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!!

Looking for clues under every “leaf” on the family tree!

A letter written by Elizabeth “Bess” Neville Dec 1959…
Anecdotes
I hope some day to visit a cousin of mine, Margaret Conroy of Tryon, Nebraska and read a diary Grandmother Neville wrote. Margaret says she was born on Handsome Monday, but I rather think it was Hansel Monday (Consult large dictionary) However, she always said she was born in the same year Queen Victoria was. She was reputed to be a lady-in-wating in Queen Victoria’s Court. So you see my grandmother was a ‘Lady’. Someday I hope to know for sure.
The morning my grandparents left Ireland, after Mass the priest, grandmother’s cousin, went to the ship with them when he bid my grandmother good-bye, he removed his cincture (evidently still dressed in cassock and surplice) and said his prayers went with it. I have the cincture in my possession now.
While living in (perhaps) Wisconsin, she promised a neighbor woman to help her during her confinement. To get to her neighbors, she had to walk five miles cross country through a rather foreboding woods. The night before she was to go to the neighbors, she had a severe toothache that nothing would stop. But she couldn’t think of disappointing her neighbor, so she asked for her cousins prayers and rolling up a thread from his cincture put it into her hollow tooth. It stopped aching, and when she died at 87 years of age her teeth were all good but one.
My father, five years old was left in Ireland. An heir to a factory (it was confiscated later) he had to stay in Ireland. At sixteen he came to American, but being away from his family so long he felt never became close to his brothers and sisters.
I do not remember my father. He was killed by a train at Wahoo, Nebraska when I was about two and one-half years old.
The story I enjoy the most was about his big-heartedness. One day an old Confederate soldier came up the road to our home and asked for a bite to eat. My father with this typical Irish graciousness said, “We will not only give you your dinner man, but as you look tired I would have you stay the night.” He, Barney Victory, stayed more than a years. My older brothers and sisters loved him. He later died at the Old Soldiers and Sailors’ Home at Grand Island of a heart attack while reading the obituary of my father’s death in the Wahoo Democrat.

I should rewrite this but I am pressed for time and my arthritic wrist has “twinges in its hinges”.

(I received a copy of a letter on 24 Mar 2007, the letter was written by Aunt Bess who died in 1976 this was sent by Mary Ellen Neville Lepper of Fresno CA. Thank you!)

From my research –

* John Neville was three when he parents left in Jan of 1850.

* Rev. Peter Molloy was the priest from Rahan parish. Peter was born 1830 and died 1883.

* I have not found any factory, but the cousins in Ireland thought John was left to secure their claim to the land in Lynally Glebe, Kings County (Offaly).

* We are looking for Margaret Molloy Neville’s diary.  A cousin in Arizona talked to a distant cousin that recalled reading Margaret’s diary.

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.)

Twigs on the Tree!

800 year oak@Charleville 2

 

This is a blog about my genealogy journey.  “Twigs on the Tree” is the phrase my mother would say when I would would tell her about finding new family members.  So Mom this blog is for you!

This tree has a very special meaning for my genealogy journey.  This is the “King Tree from Charleville Castle in Tullamore County Offaly Ireland.  My dad’s ancestors – the Neville family were stone masons that moved to Tullamore in 1799 to help build the castle.  This oak tree is between 400 and 800 years old!  I am not back that far with my family history, but I just keep trying.