Thursday, September 10, 2020

Nooo, Not Another Sullivan!


As promised yesterday, our purpose today is to meet someone new in my quest to ascertain the roots of my husband's second great-grandmother, Johanna Falvey. That someone new, as I've already mentioned, was Catherine Falvey, and I found her in Detroit. 

The reason I'm interested in this particular Catherine Falvey is that somehow, one of her descendants shares a minute segment of DNA matching the exact pattern claimed by my husband. A Falvey match, I presume. My goal, if I can't trace Johanna Falvey's family line back to Ireland, is to see whether I have any better results in following the immigrant line of this other Falvey descendant. Let's take a look and see what can be found about this other Falvey family.

For one thing, unlike Johanna Falvey who was already married to John Kelly before leaving Ireland, this Catherine Falvey did not immigrate to America as an adult. Rather, she was born here to immigrant parents. She can easily be found in the 1860 census, living in Detroit along with her immigrant parents, older brother, and younger siblings. All the children in this Falvey household were born in Michigan, beginning in the early 1850s.

While it is true that I might face the same research challenges seeking the marriage record of her parents, Daniel and Mary Falvey, as I have with the other related lines I've attempted to follow back to Ireland, at least I have six additional Falvey names to pursue in hopes of at least one mention of connections back to the home country or relationships with other Falvey members.

While I will also pursue Catherine Falvey's siblings' lines for clues, our first step is to see what can be discovered about Catherine, herself. She is, after all, the direct line ancestor of the person whose DNA matches that of my husband. We'll need to rule out any unforeseen alternate family connections—after all, we need to make sure it is Falvey, and no other surname, which is the connection tying these two DNA matches together in their one shared segment. From that point, the rest of the story needs to be to examine Catherine's line to assure us that she is indeed the Falvey ancestor of the DNA match, and not another Falvey second great-grandmother—although, in that case, since it involves examining connections to living individuals, I won't be posting about that portion of my research.

So, what can be discovered about Catherine Falvey, herself? Step one is to trace her parents' household through each decennial census record I can find—all, thankfully, remaining in the Detroit area. It isn't long, though, until the expected happens. After finding Catherine in her parents' home in the 1860 and 1870 census records, she is in a new home for the 1880 census as, yes, she, too, has married. Her husband? A Michigan-born child of Irish immigrants, same as Catherine.

Though I can't yet find any marriage record, I can infer from the 1880 census that Catherine and her intended were married about 1879 in Michigan. In time, "Kate" and her husband would become proud parents of seven children, all carrying a surname which seems vaguely familiar to me, after all my attempts at taking another alternate route to discover the parents of my Johanna Falvey and her husband John Kelly: another Sullivan connection!

What is it with these Sullivans? Am I forever doomed to keep bumping into them in this research maze? They seem to be everywhere, intertwined into the life stories of both my Falveys and my Kellys. Let's hope this time, that Sullivan name leads us back home to the right destination in Ireland.

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