Saturday, February 3, 2018


Since it has been almost a whole year since my last post I figure it might be time to make another one.

In the last Blog post I talked about doing the DNA test.  Thru the year we have connected hundreds of DNA matches together to try and find our relatives.  Our database now has over 57,000 names all connected together.  My maiden name was Sullivan so I certainly expected the surname of Sullivan to show up in this database.  It does way back in the 1700's but nothing in the early 1800's to the present.  We have narrowed it down and have a list of some of the surnames we believe we are going to be related too.

In the chaos, we decided to do a Y-DNA test on my Uncle Roger Sullivan.  The Y-DNA test checks the paternal side of the family.  It goes from son, to father, to grandfather, to great grandfather etc so we were expecting the text matches to have the Sullivan surname.  No Way!!  There wasn't a single match to the Sullivan surname.  The top three matches had the surname of Cole.  Cole is one of the surnames we had narrowed down that we were related too but we didn't consider it being our paternal line.  So we figure that somewhere along the line one of the male ancestors changed his name from Cole to Sullivan or one of the female ancestors was pregnant with a Cole child when she got married to a Sullivan and she named the baby after the Sullivan husband.

So the question is how much of the story on the previous post is true?  Was it grandpa that changed his name?  Was he dishonorable discharged from the army in the early 1900's?  Did he change his name after that?  Is the story about his father dying in the Blizzard Fire in New York City in 1889 true?  Did he really go to live with an Uncle Sheehan in Indiana? Or is all his story still true and his father was responsible for the name change?  The more research we do the more questions we have.

James Edward Sullivan & Louise August Watterberg with 5 of their 6 children.
Did James Edward Sullivan change his name from Cole to Sullivan?

New plaque for the Miners Memorial

I received word this month that a new plaque is being made to go on the Miner's Memorial that will contain the names of the three miner's that have been found since the Memorials creation.  The names are: John Douglas Glasson, 12/10/57 age 37 killled at the U.S. Steel Prep Plant in Wellington.  Honorius Meloche, 5/01/1900, age 36 killed in Winter Quarters Mine Explosion, and Reubin Naylor Tucker, 12/25/45, age 53, at the Utah Fuel Mine at Clear Creek.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Little Bit Irish

St. Patrick's Day 2017

I've always taken a little bit of pride in believing I was 25% Irish.  I grew up believing that my father was 50% Irish and 50% Swedish.  As the story goes my Grandfather, James Edward Sullivan, was born July 4th, 1879 in New York City, New York.  His mother, Mary, died a few years later and his father, James Sullivan, died in a "Blizzard Fire" in 1889 in New York City.  James Edward Sullivan then went to Indiana to live with his "Uncle Sheehan" and work helping to build the canals.  Since James and Mary Sullivan lived in New York City I just imagined them immigrating to the states in the 1870's together or marrying soon after arriving here from Ireland. Oh, how wrong I was.

During this past year my cousin, Dianne, and I had a DNA test done on my Uncle Roger, the brother to my father.  Uncle Rogers DNA says he is 13% Irish.  What???  What happened to the 50% Irish and my 25% Irish.  These test results just totally blew my mind and burst my bubble of being Irish.   Needless to say, Dianne and I have spent hours and hours connecting and collecting our family tree.  So far, we have added about 20,000 names to our family tree but we still haven't connected the correct Sullivan and Sheehan names.  Someday i'll know the complete story and for now "I'm just a little bit Irish".

My favorite five year old grandson at the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Price, Utah.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Spring Canyon, Carbon, Utah

Carbon County Historical Society tour

On August 27, 2016 the Carbon County Historical Society made a trip to tour the old town site of Spring Canyon in Carbon County, Utah.  Before we went, we were shown a photograph of what the town looked like, where the homes were, where the stores, mine buildings, church and schoolhouse was located.  When we arrived at the location of these sites it was amazing to be able to know and see what the town looked like.  It is just hard to imagine that people lived here, worked here, went to school and enjoyed living life here.  

I took many photographs of the location and tried to picture the town and the surrounding area.  I wanted to share one of the photographs that I took.  It was just so totally amazing to me how this photo turned out.

A while back a new friend found me.  John collects old postcards and he shared with me several of the postcards he had collected of Carbon County.  One of those photographs was of the aerial tramway in Spring Canyon.  The tramway was built in the early 1900's.

When I left home to go to Spring Canyon I didn't think about the photo or have any preconceived ideas of finding where the photo had been taken from.  When I got home and looked through the photos I had taken, this was one of them.

As you compare the photos you can see that I was almost in the exact same spot as the postcard photo was taken.  Check out the small mountain in the back center of the photo, the large boulders in the middle, and the tall pointy rock at the top of mountain are all still there.  The only differences in the photos is the clouds are missing from the first photo and the tramway is missing from the second photo.

This one photo made my day worthwhile but I do have many more photos to help me visualize life in Spring Canyon.  What an awesome day!!