Thursday, December 3, 2009


I had mentioned a few posting ago how my father was a pack rat and kept everything but the old Christmas decoration and aluminum tree, but, he kept a plethora of paper documentation from both his and my mothers family.

These were things I had never known existed until after his death. What I found was a rudimentary family tree


He had started with his mothers family, O’Rourke. He has listed his grandmother Ellen. On many of their children it had listed her maiden name as Martel, and Martin. After researching I found that Martel was French and although there were some French in Ireland, they were Protestant. A man on the Limerick suggested that the name might be Mortell or Mortel, and these names were frequent in County Limerick. Indeed, that is where I found information. But the census of 1851 showed the family was living in England. Poverty and the famine had forced them to migrate.

Ellen’s fathers name was Patrick and Catholic. I found the Patrick Mortel family in the 1851 census with Ellen 6 months old. I am 99.9% sure that they are my ancestors.

He had his grandfather listed as Patrick and a brother John, one one of the childrens Baptismal Certificate it was listed as a brother James.

It took me a while to figure out the sister Reagan. About one year ago a fellow researcher sent me an obit of Mary O’ROURKE Rogan, which listed her brother Patrick in Pittsburgh, parents Denis and Mary O’Rourke of Limerick, and a sister Mrs.William Collins of Limerick Ireland too.

With that little tidbit I found out the parents name, where they lived and two sisters. What I am still searching is my 2x grandmother Mary last name, and the given name of Patricks sister Mrs. Collins.

My father would have been vey interested in my discoveries.


  1. What a wonderful artifact. And in his own handwriting, as well. Talk about "family tradition" information. This is where many folks do get their start at researching their family histories. Good job! Some of only wish we were so lucky as to have an artifact like this!

    Keep those ancestor stories coming!

    Bill ;-)

  2. Pretty nice site you've got here. Thanx for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read a bit more soon.