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The Peter D. OConnells of New York, NY

Updated December 17, 2003

About Our Family Research

All of this fun began quite innocently when I was 18 and venturing on my first trip overseas. I was to visit my father's homeland and "meet the relatives". As I didn't want to appear stupid and not know who belonged to who, I made my grandmother tell me all about her sisters and brother and their families. I did pretty good at remembering all this. What I didn't do was ask enough about her parents and grandparents. I didn't start a "real search" until a few years later while visiting my English relatives. This was all before they built the Family Record Center in London. It took a lot of legwork but I'm now I can trace this part of my family back to the late 1700's.
I also initiated my search of my Irish side of the family during my first visit to Ireland. I quickly found out that an Irish is not so easy. Records aren't as readily available as they are in England and America. There's been some improvement but researchers are hindered by locations and time limits. Let's not mention the Catholic Church's obsession at secrecy. Why? Who knows.
My grandmother used to be the link between the American and British sides of the family. However, since her death in 1983, I am the link. What fun it's been and continues to be. I have the most wonderful relations in England.
I even found part of my "lost" Irish family, having met them for the first time a year ago. I've been twice now to see them. They're wonderful people and welcomed my sister and I into their family. The family farm has been in Murphy hands since 1820.
I look forward to each new finding. I have also gotten my English family hooked on genealogy but despite living in England, I'm the one who manages to find the most information. I guess I know what I'm doing.

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