Here is the plan ~ I will start with the Newfoundland (or Keough) Family Surnames and then move on to Ireland/Nebraska (or Murphy) Family Surnames. For each Surname I will introduce the original family member with the surname, list the individuals in my tree with the surname, and provide a little history and original locations for the surname. In the case of one of my major surnames (see the list in the sidebar), I will probably use two posts. This will give me the opportunity to address my family members as well as general information about the various surnames found in my trees.
But first, a little bit about the methodology relating to my Newfoundland Families ~ Several people through the years have conducted research of Newfoundland's religious and vital records. Some (Vince, Jeri, Bernie, and Mary) have provided me with copies of their research on particular families. Those individuals and others have also published their research online at the GrandBank's website. In the summer of 2009 I went to Newfoundland to conduct research and visit the area for myself. While there I reviewed and transcribed certain of the original church registers at the Catholic Basilica in St. John's, as well as copies of church registers maintained for Catholic churches in Bonavista, King's Cove, Open Hall, and Plate Cove. I also reviewed and transcribed certain of the vital records' registers for the Bonavista region of Newfoundland.
I am slowly working my way through entering the data into an Excel spreadsheet, verifying the data entries against my transcriptions (early ones done in Word, later ones done in Excel) and/or the scanned copies of the records, and entering the information into my Newfoundland Families' database and where appropriate into my Keough Family database (both in Legacy Family Tree).
My particular focus is on families (mostly Roman Catholic) from the following fishing villages and towns ~ Broad Cove, Bonavista, Keels (Kiels), King's Cove, Knight's Cove, Open Hall, Plate Cove (East & West), Stock Cove, Sweet Bay, & Tickle Cove. In instances where I am aware that a related family member moved from or to another village or district, I have attempted to find the religious and vital records for that family. I welcome any information (including additions and corrections) from those of you out there who have families from those villages and districts ~ please help me fill in the blanks and make those family connections. Thanks! I know that my ancestors came to Newfoundland from the Southeast of Ireland in the early 1800s and they lived first in the St. John's area, then King's Cove, Open Hall and finally in Plate Cove.
And now, on to our countdown ~ let's start at the very beginning with ~ AYLWARD
Aylward is one of my more elusive ancestor surnames. My original Aylward ancestor is (drum roll please) Catherine Aylward. My research to-date shows that Andrew Keough/Kough and Catherine Aylward were married at Sts. Peter & Paul Roman Catholic Church in King's Cove, Bonavista, Newfoundland on 1 September 1827. The marriage register does not provide any information regarding the ages or residences of the parties. The register does provide the witnesses to the marriage ~ Michael Costello and Johanna Aylward. Johanna was most probably a family member, but was she a mother, a sister, or a cousin ~ who knows? The only other records I have found relating to Catherine Aylward Keough/Kough are baptism records for her children and baptism or marriage records where she appears as a sponsor/witness. On these she is referred to at various times as Catherine, Katherine, or Kitty.
Andrew and Catherine had ten children. Interestingly enough, five of their children were baptized before the King's Cove record of marriage. However, only in the first instance with their daughter Catherine was there a reference to the parents being unmarried. The Archivist at the Basilica stated that it was not uncommon for a couple to have a child out of wedlock but it would be noted in the baptism register. The Basilica register lists the birth as illegitimate so clearly Andrew and Catherine were unmarried at the time of their daughter Catherine's baptism in 1814. However, there is no reference to illegitimacy recorded for the next four children baptized before the King's Cove marriage date ~ the Archivist said that would be highly unlikely (and probably NOT the case).
Rather, he explained that Andrew and Catherine may have been married in a Church of England or Methodist ceremony while living in St. John's as many Catholic couples and Catholic/non-Catholic couples did so (business or social reasons, as well as lack of religious tolerance for Catholics). Alternatively, Catherine may have been previously married and abandoned (early Newfoundland history provides several examples of one spouse leaving Newfoundland at the end of the fishing season and never returning). He suggested that I check Protestant registers in the St. John's area as well as other business and legal records. For whatever reason, a Catholic marriage was performed and recorded in 1827 and the couple proceeded to have an additional five children.
To-date I have not found a tombstone or grave marker for Catherine (although Andrew has a rather impressive one located at the Open Hall Catholic cemetery). Since Catherine was not mentioned in the Deed Poll that Andrew executed in favor of his sons, I assume that Catherine predeceased her husband (Andrew conveyed his real and personal property to his sons, in effect selling his fishing enterprise to them). Vital records were not maintained in Newfoundland until the 1891-1892 time frame so I am unable to trace her through those records. I have not been able to find any records which would indicate whether Catherine was born in Newfoundland or arrived in Newfoundland (as Andrew Keough/Kough did) from Ireland or perhaps England. The Aylward surname was a common one in St. John's as well as Knight's Cove and King's Cove in the early 1800s. However the only Aylward connection I have do-date is that several Aylwards served as witnesses and/or sponsors at religious events (baptisms and marriages) in the Bonavista South region.
In looking at the records where Catherine Aylward appears as well as the records where she does not appear ~ I have Catherine with Andrew Keough/Kough from 1813-1838 (the time frame for the birth of their children). Assuming she was at least 20 at the birth of her first child and that she was deceased at the time Andrew executed the Deed Poll, I calculate Catherine's life time frame of 1794-1851. While I realize that I have made a number of assumptions, I do need a framework with which to work (and which is flexible).
Calling all Aylwards ~ do you recognize Catherine Aylward Keough/Kough in your family tree as either a daughter, sibling, cousin, extended family member, mother, grandmother, aunt, great aunt? If so, please let me know so I can fill in the blanks and learn more about my original Aylward entry in my Newfoundland Families database. Thanks ever so much!
Stay tuned as next Saturday I will provide a little history of the Aylward surname, where it originated (and traveled to), and a listing of all the individuals with the Aylward surname (by birth or marriage) from my Newfoundland records. Cheers!