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26 December 2010

Sunday's Obituary: Mryta Gapen Finnegan

It is barely the day after Christmas and I have been on such a winning streak with obituaries and family records that I cannot go to sleep.  Ever since I got the results back from FamilyTreeDNA I have been trying to fill in the blanks so I can figure out how all the matches are related to me.  I started this past week climbing down the tree of Peter Finnegan and Margaret Hanlon who were living in Stone City, Jones County, Iowa in 1870.

Thanks to my online subscription with the Mid-Continent Public Library I have been able to dig into Newspaper Archives as well as NewsBanks' America's Obituaries.

My journey began with Peter Finnegan & Margaret Hanlon who had a son William.  William married Augusta Ethel Pickering and they had a son Charles Leo Finnegan.  Charles married Myrta Gapen and it is her obituary I found in Wisconsin, listing she had died in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. in 2006 with a memorial back in Stone City, Iowa.  The striking item to me is that she had been living in Menomonee Falls, which is in Waukesha County, Wisconsin near a daughter.  

Waukesha County, Wisconsin is where Margaret Hanlon's brother John started his family (which eventually produced me after a couple of generations).  Was it a serendipity event that led that branch of the Finnegan family to Waukesha County or do I have more branches to discover of my Irish ancestors? .  

I wonder if her children are aware of their family history?  A letter to that family will be on my to-do list when I am more awake!



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