There have been other times in my years of genealogy research when re-visiting the records for a family turn up something new that answers some long standing questions. This happened recently with my Bannon family from County Fermanagh, Ireland and New Haven, Connecticut.
The Bannon family emigrated to New Haven in the mid to late 1850s. They settled in a block of buildings on what was first called “Governeur’s Lane” and later renamed to “Madison Street”. I started calling the area the “Bannon Compound” as there were so many Bannons and relatives living in the houses over the years. My direct ancestor, James Bannon and his wife, Bridget McHugh, lived on Madison Street for the longest amount of time, into the 1880s.
The star marks Madison Street, New Haven, CT in 1868.
In the 1860 census there was a Catherine Bannon living on Madison Street. I originally thought that she was the widow of a Bannon male, although I never found a husband for her. I eventually made the connection that the Joseph Bannon, who was living there and who had immigrated with James and Margaret Bannon earlier, was actually Catherine’s son. At that time I still thought that Catherine was the sister in law of the younger James Bannon. My original report on the family lists her as such. I was aware that Joseph Bannon’s death record only lists his mother as Catherine Bannon, but figured that could just mean that the informant had no idea what his father’s name was.
In the mid 1800s in New Haven, CT, there was a Catherine Bannon and her son, Joseph, living in what I call the “Bannon Family Compound”. I was not sure about Catherine’s relationship to the family. She was either a sister or a sister in law. Recently I was going back over the Enniskillen, Fermanagh Parish Records and came across the baptism record for Catherine’s son, Joseph, on 26 January 1841. The father is listed as Robert Foster. The interesting thing is that while all of the other records list the parents with just their first names and only the husband’s surname, this record lists Joseph’s parents as “Robert Foster and Catherine Bannon”. In the screen cap I left a couple of other records so you can see the difference. To me, that fact coupled with the fact that Joseph used the name Bannon, leads me to believe that Catherine never married and is in fact a sister rather than sister in law. Continue reading
I recently had an unpleasant exchange with another “New Haven Bannon” researcher. This person was told growing up that the family was from Westmeath. This was based on the fact that their grandfather supposedly made toasts to Westmeath.
Photo Left: My Great Grandparents Edward and Ellen “Nellie Bannon Stanford
I had told this person, that while I didn’t originally know where our Bannons were from in Ireland, I had recently found quite a few records that verified what my Great Aunt Lillian had told me, that the family was from Fermanagh. This other researcher refuses to look at my work and refuses to believe that the family isn’t from Westmeath. I personally believe that they are confused with where the paternal line in their family is from, as they descend from a female Bannon back a few generations.
I want to make it clear that I never “just assume” anything when doing genealogy research. If I don’t find proof of something, I may note that “family lore says..” or I will leave the information out of my report. This person went on to accuse me of stealing a tin type photo (from a house I’ve never visited!!) and told me that I was flat out wrong about my connection to this family. I was insulted by these accusations as I have been doing extensive genealogy research for over 35 years. I pride myself of double checking records and always proving connections based on “family stories”. I’ve found more than one instance of incorrect information passed down from relatives.
Because of this recent interaction, I have updated my Bannon page with the following information. It is the introduction to my recently finished book about the Bannon family history. It includes maps, records, stories etc as well as the genealogy information. It has a lot of info on the area in Fermanagh that our family was from.
Here is the introduction to the book, explaining about some of the new information that I found in both New Haven and Irish records.
Please also note that the genealogy information listed on my Bannon page is NOT up to date. Click here to visit my Bannon page:The Descendants of James Bannon
If you think you may be related, contact me at mpitkin (at) live.com and I will be happy to share my most uptodate info.
It’s just too difficult to update the site continuously.