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