Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - He's Hilarious

This is one of my favorite "stumbled upon" stones.

Hilarious and Margaret are buried in St. James at Sag Bridge Cemetery in Lemont, Cook, Illinois.

I find that Hilarious is a true Latin name, meaning 'cheerful.' From the Behind the Name website, there was a Saint Hilarius, a 4th century theologian, and a Pope Hilarius in the 5th century.

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Family With 17 Children

One part of my ancestral makeup is French-Canadian. I recently made a double-cousin connection via DNA. This cousin and I each descend from the same Blanchette and Dionne families two times. Making that connection got me back to filling in gaps on my tree. Those gaps can be pretty big because a lot of my Quebec families had a large number of children: 8, 10, 12 and more was not uncommon.

I was in my database, updating the fourteenth baptism in a particular family, and I thought, hmm, I wonder how big is the biggest family in my tree? And never one to shy away from data, I spent some time in the Statistics tab of my family tree software to see what other shocking interesting facts I could find.

I use Legacy Family Tree 8.0. Here is where I find the Statistics tab:

The report in Legacy comes 'pre-filled' with a number of interesting facts like longevity by century, number of children, most popular names, etc. I have about 7,000 people in my database including both parent's trees and my husband's tree. The report includes the entire database.

Let's begin!

Longest female lifespan:   102 years, 1 month, 10 days
Longest male lifespan:        99 years, 11 months, 5 days

Average female lifespan:    59 years, 7 months, 27 days
Average male lifespan:       59 years, 2 months, 22 days

Sorry guys!

Families with 10 or more children:   49
Most children:   17    (yes, that really says 17)

Ignace Blanchette and Julie Lampron of Ste-Monique in Quebec had 17 known children, including two sets of twins, between 1846-1876. Ignace is my first cousin 5 times removed. Julie has my sympathy.

Most popular names in the 1800's:   Mary and Joseph
Most popular names in the 1900's:   Dorothy and Edward

Not sure I even know a Dorothy in real life!

Most popular locations:

  1. Lansing, Ingham, Michigan
  2. Chicago, Cook, Illinois
  3. New York
  4. L'Avenir, Drummond, Quebec, Canada
  5. Locke Township, Ingham, Michigan
  6. Joliet, Will, Illinois
  7. Birtley, County Durham, England

It's fun to look at your genealogy in a different way. What fun facts can you find in your tree?

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday DNA Fun

I haven't been writing quite as much lately. With a number of family DNA tests back, I have been busy analyzing those tests, as well as working on updating my family tree.

This recent exchange with my son was too good not to share.

He is a teenager and recently was fitted for contacts. One afternoon last week, I picked up a new trial pair from the optometrist's office. I laid the bag on the bathroom counter:

Yesterday I asked him why he hadn't used the new contacts yet.

"OOOHHH that's what that bag is? I thought it was one of your DNA tests!"

True story.

© 2015 Sally Knudsen

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Sláinte!

Of my eight great-grandparents, three are of full Irish ancestry.  Using my basic math skills, that makes me 3/8ths Irish.  In other words, 37.5% of my DNA is probably* green.

*No scientific basis for that fact.

Here are some of my Irish roots. Have a connection?


from County Tyrone
oldest known ancestor is Daniel McBride, born circa 1805
his son Daniel, born circa 1840, left Ireland for Birtley, County Durham, England
he married Mary Ann McAleer in Birtley
Daniel, Mary Ann, and son Joseph arrived in Illinois in 1880

Daniel had two known siblings:
Jane (c1838-1912), married Michael McCormick in Durham
Edward (c1843-1903), married Ellen Dinnery in Durham

and two more likely siblings:
Bridget (c1831-1893), married Samuel Lee(s) in Magherafelt, Ireland
Alexander (c1835-1902), married Mary Monaghan in Durham


from unknown county in Ireland
oldest known ancestor is Joseph Kerr, born circa 1790
his son Robert, born 1829, left Ireland for Kilbirnie, Ayr, Scotland
his son Robert, born 1853, wife Sarah Donaldson, and baby Margaret arrived in Illinois in 1876
Robert worked in the coal mines of Braidwood, Will, Illinois


from County Westmeath
immigrant and oldest known ancestor is Thomas, born circa 1840, died 1915
arrived in Illinois as a child with unknown family members
settled in Lockport, Will, Illinois during height of I and M Canal construction
married Mary Ann McWeeney of County Lietrim in 1865

I need help with these lines!

Reprinted from my 2014 post

© 2015 Sally Knudsen