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My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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21 May, 2006

Who's Who in American McHugh History

One of the most interesting tidbits my parents had told us about our ancestors is that my mother's grandmother shared the same surname as my father: McHugh. She said people once tried to connect the two families but have not been able to do so. With technology making genealogical research so much easier, I still haven't been able to make a connection. There's a good chance there isn't one to find. Both families settled in Luzerne County, PA. My father's line lived in Nanticoke and Wilkes-Barre and my mom's in Pittston, less than 20 miles from Nanticoke.

My mothers' mother, as mentioned several times on this blog, was Jane McHUGH DOYLE(alternate names/spellings: Jennie or Genevieve, and McCUE for surname). My mother's father was James O'ROURKE. His parents were James O'ROURKE and Mary KEARNS. Her parents were John and Bridget (DONAHUE) KEARNS.

I was going through some of my research lately; specifically, I was browsing through my speculations folder on my mom's Doyle/O'Rourke line. There are some interesting things to be found in that folder. Such as an obituary from the Times-Leader for a Thomas McHUGH, age 73, who died in July of 1999. He was the son of a William F. and Mary KEARNS McHUGH. He had a brother named William. Thomas was born and died in Pittston, PA, was a member of St. Mary's Help of Christians Church, and lived on North Main Street. He was buried at St. John the Evangelist Cemetery.

The KEARNS-McHUGH relationship naturally caught my eye. But it also didn't escape me that many of my DOYLE, KEARNS, and O'ROURKE ancestors are buried in the cemetery at St. Mary's Help of Christians Church, and many of them lived on North Main Street in Pittston.

As is often the case with ancestral lines from the 19th century, my mom's line is s fraught with same-surname ancestors. McHUGH married DOYLE who married O'ROURKE who married McHUGH. There are two TIGHE lines intermingled with the DOYLE family in two separate generations (with a generation in between them). There are two WILLIAMS' families in the same generation, also in the DOYLE line. And, while the information in the obituary for Thomas provides me only with circumstantial information, there is enough to provide probable cause for further investigation.
I'll start by researching John KEARNS Sr, my 2nd great-grandfather on my mom's father's side. John is the one who married Bridget DONAHUE. I'll be looking for a Mary KEARNS (but not John and Bridget's Mary who married O'ROURKE). Perhaps John had a brother who had a child named Mary who married Thomas McHUGH. I could also research Thomas McHUGH to see if there is any connection to either Jane/Jennie on my maternal line or a Joseph or Dennis McHUGH on my dad's line. This is getting confusing!


Blogger Joseph Mann said...

Colleen, I just found your blog and caught notice of Kearns background. I have Kearns roots going back to Cty. Mayo (Knock, Claremorris & Ballyhaunis). We also have a Mary Kearns (probably a common name!). Also McHugh (Anna Maria McHugh m. John J. McDonough). Wonder if there are any links?

6:14 AM  

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