Hi Bernice, how nice to hear from you! Yes, all these names ring a loud bell - I'm one of Joe Sullivan's 15 children and Anna Berard Sullivan was my grandmother. And you are of course Uncle Charlie's daughter - I remember him fondly as my favorite of the Berards. There's a wonderful picture of my twin sisters being baptized by Uncle Bill back in 1960 - your parents and Uncle Joe and Aunt Peg were the godparents, standing around the baptismal font holding the babies. The three Berard brothers together, how great!
Well if you have got the genealogy bug you are in for a treat. I haven't done much on the Berard line yet, though I have been in touch with a woman in Canada who has done extensive research on the Berards. She says she can probably connect us up with her Berards if I can discover the names of Henry Berard's grandparents. Apparently Henry's father Joseph Berard died in Fall River in the 1920s and the death certificate should have his parents' names, so that's a bit of research waiting for me.
The line that I have worked on extensively is the Hoeys. When my grandmother died in '71 we found that she had preserved a set of letters written by her grandfather Matthew Hoey just after the Civil War (she had got them from Aunt Ag DeGrasse, Matthew's youngest). The letters were so fascinating that I started researching the family and have never stopped. Turns out the Hoeys were from Trim in County Meath and came over in 1846 at the start of the potato famine. There were 10 children and the mother was pregnant with the last one during the voyage (sadly, that baby later starved to death in a Confederate prisoner of war camp). They settled in Natick, where Matthew lived most of his life, and had large families of their own. In fact there were ultimately 69 grandchildren, and to this day I'm discovering third and fourth cousins all over the place!
I'm thrilled that you're interested in our genealogy and will gladly share with you what I have, which consists of lists of all known descendants and transcriptions of the letters. I would be so grateful if you would help me update your branch of the family tree, and share with me anything you know of the Hoeys.
Incidentally I hear from Susan Berard, Uncle Joe's granddaughter, once in a while - we met through this very forum! Look forward to hearing from you -