Author Archives: Bill

Connecting my Brennans back to Ireland – DNA makes it official

Even when I’m sure something is true, it’s always great to get verification.  That happened recently with my Brennan family tree.  How amazing to connect two families, separated by an ocean 180 years ago. My great great grandfather, Michael James … Continue reading

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A little DNA, time, and luck uncovered a new Sweeney connection

It took almost two years from the first DNA match email I received to reach a definitive connection between our Sweeney families.  Alex O’Brien Feldman first emailed me in January of 2015 with an Ancestry.com autosomal DNA match.  We quickly … Continue reading

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Searching for a Sweeney link from Leitrim back to Donegal

My brother, Ted, and I made a trip to Ireland in May.  We had fantastic visits with our McPherson and Brennan cousins, as well as our friends, the Clarkes.  Gerry Clarke has been a great help in our family research … Continue reading

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Go big or go home. Our trip to South Africa.

I am now approaching another trip to Ireland, so it’s about time I posted a summary of our last trip. In July, 2015, we went on a family trip to Capetown, South Africa. It had nothing to do with my … Continue reading

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Exploring my Gaetz roots in Nova Scotia

In July, we had another combination vacation and family history trip.  Is there any other kind of vacation?  This time, I was exploring my Gaetz roots in Nova Scotia.  My ancestor, Johann Martin Gaetz, arrived in 1751 as part of … Continue reading

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A river cruise down the Danube

It’s been about 18 months, so it’s about time I mentioned our vacation last July.  We’ve never taken a vacation on a big cruise ship, so we decided to start with a river cruise.  It was a great trip, covering … Continue reading

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Is that a curtain rod or modern art?

In late June, a 30 foot tree branch came crashing into our family room missing my wife by about 5 feet.  The branch fell from about 70-80 feet and managed to drop straight down like a spear puncturing the roof … Continue reading

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A cornucopia of Irish cousins – my latest trip to Ireland

In March, I was lucky enough to take another trip to Ireland.  Scheduled to be in Dublin for work on a Monday, I decided to arrive on Saturday morning and head west for a weekend of visiting. My first stop … Continue reading

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Viva Italia! A wonderful trip to Italy!

Italy has been on my wife’s list of countries to visit for a few years now.  We went there this past summer with some friends.  The trip exceeded all our expectations.  Since we had never been to Italy before, we … Continue reading

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My Gaetz family research

I have spent a lot of time tracing my Irish roots (Sweeney, Horan and Brennan).  This culminated in a trip to Ireland where we met cousins and saw the old family cottages.  Recently, I returned to researching my Gaetz line … Continue reading

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