Monday, March 30, 2009

TNG, Jim McKenna and the Shamrocks and an Update :)

Topic: A general update with lots of babble.
Family Name Associations: McKenna
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Zen
Music: A Fine Frenzy - Near to You (OH I LOVE THESE GUYS!!!!! I'd add a youtube link but it's having a cow right now - they're disbatching monkeys to fix the errors, I wonder if they're flying monkeys? They're my personal favourite.)

Okay, so... HUGE issue with Legacy and TNG has lead to a total revamp of the McKenna/Hedgecoe line, who needs it? Not me baby. I'd rather eat LEAD. So we've been pulling ourselves back from the brink but seriously it's sucked the whole time. Double people, crazy sources we don't know where they originated from, children having parents having grandparents... Cants and dogs living together in sin! Sorry, Bill Murray moment there...
Um, yeah, it's sucked the big one. I keep saying if we're ready by June I'll be happy, but I'm lying. I really want to be ready to go NOW... It's just so not happening.

We worked on Tartans tonight, Jules is the Tartan Queen. So we'll get those done, and sometime I'll get my butt going on the crests - Ugh they totally bum me out. It's the colours, we were working in b&w but what's the point of that? Everyone needs colour! So we're still sort of ...
OH!!! Jim just brought me icecream. Yes, I know it's 10:52pm... ICECREAM WITH HOT FUDGE SAUCE... Yes, I know it's still snowing outside. Oh oh oh! I LOVE ICECREAM!!!
Holy cows I don't even know what I was talking about, holy COWS!!! Jim is my absolute favourite, seriously!!!

Okay, um, sorry. Update, yes... Oh, James Henry McKenna and the nightmare of American Census... Yes, okay.
So we know James was a hockey player and won the Stanley Cup, which us uber cool... Except someone on Wikipedia screwed that all up, there he's listed as Joe McKenna, and linked to some guy born in 1951... HELLO???
How did he win Stanley cups in 1899 and 1901 and was born in 1951... Seriously that's just sloppy. We'll set them straight, but GEEZ. LOL As I'm all mean, I should be nice, after all, I have icecream and poor Wikipedia just has the wrong man.

The good news there is that once we figure out who the right guy is, we're going to have actual photos of James Henry McKenna. How frigging exciting is that? And I thought having one of Charles was the bomb. This guy is history made solid, it just rocks.

Okay... So we have James in 1901 with Bridget before her death, and then we loose him... Think we might have picked him up in Chicago in 1920... But the Census looks like it was written by a youtube flying monkey, and is completed wacked.
We might just publish it in the 'Hey, general world, if you know the answer to this question please explain it to us!' Pile...
Anyways, through all the insanity, we were in google looking at a street map of the house - or in this case where the house WASN'T, and I got to see the streetview in action. That is so super cool, and I know I'm a dork but really, WOW... I was impressed. Okay, so I was like a small child with a lot of candy... It was super fun.

Back to James, it's been indicated he dies in 1928, so the 1920 census is all we have to go on, and if he's single with no wife then... Well, it's not looking promising to his line continuing on.
I'd really, really like to get a hold of that Catholic Church in Chicago and their records... I wonder what we'd have to do. We could send LA, seriously, I think that's going to be her new job... Church liason! LOL ;)

Alright... So what else?
Oh... I made e-mail sigs and joined a message board - Jim's going to help me make it work - Seriously we all know I'm new.
They have a huge hockey section and I'm hoping someone will have more info on the Shamrocks.

I think that's about it jellybeans... Seriously, it's like I just come here and talk to myself for an hour, really, someone needs to get a blog-login and talk to me!!!
So night for now :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Progress Report

Topic: What we're up to.
Family Name Associations: The website, in all it's glory.
Location: Barrie & Bracebridge, Ontario
Mood: Productive and Super Powered!
Music: State of Shock - Best I Ever Had

So in an odd twist of fate, the twins have to provide a four generation family tree for their classwork this week... And while sitting at the dinner table we were dicussing the various elements that each teacher required. Suddenly Ethan asked... Is there An-brothers to go with my An-sisters?

Ah, my son... LOL Takes after his Dad.
After a lecture about the meaning of the word Ancestors, I'm sure they're leaning never to bring anything up at the dinner table every again.

So, we've been super productive and we're going to have a great night tonight... We've got pizza and a group session planned, all online so we can connect across the board.

Today we did the majority of the titles, I think we're up to like, 100 family names... Now all we have to do is the crests and tartans... A few Mottos. It's shaping up though, seriously it looks great. Jules and Kev have put in a huge effort towards the titles, each themed around some sort of family connection or name meaning or location... They are just awesome.

We are going to spend time linking records to their people tonight, straightening out our trees and adding more of what we have here into the TNG system... Oh and making TNG look right, we have been having a few issues getting stuff set up exactly how we want it... But we'll get it all straightened out, we work best when we're all together so I have high hopes for tonight.

Oh, and on a more personal note... We got that photo of Charles McKenna out of the ancient tape and saran-wrap... Bless my Gran, she loved to wrap stuff in tape and plastic! There isn't much we can do about the staining, but I'm really looking forward to the scans we should be able to make of that portrait of young Charles now. It's the oldest and most complete photo we have of the McKenna's of that time, to be sure.

I'd better get back to work, there might be more later, if not I will try and catch up on a few days :)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Update number nine million six hundred and thirty three... LOL

Topic: R C Miller, The Website and Tartans
Family Name Associations: Miller mostly.
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Super duper tired. Just more of me talking to the voices in my head.
Music: Please don't stop the music - Rhianna

Okay so... Today's bout of useless research was on R C Miller of the line that goes no where to no one Millers... Bleh. I'm cranky. Jim and I spent hours searching to try and get further back that good ol' RC... Nada.
Roscoe Cole Miller, we think, is a pain in my bum. Born in Kentucky in 1872, he's a frigging dead end... Two dead wives, Clarissa Hulett and Stella Jones... And so little records I'm actually starting to wonder if we don't just have it allllll wrong.

We know he was in Missouri, and in Oklahoma eventually, but can't nail him in a 1900 census... 1910-1930 we've got, social death we've got... Bleh. Seriously why is the US turning into the hardest thing ever for me? It's supposed to be agreeable!
I'm all for Mark hitting up his relatives for more info, but we know how easy it is to convince him to send an e-mail :P

The website... Um, we got ftp access today. Thank the frigging stars. So now there's the issue of linking about 1300 records to their people. Woohoo for jobs that'll take me longer than my lifetime to complete!
Mark's starting to learn how to change around the appearence of the program, TNG, we use for our records. Which I'm super all for cause I hate white and plain and boring.

Um... Oh, tartans... Yeah, well, Jules and LA and I have gone on a little tartan hunt. Still no copy of the old McKenna one I know exists because I have the fabric somewhere... Red and Green. It bugs me that it's not sitting somewhere with confirmation just waiting for me to say, hey there it is!
A good bunch of O'Neill samples... We've got Graham covered. Apparently McMillan is ugly, LOL But we'll put them all up anyways.

We're working like dogs, a lot of personal crap going on... Flying crystal and all that... Seriously I think we all need a nice vacation in Hawaii with surf and sand for like a month.
Who's with me?!

LOL I'm such a Rockstar. I won't be waiting for you all to answer!
I'd better get back to work before Mark starts cracking the whip :)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Website Wonders

Topic: Woohoo for Progress! Website Wonders!
Family Name Associations: Everyone!
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Frigging super crazy excited!

WOW... What a day. Finally, FINALLY... We have skeletongen functioning to the point where it might, maybe actually sometime in the near future be possibly able to work. LOL
I know, I know... I need language lessons, but who put me in charge of the blog anyways? I think it was Mark, blame him.

So, basically, what we have, is a Keffer and Agner family tree. I know, two branches out of 100, Wha?! , but it's better than a kick in the pants, right?
It's not prefect by a long shot, but it's seriously a million times better than it was. And because and TNG is functioning, we can therefore add it to the snowstones menu and have some sort of working link thing going.

Seriously, it sounds completely stupid but it's very, very exciting. We're actually about two steps closer to being public. Ooooo... Ahhhhh.... Seriously what are we going to do when we're public? People will know how retarded we are verses just assuming we are because we have a front page that doesn't lead anywhere. LOL
It's exciting stuff, I tell you.

Tonight we're going to have a group designing party with Mark, Jim and I... Just focusing on getting the bugs out, and getting the design for set in stone... Possibly trying to upload the McKenna tree just to see if we can... Oh and sorting out the ftp program we're going to use, everyone's going to need lessons (Ew) to figure that out.
All I can say is that we're at about 49% right now. Okay, maybe 48, I know the graphics slacking is totally my fault. It isn't online and public, but it's a hell of a lot closer than it was.

Oooo! And then when the cemetery function is set up we can start uploading photos. That is huge, honestly I can't wait to fill it up. This summer is going to awesome for being out there and getting stuff photographed and indexed too. Good times!

Okay, so, go team go!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy Shamrock Day!

Topic: The Missing McKennas
Family Name Associations: McKenna, O'Neill, Sexton, Cracknell
Location: Barrie, Ontario - But I'm thinking about being in Montreal today... If only to solve the mysteries!
Mood: Cheerful and Sappy
Music: Who Wants to Live Forever - Dune

Well wishes and pots of gold to all of you this fine morning!

A little update, and some general whining from my end... Massive accomplishments, really, with the McKenna lines in Montreal. Oh and we've had some success with possibly getting our host to cooperate... Man, I hate Linux, I hate the whole bloody thing... But if we actually get somewhere with the host - It might be possible to publish our site sometime this year. LOL We've been having such a hard time with getting all this publish, but I know the rest of the team knows where I'm at.
We don't want to put up anything half done... But at this point, it might have to happen.

We're trying to divide our time between research, feild work and website design... And it's a hard bloody task, with only vague mention that learning new programs is complicated too. And loosing Gran this past October really put a wrench in things for me personally, because it was hard to get back to all of this. Not to mention we all have businesses, jobs, kids and life to deal with... LOL I'm really on a rant today.
ANYWAYS... I'm looking forward to publishing, but I'm not going to push it. After all this has been in the works since '98, right??? LOL When we were in Maple talking about all the things we were going to do in the graveyard of the old church there...
Poor Dad is still trying to hide those old trunks in the basement. I will get them... Sooner or later, he'll have no choice!!! Then they will all be mine, whale bone corsets included! Mwuahaha!

Alright... So onto my McKenna rant.
We've had some exceptional luck, and some really poor luck. Amazingly, it's the later records we're having no trouble with and the later ones, specifically in regards to Clement and Charles that we're pulling our hair out over.
We know Clement died in 1963 and Charles died in 1944... Staunch Irish Catholics... But damned if there's a record available. I'm thinking about looking into outside help. Perhaps cousin Marilyn... Maybe looking for someone to help out on Random Acts...
The point of finding the records?
We 'think' (Well, I know, but I always KNOW!) Charles married a nice girl named Ann Cracknell. She converted for him too, we have her baptism. Ann is actually Hannah, of the Ontario Cracknells Arthur and Evelyn... But, I'm getting ahead of myself... Mark asked me last night, what's the point? Why are you pushing this???
Not that I'm not normally obsessive, but I'm stuck on these two.

I want to know if the name survived from our line.
I've got a few connections to make, some questions to ask of my own family... But from what I understand... The line, the name, it doesn't continue with us. That's my drive... I'd like to know that it is carried on by someone from our side...
It's such a name... McKenna, with such a heritage, and Bridget O'Neill's determination... I'd like to know it doesn't end. But then, I guess the whole reason we're working on this like we are, is to preserve the heritage... So our kids will know. So all the lost cousins we'll know we're here, and know how to find out about their pasts, their people.

Ah, green beer makes me sentimental.
We'll raise a pint tonight, for McKenna's and O'Neills alike... And we'll find those missing links, it's what we do! LOL And my Aidan just came in step dancing...
It's a good day... And there's time to figure it all out. We'll get 'er done!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Am McKenna Update

Topic: Am McKenna Update
Family Name Associations: McKenna
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Hungry
Music: None, isn't that a shame? We'll have to fix that.

I’ll post this on the blog too, so we’re clear all the way around for what we’re still looking for, oh and I have some photo searches for Julie – Or information searches.

Jules we need a copy of the McKenna and O’Neill tartan so we know what we’re looking for to post on the site. There may be more than one version, there’s often an ancient, modern, dress etc. LOL Let me know what you find out.
I need a couple of nice big stock photos of old looking ships – as in, we came across the ocean to get here ships. I also need some nice shots from Ireland. The bigger the better of course. Maybe some rainbows over green hills or something. Let me know when you’re done with that, there’s more stuff I’ll need J

What’s interesting is last night this website became available – It had been down, maybe host issues I’m not sure. But it confirmed a lot of what we already had, and gave us a very interesting list of McKenna’s in the Montreal Cote des Neiges Cemetery.
One way or another, I’m going to be contacting Patrick Boylan as soon as our site is up to a point where we don’t just sound like freaks… Seriously if this host doesn’t smarten up, I’m going to set Kev and his ‘I’m dealing with Bell’ attitude on them.

So, information updates… Margaret ‘M’s mystery name is actually Moynaugh, apparently. We’re going to see what we can dig up on her, but we’re assuming she died in the US with Thomas Sr. at this point.
Thomas Edward did stay in the US, although he returned to coach a Lacross team for a time. He is apparently buried in Colorado, we have to find census information to support everything, but apparently he died leaving a young daughter named Catherine and a wife named Margaret or Rita Reilly.

What we’re still search for, for the most part. We know the dates, it’s just a matter of matching up records to be sure we’re on the right track… Which we are, because I know we are, but it’s hard with the US’s crappy birth and death records and so much moving around.

Birth Records:

Thomas Edward McKenna 1861 Quebec Canada

Grace McKenna – No information, born in Quebec or Chicago, it’s unclear but she could be an infant death.

John C est. birth in 1871, possible infant death.

James Henry McKenna 1872 Chicago

Francis Joseph McKenna 1875 Chicago

Death Records:

Mary Moynaugh McKenna – est. b. 1800 Ireland, Chicago in 1870, no further information.

Mary Alice McKenna 1943 Quebec

James Henry McKenna 1928 Quebec

Census Records:

Thomas Edward McKenna – In Chicago Illinois, or Colorado

And I think that’s it for now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Durnell, Darnall, Darnell, Dernel... I could go on. The Durnell Cemetery.

Topic: The miss spellings of one name. The Durnell Cemetery in Weaubleau, Hickory, Missouri, USA on Find-A-Grave
Family Name Associations: Durnell, and all it's variations. Brown, Gibson, Howlett, Frasher and so on...
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Confused.
Music: Faith Hill - This Kiss

Well... This has been a super, super productive day in regards to locating a pile of imformation in the form of graves in the Durnell Cemetery in Weaubleau, Missouri. There have been some surprises, some added questions, a little sadness... But all in all it's been a great addition to our records. We have a memorial now for Nicholas Monroe Durnell, and a lot of answers about his family - Although we do have some pretty complete census records there... Just fleshing out the branches here, there's a ton, and I mean a ton of American history involved, once it's all on the site (Hahaha) It'll really give a very good look at this family.

What I really think we're going to focus on with this line is inching backwards... I really feel that this is going to be one of our furthest reaching historical lines yet. I mean, when you say 'I can trace my family back to the 1600s' it sounds cool... But when you CAN trace your family back to the 1600s... The power in the papers, the trails upon trails of where people have been, what they've done, that's huge.
And of course, it all adds places to our 'Have to be there!' list.


Topic: The first of two posts, one from yesterday, one from today, different topics completely, I swear! I sent this as an e-mail and didn't think to blog it - Sorry, still trying to get back in the groove with this.
Family Name Associations: McKenna, O'Neill
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Low on Sugar
Music: Hot'n Cold - Katy Perry

Alright, this is what we do know, and at this point it out weighs what we don’t know, but it also looks a little crazy… So maybe more eyes will prove I’m off my rocker, or that my family really is a pile of dancing skeletons.

Both the McKenna and O’Neill families were in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, USA… We have the McKenna family in 1880, starting with Thomas Sr. (b. 1790) and Margaret (b. 1800) McKenna, Thomas William and Bridget O’Neill (b. 1834), and their three surviving children who were born in Quebec, Canada. Thomas Edward (b. 1862 - No birth or account), Mary Alice (b. 1865 - Birth account, no death account) and William John (b.1686 Birth account, Marriage to Mary Ann Teresa Stafford – birth accounted for – And son Thomas Edward accounted for, no death accounts or graves).
Two others are listed with the family at that time, Emma J O’Neill (17 born in New York) and Richard Gihan (20).
Thomas Sr, Thomas Jr and Richard are listed as Plumbers.
All but the children are listed as born in Ireland. We have no other records about the older McKennas or where Emma and Richard ended up.

Now, we have this one account in the US, that’s ALL from that side of the boarder, and there are no customs accounts (Odd eh?). We know Thomas Jr. and Bridget were married in Quebec in 1857 at the Notre Dame Basilica. In 1891 Bridget shows up widowed in Montreal again, we have the 1900 Census and she dies in Montreal in 1910. No death accounts for Thomas Jr. who’s full name is Thomas William McKenna (b. 1830)

We have two accounted for deceased children.
James O’Neill (1863-1864) Montreal, Quebec
Margaret Josephine (1867-1868) Montreal, Quebec

We have a huge conflict about these two children born here after.Jun 1875 in Quebec, Francis Joseph (Frank) McKenna
Oct 1875 in Quebec, Patrick Charles McKenna

And a note of two questionable children that could have been born in Chicago due to timing…
1872 James Henry McKenna (Who is on the 1891 Canadian Census) and 1871 John C McKenna (Who I think died at birth or shortly after given his absence from 1891 Canadian Census, and that’s assuming he ever existed in the first place!)
No further information available and they haven’t been coming up in any searches so far, so I’m calling in the team.

What we’re looking for:
- The birth record for Francis Joseph McKenna. (Possibly born a year earlier in Chicago?)
- Immigration records proving or disproving any of this country hopping – What a mess!
- Accounts of birth, death or marriage for Thomas Sr., Margaret McKenna (Her maiden name started with an M but is illegible, rough guess is that it would be Mopeugh or something close), Thomas Jr., Emma J O’Neill (My personal belief is that she’s Bridget’s sister).
- Who Richard Gihan is and why he was living with the McKenna family?

Every little bit helps, so buckle down and keep the team informed.

Moving on… We have the O’Neill family, Bridget’s older brother John (b. 1822 Ireland, died in 1887, no proof) is established in Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA as early as 1860. John is a brewer (I thought that was exciting, LOL) and marries Ann McGillen (b. 1830 Ireland, dies 1861, no proof) they have 5 children.
1851 James, 1854 Mary Ann, 1855 Alice, 1856 Margaret Frances, 1858 Elizabeth, and possibly an son named John Henry.
Now, the fun begins when Ann dies… As the hired help, Mary White (No information but that she died in 1908), apparently marries John some time before 1870 and takes over wifely duties… Producing a daughter named Sara Ann Benedicta (b. 1869)
I do have a question as to whether there were more servants in the household and possibly another brewer as well. I’ll publish the census for you to all take a look.

What we’re looking for:
- Proof. Someone who knows American records better than me! Graves… This is our least proven branch so far. Help sorting out the American records is appreciate.

In addition, a later thought:
The 1891 Canadian Census notes James Henry and Francis Joseph were born in the US, so we are looking for proof of birth on American soil now.
As well, something I thought of afterwards, Military records should be available for most of these guys… I’m thinking WWI???

And today's developments...

We're looking for Thomas Edward McKenna in Chicago, thinking maybe he didn't come back to Quebec with Bridget and the kids when Dad died. Assuming that Chicago records are going to need some thorough going over pretty soon... There's too many holes.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cemetery Decisions

Topic: Meeting in Bracebridge over yummy Pizza!
Family Name Associations: All of the Above
Location: Bracebridge, Ontario
Mood: Full - But there might be room for Struddle!
Music: - No, but the hockey game is on, go figure!

So I believe we've reached a couple of decisions :)
Once the snow clears we're looking at picture galleries of the cemeteries we've researched and photographed. We're going to catalog each cemetery by name, digital photos will be taken two per stone, one of text and one further back... Unless the stone has text on both sides or more than two sides in which case the stones will be numbered after each name.
We're also going to include overview photos, because it's nice to have some idea of what the place really looks like.
We've SO struggled over maps and the concept of marking the yards out, but honestly, there's just no way without a huge investment of time, beyond the massive stake we've already taken.

We're still arguing over transcriptions. LOL We couldn't agree on everything in one day!
We might end up with scans of stones or possible transcriptions of certain stones. I think what we're worried about is the older stones that just aren't going to survive... Especially some of the ones at the old Lutheran Church.

Okay, it's time to head home, it's been a great day, we had lots of fun... Woohoo for the Spring Thaw!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Where oh where are the Boxalls from?

Topic: The Boxalls
Family Name Associations: Boxall
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: Hungry
Music: Call me when you're Sober - Evanescence

So the answer is to drive right into everything, right? To update what has been done over the last few months while I was in mourning and then dealing with Christmas and then dealing with Chinese New Years and then dealing with a month of Birthdays... I know I said we have all been insanely busy, but I can't convey the insanity. Anyways... To update what has been going on:

We changed the layout of the site for last names so that we've got a rather huge alphabetical index that's easy enough to use and will house pages on names, heraldry and so on. It looks pretty good, now if we can just get sorted out, we'll have a working menu on all pages, and we'll actually be able to get everything functioning online.

Anyways, the biggest issue in all of the pages is the Boxalls. Where the hell are they from??? I honestly think someone made the name up. We have a possible connection in England but the guy is confused at best. Possibly has 3 wives and 25 some odd accredited children. Hello?!
The population is completely located around New York and Ontario... It's obvious that we're missing something. But what?
If they weere Foxalls, why the error, and there would be proof... Even if it's just a census writer's error, there would be proof some way or another. Really, what's demanding is British census research... LOL What else is new.

Blinkies... Yeah, I have an obsession to admit.
Our profiles are a mounting thing of disgust for me, so I finally snapped and decided we're adding blinkies to our little descriptions for something fun. And if we don't get pictures soon I might make everyone dollz in their place. Isn't it a little sad that we can't even get this organized? It is hard though, especially with everyone working so hard.

With St. Pat's Day coming up, it's praying on my mind that we really need to focus on the McKenna's and when they came here from Ireland. Of course, this means more long hours of reading records in archaic french... You can see why we're all slacking - Especially me, being the only one who's bilingual.
But there really is more of a need to work on those lines... So maybe within the next few weeks.

That's really about it. With Gran's passing we inherited a pile of papers that we're still sorting, organizing or scanning. One of the most stunning finds for me personally was my mother's baby book that had the name 'Lecuyer' written in it as A. Campbell's wife... I mean, I know we know what we know, but that's like living history for me. I mean it doesn't get any more like confirmation than that.

So there's my real update. I have promised to keep at this... It should all go smoothly until something else hits the fan!
Go team go...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

To those of you who are wondering... We didn't fall off the side of the Earth in our explorations.

Topic: Update - And Death Notice...
Family Name Associations: McKenna, Hedgecoe
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Mood: At Peace
Music: Time After Time - Eva Cassidy

The Blog has never been my favourite place to post, but it's due time, and Mark was finally able to find the password so we could get back at it. First off, for anyone who doesn't know, I need to make an announcement.

In October, on the 16th of 2008, Leonore Frances McKenna Hedgecoe died peacefully in Richmond Hill at the Hill House Hospice. Her life was a valiant testament to her unyeilding strength, and we're all so honoured to have had her in our lives.

It's taken my a while to get to this, for those of you who know me, you know how hard all of this has been, and why it's taken me so long to get back to our project. Not that you ever really stop gathering the information or filing it all away... But winter is such a slow time for us up here in Canada to start with, and for me personally this winter has been especially difficult.

I'm thinking of putting a dedication up to Gran on the site, we'll see how far I get with it all... But I've opened things up again, and we're back to business... With the summer months coming, and all those graveyards waiting for us to be out digging around, who can contain the excitement?

On another personal note, a thanks to my friends and family who have helped me get through. You all rock, but then, you knew that already.
With love,