I knew I wouldn’t keep this up while I was in Salt Lake but the next blogs will continue to offer highlights from my recent trip to the Family History Library…

Day 2 was spent mostly on B2, the British Research Floor, further exploring my military ancestors and their relations. Among others, I searched for information on Major Wade Rothwell whose sons, Thomas and Frederick, settled in Warwick, Ontario and married Harry Alison’s daughter, Frances, and her niece (and my 3rd great aunt), Mary Anne Massy.

Interestingly, I couldn’t find him anywhere in the records. And I spent a good chunk of the morning trying to search the internet for any additional information I could find beyond one appearance as a Lieutenant in A List of Officers of the Army and of the Corps of Royal Marines in Google Books. But, through a combination of general searching on the internet and in findmypast.com, I was able to uncover a bit more of his story including his brevet promotion to Major while serving as a Captain in the 6th Garrison Battalion on 4 June 1814. The article below is from 1809 when he first transferred to the Garrison.

RothwellCaptain1809

Probably the most intriguing find was this one on Black Kalendar, a website dedicated to cataloguing cases of murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, etc. in Britain from 1254-2015. This was a fabulous fluke find while googling “Lieutenant Wade Rothwell.” It notes his fine and six month sentence for participating in a duel that left a fellow Lieutenant dead… One more scoundrel on the family tree. The reference is a minimal article from the Hampshire Chronicle available through The British Newspaper Archive but it confirms that Rothwell was in the 9th Regiment. (Search on “Obrie” or “Roth Well”—with a space. The indexing is wonky.)

My fail of the day was finding a the reference down to the bundle number in the British National Archives site of a pension for an Owen Byrne (possibly my 5th great grandfather), only to find that the relevant microfilm roll ended exactly before his entry AND is wasn’t on the next roll. A Specialist did his best to assist me but he was stymied as well. My options are to have someone look it up for me at Kew or order it direct from them. And, no, for some reason it’s not in findmypast.com either though theoretically it should be.

Happy hunting!

Jess

Needless to say I’ve gotten behind in my blogging—my move, projects, work and such have derailed me a bit. I had fully intended to mark the 176th anniversary of the birth (and 95th anniversary of the death) of my 4th great grandmother, Mary Byrne Cunningham a couple of weeks ago. Better late than never…

Mary was born 21 July 1838 in North Burgess Township, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada to Owen and Ellen (Dowdall) Byrne. She married James Cunningham (formerly of County Armagh, Ireland) on 07 Jan 1863 in Perth, Lanark County, Ontario, Canada. The couple started their family immediately welcoming my 3rd great grandmother Ellen Cunningham in late October 1863. They relocated to homestead in Platte Township in Benzie County, Michigan in 1865—leaving Ellen with her Byrne grandparents. The rest of Mary’s children: Michael, John, George, James, Mary, Sarah, and Anna Clara, were born there. By 1884 Ellen had joined the family in Michigan and then married Cornelius Shea a year later in neighboring Manistee County.

Ellen Cunningham Baptism, 1863

As early as 1895 the Cunningham family had moved on to Antigo, Langlade County, Wisconsin—again with the exception of Ellen. The remaining children largely settled in Wisconsin. Mary was widowed in 25 January 1906. She then settled in with her youngest daughter, Annie (Cunningham) Nixon in Antigo, Wisconsin. Mary died 25 July 1919 in Langlade County, Wisconsin.

Happy hunting,

Jess

In honor of St. Pat’s, here is a view of the resort town and Galway suburb of Salthill in Co. Galway and the edge of Galway Bay taken during a study abroad trip in 1997. It was a beautiful day and an all around lovely trip… but I have no family from there that I’m aware of.

Salthill and Galway Bay from a Ferris Wheel, Summer 1997.

My known Irish ancestors include the Massy family from Rathronan in County Limerick, and the Byrne, Cunningham and Dowdall families who reported themselves from Armagh, in what is now Northern Ireland. I haven’t yet figured out where my Shea line originally hailed from in Ireland.

Ideally, I’d love to take a trip to research these lines.

Happy hunting & Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Jess

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