Monday, November 10, 2008

My Grandparents Sheehan

One of the hardest tasks in documenting our ancestors is to place them at a certain location at a certain period of time.
The Internet has opened so many doors of opportunity to assist in this task.
I've found that current dates are one of the hardest to confirm. And when I say current I am thinking the time period from - say - 1890's thru 1940's.
Ron and I have found many, many records for his family in courthouse ledgers from here in Northwest Missouri and Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, to mention a few. Land records, circuit court records, death records, marriage records - all provide a wealth of information for the time between 1790 thru current years. Of course, by the time we've lifted dozens of those heavy, wonderful ledgers off the shelves and onto the counter a couple of days in a row . . . . . who said research was easy.
One of my most exciting recent finds was via The Internet. Clicking a mouse in a way beats the physical workout that county courthouses require. However, it does not replace the hair-raising feeling of reading and touching those brittle ledger pages with the scrolling cursive handwriting - if you've not had the experience you are really missing a thrill of the heart.
My ever-elusive Grandfather Joseph SHEEHAN was -according the the 1920 Federal Census - was in El Paso County, Texas in the El Paso Military District with the 8th Mounted Engineers. I had previously acquired his military record - a synopsis really - providing among other facts, dates of enlistments and discharges, rank, etc., but to be able to fill in one more date and location is good.
My Grandmother SHEEHAN - she insisted that we address her as 'Mom' - while not quite as elusive as our Grandfather has been a bit of trouble to find.
By 1920 my grandmother Josephine and my grandfather had been divorced several years so when I found Josephine HELWICK SHEEHAN BRENNAN BOWRON listed on a WWI Draft Registration Card for Pete Brennan as nearest relative: Josephine Brennan.
Don'tcha just love genealogy ! ! ! ! !


Richard Carroll Sheehan said...

I think that Eleanor told me that Mom received a regular small check for military service from the government. Eleanor thought it was related to here father, Joe Sheehan. Also it was my understanding that our grandfather Sheehan was in the Navy as an enlisted man. Navy!

Richard Carroll Sheehan said...

Good work, Gerry!