Sunday, September 20, 2009

Congratulations Marianne

The time has finally arrived. The post that brought Marianne McHugh to the attention of the publishers and writers of "Encyclopedia of American Disability History" has come full circle.

This volume is now available at, and in this volume you will find an article on "Daily Life" of people with disabilities. In this article you will find my father's oldest surviving sibling, Marianne McHugh:
Thanks aplenty go out to Penny L. Richards, who "found" Marianne on the March 9, 2008 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy and passed my article on. Thanks also to Susan Burch, the editor of this encyclopedia for her enthusiasm for the project and for using Marianne's photograph.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ancestral Roulette

Randy Seaver has done it again. He's created another Saturday Night Fun activity to spur us on in our research. The instructions are:

1) How old is your father now, or how old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your "roulette number."

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel. Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the "roulette number."

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person's name for your "roulette number" then spin the wheel again - pick your mother, or yourself, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

Well, I started with my father, who is 72, making my roulette # 18 which is empty. My mother, if alive, would be 71 which also made my roulette # 18. So I chose my aunt, Marianne McHugh, instead, since she has probably had the most influence on my professional life. Marianne, as you will recall, was my father's oldest surviving sister/sibling and she was born with Down Syndrome in 1930. If Marianne was alive today, she'd by 79 years old. Using the calculation described above, this gives me the roulette number of 20. The person with that number on my ahnentafel is John Kearns.

John Kearns was my second great-grandfather on my mother's paternal line. Three known or speculated facts about John Kearns:

1. He was born about 1855 (1880 Census).

2. He married Mary Donahue.

3. He was a coal miner residing in Pittston, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

(photo courtesy of Pat Sharpe Dunn)

John and Bridget's daughter, Mary, married my mother's grandfather, James O'Rourke (1876-1944).