Sunday, March 23, 2014

It's All in the Genes


Tapplys about 1900
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As I look at family photos, I'm often struck by little characteristics that are passed from generation to generation.  The Tapplys were in two camps. You can see the dark hair and deep-set eyes on the three
oldest sisters in the back: Annie, Daisy and Nell. Mabel, on the far left, Ethel (next to her) and my grandmother (the baby on Ellen's lap were more fair and had rounder features. But I was taken aback to see two somewhat distant cousins who were more than a bit alike.
Mark Tapply                                                      William G Tapply
A few years ago I began reading the mysteries of the late William G Tapply because I knew as a "double p" Tapply we were somehow related and frankly I was curious. I turned over one book in the series to find this picture.  For the curious cousins reading this, I made a simple tree from my further research.

This makes Mark and William G third cousins. When you compare the jacket photo to my cousin Mark I wouldn't say the resemblance is close, but you can definitely tell they are family.

Sometimes some very distinctive features skip a generation. My brother Mark is most certainly a Fitzgerald, but the resemblance between his son Patrick and his grandfather (both at 16 years) is quite remarkable.
Patrick Fitzgerald                                            John J Fitzgerald
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The chin, the ears, the brow...the set of their eyes...Wow! 

I've been told I look a lot like my father as well and my mother and my grandmother Katie (dad's mom) and my two times great grandmother Cassandria. And I do look a bit like all of them. But then I looked more closely at a picture taken in 1927 of my great grandmother Ellen.
The photo is pretty grainy, but look at the chin and the jawline, the smile lines of the nose, the lips......and my mother always said my very thick blonde hair came from Ellen. Maybe I'm more Tapply than I thought.

Family photos are just one more way to reach into the past and make that gene-alogical connection.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

♣ A Little Irish Mappy Monday

Considering how little my mother actually knew about her genealogy, she could be quite a snob about her family...of course some of her attitudes came from small-town upbringing and things she heard at home as a child.  So I was gleeful to discover that there was quite a bit of Irish background in her family.
What I present here are the bare facts I've gleaned from the few online records and family histories....hopefully in the future an ambitious genealogist will find the records to back this up.
James Dunn and Martha Long married some time in the mid-1700's in County Down, Ireland. Down is in Northern Ireland right on the Irish Sea. I found this rather cool map at one of the Irish heritage sites. James and Martha had several children in Ireland, including my ancestor Samuel Fowler Dunn. At some point after his birth around 1750, they emigrated to the Colonies and lived in western Virginia. Samuel married Eleanor Brewster and moved to Mercer County, Kentucky. From there the Dunns spread out all over Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and Indiana. My direct ancestor, John Dunn, was one of the first settlers in Owen County, Indiana.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, mom!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Irish Eyes

John J Fitzgerald Jr.
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The caption on the back of this picture reads "John J Fitzgerald Jr., Age 7 1/2, June 10, 1925".
Even when I was a girl there was a photographer set up at the edge of the Boston Common taking pictures of children seated on his pony. Judging by the very serious face I would guess that the pony portrait in short pants was wrangled out of my father under duress. But it's a sweet portrait of the most Irish face I know....my dad.