Monday, October 25, 2010

Breaking news from National Archives

I received my National Genealogical Society Quarterly over the weekend.  This "Postcard" was included with it from the National Archives.  I wanted to post a scan of it to share the great news.

I am so excited about this new way to order files from the archives instead of "snail mail" with the filling out of the proper forms, etc.

Just another way to love the advances in the way research has been and can be done over the years.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Taking a break from Ireland and searching for my GERMAN ancestors

It begins with the following email from my Great Aunt Betty who has been searching for our ancestors for 20+ years.

according to Aunt Sissy:  the one that was killed in a mine explosion  was:
John W. Schweinsberg    aug. 1839 or 1840     Germany    died,24 apr. 1867  (his wife was)
Catherine Elizabeth Lindeman,,,24 oct. 1843  /14 oct. 1912    Hesse Cassel   Germany
her father::: Conrad Lindeman
her Mother:::Dorothea Coleman
after John was killed she married a Manus Boyle,,   he already had several children and his wife died, then togeather they had children... he was quite a bit older than she was, maybe it was a convienince marriage???
1, Ludwig Schweinsburg:::::4 aug.1861   Hazleton   
2.Henry Philip Schweinsberg:::13 Jul. 1863 HZL.
3. Lewis Schweinsberg:::-------Humbolt
4.Maria (Mary) Schweinberg:::  Nov. 1865    HZL.
5* William Schweinsberg::::28   Dec.  1870  Harwood, Luzerne, Pa.
some where in there the name was shortened to Swinesburg, also Swinsburg

do you have these people already?     aunt betty

Unfortunately, my aunts are not big on saving "documentation" to back up the family connections.  A lot is by stories that have been passed down.  At their ages 70+ 80+ they have a lot of "old" memories that I will never have and that is a wonderful thing.

I guess this is where I need to come in and find the "proof" needed for our family line.  I hope to find something to connect and fill in all the holes that we keep tripping in.  I feel my dog Maxwell has hit our family line like my backyard and keeps digging up holes as I am filling them in.  Bad dog and Bad lack of records.  

I will be searching  Pennsylvania newspapers, cemetery, mine company and court records trying to hunt down any clue to John William's parent's and so on maybe find more on the family in Germany even.  I will also search message boards hoping for a connection that is also on the search for facts and truth in the family stories.  

Happy hunting for all of you who are lost in family stories and mysteries. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A "NEW" ancestor name found in Michael McKenna records.

The next public record I can find on Michael McKenna is a treasure. that helps us to get back one more generation on this family line.

Form for a Naturalized Citizen to apply for a passport.

• Michael applied for a passport May 17, 1922.

• He was planning to board the Cedric June 17, 1922 and visit County Monaghan, Ireland for a period of two months. Seeing this tells us that he must have went to Ireland to get Thomas Leo Corr prepared to join the family in America. I think this because, Tom arrived a few months after he was planned to return in October 1922.

• Michael lists his home address as 496 8th Avenue, New York, NY.
• His occupation is Hotel Proprietor.
• Date of Birth stated again as January 6, 1886. By now you see you see the birth date varies from record to record, this is typical for that time in many countries. Here in the US it didn’t become a law in many states until the age of Social Security and the draft held for World War 2, when many men had to go back and get a delayed birth certificate.

The most precious piece of evidence this form gives us is the name of Michael’s father. It says, “My father, FRANK MCKENNA was born in County Monaghan, Ireland and resides at dead.” Well that explains what happened to dear dad who wasn’t with the family in the 1901 census and gives us one generation back in the family line. Now we just have to find mom. Another wonderful thing is this application includes a picture of Michael himself. As you can see government ID pictures have not gotten any better of the years.

This passport application also indicates that Michael had a passport before. The former passport was issued at the Custom House in New York City in 1920 but has since been cancelled. I wonder if he encouraged another family member to come over during the last visit he had. It also means there might be another brother or sister that emigrated from the homeland.

Now on to find more clues about the last passport and look at the ship manifest for the Cedric he mentioned in his application.  Look for the ship he may have been on in 1920 see what other information may be found.  Maybe I will be able to find more information on his father.  I am also very interested in finding the moms name. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Looking more into Michael, Sarah and Maggie Mckenna to find clues to the homeland.

Before jumping to far back in Ireland's records I am going to look into the U.S. records to see if there are any more clues on the family.  We still have no names for the parents and I want to see if there are any other siblings in their own household?  I know already of one Ann, who was already married to James Corr and had her own little family at the time of the 1901 census.  How many others were there?  Lets see what more I can find here in America to look for clues.

Find and examine more records for Michael and see what else can be found on his sisters.  Hoping for the parents names to come up!!!!!
I decided to look at Michael McKenna a little more.

Since Michael was living in New York during the time of the World War I & II drafts lets check out the draft cards.

Searching through the WW I draft cards which was filled out on September 12, 1917, I find Michael McKenna
·         32 years of age at this time and lists his birthday as January 6, 1886.  
·        His residence is 266 West 35th Street, New York, New York. 
·        He lists himself as a Naturalized citizen at this point in time. 
·        Occupation is – Business Owner, Prop. of Café which is located at 496 Eight Avenue. 
·        The nearest relative he lists is Marie Kate McKenna who resides at the same address of   the Café, 496 8th Ave, New York, New York.  Could this Marie Kate be his sister Maggie, who accompanied him on the ship to America?

Well this record doesn't really give us to much "new" information.  It does, however, give us a birth date for Michael.  We also know he was a naturalized citizen so we can now I will look for his naturalization documents.

The Declaration of Intention was filed August 2, 1907.  Looking at this we learn or confirm the following information about Michael.
  • He is 5' 8" tall and weighs 137 pounds.  His hair is black, eyes are blue and he has 2 scars about left eye.
  • Birthday is January 7, 1886 and was born in Monaghan, Ireland.
  • Occupation is Bartender.
  • Resides at 368 W 23rd Street, New York, NY.
  • He arrived to America after leaving Londonderry, Ireland about the ship Caladonia.  He arrived on or around April 30, 1906.

The Petition for Naturalization for Michael McKenna was filed April 18, 1912.  We learn or confirm the following information.
  • Residence was 497 8th Ave, New York City, New York
  • Occupation is listed as Bartender
  • Again lists his birthdate, arrival date and gives us the date he filed his intention.
  • Peter Burke & John Reilly, signed as witness to his filing of petition.  I can't make out what Peter's occupation is but he lives at 449 W. 43rd street.  John Reilly is a Hotel Keeper and he lives at 497 8th Ave New York City.  
In looking back again at the WWI draft card Michael is the owner of a cafe located at 496 8th ave. His sister (?) Mary Kate McKenna was living at that address.  Is that the neighboring building or was it downstairs in the same building from where the witness John Reilly lives at in 1912?

    Michael McKenna completed and his Oath of Allegiance was filed on July 23, 1912.  Which would have been around the time he was finished with his 5 year required residence of the U.S. in order to become a citizen.

    We really don't find any new information on the family in the naturalization records of Michael.  We just see a bit more into Michael's life.  I hope to be able to post a gem or two in the next couple of posts.