Sunday, September 4, 2011


Margaret Tully 1882-1936
In honor of the launching of a new blog—The Catholic Gene, courtesy of a splendid cast of genealogists including Cecile Wendt Jensen, Craig Manson, Miss Penelope…er, Denise Levenick, Donna Pointkouski, Lisa A. Alzo, Sheri Fenley, Steve Danko—I thought I’d dig through my own assortment of First Communion pictures and share a few.

These aren’t exactly my pictures. They’re actually from my husband’s Tully ancestors’ relatives, obtained from the collection on loan to me from the descendants of Edna Tully McCaughey. Thankfully, now that I’ve spent a little time researching these “outlaw” family lines, I know a bit about these people. But not much. The hope is that those who are descended from these featured subjects will be able to fill in the blanks, and enjoy a digital copy of the photographs, if they don’t already have one.

The one person I do know something about is the subject of this first photograph. Edna makes the note on the back of the picture: “Margaret Tully’s first communion picture.” Though I’ve already told you the story of my dreadful attempt to sort through the many Margaret Tullys in this family line, I’m fairly certain in this case that this is Edna’s older sister.

Ann and Thomas Clifford
I learned a little about the Clifford family in preparing for a blog post the other day, and this photograph goes along with that family’s story. Edna writes on the back of this card, “Mother’s sister Ellen (Nell) Clifford’s children Ann and Tom.” Ann and Tom were the older two of the Clifford children in the photograph included with a recent post.

While I’m not Catholic, myself, I certainly can say I’ve benefited from the record-keeping diligence of Catholic clergy through the ages and through all the states, as I’ve followed the trail of my husband’s Catholic ancestors upon their arrival in this new land. Thank God that births, sacraments, and yes, even deaths, were held in high importance in the eyes of these faithful leaders. While they kept their records in service to their God, they have also handed to us a faithful representation of the lives of those we seek to better know in our own family lines.

My best wishes to the creators, initiators, fellow conspirators and inspired writers of The Catholic Gene's staff. Your publication will certainly fill a void and serve an important role for those seeking to know more about their Catholic roots.


  1. Jacqi Dahling!

    What a lovely thing you have done! I am very touched. I will make sure that the rest of the team visits your blog.

    BTW, are you back in Stockton yet? We must meet somewhere and very soon!

  2. Oh what nice things you have to say about our new adventure! Thank you! Your photos are a treasure. I do hope you are able to fill in the blanks with more stories.

  3. Thanks for the kind words! They are appreciated. I love the photos!


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