Biden’s Shoe and Music Making Ancestors

Posted by Kristie Wells on June 24, 2016 in Celebrity, Ireland, Research

Joe Biden’s 2nd great-grandfather, Owen Finnegan, was a shoemaker who married Jane Boyle on 8 December 1839 in Carlingford South, County Louth, Ireland. James Finnegan, Joe’s great-grandfather, was born a year later in County Louth, Ireland and according to his Ireland Catholic Parish Register record on Ancestry, was baptized in Lordship, County Louth, Ireland on 18 December 1840. In Read More

Who was Newt Knight of “Free State of Jones?”

Posted by Juliana Szucs on June 24, 2016 in Research

Today, the story of the Free State of Jones opens in theaters, starring Matthew McConaughey as Newton Knight. The movie focuses on an unusual piece of Civil War history. During the Civil War, Newt led a band of Southern farmers from the Piney Woods region of southeastern Mississippi, in a rebellion against the Confederacy. Newt further Read More

Biden’s Ties to The Blewitts of County Mayo

Posted by Kristie Wells on June 22, 2016 in Celebrity, Ireland, Research

Joe Biden recently visited the town of Ballina in County Mayo, Ireland – the former home of his great-great-great grandfather Edward Blewitt and his wife, Mary. Edward had trained as an engineer with the Ordnance Survey, and was employed as an overseer for the Ballina union workhouse. Ciarán Reilly, a historian at Maynooth University, notes Blewitt “gave Read More

How Kilts Were Built

Posted by Betty Shubert on May 24, 2016 in Research

This story began when Janice Moerschel sent a photo of a handsome, fun loving group of people in a wedding party in Scotland. I dated it as approximately 1933-1935 based on the hairstyles, long soft dresses on the women and well-tailored, formal suits on the men. Within the photograph, there is an adorable little boy who was wearing Read More

Finding Children When There Isn’t a Will

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on April 18, 2016 in Research

The U.S. Wills and Probates collections hold the answer to countless questions about our family trees. As you’re going through, don’t be disappointed if your ancestor didn’t leave a will. His (or sometimes her) death could still have generated records that answer who the children are. Guardianship Records Guardians become involved when the minor heirs have a Read More

Teasing the Truth From a Family Legend

Posted by Amy Johnson Crow on April 8, 2016 in Research

“You know we’re related to Brigham Young.” That’s what my Grandma Johnson told me way back when I was first starting to show an interest in our family history. I was fairly impressed. When it came to matters of our ancestry, Grandma was always right. Except when she wasn’t. Working With the Family Legends Family Read More