When I looked more carefully at my grandfather’s birth entry, I realized his name was “Sweeny”, not “Sweeney” which we have all carried since his arrival in the US in 1903. This made me question the validity of my father’s family research. I subsequently did enough research to convince myself that my father was correct. The place of birth, the rough time period, the names of siblings and their birth records, and census information leaves little doubt that Sweeny became Sweeney when the first sibling arrived in the US. I also checked with other relatives to link various uncles together. All the links are there, just no explanation of the reason for the name change. Maybe it was an error entering the name into the ship manifest. I’ll never know the reason. Perhaps, when the other siblings needed to put down the name of a relative already in the US, they used the same spelling to avoid questions.
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