Sunday, January 30, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #5: Food

This is the fifth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 5: Favorite Food. What was your favorite food from childhood? If it was homemade, who made it? What was in this dish, and why was it your favorite? What is your favorite dish now?

My Dad with a large Wahoo

One of my favorite foods growing up was fresh Florida seafood, including shrimp, Florida lobster, and fish. My Dad used to go deep sea fishing and often came home with a good catch. He's shown here with a prize Wahoo which bested his friend's catch on the left. My Dad and his friends shared their catches, so we often had a freezer full of fish and lobster. Good times!

While it's hard to beat shrimp or fresh grilled fish, the ultimate seafood dish in our family was Paella. My parents went to a Paella party when I was a teenager and a new family tradition was born. Paella has a bit of everything in it: Fish, shrimp, scallops, chicken, pork, chorizo sausage, rice, and veggies. Ours was always topped with lobster tails. My Dad was the main chef and this dish was usually reserved for big family gatherings. It's still a favorite dish!

Of course, we didn't always have seafood on hand! Other faves were my Mom's home cooked meals and all of her baked goodies like cupcakes, brownies, cookies and Key Lime pie. We had a Key Lime tree in our backyard and she tried out all different kinds of Key Lime pie recipes, but my favorite was and still is the original custard pie in a graham cracker crust with meringue on top.

Mary Ann Matson Creeden - Sunday's Obituary

I have 2 obituaries for Mary and there are some differences in the children's names. Neither one is entirely correct!

From the Mercer County Standard - Sept. 18, 1925


   Mary Ann Creeden, daughter of Lee and Dolly Matson, was born in Clinton county, Ohio, April 21, 1851, and departed this life at Celina, Ohio, September 10, 1925, at the age of 74 years, four months and 17 days.
   On December 10, 1868, at Antioch, Ohio, was united in marriage to Timothy Creeden, and to this union 10 children were born. Mrs. George F. Fischer of Los Angeles, Calif., Mrs. S. R. Ballinger, of Pueblo, Colo., Edward Creeden, of Briggs, Calif., Sheriff Charles Creeden, Deputy Sheriff J. P. Creeden, Daniel Creeden, Mrs. Harvey Stout, of Celina, Ohio.


Her husband and two sons preceded her to death some years ago. Mrs. Creeden has been suffering with a complication of diseases for the past year, but bearing her suffering with great fortitude, never wishing to alarm her family at any time, but finally suffered a stroke o paralysis at her home, on September 4, 1925.


   She was a devoted member of the church of the Immaculate Conception where the funeral was held, September 10 1925, with burial at Catholic cemetery.
   Her pallbearers were neighbors and friends: James Conroy, Joseph Heckler, Henry Everman, Frank Fischer, Joseph Forsthof and Wesley Fennig.
   Those attending the funeral from out of town were: Daniel Matson, Mr. and Mrs. Edward Hackney, Frank Matson and David Pond, of Wilmington, Ohio; Mrs. Robert Riley, of Dayton; Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Pond, of Lima; Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Shaller, Mrs. William Swander and daughter Etta, Mrs. Christ Crouch and Servia Shaller, of Tamah.

 Card of Thanks
   We desire to express our sincere thanks to Father August, to neighbors and friends for the many kindnesses shown to us during the illness of our beloved mother, Mary Creeden, and for the many floral and spiritual offerings and for the use of automobiles.
                                                       THE CHILDREN

From the Lima News, Sept. 10 1925                                  

                    AGED WOMAN DIES
CELINA, Sept. 10 - Mrs. Mary Creeden, 75, died at her home on W. Fulton St., having sustained a paralytic stroke on the Thursday previous. Mrs. Creedon was a devout member of the Catholic church. She is preceded in death by her husband, Timothy Creeden and two children. Eight children survive her, Mrs. L. R. Balledeg, Pueblo, Col.; Mrs. Geo. Fischer, Los Angeles Cal.;, Dennis of Cal.; Edwin of Kansas City; Charles, Daniel, Joshua, and Mrs. Harvey Stout, Celina.                            

Some mistakes I noticed:
Mary's daughter Julia Dorothy was married to Lorenz Richard Balleweg.
Mary's actual date of death was Sept. 8, 1925.
Edward is called Edwin in the second obituary.
Mary's age is listed as 75 in the second obituary and should be 74.
Creeden is spelled as Creedon in some places.

I knew that Mary and Timothy were married in Clinton County, OH, but this is the first mention I've seen of Antioch, Ohio. Curiously, Dennis isn't listed in the first obituary, but is said to live in California in the second. Edward moves from Briggs, California to Kansas City. I couldn't find a Briggs, CA, but there is an Edward with the correct birth date and birth place of Ohio listed in the 1920 census living in Sedgwick County, Kansas. Daniel Creeden was a Sheriff's Deputy in 1923, but is not listed as one here.

Friday, January 28, 2011

25 Years Ago - The Space Shuttle Challenger

Twenty-five years ago today, I was working for a small software company in Melbourne, FL. It was freezing that morning and I remember laughing at my office mate as she came running in from the cold since she hadn't brought a jacket with her. We almost always went outside to watch the launches, but she said that she heard on the radio that the launch was canceled due to the cold weather. We were working in our office when another co-worker came running in from outside and said the shuttle had exploded. We didn't really believe it until we walked outside and saw the split trails. We held out hope that the crew had somehow managed to survive, but it wasn't to be. Everyone was in complete shock as the news spread.

My Dad spent most of his career working for NASA at the Kennedy Space Center, so the Space Program has always played a big part in our family.  He was still working there in 1986 and witnessed the Challenger disaster up close. I know it affected him greatly.

The Orlando Sentinel republished Dana Summer's editorial cartoon about the Challenger today. It really captured what everyone was feeling with the tear rolling down the shuttle's "face" and the seven doves rising out of the cargo bay: Space Shuttle Challenger Editorial Cartoon

Sunday, January 23, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #4: Home

This is the fourth challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 4: Home. Describe the house in which you grew up. Was it big or small? What made it unique? Is it still there today?

Our Florida house in 1963

My parents moved back to Florida in 1963 and bought the house my sister and I grew up in. It was a pretty typical Florida concrete block house-- 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, a living room, small dining room, narrow kitchen and an open carport. We later added on a family room, a porch and extended the kitchen. The property behind us was undeveloped and wooded and amazingly, it has remained that way to this day. The neighborhood consisted of just one loop off from a main road, so it was a great place for kids to play.

The original landscaping was pretty bare, so we added a palm tree to the front yard. This tree actually fit in the back seat of our car when we brought it home, but soon grew into a large tree and made our front yard unique. It was a favorite place to play around and perfect for picture posing.

My grandparents Robert and Hilda Creeden in front of the tree

Eventually, the palm grew so large that it was threatening the power lines, so we had to remove it! The tree didn't survive, but the house is still there. My parents lived there until the late 1990's and last time we went by, the house looked great with a new roof and paint job. I hope the current residents make as many good memories in the house as we did!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Surname Saturday - COUNCILL

My earliest known Councill ancestor is Francis Councill, born around 1815 in Maryland. His son John Wesley Councill was my great-grandfather.

Much of my information on the earliest Councills in America is from the book A Genealogy of the Council Family in America by Emmett E. Cockrum, published in 1985. Permission is given to distribute the book, as long as there is no charge.

Excerpts from the book:

The name Council was originally Conseil (Norman French) and came to England at the time of William the Conqueror or shortly thereafter. "De gu. a la crois fleurdelisse, acc. en chef a dextre d'une rose et a sen. d'une coquille, le tout d'arg." is a description of the ancient Norman coat-of-arms. In England the family was relatively obscure, belonging chiefly to the yeoman and merchant classes. However, there is a coat-of-arms of English origin ascribed to a Counsell family. Variant spellings of the name were Conseil, Counsel, Counsell, Councill, Cownsel, Cownsell, Cownsill, Cownsil, Consil, Concell, Concill, Council, and others.

Somersetshire, Gloucestershire, County Middlesex, Devonshire, and London were the earliest locales of the family in England. John Council is the first known member of that family in America. He married his first wife, Elizabeth Drake, in Devonshire, England. She is reputed to have been a close kinswoman of Sir Francis Drake (who claimed Portsmouth, Devon, as his home). Apparently she died in England, for John Council and his grown son, Hodges Councill, commonly called Hodges Councill the Elder to differentiate him from his son of the same name, arrived in Virginia ca. 1658. Most Councils in America of whatever spelling of the surname, appear to have descended from John and Elizabeth (Drake) Council through their son, Hodges Councill the Elder. It is noted that Hodges spelled his surname with a double "l", and this spelling still survives in large parts of the family today, especially in Virginia and Maryland. 

The first Councils of America were English Episcopalians. Hardy Councill (1678=1750) was a vestryman about the year 1734 of St. Luke's, or the Old Brick Church of Isle of Wight County, Va., built 1632, our miles east of Smithfield. It is claimed to be the oldest Episcopalian Church in America still used as a house of worship.

In North Carolina and elsewhere the name Wesley Council has been noted., indicating some Methodist favor. One Benjamin Council was a Methodist minister. There were many Baptist ministers among the Councils, particularly in Virginia.

We have many of the same names running through my Councill family and the Maryland location as mentioned in the book, but I have not been able to determine the parents of Francis as of yet.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Royce and Edna Councill

Royce Rufus Councill
Born: July 17, 1902 in Queen Anne's County, MD
Died: November 13, 1970 in New Castle, DE

Edna Catherine Willis Council
Born: January 12, 1905 in Queen Anne's County, MD
Died: May 28, 1973 in New Castle, DE

Edna and Royce were married June 13, 1925 in Maryland and had 4 daughters. More on the Councill family at: Councill family

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Mystery photo

Any good photo detectives out there? This was in my grandfather's collection, so the location is probably Ohio. The people and date are unknown.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Matrilineal Monday - Arianna Sparks

Arianna Sparks - April 18, 1864 - Dec. 16, 1929 - Maryland
Arianna Sparks is one of my great-grandmothers on my Mom's side. Like most of my Mom's ancestors, the original Sparks are thought to have come from England. Her families eventually settled in Queen Anne's County, Maryland and stayed in that area.

Arianna married John Wesley Councill and one of their children was my grandfather Royce Councill.

Notes from Christopher Miller: Arianna Sparks married John Wesley Council and lived on the John Council farm in Centreville, Md, and then later moved to Queenstown, and then finally to Baltimore. Arianna's funeral was held at her home, 749 McCabe Ave, Govans. The service was conducted by Reverald Donald S. Colt, pastor of the Govans Methodist Episcopal Church. She was buried at Baltimore Cemetery.

I've collected a lot of notes on the Sparks over the years, but have not verified them as of yet. Arianna is possibly descended from William Sparks or John Sparks who migrated from Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England, to Maryland around 1663. They are possibly two of the four sons of Thomas Sparks and Joanne Davis of Fareham Parish, Hampshire England.

From The Sparks Family Tree:
William Sparks was born about 1640, migrated to Maryland and, by 1672, he had purchased land in what was then Talbot County, now Queen Anne's County.  His primary plantation was located "on the east side of Chester River near the head of a small branch of Island Creek."  On a current map of Queen Anne's County, this can be found a few miles southwest of Church Hill, Maryland.  William Sr.'s son William Jr., remained in Queen Anne's County but by 1736 William Jr.'s son, William Sample Sparks, had migrated west to what was to become Frederick County.  In  about the spring of 1754, William Sample Sparks, his sons and some of   his cousins moved to "The Forks of the Yadkin" in northwestern North Carolina. 

Another great source of information on the Sparks is The Sparks Quarterly. They charge a one time fee of $5.00 to access the website information, but it is well worth it if you have Sparks in your family.

Here's an early tree referencing the Thomas Sparks. I am not sure of the origins of this one, but it shows the line from England to Maryland:

1 Thomas Sparks b: Abt. 1615 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England
. +Joanne Davis b: Abt. 1619 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire, England m: October 19, 1635 in Fareham Parish, Hampshire Co. En
. 2 William Sparks, Sr b: Abt. 1640 in England d: Abt. 1709 in Queen Annes Co., Md
.... +Mary ( Wright ?)
.... 3 [14] William Sparks, Jr. b: Abt. 1674 in Queen Annes Co., Md d: Aft. 1734
....... +Margaret Ann Hamilton
....... 4 William Sample Sparks b: Abt. 1705 d: Aft. 1764 in Maryland
.......... +Rachel Unknown
.......... 5 Matthew Sparks
............. +Sarah
............. 6 William Sparks
.......... 5 William Sparks b: 1725 in Frederick, Md. or Queen Anne's County, Md. d: Abt. 1802 in Surrey Co., NC 

More on my Sparks tree at: My Sparks Tree

One thing I have found is that most of the research available online is for Sparks that moved away from Maryland. I would love to get in touch with anyone researching the Sparks that stayed in Queen Anne's. I definitely still have a lot of research to do on this line!

Amanuensis Monday - My Original Creeden Quest

About 11 years ago, my Dad asked me to see what I could find out online about our Creeden family. One of my uncles had been researching my Mom's family and said there were a lot more resources online than when I had originally started searching in the 80's.

My Dad wrote down a few things he remembered and some Creeden info he had found in the library:

My Dad's thoughts on the Creeden family (click to enlarge)

A Timothy Creeden is documented in Orlando FL. library G.R.B. I, PA. Nat. Records 974.811 - 9292 P252 as entering the U.S. as of 3-25-1867.  I believe this is not my great-grandfather as my grandfather was born in 1886 at Celina, Ohio. Possibly T.C. my G.G.F. came over during the potato famine. T.C. - My G.G.F owned a section of land and farmed in Indiana & moved to Ohio around 1886 or before. A land grant may have been involved, denoting Civil War service??

The Guion Miller Roll (1906) was commissioned by U.S. Congress as a record of payments made to Cherokee's that were moved to Oklahoma. Proof of blood was very strict & those refused are listed in the roll w/ reason's for refusal. No Creeden or Creedon was listed in the refused pages.

My Grandfather (C.A.C.) always alluded to Indian blood & his fathers Civil War service. He (C.A.C.) was vague about brothers & sisters, as so many died of smallpox, etc.

Center boxes:
Timothy Creeden Circa 1840?
Charles A. Creeden 1886-1958
Robert F. Creeden 1912-1995
R. Timothy Creeden 1934 To Present

Right boxes: 
Brothers & sisters of Charles A. Creeden
Joshua Creeden
Dan Creeden
Idabelle Creeden
Julia Creeden
12-15 children?

Left boxes with ?s linking them to Timothy's box:
Ida Creeden Age 50+ in 1906
Nellie Creeden Age 40+ in 1906
Source: Guion Miller Roll 1906
(see below)

I did a few searches online and quickly lucked out in finding Timothy's tree posted by a step-son of one of Timothy's granddaughters! That gave me Timothy's birth year (1846), more of the children's names, Timothy's wife's name (Mary Ann Matson) and lots of descendants to work with.

I ordered the paperwork for the Guion Miller Roll reference my Dad had found and he was correct that this was not our Timothy. The paperwork was very interesting though, so I'll have to transcribe that in a future post.

There are still a lot of mysteries on Timothy. I haven't been able to find any evidence that he served in the Civil War or that there was a Cherokee connection. None of the records give any clues on where he came from in Ireland or who his parents or siblings were. I look back on this record though and realize how much I have learned about my family over the past decade!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Ohio Catholic Records - Church Record Sunday

A few years ago I came across a wonderful resource from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. I'm glad to see that they're still providing this service: Cincinnati Archdiocese Record Archives

For $25, they will do up to 1 hour of research and provide copies of up to 10 records. A sample request letter is provided here: Request for Record Research  Be sure to read the other info on the links to the left.

I requested 10 baptism, marriage, and death records and received a nice response back, along with copies of the records. For the records they did not have, they provided a reason. Out of the 10 I requested, I received 8 records back. One had been destroyed by fire and one was too recent. They said they had a strict policy of not sending records out from 1920 on.

The copies I received were for an entire page, so I lucked out and found some other family references on the same page. A transcription of some of the records I received is here: Mercer County Ohio Records

Anna Creeden - Sunday's Obituary

 This is from the November 9, 1968 Lima News.

Anna Creeden was my great-grandmother. I was still in grade school when she died, but I remember her visiting us in Florida. My Dad was raised by his grandparents, so he had a close relationship with Anna.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #3: Cars

This is the third challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 3: Cars. What was your first car? Describe the make, model and color, but also any memories you have of the vehicle. You can also expand on this topic and describe the car(s) your parents drove and any childhood memories attached to it.

My first car was a blue two-door 1971 Chevy Malibu. I was in college at FSU, but often traveled home to Central Florida. I talked my Dad into letting me buy a car with the money I'd made over the summer in 1977. and he agreed on the condition that he got to approve the car. We headed off to a used car lot and came home with the '71 Malibu for a grand total of around $700!

The previous owners had lived up north and while the V8 engine was still great, it had a lot of rust on the body from snow and ice. No problem according to my Dad! We'll take the vinyl roof off, patch the rust and repaint it. This became a family project as my Mom, Dad, sister, and I all worked on the car. The result?

Well.... Not so great! The patching wasn't smooth and lumps of bondo could still be seen on the sides. I tried to match its original blue color, but when the color went on it was a bright neon blue. It was certainly unique!!  It got me through the last 2 years of college and the first 2 years after I started working. Finally, the body was leaking so bad, I decided it was time to trade it in. The last winter I had the Malibu, I had to scrape ice off of the inside of the windows!! I traded it in for a shiny new Toyota Corolla. The dealer had someone interested in the V8 engine, so I've often wondered if the Malibu is still on the road in some form.

I regret that I don't have any pictures of my cars over the years. Here's a photo of a similar Malibu for sale right now. Just picture it a much brighter blue with lumps on the side!

1971 Chevy Malibu

Friday, January 14, 2011

Funeral Card Friday - Anna Rohrer Niehaus

Anna Rohrer Niehaus was my great-great-grandmother. She was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 13, 1851 and her parents were John Rohrer and Walburga Fischer both from Germany. She lived in Celina, OH and was married to Henry Niehaus. She died in Celina at the age of 87 years on October 28, 1938. Much thanks to Marj B. for sending me the funeral card!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Niehaus sisters

Agnes, Anna, Bertha, and Burga Niehaus in the early 1900's in Celina, OH
Anna was my great-grandmother and was married to Charles Creeden.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Timothy and Mary Ann (Matson) Creeden

My great-great-grandparents Timothy and Mary Ann (Matson) Creeden are buried here in St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Celina, Mercer County, OH.  Plot: Northeast Section, Row 13.

One facing says:
Dec 14, 1899
53Y 8M 19D

This places his date of birth at Mar. 26, 1846.

On the other side, it says:
Mary A.
1851 - 1925

My Dad grew up in Celina and this large monument was a surprise to him. The church says they do not have records of who purchased the monument or plot.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Madness Monday - My Irish Brick Wall

All I know about my Irish ancestor Timothy Creeden's origins is that he is from Country Cork and every record I've managed to obtain on him just says Ireland. I've also been unable to find anything out about his parents or siblings.

Here's a few things I've tried with no luck so far:
  • Obituary - A volunteer with the genealogy society where he is buried in Ohio went through the newspapers around his date of death (December 1899), but could only locate a short note of thanks from the family.
  • Will - Everything left to his wife and children in Ohio.
  • Cemetery - There is a large monument for Timothy and Mary Creeden and his age is listed down to the year, month, day. Who bought this monument and are there any records? From the church office: No records exist! (I found that hard to believe, but it was confirmed by a couple of other family history buffs who have been there.)
  • Death certificate - Even though he is buried in Mercer County, OH where he lived, there is no death certificate listed for him. The note of thanks mentioned his illness, so perhaps he died in a hospital in a neighboring county or in nearby Indiana. No luck with that so far.
  • Death record from the Catholic Church - Records for December 1899 were destroyed by fire!
  • Marriage record from the Catholic Church - They have it, but it has faded to the point of being completely illegible. They provided me a copy anyway and it looks like a blank piece of paper!
  • Civil War records - My Dad was sure that his grandfather talked about Timothy serving in the Civil War, but no luck with searches on any of the online databases. Also, no luck finding his wife Mary in the widow's pension records. There are a couple of Timothy Creeden records that come up, but they are the wrong age and place.
  • Ship passenger lists - I've only found one record with the right age. The record lists a Timothy Creedon, age 20, arriving in the US from Ireland in 1866. There are no other Creedons in the passenger manifest though, so no clues to other family members.
  • Other records I've found that just say Ireland or no location: 1870 and 1880 census, will, land purchase, tombstone, courthouse marriage record.
  • Message boards - I've made some great contacts, but nobody knows anything about Timothy
  • Other relations in Clinton County, OH - This is where I first found Timothy in the US. There are other Creedon families there, but so far I've been unable to find a link to Timothy.
  • One promising new site is at - No luck so far, but worth checking back. The site is adding new baptism, marriage, and death certificates periodically and it's free!
  • Lots of other online sites: ancestry, familysearch (and their beta site), World Vital Records, etc. No luck with anything other than census and marriage date.
  • Ordered the closest record to Timothy's birth date from the Irish Family History Foundation. The father was William which is not a name used in my Timothy tree, but hard to tell anything further without knowing where Timothy was born.
Well, that's more than a few things, so I'll stop here before I do go mad!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Irish Naming Patterns and Timothy Creeden

Many of the Irish followed a naming pattern for their children. I looked at this as a possible clue on Timothy Creeden's parent's and sibling names, but it doesn't appear that Timothy and Mary followed this! It's possible though that they had some children that died young. My great-grandfather said he remembered several more children than the ones that lived to adulthood.

I am fairly confident that Patrick was their first child. He was born about 12 months after they were married and is listed in the 1870 census as being born in December, 1869. Timothy and Mary were married in December 1868. So, was Timothy's father named Patrick and his mother named Julia? Since they didn't appear to follow the other rules, I certainly can't count on that! I've listed Timothy's children after the rules.

For sons:

The 1st son was named after the father's father. (Patrick)
The 2nd son was named after the mother's father. (James -- Mary's father was Asa.)
The 3rd son was named after the father. (Daniel - Doesn't match with Timothy!)
The 4th son was named after the father's eldest brother. (Dennis)
The 5th son was named after the mother's eldest brother. (Edward)

Timothy's other sons were Charles Acey and Joshua Patrick.

For daughters:

The 1st daughter was named after the mother's mother. (Mary Elizabeth - Mary's mother was Dorothy)
The 2nd daughter was named after the father's mother. (Julia Dorothy - Possibly covered both parents?)
The 3rd daughter was named after the mother. (Idabel - Doesn't match with Mary!)
The 4th daughter was named after the mother's eldest sister.
The 5th daughter was named after the father's eldest sister.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Timothy Creeden of Ireland

The first line I started researching was my Creeden line. My great-great-grandfather Timothy was from County Cork, Ireland and that was about all I knew about him!

I started searching on the web and was lucky enough to find someone that was related to one of Timothy's granddaughters. He had a list of Timothy's children and his wife's name, so that gave me a great start on finding out more.

Here's what I know about Timothy:
  • Born March 26, 1846
  • Married to Mary Ann Matson in Clinton County, OH on December 10, 1868
  • Listed as a farmer in Clinton County, OH in the 1870 and 1880 US census
  • Bought land in the Hopewell Township of Mercer County, OH in 1884
  • Had 10 children with Mary: Patrick, James, Mary Elizabeth, Daniel, Dennis, Edward, Charles, Julia, Idabel, and Joshua
  • Died on December 14, 1899
  • Note in the newspaper thanked people for helping the family during his illness
  • Will left everything to his wife Mary and then to the living children if she remarried
  • Buried in the Catholic cemetery in Mercer County, OH. 
  • Tombstone lists his age as 53-8-19 and gives his date of death

None of the records I have give any information on his family or origins other than Ireland. My great-grandfather remembered him saying he was from County Cork which is where most Creedon families are from, so that is most likely true.

So, where to go from here? I will list what I have tried so far in another post...

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #2: Winter

This is the second challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history.

Week 2: Winter. What was winter like where and when you grew up? Describe not only the climate, but how the season influenced your activities, food choices, etc.

I grew up in Central Florida, so I'm used to fairly mild winters with temperatures typically in the 70's during the day. Since we don't have snow, we don't add any activities, but people do less of some things like boating and going to the beach. We have cold snaps from time to time where it dips below freezing. That's always a good excuse to put a pot of homemade chili on the stove!

I spent the end of my teenage years in Tallahassee at Florida State University. One night around 1:30am we were woken up by screams and laughter outside our dorm windows. It turned out to be a big snowball fight, so of course, we got dressed and went down to join in the fun. This was the first time I'd ever seen snow! The next day I saw people attempting to ice skate on the frozen fountains and there were little snowmen outside the dorms.

Snowman outside Cawthon dorm, FSU, Tallahassee, January 1977

One year, we were on Christmas vacation in South Florida and heard news reports of pipes bursting in Central Florida due to a freeze. We headed back home to find my parent's orange trees had iced over from the sprinklers! 

My sister in my parent's backyard in Central Florida, ~1987
Me holding a frozen orange in my parent's backyard!

This is shaping up to be a colder than normal winter too, but right now, it's 67 degrees, so no snow or ice in sight!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

My Surnames

These are the main surnames in my family:

Creeden, Creedon


More info on my website:

Would love to exchange info with anyone researching the same families!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History - Week #1

This is the first challenge in a weekly series from GeneaBloggers called 52 weeks of personal genealogy history. I'm just starting my blog, but thought I would join in!

Week 1: Did your family have any New Year’s traditions? How was the New Year celebrated during your childhood? Have you kept these traditions in the present day?! 

I grew up in a small neighborhood in Florida in the 60's and 70's. The neighborhood was just one street that looped around to form a block off of the main road. Everyone knew everyone back then and many of the original owners stayed in their houses for a long time. On New Years Eve, people often hosted parties on the block and we sometimes lit sparklers or small firecrackers around midnight. Some years we were inside by then and I can remember watching the ball drop in Times Square on TV.

On New Years Day, my Mom always made hoppin' johns or black eyed peas with our New Years meal for good luck. Can't say they were my favorite, but I always ate a few just in case! I think that's the only New Years tradition we've really kept to the present day.


My first try at finding some information on my family tree was in the 80's on the old UseNet groups. There wasn't much out there yet and I rarely saw any mention of any of my surnames. I registered on an early version of the RootsWeb lists that was sent out periodically and just listed surname, dates, and locations. I never heard anything back from that!

I tried again in the late 90's and had some success. My original quest was for information on my great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden. All I knew was that he came from Ireland and was born in County Cork. I still don't know a whole lot about him, but that search has led to finding out so much more about my family tree.

I have a website with some information on my family tree at

I'm planning on posting here as I continue my quest for the missing links in my tree!