I began researching my family tree a little over three years ago, and two years ago I shared some of my journey in this post:


A few weeks ago I took another step in my journey and travelled to Louisville, Kentucky, where my 3rd great-grandparents, William Potter and Honora Casey, settled after immigrating from Ireland.  I met quite a few cousins and visited the cemetery where William, Honora and their son, my 2nd great-grandfather, Arthur, are buried.  Many of my mother's first cousins still live there and we had a reunion with four generations of descendants from William and Honora's grandaughter, my great-grandmother, Honora Potter Waterman.  

The Potter family plot at St Louis Cemetery is William and Honora with son William, Jr and grandaughter Loretta on one side and son Arthur and daughters Mollie and Bess on the back side.  This is me with my daughter, Jordan and cousin, Mike Potter.  I did get a little emotional paying my respects.   I meant to bring shamrocks to place at the grave but I got so busy I completely forgot.  

Since I did my initial blog I have found that William Potter was from Donaghpatrick Parrish in County Galway.  He arrived in New York City on May 18, 1857, after a 45 day journey from Liverpool, aboard the Ocean Monarch, the largest packet ship at that time.  I cried when I realized he hadn't come over on a "coffin ship".  The arrival of the Ocean Monarch was covered in the New York Times on the day it arrived, second from the bottom.

 I haven't yet found the ship that brought Honora, her mother Cecilia and sister Mary, to America but I'm still researching and I'm confident I will find it.  

Mike Potter sent me this picture of Arthur Potter, William and Honora's first son, and my second great-grandfather. He was a police officer for the Louisville Police Department.  I was even able to get a copy of his personnel record.  It's amazing the details about him I learned from that record.  He was tall, 6'2", with black hair and blue eyes and had beautiful penmanship.  He went to parochial school and was running a saloon at the time he applied to the police department.  A Catholic running a saloon? "Yes,"  I was told "he's Irish first!".  Arthur married a German immigrant, Helena Dumstorff, and they had nine children, the first was my great-grandmother, Honora.  I'm not sure how many Potter cousins are out there, but here are four generations that got together a few weeks ago.

Ireland has been calling to me since I was about 14 and I'm excited that the next step in my genealogy journey will take me there for ten days next January.  I won't get to see all of the island, but I will make sure to go to Donaghpatrick Parrish.  Maybe I'll even find some more cousins.  

There was a large Irish community in Louisville in the 1800's, they even had an area called "Irish Hill" and their own newspaper, The Kentucky Irish American.  I visited the Celtic Store in Irish Hill and got some goodies.  I'm now addicted to Taytos.  

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Tags: Diaspora History, Family History, Genealogy, United States

Comment by Claire Fullerton on July 31, 2017 at 1:39pm

I'm glad to learn that you'll be going to Ireland this January! I'll be sure to watch this space to learn more. Nice post, Honora. 

Comment by Honora Wright Weaver on July 31, 2017 at 4:28pm

Thank you, Claire.  I'm very excited about the trip.  My sister and I are going together and we're trying to narrow down what we "must see" and what we'd "like to see" if we have time.  

Comment by mary mccaffrey on February 17, 2018 at 5:43pm

   Great story!! I too just started researching my family's history. McCaffrey ( N.Y. 69th Reg. Irish Brigade Spanish American War ) , Lannen  (WW1) same brigade, Cribbin  & Moore families from Co. Kildare I believe, Doyles, Westmeath perhaps, and Connelly's . All Irish , all sides! Immigrated in 1850's-1860's. Besides soldiers, in America, they became firemen, a priest, a parlor maid, a woman's hat maker for Worth's Dept . store and teachers. So much more to find out about them, so little time! Please let us know how your trip was!


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