Monday, April 21, 2014

Ancestry DNA Results

Last year, I took the Ancestry DNA test. Nothing really surprising came back. I knew I was mostly European and had Jewish ancestry in me. A few things did surprise me though. I have Iberian Peninsula in me, meaning I have Spain, Portuguese, Moroccan, French, or Algerian in me. I highly doubt I'm Algerian or Moroccan. The other thing that surprised was the percentages. I thought I'd have a lot of British in me, because of my last name and most of my grandfather's family is from England. Surprisingly, I had a lot of Irish in me. I knew there was a lot of Irish on my grandmother's side, but I never thought 18%. 

I'm mainly European West, meaning I'm really German. My parents both have German in them, so I'm not surprised by that. Because I'm German, I have European Jewish in me through my dad; Ashkenazi Jew to be exact. After the Irish, I'm European East, meaning I'm Polish, which I knew from my mom's side. With 17%, I'm Italian/Greek. I know I'm Italian, I mean I talk about it all the time on here. I highly doubt I'm Greek though. There's no traces of Greece in my mom's family at all. With 1%, I'm Finnish and Swedish. I highly doubt I'm from Northwest Russia, but I know I'm Swedish through my dad. Finland owned Sweden back in the 1600/1700;s, so I can see where the Finnish comes in. 

The rest of my ethnicity comes from West Asia. Mainly from the Caucasus region, meaning my family's from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Bulgaria, Jordan, Greece, Kuwait, Palestine, Romania, and Turkmenistan. I have no idea where my family comes from here. I have a feeling it's through my Jewish line and I have a feeling I'm Turkish. I don't know why, it just makes sense. I know it's not Iran, Iraq, or any other country like that. Finally, I have a little bit of Middle Eastern in me, meaning my family comes from Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Israel, Iran, and Pakistan. 

I have feeling my family comes from Israel. Again, I don't why, it just makes sense. I know my West Asian lines comes from my dad's side, via the Jewish line. I have a lot of researching to do. I really want to know more about my Jewish roots and where my family comes from. 

xx Courtney 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Do Some Random Research

A little belated, but nonetheless, let's have some Ancestry fun!

1) Go to The Random Name Generator and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen. You can pick any random name that is generated in successive tries if you don't like or don't want to research the first name generated.

2. Go to and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page. If you don't have, go to and do it there - it's free.

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.

From the random generator, I got Courtney Vaughn (how ironic).

I then went to Ancestry and found the 1930 census for Courtney L. Vaughn. He (surprising actually, I thought it was a she), was a 20 year old white male born about 1910 in Georgia. He was married to Gladis M. Vaughn a 19 year old who was born about 1911 in Georgia. They had a new baby girl named Peggy G. Vaughn a 4 month old who was born in 1930 in Georgia. Living in Brewers, Newton, Georgia, Courtney was a farmer.

I kept searching for Courtney and found him in the 1920 census. He was 10 at the time, still living in Georgia with his grandparents, William (61) and Silavanna Ivy (52). Living with them was Dessa (25), Wilbur (16), and Courtney's mother Amanda (32). It looks like she's a widow and is living with her parents and siblings. Dessa's a teacher and William is a farmer.

I finally found his death certificate. He died in Georgia on March 10, 1980.

After searching Family Search and Ancestry, the results stop there.
I'm sure if I kept searching for his grandparents and parents, I'd find more. I have a feeling there's a lot more on this family.
xx Courtney

Sunday, April 29, 2012

SNGF: Do Some Random Research

1. Go to The Random Name Generator  and click the red “Generate Name” button at the top of the screen

2. Go to (or and enter your generated name in the search box on the main search page.

3. From the results, your research target will be the first census result for your generated name.  If there are no census records, go back and obtain another randomly generated name.

4. Using whatever online resources are at your disposal, see what else you can discover about your random person and write about it. It can be a formal report complete with footnotes, or just a “research story” about what you tried, problems you overcame, or success you had. Maybe you want to create a research plan for practice?

I first got Yvette Greer, but there were no census records for her. So I tried again and I got Basil Mason. 

I found Basil on the 1930 census living in Hollis, New Hampshire. He was 31, born in Canada, immigrated in 1918, he was a farmer, and his parents were born in Canada. His wife Gertrude was 26, born in Vermont, and her parents were born there as well. Their 9 year old son, Wilson, was born in Canada. 

I then decided to go to Family Search and I found his marriage record but it's not to Gertrude. It's to another woman named Helen Emeline Morrill Hadley. They were married on May 30, 1936. His parents were Nelson George and Mary Mooar and her parents were George Jacob Morrill and Susan Parkhurst. 

Other than that, I couldn't find anything else on him.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Theresa Vaccaro's Death Certificate

This the death certificate for my ggg grandmother, Theresa (Tocci) Vaccaro. She's my maternal grandfather's great grandmother, the wife of George Vaccaro, who was a bigamist, and the mother of Natale Vaccaro. Anyway, let's see what it says.

Theresa Vaccaro
Place of Death: 335 Humboldt St. (in Brooklyn, NY)
Character of Premises: Tenement
Married/Widowed/Single/Divorced: Married
Date of Death: Jan. 31, 1926
Age: 75
Occupation: House duties
Birthplace: Italy
How long in the US: 25 years
How long a residence of NYC: 25 years
Name of Father: Nicola Giorgio
Birthplace: Italy
Name of Mother: Maria Russo
Birthplace: Italy

I hereby certify that the foregoing particulars are correct as near as the same can be ascertained, and I further certify that I attended the deceased from Jan 1925 to Jan. 31, 1926, that I last saw her alive on the 25th day of Jan 1926, that the death occurred on the date stated above at 5 a.m, and that the cause of death was as follows:

Chronic myocarditis
Chronic interstitial nephritis

Place of Burial: Calvary Cemetery
Date of Burial: Feb. 2, 1926

That's all for today!

Have a lovely day!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Surname Saturday: My Italian Roots Part 1 - A belated post

This past Monday, 3/19, was St. Joseph's Day. It's not celebrated like St. Patrick's Day is, but it's a holiday that the Italians celebrate (St. Joseph was the father of Jesus). Every year my grandfather buys pastries that are specially made for this day and we all have some. I don't talk about my Italian side too much on here, but my Italian roots come from my grandfather. He's 100% Italian; hence the part 1 and part 2 of this post. In part 1, I will focus on my great grandfather's side and in part 2, I will focus on my great grandmother's side.


It all starts with my 5th great grandfather, Francesco Boccamazzo (b. about 1790 in Italy). He married Antonia Angelcola (born about 1790 in Italy). They had my 4th great grandfather Michele (b. 1816 in Italy, d. 1931 in NY) and his 4 siblings, Angelo, Maria Nicola, Pietro, and Giovanni.

Michele married Angela Rosa Iacaruso (b. 1817 in Italy) in 1838. They had my 3rd great grandfather, Domenico Maria (b. 1845 in Italy) and his 5 siblings, Francesco Antonio, Maria Antonia, Giovanni, Giuseppe, and Maria Nicola.

Domenico Maria married Maria Giovanna Paterno (b. 1838 in Italy) and had my 2nd great grandfather, Michele (b. 1867 in Italy) and his brother Angelo.

Michele married Carmela DeCosmo (b. 1872 in Italy, d. 1938 in NY) and they had my great grandfather Joseph (b. 1897 in Italy, d. 1967 in NY) and his 7 siblings, Mary, John, Andrew, Dominic, Nicholas, Angelina, and Nicholas J (2 siblings died).

Joseph married Theresa Vaccaro (b. 1903 in NY, d. 1998 in NY) and they had my grandfather Michael (b. 1930) and his brother Natale (b. 1932).


Angela Rosa Iacaruso (b. 1817 in Italy) is the daughter of Domenico and Maria Gaetana Iamele (both born about 1787). She is one of 11 kids, Maria Giuseppa Raffaele, Maria Domenica, Maria Carmina, Angiola Rosa, Andrea, Pasquale, Maria Concetta, Maria Giovanna, Maria Pasquale, and Nicola Maria. (I know, a lot of Maria's in this family).


Carmela DeCosmo (b. 1872 in Italy) is the daughter of Joseph Maria (b. 1837 in Italy) and Angela Rosa Cianciulli (b. 1841 in Italy). She is one of 6 kids; Agnese, Andrew, Concetta, Rachel, and Michael.

Joseph Maria is the son of Andrea (b. 1792 in Italy) and Maria Michele Santoro (b. 1796 in Italy). He is one of 6 kids; Agnese, Giovanni, Maria Raffaele, Michele Antonio, and Francesco Maria.

Andrea is the son of Michele (b. 1772 in Italy) and Maria Cicchetti (b. 1772 in Italy).


Angelarosa Cianciulli (b. 1841 in Italy) is the daughter of Vincenzo Francesco (b. 1806 in Italy) and Carmina Raffaele Di Vito (b. 1806 in Italy). She had 5 siblings; Maria Donata, Maria Catterina, Angela Maria Rosaria, Michele Angelo, and Maria Antonia.

Vincenzo Francesco is the song of Domenico (b. 1783 in Italy) and Annarcangela Perella (b. 1873 in Italy). He was had 4 siblings; Pasquale Berardino, Antonia, Biase, and Silvestro.

Di Vito:

Carmina Raffaele is the daughter of Domenico (b. 1773 in Italy) and Rosa Celenza (b. 1773 in Italy). She had 2 siblings; Costanzo and Maria Giovanna.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for part 2 next Saturday!

Have a lovely evening!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Alice O'brien's Death Certificate

This is a death certificate for my ggg grandmother Alice (Mullaly) O'brien. She's the mother of Henry F. O'brien, the one who got hit by a car and died of a fractured skull. She's also my paternal grandmother's great grandmother. Anyway, let's take a look at what the certificate says.

Name: Alice O'brien
Place of Death: 1743 Atlantic Ave (that's in Brooklyn, NY)
Died: Jan. 8, 1910
Age: 73
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY
Character of premises: Private
Occupation: Housekeeper
Father's Name: Martin Mullaly**
Father's Birthplace: Ireland
Mother's Name: Winifred Staken**
Mother's Birthplace: Ireland
How long in the US: Life
How long in NYC: Life

I hereby certify that I attended deceased from Nov. 1, 1909 to Jan 8, 1910, that I last saw her alive on the 8th day of Jan. 1910, that she died on the 8th day of Jan. 1910, about 11:00 PM, and that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the cause of death was as follows:

Mitral Insufficiency .

Place of Burial: Holy Cross
Date of Burial: Jan. 11, 1910

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surname Saturday: My Irish Roots

First, let me say I'm sorry I've neglected this blog. I've been meaning to post on here for quite some time now, but I have to admit, I've been a bit lazy. I still have a few Treasure Chest Thursday's that need to be posted, which I'll get around to eventually.

Second, this is my first Surname Saturday and since it's St. Patrick's Day, I thought I would talk about my Irish roots. My Irish roots happen to come from my paternal grandmother. Her mother is Catherine O'brien, so we'll start with her. Also, I don't know where in Ireland my family is from, but I do know we're from there.


My great grandmother, Catherine O'brien (Lesser; 1898-1993) was born to Henry F. O'brien (1869-1930) and Margaret Gilroy (1875-1932). She was 1 of 7 kids, but 2 died when they were kids; Alice, Lillian, Margaret, Harry, Loretta, and George. Everyone in this family was born in Brooklyn, NY. 

Henry F. O'brien was born in Brooklyn, NY to Henry O'brien (1827-1887) and Alice Mullaly (1837-1910). He was 1 of 4 kids; Martha, Alice, and George. Henry F's father, Henry, was born in Canada and Alice and the kids were born in Brooklyn, NY. 

Henry O'brien was born in Canada to Patrick O'brien (1807-1880) and Bridget Dillon (1807-?). I don't know anything else about Patrick and Bridget nor do I know if Henry had any siblings. I'm not even 100% sure these are his parents, but I believe they are.

O'brien Origins: 

-First found in County Clare.
-Apparently, O'brien's are descended from Brian Boru.
-Motto: The strong hand from above (Lamn laidir an uachtar)


Margaret Gilroy (O'brien; 1875-1932) was born in Brooklyn, NY to Thomas Gilroy (1826-?) and Catherine Coogan (1835-?). I know she had two sisters, Julia and Mary. After that though, everything starts to get funny. I found a lot of census records, including the 1880 census, with a Thomas and Catherine with a bunch of kids, but none had my gg grandmother on it. I did find a 1880 census for MA and she was listed living with a Thomas and Catherine and her siblings, but I doubt that's her because she's born in NY, not MA. Also, I don't know anything about Thomas or Catherine. I'm assuming they were born in Ireland, but they could have been born here in NY.

Gilroy Origins:

-First found in County Clare.
-Apparently, Gilroy's are descended from Irial, the ancient king of Ulster.
-Established in Scotland and Northern Ireland from an early date, is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic "Mac Giolla Ruaidh".


Alice Mullaly (O'brien; 1837 -1910) was born in Brooklyn, NY to Martin Mullaly (1796-1850) and Winifred Staken (1811-1889). She was 1 of 4 kids; Thomas, Martin, and Catherine. Her siblings were born in NY and her parents were born in Ireland. Other than that, I don't know anything else about them.

Mullaly Origins:

-Of Old Gaelic origin and is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic "O'Maolalaidh".
-First found in Connacht

Other Irish Surnames:


Bridget Dillon (O'brien; 1807)


Winifred Staken (Mullaly; 1811-189)


Catherine Coogan (Gilroy; 1835)

Have a lovely evening!

PS. This Thursday I will post one of my Treasure Chest Thursday's and next Saturday, I will be talking about my Italian surnames, in honor of St. Joseph's Day (which is this coming Monday).