Tuesday, December 9, 2014

73. Scarcity of Early Irish Records

   It seems like we're never going to get a good record source for pre-1810 Irish genealogy records. Time after time a new records group is announced with a big splash by some website, but when I check it out the start date is disappointing--1837, 1845, 1866, etc. Since our folks left Carlow in 1805, we may have a long wait for new sources. Thank goodness we have the family Bible. Without that we would still be groping for a connection in Ireland.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

72. Visiting Fred Next Week

   OK, update report: We will be going over to West Virginia and eastern Ohio in a few days, and we plan to visit Fred in Marietta. Looking forward to enhancing my O'Neill data. I'm also going to a high school reunion, but that's another story.
   With any luck, we will visit Summerfield, the home pod of the Carlow O'Neill's in the New World. My problem is I could camp out in the area for a month, just to do genealogy. I've never had that chance, but perhaps someday. Too bad I did not do genealogy during the 18 or so years I lived over there. Ain't that always the way?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

71. Fred O'Neill of Marietta, OH

I received this great email earlier this month. 

Hello Ron.
            I am Fred O'Neill, great-great-grandson of William and Rhuama O'Neill. I live in Marietta, Ohio and am active in historical research. This is the first that I knew about great-great-grandfather's war record extending to the war's end (June, 1865). I had assumed he mustered out earlier. I did know that he served in Nashville during the Hood attack. My copy of his mustering-out paper says that he was in "ordinance."
            My grandfather was the Reverend Charles C. O'Neill (died 1973) of Maineville, Ohio, son of George W. O'Neill, author of the noted family history ... Do you have any information on the O'Neills of Leighlin (sometimes spelled "Lagin") near Carlow. I know that Hugh (born 1696) had a wife named "Catrine" and a brother named Morgan. His son John married Esther Ashmore whose family owned the plot in All Saints' Church at Fenagh.

            I know that great-grandfather George's speculations about the O'Neills of Tyr-Owen is highly speculative (old Hugh of Tyrone may have been the offspring of a smith named Kelly), but what might be our relationship (if any) to the "O'Neills of Magh-da-Chonn"? ... Is that pronounced "Mack-da-Kohan"?

To answer Fred:
1. I do think Hugh's family lived in Dunleckney Parish, near Old Leighlin. there are many O'Neill burials in the cemetery at Leighlinbridge, but I do not have the connections to us.

2. Where did you get the name "Catrine?"

3. I have the Magh-da-Chon book; can't find our connection; have no idea how to pronounce it (Irish language is a mystery!).

Ron in Indy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

70. O'Neill Blog Still Active

I am still monitoring this blog, but have been preoccupied with other work. Suggestions and comments on the O'Neill family are welcome.

Friday, September 13, 2013

69. Hugh's Eldest Son John and wife Anne Horton

 Chapter Three: John and Anne O’Neill
 [Pages 40-42 of my book.]
            John, oldest son of Hugh and Deborah O’Neill, was born at Newtown, Ireland, October 6, 1797.
            Newtown is a village in southern Carlow in the Parish of Kiltennell. His father Hugh was probably teaching there at the time.
He was the third child of the family, the first and second being girls. No record is left of any special educational advantages, but being the son of a schoolmaster, he had, probably, received a limited education, at least.
            He left the ancestral home in Ireland when but nine years old… This dating tends to confirm again that Hugh and family left Ireland in 1806.         
…and with his parents spent a few years in Central New York and a few additional years in Pittsburgh, Pa. If we have our figures correct, he must have been about eighteen years old when the move was made into eastern Ohio. This equates to 1815. Other sources say 1817, so we have a short range.
            This John was united in marriage with Anne Horton the third day of February 1825, being then in his twenty-eighth year. The bride was the oldest daughter of Moses and Dorinda Horton. Anne was born on April 13, 1804.
There is an excellent genealogy of Anne’s family, titled “Our Horton Heritage,” by Betty Bailey Horton. It is available in several Ohio collections.
I have not been able to find any archived Methodist records from the Summerfield congregation to confirm this marriage, but the Watkins “History of Noble County” says it was 1824. First child William was born in November of 1825, so either date is plausible. John and his family first appear independently on the 1830 census of Union Township of Monroe County, page 12. [Photo below is the old Methodist Church, since burned.]
            John and Anne O’Neill settled near Whigville, probably at that time called “Freedom.” This was on Irish Ridge, some miles west of the village of Summerfield.
Some years later, we have not the date, they moved to a farm on Glady Run, a tributary of Wills Creek. This place was about two miles from the village.
            John bought these parcels from the U.S. Government in 1834 and 1837 and paid them off in 1849. Son Thomas O’Neill lived on this property later and this land and house remained in family hands until Frank and Estey O’Neill Shackle sold it in the 1960’s. The property was in Seneca Township of Monroe County at the time, later Marion Township of Noble County. On the 1860 Census, the last one prior to John’s death, this farm was valued at $3,000, and his personal estate at $1,600. This was significant for 1860. John and his family were first listed by name on the 1850 census of Monroe County, page 260. Daughter Dorinda had died by then.
            This John made a trip into Lawrence County, the southernmost division of the state, and purchased a farm. This was about 1848. This farm…comes into the possession of William, the oldest of the sons of this John.
            By the 1860 census sons William, Hugh, and Moses had already left home and set up their own households.
            Sidelight: According to the Watkins history, John served on a grand jury in November of 1851 at Sarahsville.
            Grandfather John, at the time of his death, owned 300 acres of splendid farming land in the state of Iowa, which, afterward, was disposed of and adequately apportioned among his legal heirs.
            This land was in Blackhawk County, Iowa, and consisted of four parcels in Section 5, Township 88, Range 14. Anne was still paying taxes on these parcels in 1868, several years after John’s death.
            There were born to John and Anne O’Neill the following children—

                        Moses A.         
                        John B.           
                        Richard F.      
            These were all born in Monroe County, but since 1852, is a part of Noble County.
The John of this sketch didn’t live out the full measures of days that most of his ancestors had reached. He died at the age of sixty-eight years. His death occurred at his home near Summerfield, February 1865. His body lies in the old cemetery near the M. E. Church, and near the graves of Great-Grandfather Horton and his companion, and loved ones who, from time to time, had passed away.
            The death date on the stone is 1 February 1865. The church burned down in the 1990’s and only the cemetery remains on the site. John’s estate inventory mentions the family Bible that still exists today.
            John’s estate inventory tells a lot about his life: 1. He had a book, titled “History of the Great Rebellion.” If this was about the Irish Rebellion of 1798, it might hint that  John’s family left Ireland due to the effects of that conflict. 2. He had 63 sheep, 19# of yarn, and 4# of flax thread, showing what type of farming he did. He also had a molasses barrel, a tub of pickles, 5 beehives, and 100 sticks of tobacco. He also had several hogs, three horses, and a lot of farm equipment and household goods. His estate was valued at $5,200. John was an affluent farmer.
            In 1867 Anne and her children completed an elaborate series of financial transactions involving land transfers and monetary amounts, undoubtedly to clear up the various inheritances. See the Noble County Deed Book 15 for the details of these.
            Anne Horton O’Neill maintained a separate household for some time. The 1870 census of Noble County, page 149, shows her with sons Thomas, Alexander, and Richard.
 Grandmother Anne died at the home of her son Richard in January 1887. This place lay off to the East of the old homestead in the Glady Valley and, by the winding path up the hillside, it was not more than a quarter of a mile. She had reached the age of eighty-three years and had been a widow for about twenty-two years. Her body was laid away in the new burial grounds off to the east of the village, the “East Cemetery.”
            Anne was living with Richard and Florence O’Neill as early as the 1880 census, Noble Co. ED 193, pg. 12. Her obituary was printed in the Noble County “Republican” on 21 Jan 1886, so G. W. was a year off.
John and Anne started out their married life as adherents to the Methodist faith. Their first child was christened by their pastor. Soon after, they renounced their allegiance to Methodism and accepted the Universalist Dogma, which was being promulgated in that community at that time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

68. Thomas O'Neill of Muskingum County, Ohio

Thomas, born at Pittsburgh, October 15, 1815

            Uncle Richard states [in a letter dated January 10, 1915] that, “Uncle Thomas lived at Zanesville and died there. He had a daughter named Margaret, that may be living yet; I do not know.”
            This Margaret O’Neill, at one time, sent a record of her grandfather’s family to Dr. M. A. O’Neill of Black Jack, Kansas, whose son, H. L. O’Neill, sent a copy of it to me.
I found “our” Thomas O’Neill on the 1850 Census of Muskingum County, OH, living in Zanesville. There were three Thomas’ listed in Muskingum County that year, all age 30. Two were born in Ireland, however, and only one born in Pennsylvania. The age given puts his birth at 1819, but that is notoriously unreliable in census work.
There was an Irish Catholic O’Neill family in the same area during this time, with a Thomas O’Neill married to a Bridget Flanagan. This family caused a few confusing moments and needed to be sorted out.
Our Thomas has a 29-year-old female named Ann living with him, presumably his wife, and, more importantly, a 1-year-old daughter named Margaret A. He was a coach maker and had a net worth of $1,000. In the 1851 Directory of Zanesville, OH, Thomas O’Neill is also listed as a coach maker and is living (or working?) at “8th corner of south.”
In a Franklin-Guiler genealogy, I found evidence that Ann O’Neill was the former Ann Franklin, born Jan. 8, 1820, daughter of John Franklin and Mary McFarland. The Franklins came from an area near Dublin, Ireland; settled in Pittsburgh, PA, and then migrated to Noble County, OH, in 1822. This was a very similar pattern to Thomas’ family, and the two families may have known each other for a good while.
Based on Margaret’s age, Thomas and Ann were perhaps married in 1847, when Thomas would have been 32 and Ann 27.
I found the family on the 1860 and 1870 censuses of Ohio living in the neighboring county of Perry. Thomas, Ann, and Margaret were in the town of Somerset, Reading Township. Thomas was a coach painter.
Ann evidently died on June 30th in the summer of 1871 at age 51, and she is buried in Fultonham Cemetery in Muskingum County, about a ten-mile coach trip from Somerset. (See below)
On the 1880 Muskingum County census, page 241D, Thomas and Margaret had moved back to Fultonham in Newton Township, which is where Thomas died on August 23, 1887 at the age of 72. I have not yet found his burial site.
The Franklin-Guiler genealogy mentioned above has Margaret A. O’Neill, nicknamed “Mag,” married to a Weaver, and the Muskingum County Marriage Book 10 has a Maggie O’Neill marrying a Levi Weaver on Feb. 7, 1889, about two years after Thomas’ death. Margaret would have been 40 years old. This would be a common scenario, for a daughter to marry after caring for a father for several years.
The Zanesville-Muskingum County Directory of 1890-91 has an entry on page 290 that reads, “Margaret Weaver, farm owner, Newton Township, Fultonham.” This is probably our Margaret. There is also an entry for “Levi Weaver, farm owner, Brush Creek Township, Dillon.” Brush Creek is next to Newton, and this could be a case of two older people combining their assets.
Text Box: This could be our Margaret, but I need to do some additional work in the Muskingum County records to be sure.

No Margaret Weaver shows up on the 1900 census of Muskingum County, but a Margaret Weaver, age 60, does appear on the 1910 as a boarder with the Asa Fox family. She is shown as being born in Ohio, widowed but now unmarried, and working as a seamstress.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

67. John and Esther's Children, Eight to Ten

8.       Hugh2 O’Neill
Hugh (2nd), born June 15, 1773

This Hugh O’Neill family is covered in Chapter 2.

9.       George O’Neill
George, born January 6, 1777

According to Jeff O’Neill of Australia, George was born on January 16 instead, but, in any case, “our” George would have a probable marriage range of 1795-1810.
            I found only one entry in “The O’Neill’s of Leinster,” which is the marriage of a George to Ann Bradley in 1799. Our George would have been 22 years old, which is a good match. The only other entries are in 1837 and 1840, which puts our George in the 60-63 age range. [Ann Hendry, 1837, and Elizabeth Shirley, 1840]
            The 1825 Tithe Applotment Books for Carlow show only one George O’Neill, who is in the Townland of Ballaghaderneen, Parish of Fennagh, along with the two Luke O’Neill’s. Probably two brothers farming close together. George has 35 acres. He would be about 48 years old.      
            In the CD index to the 1850 Griffith’s Valuation for County Carlow, two Georges are listed--one George at Clonacur in Dunleckny and again one George in Fennagh. The parish of Fennagh is divided into two parts, one close to Dunleckny and one much further north. The Griffith’s entry does not mention the town.
Both of these are close to the suspected O’Neill area, but the George here would have been about 73 years old. One possibility is that of a father and son.

10.     William O’Neill

William, born July 26, 1778

             The family Bible in Ohio says that William was born “a Wednesday, St. Amos Day, at five o’clock in the morning.”
            Jeff O’Neill in Australia says that William died 15 Apr 1843, but he did not say how he knows that. Jeff also said that William had a daughter Hannah, born in 1808, who married W. Miller. Hannah died on 23 May 1834.
            Hannah’s birth puts William’s marriage date at least 1807 or before. No other of his children are known, nor is his wife’s identity clearly known. On the Carlow Marriages microfilm, LDS# 0100171, appears the marriage of  “Wm. O’Neill of Garrahill and Hannah Handcock of St. Mary’s, spinster,” on June 13, 1803. In light of the daughter’s name, this is undoubtedly the right marriage.
            In his book, “Schools of Kildare and Leighlin,” Rev. Martin Brenan says that William O’Neill had three sons and three daughters. Brenan also says that William conducted a Garihil (sic) Sunday School for “Protestants of the Established Church.” William and his family were “New Lights,” a new term for me.
            The 1825 Tithe Applotment Book has two William’s listed, one in Carrigbeg along with a John O’Neill and a Morgan O’Neill, and one in Garryhill with a second Morgan O’Neill. The Garryhill William has the honorific “Esq.” following his name, indicating some type of elevated status. This may be the elder William, even though he has only 24 acres, versus the Carrigbeg William having 62 acres.The summary page of that book also lists William O’Neill, Esq., with a rental income of 300 pounds, a very high rate for the time. William may have been the family entrepreneur.     
In the CD index to the 1850 Griffith’s Valuation, I found three Williams in County Carlow: One William in Clonacur in Dunleckny, one William in Mt. Pleasant in Fennagh, and one William in Ballaghaderneen in Fennagh. The first two are closest to the O’Neill area. “Our” William would have been about 72 years old. At this stage all three could have been sons or nephews.