Happy New Year


WOW – 2009 has been a very productive year

Welcome to all my new friends on Facebook and Windows Live. I hope to get to know each of you over the next few months. I hope my friends in Ireland will help me learn about Ireland. Each and every one of my new friends is a jewel. Jessica, my young talented rebel, is helping me with the Lynch Family. Caileen Meehan has a spirit that keeps me young. Her mother, Maureen, has the same name as my sister and has been a source of hope. Susan Daly, who lives in County Cork, wrote the following “I’m not completely familiar with Kerry but I found out that the townland of Ballynabuck is in the cival parish of Kilquane. The registrars district is in a place called Ventry. Maybe you may find information using these names? County Cork and County Kerry are in the south of Ireland….in the providence of Munster as you know. The part of Cork I’m from is North Cork, I’m central between cork and limerick city. I do know plenty of people with the surname O’Connor, but I’m afraid I know nothing about ancestors. If I can help you in any small way I will certainly try, not sure how much help I can be though! Best of luck again in your search”. Gina Deen lives in County Clare and is sharing her knowledge of the area where my Meehan Ancestors immigrated and others are sharing stories of their communities in Ireland; Gina took the following pictures on a December morning in County Clare. Just click on the picture to access a few more.

Amy Ellison, Kathryn Taubert and Ann Harrington are updating the McDonald Family Tree. Congratulations to Ann. Her daughter just got married.


2009-12_clare-05 Harrington Wedding - alexis-01

Figure 1: County Clare, Ireland (Click on the Title to see more pictures.)

Gina also has a great blog that you might want to read at BT – The Crafty Gardener

Figure 2: The Wedding of Ann Marie Harrington’s daughter.


Jerry Kineen has updated the Lally branch of the Meehan Family Tree.


On a sad note, Patricia O’Connor Rose died on Christmas Day. Please keep her and her family in your prayers. . Her daughter Maggi, recorded the following:

She remembered her house at Walnut and 2nd Ave. as being on a slight hill. Her bedroom was upstairs in the front of the house which gave her a great view of the country side and in the winter she would watch the “clouds” from the steam trains. Her neighbors were Uncle Jim and Aunt Bid O’Connor.

Her first “non- relative” best friend was Jean Collins who lived across the street and down two houses. Her other best friends were her Lally cousins Fritzie and Mary Rachel Saggau and Pat Powers. Her Uncle Henry Saggau owned the Ritz Theatre in Denison so she and the cousins went to the movies every Saturday. She loved the Balle-Brodersen Department Store and eagerly anticipated the toy exhibit they displayed every year late on Thanksgiving afternoon.

She said her Grandmother Mary (O’Donnell) O’Connor was sweet and kind and she loved it when she got to stay with her. Her Grandmother Lally was old and cranky. She always thought Grandmother Lally didn’t like her because if she ran something over to her, her grandmother would give her a gingersnap cookie (which she hated) but her brothers would get a nickel. She found out later that all her girl cousins got a cookie and all the boys got money. Mom had the nickname Teechie which came from her brother’s mispronunciation of Patricia. Grandmother Catharine called mom Teechie for the rest of her life. Her favorite teachers at St. Rose of Lima’s were Sr. Mary Biatta in 1st grade and Sr. Mary Jerome in 8th. She had a crush on a boy named Bobby Cavanaugh but he didn’t like her because she had freckles.

At Denison High School her favorite teacher was Miss Hedwig Brodersen.


Figure 3:  Mary Patricia O’Connor Rose was the oldest child of Jack O’Connor. 

Patsy was born on July 27th, 1922 and died on Christmas (December 25th 2009).


I’ve updated the Family Homepage with lots of new information. You can reach it from Windows Live, Facebook,  or click on the picture below – (Family Homepage).

Ireland copy

Michael Brennan, Carlow County has linked our Family Homepage to the Carlow County Web Site. This means anyone in Ireland who visits this site will find a link to our family site. I’ve also added the Carlow County WEB Site to our Family Homepage. When you visit the Carlow County Web Site, just click on “Family History Registry. Bernie Donahue, a classmate from Garfield High, whose whose wife is from Wexford Ireland had joined forces with me and has contributed an electronic phone book for Ireland: ▬ eircom PhoneBook and has recommended a book on Ireland that I plan to order from Amazon called “EMIGRANTS & EXILES”. These are now on the Family Homepage

I’ve also made contact with the library in County Clare, Ireland. I’ve added a link to Clare County Library on our Family Homepage. They have sent me a lot of good data which I’m in the process of reading. The Map of Clare County that is referenced in the following E Mail is now on the Family Homepage. The following is the E Mail they sent me.

First, it is useful to break County Clare down into its constituent parishes. You will find an outline map of County Clare and its 81 parishes at this link. http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/parishes_map.htm This is a useful map to keep with you – it is advisable to print out a couple of copies as you may need to mark it up as you do your family research.

It certainly seems as if the Ayers family came from the Kilrush part of County Clare, as per the information on your family history website under Ayers. You can see the Ayers households returned in Clare in the mid 19th century in the primary valuation of Ireland, known as Griffith’s Valuation with the Clare valuations published between 1852 and 1855. See generally http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/griffiths/griffith.htm And for the Ayer households returned in Clare in 1852-5, see http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/griffiths/griffitha.htm. This shows us a John Ayers returned in Kilrush town in 1855 (the Kilrush valuations were published in 1855) and a Laurence Ayers returned in Kilmihil parish in 1855. Kilrush parish is numbered 59 on our outline map of County Clare and the parish of Kilmihil is numbered 60. You can see the original valuations themselves (with additional information about the extent of the house or land held and its valuation at this link: http://griffiths.askaboutireland.ie/gv4/gv_start.php. Note that the village of Carrigaholt, which seems to be connected with Hannah Ayers, is in the parish of Moyarta, numbered 58 on the above outline map.. Carrigaholt village sits on the townlands of Rahona East and Rinemackaderrig within the parish of Moyarta. You can see the location of these two townlands at this link on our website: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/moyarta_townlands.htm.

Before the valuations of 1852-5, there were the tithing records of the 1820s and 1830s. See generally http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/tithe_applot/name_index/surname_index.htm Note that there were no Ayers households returned in the tithe records for County Clare. However, noting the surname variant of Eyres we note that there were Eyres families returned in Clare at this time, including in the Moyarta (Carrigaholt) and Kilrush areas. See http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/tithe_applot/name_index/index15_EaganToEyres.htm The Moyarta parish tithe records date from 1827 and can be seen here, http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/tithe_applot/moyarta_tab.htm There were also Eyres households returned in Kilfearagh parish (numbered 56 on our outline map of Clare above). The town of Kilkee falls within Kilfearagh parish (see http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/places/places1.htm)

As noted, it will be harder to locate the Meehans in County Clare. Looking at your family history on your website, it might be best to concentrate on the names Thomas Meehan and perhaps on John Meehan (naming patterns are important in 19th century Irish families and John Meehan, born circa 1831 in Clare, might have been called after his grandfather, his father’s father). So in looking at the Meehan index for the valuation records of 1852-5

(http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/griffiths/griffithm9.htm) and for the tithing records of the 1820s/1830s

(http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/tithe_applot/name_index/index38_McNerenyToMollony.htm) you can possibly narrow down the field by looking at the forenames Thomas and John. That might be a good way to start.

I think there might be one or two entries for John Meehan and Thomas Meehan in the "Boston Pilot" classified advertisements, though they may not be connected with your family. Worth a quick check perhaps if you haven’t already looked, http://infowanted.bc.edu/

This summer, I connected with my friend, Bill Knuth who was a classmate at Loras College. Please check out my WEB Site that I dedicated to my classmate and friend Larry Ryan ▬ Ensign Larry J Ryan. Just a few months ago, I connected with Bill McClung, who was one of my best friends in high school when I attended Mt. Vernon High in Fairfax County, VA. USA.

Br. Gerald Muller CSC has edited my story of John (Jack) Joseph Meehan and Bridget O’Connor. So far we have completed volumes of the Doyle Family, The Thomas O’Connor and Mary O’Donnell Family, and the John (Jack) Joseph Meehan and Bridget O’Connor Family. The story of Jeremiah O’Connor and Eleanor Grady is being edited.


Cousin Patrick Doyle’s new book on the Ford Motor Company is available at from Image Media Solutions. Just click on the picture of the book on the right. Return to Greatness is much more than an inspiring turn-around story at Ford Motor Company. It’s a timely warning about the present state of our great nation and the American Dream. Return To Greatness guides you on a compelling journey where you begin to realize the painful truth about the turmoil and uncertainty we face today as Americans. This book is going to be made into a move this coming spring. His first book “Ford and the American Dreamis very good. It is like the movie “Field of Dreams”. I highly recommend both books to you.

Please check out the WEB Site for Clare Meehan. As many of you know, my saintly aunt was named Clare Meehan, who became the guardian of two teenagers at the age of 51. Anyone who will become the guardian of two teenagers at the age of 51, is a saint. Anyway, Clare the actress has the same name – Clare Meehan. I want to give her all the support I can. Her WEB Site is http://www.claremeehan.com.

2009 was a very good year. In 2010, I hope to learn more about Ireland and the people of Ireland from my new friends in Ireland.

This may be an impossible journey but I’m enjoying the people, sites and sounds as I journey this road to our ancestors. As many of you know, I am a pilot and there is a saying among pilots which states: “Fly High and Fast”. I hope you all go though life “Flying High and Fast” and make it to your next distination safely.

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One Response to Happy New Year

  1. Charlene says:

    Nicely done, JJ. I\’ll be happy to follow your blog. Love – Charla

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