Dee Notaro's Blog Posts Tagged 'Genealogy' (49)

Surname August

Recorded in the spellings of August and Augustine, and the more popular Austin and Austen, this is a medieval surname of biblical and Roman origins. Introduced into Europe in the 12th century by the returning Crusaders from the Holy Land, the derivation is from the pre-Christian "Augustus," meaning venerable or sacred. The name was particularly popular on the continent where it was and still is, associated with St. Augustine and the monasteries that he founded in the 7th century, but less so…

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Added by Dee Notaro on August 3, 2015 at 9:00am — No Comments

Is Genius Genetic?

What does it take to be considered a genius? Is a genius a remarkable musician who moves our spirits, an artist who creates beautiful paintings, a student who scores off the charts on an IQ test or the employee working the Genius Bar at your local Apple store? OK, maybe the last example is pushing it, but consider the other varieties of geniuses -- those with amazing musical, artistic, athletic and intellectual talents. Were the Mozarts and Monets of the world born with their genius? Or did…

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Added by Dee Notaro on June 14, 2015 at 4:30am — No Comments

May Birthday Boy - Marion Michael Morrison

Robert Morrison (1782-1863) was born in County Antrim of unknown parents and plied a linen weaver's trade until he emigrated to the United States in 1801. He married and was a pioneer in Adams County, Ohio, a captain in the War of 1812 commanding a company of dragoons, a state…

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Added by Dee Notaro on May 23, 2015 at 5:30am — 2 Comments

'Sheep Stealer' Sir George Arthur French

George Arthur French was born at Roscommon, Ireland in 1841. He was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and commissioned in the Royal Artillery in 1860. 

In 1871, at the request of the Canadian government, he was sent…

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Added by Dee Notaro on May 9, 2015 at 9:00am — 1 Comment

Genealogy Tip: Map Copyright Traps

We use lots of maps in tracing the paths of our ancestors. Mapmakers will often place a tiny piece of incorrect information in their maps to prevent illegal reproduction of their work. Called a "copyright trap," the fake text might be a bogus street name or even the…

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Added by Dee Notaro on April 29, 2015 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

Thomas McKean -- From Ulster to Pennsylvania

Thomas McKean (March 19, 1734 – June 24, 1817) was the son of William McKean from County Antrim who came to Pennsylvania via the city of…

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Added by Dee Notaro on April 22, 2015 at 5:00am — No Comments

Did 'Bat' Masterson have Irish Heritage?

You probably know the wild west part, some fact and some fiction, depending upon which movie you watch. 

William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (1853 –  1921) was a figure of the American "old west" known as a buffalo hunter, U.S. Marshal and Army scout, avid fisherman, gambler,…

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Added by Dee Notaro on April 8, 2015 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

April as a Surname

This interesting and uncommon name is of Old French origin.  It was introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066 and derives from the Old French "avril(l)."  The month of April, ultimately from the Latin "aprilis", a derivative of "aperire", to open, has reference to…

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Added by Dee Notaro on April 1, 2015 at 5:00am — 2 Comments

Irish Signer of the Declaration of Independence

James Smith was born in Ireland's province of Ulster in 1719 and went to the American colonies as a boy. A member of the Continental Congress 1776-1778,  he  served in the war of independence as a Colonel of the Pennsylvania Militia from 1775-1776. Smith died on 11 July 1806. He was also a…

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Added by Dee Notaro on March 25, 2015 at 5:30am — No Comments

Galvanized Yankees

If you live in the southern part of the United States, you know they are still not over the war. Which war? The one where the south lost!  So thought I would stir the pot a little.

A large part of the 34th Mississippi Infantry was captured on the 24th of November, 1863 at the…

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Added by Dee Notaro on March 18, 2015 at 5:00am — 4 Comments

The Irish 'Flavor' of the Erie Canal Workforce

When European settlement of North America started pushing inland from the coast, transportation problems repeatedly occurred. The biggest problem was the Appalachian Mountains, 400 miles from the coast.  This made it difficult to transport goods as well as…

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Added by Dee Notaro on March 7, 2015 at 5:30am — 1 Comment

The Irish of Savannah

The Irish were present at the creation of Georgia as a British colony in 1733. The second Royal Governor (1757-1760) of the colony was the Monaghan-born naval explorer Henry Ellis.  By treaty signed in 1763 with the Creek Indians, a tract of land was transferred which was roughly…

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Added by Dee Notaro on February 28, 2015 at 5:30am — No Comments

Blame it On Christopher Columbus - Remember Chocolate is Also His Fault!

Before Columbus, Europe had never tasted potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers, chocolate, pumpkins, coconuts, pineapples, strawberries, and much more.  All these food items are native to the Americas.  Although explorers brought potatoes back from the New World in the early 1500s,…

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Added by Dee Notaro on February 21, 2015 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

Wexford-Born Signer of the U.S. Constitution

Thomas Fitzsimons was born at Ballikilty, County Wexford, Ireland in October of 1741 to Anthony Fitzsymons in the mid-1750s.  We know his mother's name was Jane, but we do not have a record of her maiden surname.  Fitzsimons immigrated to Philadelphia where his father…

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Added by Dee Notaro on February 14, 2015 at 4:30am — 2 Comments

Coats of Arms and Heraldry

Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry, the word, in its most general sense, encompasses all matters relating to the duties and responsibilities of…

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Added by Dee Notaro on January 24, 2015 at 5:30am — 12 Comments

'Jack Tar': Not a Pleasant Smelling Job

"Jack Tar" was a common English term originally used to refer to seamen of the Merchant or Royal Navy, particularly during the period of the British Empire. By World War I the term was used as a nickname for those in the U.S. Navy. Both members of the public and seafarers themselves…

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Added by Dee Notaro on January 17, 2015 at 5:00am — 3 Comments

Surnames: Caledonia and Hibernia - 'Mac' or 'Mc'

Mac, Gaelic for "son", is the most common element of Scottish and Irish surnames. In both countries, Mc is always an abbreviation of Mac.…

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Added by Dee Notaro on January 10, 2015 at 4:30am — 3 Comments

Christmas Baby and Signer of the U.S. Constitution

William Paterson (December 24, 1745 – September 9, 1806) was born in County Antrim to William Paterson and Unknown named mother. (How about it, Ireland – who is she?) He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of two, and entered the College of New Jersey (now Princeton…

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Added by Dee Notaro on December 19, 2014 at 6:00am — No Comments

'Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly'

This beloved carol, believed to be originally of Welsh origin, had already been around for quite a while when Mozart used it for a piano duet in the 18th century. You can read more about its interesting history in …

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Added by Dee Notaro on December 10, 2014 at 5:30am — 3 Comments

Memorials, Tombstones and Cenotaphs

What is the difference between a cemetery and a graveyard? Graveyards are in the "yards" of churches.  The use of tombstones may go back to the belief that ghosts could be weighed down. 

The difference between Union and…

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Added by Dee Notaro on November 29, 2014 at 4:30am — 2 Comments

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