Sunday, November 20, 2016

Article about Uncle Frank's service during WWII

Shepherds of the North Sea © 
by Dennis Michael Nerney 

For those of you who did not see Mike’s tribute to Uncle Frank’s service in the U.S. Amy Air Force in World War II which was published as the cover story in the April 2016 Edition of "Air Classics Magazine," copy the following link into your web browser 

Here is a second link with almost the same material from the Autumn/Winter edition of the "Catalina News":


Monday, April 25, 2011


On July 28, 1863, Mary Hester married a Dennis Nerney is Stockton on Tees in the county of Durham & York, England. The ceremony was at St. Mary's Chapel[Catholic]. No knowledge exists if any of her relatives attended, though we know from the wedding certificate[if you want a copy, let me know] that Dennis' brother,John, and sister,Ann, were there as they were witnesses. This certificate shows Mary's age[ 20] and names her father as Michael Hester, a farm laborer still alive. From other records we know her mothers name was Mary Stanton Both her parents were Irish as was Mary.

That sums up all that has been yet discovered about her early life. Family lore says that the Hesters were from County Clare and that was why their first born male child was named James Clare. Yet my research in the Griffith Valuation of Irish property[1852 -1858] showing renters and landlords and the Tithe Applotment Index of property tax rates [~1825] have no Hester names in County Clare. Closer to County Roscommon where we think the Nerneys originated is County Galway. This has a large district[correct term is Barony] called Clare but no Hester surnames in any of the indices, but there are Hesters living in Co.Roscommon. I have another theory about the name Clare, an explanation will be given on the paternal side of James Nerney.

The UK census of 1861, just prior to the wedding, provides no help. Michael Hester and his wife, Mary Stanton, are not working in England. Did they stay back in Ireland and allowed their 18-year-old daughter to depart Ireland seeking work? They would not be the first family to do so. I have found in the same 1861 census three Mary Hesters. One is with her brother Michael and they are working in a cotton mill and living with a Teddy and his wife, Ann Hester and a 16 year old daughter. They could be her aunt and uncle, but they are living on the west side of England! Another Mary is living in Preston where she is a lodger in a home and works as a cotton weaver. Both of these Mary's are about a 100 miles from the wedding site, but a third Mary is within 20 miles of the Chapel. She is living in Ellerton, Yorkshire. She is working on the 250 acre Knapton farm as a dairy maid. Maybe this is our young lady because Mary Hester Nerney did the same thing in Oakland ,California before and after she was divorced by Dennis. She had two milk cows, sold milk and raised pigs and chickens. She did this for over a decade at least. My guess this is our Mary.

When does she and Dennis leave England and come to the USA? I have searched fruitlessly for New York and Boston arrivals from 1863 to October ,1866 when Dennis and John become naturalized citizens in Rutland, Vermont. There is supposed to be a three year waiting time. Did they or their sponsors ignore this law? No answer as of yet. Then Dennis and Mary are in California at Vallejo were there first born ,Emma, arrives in 1869. When and how they arrived, by the new transcontinental railroad, or sooner, is not known. By 1871 they are in New York where the her second child is born, Martha. They are still in New York when James Clare is born in 1874. Then they are back in Oakland where the following are born, John {1877], Ester [1879] and Robert [1882]. The latter has a twin sister who dies young.

By 1879 the family is living on the southeast corner in Oakland at fifth and Oak Streets. "...The land is running in an easterly direction toward the estuary...". Today as you drive south on freeway 880 ,and with Jack London Square on your right, you would cross over this land. Sadly the marriage is falling apart. Christmas 1881, Dennis brings home a pet dog and the dog promptly kills a chicken. Mary hits her husband with a baseball bat, Her son,James, testifies to this in court later. Dennis moves out of the house and in December ,1882 ,he takes James[8], John [5] and Ester[3] and sails from San Francisco to Tacoma in the Territory of Washington. A year of residency will allow Dennis to divorce Mary who is raising Emma, Martha and Robert by selling milk, pigs and chickens.

Dennis is granted by the court a divorce on the grounds his wife is habitually drunk and given legal custody of all six children. Of course, Mary can't defend herself in California! He returns to Oakland in the 1884 and turns over to Mary, John and Ester, but keeps James and moves to San Francisco. Mary, in January 1885, she then sues Dennis for financial support but does she get any? By now,all the older girls are working at various jobs in a jute mill , box factory or as seamstresses. Mary works also but continues her dairy. About 1886 Dennis with James leaves for New York. He will soon find a young lady, Kate[19], marry her and and they will have their first child, Margaret, in 1889. Two years later Emmett is born.

Another blow hits Mary as she is dispossessed of her land. The Adams Brothers in November, 1891, claim that they have title to the fifth and Oak Street property.They claim that Mary is a squatter and on Thanksgiving Day have Mary and her family evicted. She is the forced to sell her animals and pay to the brothers $100 to remove some of her improvements on the property. Later, 1908, she and her son ,John, sue the Adam Brothers unsuccessfully to regain the said property.

Somehow Mary manages! Are the girls and sons supporting her and for how long does that last? At some time ,Martha and Ester will go back east to begin their stage careers. When does Emma get married? Robert at the beginning of the Spanish-American war will enlist in the Navy, claiming he is 18 years old. Mary signs the enlistment document for her 16 year old son. We find John will be living close to his mom for the rest of her life and will provide a lot of emotional and financial support I'm sure.

In the late 1890's Mary and John are living at 830 Fallon St., Oakland. John is working on the railroad and Mary has reestablished her dairy. For a least a dozen years nothing seems to have changed. Then the death at Soldiers Home in Los Angeles County, California of Robert E.Nerney(32] of tuberculosis on March 5, 1915, allows us to catch up on Mary's family. She petitions for Robert' s pension and claims that of her five children, only John H. has ever contributed to her support. All she owns is 25 foot lot at 612 Fallon St. and at 614 Fallon St., Oakland on each is situated a cottage. One cottage is rented at $12 per month and the other one is vacant. At that moment she is boarding with John in another family's house at 1259 12th St., Oakland, CA. Her petition also brings us up to date on her other children;

1. Emma has married a Henry von Crombruggne and is living in Marin County, California. She has two children, Wilbur and Mabel. Will be living in Berkeley, California when Mary dies.

2. Martha is widowed from a Mr. Morgan. She had a stage career singing in vaudeville and was called Donna Morgan. In 1915, she is living in Fairview, Nevada and in 1923 will live with her daughter, Alice, in San Francisco ,California.

3. James Clare Nerney is living in New York City in the Woodlawn district and he is a New York City police Lieut.

4. Ester has remarried a Mr. Thigpen after ending an eight-year marriage to the famed soft shoe dancer, George Primrose. Her residence is in Los Gatos California and that is the reason why James and Helen Nerney settle here for the birth of Lucy in January, 1918. By 1923, Ester has become Mrs. Gilbert Haldane, living in New York City.

I assume that Mary got the pension and she and John now occupied one of their cottages on Fallon street before the year is over. No mention of a dairy at this time, but John has jobs as a company clerk, a craneman and a Southern Pacific conductor. In 1922, they moved to1222 8th Avenue, Oakland where she will spend her last 12 months. She dies on March 3, 1923 at home of Influenza. The death certificate gives her of birth as February 12, 1845, contradicting her wedding certificate in 1863 saying she was 20.What to believe!

A requiem mass was held at St. Anthony's Church, Oakland and internment was at St. Mary's Cemetery, Howe Street, Oakland in lot T. 26-16. No word I have heard says who attended the services but with four of her children living near by, i.e. Emma, Martha, James and John. Did Ester come from New York City? About five years later John marries for the first time when he is 50. His bride, Maybelle McKean, this is her second marriage and she is around 40. Unfortunately she dies in 1937,ending a 10 yr. marriage. John inters her in his mom's plot. John soon retires from SP and lives another 15 years, dying on October 14, 1952. He left an insurance policy to James' first born, Helen Pat Stack. Was it fair, where feelings hurt and did others receive anything.?Some emotions were felt by the family but I was just inducted into the U.S. Army that day Uncle Jack died and only heard stories. John was buried close to his loved ones in plot Q.22-8.

The fate of Mary's three daughters is not researched. Evidently there were strong feelings about James deserting his family and going east with his dad, leaving behind family that had to struggle. Did a 12-year-old boy have much choice in the matter? But growing up in the 1930s and early 40s only Uncle Jack was in the picture. What contact did James have with his siblings? I remember Alice Morgan and her husband, Frank Hindshaw, in San Francisco. Frank Nerney carries his name and my mother inherited some of the Morgan furniture.. But what about Emma and Ester, they never seem to be in contact with the family.I never saw any member of this family in all my years at the ranch or at Baden Street. Having experienced a close and loving family, I know that Nerney siblings were nowhere near being called a tight knit group.


The name,Nerney, is derived from an Irish Catholic Church title given to caretakers or land stewards running the estate owned by a monastery or church. In the Middle Ages , this stewardship was a religious figure, but over time it became a civil job and one that could be passed on through hereditary lines. This became the norm after the English successful wars against Catholic Ireland in the 16th & 17th Centuries.Therefore,Nerneys from one locale to another were not related. The spelling of the name,Nerney ,differed from one region to another. A good example of this is in County Clare where the name was a variation of MacInerkney and in County Roscommon the name Nerney had over a half dozen varieties, i.e. Neary, Nearny, Nehrenty, Nehreny, Nertney and Narney. Our own James C. Nerney's father used Narney when he married[1863], used Nerney as he obtained US citizenship[1866] and Nearney in 1870 US census. By the 1880s all of the US Nerneys were keeping to the spelling we use today..

Family lore has it that the Nerneys came from Strokestown, County Roscommon in Ireland. James C. Nerney's half sister, Margaret ,[Dennis' 2nd family] said that the family owned a general store in Strokestown, no proof of this fact can be found. I have asked[July 09] Roscommon Heritage Society for help and they have found no Nerneys in the city or in the Catholic parishes that cover this city. They can find no record of James and Margaret Gannon Nerney's wedding certificate or the birth record of Dennis and his siblings. A big blank as far as any specific record but we know the family is using the County Roscommon spelling of the name. The encouraging fact about finding the Nerneys is that there are over two dozen families in the area with the same name. This is not true in neighboring counties Clare and Galway. Also there is a James Nerney in the 1851 Griffith Valuation being in Roxborough, Kilbride, South Ballintober, just north of Roscommon City. Today, there is a James Nerney[met him in 09] in the locale at Doughil, near the site of the old Dominican monastery at Cloontuskert[remember stewards were called Nerney]. The latter has no knowledge of his family history, but is sending me his brother's e-mail who could know something.

So this was a dead-end trying to find our roots. North of Strokestown, near an old monastery at Elphin, was a cluster of Nerney thatched, farm cottages & stables called Culleen(Killeen) West. The local historian, John P.Nerney, a rancher and farmer is active in his family history. He has helped others in the United States, Australia and Alaska in their family research. He does not think that there were any James Nerneys from this area. Usually, parents name their first-born male after their's fathers, James is not a given name here. James, Dennis's father, is listed as a boilermaker at the wedding, not as a farmer. Who needs a boilermaker in a rural area? Boilermakers are associated with the industrial revolution in railroading. So is Dennis' father a local man or part of the burgeoning railroad system coming through County Roscommon. There is more to be learnt before we know our past.

Our grandfather's name has a Clare in it and 1 of his kids and 2 of his grandchildren are given the name Clare. The story is that the Hesters are from Clare but this should be doubted. There are no surnames, Hester, in the County Clare tax rolls from 1826 through 1858. In nearby County Galway there is a district called Clare, but no Hesters are listed, yet many are residing in County Roscommon. What gives? Hard to discount family lore but no proof exists on the origin of the name Clare. Another possibility is that the Gannon's came from Clare in County Galway because their name exists in that locale.An interesting possibility is that it could be a local name because a small group of cottages south of Strokestown is called Clare! Around this site were located Nerney families and in the local graveyard are Nerney plots.Maybe yes?

If we don't know all about our past, we have come a long way since I talked to Nana in 1978 concerning her husband's ancestors. Then she knew so little about any other Nerneys related to her husband. Much has been learnt in the last 10 years due the use of the Internet and the research by Mike and Paul. Death certificates now show at least that Dennis Nerney had two brothers, John and Michael, and a sister, Ann. All were born to a James and Margaret Gannon Nerney. John lived from about 1836- 1899, Ann from about 1839 to 1890 , Michael from about 1841-unk. and our Dennis about 1842 - 1893. Probably there were other children but until we have certificates that state who their parents were, we can only wonder if any of the Nerneys living close to John and Ann are related. Since birth registries were not mandated in Ireland un- til 1864, it would be a miracle to find any earlier birth or baptismal records. The same is true about marriage and death records.

Some things are known about this family. James dies helping a neighbor when a bale of hay falls on him. We know the family leaves Ireland and goes to England, ending up on the east coast. We don't know when James is killed or in what country. One of the children of Ann tells her family that the Nerneys emigrate in 1847. This implies that the family's kids were quite young and probably James dies in England. Dennis' daughter in his second family,Margaret, tells a different story. She says that the widowed wife remarries and that the step father is mean to her four kids. The kids when they grow up turn around and thrash the step dad and flee the country. This implies that James died in Ireland and the emigration would have been in the late '50s or early '60s. It is hard to reconcile these accoumts.

My research into Irish emigration into England and into the UK Census of 1861 comes up empty, even though we know that John has married and his first four children were born in England(1870 US census records). We also know that his sister, Ann ,has married an Irishman, John Quinn, and they have their first child born(1859) in Pennsylvania and another in ( 1861), When and where John and Ann left Ireland is not known but they are back in England when her brother, Dennis, is married. On July 28, 1863, we are given the following facts; James is not alive, John and Ann are signed witnesses and the married couple are 20 years of age. Consider it unusual for the day and age to see three members of one family get married at such a young age. So many marriages of the day see men in there mid-to-late 30's finally getting wed. Does this say something about their family life at home.

Now the Nerney clan leaves England and heads to the USA. What happens to their mother? Did she attend the 1863 wedding or was she back in Ireland? What causes the family to emigrate and why the four will end up the Rutland,VT? A strong Irish contingent exists here and one of it's leading citizens[John Hanley), will be a sponsor for John Nerney's citizenship application. John ,with his brother Dennis, on October 4, 1866 ,become naturalized US citizens. How and why are they allowed citizenship if they have not resided during the last five years in the USA? Another of John's sponsors is his brother-in-law, John Quinn(Ann), and evidently one does not have to provide proof of residency. John and Ann must not have stayed too long in England after the 1863 wedding because she has a third child, James, born in Rutland, Vermont, in January, 1865. John is still in England in 1864 where his wife, Annie, has their fourth child.As for Dennis and Mary I don't know the arrival year, nor do I know when brother, Michael, comes. But the fact is the that the known siblings are in the USA by 1866.

John and Annie move to Albany, New York, in about 1867 where there fifth child, Dennis, is born. Annie will bear three more children, the last of her eight, in 1875. In the 1880 Census John is working a pedlar. He will live until August 8, 1899, in Albany, New York and is buried in the Calvary Cemetery in nearby Glenmont. Annie stays in Albany and lives with her unwed children till she dies on March 13, 1913 and is buried alongside her husband. We have their family tree but won't included it here. Ann and John temp0rarily move to Albany in order to live close to her brother, John, but after a year or so they return to Rutland, Vermont. John will work in the quarries till he dies in about 1884. During that time Annie will bear her last of eight children in 1879. The latter child is called Elizabeth and it is she that tells the story of the Nerneys leaving Ireland in 1847. In October, 1890 ,Ann dies of suspicious circumstances. Was she poisoned even if the death certificate states heart disease? I am not including her family tree in this recap. We know from the 1880 US census that her brother, Michael, is boarding with the Quinns and is working as a laborer, nothing else is known about him except he is the son of James and Margaret Nerney. I know of two other Nerney families living in Vermont, a Michael and Robert. But until we see a death certificate naming their parents, we don't know if there is a relationship.

For Dennis, his life after citizenship, is much different than his siblings. He is on the move, traveling cross country several times and raising two families. It doesn't seem that he will ever live close to his brothers and sister. Why? Is it because he has a special trade, boilermaker, that gives him better employment opportunities or what? When he wants to divorce his wife later on, he can take a ship to the Washington territory. He almost always seems to have money to finance his endeavors. He tells the divorce court later he is always employed at over a hundred dollars a month. This is his life with Mary in the USA. Starting in 1870 .they are in Vallejo, California, maybe working at the Mare Island shipyard, with their first daughter, Emma, born in 1869. By 1871, Martha is born and in 1874, James, and named after his grandfather, is born, both in New York. Back in Oakland, California, John (1877), Ester(1879) and, in the 1882, the twins are born, only Robert E. survives. After complaining about Mary's drinking problem and her hitting him with a baseball bat(1881),in December, 1882, he leaves San Francisco with three of his kids and sails t0 Tacoma area and probably stays for a while on Vashon Island until a years residency is up and moves into Tacoma to file the divorce papers. After receiving full custody of all his children, he returns to Oakland in 1884 and quickly turns over to Mary his 2 children, giving her all five, keeping James. He moves to San Francisco and starts working at the Union Ironworks, eventually working on the first steel ship built on the West Coast. In the mean time ,Mary is suing Dennis for child support. He soon leaves to go East leaving 5 kids and Mary ( did she ever collect a cent).. He will never see his family again. James ,by his dad, is forced to leave his mother and siblings. That hurt will not be forgotten by those left behind.

But why go East, he doesn't move close to his siblings in upstate New York or in Western Vermont. He has not lived near them in almost 20 years, so why does he go into New York city area.No familial closeness here! He could have had a job offering or enough cash to find a job Whatever, he meets a young Irish immigrant, Catherine Morrison(~19), 26 years his junior and they marry. The US Census of 1900 states that she was born in England of Irish parents, in February 1868 and emigrated in 1886. Soon Catherine(Kate)has a daughter ,Margaret, born in New York City in 1888 and three years later, Robert Emmett, is born. Their their marriage is cut short by Dennis his untimely death on July 30, 1893 in Clarkston ,Rockland County, just north of New York City. Frank Nerney, relating what Nana has told him, writes me that the death was an accident and he died of sewer gas. The death certificate states he had cerebal apoplexy and an intermitten fever. Evidently, Kate tells the cor0ner that he is 42 years of age. Obviously this is wrong and it means that Dennis ,in order to marry a young lady, made himself nine years younger. He was at least 51 years old at the time of death.

James has been forgotten for a moment ,only because Dennis has made him an apprentice to a pharmacist after coming East. When it started, I'm not sure but a pharmacy license is in the possession now of James C.Nerney,3rd(Fred) and might give us a date of completion.James will be 19 when his dad dies and how he earns a living is not recounted(pharmacy?). How does Kate(25) and her babies survive after Dennis' death? Again an unknown. But what is a fact is that James, in November ,1896 ,becomes a member of the New York Police department and I think he must have been helping out his young step-mom. The 1900 US census supports this theory because James is listed at 355 58th St.NYC as the head of a household with his sister, Kate, and her two children. She is keeping house and the kids are going to school while James works as a police officer. This could not have lasted forever since James gets married to Margaret Helena O'Shea on August 15, 1905. I have not researched Kate's life after this but I am aware of some of the history of her two children, ie. Dennis' second family.

Kate raises her two children in the New York City area as Catholics and ardent Irish nationalists. Margaret had natural musical abilities and always thanked her brother, James, for giving her piano and organ lessons. She becomes a Catholic nun. In 1907, we find her in Burlington ,Vermont at the Mount St. Mary's Chapel. While in the convent she earns PhD's, one in theology and the other in Gregorian Art(the source of the information is Jerry Stack). After about 25 years she leaves the convent, moves Dublin, Pennsylvania and marries a Mr. Fleming. She is teaching on the piano and organ and exhibiting her oil paintings. About 1961, she is not married and is invited to live with her niece,Renee and her husband Paul Coates, their three teenagers and her brother, Emmett. All this is in Southern California, probably Studio City. While there she meets Jerry Stack, working as a dance instructor with his brother, Jim. After some type of family dispute, she joins Jerry in Pacifica, California and she stays with him for about a year. In the meantime, you might have seen her up at the ranch visiting Nana. Within a year she is living in the Sacramento area. "The old redhead---" as she called herself dies December 5, 1981.

About 1910, Emmett is 19 or so marries a French Canadian lady by the name of Raquel La Duc. Two years later ,Renee Margaret Augustin is born in Montréal ,Canada.When she is an infant, the family moves to Allentown ,Pennsylvania and Emmett is working at Bethlehem Steel.

In 1918, during World War I, he enlists in the U.S. Army as a wagoneer. The war ends and after 15 months service he is discharged on June ,1919, at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Roughly the same time Renee is being schooled at Emmett sister's school in Vermont. How long this last is not known, but Emmett has become a toolmaker at Westinghouse Corp. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. By about 1926 the couple are divorced and Renée, temporarily goes back to Margaret's convent. But soon, with her mom, she moves to the Los Angeles area and continues her dance and music lessons. She auditions for a musical chorus line at the Hollywood Music Box at a Tony DeMarco production. Later, she becomes his dance partner and their fame crosses the United States into Western Europe. Dancing before royalty and the wealthy they become celebrities. There careers last about nine years, For most of those years they were married, but the partnership goes on after their divorce, breaking up with the advent of WWII. Renee moves back to the West Coast, remarries and has her first child, a girl called Joel. Later, a there is a third marriage to a young journalist, Paul Coates. She will bear him two boys, Kevin(1947) and Tim(1948). Paul's career takes off like a rocket, a local journalist, then a LA area TV star and, finally, a nationally known TV host. Emmett has retired and is invited to join his daughter and his grandkids and live with the Coates. For a short time, his sister is with them, but moved north to the Sacramento area. On November 12, 1968, Emmett dies of emphysema at the age of 77. Five days later, Paul Coates has a major heart attack and dies at home, leaving Renée with three-20+year-old kids. She lives to about 2004, 92 years old.. Two of her children are still in Southern California and one is in the surfing industry in Hawaii.

Hopefully, I have touched upon the major lines of James Clare Nerney and his wife, Margaret Helena's, lineage. May this recap be of use to their two surviving children, Frank and Nancy. This is also dedicated to all of my cousins. We have enjoyed our heritage and now much of what I know about it, is before you. Will you download this and pass it on to your heirs? This is who we are. God bless Jack Stack (4/17/10)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Once upon a time in Ben Lomond

Good day, and once upon a time, long, long, ago there was a house in the mountains..........

Summertime in the late 50's and early 60's, and Steve and I would be driven by Papa. He picked us up at 1499 San Jose Ave., and from 741 Cottonwood, and we would be whisked away to Ben Lomond, Ca., and then head up Alba Road. It was a magic place that is still there but I am not the same, and someone else owns the land, and I am sure the old house is gone and a modern house has taken it's place. It's more comfortable now, and the furniture is newer, and the appliances work, all the time!

It was Nana, back in the 60's she was only about seventy years old, and she talked a lot and she cooked a lot, and we visited. She'd talk about New York City, and she talked about Baden Street in San Francisco where they lived in a three story house on a hill that overlooked the city. Her children lived there as did her retired husband, formerly a Sergeant with the New York PD, and formerly a postal employee in San Francisco. My father grew up there, and he'd spend the summers at the property in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Steve and I swam in the old pool, and we hiked up the hill, and up to the first, and the second spring. There were pipes that went from both springs to the house, and the pool, and we drank and swam in that clear, fresh, cold water. We'd play catch with the baseball, and throw the football around. Dad would cook hamburgers, and Nana would make spaghetti at night, and there were afternoon naps, during the heat of the day. At night there was TV, and the reception was terrible, and it was still wonderful to watch the same shows we saw at home in the "big city". Going to bed on the porch, that faced down the mountain, and had worn out screens that kept no bug outside but welcomed them in-but the air was so fresh! I remember waking up in the morning and watching the fog recede down the hill; it seemed to walk slowly, and then the morning light would shine on the redwoods, and the bushes, and we'd hear the dogs that lived up and down that hill. It got so dark, when we slept in Dad's room, the house would be so incredibly black and putting one's hand in front of your face was a useless practice; we did it to prove to ourselves that it was the blackest place on earth (it really wasn't; once I was in the Oregon Caves, and when they turned out those lights now that was black). It was magic, it was our land, and it was our woods, and it was our grandmother and father that made the magic, and of course that old pool. The rocks would cut into your feet if you weren't careful of the loose pieces, and if you dragged your foot it would happen only once, and the lesson was learned.

We stayed up very late one night, or it seemed that way to me. We laid down on the roof, and looked up at the sky. There was no light from neighbors, and the ranch house lights were off, and there were uncountable stars that hung in the air and as I'd stare into one area for a long time there would come the occasional "shooting star", and the night had become so unique, and we had a telescope. Dad got it for Steve, my brother, the budding scientist. I looked through it at the moon, and the stars, and thought I was very blessed to take part in the discovery, and of course, I was. We played "hearts" a card game and we would fight to be the winner, and most of the time the older and perhaps luckier, or maybe more skilled Steve and dad would treat me like the black sheep and destroy me! Perhaps there is still a little hurt feelings going on, and yet, yes I think they actually cheated me, and laughed full throated at my discomfort.

Today I watched baseball, golf, did dishes, and spent time with my family. We, Lynnette and Jennifer and Liz, all went to the ranch many years ago, and Lynnette remembers the ranch and Nana, and we occasionally discuss the old days. Today I spend time with this woman and these people and I am happy. Yesterday was remarkable and today seems like a dream. Walking hand in hand through life with people that only make you happy, not a bad thing to happen to somebody who has walked a "fer piece" and seen a few things. I'm having more fun today then back then. But some memories only cause me to smile. The bruises, and scratches and hurt feelings aren't remembered. Just the magic remains, and the memory of a younger man who loved his Dad, and his brother, and still does today.

Have fun, and always remember tomorrow is a bright thing, and there can be magic even in the future.

Love, and hugs,

Friday, April 2, 2010

This introduction and recognition was omitted from the Nerney & O’Shea ancestors history
So far I have published a family tree and issued it to Nana’s heirs in 1992.1 have updated and will lend copies to any who will want to Xerox it and return it back. Contact me! About 2 years ago I digitalized Nerney documents, deeds. Photos. letters and 1940’s film, plus Jimmy Nerney’s camcorder tapes (1980’s) INTRO A 2 PART dvd disc that 8 of you helped me to partly finance. If you want a free copy, ask me or one of your cousins. Will I complete my trilogy by publishing all I know about the ancestral history of JAMES C NERNEY and MARGARET H 0’ SHEA, I don’t know. I need to do for my STACK kin what I have done for my mom’s parents
But in the ensuing months I will recap the research highlights of both of our g’parents lineage. Also let me acknowledge the contributions of MIKE NERNEY & PAUL ROGERS Whether it was the use of the internet, letters to governmental agencies, searching directories, etc ... .their efforts have vastly increased our family history. So the recap is a shared venture, words and errors are mine. Contact me about mistakes, omissions or new info.
Done Dec. 2009 but for some mistake was not included on my 1 postings and neither was NANA’S Maternal side, Part I
Ann Spratt marries Philip Sherlock about 1 857.The guess is in Penn. because Lucy is born there (June14 1859 says family bible).
Aug.11 1860 US Census states that Ann(25) &Phillip(27) are Irish born and Lucy(l) born in Penn. Philip has a farm at Manchester, Wayne Co., Penn
Dec.3, 1862, Mary Alice Sherlock (Nana’s mom) is born.
History of The Spratt’s and Sherlock’s
The 1850 US Census shows no Sherlock’s in Penn., but some in nearby New York. Ship immigration records on July14, 1850 show the ‘Jacob A Westervelt’ arriving in NYC from Liverpool,IJK carrying a Phillip Sherlock (25) and 3 sisters, ages 23-24. It is highly likely that this is our Phillip!
Spratts have been here prior to the 1 census of 1790, but we do not find them in NE Penn until 1820/30’s close to Wayne Co. In the 1840’s 3 fanning couples from Ireland are working the land in Manchester, Penn they have kids born in Penn, but no one named Ann. Then the ship”Perserverance’ arrives in NYC with Mrs. Spratt(45),Michael(l6),Miss Spratt(19) and a Miss Spratt(I6) TillS JIBES WITH WHAT Nana told me about her great g’mother,Mary Alice Stapleton Spratt having 2 girls close in age and this lady came to the USA and died in or near NJ /NY. Also having a Michael in the group adds weight to the thinking that this our family Also the ship leaves from Dublin, Ire. and that is where Nana said was the town from which the Spratts came
Early 1860’s Ann has a Lizzie (Nana said)
Then disaster strikes the Nation-April 1861 the Civil War starts and immediately Michael
Spratt enlists in the 6th Reg’t,Penn. Reserve Infantry(35th Volunteers), joining 10 other
Spratts from Penn.
Second disaster is personal Under 2 mo’s pregnant Ann learns her spouse ,Phillip, has
drowned while going from Equinunk, PA to Lordville,NY, while crossing the Delaware
R..On Dec.3, 1862, her 3 child is born-Mary Alice Sherlock

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here is most of Fred and Mary's family this past Christmas.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Nana

I think of her every year on this day...and many other days as well. She gave me so much. My character, faith, optimism, love of people. I am fortunate that Uncle Frank reminds me of her wisdom and humor. I am grateful to God for being her granddaughter, and for my heritage, legacy, family. May the Lord bless each of you.