Can Genealogy be exciting after 40 years?

William Nevil's signature. William was born about 1680 in Ireland.

William Nevil’s signature. William was born about 1680 in Ireland.

2014 has been an amazing year!

When you work on a family for many years you think you have found everything.  I started asking questions about my family in 1962.  My grandmother was Mary Veronica Neville.  She was born in 1893 in York Nebraska and was the daughter of John Neville who was born in Lynally in Feb 1847.  John was left behind with an older brother Joseph Neville when their parents Abraham and Margaret Neville left for America in 1850.

My first trip to Ireland was in 1990 and we visited Tullamore, and that is where I found I had cousins still living west of the castle walls.  I have found this family in Griffiths Valuation, the Tithe Applotment Books and a 1802 Church of Ireland census for Lynally.  Matt Mooney told me the family had moved to Tullamore about 1798 from Mountmellick.

This summer I found a deed for William Nevill of Mountmellick.  The deed identified William as a ‘clothier’ and named his three sons: Henry, William and Joseph.  I discovered that they were Quakers and I visited the Quaker Library in Dublin.  William married Elizabeth Pleadwell in 1792 and after she died he married Anne Atkinson in 1719.  I take Irish genealogy class in Salt Lake City every fall.  I laid out the deed and where I thought my Neville family connected to William Nevill of Mountmellick.

If William married the first time in 1702, he would have to be at least 21 years of age. I know that my William was married twice because he named his parents on both marriage documents!

So now I have a signature of William Nevill of Mountmellick, the son of Henry and Mary Nevill. This is nine generations for me back into Ireland.

Can genealogy be exciting after 40 years? Yes, it can!!

What can you learn about your ancestors?

Charleville Castle Door The Claw

Have you ever wished you could spend a day with one of your ancestors?  I often wish I could sit down and ask them about how they lived, why they moved and what was their life like.

My first visit to Ireland I learned about William Nevil/ Neville.  Family oral tradition is that William moved from Mountmellick in Queens County to Tullamore to help build a castle.  Mountmellick had been the home for the Nevill family from about 1700.

This summer I attended the Ancestral Connections Conference at UCC.  On Wednesday afternoon Dr. Jane Lyons and John Nangle talked about cemeteries and headstones.  John brought all the tools that they would have used.  These are the same tools that a stone mason would use to build a castle.  I took photos of all of the tools.

The next week when I was in Tullamore I visited Charleville Castle again.  I really noticed the beautiful stone work around the large double doors. It would take a master craftsman to carve such delicate lines in stone – in 1800!

“William, why did you move 14 miles from Mountmellick to Tullamore?” I can see in a 1802 church census you have a wife and four children – Jane, Joseph, Abraham & William. Building this castle would take a long time and you have a family to support.

The next record that I have found William in is the Lynally Glebe  the  1828 Tithe Applotment Books.  William’s last name is now spelled ‘Neville’ and he is renting 46 acres!  That is a lot of land at that time.  I can also see that by the time of Griffith’s Valuation – William is no longer there, but Jeremiah and Jacob are taking care of the Neville land. (note- In 1856 they are listed as Jeremiah Kelly and Jacob Kelly. In the 1863 Cancel Book it is corrected back to Jeremiah and Jacob Neville.)