Thursday, September 19, 2013

Back to the Fork in This Road

Emerging victorious in the discovery of how to map at least part of Mary Danehy Kelly’s family constellation, I need to remember that this path I’ve now followed was—and still is—a rabbit trail. The goal instigating this rambling detour was to discover how Mary’s husband, Timothy Kelly, was related to our family’s John Kelly, father of John Kelly Stevens’ wife, Catherine.

Got that?

My presumption upon starting this quest was that John and Timothy Kelly were somehow related. After all, they were joint owners of a family burial plot at the Catholic Cemetery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Since beginning this study, I can safely say that I’ve learned a lot about the Timothy Kelly family—there is even more yet to post—but it still hasn’t provided me any clues of his origins. Admittedly, I’ve found obituaries and documentation on some of his children, and even brief reports on the passing of his first wife, Ellen. We’ll continue the tour of this side trail in the next few days by rounding out what we know about the rest of Timothy and Ellen Kelly’s children.

There has also been much to discover about John Kelly and his wife, Johanna. Let’s just say that’s the diverting point—that branch in the road to which we need to work our way back. And we’ll do just that, barring any other bright, shiny genealogical temptations, after we complete the tour of Timothy and Ellen Kelly’s family tree.

I can’t guarantee that the study of each of these players in the Kelly family history mystery will yield any more results. We may find ourselves, upon completion of this assignment, wandering down yet another branch of this family—the Falvey connection—still in search of those elusive clues of the extended family’s Irish origins. The path seems to unfold only as we keep walking along it.

At this juncture, my only observation is that I’m reminding myself to enjoy the journey as well as relish arriving at the destination. It’s been a pleasant surprise, re-introducing myself to the possibilities for discovery at Find A Grave. Inspired by what I’ve found in the last few days, I’ve spent time searching surnames by specific cemeteries—like “Kelly” in the Catholic Cemetery. Skimming down the surname results page from such a search, I look for the icon of the picture frame—sometimes, those icons hint at not just family photographs but scanned resources like those wonderful obituaries tucked away on the memorial pages of the Sweeneys we just uncovered. Those provide details of arrivals from Ireland, early work histories and community involvement.

Isn’t that what we want to help us understand more of the flavor of our family’s history?


  1. Somehow, I don't think you will be "satisfied" until you can show you are related to everyone in the USA. (Big Smile) You rock!

    1. Isn't that the truth, Iggy! Well, what can you expect? I cut my genealogical teeth on researching Perry County, Ohio, where everybody is related! After a few years of researching in those surroundings, you come to expect it everywhere!

  2. Replies
    1. ...but I'm not sure I'm ready to research back that far!


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