Thursday, July 11, 2013

Back to Where We Left Off

Now that you’ve gotten the big picture describing where I’m headed with my next big research project, let’s recap where we left off in our last foray into the Stevens family Irish immigrant connections.

Francis X Stevens in Chicago IL early 1942
For those of you who have been with us for a long time at A Family Tapestry, you will recall the series on Frank Stevens—his interactions with his five siblings, his letters home while serving in the Navy during World War II and his post-war service in the United States Air Force. (If you have joined us here after that point, I’ve hyperlinked to some of those posts; if you want to know more about any of those episodes in Frank’s life, all you need do is click on the highlighted words.)

Will and Agnes Stevens after wedding at St Anne Church in Chicago IL 1912
As you may remember, Frank’s parents were William and Agnes Tully Stevens. I spent quite a bit of time covering family stories of the Tully family in Chicago, but only included Will’s part of the story as it intersected with the Tully narrative. We’ve already shared Agnes’ wedding day, back in June of 1912. Just to give a little insight into the Fort Wayne man Agnes was marrying, there were some posts on Will—actually starting the trail with a letter from his step-mother following Will’s passing in 1946.

Officer John Kelly Stevens of the Fort Wayne Police Department during early 1900s
While it seems like a popular thing in our culture to bemoan the role of the step-mother, in Will’s case, his step-mom was all that he had left among his relatives of that generation, as his own father, John Kelly Stevens, had passed away when Will was forty five. Will’s mother, Catherine Kelly Stevens, had been long gone, herself, having died shortly after he was born.

John Kelly Stevens had had much the same experience in his own young life, too, as his own mother—also named Catherine Kelly, incidentally—had died following the birth of his younger brother.

With these few wisps of family history now ensconced in my files, I’ve got much work to do yet, before facing the possibility of flying to a foreign country to continue this Stevens family research. Consider this list of review posts as the items to include in my “needs assessment” for a research To-Do list.

Tomorrow, we’ll take inventory of what I know, so far, about each of the players in this research challenge, and where each trail leaves me cold at the brink of the western shores of the Atlantic.


  1. So nice to see Frank's smiling face. I thought he was a most likeable chap!

    I hope to learn from you how "to do the Irish ancestors" as paternal grandmother's family came from County Antrim, North Ireland.

    1. Iggy, have you tried the forums at Ireland Reaching Out? They have a number of volunteers in some of the Irish counties working with descendants around the world, with the goal of facilitating connections back to their homeland. I've had some help from them in the past year for our Tully roots, and I'll be revisiting their website this coming year for my Stevens and Kelly links, too.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...