Saturday, March 31, 2012

35. Some O'Neills in 1913

I only know some of these O'Neill relatives. Thomas is at far left; Estey is to the right of him; my grandmother Lena is in the white blouse to the right of Estey, and Kate is the older lady in the back row. This was taken in the front yard of the Glady Run farmhouse. Motley bunch, what say?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

34. Warrior Wednesday: Carl Urban O'Neill


    Carl Urban O'Neill, son of George O'Neill and Rhea Urban, was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps in WW2. He piloted a Douglas C-47 in the European Theater of Operations.
   Urban, as he was known in the family, was one of those 1,000 cargo pilots who dropped airborne troops behind German lines on June 6, 1944, at Normandy. His unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for their work in the invasion.
   Urban returned to Montrose, Colorado, after the war and became a banker.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

33. R.I.P. Kyle Burdell O'Neill

    Kyle Burdell O'Neill, named after a Methodist clergyman, was born in Summerfield on March 22, 1885. He was the son of Thomas and Kate O'Neill. He grew up on the farm in Summerfield, but early in 1912, he moved to Chicago, where his brothers Charles and Druly lived.
    Shortly after his move, Kyle contracted tuberculosis and moved again to Montrose, Colorado, where another brother George resided. The Colorado move was supposedly for the clear air and elevation.
    Kyle died in Montrose on August 18, 1913. His body was shipped by train back to Summerfield, where he was buried in the Eastern Cemetery.

Kyle O'Neill

Kyle's Christening Spoon with Initials

Monday, March 26, 2012

32. Mystery Monday: The O'Neill Plate

    Does anyone know anything about early American pottery? If so, lend a hand. My Aunt Lynette, granddaughter of Thomas O'Neill of Summerfield, bequeathed me an O'Neill plate and said it was a family heirloom.
    It depicts a scene of North Fishkill, New York, a town in the Hudson River valley. The mystery is this: Did Hugh and Deborah O'Neill purchase this plate when they traveled up the Hudson valley in 1806, or did someone buy the plate later, just because it illustrates the family migration path?
    I hope the former, as it would make it more of a family heirloom. Let's all hope. Any ideas?

Front of plate

Enlarged caption on back (No Date)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

31. Original Farm of Hugh O'Neill

   According to the Federal land records, the area in red is the original farm of Hugh O'Neill, and this is the farm where Deborah O'Neill is buried. Originally in Monroe County, it is now in Noble County. This map is from the 1870's atlas, so the property owner then was Samuel Crawford. Note the position of the Thomas O'Neill farm; this was the original John O'Neill farm.

Friday, March 23, 2012

30. Beyond the Book: William of Lawrence County

     Since George W. O'Neill was a descendant of William O'Neill of Lawrence County, Ohio, and the original 1937 genealogy was primarily about William's family branch, I did not include much about that branch in my 2005 manuscript. If you do not have a copy of the 1937 original, here is a sketchy intro to those folks, summarized from G. W. [Incidentally, William was the older brother of Thomas in Post 29.]

William O’Neill (2012 Update)

            William, the first son of John and Anne Horton O'Neill, was born on Irish Ridge near Summerfield on November 13, 1825. Although he was fifteen years old before he attended any school, he later became a teacher at Calais in Noble County for one term.
             At the age of 25 he moved to Lawrence County, Ohio, and bought a farm that his father owned down there in Mason Township. On February 18, 1852, William married Rhuama Wymer, the daughter of John Wymer and Patience Fordice. John, a Virginia-born nearby farmer, was of German lineage; Patience, born in Quebec, Canada, was English.
            William spent a year in Nashville, Tennessee, in the 173rd Ohio Infantry during the Civil War, and fought in the Battle of Nashville, but spent most of his life on his farm in Lawrence County.
            William died on his farm on February 21, 1905, and Rhuama, who later lived with her son G. W., on April 2, 1919. Both are buried in the Locust Grove Cemetery of Lawrence County.

The Children of William O'Neill and Rhuama Wymer

1.         John Wymer, the first child, was born on December 5, 1852, in Lawrence County. He married Cordelia E. Hall and they had three sons, one who died in infancy, Oscar S., and Edgar C. John was a farmer all his life and died in February of 1929. Cordelia followed him on December 12, 1949, and both are buried in Locust Grove Cemetery.

2.         George W. was born in Mason Township on February 28, 1855, and became a long-term school teacher with over 30 years to his credit. George married Emma R. Miller of Millersport, Ohio, on October 4, 1877, and the couple had five children, Elbert E., Leslie L., Charles C., William, and Myrtle Enola, all born between 1878 and 1896.
            George W. died on November 1, 1842, in Marathon, Ohio, at the home of his daughter Myrtle. Emma died on October 6, 1946, also in Marathon, and both are buried at Locust Grove Cemetery in Lawrence County.

3.         Enola A. was born in the old log house in Mason Township on August 29, 1857. She married William Earles on December 3, 1879. The couple had no children, as Enola died on December 5, 1882, at the age of 25. She is buried at Locust Grove Cemetery.

4.         Elmer H. was born August 22, 1861, in Mason Township, but died on July 16, 1880, at 18 years old, due to some pulmonary problems.

5.         Nelson W., the fourth son, came along in the old log house on July 13, 1866. He developed a curvature of the spine, but was a good musician and made a living as a photographer. He died on May 23, 1889, caught in the grippe epidemic that year. He never married and is buried at Locust Grove with his family.

6.         Oliver U., youngest son of William and Rhuama, was born in Mason Township on March 1, 1870. He grew up and became a teacher for a short time, but decided to study medicine at Louisville, Kentucky, graduating in 1898. He practiced at Wilgus, Ohio, Russel, Kentucky, and Ironton, Ohio.
            He married Ida Ruth of Portsmouth, Ohio, on December 22, 1898, and they had three children, an infant that died young, Ruth, and Stanley Paul

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

29. Warrior Wednesday: Thomas O'Neill

     Thomas O'Neill of Summerfield, Ohio, served as a Private in Company C of the 161st Ohio Infantry, Civil War. He survived the war and later he and his wife received a pension for that service.

     From Dyer's Compendium: 161st Regiment Infantry. Organized at Camp Chase, Ohio, and mustered in May 9, 1864. Left State for Cumberland, Md., May 9, and duty there till May 28. Attached to Reserve Division, Dept. of West Virginia. Moved to Martinsburg, W. Va., May 28, and assigned to 1st Brigade, 1st Division, West Virginia. Detached June 4 and assigned to duty in charge of supply trains for Hunter's Army. Hunter's Raid on Lynchburg June 6-25. Retreat to Martinsburg June 19-25. Moved to Beverly June 28, thence to Webster June 30, and to Martinsburg July 2. Operations about Harper's Ferry July 4-7. Defence of Maryland Heights July 6-7. Duty in the Defences of Maryland Heights till August 25. Ordered home and mustered out September 2, 1864. Regiment lost during service 1 Enlisted man killed and 1 Officer and 12 Enlisted men by disease. Total 14.

Monday, March 19, 2012

28. Photo Gallery: Old Summerfield School

  This is the old Summerfield School, perhaps the one that was built in 1875. I don't know many other details, but my grandmother Lena and her siblings probably attended this building, along with numerous other O'Neills.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

27. The Oregon Bunch: Robert Curtis

   This is Robert Curtis, who was a son of Mary Ann (Maud) O'Neill Curtis. Maud and her family lived in Hood River, Oregon. Robert was very interested in his O'Neill ancestry, and drove this car (Maybe a '47 Pontiac?) from Oregon to Ohio and West Virginia.
   He visited his Aunt Lena Bowen in Wellsburg, WV, when my sister and I were living with them. He gave us a ride in his new car up the river to Steubenville and back. Really exciting stuff for kids in the late '40's!
   I returned the family favor, unfortunately after Robert died, when I flew to Hood River in the late 1990's to visit his brother Linus Curtis and his family. We exchanged info and photos and had a great visit.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

26. Beyond the Book: The Thomas O'Neill Family

            "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."                                           [Quotes from the 1937 G. A. O'Neill genealogy.]

I found “our” Thomas O’Neill on the 1850 Census of Muskingum County, Ohio, 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. I have yet to find any Irish Catholics among "our" O'Neill descendants.]
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, Ohio, 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, Pennsylvania, and then migrated to Noble County, Ohio, 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. If they were married in Summerfield, then in Monroe County, the marriage record probably went up in smoke in the notorious court house fire in Woodsfield.
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 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.
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.
[A second Levi Weaver, married to a Christena, is in Muskingum County during the same time frame, adding other conflicting records!]
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.
No credible Margaret Weaver shows up on the 1900 census of Muskingum County or in Ohio, 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. This could be our Margaret. If any researcher has information to add about Thomas and his family, please bring it forward.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

25. Warrior Wednesday: William O'Neill, Civil War

William O'Neill, son of John and grandson of Hugh, served in Co. F. of the 173rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War. According to Dyer's Compendium, the 173rd was:
"Organized at Gallipolis, Ohio, and mustered in September 18, 1864. Left State for Nashville, Tenn., September 18, arriving there October 1. Attached to Post and Defenses of Nashville, Tenn., Dept. of the Cumberland, to March, 1865. 3rd Sub-District, District of Middle Tennessee, Dept. of the Cumberland, to June, 1865.
SERVICE.-Assigned to guard duty at Nashville, Tenn., till February, 1865. Occupation of Nashville during Hood's investment December 1-15, 1864. Battle of Nashville December 15-16. Guarding prisoners at Nashville till February, 1865. Moved to Columbia, Tenn., February 15. Duty there and at Johnsonville till June 20. Moved to Nashville June 20, and there mustered out June 26. Disbanded at Camp Dennison, Ohio, July 5, 1865."

William, a resident of Mason in Lawrence County, Ohio, survived the war and returned home. He applied for and was granted pension #645009 in 1890 for his service.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

24. Kansas Connection: Mary Horton O'Neil Collins

    Mary Horton O'Neil (note one "l") was the daughter of Moses O'Neil and the great-granddaughter of Hugh and Deborah.
    Moses settled in Kansas after he came back from California [that's another story!]. He married Eleanor Rosebaugh and Mary is their daughter.  The Kansas branch seems to have lost the second "l" in O'Neill.
    She married Alonzo Collins and this is her family.
    Top, L to R--Mary Ellen, Frank H., Hubert L., William O'Neil, and Marjorie M.
   Seated, L to R--Alonzo, Eugene F, and Mary Horton. [Moses' mother was Anne Horton.] Eugene was born in 1906, so this photo is ca 1915 or so.

Friday, March 9, 2012

23. Photo Gallery: The John O'Neill House


This is the house John O'Neill built on Glady Run outside Summerfield around 1835. It is shown around 1905 when his son Thomas and his family lived there. My grandmother Lena is holding the broom.

I took this photo of the house as it is now. No longer in the family, but still an occupied residence. They built them to last in the old days!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

22. Beyond the Book: Hugh of Mason Co., WV (Pt. 2)

Continuing with the children of Hugh O'Neill and Rebecca Reynolds--

3.         Mary Jane O'Neill, born December 5, 1847, in Newport, Kentucky, moved to Mason County with her family. She married Harmon Barnhart Finney in Mason County on November 27, 1869, at the age of 22, and the new Finney family moved across the river to Letart in Meigs County, Ohio, very soon thereafter.
            It would seem that this is where Richard O'Neill came up with the Meigs County connection. Perhaps he visited the Finneys for a short while, and Richard thought he lived there permanently.
            Mary Jane and Harmon had four children in Meigs County, where Harmon worked as a coal miner. The mining job may have become too difficult or Harmon tired of it, because the Finney family migrated to nearby Athens County, where he became a farmer.
            After 20 years or so in Athens County and after the children had grown, Mary Jane and Harmon moved to Columbus, Ohio, and lived with their daughter Stella. Mary Jane died in Columbus on June 18, 1929, and Harmon two months later on August 5.
Both are buried in the West Union Cemetery at Athens, Ohio.
            The children of Harmon and Mary Jane O'Neill Finney are:
a.         William U. Finney, born March 19, 1871, in Racine, Meigs county, Ohio, worked as a coal miner most of his life. He died in 1957 and is also buried at West Union Cemetery. He married Madge Gibson on July 31, 1892, in Athens County and had children Ida, Hattie, Jennie, Hugh, William, and Arthur. After Madge died on October 5, 1908, he married Jennie Harold in Columbus. William and Jennie had no children together, although she raised most of Majjie's brood.
            Most of William's children seemed to remain in the Athens area. Ida married Harrison Davies, had several children and died in 1979 in Defiance, Ohio; Hattie married Harley A. Douglas, although they later divorced, had several children and died in 1967 at Athens; Jennie married Homer Canter and died sometime before 1957; Hugh did not seem to have married and died in Athens in 1991; William, Jr. was in the Navy during WW2 and died in an explosion aboard the USS Turner at New York; Arthur lived in Athens, but I have not found him after 1920.
b.         Stella B. Finney, born in 1873, probably in Athens, married George P. Harold and had children Wendell Francis, Carl Millard, Arthur L., Mary Pauline, and Harry H.
            Wendell served for two months in World War One and worked as a traveling salesman; Carl was blind from birth in his right eye and worked as a machinist; Arthur was a welder in an aircraft factory and moved to California; Mary Pauline never married and died in Columbus in 2008; Harry lived in Columbus through 1930, but I have not found him after that. 
            Stella died in Columbus on October 14, 1964; I do not know about George or where either is buried.
c.         Arthur Finney was born on June 26, 1879, at Letart in Meigs County. He worked as a miner and a truck shop laborer for a while and then moved to Springfield, Ohio, to work for International Harvester. He married Lulu West in 1908 and they had five children, Haylett Roscoe, Fenzell, Kenneth P., Clarence R., and Stella Alta. [I wonder where the name Haylett came from in Hugh's O'Neill's family?]
            Haylett served in the Pacific during World War Two; Fenzel moved to Hocking County, Ohio; Kenneth also served in the Army in World War Two; Clarence died in Clark County in 1994; and Stella Alta married Donald Hough and lived in Columbus.
d.         Minnie Finney was born in July 1885 in Meigs County. In 1910 she was still unmarried and living with her parents. I have not found her after that.

4.         John O'Neill was born in Campbell County, Kentucky, in 1849, and moved to Mason County with his parents. By 1870 he was still living at home and working as a Nail Cutter, probably for his father, who had a blacksmithing business. I have not located John after 1870.

5.         George O'Neill, also born in Newport, Kentucky, in 1851, moved to Mason County and was living at home and working as a Nail Cutter by 1870. I have not found him after that date.

6.         Franklin Pierce O'Neill was born in April of 1855 in Mason County, then Virginia, the first of Hugh O'Neill's children born outside of Kentucky.
            He grew up in Mason County but then began a westward migration. By 1882 he was in Chicago and married to Minnie Beard; they had a daughter there. By 1885 they had a son in Milwaukee, and in 1891 a son in the state of Washington. In 1900 they were recorded in Spokane and finally, by 1910, in Pasadena, California, where they seem to have settled.
            Minnie O'Neill, who was born in Iowa and lived in Denver, died in Pasadena on February 12, 1949, but I have not found Franklin's death information yet. This family branch was highly traveled!
            The children of Franklin and Minnie O'Neill are:
a.         Abbie M. O'Neill, born in Chicago in November of 1882, did not seem to ever marry. She moved to Washington with her family, but then became a surgical nurse in San Francisco, California, and remained there at least through 1930 instead of moving to Pasadena.
b.         Haylett O'Neill, one of at least two of Hugh's descendants to bear this name, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on June 27, 1885. [Haylett is an English surname from Kent, but I have not found anyone with that name marrying into the O'Neills. Perhaps someone Franklin admired?]
            "Our" Haylett was evidently intelligent and motivated, as he became a mechanical engineer after graduating from M.I.T. in 1909.
            He married a wife Ethel, possibly in Washington, and had two children, Haylett and Ewart. He and his family traveled to Europe in the 1920's to do a 9-country tour, so Haylett seemed very upper-crust for the time.
            After a sojourn in Larchmont, New York, Haylett and his family relocated to Houston, Texas, and settled there. Haylett died in Houston on June 13, 1967, and is buried in the Forest Park Lawndale Cemetery there.
            Haylett, Jr., born on December 4, 1911, in New York, removed to Houston with the family and died there on July 23, 2001. Ewart [Another strange name!] was born on August 6, 1919, in New York and  graduated from San Jacinto High School in Houston. He was shot in the back at age 16 by a homeowner while he was crossing his yard at night. Ewart recovered but the shooter was indicted for assault. After a couple of years of college, Ewart joined the Army on March 20, 1941, and served as a First Lieutenant in WW2. He died in Houston on January 20, 2003.
c.         Paul Meyer O'Neill, born in Spokane, Washington on August 20, 1891, worked in the mining industry and lived for a time in Cochise County, Arizona.
            Paul was a 2nd Lieutenant in the 340th Field Artillery Regiment during World War One. The 340th served with the 89th Division in France, but I do not know for certain that Paul was in France.
            In 1930 he was in Chicago, working as an investments salesman. By the time he was 50  in 1942, he was back in California and working for the California Shipbuilding Corp. at the Port of Los Angeles. CalShip built over 400 Liberty Ships, tankers, and assault transports during the war. I don't know what position Paul held but he must have been busy!
            He does not seem to have been married, and he listed a neighbor as a contact on his 1942 draft card. Paul died in Los Angeles on June 5, 1951, at the age of 61.

7.         Alfred O'Neill was born in Mason County in March of 1856. After living with his parents through 1870, he moved away and turned up next in Chicago, Illinois, in 1900, where he was single and working as a Day Laborer. I have not found him after that.
            [Note: There is a prospective Alfred in Tennessee and Texas that may be "our" Alfred. Stay tuned for developments.]

8.         Lewis O'Neill was born in Mason County in November of 1859, but only lived until August of 1862. I do not know the cause of his death.

9.         Charles O'Neill was born in Mason County on October 16, 1861. He was the last of Hugh's children that I identified, as he was living with his sister Ann's Elliott in-laws on the 1870 census. He was still with them in 1880.
            Charles died in Cook County, Illinois, on March 22, 1922. He was a patient in the Oak Forest Tuberculosis Sanitarium at the time and had been for at least a couple of years. He was a widowed engineer of some type and was buried in St. Gabriel's Cemetery in Cook County. The cemetery is adjacent to the Sanitarium. I have not yet located him between 1880 and 1920.

10.       Philip O'Neill, born in Mason County in 1864, lived with Rebecca at least until 1880. He was a late-in-life child, born when Rebecca was about 42 years old, and was probably the least successful of the children.
            He migrated to Spokane, Washington, by 1900 and lived there at least through 1930. In 1900 he was a janitor for the Deaconess Hospital and Old Folks Home; in 1910 he was some type of a laborer on street cars.     On the 1920 census Philip was married to wife Bessie Jones and was working as a dishwasher in a restaurant; on the 1930 he was a janitor in a pie bakery.
            We have a puzzle in one area: Both Philip and Bessie indicated on the 1930 census that they were married around 1902 or 1903, but Philip was still listed as single on the 1910 census. Perhaps they misunderstood the question; either that or both were married before and for a really short time.
            Bessie gave birth to a son, Sarie Irwin O'Neill, on October 13, 1912, but the child was not on the 1920 or 1930 census with them. We can surmise that the infant died in childhood before 1920. They had no other children that I can find.
            So far I have not located a death date for either Philip or Bessie, or a burial location for either.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

21. Warrior Wednesday: Howard Druly in WW1

     Howard Druly O'Neill, youngest son of Thomas and Mary Catherine Wilson O'Neill, was born and raised in Summerfield, Ohio. In June of 1917 he had to register for the draft in World War One. On the draft registration card he stated that he was employed as an Iron Worker at the American Sheet and Tin Plate Co. of Cambridge. He was listed as tall and slender, with auburn hair and gray eyes
    On September 6th of that year he was inducted into the U. S. Army. At the time he was living with his sister Lena and her family at their Cambridge, Ohio, home at 611 Foster Avenue. On the 7th he left for Camp Sherman near Chillicothe, Ohio, for basic training and after that went overseas.
    Druly O’Neill, service number 1958209, served with the AEF in France from March 29, 1918, until March 21, 1919, when he returned to the U.S. and was discharged on April 14, 1919. 
    Most of his overseas service was with the 19th Engineers of the Transportation Corps. He was assigned to the Railroad Repair Depot at Nevers, France, about a hundred miles south of Paris in the Loire River valley. The unit consisted of 36 officers and 1,296 enlisted men. In August of 1918 Druly sent a postcard of the French barracks at Nevers to his niece Mable Curtis in Olathe, Colorado, and he mentioned how lonely he was there. He was promoted to Private 1st Class on June 1, 1918, his highest rank. The photo below shows Company D of the 19th, with Druly shown in the box.