Category Archives: genealogy

What I’ve learned in my family research.

Will I ever see a photo of any of my great grandparents?

I assume the answer is no. I watch genealogy shows like Finding Your Roots and find myself wishing I could be a subject of an episode. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. often holds up a photo and says something like “this … Continue reading

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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure #2 (2019) – Ireland & Scotland

My brother, Ted, and I have made two trips together to Ireland to explore our Sweeney roots.  Back in May 2016, we were off on Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure #1.  We visited McPherson and Brennan cousins as well as … Continue reading

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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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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure #1 (2016) – 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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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 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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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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My podcast interview on Irish Roots Cafe

In July, I was interviewed by Mike O’Laughlin of the Irish Roots Cafe for his Irish Families Worldwide podcast.  The interview is about my family history tour to Ireland in May.  It’s a longer version of my prior two blog … Continue reading

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Our Irish Family History Tour

As I mentioned in my last blog entry, my sister and brother and I recently took our Irish family history tour.  We visited the following townlands: Gubnaveagh, Leitrim – the birthplace of my grandfather, James Francis Sweeney (left at age … Continue reading

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