Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tying seemingly unrelated branches together

So, I'm working on a theory that, in the not too distant past - let's say, early 1800s to late 1700s - I can connect my father's side of the family to my mother's.

Because of the insular situation of the early English families in Nassau County, even up to the 1800s, there was a lot of intermarrying going on among the Old Guard families. That goes without saying in any community with roots and a bit of isolation. See my post on my Canada cousins. Or read James Michener's "Hawaii."

Sometimes there are unrelated branches that intertwine - unrelated to each other, that is, but with the (unbeknownst to them) same connection to you. One case on my tree is my great great grand uncle, Peter Hansen Berg, who married my first cousin 3 times removed, Harriet Dauch. Harriet's grandparents, Thomas and Barbara Dauch, are my 3rd great grandparents. Peter's parents, Peter and Sophia Berg, are also my 3rd great grandparents. Harriet and Peter weren't related to each other, but Peter's niece through his brother Theodore, Millie Berg, was also Harriet's cousin through her aunt Delia. And Millie Berg is my great-grandmother.

Confused yet?

My great-great grandmother on my father's side was Meta Ricklefs Haase. Her sister, Margaret, married a man named Oscar Hudson Cornelius, who was born in Amityville on Long Island and who, it turns out, is part of the Old Guard Long Island family, the Corneliuses (the Corneliui?) As we all know, I am connected to most of the Old Guard Long Island families by blood or by marriage, but on my mother's side. And I have somewhat close cousins (second cousins several times removed) of the same time period as Oscar, with the last name of Cornelius. Oscar's father's name was William, whose father seemed to be Carman. One of my cousins, Powell Cornelius, had a father, also named William, but a different William, whose father seemed to be Richard. I know there's a connection - there's always a connection, you sometimes just have to keep going back to find it - but I guess I haven't gone far enough back to find it yet. But that would be an interesting interfamily connection for me - cousins on my dad's city, German, new immigrant by the Raynor's standard (1840s) side related to cousins on my mother's OG LI side.

Gorry, Gorry, Gorry, oi, oi, oi: the Australian connection

So, I was recently in Sydney, Australia for business, which didn't leave me with a lot of free time on my hands. If I had had more time, I would have liked to have done a bit of investigation into the Australian Gorry connection.

I don't have much to go on. Part of the problem is that of all my ancestral branches, the one whose name I have is one of my least researched one because there's very little information to be found (or if it's there, it's very well hidden!) But one thing that always pops up is the name Gorry, spelled Gorry, in Australia.

A Google search finds that Jane Gorry was the first Australian postulant for the Sisters of Mercy.

An Ancestry.com search finds that 77 Gorrys sailed to Australia in the early to mid 1800s. For the period between 1861-1933, an Ancestry search also pulls up a directory of 184 Gorrys in Sydney and New South Wales.

User-posted family trees on the Ancestry World Tree Project also list more than a few Gorrys originating in Australia.

So that could've been an intriguing search. Am a curious that most early European settlers of Australia were criminals? Absolutely. Does rebellion run in the family? Or maybe it's just a downright disregard for the law. Anyway, I don't have anything to work with right now from home, but it definitely would be interesting to see if there's some kind of familial connection I could make to cousins Down Under - that would definitely give me a reason to go back...