Introducing The Wild Geese Irish Ancestry Group

We are pleased to announce the debut of the latest members' group here in The Wild Geese community.  The "Irish Ancestry" group is open to all members of The Wild Geese, and will become the hub for all things relating to ancestry and genealogical research.  Within this group, you will be able to communicate with your fellow amateur genealogists, and even professional genealogists as you tenaciously work toward filling out that family tree. 

This is where we'll work together as we attempt to break through the "brick walls" in our family history research.  We'll continue to build a library of articles featuring research tips, methods, and interesting stories all centering around the hobby / passion / science of genealogical research.

So, if you have even a passing interest in your ancestry and how to go about gathering genealogical information, head over to the "Irish Ancestry" group right now and join-up.

Views: 1204

Tags: Ancestry, Genealogy, Heritage, Preservation

Comment by Ryan O'Rourke on February 28, 2014 at 8:30am

Glad to have this group to consult as I have a significant ongoing "brick wall" in my research!

Comment by Danny Alexander on February 28, 2014 at 11:13am

Good morning to all!

Glad to see this as a topic. Please allow me to share my roots and heritage with my fellow Wild Geese friends.

I come from a family with the surname of Steen.

Here just the beginning of my family:

Robert Steen was born near Coleraine, Ireland, not far from a place called "The Vow," about 1730; removed to the British Colonies in America about 1755; was married to Elizabeth Boyd about 1757 or 1758; and brought up a family of five children in comfortable circumstances, near Chestnut Level, in what is now Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.As a matter of fact, his original home is still standing and inhabited to this day.


Robert Steen was one of the early immigrants who came over into the British Colonies in America from the North of Ireland, near the middle of the eighteenth century. He was probably one of the elder sons of Richard Steen (?), who was born about A. D. 1700, and perhaps came to America with his large family, together with other relatives and friends, to make their future home in this new country, and whose ancestors came from Scotland into Ireland, where they had lived for several genera- tions. They belonged to a race of men of strong convictions, resolute purposes, and had already endured hardships for the sake of their religious principles. They determined to brave the dangers of the ocean, the trials of frontier life, the deprivations incident to a new country, the struggles and difficulties necessary to fell the forest, and to build homes for themselves and families in the new world. They landed in New York, but soon after- wards made their way to Pennsylvania, where, free from the depredations of the Indians, they would have a better oppor- tunity to secure their own lands, and provide the necessaries of life, with less of danger and more of comfort to themselves. In the large family of Richard Steen(?) there were several sons, among whom were Robert and Matthew, who settled in Pennsyl- vania; and James and William, who removed to the South and located permanently in Union District, South Carolina, and each, became the paternal ancestor of a large branch of the Steen family residing in the Southern States. Robert Steen was born not far from Coleraine, Ireland, probably about 1730 (?), and most likely on the old ''Green Hill" farm, near a place called "The Vow," where there is a cemetery, an old mill site, and a school, which was visited by the original writer of our family history in 1896. That being  Rev. Moses Duncan Alexander Steen. It is situated on the bank of the River Bann, about eight Irish miles, he says, from Coleraine, in County Antrim, and Province of Ulster, Ireland (?). When about twenty-five years of age he removed to the British Colonies with a large number of immigrants, relatives and friends, about the year 1755. He was married to Miss Elizabeth Boyd, probably about 1757 or 1758, acquired a farm, and established his home near Chestnut Level, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, not far from the Susquehanna River, where he brought up a family of three sons and two daughters in com- fortable circumstances. Pie was a man of influence, a devout Presbyterian, a successful farmer, a patriotic citizen, opposed to the Tories, and strongly favoring American independence, having two brothers in the Revolutionary Army. He was a fine singer, especially fond of music and good society. • He lived to a ripe old age, but the date of his death is not known to us. The following are the names of his children: Samuel, Robert, Mary, Elizabeth, and Alexander.

I fear I have overloade you presently so I will cease iwth the opening installment of my history and reseve the remainder for small snipits later!

Hope you enjoy!

Comment by Bill O'Neill on February 28, 2014 at 11:24am

Count me in Gerry! I recently began researching the ancestry of the O'Neills in New Jersey and Viriginia. My Amberson relatives have opened a fabulous ancestry string! As I historian, I take everything with a large grain of salt. Little sadly exists on my branch of the O'Neills. My great-grandfather James born in Tyrone. His Dad William born in Tyrone as well. But the family grouping here is very suspect. What I have discovered in searching Irish records online is paucity of good hints. I still push on, Hoping to find a link that puts it all together. My aunt passed in January and Steve and my Dad is the only one left. He will be 94 this year and the family never really shared family history. 

Comment by Chuck Idol on February 28, 2014 at 5:30pm

I am interested in any help with Mr and Mrs Brady ( see thanks.

Comment by Bit Devine on February 28, 2014 at 11:31pm

After an equally frustrating and bemusing conversation this evening with my Uncle, visiting from Canada, and my father... I am wishing for time machine so that I can go back in time and bop several people on the head whilst at the same time admonishing them to "identify people" on the backs of their pictures

My father is a highly reluctant participant in this process of "bone rattling" as he calls it. So it is a huge win for me when he gives me something useful. Tonight I learned that some of my Grandfather Devine's siblings and cousins settled in the Chicago area, that the family changed the spelling from Divine to Devine after a stint in the poor house, and that my Gran's father took his mother's maiden name in 1912, shortly after my Gran's birth, shortly after he deserted, which explains why the Anthony Rice family ceased to exist after the 1910 census. 

Then it was "name that person" a game that involves much raising of voices, some comic relief and bent feelings ...and usually ....only a few more are identified....

Brick to love them even more when its your close family adding mortar to the bricks!

Comment by Richard Strathern on March 3, 2014 at 12:52pm

I would like to join this group. My "brick wall" start with William Charles Strathern, b 1828 near Magherafelt, County Derry, d 1904 Killyberry Farm, Bellaghy, County Derry, Ireland. During the famine join up as did many Irish into the British Military. 1848-1858. Participated in many India Campaigns. Was in the battles during the India Mutiny 1857 and served with the 2nd Regiment of the Bengal Fusiliers (Bengal European Army) retjrn to Ireland and Married Mary Kennedy and raise a large family at Killyberry farm. Farm is still in the Strathern Family today. We are looking for documents on his Mother and Father, Mary O'Toole and William Charles Strathern, Magherafelt area? My father was an active member of the IRA in the Civil War of 1919 and for political reason had by order of his parents leave Ireland for the United States in April of 1923. This as you can guess broke his heart. He never did return to Killyberry. Any ideas how to track down Mary O'Toole and William Charles Strathern. The picture is the Strathern Homestead, Killyberry Farm, Bellaghy, Derry, Ireland 1912.

Comment by Richard Strathern on March 3, 2014 at 5:53pm

Comment by Richard Strathern on March 3, 2014 at 6:00pm

Some interesting ideas about the surname Strathern. Well known as place name in Scotland. We cannot find the connection. We did find William Charles Strathern military records, but next of kin information missing. He clearly sign his name Strathern even though in the six page document of his military records their are several spellings. It also stated he was returning to Derry and the Magherafelt area where he was born. The 1901 and 1911 census did not add any clearer light on this search.

Comment by Dee Notaro on March 8, 2014 at 3:40am

Good morning from Atlanta, GA. Although you may see my name as Italian, I am half Irish on my mother's side, McGowan from County Sligo. My grandparents immigrated to New Jersey in 1886 to Glassboro, finaling settling in my "home town" of Bridgeton in southern New Jersey. As I am approaching 75 in a few months, my brick wall in Ireland is okay with me. Have written for records twice - and there are none. Chalk it up to "the poor". Anyway, I now teach genealogy at a senior center and have assisted many in finding their roots. One gentleman, who has a PhD and is a published author of several small books, Scully (roots in Kings County) being his surname, had worked on his own to Fiacha Araidhe?? (is this even possible), which got me deeper into Irish roots. I enjoy this website and it has educated me more about Ireland. I am well aware that the Irish came over to America to help us fight and build this country and I am proud of it! So make me a member of the genealogy group.


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