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I am participating in a genealogy blog challenge called 52 ancestors in 52 weeks. You would have never guessed that the goal is to discuss one ancestor a week, every week for the year. I am late getting started, so will have double up on a couple. To start the challenge, I begin with John Francis Connelly, because today is his birthday.

John Francis Connelly was born  17 January 1877 in New York City to parents Owen Connelly and Margaret Melvin. I believe his mother died shortly after his birth. There are a couple of possible matches in the NYC death certificates, but can not confirm either is she. Advertisement for John Francis Connelly’s printing business in the 1910-1911 Bangor City Directory.JF Connelly ad

In 1880, at just 3 years old, John was living in Bangor Maine with his uncle Patrick Connelly and family. His older brother William was also with them. He and William were enumerator in the census as  Patrick’s “sons” rather than nephews.

John F. was raised in Bangor and became a printer by trade. He was an officer with the Typographical Union, and was appointed as the Maine Commissioner of Labor and Industry in 1911, a position he held until 1915. During his tenure, he was known for his strong support and enforcement of the state’s child labor laws. After leaving office, we continued the printing business in Portland.

John died in Portland in 1960. His wife Katherine had pre-deceased him. He was survived by sons Paul and John Owen.



I am very fortunate to have a number of old family pictures that were shared with me by cousins. Even better, most of them are identified. I am currently working to identify three photos of unknown ladiess. I am using two labeled photos to compare them to.

The first pair of photos below are sisters Catherine and Mary Jane “Jennie” Glynn.  The lower three photos are unindentified. One of the possible idenities is Catherine and Mary Jane’s sister Julia Anna. I have no known photos of Julia Anna to compare.

Kate and MJ

unknown ladies

All photos except the last one are cabinet cards, I believe to be from the late 1880’s. Catherine’s was taken by Headley and Reed, located at 5 Purchase Street in New Bedford, Mass. The one of Mary Jane and the unknown one on the bottom left were taken by a photographer by the name of Hastings at 143 Tremont Street in Boston. The bottom center photo was from Henry F. Hatch of New Bedford.

The bottom right is a copy. I believe the original was on glossy-type paper with scalloped edges.

The Glynn girls were born in Bangor Maine; Jennie in 1863; Catherine in 1864 and Julia Anna in 1874. Jennie was married in Woods Hole Mass in 1886 ( the photo is said to be her in her wedding dress.) All three eventually moved to Carteret, New Jersey. Julia Anna died there in 1893.

Any thoughts on whether any of the three unidentified ladies could be  Catherine or Jennie? Do they look enough like them to be a sister?

Jennie Glynn Connelly

Cabinet card photograph said to be Mary Jane Glynn Connelly in her wedding dress.

I imagine the first thing most people did when discovering satellite images on Google maps was to check out their own house. They might have been surprised that such a clear aerial picture of their homestead is available, or bit freaked out by it. For most genealogists, I think the second thing they did was look for an ancestral home; I know I did. Did you? If not, what are you waiting for?!

Google maps – or one of the several other similiar sites – is a great way to “visit” your relatives’ homes without leaving your kitchen. With just a few clicks, you can peruse the old village and zoom right in on the house. You might also be lucky enough to have a “Street View” of the area, which brings you right down to street level, and allows you to take a simulated sight-seeing drive through the neighborhood.

To find these satellite images, go to Google Maps and type in the address. When the map appears, click on the icon in the upper right corner that says “Satellite.” Continue to zoom in for a street view. It takes very little practice to learn how to move the image around the way you want it and to travel down the street.

I have personally visited and taken pictures of many of these homes, but for the sake of demonstrating the current topic, here are a few examples of my relatives’ homes as shown on Google maps:

The DAVIS Family home where my father and his siblings grew up.

The DAVIS Family home at 96 Lord Ave in Bayonne NJ, where my father and his siblings grew up.

24 Carroll Street, Bangor Maine. Home of the Patrick and Catherine CONNELLY family from 1862 through 1932.

24 Carroll Street, Bangor Maine. Home of Patrick and Catherine CONNELLY and family from 1862 through the 1930’s.

Once the location of Thomas DAVIS' home in the Baltimore neighborhood of Canton, now Naho Mama's Mexican Restaurant and Elvis Lounge.

Once the location of Thomas DAVIS’ home in the Baltimore neighborhood of Canton, now Nacho Mama’s Mexican Restaurant and Elvis Lounge.

It’s not only domestic addresses that are available. You can tour villages throughout Europe just as easily. Here is one example from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England; the approximate location of the 1861 home of my Fourth Great-Grandparents Thomas and Maryann (GRUBY) HARTLAND. Their daughter Hannah married James PHELPS in NYC in 1872.

Green Lane, Wolverhampton, England

Green Lane, Wolverhampton, England

Of course there are a couple of caveats to searching your family’s past addresses. First, house numbers do change over the years. What was #6 and 23 Carroll Street previously is now #24. The best way to determine the current address is to do a house history/ deed search on the property. If you haven’t done that, I’ll have a blog post with instructions soon.

Also, addresses are not always in the exact location that the mapping system places it in. Similar to your GPS device, it will take you close, but might be a couple of houses off.

There is certainly the possibility that your ancestor’s home no longer exists. In the photo above of O’Donnell Street, you can tell by looking at neighboring buildings, that this is not the original structure. (But my cousin Mona and I still stop in during our research trips to Baltimore for some seafood quesadillas.) My great-grandparents home in Carteret was the victim of “Urban Renewal” in the 1960’s. And in many cases, the entire area might yield little if any resemblance to the neighborhood that once was.

Even if the house you are looking for is not there, or if you can’t pinpoint the exact location, these satelitte images are a great way to get the lay of the land. You can see the topography of the area, how close it is to natural features like rivers or lakes, or far it is from a city center.

If you are getting cabin fever from being in the house this winter, take this opportunity to do some touring right on your laptop. And just imagine how much you are saving on airfare!


This week in my family’s history we celebrate my paternal Great Grandfather’s birthday and the wedding anniversary of my maternal Great-Great Grandparents.

My great grandparents Mary Jane and John Henry Connelly, sitting on the porch of their home on Essex Street in Carteret, New Jersey

January 22nd would have been John Henry CONNELLY’s  157th birthday.  John Henry was born in Bangor Maine to parents Patrick and Catherine Connelly. Although I do not have an official record of his birth, the records at St. John’s Church indicates he was baptized by Rev. John Bapst on the same day as his birth. His sponsors were Thomas and Eleanora Burke.John’s siblings were Margaret (1857,) Michael (1860,) and Andrew (1862.) The family lived on Carroll Street in Bangor.

In 1886, John Henry and Mary Jane “Jennie” Glynn (who was a neighbor on Carroll Street) were married in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Their daughters Inez Catherine (my grandmother)  and Edith Ann were born in Falmouth and New Bedford.  Ruth was born shortly after the family moved to Carteret New Jersey.

During their time in Massachusetts, and reportedly during Jennie’s first pregnancy, John Henry was involved in an accident that resulted in the loss of his right hand.

John Henry died at his home in Carteret on 7 March 1932 and his buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Perth Amboy.

sam malvina gunderman mc

January 24 marks the anniversary of Samuel J. GUNDERMAN and Malvina SPRAGUE.

The couple was married in 1894 in Vernon Township, Sussex County, New Jersey by Thomas M. Grenelle of the Glenwood Baptist Church. The witnesses to the union were Rev. Grenelle’s wife and daughter, which makes me wonder about the circumstances of the marriage. Why would family members not be the witnesses? Samuel and Malvina were both of age (21 and 18) and their first child was not born until a full year after the wedding.

Samuel and Malvina had 9 children between 1895 and 1922: Neva, Ora, Lottie, Mollie, Hazel, William, Chester (my great grandfather,) Helen and Gladys.