Monday, July 25, 2016

Matrilineal Monday: 'The Sun in the heaven was shining gay, All things were joyful on that day'


Michael & Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle

This is the second of two poems by great grandmother, Mary Josephine (Mullane) Coyle, 1867 – 1927, like to recite. Her youngest daughter, Kathleen G. Coyle, told me her mother would hold her on her lap and recite the poems. At 90 years of age Kathleen could still recite the poems herself.


I like some of the language in the poem such as the ‘joyaunce in their sound’ of the sea birds. I wonder if my great grandmother liked the language or if she liked the lesson in the poem. Sir Ralph steals the bell to annoy the Abbot but if he had left the bell in place it would have saved his life.



I have enjoyed poetry for much of my life and I wonder if that is something I inherited from Mary Jo. It is always comforting to find small links between ourselves and those who walked before us.

Giant's Causeway, 2012, Ireland




Inchcape Rock 



By Robert Southey

No stir in the air, no stir in the sea, 
The Ship was still as she could be; 
Her sails from heaven received no motion, 
Her keel was steady in the ocean. 


Without either sign or sound of their shock, 

The waves flow’d over the Inchcape Rock; 

So little they rose, so little they fell, 

They did not move the Inchcape Bell.



The Abbot of Aberbrothok 

Had placed that bell on the Inchcape Rock; 

On a buoy in the storm it floated and swung, 

And over the waves its warning rung.



When the Rock was hid by the surge’s swell, 

The Mariners heard the warning Bell; 

And then they knew the perilous Rock, 

And blest the Abbot of Aberbrothok



The Sun in the heaven was shining gay, 

All things were joyful on that day; 

The sea-birds scream’d as they wheel’d round, 

And there was joyaunce in their sound. 



The buoy of the Inchcape Bell was seen

A darker speck on the ocean green; 

Sir Ralph the Rover walk’d his deck, 

And fix’d his eye on the darker speck. 



He felt the cheering power of spring, 

It made him whistle, it made him sing; 

His heart was mirthful to excess, 

But the Rover’s mirth was wickedness. 



His eye was on the Inchcape Float; 

Quoth he, “My men, put out the boat, 

And row me to the Inchcape Rock, 

And I’ll plague the Abbot of Aberbrothok.” 



The boat is lower’d, the boatmen row, 

And to the Inchcape Rock they go; 

Sir Ralph bent over from the boat, 

And he cut the bell from the Inchcape Float.



Down sank the Bell with a gurgling sound, 

The bubbles rose and burst around; 

Quoth Sir Ralph, “The next who comes to the Rock,

Won’t bless the Abbot of Aberbrothok.” 



Sir Ralph the Rover sail’d away, 

He scour’d the seas for many a day; 

And now grown rich with plunder’d store, 

He steers his course for Scotland’s shore. 



So thick a haze o’erspreads the sky, 

They cannot see the sun on high; 

The wind hath blown a gale all day, 

At evening it hath died away. 



On the deck the Rover takes his stand, 

So dark it is they see no land. 

Quoth Sir Ralph, “It will be lighter soon, 

For there is the dawn of the rising Moon.” 



“Canst hear,” said one, “the breakers roar? 

For methinks we should be near the shore.” 

“Now, where we are I cannot tell, 

But I wish we could hear the Inchcape Bell.” 



They hear no sound, the swell is strong, 

Though the wind hath fallen they drift along; 

Till the vessel strikes with a shivering shock, 

“Oh Christ! It is the Inchcape Rock!” 



Sir Ralph the Rover tore his hair, 

He curst himself in his despair; 

The waves rush in on every side, 

The ship is sinking beneath the tide. 



But even is his dying fear, 

One dreadful sound could the Rover hear; 

A sound as if with the Inchcape Bell, 

The Devil below was ringing his knell. 





Thursday, July 21, 2016

Time to Write & Time to Clean up


I have been telling the story of my mother's family since my children have been old enough to listen and I have been making notes and writing versions of this side of my family's stories for years. Early versions were handwritten or typed [on a typewriter].

It is time to clear out all those early copies, both paper & digital. I have been emptying my file cabinet drawers. I recycled old family tree forms, outdated lists of library holdings, duplicate & triplicate copies of old letters [originals are safe & their images are in the book], duplicates of too many papers,... It feels good to clear things out.


The clearing out will make room for the next book.




Thursday, July 14, 2016

Time to Write: Editing, Editing & more Editing



Each time we think the final copy is in our hands my daughter & I give the book another read through and find another correction or addition we need to fix: captions to be corrected, grammar fixes, additions to family timelines, layout alterations & etc. Better to find them now, before the book is printed. We have rough copies made quickly at Staples but not a final copy. It is a process that we are enjoying but we are also looking forward to finishing & moving on.

We had family photos taken last week. Once we have these digital copies to add to the final section, we are ready to close the book, sit back & think about the next book.



Thursday, July 7, 2016

Time to Write: Hold Everything!




My mother’s family has been the focus of my genealogy recently. My editor, my daughter Alyssa J Pasquale & I have spent long hours fine-tuning the book I am writing about the family. My daughter has made my research look very professional.




Yesterday I went off to Staples to get the 364 pages printed out. I work better with printed pages than images on my laptop screen. I have been going through, page by page finding little things (punctuation & capitalization) we missed as we went through it the dozen times before.




Then I was reading the obituary for my great great grandfather, Patrick Coyle. In reading the list of survivors my great grandfather, Michael Coyle, was shown in Texas. I have not discovered what happened to Michael after he left his wife & children. I thought I’d look once again.

No, I did not solve a big mystery. I still do not know when or where he died. However, I did find Michael and family in a census report I had not found before.

The 1915 New York State Census, NY, NY, AD 28, ED9; ancestry.com

Michael Coyle family living at 2033 Third Avenue
Michael, WM 44 b Ireland; citizen, in USA for 28 years; Baker
Mary, wife, WF 44 b Ireland; citizen, in USA for 20 years; house keeping
Helen, dau WF 18; b USA; high school
Marion, dau WF 15; b USA; school;
Margaret, dau WF 13; b USA; school
Tom, son WM 11; school
Lillian WF 3

If you hear loud noises coming from Illinois, don’t worry. It is just my editor daughter learning we have to make more changes to the book!


Monday, June 27, 2016

Independence Day Preparations






Our country’s birthday is soon; our family is coming for a BBQ & I have a long list of preparations. I have a guest list & a menu to check, bedrooms to freshen up & flower beds that need attention.




I also need to be ready to share our genealogy. Most of our guests are my Brown relatives. Before they come I will set up trifold display boards with our family history. Over the years I have made several boards, including:



·         Browns on the Move; the migration of our family across several states
·         Our Revolutionary War Soldiers; highlighting seven ancestors
·         Soldiers form our Family; photos & lists of soldiers & sailors from many wars
·         Pedigree Chart for my paternal grandmother; with photos & descendant charts
·         Pedigree Chart for my paternal grandfather; with photos & descendant charts





I surround myself with rulers, markers & glue and I remember the days I prepared displays for my classroom as I get ready for Independence Day. I want them to catch the eye of the family and temporally distract them from hot dogs and watermelon slices.


Each year I set up new & the old display boards. I like to see nieces & nephews & cousins examining the boards and using a finger to trace the lines of their particular branch of the family.

Do you have a yearly family gathering?
Do you have a format for sharing your genealogy findings?

Add a comment & share your ideas. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Travel Tuesday: Where Have You Traveled?

Independence Day is coming! 
My family will be gathering!


Independence Day means it is time for the family to gather here for a big cookout. There will be aunts & uncles and cousins of all ages. It is a great time to reconnect and a great time for me to share my research into our family history. 

In the Past

I set up trifold displays highlighting my research. One year I showed everyone how our Brown family moved from Virginia, through the Carolinas, into Louisiana & Mississippi. Our branch continued into Ohio and the New York.

I included information on the routes they may have taken & details about The Federal Road. The display inspired lots of conversations about our family.

This Year

What about our current family & travel?

When the family gathers it is also time for fun. This year I have a couple contests. 

1. How many states have you visited? Has anyone visited all 50? Who has visited the most states?

2. What is the most unusual place you have visited in the USA? Was it an unusual museum? The largest ball of string?  Judges will select the winners.

Everyone will add post it notes to a trifold display. It should spark conversations about our family's current travels and maybe some interesting stories to add to our family's history.




Prizes will be given! 

I have sewn fabric baskets in red, white & blue. They will be filed with small surprises & given to the winners.

How will you celebrate the 4th?

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Treasure Chest Thursday: The Old Writing Desk







My great aunt Marion (Coyle) McCall Kunemund lived in New York City for most of her life. When we visited her there in the 1950s & 1960s we saw her writing desk, her secretary.  In the 1970s she moved to Florida and the writing desk came to our house.








My mother had always admired the desk and she loved having it in a place of honor in our living room.  My mother kept her writing papers and photographs inside.




The desk now has a place in my bedroom. The dark wood matches our bedroom furniture nicely.  I keep a collection of framed family photos on the shelves and greeting cards in the drawers.  I am very happy to have my turn with this family treasure.