Just so I don’t miss out on possible connecting with a distant relative, I put a rough sketch of my family trees on I advise my clients to do the same, but to make the tree private so that other people don’t just take a piece of their research without contacting them.

Coleman Joyce was my father’s mother’s father – my great-grandfather.

5 October 1846 at his daughter’s wedding

He was born in Ireland in 1893 in Galway, Ireland. I know his parent’s names and where they got married. I know exactly where Coleman was born in Ireland; however I keep that off public sites.

Coleman Joyce was one of eleven children, however on my tree I only list the six that came from Ireland to Boston, Massachusetts. I know the fates of all the children except for one – Anne Joyce.

Anne “Annie” Joyce was born in Ireland in 1891 and once she came to Boston, MA she married a Coleman Kelly in 1914. On Coleman’s draft registration card for WWI he listed he had a wife and two children and was also born in Ireland. This is where I got stuck – I could find the family on the 1920 US Federal Census.

To cover my basis I sent in two requests for death certificates – one for Annie (Joyce) Kelly and one for Coleman Kelly. To my surprise I received one back for Coleman. It seems he died from the influenza epidemic in 1918. I was stuck again – I didn’t know Annie and Coleman’s children’s names and didn’t know if Annie may have remarried prior to the 1920 Census. So that was how the story ended in the Family History Book I compiled for the Joyce Family.

I was on the other day and I had about 238 “hints” for my research. I don’t really follow the hints as I do my own research and only use other people’s trees as guides and I add documents into my genealogy software instead of adding them to a person in my online trees. However, I notice I had eight messages that I didn’t know I had and one made my heart stop.

It was from a woman who claimed to be the great-granddaughter of Coleman Kelly and Annie (Joyce) Kelly. She said her grandmother was their daughter and she wanted to know more about the family and share information with me about their other children. I almost fell out of my chair.

I immediately wrote back to her and probably sounded like a desperate stalker. I told her that Annie (Joyce) Kelly was one of eleven children born in Ireland and that six had come to the Boston, MA. I also told her that the family lost touch with Annie after her husband died of the flu and no one knew what became of her. I actually gave out my phone number, something I never do but I was overly excited.

After that, I called Joyce descendants that are still living. There are six children still alive from the original eleven that were born in Ireland. There are also numerous cousins that I also dug up along my journey. So many grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on that our now not only relative, but friends. Everyone I spoke with is excited about this possible lead.

Now all I can do is wait, and patience it not once of my strong personality traits. If this is not a hoax this would completely blow through another one of my brick walls and bring an end to what happened to Annie (Joyce) Kelly. What a great holiday gift that would be.


I got a call from a prospective client this past May who had been doing his own genealogy for a few months. He had traced his ancestry all the way back to the first King of Scotland. However, something was nagging at him. He had three census documents for his grandmother and all three had different ethnicities listed for her. One census records said she was Scottish, one said Scots-Irish, and the last one said Ireland. I asked him how he had traced his grandmother’s entire family so far back in just a few years. His answer was this – By following the leaves on

I get this answer a lot from prospective clients. Some people assume all information on is correct – it is not. I don’t think people understand that those leaves are generated by other member submitted trees. And the majority of the time, those members do not have the proper documentation to back up their claims. I’ve met many people who are Mayflower Descendants or are related to royalty or celebrities, however when asked where there documentation is, people usually look at me like they don’t understand what I am talking about. People need to understand that not everyone is related to someone famous. To be sure of your research you need to document, document, and document it again using more than just leaves, but by obtaining actual vital records, census records, naturalization records, military records, passenger lists, etc. And the best piece of advice I can give is to never take someone else’s research at face value. How do you know where they got their information?

This is how the story ends. The man who was related to the first King of Scotland became my client. I analyzed his research and realized where the first mistake was made, so I started pulling records. What did I end up finding? His grandmother was born in Ireland, not Scotland! When I called to tell him the news, I thought he would be upset as he was not related to a king. Instead he was thrilled with the news and asked if he was eligible for Irish Citizenship. Since his grandmother was born in Ireland he was, however since he had no proper documentation except for what I had found we had to start from scratch. Four months later, with proper documentation, and source citations, I finally sent in his application for citizenship.

The moral of this story is, if you click on leaves and connect yourself to someone else’s research, and if the outcome seems too good to be true, it usually is.

An Irish Citizenship Success Story

My parent’s and four other couples were planning a general site-seeing trip to Ireland. One of the men going on the trip had a grandfather born in Ireland and asked me to see if I could find the specific place his grandfather came from. Anyone who has attempted this task knows that this is a very difficult task.  I ordered his grandfather’s death record and was able to come up with the county in Ireland in which he was born, but that wasn’t enough.  So I ordered his grandparent’s marriage certificate to see if the information matched or if there was another clue. When I received the marriage certificate I was ecstatic. It listed the supposed townland in which the grandfather was born. With that information in hand I scoured Irish records and came up with a baptismal record with the same name as his grandfather, which had the same parent’s listed as on the marriage record. I called my client with the good news and he immediately called his travel agent and planned an additional week to spend in his grandfather’s townland.  I received great news when he returned. The church where his grandfather was baptized was still standing and not only did he find the original copy of his grandfather’s baptismal record, but also his great-grandparent’s marriage record, and baptismal records for siblings of his grandfather.

A few weeks after return he asked if there was anything he could do to honor the memory of his grandfather. This is when I brought up the idea of applying for Irish Citizenship by descent. Since he was the grandchild of a person born in Ireland, he was eligible to apply. Application is not as easy as it sounds.  There are forms to fill out and certified documentation required and a few more hoops to jump through. He carefully followed the application guidelines and requirements and handed K.B. Genealogy and Research the task of the certified documentation the Irish Embassy requires.

Three months later I received a wonderful phone call.  The man was now a Citizen of Ireland as well as the United States. He was also now eligible for an Irish Passport.  The passport arrived the beginning of March and next thing I know I was invited to a St. Patrick’s day party to celebrate his new Irish Citizenship and Irish Passport. What is he going to do now with dual citizenship? He’s not quite sure yet as it’s only been a couple months. All I know is that I love it when a plan comes together.