Researching My Own Family

It’s not often that I spend time researching my own family. Lately, it has been client research or the million other things that I need to do. Today, (Saturday) I spent a few hours on my family and found some interesting stuff.

My O’Connell line is my largest brick wall. I have blogged about it many times. To recap, I am looking for information on Denis Connell b. abt 1820 in Ireland. He married Ellen Fehine in 1840 in County Cork, Ireland. They had at least 6 children from 1840 – 1857. Denis married Julia Seymour (most likely in VT) in the late 1800’s and had two to three kids with her.

Today’s quest is what can I find on Denis Connell / O’Connell and his children with Julia? Can I find any reference of Ellen in the United States?

Here is what I found (some of the records I already had, just needed to go analyze them all).

From the 1870 US Federal Census:

There are two children born that I did not have in my tree. There is Daniel who was born about 1863 in Ireland and Edward who was born about 1868 in Vermont. According to this census record Denis is 40 years old. From records in Ireland, we know he was married in 1840 and  I am pretty sure that he was not married and having kids at the age of 10.

With this information, I searched Irish Genealogy for a baptismal records for Daniel and did not find one. I also searched Ancestry and FamilySearch for a birth record for Edward in Vermont and did not find one.

Obituary of Julia O’Connell

According to Julia’s obituary, there is survived by only one O’Connell son and that is Thomas A. O’Connell. The obituary is from December 1920.

I searched for a death record for Patrick on Ancestry and FamilySearch and found nothing. Ancestry does have a family tree that shows Patrick died after 1919. Does not rule out that Patrick died before Julie.

From what I have found on Patrick so far, he had girls. At this point, I am looking for the male connections (I might want another person to take a y-dna test  with Family Tree DNA).

Vital Records and Newspaper Articles for Thomas O’Connell and Family

Moving on to Thomas O’Connell, I found multiple vital records to provide a snapshot of his family. Thomas married Phoebe Bourn and had four children: Patrick, Hattie, Dennis and Edward. I followed each of their lines forward to see how far I forward I could bring them.


He was born in 1903, VT. I was able to follow him to the 1920 Census, but so far nothing further.


She was born in 1907, VT. She married George Bruce Moffitt on 25 July 1924. They had nine children: Lorraine, Duncan, Joyce, Donald, Marion, Calvin, Harold, Edward and Raymond.


He was born about 1910 in VT. He married Sarah Pope and they had at least two children: Grant and Patrick. Dennis died 6 Mar 1990.

No information has been found on Grant. According to the obituary of Dennis, Patrick Jr lives in North Carolina. I tried to find any links that would connect me to him, but there were about 6 of them in the state. I need to search Facebook and see what I can find.


He was born abt 1914 in VT. Besides finding him in the 1920 Census with his parents, I have found nothing else on him.

End Results:

Though I added many family members to my tree, I have not really found any more information on Denis Connell / O’Connell. It does seem that Daniel and Edward are from his first marriage (unless Julia is the third wife, you never know). I will need to see if I can find naturalization records for Denis (I am not sure if he naturalized). Denis’ son John supposedly naturalized in 1874, in Vermont, according to the 1925 NY State Census. Unfortunately, the name John O’Connell is pretty common and I have not been able to determine which naturalization index card belongs to him.

Though I did not find anything to take me back on the Connell / O’Connell line, the two other children gives me hope that I will find Ellen with the family in the United States. Currently, she remains mysteriously hidden.



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