This blog is for and
about my family so I debated whether to include my adventures in this format.
As I thought more about that, I decided that this post really would conform to
scope of my blog. So here goes.
This month, I participated
in a new opportunity for professional genealogists. GenStock, a genealogical
retreat, was created by Billie Fogarty and Matt McCormack to promote a dialogue
within the professional genealogy world without the distractions of a
conference or repository. Yes, genealogists love a good repository and tend to
focus on records and not necessarily on conversation. Conversations tend to occur
late in the day and are not particularly focused.
On September 10, about twenty professional
genealogists from across the country and Canada gathered in
Herron, Michigan. Matt’s efforts in preparing his farm and ensuring a truly
magical experience complete with magnificent fall weather were outstanding.
Billie’s ability to facilitate a fluid experience was superb. Great thoughts,
ideas and friendships were formed. It was an experience none of us will ever
forget! Communication within the genealogical community has been forever
changed and the responsibility lies with us.
So how does this
connected to my family?
First, I arrived at
this retreat knowing several of the attendees but not all of them. By the end
of the weekend, we had become more than a group of genealogists; we were a
family. We laughed. We cried. We worked through difficult scenarios. In the
end, we want what is best for the larger community and feel a responsibility for
Second, through DNA
testing, I have discovered that some of my friends in the genealogical world (not
necessarily in attendance) actually are family! We are still working on finding
the connections but we are related! How cool is that!
Just as with her
husband, Thomas Fay, I didn’t know much about Bridget McDermott. The information was out there. I just
needed to focus!
Bridget McDermott is
my 2x great grandmother. She was born on 28 February 1844 to James McDermott
and Bridget Clark, both born in Ireland.
Bridget Fay appears
in the obituary of her sister, Mrs. Annie Monaghan, along with two other
sisters, Mrs. Alice Newell and Mrs. Peter McMullen.
With this information, I began my search for marriage and other records for
Thomas Fay and
Bridget McDermott married on 1 January 1869 in Trenton, New Jersey. They were
both 22 years old (b. abt. 1847). Her parents are not named in the record.While it is not unusual to find conflicting age information in records, this conflict
will be addressed at a later time.
married Peter McMullen on 30 July 1871 (b. abt. 1850) in Trenton. They were
both 21 years old. Her parents are Jas and Bridget McDermott.
married Michael Monahan on 7 March 1872 (b. abt. 1847) in Trenton. He was 35 and
she was 25. Her parents are Jas. and Bridget McDermott.
No marriage was
found for Alice McDermott Newell in Trenton. However, census records reveal
that David Newell and Alice McDermott were likely married in Ireland and had at
least three children before they came to the United States. This record also
reveals that sisters, Alice Newell and Maria McMullen’s families lived at the
same address in 1880. Their mother, Bridget [Clark] McDermott, a widow, is
recorded with Maria’s family.
By researching the
siblings of Bridget McDermott, her mother, Bridget Clark, my 3x great
grandmother, has been found!
County, New Jersey State Archives, State Department of Health, Trenton, Bureau
of Vital Statistics, death of Bridget Fay, date of 3 March 1930; microfilm.
Notice, Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, New Jersey), Friday, 14 August 1914, p.
10; digital image online (www.genealogybank.com : 26 April 2015).
Jersey State Archives, State of New Jersey, Department of State, Marriage
Records, May 1848 - May 1878, BH:462, marriage of Thomas Fay and Bridget
McDermott, date of marriage 1 January 1869; searchable database online
(http://www.nj.gov/state/archives/searchdatabases.html : 13 March 2015).
County, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, Marriages 1871, BK:571, marriage of
Peter McMullen and Maria McDermott, date of marriage 30 July 1871; microfilm.
County, New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, Marriages 1872, BK:570, marriage of
Michael Monahan and Anne McDermott, date of marriage 7 March 1872; microfilm.
US census, Mercer, New Jersey, population schedule, Trenton, ED 105, p. 339C,
house 326, dwelling 259, family 280, household of David Newell; digital images
online (www.ancestry.com : 3 August 2015), citing NARA publication T9, roll