Monday, July 28, 2014


When we were planning our trip to Austria and Germany last fall, I remember my mother-in-law telling my husband that there was a German deli in Carlsbad, California (about a half hour from where we live).  Fast forward to Saturday when I was cleaning out our garage and I started thinking about that German deli.  Of course, why then?  Who knows?  So, I asked my husband about the deli and he remembered there being one but not the name so I did some research online.  I found out the name of it is Tip Top Meats.  Okay, that doesn't sound very German to me but I was assured that it was a German deli.  I looked at the menu online and still wasn't totally impressed but decided we would give it a try yesterday for lunch.

Wow, I certainly have been missing out on some good German food all these years -- right in my own "almost" backyard.  I ordered the cold roast pork sandwich with German potato salad.  I was deciding between having the whole sandwich and the half sandwich and selected the whole sandwich.  Only at this place, does 3 halves make a whole.  It was literally 3 halves of a sandwich.  I don't know why more places don't serve cold pork sandwiches.  Lots of places serve cold roast beef!
As I was sitting there eating my delicious sandwich and the best tasting German potato salad ever and of course a German beer (one needs the full experience), I was transported back to the village of Hohenschwangau (where the Neuschwanstein Castle is located) and to the Jagerhaus Restaurant where I had ordered the Krustenbraten mit kren (cold roasted pork with horseradish).  They served it with sauerkraut and King Ludwig bread.

Of course, back to reality, the amount of food that you are served is enough for two meals and I ordered just the sandwich.  So, guess what I also ate for dinner last night?  We also checked out their little market which has all kinds of fun German food.  Now, I am hoping that we will be able to prepare the food since all the directions are in German but hey, isn't that is what Google Translate is for?

My one regret is that we were so stuffed we didn't even look at the desserts -- my favorite part of any meal.  I am thinking a return trip to Tip Top Meats is definitely in my future!

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Twenty thousand people climbed Croagh Patrick today to celebrate the annual Reek Sunday pilgrimage.  The large group of hikers was led by the Archbishop of Tuam.  According to the legend, Saint Patrick climbed this mountain in 441 and fasted for 40 days.  This is also the spot, according to legend, where he drove the snakes out of Ireland.

In 2012, was the first time that I saw Croagh Patrick.  I was standing in the parking lot of the old Islandeady Cemetery and could see it to our west.  Let me give proper thanks to my brother Danny for not only pointing it out at the time but also giving us a brief  history lesson about the mountain and St. Patrick.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


In 2012 when I visited Ireland and more specifically the city of Castlebar, I wasn't sure if any of my ancestors were actually buried in the Old Cemetery in Castlebar so I told my 3 traveling companions to just take photos of any tombstone with the following surnames -- Chambers, Kilroy, Lynch or Feehan.  Later when I looked at the photos they had taken, I think they actually were taking ones of any surname starting with C, K, L or F.  Of course, some times in these old cemeteries you need to take photos of some of these gravestones regardless if the person is related to you or not.  

I love this setting of 3 gravestones in the photo above.  Of course, I love these monument type of gravestones.  Now, that is celebrating some one's life!

Saturday, July 19, 2014


I have often thought that even though my Sherlock ancestors lived in Ireland that I would not be surprised to find out that the Sherlock name had its origins in England.  However, I was more than a bit surprised when my cousin Woody sent me some information on the Sherlocks in antiquity.

According to "The Family of Sherlock" (notes by Rev. Canon French in the Journal of County Kildare Archaeological Society), the Scurlags (later known as the Sherlocks) settled in Gower in Southern Wales in 1099.  The first known member of the family was known as Godinet Scurlag (living in 1155) and it was he who had the Scurlag Castle built in Gower.

William de Scurlag (or Sherlock) received grants of land in Meath where he built a castle in Scurlogstown.  There were 3 branches of the Sherlock family --
1. resided in the Meath and Wexford area
2. resided in Waterford and Cork
3. the family of Sherlockstown in Kildare

I found it interesting that the close similarity of the coat of arms (with only minor differences) is what gives better proof that these 3 branches are related rather than the common surname.

So, my branch of the family was the one that originally located in the Meath area.  Maybe, I need to change the name of my blog to the Home of the Scurlags, to be more historically accurate.   Wonder what my Grandpa Charlie's reaction would be to finding out we came originally from Wales?

Friday, July 18, 2014


Okay, it was more than a little help that I received from several of my "genealogy aficionado" cousins that helped me make some great discoveries in the past few months.  I can now answer or at least partially answer the following questions --

1. Where did the Sherlock name originate?

2. Who are the other Kilroy's besides my 2nd great grandmother Ann Kilroy Chambers?

3. Could we be related to General Michael Kilroy from the Irish Revolution of 1920-1922?

4.  Where does the Kilroy name originate and what does it mean?

5. What is the relationship between Adolph Nebgen and my Nebgen ancestors?

Well those are the questions that come to mind quickly.  I will address each of these questions with their answers in future blog posts.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


My great granduncle Michael Chambers was born in August 1858 in Islandeady, County Mayo, Ireland.  He immigrated to the United States in 1880.  His brothers Patrick, Thomas and Charles were also in the United States and more specifically in Chicago.  According the 1900 US Census, he was living with his brother Charles who was married and had a family.  Michael's occupation was listed as teamster on the 1900 census.

On 15 Jun 1904 in Chicago, Michael Chambers married Winnifred Callaghan who was born in Rahoma, Antrim, Ireland but immigrated to the US in 1902.  Michael and Winnifred had 5 children, one of whom -- Patrick only lived for one day in 1917.  Their oldest child was a daughter named Mary (probably named after Winnifred's mother Mary).  Next was a son Michael.  We can guess who he was named after!  Then came Patrick (who was probably named after Michael's brother.) After Patrick, a son named Charles (probably named after another of Michael's brothers) was born.  The youngest child was Thomas, who was probably named after both Michael's father and Winnifred's father.

The above photo is from Michael and Winnifred's wedding day.  Michael is seated in the middle and Winnifred is standing to the right of Michael.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


In my last post, I talked about how half of the interments in the Katholische Friedhof Wirges cemetery in Wirges, Germany are either my ancestors or spouses of my ancestors.  I wondered how many I would find in the nearby (about 4 miles) cemetery called Katholische Maria Himmelfahrt in Helferskirchen, Germany.

Well, I did not have the same luck as I did with the cemetery in Wirges.  According to, 580 interments are listed for the cemetery in Helferskirchen.  I found 40 ancestors in that 580 listing and 19 spouses.  Of note, I did find, my 6th great grandparents Anna Catharina Zirfas and Mathias Bast.  I also found Anna Catharina's parents (my 7th great grandparents) Elizabeth Zirfas and Valentin Zirfas.  There were also a few Hobers listed there.

The church shown in the photo is the Assumption of Mary Catholic Church.  The cemetery is located next to the church.  I am thinking that this will be another stop on my genealogy trip down the Rhine River.  Hopefully I will be able to locate my 6th and 7th great grandparents' graves as well as take a tour of what is commonly referred to as one of the most beautiful baroque churches in this region.


In my June 8. 2103 post on this blog, I discussed the cemetery Katholische Friedhof Wirges which is located in Wirges, Germany.  According to, there are 212 interments. I reviewed the names again today and found that of the 212 interments, 72 belong to my ancestors and another 43 are spouses of my ancestors.

My 3rd great grandparents Anna Catharina Heibel Hommerich & Johann Adam Hommerich are buried there as well as my 4th great grandparents Christian Hommerich & Anna Maria Bast Hommerich.  Christian's parents (my 5th great grandparents) Anna Christina Hober Hommerich & Christian Hommerich are also buried there.  Anna Christina Hober's parents (my 6th great grandparents) Johann Adam Hober & Sophia Maria Sabel Hober are buried there along with Johann Adam's parents Gregarin Hober and Maria Hober (my 7th great grandparents).  Gregarin's parents Oster and Afra Hober are also buried there.  I think this place qualifies as a "family cemetery".  I just wish there were photos of the gravestones on Findagrave.  I guess that is too much to ask.

In addition to all my great grandparents, this is also the burial site for numerous of my 5th through 7th great aunts and uncles and various cousins (from 1st cousin 8 times removed to 5th cousin 4 times removed).

I have already warned my husband that is a "required stop" on any Rhine River cruise that I may take in the future.  There is also another cemetery not too far from this one in the town of Helferskirchen, named Katholische Maria Himmelfahrt.  It is time to research my ancestors in that cemetery.