Wednesday, February 29, 2012

15. Photo Gallery: Lena O'Neill

This is my grandmother Lena Mertie O'Neill, daughter of Thomas O'Neill and Mary Catherine Wilson. This photo is probably from around 1900. She was living with her parents in the farmhouse on Glady Run outside Summerfield.

Lena was a talented seamstress. She made this dress for herself. When she married my grandfather, she was working in a tailor shop in Cambridge, Ohio.

14. Warrior Wednesday: The Civil War

O'Neill Members in the Civil War

Thomas O’Neill, Noble Co., OH                    161st Ohio Infantry (100-day unit)
William O’Neill, Lawrence Co., OH              173rd Ohio Infantry
William J. O’Neill, Floyd Co., IN                  23rd Indiana Infantry  
Andrew F. O’Neill, Floyd Co., IN                  9th Kentucky Cavalry
Alexander O'Neill, Floyd Co., IN                   Mississippi Marine Brigade (Union)

These are the men of our O'Neill family that I know served in the American 
Civil War. Does anyone know of any others?

Monday, February 27, 2012

13. Mystery Monday: Where was Nessie?

     Esther O'Neill, or Nessie to the family, was born in County Carlow and came to Ohio with Hugh and her siblings. A hashmark on the 1820 census probably put her in Hugh's family then. Nessie never married and died in Marietta, Ohio, in 1878. She was buried at Beverly, Washington County, near her sister Julia Craig.
     I have not been able to find Nessie between 1820 and 1878, so the mystery is: Where was Esther for 48 years? Anyone know the answer to this family question?

Sunday, February 26, 2012

12. Homage to G. W. O'Neill

All of us in the Hugh O'Neill family line owe a great debt to George W. O'Neill, who preserved our family history in 1937. He was from Lawrence County, Ohio, but visited Noble County and talked to Richard O'Neill and other family members. I based my 2005 genealogy on G. W.'s and was able to verify and extend the family lines. So, a tip of the hat to George W. for leading the way.

Here's G. W. and his wife Emma.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

11. Our O'Neill Burials in Ireland

   Until recently we did not have any hard data from Ireland on our O'Neill family. We had family tradition and the family Bible, but that was all.

   Now we do have the burial sites of John and Esther O'Neill in Carlow, as both are buried in the Fenaugh Cemetery. These entries are from pages 20-21 of the Journal of the Association for the Preservation of the Memorials of the Dead, ca 1894.

This is the Fenagh Church and it looks like the cemetery is just to the right. Fenagh is a village in Idrone East, Carlow, close to Newtown, Garryhill, Leighlinbridge, and Old Leighlin, which adds credence to our Bible entry and family stories.

(Thanks to Neill James of Leeds, England, for sending this along.)

Friday, February 24, 2012

10. Lena's Grapefruit Candy

      My grandmother, Lena O'Neill Bowen, had a candy treat that my sister Nancy and our cousins Kathleen and Elizabeth Rider and I, all her grandchildren, really loved. She made it when we were visiting so we could watch and anticipate the results.
      She would fill three small saucepans with a sugar and water mixture and boil it until it was a syrup. Meanwhile she would cut the rind off several grapefruits in top to bottom slices so they looked like small canoes. We would help her scrape off some of the white yukky stuff on the inside of the slices.
     Then each pan of syrup would get a different drop or two of food coloring. When the syrup was a bright red or green or orange, the grapefruit sections would be cooked for awhile ( I don't know how long). They would then be laid out on wax paper to dry and cool.
     We really loved eating this treat, as it was nice and gummy and loaded with sugar crystals. Now what kid wouldn't like something like that?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

9. Beyond The Book: Deborah's Gravesite

Since my O'Neill genealogy was printed in 2005 several new developments have occurred. On page 23 I wrote that we did not know where Deborah Joyce O'Neill, Hugh's wife, was buried. We have since rediscovered that site, courtesy of Delbert Shackle and his son David.

This is the site, out in the woods and on the original farm that Hugh bought in what was then Monroe county, Ohio.

A closeup correcting our idea that Deborah died in 1824. It does not mention the baby that also reportedly died.

 And this sword is protruding from the stone. One keeps expecting Arthur and Merlin to appear at any moment!

If you want to visit, here are the directions:

Directions to Deborah O’Neill Grave Site in Noble County:
 1. Start at State Route 146 & 513 in Summerfield. Go East on S.R. 146 approximately 1.5 to 2 miles. When you come to County Road 51 [Barnes Ridge], turn left on to C.R. 51 and travel approx. 3//4 of a mile.
2. At this point there will be a Gas line right-of-way crossing C.R. 51 and a lane to the left. Go down this lane about 250 feet, where there is another right-of-way to your left with a four-wheeler path. Follow this four-wheeler path [which follows the right-of-way] for approx. 1/3 of a mile. This will put you at a creek.
 3. Cross this creek and turn left, following the creek. You need to keep this creek to your left as you follow it, and you will go through a narrow wooded area. You will then cross a power line right-of-way. This will put you at the woods. You will continue on along the small creek.
 4. As you enter the woods you will need to angle a little to the right. This will put you on a small ridge up from the creek. Deborah’s grave site will be on this ridge about 300 ft into the woods. This ridge is only 20 feet higher than the creek.
5. If you have any questions, please feel free to call David Shackle at 740-838-2871.

I did report this location to the Ohio Genealogical Society, and it is now listed as the "O'Neill Cemetery."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

8. Spelling the surname O'Neill

      You will notice the Bible spells the name as O'Neail, Hugh's headstone is O'Neill, several branches use O'Neil, and some even use O'Neal. Eighteenth and nineteenth century spelling was flexible and no one thought much about it.
      Only in the 20th and 21st centuries do we make a issue of it. I say let's not--blood is more important than ink!

7. O'Neill Family Tree

The O'Neill family is featured in my public tree at Go to the "Darrah Family Tree" and follow the line back from my grandmother, Lena Mertie O'Neill. I have lots of photos and documents in the various family groups. Please use whatever you want. And anything that you have that will enhance the family, send it to me and I will add it in.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

6. Hugh O'Neill Bible Data

“I, John O’Neail, in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and fifty four, married Esther Ashmore, the second day of June, in the church of Old Leighlin. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend Mr. Jenkins.”

At the top of the Family History page in the family Bible [see previous post], is the marriage info above. The Cathedral Church of Old Leighlin
(pronounced Lock-lin) at right is where this ceremony presumably took place. Wanda and I stood in the exact spot, according to the Church of Ireland minister giving us a tour. The "old" part had the stones worn down from centuries of use. Even though they were Methodists they had to marry in the C of I for the ceremony to be valid. I could not find any O'Neills in this cemetery, although several were in the Leighlinbridge Cemetery about a mile away.

“My father Hugh O’Neail died in the year of our Lord 1790, aged 94 years.” 

Later on the Bible page is the  notation above, giving us another generation back.

Hugh, born June 7, 1755   Died in 1773
James, born January 24, 1757
Catherine, born May 24, 1760
John (2nd), born March 13, 1764
Morgan, born June 17, 1767
Luke, born December 22, 1769
Hugh (2nd), born June 15, 1773
George, born January 6, 1777
William, born July 26, 1778

The children of John and Esther were listed as above. We know that some of Morgan's descendants moved to Australia and now live around Canberra. The second Hugh, of course, is our immigrant ancestor.