Sunday, September 21, 2008

Family Tree Maker Software

I have finally done it. I broke down and bought genealogy software. I needed to organize the information on this blog into one spot. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Well, I now have over 200 people in our family tree with many more to go. My inspiration to do this is the fact that I am having to rely on so much of this information from cousins. In looking down the road, there is nothing in place to maintain this information in an orderly way. So, I am off on a quest to complete a family tree, at least as far as can be verified. What I plan to do is to get the information together and publish it, then share it at a Foley family reunion, in Saint Louis next year. Asking cousins for old pictures etc.
Now when I say "publish", take that with a grin of salt. I could have just said "photocopy" but the software uses the word publish. See I'm learning already.
And, of course, I have generated a lot more genealogy dead ends. Such as, Mike and Naomi had a daughter named Ruth. What happened to her? Bertha was born in Germany and married to Thomas, what was her maiden name? William also worked for the railroad, but in Indiana, where is he buried? So, the software has one useful aspect to it that I did not anticipate. It makes you address your dead ends.
Of the 220 or so folks in our tree, only about 60 are named Foley. My inspiration to draw a tree came from a trip we made this past summer to the Mennonite Museum in Kalona, Iowa. There, on the wall, was a family tree of a Mennonite family, containing over 800 names.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Patrick and Edmund, Sons of Ireland

I have previously blogged about Patrick Foley, Civil War veteran who died just after the end of the Civil War. He is buried at the National Cemetery at Camp Butler, Illinois. He joined the Union Army, went on duty, and got sick within six months. He was in two military hospitals and died at the end of 1865.
Patrick is an enigma from a genealogy perspective. He is in our written history, so he is definitely one of ours. The problem is that he was born before the marriage of my great great great grandparents by several years. Now that, in itself would not be terribly unusual but, given the recorded history, other explanations are more likely.
I have decided that he may have been born in 1810 or 1815, depending on which record one believes. My best explanation would be that he was not a natural child of my ggg grandparents but rather a child from a previous marriage of my ggg grandmother, whose husband died young. She was older than her husband by 7 years so the age gap would be better explained. Patrick would be between 2-7 when my gggs got married. So he would identify himself with the new family unit, and perhaps take their name, too.
The other thing that makes me think this is possible is that there was a brother Edmund, about whom very little is known. I did find an old family tree that someone had written. And it had William joining the tree between the children with Patrick and Edmund on one side, and the children about whom we know much, on the other.
Also, the Catholic Church records do not include the baptismal records of either one of them as children of William Foley and Alice Fitzgerald. Now, if you haven't done the math, yet. Here is a possibility. Perhaps Alice was a Fitzgerald by her first marriage, her husband being the father of Patrick and Edmund before he died. Thats right, Patrick and, ahem, Edmund Fitzgerald, wouldn't that be something?
I am on the job again at the Davenport Public Library and scouring census records for Patrick. So far, what we know is that the fellow buried in Illinois who died in the Civil War, was born in Ireland and recorded in our family story. I checked the Illinois census for 1860 for Patrick Foleys and found several, but only one who would be the right age. It is possible that he was not yet in Illinois in 1860 but unlikely. The one who was the correct age was aged 50 in 1860, putting him into the world when Alice was 18, very possible.
This Patrick was in Cook County Chicago's Ward 2. His wife was Ellen who was age 40. Their children were James, 20, John, 16, Mary, 14, Patrick, 11, Alice, 8, Johannah, 5, and Bridget 2. Our Patrick had parents William and Alice, brother John, and sister, Bridget. It would be logical to assume that they named four of their seven children after his family. If William was not his father, James may have been his fathers name.
But here is an interesting part of the census story. The 1860 US Census reports that all of the family, save the two youngest, were born in Ireland. Therefore we can fix the date of their migration pretty close to between 1853 and 1855. Coincidently, my gg grandfather was married in Massachusetts in 1853. Part of our family story is that two bots fought in the Mexican American War in 1846-7. If they did not come over here until 1853, that part of the story is in question.
It is time to go back to the Library and take a look for these folks in 1870, after Patrick had died.