Tuesday, April 22, 2014


I always assumed that my Great Grandpa Edward Sherlock left for America from Queenstown, Ireland.  Well, today, I located a document -- Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960 -- that tells me differently.

According to this document that I found on Findmypast.ie, Edward Sherlock departed from Liverpool, England on 21 Oct 1891 for New York.  I guess he could have still left from Queenstown but went to Liverpool first.

Edward Sherlock, who was 21 years old at the time, sailed on the ship Majestic.  He was one of 1181 passengers.  The SS Majestic made its maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York in April 1890.  The trip took 6 days and 10 hours to complete.  On a west bound trip back to Liverpool, it set a record for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic.  The record was short lived when a sister ship completed the crossing faster 2 weeks later.

Monday, April 21, 2014


I have finished reading "Ireland's Pirate Queen" -- The True Story of Grace O'Malley -- by Anne Chambers. I found it fascinating -- not only the fact that Grace played such a strong role during a time of  male dominance (and to think that she was such a fierce woman commanding a fleet of ships)  but also the location where it took place.

A lot of the story took place in County Mayo (the ancestral land of my own Chambers) and specifically mentions Croagh Patrick, which can be seen from the town of Islandeady.  Clew Bay, which is about 15 minutes west of Islandeady, plays a large role in the story.  I visited the town of Westport on my trip to Ireland in 2012 but was only there for lunch and a little shopping and totally missed the Westport House.  After reading this book and about the Westport House on the internet, it is now on the top of my list when I return to the Emerald Isle.

After the reading the book, I was hoping that I could find some family link between Grace O'Malley and my family but as of yet, I can find none.  I am still hoping that perhaps Anne Chambers is related to my Chambers family.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


While I am getting somewhat proficient at researching my ancestors in the US, I still run into a lot of problems when I try to research those in Europe (Germany, Ireland and Poland).   While Ancestry has some German records, typically my ancestors are not found in those records.  Find A Grave.com was a huge resource where I discovered records on many of my German ancestors.  However, my greatest resource has been my German cousin's wife Susanne.  I know I have mentioned her in other posts, but she is definitely worth mentioning again and again.  In fact, I have decided that she may be my "Guardian angel for German genealogy".

Last week, she sent me a birth certificate for one of my 2nd great uncles and also the link to Staudt.info.  Susanne thought that I was already familiar with this site, but she gives me far too much credit.

My fifth great grandmother Anna Christine Hober was born in Staudt, Germany in 1725.  Her father, grandfather and great grandfather were also born there.  So from 1625 (when my 8th great grandfather Oster Hober) was born in Staudt until sometime after 1725 (probably when Anna Christine got married and moved a very short distance to a neighboring town of Wirges) did my ancestors live in the town of Staudt. So, imagine my glee when I followed the link to Staudt.info.  Besides giving information (including a short history), it also lists genealogical information.  What can be better than that?

Staudt is located in the Southern Westerwald region of Germany, near the towns of Montabur and Wirges (more about my Wirges roots in another post).  It is a 20 minute drive to Koblenz.  Yes, I am already planning a side trip when I some day take my dream trip -- cruising down the Rhine River.

What I found interesting about the history of Staudt is that there were 18 families in Staudt in 1605 but that number decreased to 9 in 1684.  The Hobers were one of those 9!

This site (Staudt.info) also gives a listing of births (1700 and 1800's).  In addition to the baby's name, it also lists the parents' names.  Yes, my Hober's were among those listed!

German genealogy is definitely easier with a little help from a friend!  Thanks, Susanne!

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Since my first trip to Europe in 2011, I love visiting old churches -- the older, the better!  Being raised a Catholic, I was taught as a child to make a wish each time I visited a church for the first time.  So, as you can imagine, I am making lots of wishes!

While on my trip to Ireland in 2012, our tour group made a "comfort stop" in the little town of Ballyvaughan on the Burren.  After getting a cup of tea at "The Tea Junction", I headed towards the nearest local church, St. John the Baptist.  The photo above shows the gothic design of the church.  According to its history, the church was built in 1858.  A storm knocked down the building in 1862 and again in 1863.  Reverend Forde collected money both in Ireland and Australia to re-build it in 1866.  I love also reading the history of these churches.

Look, how nice and sunny it looks in these two photos.  One would never have imagined that a short while later, there would be heavy rain and wind on the burren.  Good thing I said my prayers while I was visiting that church!

Saturday, April 12, 2014


I am finally creating a scrapbook of my trip to Ireland in August of 2012.  I noticed that the ticket that I saved from trip to the Cobh Heritage Center had the following wording on it -- see above photo.  It was a reproduction of a ticket from 1892 from Queenstown to New York.  I had never noticed that before.  Of course, it is now going in my scrapbook.

So, if I had taken this imaginary trip in July 1892 what would I have found?  Well, you know what that means, yes, stopping the scrapbooking and doing a bit more research.  And I wonder why my scrapbook is not completed!  In my research today, I found 2 more documents for my great grandparents Edward and Bridget that I hadn't seen before.  Good thing I did the research!  

According to the documents, Edward Sherlock actually left from Liverpool, England and not Queenstown, which makes sense since he was in County Meath at the time. He departed on 21 Oct 1891 from Liverpool aboard the ship Majestic, headed for New York.

Bridget Chambers left Queenstown, Ireland in 1892 aboard the ship Samaria and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on 10 May 1892.  Her brothers were already living in Chicago so I am guessing she decided to join them there.  Why Edward went to Chicago vs. going to Boston (where his brother was) is a mystery to me, except perhaps since Edward was a butcher he thought there would be more work there.  It is a good thing he did go to Chicago because there he met Bridget and as they say "the rest is history"!

Monday, April 7, 2014


The above photo shows my Dad (while serving in Korea during the Korean Conflict) standing in front of the Yokohama Fire Station.  At the time, my Dad was on R&R (rest and relaxation) in Yokohama, Japan.  Since I have not served in the military, my guess is that while serving in a conflict, you get some time off (a week perhaps) and they take you to a designated place that is removed from the conflict but not too far away as to cost a lot of money.

According to Wikipedia, Yokohama was a major transshipment base for American supplies and personnel during the Korean War.  I wonder if he also stopped here on his way to Korea or on his way home from Korea when his tour was concluded.

One observation I do have is regards to the quantity of photos I have of my Dad.  I have a lot more photos of him in the service and specifically in Korea, than I do for the rest of his life.  Now once you have children, you become the person behind the camera instead of the subject of the photo.  Perhaps, too, since he was sending these photos home, it was his form of communication with my Mom (the days before email and social media).