John Patrick McGinty (52 Ancestors, #10 John McGinty)

My maternal grandfather is John Patrick McGinty (b. 24 May 1905, Chicago, IL; d. 01 Nov 1962, Chicago, IL) who was the eldest son of Michael McGinty and Nellie Carolan.

John attended and graduated from St. Charles Borromeo for middle school in 1913. John graduated high school from St. Patrick Academy in June 1921. Upon graduation from high school, John followed in his father’s footsteps working as a plumber. John Patrick McGinty

John eventually strayed from this line of work and got a job as a clerk at AT&T in 1925. Aside from working as a plumber, this is the only place that John will work his entire life. John worked at AT&T for 37 years as an accountant before retiring.



John met and was married to Helen Elizabeth Beasecker on 27 June 1932. Thomas McGinty, John’s brother, and Clara Mader, Elizabeth’s cousin, stood up for their wedding. John and Elizabeth lived at 243 Stanley Avenue in Park Ridge where they had three children.

John passed away at the young age of 58 years of age due to a pulmonary embolism.  John is buried with his wife at All Saints Cemetery in Des Plaines, Illinois.

Howard Robinson Wheeler (52 Ancestors, #9 Howard Wheeler)

Howard Robinson Wheeler was born 05 Jun 1894 in Derby, Connecticut.  Howard was the son of John Edward Wheeler and Carra Inez Tuttle.  While born in Derby, Connecticut, Howard was raised in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  Howard lived in Holyoke until his 23rd birthday when he joined the Army.

Recruited from Holyoke, Massachusetts, Howard served in the Army from 22 Jun 1917 to 13 Mar 1919.  During his time in the Army in the Medical Detachment, 70th Acty, C.A.C., Howard attained the rank of sergeant.  Upon completion of his two year commitment to the Army, Howard returned to Holyoke.

Howard was only in Holyoke for a short time when he proceeded to Canada in search of work.  While working in Canada, Howard met his wife to be, Honore MIllicent Mackenzie.  Honore and Howard were married on 13 Mar 1923 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.  Four months later their first child, William Stamford Wheeler, was born.  Their second child, Diane, was born in 1925.

In 1929, the Wheelers left Canada so that Howard could get better employment.  Howard obtained a job as a clerk where he stayed employed until his retirement.

Howard passed away on 03 Mar 1978.  On 07 Mar 1978, Howard was buried at Ft. Snelling Cemetery located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Patrick Kinney (52 Ancestors, #8 Patrick Kinney)

A recent post shared some experiences which I’ve had with DNA and the fact that I’ve recently reconnected with people (some now confirmed cousins) whom we suspected we shared a common ancestor. It was suspected that my 2nd great grandfather Andrew Kinney along with several other gentlemen found in Fond du Lac in the 1860 census were brothers. A recent DNA match notification has provided confirmation that one of those gentlemen, Patrick Kinney, is a brother or relative of Andrew Kinney. While Patrick isn’t one of my ancestors, I wanted to share what information I did have about Patrick to help our research.

Patrick Kinney was born 17 Mar 1820 in Ireland (unsourced). I don’t have any information on when Patrick arrived in the United States but it appears that he came via New York.

Patrick’s first son, John Francis, was born in New York.  His baptism was witnessed by John W. Gill who was also from Ireland and was the roadmaster responsible for the Sheboygan and Fond du Lac railroads. 

Patrick married Mary Bridget Leahy (b. 02 Feb 1827, Ireland; d. 15 Nov 1901, FdL). Patrick and Mary had four children:

  • John Francis Kinney (b. 05 Dec 1854, New York)
  • Ellen Kinney (b. 1857, Fond du Lac)
  • Margaret Kinney (b. 17 Feb 1859, New York)
  • Mary Kinney (b. Abt 1860, Fond du Lac)

We see that Patrick is found in the federal census with his wife and family in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin.  Patrick also registered for the Civil War draft in 1863.  Patrick passed away in Fond du Lac on 01 Jul 1891 and was buried in Calvary Cemetery on 03 Jul 1891.

Unfortunately the amount of information that I have on Patrick is limited.  I’m looking forward to learning more about Patrick.

Ancestry DNA

Several years ago, in 2005, when I was first getting into genealogy I was excite to learn that DNA was being used to help family historians determine their background and get in contact with people that shared common Ancestors.  I immediately found FamilyTreeDNA and requested a 37-marker test.  I received the results and joined the “Wheeler” project.

In 2005, using DNA for genealogy was extremely new and unless you had some experience with the technology or you had someone to interpret the results for you, the value of DNA may have been limited.  I was able to make contact with several individuals that I matched in the Wheeler Surname Project but it didn’t live up to my expectations.  In 2008, I upgraded from 37 to 63 markers.  I experienced similar results to that of my original results in that I had received results but how to use them and get in touch with others was limited.  I reached out to a number of people that I had reported matches but many of them maintained paper records or family trees in GEDCOM format offline.  In most cases I was unable to determine the shared ancestor. has since added DNA testing and the autosomal DNA which allows me to get DNA results from both my mother and father’s ancestry (my previous two tests only had results from my father’s line).

Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 2.00.42 PMAfter completing the swab and waiting for the results for about 4 weeks, the results were available within my account.

As you can see from the image, the results provided some insight as to where my ancestors came from (which all eventually leads back to Africa).  My results indicated that the majority of my ancestry (66%) was from Ireland.  Another 23% made up ancestry from England, Germany, France and other western European nations. does a great job of explaining how the estimates are determined and presenting various different views into the information.  A separate page provides links to cousins found on

I have posted during the 52 Ancestors challenge about my 2nd great grandfather, Andrew Kinney.  I have been working on and off on the Kinney line.  At one time, after finding each other on a family surname bulletin board, we suspected that Andrew was one of four brothers that had come to the United States together.  After having a difficult time confirming that there was a possibility that these four gentlemen were related, I stopped pursuing the research.  It’s been over 5 years since I have had any regular contact with the Kinney working group.

I was recently contacted through by one of my matches.  One of the members of our Kinney working group who is a descendent of one of the brothers recently had an AncestryDNA test completed and it turns out that we are a match.

Guess they were brothers after all!

Margaret McTavish (52 Ancestors; #7 Margaret McTavish)

I’ve got a little catching up to do on entries so you will see a lot of activity this week. I’ll do my best to keep a schedule in the future.

During week 3 of the 52 Ancestors challenge I posted information about Andrew Kinney (b. Abt 1823, d. 22 May 1900). Andrew’s wife is Margaret (nee McTavish) Kinney.

Margaret McTavish was born about 1825 in Scotland. Different records have Margaret born in different locations being either Ireland or Scotland. Most of the records that I have found indicate Scotland as the more likely location so until I have confirmation that it is Scotland or proof to the contrary, I am using Scotland as her place of birth.

It is particularly easier to track the movements of men in the 19th century. That is in fact the case with Margaret. Not only have I thus far been able to locate her true place of birth but I have yet to be able to locate the time and location that she entered the United States. We have reason to believe that Andrew Kinney entered the United States about 1848. According to the records that I have collected thus far, Andrew and Margaret didn’t marry until 1855 which leads me to believe that Andrew and Margaret were married in Fond du Lac. St. Joseph Catholic church in Fond du Lac is the church where many of the Kinneys were baptized so it is something to research.

Margaret and Andrew were living in Fond du Lac from 1855 to 1874 based upon the purchase and sale of land during that time. During that time, Andrew and Margaret had eight (8) children all born in Fond du Lac:

  • Andrew Kinney (b. Abt Nov 1856); baptized 16 Nov 1856
  • Hannah Kinney (b. 23 Jan 1857)
  • Elizabeth Kinney (b. Abt 1859)
  • Mary E. Kinney (b. Abt 1861)
  • James Kinney (b. 16 Dec 1863)
  • Frank E. Kinney (b. Abt Mar 1867)
  • Katharine “Kittie” Kinney (b. 11 Oct 1869)
  • Nellie Gertrude Kinney (b. 14 Feb 1873)

In 1874, we see Margaret, Andrew and the family leave Fond du Lac.  While it is probable that they were in or around Chicago, we don’t see them in census records until 1890.  It was about this time, on 17 Jan 1890, that Margaret (nee McTavish) Kinney passed away.  Cause of death was meningitis.  Margaret passed away at 11 Maplewood Avenue, Chicago, IL.  This was not her residence (most likely the residence of one of her children) as Margaret and Andrew were living at 412 Park Avenue, Chicago, IL at the time of her death.  The death certificate issued by Cook County indicates that Margaret was only a residence of the state for one year prior to her passing.

margaretmctavish_photoWhile Margaret passed away in Chicago, like Andrew her remains were sent by train back to Fond du Lac.  A service was held in Fond du Lac at St. Joseph’s church.  We are still attempting to determine where she was buried.

Where was Margaret and her family from 1874 to 1889?  It is one of the many questions that is yet to be answered when it comes to Margaret’s past.

Carra Inez Tuttle (52 Ancestors; #6 Carra Inez Tuttle

tuttlecara_photoAs I have stated previously, I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by photos of my ancestors. One such ancestor that I was introduced to at a relatively young age due to photos in our home was my great grandmother, Carra Inez (nee Tuttle) Wheeler.

Carra Inez Tuttle was born 27 Jul 1856 in Cavendish, Vermont to Augustus Tuttle and Elsie Robinson. While Carra was born in Cavendish, Vermont we find that Carra and her family were in Holyoke, Massachusetts by 1863 where Carra’s father owned a store.


tuttlecarai_photoOn 20 Jun 1878, Carra married John Edward Wheeler (b. 22 Nov 1849) in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Carra and John had five children (Harry, Stanley, Waldo, Hazel and Howard). While Carra and her family moved around in Connecticut from Holyoke to Naugatuck and then to Derby, Carra and John eventually returned to Holyoke.

Carra passed away on 25 Jan 1924 during a tragic accident when she was struck by a vehicle while she was crossing the street. Carra is buried with her husband in Foredale Cemetery in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Thomas Green (52 Ancestors; #5 Thomas Green)

A recent assignment for our genealogy class is following migration patterns.  While doing some research of those that came “across the pond”, I found myself researching my 2nd great grandfather on my father’s side.

Thomas Green was born 15 Nov 1842 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.  On 27 Feb 1865 he married Elizabeth Stewart in Dundee, Angus, Scotland.  On 07 Feb 1867 in Dundee they gave birth to their first and only child, Elizabeth Speers Green.

At the time of the 1871 Scotland census where Thomas and his family were living in Liff, Angus, Scotland which is just northwest of Dundee.  Shortly thereafter, in 1872, Thomas and his family emigrated to Canada.  In the 1901 Canadian Census Thomas and his family are found in what was then known as Rat Portage now known as Kenora.

Thomas remained in Kenora for the remainder of his years until his death 06 Feb 1910 where he was proclaimed dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital by his son-in-law, William McKenzie.  On his certificate of death it cites Harry Green as his father but does not list the maiden name of his mother.

Michael McGinty (52 Ancestors; #4 Michael McGinty)

I am currently in a genealogy certificate class at Boston University. One of our first projects was to select a family and review the 1920 and 1930 census for that family. I have reviewed lots of census records over the years but I don’t know that I have looked at them in quite this way before.

michaelmcginty_photoMichael McGinty was born 22 Oct 1871 in Bellageheer, Mohill, Leitrim, Ireland. Michael was the son of Michael Ginty (b. abt. 1831 in Leitrim, Ireland) and Elizabeth McGarry.

According to family stories, Michael came to the United States about the ‘Ethiopia’ in 1893. I have yet to be able to confirm or refute this as I have been unable to find him on any manifests. Census records and other documents have him immigrating to the United States anywhere from 1883 to 1893. It’s also unclear as to what port he would of come into. However, family stories go on to state that Michael traveled from Minnesota to Chicago in yellow corduroys (an indication of being poor). He hitch hiked to Chicago which once in Chicago he got a job as a plumber.

Michael married Nellie Carolan on 10 Jun 1903 at Holy Family Church in Chicago. Nellie and Michael had five sons: John Patrick McGinty (b. 24 May 1904), Thomas Edward McGinty (b. 28 Dec 1905), Arthur J. McGinty (b. 24 Jan 1908), Francis P. McGinty (b. 02 Apr 1910) and Aloysius McGinty (b. 22 Nov 1912).

Michael’s wife Nellie passed at a very young age (32) in 1913 from diptheria leaving Michael to care for his 5 sons. Aloysius passed at the age of 3 in 1915. Francis died young at the age of 13 in 1923.

In reviewing the 1920 census, I was able to find Michael, his sister Mary and his four sons (Francis was still alive) living at Arthingston Street in Chicago. Michael’s occupation was listed as plumber. He is also listed as a 45 year old, white male who immigrated in 1890.

Michael, his sister Mary and his three sons were found 10 years later at Polk Street living in Chicago. Michael’s occupation was listed as plumber but we also know that he drove street cars.

Michael passed away 22 May 1943 from pneumonia. Michael is buried at Mount Carmel cemetery at block 4, section U, lot N19, grave 4.

Andrew Kinney (52 Ancestors; #3 Andrew Kinney, Sr.)

I am extremely fortunate that my family has been able to preserve some fantastic family photos.  One such photo is that of Andrew Kinney (or photos).  You may recall that we introduced Sylvester Beasecker (52 Ancestors, #2) who married Katharine Kinney (b. 11 Oct 1869, d. 23 Dec 1912) about 1896 in Pennsylvania.  Katharine Kinney’s parents were Andrew Kinney and Margaret McTavish.

andrewkinney_photoAndrew Kinney was born about 1823 in Ireland.  We have only been able to identify the approximate birth date and location for Andrew Kinney based upon census records, voter registration and death records.  Andrew passed away 22 May 1900 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  We know from an article in The Commonwealth published in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin that Andrew’s birth year is about 1823 based upon the age cited in the article.  The article states that Andrew’s remains arrived from Chicago after Andrew passed away in his home located at 424 Park Avenue in Chicago.

While we know that both Andrew and his wife Margaret (nee McTavish) Kinney were transported back to Fond du Lac at the time of their deaths and we know further that Andrew’s funeral was at St. Joseph’s church in Fond du Lac, I have been unable to locate either of their burial locations/headstones.

AndrewKinneySr2There is so much we still don’t know about Andrew and his wife, Margaret.  We know that Andrew and Margaret resided in Fond du Lac from 1852 to 1874.  We know that both Andrew and Margaret were in Chicago in 1890 which is when Margaret passed away.

We know that Andrew and Margaret owned land in Fond du Lac but what prompted them to be buried in Fond du Lac when they passed away in Chicago.  We’ve been able to connect with several other Kinneys in the area but have been unable to establish a connection.  We have still been unable to identify the parents of either Andrew or Margaret.  While we know that both Andrew and Margaret were both from Illinois, we don’t know if they were married in Ireland or in the United States.  Did Andrew, Margaret or both have family in Fond du Lac which prompted them to be interred in that location?  I’m confident that the answer to some of these questions are in Fond du Lac.  I see a trip in my future.

Sylvester Beasecker (52 Ancestors: #2 Sylvester B. Beasecker)


While we are talking about the Beaseckers, lets talk about one of the more interesting men in my family tree based upon what I have found out about him.  Sylvester B. Beasecker was born 06 Feb 1859 in Goshen, Elkhart, Indiana.  Sylvester is the son of Samuel Beasecker and Martha Ann Bowman.  Over the course of his life, Sylvester had four (4) wives, owned several businesses and lived in several different states to include Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota and Georgia.

I am a descendent of Sylvester through his second wife, Katharine Kinney (b. 11 Oct 1869; d. 23 Dec 1912).  Sylvester and Katharine were married about 1896, probably in Pennsylvania.  Katharine (“Kitty”) and Sylvester had four (4) children: Frances, George, Mae and Elizabeth.  Kittie died at a young age following complications from gallbladder operation.  Prior to his marriage to Katharine, Sylvester was married to Winona Glenn (b. abt 1850, d. bef. 1939).  Sylvester and Winona also had four (4) children to include Vernon, Clarence, Oneta and Raymond.

Sylvester passed away on 01 May 1933 in Minnesota while he was visiting his daughter, Mae Beasecker Waters.