Sunday, November 11, 2012


        In my last post, I was sightseeing during my stay in Galway, visiting the magnificent Cliffs of Moher and The Burren.  So, our next day was to be a “free day” in Galway.  I suggested to my 3 traveling companions that instead of shopping (Gasp!) that we instead rent a car and let my husband drive us up to County Mayo and more specifically the town of Castlebar.  Ron had done such a wonderful job of driving in Southern Ireland!  After some cajoling or maybe they just felt sorry for me, they indulged me in my “genealogical” wish and I will always be grateful for this most memorable day. 
        I selected Castlebar since it was the county seat of County Mayo and nearby to the town of Islandeady.  My great grandmother Bridget Chambers was born in an area known as Letter in the Islandeady area.  Castlebar is the large town near Islandeady.  I wasn't sure we would be able to find Islandeady or convince them to look for it, so Castlebar seemed like a great compromise.

        Castlebar was less than 2 hours northeast of Galway, especially when Ron “Mario Andretti” was driving us.  We arrived in town with no specific idea where we heading next when we decided to stop at McDonald’s for a soda.  Look what is behind the McDonald’s!  It is the Old Castlebar Cemetery!  Wow, I couldn't have planned it any better than that.  My fellow companions were more than happy to explore the cemetery with me.  I gave them instructions on what names to look for – Chambers, Feehan, and Kilroy.  I didn’t know if any of those people buried there would be related to me but I could sort that out later.  Just take photos of the headstones of any possible relatives.

      They were so intent on finding gravestones that after a half hour, I lost both my brother and husband.  The cemetery isn’t that large!  Oh, well, Ginya and I decided to explore the Mayo Peace Park, which is at the front of the cemetery.  The Mayo Peace Park commemorates the men and women who fell in the World Wars of the last century.  I need to put a footnote here – Ireland was neutral in World War II.  Again I took lots of photos and decided I could find out later if any of these fallen soldiers were relatives of mine.  I’m very happy we just found this place “by accident”. 

        We found Ron and Danny but where do we go from here?  I have another idea …

Friday, October 19, 2012


        Okay, this is the day that I have been waiting for – my opportunity to see the majestic Cliffs of Moher.  I have seen the photos but I need to see it in person.  We have a fairly long tour planned from 8am to 5pm but I am ready.  With Maureen as our tour guide again and Paddy driving the bus, the tour begins.  It is supposed to cover the Cliffs and The Burren.   My camera is ready and the first photos are of Dunguaire Castle on our way to the Cliffs. It is located on rocky outcrop on the shores of Galway Bay, near the town of Kinvara. Maureen explained that the “street’ comes first and then the village grew around the street. 

Soon after spotting the castle, we have our first comfort stop in the town of Ballyvaughan. My sister-in-law and I spotted a darling little tea shop, named “The Tea Junction”.  Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that my brother Danny and his wife Ginya joined us on the tour this morning.  After a cup of tea for me, and a cup of coffee for Ginya, the four of us visited a church in town – St. John the Baptist.  Hey, what can I say we love looking at churches?  I am thinking it is that Catholic upbringing!

Our bus ride then continued to Black Rock– where the Burren (limestone pavement with crisscrossing cracks) meets the Atlantic Ocean.  Well, it wasn't only raining here, it was very windy – you know the “Blustery days of Winnie the Pooh” kind of a day.  I was afraid I might be blown off the jagged rocks into the ocean before I even got to see the famous Cliffs of Moher!

From Black Rock, the bus driver drove us to the famous Cliffs of Moher.   It was raining there too, but nothing is stopping me from seeing those cliffs.  So, now I am beginning to look like those “weather reporters” covering an impending hurricane who look like they are going to be blown away at any time!

The Cliffs were majestic, the view awe inspiring!   Then miraculously the sun came out!  Okay, it is still extremely windy and my hair is a hopeless cause, but I take what I can get!  We decided to climb to the top of O’Brien’s tower.  It was supposedly built to impress female visitors.  I am totally impressed!! 

We got back on the bus and they drove us to the seaside town of Lahinch, which is on the Liscannor Bay in County Clare.  We ate lunch at O’Looney’s which is on the promenade and we could see the ocean from our window seat.  So, now a bit drier and full after eating lunch, I am thinking we are just driving back to Galway.  No, there is one more stop – okay, one sight to visit and another comfort stop!

Our next stop was Poulnabrone dolmen (a pre-historic tomb on the Burren).  It dates back to between 4200 BC and 2900 BC.  Wow, I am beginning to feel like Wilma Flintstone!  Excavations found the bodies of 16 to 22 adults and 6 children buried there.   Who knew these kinds of things even existed anymore?

One of the many things that I loved about Ireland was the food.  Yes, I thought I was going to hate it – Irish stew, mutton and lots of potatoes and it would be bland – but I loved that there is all kinds of food in Ireland.  So, tonight we went to a very nice seafood restaurant (and I do love seafood) called Martine’s in Galway.  Even though, the scallops with the asparagus risotto were tasty, the absolutely best part of the meal was the dessert!  I had read about “Banofee pie” and wanted to try it while I was in Ireland.  Tonight was my chance and I seized the opportunity.    With a sugar cookie crust, topped with slices of bananas and a big layer of whipped cream and then drizzled with chocolate and caramel syrup, the Banofee pie was utterly delicious!   It was a perfect ending to an exhausting but amazing day in Ireland!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


I have been neglecting my blog for a month.  Not purposely, of course!  I think my life has been getting in the way of my writing.  Imagine that!  My daughter is back in her college dorm, my trip to visit my sister is over and now I am ready to think about all things Irish again!

          In my last post my husband Ron and I were having a lovely time in County Cork visiting the Blarney Castle, the port city of Cobh and of course the Jameson Distillery in Midleton.  But now it was time for us to join the guided tour in Dublin.  After an uneventful but enjoyable drive back to Dublin from Cork, we joined our wonderful tour guide Maureen from Anthony Travel.  While I really enjoy discovering places on our own, I find spending some time with tour guides of the native country to be very educational and time well spent. 

          Maureen was a delightful woman who knew so much about the history and culture of Ireland.  She and our bus driver Paddy had a great rapport.  Who else should be introducing you to the beauty and culture of Ireland but two folks named Maureen and Paddy?    Maureen taught us some words in Gaelic - “kell” means small church, “bock” means hill, “bally” means town, and the all important “mna” for ladies’ restroom.  She also taught us “cog mo thoin” which means “kiss my ***”.

          On our way to Galway, we saw strongholds that were built in the 15th century for the English landowners to protect themselves and their families from the natives.  There is about 1500 of them all over the country of Ireland.  We made a “comfort stop” (love their terminology!) in the town of Moate. Maureen explained that we would be there for 30 minutes so that we should feel free to have a cup of coffee.   Ron and I stopped visited briefly a church – of course, it was named St. Patrick’s – and took some photos.   

          After taking photos and needing a comfort stop, Ron had the idea we should stop in a pub – our first Irish pub!  So, of course, we walked into Bo Allen’s pub and ordered our first pint of Guinness on Irish soil.  The guidebooks were right – the Guinness tastes so much better here in Ireland!   We looked around in the pub and guess what?  At least 7 other people from our tour had the same idea.  We all agreed we could take our time drinking our Guinness because the bus wouldn't leave without all of us! 

Our tour continued on its way to Galway … we crossed over the Shannon River, the longest river in Ireland.   Houseboating on the Shannon is a popular way to “holiday”.  I think it would be awesome to visit all the little towns along the river.  Put that on my bucket list!  We also learned that the rock walls we saw all over Ireland are actually pieces of rock stuck one on top of the other.  There is no glue or cement holding it together.

After a 2 ½ hour trip from Dublin, we arrived in Galway and checked into the Galway Radisson Blu Hotel which is located across from the Lough Atalia.  Ron and I walked into town – about a mile or so – and with the help of a very thoughtful Irish young lady found Quay Street.  We ate dinner at McDonagh’s Seafood House.  Ron ate mussels (his starter plate was huge) and fish and chips (I think that is a prerequisite for visiting Ireland) while I enjoyed my salmon entree.   It was another wonderful day in the Emerald Isle!

Friday, September 14, 2012



          How can you visit the County of Cork and not take a trip to see the Blarney Castle and the Blarney Stone?  I guess that would be the same as living in Arizona and never seeing the Grand Canyon.  Wait, I have done that!  Since I was getting my trip to the Cobh Heritage Center, the least I could do was go with my husband to the Blarney Castle so that he could kiss the Blarney Stone.

          The walk to the actual castle from where we parked was beautiful.  There was a river, bridge, beautiful trees and plants and green everywhere you look (well, I guess that is Ireland in general!).  Then my husband somehow convinced me to explore Badger Cave under the castle.  What was I thinking?  It was dark, rainy and muddy?  Then every few minutes he snapped a photo which caused me to become temporarily blinded!  Okay, enough of the caves and mud on my new jeans! And I didn’t find any special passage to Cork either!

          So, let’s actually see the famous Blarney Castle.  The castle sits directly on a cliff of rock which formed the quarry for building the castle.  The walls slope gradually inwards.  The staircase is steep and winding, but the views at the top are spectacular. 

          My husband did kiss the Blarney Stone so now I guess he has the “gift of gab”.  Actually I think it will just reinforce the 2% truth rule, which I now renamed the Blarney Rule!  I personally did not kiss the stone but I did partake in almost every other Irish tradition.

          With having only one full day in County Cork, we were going to make the most of it -- Blarney Castle – done!   Cobh Heritage Center – done!  I guess the only thing left is to visit the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Midleton.  Well, the first thing you have to love at Jameson’s is that they believe in recycling.  Look at this great chandelier.  Wonder if we can get one shipped home!

          The tour at Jameson’s was very informative!  Irish whiskey is triple distilled while Scottish whiskey is distilled twice and American whiskey only once.  This makes Irish whiskey very smooth.  It also doesn’t have that smoky flavor of Scottish whiskey.  At the end of the tour, I rang the bell!  I think it means it time for a drink!   My husband was selected to participate in the taste test.  So, I kept myself busy drinking my glass of Jameson talking to an older Irish couple.  Wow, I’m feeling very Irish now -- much more than just my ¼ heritage!  Jameson and ginger ale, anyone?

Thursday, September 13, 2012


    Since most of our trip to Ireland would be on a tour, it means we would be staying in hotels.  So, we jumped at the idea of trying a bed and breakfast while we were on own in the city of Cork for a few days. After researching some bed and breakfasts online, we selected the Garnish House in Cork.

          Upon our arrival at 11am to the Garnish House, we were told our room wasn’t quite ready but that we could have a seat in their cute sitting room.  A few moments later, a young lady brought us a teapot, two teacups and a plate full of delicious homemade pastries.  I need the recipe for that tasty moist cake with the chocolate icing!  Five minutes later our room was ready, but it could wait until our tummies were full from those pastries.  No need for lunch now – I think it is nap time!

          The next morning we came down to the dining room for our much anticipated breakfast.  Now, I had read that this place served the best breakfast in Cork, but that was definitely an understatement!  After we were shown to our table, a basket of toasts and pastries, along with jellies, jams and honey was delivered to our table. There was a buffet of all kinds of juices, yogurt, granola and fruit salad.  The waitress asked me if I would like porridge for my starter.  Why not?  She then proceeded to ask me, do I want with honey and cream, Bailey’s Irish Cream or Irish whiskey.  Bailey’s was my answer!  Who knew porridge could taste so yummy?  I am sure Goldilocks didn’t have it this good! 

          But the porridge was only the starter course; there is a menu of various types of scrambled eggs, omelets and Irish breakfasts for your main course.  It wasn’t until the second day that I realized there was another side to the menu.  Yes, they also offered pancakes and French toast and other yummy stuff.  So, on the 2nd day I selected the cinnamon French toast with the warm spiced grapefruit. Can I just stay at the breakfast table all day long?  Now, I am totally stuffed and guess what happens?  The lovely waitress wants to know if I want pound cake for dessert.  Yeah, that would probably be amazing (dessert for breakfast definitely is) but I think I would explode so I will have to refuse it.

       After eating breakfast on the third day (since that was also the day we were leaving Cork) we needed to say goodbye to our wonderful Garnish House hostess/manager.  Do you know what she said to my husband and me?  “I only wish I could have done more for you.”   Wow!  My reply to her was “can I bring you home with us?”

          I can tell you unequivocally that I have never had this type of service at a hotel.  I definitely would give up the swimming pool, spa, room service (I’m betting we probably could have gotten that here too) and elaborate lobby for the amazing service and hospitality of this lovely Irish bed and breakfast.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


         My great grandmother Bridget Chambers immigrated to the US from Ireland in 1885.  She left with her older brother Charles.  Her older siblings Patrick, Michael and Marie had immigrated a few years before and were living in Chicago, Illinois.  Bridget’s future husband (my great grandfather) Edward Sherlock boarded a ship in Queenstown, Ireland for his new life in America in 1891. How he ended up in Chicago when the rest of his siblings who came to America stayed in Boston is a mystery that I still need to solve.

          Visiting the Cobh Heritage Center was on the top of my list of places to visit on my trip to Ireland. It would be my one attempt at a genealogical activity while I was in Ireland (or so I thought).  While we were in Cobh, my husband (the avid photographer) took as many photos as he could while I read all the signs at the exhibits and imagined “walking in my great grandparents’ footsteps”. 

          I imagined how it would feel to have your family throw a 3-day wake party since in their minds the likelihood was that they would never see you again, even if you did make it safely to America.  So, your boarding the ship in Queenstown (now known as Cobh) was like a death in the family.   During the earlier years (in the mid-1850’s and later) they even called the ships, “coffin ships” since so many passengers died.

          I imagined how it would feel to be a passenger in steerage and only have the opportunity to see daylight for a half hour a day.  During that time you would also be cooking your own food.  Did weeks under those conditions seem like an eternity and did one second guess their decision to leave their homeland?

          Of course, my trip would not be complete without visiting the famous statue of Annie Moore and her two brothers which is just outside the Cobh Heritage Center. The story is that Annie was the 1st emigrant to be processed at Ellis Island when it opened in 1892.  Annie and her brothers had sailed to America on the SS Nevada, leaving from Queenstown, Ireland.  There is a similar statue on display at Ellis Island (that is definitely on my genealogical bucket list)! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Planning my trip to the Emerald Isle

    To make the most of one’s travelling, I think planning is a must!  I learned this lesson the hard way last year on our family’s Mediterranean cruise.  While I absolutely loved seeing the Coliseum, Vatican City and the Amalfi Coast, we definitely would have had a better experience in Barcelona, Marseille and Mallorca with a little more planning.

          The Mediterranean cruise was also my first trip to Europe and I was exhausted after my flight from the west coast of the US to Barcelona.  All I wanted to do was sleep the day we arrived and the next day.  It turned out to be okay on the cruise since we had a day at sea, but I didn’t think it would work on my Ireland tour.  Perhaps, my husband and I should go to Ireland a few days earlier and get acclimated before the tour started?   We could rent a car and see a part of Ireland that we wouldn’t see on the tour.  What would interest him and yet give me a tiny morsel of reward in my never ending genealogical quest?  So, it was decided we would fly into Dublin, rent a car and he would drive the car with a stick shift on the wrong side of the road to County Cork.  There we could go visit the town of Cobh, where my great grandmother Bridget and my great grandfather Edward left Ireland for their new life in the US.   Okay, now I am getting even more excited about this trip.  

          So, six months prior to my departure for Ireland, I purchased the book “Ireland for Dummies” by Liz Albertson.  I am partial to those “Dummies” book series – they always give you the basics and build from there.  I not only read the book (almost cover to cover) but I also highlighted passages and put tab markers on various pages throughout the book.  I wanted to have access to this information before and during my trip.

          Why stop with reading a guide book?  What else would give me a taste of the Irish culture?  Perhaps, watching some movies based in Ireland might do the trick.  If nothing else,  I would admire the Irish scenery.  First, I watched the movie “Leap Year”, starring Amy Adams.  It was very cute!  I was hoping those same calamities wouldn’t happen to me when I got to Ireland.  I followed that movie with another fun one – “Waking Ned Devine”, which was about winning the lottery and what happens to a small Irish village. 

          I have typed my family history for the Sherlock side and the Chambers side (I might need it on the trip), finished packing my bags with 8 hours to spare (that has never happened before) and actually got about 5 ½ hours of sleep the night before our departure date.   It is now 4:30am and my in-laws are giving us a ride to the airport.  Let my Irish adventure begin … 

The Decision to Go

        I have this intense desire to visit the homelands of my ancestors.  It is as if the countries of Ireland, Germany and Poland are calling me “home”.  It doesn’t matter that I was born in the US, as was my parents and grandparents!  I think on some subconscious level it is my attempt to connect to my great grandparents – to as it were – “to take a walk in their shoes”.  Since I never had the opportunity to meet them, at least maybe I could learn a little bit about them.

          Eighteen months ago, my older brother proposed the idea that my husband and I should join him and his wife on a trip to Ireland.  My brother (as was my Dad) is a big Notre Dame University fan and they had a football game scheduled for Sept. 1st, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland, playing the Naval Academy team.  While my football allegiances lie with my alma mater, the UCLA Bruins, this was an opportunity too great to pass up.  He even sweetened the deal by allowing me to select the itinerary for the trip. 

          I did a bit of research and decided that among the choices – Galway, Claire or Kerry (Belfast was never even in my consideration), that I would select Galway as the 2nd city in our 2 city tour.  You see the trip was a planned tour so while we wouldn’t have to worry about transportation from one place to another or accommodations, it would be limiting in where we could visit.  Neither County Mayo nor County Meath (the birthplaces of my great grandparents) were choices for the tour.  I am guessing that means these aren’t the most favorite tourist spots! 

          However, County Galway is just south of County Mayo so I would be close to my ancestral homeland.  Does this actually count?  Well, at that moment I rationalized just stepping on Irish soil would be enough.  The big bonus to Galway was that I could also see the magnificent Cliffs of Moher.  Now, I do know that the Cliffs are actually in County Claire but they offered tours from Galway.  So after selecting side tours – one to the Cliffs and the Burren and another one in Dublin, I paid my deposit and went on with my daily life for the next 18 months. 

NOTE: The next 10 or so posts will be about my trip to Ireland – the wonderful discoveries, the amazing people and their culture, and a very special surprise side trip that led me to my ancestral “home town”.   

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My paternal grandmother (who we affectionately called “Big Grannie” but only because my maternal grandmother was “Little Grannie” due to her short stature of 4’9” but that is a story for another time) is Theresa Anna Barbara Nebgen.  As we got older (or maybe when I grew taller than her), however, we changed to calling her a more socially correct “Grandma Sherlock”. 

          Theresa Anna Barbara Nebgen was born in Chicago on 13 Nov 1899 to Peter Joseph Nebgen and Theresa Homrich.  Theresa’s oldest sister was Helen May Nebgen, who was born in Chicago in 1892 (21 Nov).  The middle sister was Anna Marie who was born in 1894 (14 Sep).  Theresa also had a brother Emil Frank Nebgen, who was born in 1896 (29 Jun).  However, he died in 1951 so I never got the chance to meet him. 

          The above photo is of Theresa and her parents, sisters and brother.  Theresa is on the far right of the photo.

          Helen Nebgen married Albert Cedargreen in 1917.  They had one child – a daughter named Lucille.  Theresa’s other sister Ann married several times and had four children.  Theresa’s brother Emil married Anna Pittges and they had 2 sons and a daughter.  All of Theresa’s siblings lived their entire lives in the Chicago area.  However, Theresa moved with her husband Charles Sherlock and 3 young sons in 1930 to Southern California, where she spent the next 63 years until her death in 1993.

          The above photo is of Theresa and her sisters and mother.  Helen is to the farthest left, with Ann standing next to her.  Next to Ann is their mother Theresa Homrich Nebgen.   Theresa Nebgen (my Grandma Sherlock) is to the far right. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The 1940's Census -- It's Personal!

          Like many genealogical enthusiasts, I was eagerly anticipating the release of the 1940 US Census.  It felt as if I had waited the 72 years for this census, when that is really not possible.  I think my overwhelming desire to see this census was due to the fact that this would be the 1st census that included my parent’s names and information.  My father was born in 1929 but since they were re-locating to California from Illinois around that time, I have not been able to find him in it.  On the other hand, my mother was born in 1933 so obviously 1940 would be her 1st census.  I decided that my mom and dad should be the first two people that I would look for in the 1940 census and how hard would that be?

          So, I watched one of the videos describing the procedure to use when researching with the 1940 census.  Okay, maybe I turned the video off after 15 minutes but I did get the gist of it!  Now, I am definitely used to utilizing the index when looking at a census, but I think I can do this.  The first thing you needed to know was their location.  I know my Mom’s exact address since it was the same address where my grandmother lived (almost to the time of her death).  I have it permanently etched in my brain.  6830 Cedros.  See, I do have it permanently etched!  So, now I need to try and find the enumeration district.  My grandmother lived in Milwaukee in the 1930 census so no chance of having the same enumeration district here in California.  But, I have the address!  I even know what side of Van Nuys Blvd. it is located and the streets that surround it.  That should help a lot, right?
         I did find Cedros but not that address number.  Okay, back to the recesses of my memory – she did live on another street but she must not have moved to Cedros until high school.  Now, what was the name of that other street --  Vose, Kester, or Tyrone?   A few hours later and several enumerations districts later, it turned out to be Tyrone Street.  I promptly basked in the glory of finding her for about 2 minutes and then jotted down all the information I could find on her family.  So, now do I dare risk the wrath of the “census” gods and search for my Dad, who I don’t have an exact address, although I know the name of the street and the city.  Do I have the stamina to pursue this today?

        Of course, I have been waiting so long, might as well, try.  Plus, this one might be easier, right?  Hey, we can all wish, can’t we?  So, I tried to find the enumeration district for Hollywood and for Beachwood Drive in particular.  You know what the problem is with Hollywood and Van Nuys?  They are a part of Los Angeles City and that city is way too large.  After several enumeration districts in Hollywood and several hours, I found the “Wellington’s” -- neighbors of my dad on Beachwood Drive.  Don’t they always tell you to find the neighbors and you’ll find your family?  Well, I found the neighbors but where is my family?  I did notice that only the even numbers addresses were found in this district for this particular street. 

          Not one to give up easily, I searched 2 other enumeration districts and finally, lo and behold the last family listed on their street was my dad’s and grandparent’s information.   Not only were they listed but my grandfather was asked to give supplemental information.  I have hit the “census” jackpot!!  Now, I am sure that there are probably easier methods to finding my families than the ones I utilized (it is usually that way) but I am very happy that I found them.  I think, however, I may just wait for the indices before doing any more research – that is of course, unless my inquisitive nature gets the best of me again!

          The above photo is my dad (the youngest one) with his two brothers and parents at their house in Hollywood.  The best I can tell the photo was probably taken in 1942 or thereabouts.  How fun would it be if they had taken a photo of each family for each census?  Now, I would have loved that!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


       On this St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to share some of my favorite Irish blessings, sayings, toasts, and memories.  Even though, us kids were only ¼ Irish (paternal grandfather’s side) we seemed to celebrate our Irish culture more than our German or Polish.  All 6 kids had Irish first names and of course, St. Patrick’s Day was a big day for us.  The first thing we learned was that you never wear orange on that day.  I think I must have taken that to heart because to this day, I can’t wear orange unless it is Halloween.  Of course, I never did develop a taste for corned beef or cabbage.  Why couldn’t it be tri-tip and artichokes?  I love those!  Oh, well, on to the blessings and sayings.

       The saying I remember most from my Grandpa Charlie and in fact, maybe it was written in their house somewhere is the following

May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

I always liked that thought – being in heaven before the devil knew you were dead.

       I wish I would have thought to have an Irish blessing at my wedding.  I would have used this one –

May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness.
From this day forward.

Recently I just found this blessing, which new to me isn’t probably new at all.

May you have the hindsight to know where you've been
the foresight to know where you're going
and the insight to know when you're going too far.

My friend Mary added a bit more to it
“ and may you have the eyes to know and appreciate where you are right now, in this moment.

On the fun side is an Irish blessing that my friend Margie shared with us –

May those who 
love us,love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts:
And if He doesn't turn their hearts
May he turn their ankles
So we'll know them by their limping.

What to eat on St. Paddy’s Day (I did learn recently that you never write Patty’s Day because Patrick is Padraic in Gaelic and therefore the nickname would be Paddy, not Patty!) when you don’t like corned beef and cabbage, well how about Irish Coffee?

"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar, and fat."~~By Alex Levine.~~

In closing, my favorite Irish blessing –

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields and,
Until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand

Wishing you all – 

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!  (Happy St. Paddy’s Day!)

Monday, March 12, 2012


         After graduating from Loyola High School, Donald Sherlock attended Los Angeles City College with the career goal of becoming a dentist.  While attending college, he also worked as a postal carrier, delivering mail to a route in Sherman Oaks.  On his route, he met his future wife Joan as she was working in one of the offices that he delivered mail to.  Don and Joan married in October of 1951 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Van Nuys.

          Four weeks after the wedding in November 1951, Don was drafted into the US Army. He served the first year at Ford Ord (which interesting enough is the location of California State University, Monterey Bay).  In November of 1952 (2 ½ months after the birth of his eldest son) he was sent overseas to Korea.  He was stationed in Korea for a year.  He was discharged as a Corporal and received the United Nations Award and the Korean Combat Medal for his time in the service.  Don served as a medic during his time in the army.

          The above photo shows Don at Ford Ord (in Seaside, California) in 1952.

Friday, March 2, 2012


         My father Donald Joseph Sherlock was born to Charles Sherlock and Theresa Anna Barbara Nebgen on this date 83 years ago.  At the time Charlie was recuperating from his injuries on the Chicago police force and was wondering what lied ahead for him.  He knew he was done serving on the force and would receive a pension but where should he go with his young family and what would the future hold for him in terms of work.

          Donald was born by Cesarean section and therefore was a beautiful baby from the beginning.  Of course, he mentioned this fact, along with his winning a beauty contest with his mother, to his kids for most of their childhood.  Don’t you wish you won a beauty contest?  The photo below is the picture from the beauty contest and he was a beautiful baby. 

          Donald had two older brothers – Edmund, who was 2 ½ and Charles (Chuck) who was 7 when Donald was born.  When Donald was 6 months old, the family moved from Chicago to Redondo Beach, California.  Dad told me that they had made some sort of hammock across the backseat and that is how Baby Donald moved to California.  Hopefully, there were no sudden stops!

          When Donald was 5 years old, they moved to the Hollywood Hills and more specifically to a house on Beachwood Drive, where he would spend his childhood and adolescent years.  After attending kindergarten in Redondo Beach, Donald attended the first few years of elementary school at Cheremoya Elementary in Hollywood before transferring to Holy Sacrament Elementary School.  For high school, he attended the prestigious Loyola High School in Los Angeles.  

          Now, that I have started writing this I think this may be a 2 or 3 post story. So, I will wrap up this post by saying’ “Even though, Dad, is no longer with us, we still think about him a lot, the example he set,  and the impact that he had on our lives.”  Amazingly, his first grandchild was born on his birthday in 1977.  He was a very proud Grandpa that day. 

          Happy Birthday, DAD!   We love and miss you!!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


          According to an old Irish legend, Saint Bridget made a deal with Saint Patrick that would allow for women to propose to men on Leap Day (February 29th).  A man had to pay a penalty if he refused a woman’s proposition of marriage on this day. Now, I don’t know if any of the women in my family took advantage of this Irish legend, but I do know that we had a Leap Day Baby among my ancestors. 

          My paternal grandfather Charlie had a half brother named Joseph Gary.  Joseph was born on Leap Day in 1912 to Bridget Elizabeth Chambers (Charlie’s mom) and her husband Joseph Francis Gary.  At the time of his birth at their home (located at 310 Huron), the father Joseph was 28 years old and employed as a caulker for the city of Chicago and Bridget (his mother) was 35 years old.  Joseph was Elizabeth’s 5th child but only her 2nd living one. 

          Joseph Gary married a woman named Jessica.  I haven’t had any luck finding out her maiden name, where she was born, etc.  However, I did have the opportunity to meet her several times as a child.  She was a very nice woman.  I can’t find Joseph in the 1930’s census so I am definitely hoping that I have much better luck with the 1940’s census.

          Joseph and Jessica (or Jesse as she was known to us) lived in Glendale, California.  I found them in several city directories of Glendale in the 1950’s.  In the 1953 directory, it listed Joe as an “armature winder”.  Okay, definitely needed to look up that one and found that it meant his job was to locate the broken part of an electric motor (and more specifically its coils) and to repair or replace it. In the 1954 directory, his job was listed as electrical repair and then machine operator in 1955.    Then from 1958 to 1960, he was a gardener for the Board of Education.  

          Joseph died on March 6, 1974 in Glendale, California.   His funeral was held at the Holy Family Catholic Church.  He was buried at Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood. 

          In the above photo, Uncle Joe is the man sitting at the bottom of the photo, while his wife Aunt Jesse is the hair with the white hair in the rear left.   I remember my Dad and Grandpa Charlie always making a big deal about Uncle Joe’s birthday.   They thought it was utterly fascinating that he only had a birthday every 4 years.   So, even though in 1972, he was 60 years old, he really had only celebrated 15 birthdays.  

          Happy Birthday, Uncle Joe, who if still alive, would be celebrating his 100th birthday today and only his 25th actual birthday celebration!