Irish Genealogy: John J Reidy 1906

I’ve enjoyed my membership in the Genealogy Bank. I am now in my second year.

It allows searches in a wide variety of older newspapers and they are adding more newspaper every month. When I got my monthly newsletter today, I was pleased to see they added more issues of the Gaelic American. This is a New York news papers publishing thing of interest to Irish-Americans, including news from Ireland.

Since I am interested in Irish Genealogy including the name REIDY, I was pleased to see an obituary of John J. Reidy who died July 17, 1906. This was in the August 11, 1906 issue. Among many other things the article says he was from Ballyelan, Ballingarry, Limerick and was active in the Fenian movement, and an uncle of James Reidy of New York.

There were also quite a few articles in the Gaelic American of this time on James Reidy of the Brooklyn Gaelic society and other Irish-American organizations. I suspect this is may be the nephew mentioned above but I do not know this.

Since Ballingarry is just down the road from Rathkeale where my REIDYs were from, I found this especially interesting.

How to Do Everything Genealogy

I’ve been doing a bit of family history myself so when I saw the title How to Do Everything Genealogy, my first thought was that covering everything in genealogy in a a book was certainly an impossible task and perhaps the author was some sort of charlatan. However, I soon discovered this was not the case and it actually was a very good book.
Continue reading

Medicare explained brilliantly

This is a review of Medicare For Dummies which was much better than expected. In fact, it was very good but I did have low expectations when I first saw the book.

Many years back my job involved computers and programming. I don’t remember the exact story so this will be a bit vague. For some reason I need to learn quickly about some commonly used program. I figured since I knew nothing about program X, most books or webpages about X would be way over my head.

So I figured I would start with the “Dummies” book and progress after I got the basics. It turn out badly. I didn’t really learn anything useful and felt insulted and frustrated in the process.

This book is much different. Continue reading

Family Search photoduplication services and rewards

I’ve mentioned that I use Family Search quite a bit and it is free so I try to help out by volunteering to index records.

Family Search has discontinued their photoduplication services. I had used this service for several records each year because the actual record usually has much more information than the abstract online or an index. But these records may eventually be fully digitized and available online. Meanwhile, it is a service I miss.

But this gives me an idea. Actually three, but I don’t know if they will be useful. Continue reading

Charles Greer who escaped from Sing Sing

I’ve written several times about the Charles Greer who escaped from Sing Sing in 1922. I believed he was the child of John and Julia Greer of New York City.

I did find a newspaper article that seemed to confirm I was right but I was hoping to find a second source. Yesterday I found it. now has added some Sing Sing admission records and a little searching led to the record of Charles Greer received in 1920 and convicted of murder as reported in the newspapers. Julia Greer of 1487 Amsterdam Ave, NYC was listed on the record.

Full Irish – political suspense

Mix a bit of suspense with politics in a fast moving and very entertaining novel and you have Full Irish by Pete Morin and Susanne O’Leary.

I was quickly drawn into the story when an Irish politician was murdered on his way to a meeting to deliver a small but mysterious package. The action quickly switches to a Boston law office and Massachusetts politics. And then back to Ireland. The 2 stories quickly come together in a transatlantic web of political intrigue and corruption.

I read Kindle edition so had no idea as to the number of pages. I just checked the Amazon site and they say the paperback has 260 pages. But it is fast paced and a quick read. I read the book in a few sittings. I have linked to a page that has both the kindle and paperback editions listed. I recommend the kindle if you have one and enjoy it. It is considerable cheaper.

At any rate, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope you do too.

Bipartisan cooperation lost

Is President Obama already missing the Republican cooperation he enjoyed during the first 6 years of his presidency?

After the recent election, some thought bipartisan cooperation was possible. I’m not sure why. There has been little evidence of bipartisan cooperation in recent years on most issues.

The Republicans warned President Obama not to “poison the well” by using his executive authority on immigration. Yet he did. From listening to reaction, I guess the spirit of bipartisan cooperation was lost. I’m wondering if President Obama already missing the Republican cooperation he enjoyed during the first 6 years of his presidency?

Chink Greer of the Slant Eyes

According to the Yonkers NY Statesman of January 4, 1924, the Charles Greer who escaped from Sing Sing was known as Chink Greer of the Slant Eyes to the New York police and was a brother to Horace Greer of Mabel Normand scandal fame. The author of the article is unknown since a byline is not included but the article is called “Brother of Dines assailant killed local man in 1920″.

According to this article Charles “Chink” Greer developed a disease as a result of exposure of the elements During his escape and the two days before his recapture. After he was recaptured, he was sent to Clinton Prison in Dannemora, NY where is died on December 27, 1922.

Regulating Guns in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania not only forbids local governments from regulating guns but went beyond that with a new NRA-supported law allowing the allowing the NRA and other organizations members with living in Pennsylvania or actual residents of the Commonwealth to sue the municipality for not only injunction to stop the law but for any actual or punitive financial damages they feel are warranted.

For example, Philadelphia and many other communities require the reporting of lost and stolen firearms. Since our state government will not act against making of “straw” purchases, many municipalities have. Both are important tools to fight gun trafficking without interfering with the possession of guns by ordinary citizens. Continue reading

FREE online newspaper article

Over the past couple weeks I wrote about finding online newspaper articles about a great grand uncle named Matthew H. Greer. I found several articles about his death and his will. Several articles from paid sites. But the final word on his will (at least so far) came from a newspaper I found in a free online newspaper article.

The free online newspaper article Continue reading

A visit to the Big Duck

Last week we decided to visit the Big Duck.


As you can see the duck is really big, dwarfing the flagpole and building in the Background of the picture. My wife and I decided to take a driving tour of part of Long Island and since the Big Duck was one one route we could take, we decided that was the way to go.

We thought we would use one day to explore the South Fork and visit the Hamptons and Montauk. We planned the day so our journey passed the Big Duck. We were staying in about mid-Island so we took the Long Island Expressway to the NY-24 exit just before Riverhead and headed south through Flanders, NY on route 24. The Big Duck was sitting there off to the left of route 24 as we went south before we reached route 27 and 27A.

Other than saying “you can’t miss it”, I don’t think more explicit directions are needed. After all, if you can’t see a 20 foot high duck by the side of the road, you probably should not be driving.

Matthew Greer, the younger, part 3

So in the earlier installments of this story we had Matthew Greer dying in Great Neck, NY in 1936 and leaving his $ 10,000 estate to his niece Jennie Zweifel.

His sister Sarah Mahan was not mentioned at all in part 2 but some of you may have noticed her name in the tags. So what does Sarah have to do with it? Continue reading