Our lady of Lourdes Church and Shrine – Whitehouse Station, NJ

Doran children at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine, Whitehouse Station, NJ

I loved the shrine at our church when I was a child, and we often walked over from the church after Mass. My sister and I had to wear our Sunday dresses and hats, and our brothers also dressed in their Sunday best, since they were often serving as altar boys. My one brother is missing from the photo, so maybe he was the one that took it. The shrine still watches over Route 523 in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, by Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church. The shrine grotto was patterned after the one in Lourdes, France and was built by the parishioners.

One of the most significant events during Father Wade’s pastorate was the building of the grotto by the Holy Name men. Ground was broken on February 11, 1953, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and on November 7, 1954, Bishop Ahr dedicated the grotto [Source: http://ollwhs.org/Our-Parish/Parish-History%5D.

My mother had saved a newspaper clipping from when the shrine was blessed in 1954.

The Courier-News, November 1954. Photo by Harland S. Frost.

This below was saved from the Centennial Year of Our Lady of Lourdes.

I love seeing the baskets of flowers all over the shrine, and even on the very top. I remember singing Immaculate Mary at many Novenas, and that is printed on the back of this four page devotion.

This photo below of the grotto is more current, but I think my family’s black and white photo shows the size and scope of the stonework better.

Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, Whitehouse Station, NJ. From –  Michael Krull, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, Editions de Signe, Strasbourg, France, 2005, page 139. Book in possession of Maryann Barnes.

It is mind boggling to think of how the parishioners donated so much time, labor, and the equipment to build the shrine. How the men hauled the large boulders from the nearby Cushetunk Mountain, and then fitted all of the rocks together. Such are labors of love!

Happy Sunday! Copyright 2017 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.

Posted in Blogger, Churches, Doran, Family Names, Family research, Locations, New Jersey, Our Lady of Loudes, Whitehouse Station | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Exploring the new “Genetic Communities™” on Ancestry.com

Forewarning. This is Veronica, the other Genealogy Sister, writing today. You’ll be glad to know that Maryann who writes 99.9% of the posts will be back online with a new post very soon. I decided to make a rare appearance on the Genealogy Sisters blog to talk about my recent experience with Ancestry.com new DNA feature “Genetic Communities,” which is now available for those who purchase and submit an autosomal DNA test.

According to Ancestry.com

“Genetic Communities™ are groups of AncestryDNA members who are connected through DNA most likely because they descend from a population of common ancestors, even if they no longer live in the area where those ancestors once lived.

For example, some Genetic Communities trace their roots back to groups of people who were isolated geographically. Mountains, rivers, lack of roads, or other barriers made it likely that each new generation would marry someone who lived close to home. Others have their roots in groups who typically married others of the same religion or ethnic group. In each case, these groups came to share a significant amount of DNA. Modern-day descendants who inherited some of that DNA make up Genetic Communities.”

I was so excited when I read the announcement and was looking forward to knowing more from my DNA test than the more ancient origins, which until now is what was available to researchers on Ancestry.com. From those results I had learned what I pretty much already knew: I am 99% European (35% Irish, 50% Eastern Europe, 5% Western Europe, & 9% other) and what I didn’t know: 1% Southern Asia.

The new Genetic Communities results show that my Irish roots from past few hundred years are primarily within 2 subgroups: Connacht Irish (60% confidence level), Irish in Cork (20% confidence level) To a lesser degree, my DNA test indicates I also belong to the Irish subgroups from  MayoGalway, and Munster.  So basically despite the Dorans living for a long time in Belfast, Ireland our clan most likely migrated there for work. All making the story Sal Rafferty told her cousins that the Dorans came from the West of Ireland, perhaps from County Clare more likely true than not.

Map of Ireland download courtesy of http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ruairc/ireland.htm

For my 50% Eastern Europe roots I did expect to see the Polish Community from Lesser Poland Malopolska  but the inclusion of Swietokrzyskie  was a surprise (20% confidence level for both).  I do not appear to have Polish roots from the rest of Poland.

Our primary research into church records has shown our Polish family lived in the same villages, and usually in the same homes, for at least 200 years (1700s through early 1900s). The villages were located in the Carpathian foothills between the modern cities of Tarnow, Golice, and Bobowa. Roughly 50 – 60 miles east of Krakow, Poland.

Map download courtesy of FamilySearch.org URL https://familysearch.org/wiki/en/File:Poland_map_with_English.png

Have you submitted a DNA sample yet to Ancestry.com or FamilyTree DNA or some other genetic testing service? Which one(s)?  Did you find out anything you didn’t already know? Have any of your DNA connections pointed you in a new direction of family research? Let us know how it turned out for you.

Posted in Blogger, DNA, Eastern Europe, Family Locations, Immigration, Ireland, Locations, Poland, Veronica, Western Europe | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

Marriage Return for Timothy Mahoney and Mary Bohan – 1889

Source: New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

Source: New Jersey State Archives, Trenton, New Jersey.

I just received this marriage return for my second great-uncle, Timothy Mahoney, from the New Jersey Archives. I ordered it online on February 8th, 2017, and received it in the mail in less than three weeks. I so wish that the town in Ireland, or at least the county, was on the record, but it does give some new information. My family thinks our Mahoney clan came from County Cork, Ireland.

For the first time I have found concrete evidence as to Mary Bohan’s parents. Since she put down on census returns that she emigrated to the USA in 1889, it is possible the couple knew each other back in the old country. Timothy emigrated in 1884 or 1885, per his census returns. For the rest of his life, Timothy was always listed as a tailor in census returns and town directories.

Timothy Mahoney died in Newark, Essex County, NJ on 22 May 1921. Mary Bohan Mahoney also died in Newark, of accidental poisoning, on 6 May 1933. Her age at death was listed as 61 years, 9 months, and 9 days. From her age at her marriage, most likely she was really born about 1866 in Ireland. For the 1910 Federal USA Census she listed her birth as May 1865.

The church listed, St. James Church, is still active today in the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey in Woodbridge, Middlesex County. The parish celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2010.  It is a Roman Catholic church, and the priest, Father James F. Devine, who was the person listed officiating the marriage, helped build the second church.

"Original St. James Church" - Michael Krull, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, Editions de Signe, Strasbourg, France, 2005. Book in possession of Maryann Barnes.

“Original St. James Church” – Michael Krull, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, Editions de Signe, Strasbourg, France, page 82, 2005. Book in possession of Maryann Barnes.

“St. James was founded in the village of Woodbridge in 1860, however Mass was celebrated in households. In 1865, the a small wooden chapel was built on the south side of Main Street. St. James soon became a mission of St. Mary’s in Perth Amboy. In 1877, Woodbridge received its first resident pastor, Fr. Stephen Berteloni, who served until his death four years later.

Fr. James F. Devine was appointed the new pastor of St. James. Fr. Devine laid the cornerstone of a new wooden church in 1887. The church was consecrated in 1888, and on this occasion, the church was officially dedicated to St. James the Less. Fr. Devine also invited the Sisters of Mercy from Bordentown, New Jersey to start St. James School, which was to be housed in the old converted chapel.” ~ [Original Source: Michael Krull, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, Editions de Signe, Strasbourg, France, 2005. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._James_Catholic_Church_(Woodbridge,_New_Jersey)%5D.

By the time of the birth of Timothy and Mary’s first son, John Joseph Aloysius Mahoney, on the 18th of  December 1890, the family lived in Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. Their son was baptized at Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral-Catholic, Newark, on the 25th of December 1890 [Source:  ancestry.com, New Jersey, Births and Christenings Index, 1660-1931, Provo, Utah, 2011] .

John Aloysius Mahoney - 1922 - photo curtesy of C. Mahoney.

John Joseph Aloysius Mahoney – 1922 – photograph curtesy of C. Mahoney.

Timothy and Mary Bohan Mahoney had at least six other children – all born in Newark, New Jersey. It has been wonderful to hear about this branch of our Mahoney clan from some newfound cousins!

For searchable New Jersey vital records databases and records request forms, use this link:  https://wwwnet1.state.nj.us/DOS/Admin/ArchivesDBPortal/index.aspx

Good luck finding new records of your family!

Posted in Blogger, Bohan, Churches, Family Names, Family research, Mahoney, Marriage Records, New Jersey, Newark, Research, St. James Roman Catholic Church, Woodbridge | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments