Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Retracing the Tully Line

Before we go comparing my family's Tully line with that of a recent—and close—DNA match, let's look at what I've already found in documentation. After we check the basics of that research pathway, we'll go back and examine how that match's line is laid out.

Our Tully line starts with my father-in-law's own mother, Agnes Antoinette Tully. She was the one who, in Chicago, met Fort Wayne native William Stevens and married him in 1912. Agnes' father, in turn, was John Tully, the Chicago cop who had been born in Ireland in 1842.

At least, that was what I had discovered when I began this family history pursuit shortly after marrying into this family, myself. I started, as did so many of us, by personally interviewing as many family members as would take the time to talk about such details with me.

Of course, between that 1842 birth and John Tully's arrival in Chicago—I'm still not certain of exactly when he arrived there, despite some second-hand reports I had found—there was a lot more story to uncover. That story, as it turned out, led down a trail from Ireland to Canada, not to any United States port, as I discovered after many years of fruitless efforts at locating that name in American passenger records. Even then, the discovery didn't come from passenger lists, but from the tedious sport of tracing the death records of every single Tully descendant I could find—and believe me, there were many of them in this good Catholic family—until I arrived at some credible reports of parents' names and places of birth for each of John's extended family members.

That path, in John Tully's case, led back to a tiny village in the County of Brant, Ontario, known as Paris. There, in the 1852 Canada West census, I could find John Tully along with his family in the household of one Denis and "Mrs." Tully.

The "Mrs." was a frustrating find in that census record. It would have helped if the enumerator wasn't so proper about recording the names of married women in his jurisdiction. Not to worry, though, for I did find another way to identify the actual name—including maiden name—of the Mrs. Tully in question. But before I get to that point, tomorrow, let's look at how the generations unfurled for this particular Tully DNA match.


  1. I love it when you write a chapter book!

    1. Glad to hear that, Miss Merry! Only now, I'm wishing it really was a book I was writing.


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