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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Madden Gatherings 2004

Many of the Madden Gatherings centered around events.  2004 was wedding time in Hawaii and everybody came!!  Maddens, Carbullidos and friends......

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Limerick in Clare

Family tradition has been that James Madden was from Clare.  However, James' emigration and naturalization documents state he was from Limerick.  I always figured he must have been from the area near the Shannon River, but could not reconcile the difference in counties and no Irish records helped me out.

Well....I regret to say, I did not spend enough time with a map, for part of the city of Limerick lies in County Clare.  The documents in the US do not say County Limerick, just Limerick so perhaps a city not a county!!!!

Gortatogher - Griffiths
In fact in Griffith's valuations there is a James Madden in Gortatogher, which is in Parteen RC Parish and St. Patrick's Civil Parish.  Both cover areas on both sides of the Shannon, thus are in both Limerick and Clare.  Might this be a solution to our dilemma?

James' parents are named on his death certificate as James and Mary. This might be a mistake, however, the fact that there are James' in every generation gives some support to the notion that it might be correct.  Other names to look for would be Thomas and John.  There is also the possibility of William, remembering the Willie listed on James and Anna's tombstone.  Willie can also be a female (Wilhelmina), so far the only source is on the tombstone.

It is unfortunate that the Catholic marriage registers for Parteen, which begin in 1814 have a gap for the years 1836 to 1847.  It seems probable that James and Anna married during that time period.  This could well explain the inability to find a marriage record for them.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


I guess the fact we've been telling Maura that she is a fantastic artist is now without question.  For the 3rd year she has been awarded Best of Show by Watercolor Artists of Sacramento Horizons, WASH, this time in their member only show.

Earlier this year her picture, Family Vacation, was included in the juried 47th National Exhibition of the California Watercolor Association. 

Check out her latest paintings and painting news on her blog

maura madden donovan watercolors

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Family Gatherings - 1973

Maura & Williams Wedding

Over the years many of the Madden family gatherings have centered around weddings. When Maura and William were married in 1973, the family numbered twelve....the original eight, two son in laws and the just turned two twin cousins so elegantly dressed in clothes lovingly made by doting grandmas. 

Maura and William were married at the Cenacle, outside under the trees, only the second, and the last wedding on the grounds.  We Maddens were definitely privileged to have had that opportunity. 
The Cenacle - Carmichael CA

This the first of the weddings after the family spread to separate states.  Unfortunately some of us missed the next two weddings, that of Tim and Denise in 1975 and Colleen and Bill in 1976.  Small children, bad schedules, high travel costs and limited budgets made travel difficult, but we were there in Spirit!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Michael Murphy: An exploration of possibilities

There is one in every research project, the man with the common name who disappears in the records.
In the Madden genealogy that man is Michael Murphy. Michael was supposedly born in Ireland to James Murphy and Mary Brien about 1833.

No record of that birth has been found.  One possibility is a christening record for Michael Murphy, the son of Edanus Murphy and Mary Brien. He was born 21 Apr 1833 and christened the next day in the parish of Ballycullane (Tinturn), Wexford.  This is in the diocese of Ferns.

Edanus is considered a latin form of Aidan, a diminutive form of Aodh.  The name means "fire" and is sometimes anglicized as Hugh ... not James.

Could it be the right record?  Michael Murphy is such a common name, but it is the right year and the right mother.

Another possibility is Michael Murphy the son of Cons Murphy and Mary Brien baptised 29 Dec 1833 in Rosnacaharach, Muintervarra, Cork.

There are others, but I have not found one with James Murphy and Mary Brien and birth dates get further from an age of 28 which he gave when he  married..  In fact the only mention of his parents names is the marriage record of Michael and Bridget.  

I have not been able to find the family of Michael in Canada.  I believe I have found him as a servant age 25 in the 1861 census in Stratford, but with no other names to check,  this it might not be him. The record of his marriage just a few weeks later says that he lives in Stratford.  The census would put his birth in 1835/6 but 25 is one of those nice round ages that an employer might give. Like many Irish his age is inconsistent in nearly every record. 

It is my hope that some record might miraculously appear and give a few more clues.

Máedóc of Ferns

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Family Gatherings - 1972

25th Anniversary

In Spring of 1971 just s months after the marriages of Colleen and Cath, the Madden family moved to Washington.  Jim had accepted a transfer to the Surface Effects Ship division of Aerojet.  After a short stint in a motel, they found a great house in Gig Harbor.

They left Maura and Cath in California and Colleen was living in Corvalis, Oregon.

Just one year later the the first "Family Gathering" took place.  A surprise for the 25th anniversary of Jim and Jean.  Colleen did much of the planning for the event, which included dinner out and then a party waiting at home.  

Maura, William, Cath, Greg and not quite one year old Jessica piled into Maura's Datsun for the journey north from San Francisco.  Along the way we swung through Corvalis to add Colleen and not quite one year old Erich to the pile.  

We arrived just in time to leave for dinner.  We left Erich and Jessica with newly turned twelve year old Patrick.  I'm not sure what we were thinking, two crawling messy infants with a kid who had never had a younger sibling!!!  He was slow to forgive us and for years swore he would never have a child.

It was a short visit, everyone had to get back for work, but thankfully we took time for this picture, the last with all eight of us.  

...there must be other pictures of that weekend, but this is all I  found in my albums, or the Madden negative collection.