When I put together my first genealogy book back in 2013 I ran in to the challenge of deciding how to include not only my two direct Stanford lines, but also how to include the three other Stanford families in New Haven that I was pretty sure connected to one or the other of my Stanford lines but couldn’t prove it. I ended up making the book in three parts. The first two parts were my two families and the third was the three “probably related” families. One of which was the descendants of Patrick Stanford and Catherine Mulligan.
Putting together the Puzzle
While doing research on my Stanfords in Mohill, Leitrim, Ireland and New Haven, Connecticut, I ran in to a slew of clues that Peter Stanford was somehow related either to my James Patrick Stanford or Mary Stanford Carroll. James and Mary were both born in Mohill, both living in New Haven. The majority of clues came in newspaper articles or mentions. Members of Peter’s family were pallbearers at funerals for my family members and vice versa. I was able to narrow it down to a connection with the family of James Patrick Stanford due to an obituary for Peter’s son, James. Two of the pallbearers, Dr. J. J. S. Doherty and James Quinlivan, were grandsons of James Patrick Stanford. At that point, I still didn’t have any definite proof of connection.
The Key to the Mystery
In September 2020 I recieved a notification that I had a DNA match with a James Eade, listed as my fourth cousin. James had a tree online that included the children of Peter Stanford and Catherine Mulligan. James had different parents names, however, when contacted he admitted that he didn’t have proof of those names. He had copied it from another person’s tree. After comparing notes we agreed that his names were in error and should in fact be Peter and Catherine. All of the other names and info he had in his tree matched what I had for Peter’s children and descendants. James turned out to be the 3X Great Grandson of Peter through Peter’s granddaughter, Mary Stanford who married Patrick Clyne Kavanaugh (Cavanaugh).
This DNA match with James Eade made it possible for me to definitely connect one of my three “extra” Stanford families in New Haven to my main lines. This also meant updating my first genealogy book. That seemed like a good idea because being my first book, I’ve since realized that I’ve definitely improved. One problem was that a few years ago I had lost the original text document for the book. I ran my pdf version through a conversion tool that made a new text document. That new document was easy to make simple changes, but the new formatting made big changes difficult. I really didn’t want to start from scratch so after some big obstacles I managed to de-construct the original document in to it’s three parts, insert a new report for the family of James Stanford, and piece the parts back together. If nothing else, I have learned the hard way that it’s important to save original documents!
A Finished Product
The result is a new “Stanfords of Mohill, Ireland and New Haven, Connecticut” report that is a little more flashy and totally updated. There are still a couple of small formatting issues but those will remain. The new version is still a big improvement over the old book. If anyone is interested in getting a pdf copy of the book either for the first time or to replace the older version, just email me at mpitkin (at) live.com.