. Mr Hoffman wrote" Princes of Ireland,Planters of Maryland". This is a book about Charles Carroll of Carrolltown, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Joseph has a blog to keep you up to date with the latest happenings with the reunion. The blog is called :

You can contact Dr. Joseph Carroll at :

Joseph,I will come back and keep up to date with your reunion news.
Have a nice day and Happy genealogy hunting to all.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

In Memorium - John Joseph Carroll - 1916-2008

This post is dedicated to my cousin , John Joseph Carroll, who passed away in Florida on the 4 January,2008.
My husband Didier & I extend our deepest sympathy to his daughter,Gerry and son, John Patrick and their familes, as well as to John's brother, Edward Patrick and sister, Mary Irene.

I would like to celebrate his life with a few pictures :

Edward Patrick , Mary Irene and, John Joseph Carroll .

John Joseph Carroll in 1934.

John Joseph Carroll in 1943. John was a WWII and Korean War veteran.

Four generations that were reunited on 25 December, 2005.
Left to right: Kevin Crowley, his son Colin, John Joseph Carroll and Gerry Carroll Crowley.

John, I would have loved to know you and to hear about your life, and the family in the olden days.You look like a Carroll, which reminds me of the bloodlines that we share. Despite the fact that life seperated our branch of the family from the hub in Philadelphia, I do believe that family ties are eternal.We are all destined to be reunited with one another in heaven.

This is my favorite inspirational poem that I dedicate to you John, and to all who loved you.

Footprints in the sand :

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
"You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?"

The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
is when I carried you."
Mary Stevenson

Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights