Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cluna, Ennistymon, Ireland

This family photo was taken in Cluna, Ennistymon, County Clare, Ireland at some point during a family vacation.  The house belonged to Patrick "Pat" and Bridget "Biddy" Clune.  It has stood there for many years and it is where my maternal grandmother was born and raised.  The only reason my father, sister and myself were there in 1981 was because my grandparents had to cancel their trip due to my grandfather's cancer.  My mother had a huge fear of planes so she stayed home with my youngest sister who had just turned 2.  Pat was my mom's uncle and my grandmother's younger brother.  He was the only boy in the family and so inherited the house and farmland.  It has since passed to his son in the great Irish tradition. 

Pictured left to right back row:  Pat Clune, Biddy Clune, Richard Degnan, (me, Colleen Degnan, age 10.5), and Mary Reagan Clune.  The three younger girls in the front are:  Catherine Clune-Mulvaney, Martina Clune, and my younger sister Sharon Degnan.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Finegan and Larkin Discovery

I've been away from my genealogy research this summer establishing my face painting business, Fantasy Face Painting. It's taking off but I recently felt that old tug. So, I got down to business and started to look at my family chart once again.

I decided to concentrate on Patrick Finegan, my maternal great grandfather. From his wedding and death records, I know the names of his parents (Peter Finegan and Mary Boyle). One thing to keep in mind, is that the name keeps flip flopping in records from Finegan to Finnegan.

About a year or so ago, I did uncover Patrick Finegan's ship record. Within this record, I gained 2 gold nuggets. One was his origin (Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, Ireland) and the other was a sibling (his sister, Mary Finegan). Until the ship record, I didn't know either fact. I didn't know of any siblings.

My quest was to find out more regarding Patrick's sister, Mary Finegan. A very interesting quest indeed.

Come to find out, Ms. Mary Finegan decided to marry her sister-in laws' elder brother. Not just any sister-in law. She married the brother of Patrick's wife, Margaret Larkin Finegan! Can you believe that I didn't know this gem? So, Patrick's sister, Mary Finegan, married Margaret Larkin Finegan's brother, Michael Larkin. Are you confused? LOL

They also lived within spitting distance of my great grandparents and their children were the same ages of my grandfather and his siblings. So, where did they go? They didn't go anywhere. They all lived and worked in RI. There must have been a fight somewhere along the line because none of us know them. They would be/and are my mother's second cousins. For heavens sake, I know my second cousins and they live an ocean away still in Ireland.

Well, I'm just happy to have uncovered a missing part of the family for now. I don't have all the facts but I do have some.

Michael Larkin born Jan. 3, 1884, Co. Longford, Ireland (haven't found death record yet)
Mary Finegan Larkin born Sep. 24, 1884, Co. Monaghan, Ireland and died Apr. 1974, Prov., RI

John F. Larkin born 1911, RI
Mary T. Larkin born 1913, RI
Rosella H. Larkin born 1915, RI
Harold J. Larkin born 1917, RI
Michael T. Larkin born 1919, RI died prior to 1930
Thomas J. Larkin born 1921, RI
Raymond P. Larkin born 1923, RI
Vincent P. Larkin born 1925, RI

I'll keep looking and see if I can't find more about this family.

Colleen Degnan Johnson

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, 14th Edition, Vacations

This edition focuses on vacations whether you've travelled to the emerald isle or just dream of the special day when you can. I'm honored that Lisa has asked me to host this edition. I hope that I do the Carnival justice. Thank you Lisa for this privilege.

So, let us start our trip to Ireland.....

Our first obstacle for travelling to Ireland is how we all must get there. Bill West describes his fears and dreams over at his blog, West in New England. I truly hope you overcome your fears and see the many shades of green Bill.

Once you conquer your travelling fears, you can enjoy your trip just as Donna Moughty discovered recently. Follow her adventure researching genealogy, visiting cousins and taking beautiful photos over at Donna's Genealogy Blog. There are several entries. I chose to link her whole blog and not just one specific journey. Incredible shots and information Donna!

The Beara Peninsula is calling to Janet Iles from Ireland's distant shores. See why Janet would like to visit this area which also includes a great link in her post at Janet the Researcher. Thank you for taking the challenge Janet and I hope you get to Co. Cork soon.

Susi Pentico has written a lovely little poem over at Susi's Chatty Performances on Genealogy. Definitely worth a lyrical read.

Over at Little Bytes of Life, Elizabeth shares how she's teased by her hubby and dreams of a big green airplane. Is wool really necessary? Yes, according to Elizabeth it is and she wants the whole package.

Although I've been to Ireland several times, I do have a very special dream vacation posted at CMJ Office. I sure hope dreams do come true.

Well, all good things must come to an end and so must our vacations and dreams of vacations. I hope everyone enjoyed reading.

Next up: Lisa will be posting the 15th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture at the Small-Leaved Shamrock on September 2nd. The theme for this next edition is 'The 2nd Annual Small-Leaved Shamrock Summer Reading Challenge'. Send your posts in by August 30th to Lisa. See you there.

Colleen Degnan Johnson
CMJ Office
Fantasy Face Painting

Thursday, July 30, 2009

One More Day

I'm waiting one more day until I post the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, 14th Edition.

Blog posts are slow during the summer months. Enough reminders are out and about now.

If you'd like your Irish vacation or Irish dream vacation blog post included, please send it on over to me. Thanks.

Colleen Degnan Johnson

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Irish Dream Vacation

14th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture: Vacations

I've written previously about my love of western Ireland specifically the Cliffs of Moher. You can read it again along with viewing an awesome video clip here: http://cmjoffice.com/blog/2008/03/03/the-clune-family-from-tierlaheen-county-clare/.

For this edition, I am writing about my desired vacation to Ireland.

Yes, I have been to Ireland several times. However, I've always travelled to and stayed with my cousins on the farm that my grandmother was raised on. My dream vacation is to be able one day to travel to Ireland with my husband and three children. I want to show my children Ireland especially where their ancestors once walked.

I have a couple of places in mind:

1. The Cliffs of Moher (of course)
2. Ennistymon (Tierlaheen - my Clune, Larkin, Hogan, and O'Loughlin families)
3. The Burren
4. The Knock Shrine, County Mayo (my Donahue family)
5. Longford County (my Larkin, Reilly, McWade and Degnan families)
6. Monaghan County (my Finnegan and Boyle families)
7. Rock of Cashel

Above represents the absolute 'musts' for my family dream trip to Ireland. Of course, along the way I plan to see the green, eat the chips, take in some hay, get some perfume in the Burren, say some prayers in Knock, visit with friends and family, do some Finnegan research, and watch my kids enjoy themselves! Someday this trip will come true. I can't wait.

Colleen Degnan Johnson

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Irish Vacations - 14th Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture

The 14th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture will feature Irish vacations.

Here are the details:

Summer is the time for vacations – going on adventures and visiting new places. The upcoming edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture will focus on Irish vacations. Share with us vacation spots you’ve visited (in Ireland or places with an Irish flavor) and your photos and memories from those vacations. If you don’t have a particular vacation you’d like to share, tell us about the Irish place where you would like to go if you had the chance.

Deadline for submissions (http://blogcarnival.com/bc/submit_2848.html) to the Irish Vacations edition of the carnival is July 26, 2009. This edition will be published by me right here on my blog, CMJ Office, on July 29, 2009. If you'd prefer, you can submit your articles directly to me at: Colleen@CMJOffice.com.

Colleen Degnan Johnson
CMJ Office
Fantasy Face Painting

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ernest Leroy Whitney continued....

(story continued....)

Ernest was the oldest of a family of three boys: Ernest, Arthur and William - and of three girls: Hatie, Luela and Eula. Ernest and his brother, Arthur "Art", were the only family members to travel west.

Arthur and his wife Mamie returned to Vermont when their eldest son, Arthur Jr., was full grown. Arthur Jr. remained in Kansas and worked for his uncle Ernest.

When WWI broke out, Arthur Jr. joined the Army and went overseas. He returned to America, mustered out and started for home. He disappeared somewhere enroute. Family members never heard from him again. (I did a little research and found Arthur. He was living in Colorado in 1920 as a laborer. In 1930, he was living in Michigan. In 1932, he was living in a WI home for disabled soldiers with a residence of Chicago, IL. His social security death index lists his death as June 1966 in Pueblo, Colorado. I'm not sure why the family never heard from him again.)

About 1920, Ernest traded a team of young horses for an old Chevy touring car. He did not get much pleasure out of it as they had no paved highways in that part of the country at that time. He was not a very good mud driver. On a trip to Topeka to the State Fair, they met a herd of cows in the road. They were forced into a ditch. Ernest had to get a team of horses to pull the car out.

One year, Leon (Ernest's son) drove Ernest to the annual Melvern picnic in Ernest's chevy. On the return trip, Ernest told Lee he would get out and open the gate for the cows to be corraled to get milked. Ernest stepped off of the car before it had come to a complete stop and was thrown on his back. The next day Ernest began to bloat and never recovered. Ernest had to quit the farm and move to town (Melvern).

Ernest passed away he following spring in 1922. They diagnosed his illness as cancer of the liver. He was 67.

Colleen Degnan Johnson
CMJ Office
Fantasy Face Painting