Tag: carnival


Ireland

My entry for the 13th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. Here is what this carnival is about. Share with us the surnames in your Irish family tree, but don’t just stop there. Do a little research and tell us the origin of one or more of those surnames, the stories of how they might have changed over the years, or tales of how they’ve been mixed up and mispelled, etc.

The big Irish surname in my tree is CORRIGAN. The name starts at my paternal grandmother, who is always the family’s biggest Irish supporter. I can trace the surname back to Michael John CORRIGAN who immigrated from Killeeshil Parish, County Tyrone, Ireland to Ontario, Canada in the 1820s. The family lived there for many years before my great-great-grandfather, Thomas CORRIGAN, moved to Wisconsin with his family. The history of the CORRIGAN surname according to Wikipedia is:

The Corrigan (O’Corrigan, Carrigan, Corocan, Courigan, Currigan) surname is of Irish descent. Translated Corrigan means “Spear”. The name is believed to have originated from Coirdhecan of the Cineal Eoghain. It is also believed to be connected to the Maguire clan. The Corrigan surname was popular in the 17th century in County Fermanagh in Ireland. Today, the name is spread out across most counties in Ireland and some of the United States and Canada.

Via my genealogy research, I have met and talked to a lot of CORRIGAN researchers, a lot of whom descended from the same Michael John CORRIGAN family. I have yet to trace back into Ireland, besides County Tyrone as listed above.

There are also few famous individuals with the CORRIGAN surname such as the actor Ray “Crash” Corrigan and Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan, who I posted about in the past.

I actually haven’t run into many misspellings of the name, other than the few listed in the Wikipedia entry above. Soundex usually handles most of the common spelling changes. The few other Irish surnames I have in my tree are MCCANN, THOMPSON, NUGENT, BOYLE and CRONIN, but none of these go as far or are researched as deep as CORRIGAN.

We ran across this interesting inscription when we were searching for the headstones of my wife’s ancestors in Boscobel, Wisconsin. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the front of the stone, just the back with the inscription. I can only assume it’s the headstone of Elizabeth Armstrong as is noted.

Click for larger version
Click for larger version

I did some research on the event a found a few things. Google Book Search turned up a writeup on the subject mentioning Elizabeth Armstrong. I can usually include an excerpt into my blog, but this book won’t let me, so you can see it by visiting the book here.

There is also a writeup over at the Wisconsin Historical Society’s website:

The Indians kept a hot fire for two or three hours, while concealed behind the stumps or out-buildings. Capt. Stone’s company were mostly absent, and the fort numbered only some fifteen effective men. The women and children were panic-stricken, crying and wringing their hands. At this stage of affairs, Mrs. ELIZABETH ARMSTRONG, wife of JOHN ARMSTRONG, of Sand Prairie, in this county, finding the Fort but poorly supplied with balls, divided the women into parties; the first , who could load fire arms, constituting the first division; the second were to run bullets. Mrs. ARMSTRONG delivered to them a short effective address, telling them that it was but worse than folly to give up to fear in such an emergency as the present one – that they could expect no sympathy from the Indians, and to go to work immediately and do their best to save the Fort. They obeyed, and under her direction performed miracles.

You can view the full article here or read more about her during the Black Hawk War over at Wikipedia.

Weee!

This Carnival of Genealogy has to do with “The Happy Dance. The Joy of Genealogy. Almost everyone has experienced it. Tell us about the first time, or the last time, or the best time. What event, what document, what special find has caused you to stand up and cheer, to go crazy with joy? If you haven’t ever done the Happy Dance, tell us what you think it would take for you to do so.”

Let’s see. I had a few and, if my thought process works, you probably get more of them as you first start your genealogy research. But, they get much more exciting as your research goes on. I have only been researching for slightly under ten years now (so I’m a bit young in the process) but I’ve had a few of these pop up.

  • Funny thing, the most recent one happened just this weekend. I posted about it. To summarize, I pinpointed the exact division and battalion my great-grandfather was with in World War I. Previously, no one could find any information on his military record because they burned in a fire in 1973.
  • A few years ago when I found an alternate spelling to my great-grandmother’s maiden name. I also posted a bit about this at the time. I had always been stuck on her last name of “Van Price.” Turns out the last name can also be spelled “Van Parijs” in back in their native country of the Netherlands. This find opened me up to tons of new family members and vital records for the area.
  • I had a bit of neat find a few weeks ago (I know, two in one month. How do I handle it?) This one was more of a cool find. It also deals with my wife’s family line and not mine. It also relies on a bit of research to cement the sources and connections, but neat nonetheless. I connected her maternal line back to the Royal Family in England, which also connects to thousands of other famous individuals.

I know I’ve had more joyous moments and I hope I will have many more. This is one of the things that keeps me plugging away at some of these not-so-exciting documents day after day. All it takes is that one little piece of information to blow open a cavern of new information to dig through. And, boy, is that good feeling.

I assume my great-great grandmother (whom also wins the award for the longest name in my family tree) Augusta Johanna Wilhelmina LUEDTKE has seen many things in her life. She was born in Prussia in July 1863, right smack in the middle of the American Civil War. A war which would shape the country she would someday grow old in. She was also born just weeks before automobile maker Henry Ford.

She married my great-great grandfather Charles Carl LAST in 1883 in Wisconsin and had a total of 16 children. Sixteen! (as far as I know) I know it gets cold here in the winter, but they must’ve had some really cold ones in the late 1800s.

She lost her husband in 1926, yet she lived on for another 40 years and sadly passed away just shy of two weeks after her 100th birthday on July 14th.

Cedarburg (Wisconsin) News — Wed 26 June 1963

Mrs. LAST, 100 Years Young

There will be an “open house” for immediate friends and relatives of the family at Columbia Hall, on Thursday afternoon, July 4 from 2 to 5 for Mrs. Augusta LAST who will 100 years young on the 3rd of July. Given by her children, they will later meet from 7 to 9 in the evening at the home of Mr & Mrs Arthur THIELKE, 1320 – 13th ave., Grafton, where she is now making her home.

So far, she is the only centenarian in my family tree. I have yet to interview my grandmother and even my mother about her. I imagine, due to everything that she lived through, that she was probably a tough, old woman. I can respect that. One-hundred years is a very long time. Rest in Peace, Augusta.