Peter O’Connell – Family Tree – Michigan

Before you continue I want you to know that you will be shown examples of how you should transcribe an obituary, how to label your files of items that you collect and finally how to document an information file for the tree.

So this is not just a blog post about the O’Connell family, it is a “How To” Lesson blog post.

On 22 Dec 2019 I found an obituary for Joseph O’Connell in a November 1937 newspaper. Ludington Daily News, Ludington, Michigan, USA.

obit - Joseph OConnell - Nov 1937 - Mich

I took a screen print of the item and then cropped it to fit a family tree box.obit - Joseph OConnell - Nov 1937 - Mich - cropped

I then started a family tree for Joseph O’Connell where I could hold the obituary.

Once I started the tree on Ancestry dot com, hints started coming in and many were for the Joseph O’Connell in the obituary. One such hint had his father’s name and a death date for him, so before I continued adding names and dates to the tree, I looked for an obituary for Peter O’Connell and as luck would have it, I found the obituary.

Lesson: When you find an item in a newspaper that is about your family, look for other items in the same newspaper. In the old days the local newspaper was the FaceBook of the time where people gave information about the family, so a local newspaper may contain many items for your family tree.
obit - Peter OConnell - Dec 1944 - Mich
I took a screen print of the item and then cropped it to fit a family tree box.
obit - Peter OConnell - Dec 1944 - Mich - Cropped

I created a text file using the information from the obituary and included the newspaper link info for his son Joseph.

Lesson: The text file is  created in order to capture all the important information that I will need to put on the tree. Many times an obituary is written in such a manner that the important facts are hidden among the flowery rhetoric that the obit writer throws in to make his life and that of the deceased more interesting. 

Peter O’Connell
age 82

born: 30 Nov 1862
in Manistee

died: 23 Dec 1944
at Paulina Stearns hospital – Ludington

wife: Jane Mahoney (died 1920)

son Dan P O’Connell

3 gchildren

one (1) brother: Dan O’Connell – New Orleans, La

three sons: preceded

address: 403 South Emily St

burial: Pere Marquette cemetery
Peter O’Connell taken by death
Ludington, Mason, Michigan
Ludington Daily News – Dec 23, 1944
son’s obit
Joseph O’Connell

Ludington, Mason, Michigan
Ludington Daily News – Nov 16, 1937
on family tree:

That last link will take you to the Ancestry dot com tree.

I then changed the name of the tree from Joseph to Peter since he was the head of the family.

Tree Name: Peter O’Connell – obit – Dec 1944 – Mich – Family Tree

Lesson: When naming your family tree, try to give information so people will know something about the tree before they open it.

Notice I have his name, a reason for the tree “obit”, a date and finally a place. 

I thought I could find more obituaries for the family but I didn’t expect to find so many.

Here are the items I found during 22 Dec 2019 to 04 Jan 2020.

I put all the screen prints into a file for safe keeping and show them here in the order of which I found them.

Lesson: Notice the file names for each of the items; they give information without having to open the file.  Each file states what it is for; “obit, wedding, marriage, funeral or death” and then it states who it is for; “Joseph, Peter, Edward, James, Frank…”, next the date for the particular item, then a place where it took place, or was reported and finally I add a note stating that the file has been cropped (reshaped to fit better).

Paying attention to your file names will make your genealogy research life much easier. 


Blog - Peter O'Connell - obit file folder list cropped

When I decided I had done enough (got bored with the tree), I took a screen print of it.Blog - Peter O'Connell - obit family tree 2

Notice that I found one obit (Joseph’s) and then was able to find many more items for the tree. Notice also that I made Peter the “HOME” person.

What does not show in the above screen print, is the Mary Boguszewski branch (wife of Daniel O’Connell), where more items were added. It is shown below.

Blog - Peter O'Connell - obit family tree b

The family tree layout for Mary’s branch shows eight (8) more items that were found for the tree.

So in about ten days I was able to find many items for a family tree by starting with just one obituary.

If you want to see the Ancestry dot com family tree use the link below.

Lesson: The following is the text file I create for each of the family trees that I create (I’ve 1,363 family trees to date).

The text contains: the tree name and link, the number of people on the tree, the number of surnames on the tree (81) followed by a list of the surnames and finally the reason for creating the tree (that is what I put into the tree profile box on Ancestry, so people will know why the tree was created).

Peter O’Connell – obit – Dec 1944 – Mich – Family Tree

owner: josemunoz2546
81 people on tree

32 names on tree:
Abramowska Abramowski, Amos, Andersen, Antoszewaki, Boguszewski, Bourgette, Burton, Draminski, Henke, Holmes, Huber, Innis, Klepack, Kronlein, MacGregor, Mahoney, Mathis, Meeker, Michand, Michaud, O Connell, Oconnell, Oneil, Petzak, Pratton, Snyder, Stapp, VanNorman, Wood, Wright, Young

Reason for creating the family tree.

created using info off of obit:
Ludington Daily News – Dec 23, 1944

I hope you have learned some new things from this blog post,  that it has given you new information and that if you are related to the O’Connell’s, it has given you many new items for your tree.

Thank You

Jose from Clarkston, Michigan, USA

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