15 May 2014

Helen Torrance Coughlin - Birthday Girl!

Today is the birthday of my paternal (step) grandmother, Helen Torrance Coughlin.  She was born on May 15, 1910 to Elizabeth Madden and Walter Torrance in Upper Jay, Essex County, New York.

I recently found this birthday of "Grandma C" at her 75th birthday gathering in 1985.  I can only imagine she was on the phone with one of her children!

Happy Birthday Grandma C!!!

14 May 2014

52 Ancestors: #10 Daniel Joseph Coughlin

And the roll call of ancestors continues! This entry in the "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge" is my paternal great grandfather, Daniel Joseph Coughlin (1877-1953).

Dan was the 5th son and 7th child of Daniel Coughlin (1837-1911) and Anna/Annie McDonough (1845-1893) born in the Palmer Hill area of Black Brook, Clinton County, New York. In 1905 he married Bridget Agnes Williams (1883-1973) in Lake Placid, Essex County, New York.  They had 6 children, 4 boys and 2 girls. He died from fracturing his neck in a farming accident on June 12, 1953 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

I do have a picture of him working the farm at Palmer Hill, Black Brook, Clinton County, New York in the 1930's.

I have been tinkering with a census tracking form. So I used Grandpa Dan as my "test subject".  The only census I have been unable to locate him in is the 1900 Federal Census. He would have been 23 years old in 1900 and I am not sure where he may have been as he did various jobs before he took over the family farm after the death of his father in 1911. It was interested as I reviewed the censuses I have from him and saw the many variations of "Coughlin". Most I have seen on my personal correspondence but a few I had not seen so they have been added to my Names Variations chart!

05 May 2014

Why Blog? - Motivation Monday

Why blog?

Image Courtesy of LEOL30
I get this question all the time from non-genie friends and family members (and a few genie friends as well). Why did you start? If you haven't received a lot of feedback or my favorite, if you haven't found all your relatives, why continue to blog?

So why do I blog? Well it comes back to podcasts, websites and blogs! I listen to a LOT of podcasts on my daily commute.  There are also a lot of websites and bloggers I follow on a regular basis.  There was a period where ALL mediums were talking about creating your own blog to share information and if you are lucky you will have people share with you. I always kept in the back of my mind but always had "something" else to do.  Finally, I just DID it. I went online and a few clicks later....blog created!!

I do not blog on a regular basis.  I usually have great ideas and then when I finally get to "pen and paper" so to speak, I draw a blank.  But I am trying to get better and one day I will finally get into the routine.  We all have something we should strive for daily!! (I also hope to redesign and/or add more to the blog.  It's on my list :) )

And to answer my friends about what I get from the blog.  Some of my family members read this blog and have made comments about not knowing something or thanking me for sharing information.  So that is good. Currently I have been contacted by a few previously unknown distant cousins, some more helpful than others.  One helpful distant cousin in particular is trying to break through our common Coughlin brick wall.....where in Ireland did brothers Daniel and Thomas Coughlin really come from???? We have emailed and spoken on the telephone (so 20th century I know but it works too!!) and I am confident that one day, ONE DAY, we will be successful!!

I also get the satisfaction of sharing what I may or may not know about my relatives.  I have TONS of photos that I am continually in the process of scanning and labeling with the hopes of putting them online so I can share what I have with family and friends.  I hope they are enjoying them as much as I am.

I also want to give credit and much thanks to the following folks, podcasts, websites who inspired me (aka gave me that nudge) to finally create a blog.  In no particular order they are:
I say if you have ever thought about starting a blog, genealogy related or not, JUST DO IT! Check out the folks I mentioned and I know you will come away with some inspiration. 

The one piece of advise I would give is do what feels right for you.  Some blog daily and others, like me, when the spirit hits you! You can always tweak your blog as you get more comfortable with it.  The blog is how YOU want it to be not how anyone else wants it...just you.