Stories of the ancestors of Dan Babish and Irene Stoppiello

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Genealogy and Me

My interest in family history dates from about 1973 when I began talking to my mother, Grace Evelyn (Hamill) Babish, about her grandfather, Thomas Hamill, an Irish immigrant and Civil War veteran, and his second wife, Ann (Fulton) Hamill, who my mother knew as a young girl. My mother related stories that Ann told her of coming to America on a ship through violent storms and landing at a place called 'Castle Harbor'. I later found out that Castle Harbor was actually 'Castle Garden' the immigrant landing place in New York City located at the tip of Manhattan. It was used before the facilities at Ellis Island were constructed. My mother also said that Ann Hamill was receiving a pension from her husband's Civil War service and this led me to a search of Civil War military and pension records where I located evidence of Thomas Hamill's service and his first wife's name, Elizabeth Fulton, who was Ann Fulton's second cousin. Elizabeth Fulton was my great grandmother.
Because of an inheritance case involving land in Morris County, New Jersey, I also became involved in tracing my grandmother's family (my mother's mother) which had German roots. This led to further family history discussions with my mother and resulted in my tramping through cemeteries throughout New Jersey looking for gravestones and transcribing microfilmed newspaper obituaries for many distant relatives.
In recent years I've begun tracing my wife's (Irene Ann Stoppiello) ancestry including the Stoppiello, Rullo, Crate, Currey, Moore, Hayes, Hammond, Bracher, Bowne, Freeman and Holmes families among others. Some of her ancestors on her mother's side have roots in America extending back to the 1600s.

Like many genealogists, I love to explore the stories of ancestors through the evidence they've left for us to find.

Dan Babish

Columbia, MD

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