She Liked Nice Things

Annie, ca. 1900

Until my mom and I began researching our family history in 2004, this was about all I knew of my great-grandmother Annie Hill Regan – she liked nice things.  And we wouldn’t have learned much more if it wasn’t for Donald and Gerald Regan.  Donald and Gerald are Clontarf natives who grew up across the railroad tracks from Annie, her husband Neil, and my grandpa John.  Over the past seven years, Donald and Gerald have shared their memories of life in Clontarf.  Working as a team, one brother fills in the blanks when the other can’t quite recall a name or detail.  They are really quite remarkable, and their memories are a treasure!

In the August/September 2011 issue of Irish America magazine, I wrote about how we learned about Annie, guided by our chats with Donald and Gerald.  Click here to read the article online.

Here are the two photos I mention in the piece:

Annie Hill and Cornelius Regan, wedding -- 1911

Neil, Annie, and John Regan -- 1915

Perhaps there is a mysterious figure in your family tree?  Sometimes it just takes a little bit of digging, but you can uncover the story behind the mystery.  In our case, talking to people who knew Annie along with researching census returns, church records, newspapers, and other public documents helped us answer questions we thought would remain unanswered forever.  A little luck never hurt, either!

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4 Comments

Filed under Clontarf, Family Histories

4 responses to “She Liked Nice Things

  1. Jim Egeland, Salem, OR

    This was a very nice article and mirrored the process that I went through to find my Shea ancestors. When anyone asked me about where to start their genealogy search I always tell them to talk with the oldest relatives they have about their memories of family members and to get as many people in family photos identified as they can because once that older generation passes on then all the stories and memories are forever lost.

  2. Anne Schirmer

    Congratulations on having the article printed in such a prestiges magazine! I am so proud of you! Keep up the good work!

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