Reality Check

John Basquinn in 1920 United States Census
1920 U.S. census, population schedule, Manhattan Assembly District 16, New York, New York, enumeration district (ED) 1127, sheet 11A, p. 243 (hand written), dwelling 16, family 290, John Basquinn; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 17 Sep 2017); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T625, roll 1214. Rec. Date: 8 Oct 2016

Here’s another tip: Before disregarding a record because it has the wrong name on it, consider if that name makes any sense. Basquin/Basquinn is not a name you’d find in Ireland. It simply doesn’t exist. If you search the Irish census records, you won’t find the name, period. If you search Ancestry globally for basquin* born Ireland, you will find a handful of records, all of which are either transcribed incorrectly or you can see that an enumeration mistake was made and the country of origin was France.

For example: In the 1860 US census there’s a Kate with no last name given, born Ireland, working in New Orleans as a servant in the home of a French family named Basquin. I’d bet money her name was not Basquin, but whoever the informant was had no idea what her surname was and likely didn’t care. She was just a servant, right? Then when the record was transcribed, the blank was interpreted to mean that her name was Basquin, too.

So. Here we have John Basquinn, born Ireland about 1873, living in New York City, and working as a construction laborer. I guarantee you this is Walter Basquill and Mary McHugh’s son, John. How his name was recorded as Basquinn will remain an eternal mystery.


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Ancestry’s Image Enhancement

Manifest from Ancestry with Enhanced Images Turned On

Manifest from Ancestry with Enhanced Images Turned Off
“Pennsylvania, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1800-1962,” database and images, Ancestry ( : accessed 17 Sep 2017), manifest, Westernland, 29 Oct 1906, roll 54, image 316, line 6, John Basquill. Rec. Date: 22 Sep 2017.

I posted this in one of my genealogy groups, but I’m going to repost it here as a general warning, using John Basquill again.

This was prompted by an earlier discussion in one of my genealogy groups on images at Fold3 vs Ancestry, and how the Fold3 images were darker and, to some eyes, contained less information. I stated at the time that the opposite was true, and that I’d recommend turning off image enhancement at Ancestry, because you can lose valuable information if you don’t. Here’s an example.

One image with Ancestry’s image enhancement turned on (top), and one with it turned off (bottom). If you leave image enhancement turned on, you’d never know that there were contract ticket numbers in the left column of this manifest. You may not find those numbers important, but I’ve been able to use them to track an individual (and in the process fill in knowledge gaps) through multiple manifests where she failed to board the ship. Some of those manifest entries are crossed out, but the information in them helped me connect her to two different sisters living in the US and also to the townland she came from, which led me to her birth register entry and her parents’ names. All because I noted the contract ticket number and used it to collate several manifest entries.

The image on top may be prettier, but it is missing valuable information.

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Compare and Contrast

Baptismal Register 1873, image from FamilySearch
image from FamilySearch

Baptismal Register 1873, image from Ancestry
image from Ancestry

Roman Catholic Church (Ireland), “Diocese of Tuam, Parish of Aglish (Castlebar), Baptisms 22 June 1872 to 28 Dec 1880,” page 9, number 3, John Basquill baptism 6 Jan 1873; FHL 007732604, image 2105; National Library of Ireland, Dublin. Rec. Date: 1 Apr 2016; Sponsors John Cannon and Bridget Cannon

I’ve been working on this guy all day. John Basquill was the half-brother of my great grandma, Nell Basquill. He was born in 1873 in Hollyhill, Ballyhean Civil Parish, County Mayo, Ireland. I’ve got him fairly well traced (still missing the 1930 and 1940 censuses), but it’s been nagging me that the image I had from the baptismal register had part of the baptism date obscured. That image originally came from National Library of Ireland (also used by Ancestry and Findmypast).

It occurred to me that I should check the images at FamilySearch. They aren’t indexed, but if you know what you’re looking for–and I do*–then it’s pretty easy to find the image you want. I did, and lo and behold, they lifted the torn interior corner of the page to image it, revealing the full baptism date: 6 Jan 1873. But then if you look at the place of birth on the FamilySearch image, that’s obscured. You just can’t win. But at least, with both images, you can get at both pieces of information.

So that’s the lesson for today: it pays to check multiple collections to see if they have independent images of a document.

*If you look at the citation, you’ll see the FHL number and an image number. If you go to FamilySearch, search the catalog, and plug the FHL number into the fiche search box, you’ll find the film containing the image. Then just plug the image number into the image number box, and you’ll be taken directly to the above image.


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All Photos-31

I have no idea what was casting this shadow on my wall, but it was kind of lovely.

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Mistakes Were Made

Martin isn’t one of “my” Basquills, but it still frustrated me that I could not find the image for his birth registration. It was indexed by FamilySearch and the entry is available there and on Ancestry: volume 19, page 583.

The page has been indexed at Like FamilySearch and Ancestry, the index says the entry is on page 583. It’s not, though. There is no Martin Baskfill on page 583. I had to page through, forward and backward, to find him, but I finally did. he’s on page 593. I submitted a correction to, but there’s no way to submit a correction to Ancestry. The best I could do was to leave a comment on the page and hope that anyone else frustrated by the missing entry will find it.

If there’s a way to submit record corrections at FamilySearch, I can’t find it, so that one will have to linger. I did at least do some clean up in the FamilySearch tree for this family. That was a hot mess. There were several duplicate entries, and it took me nearly an hour, but it’s done. And I attached the birth register index source at FamilySearch to Martin and added a warning that the page number is incorrect. Hopefully people will click through to view the tree entry for him, if they search for the birth register entry there.

Martin Baskfill

Martin Baskfill

Martin Baskfill
Ireland General Register Office, Health Service Executive, Civil Registration Service, Register of Births, volume 19: page 593, number 168, Martin Baskfill; digital image, “Register of Births, District of Westport, Union of Westport, County of Mayo,” ( 10 Sep 2017). Rec. Date: 17 Sep 2016.

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Oh, nothing, just throwing food at my dog. #dogs #boxerdog #boxerdogs

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Sometimes I throw food at my dog.


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Ear of Judgment

Who knew one little dog could pack so much judgment into a single look? Judgeface, ear of judgment, and epic side eye.

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Wants a PBJ

#droolingbegface #pbj #dogs #boxerdogs

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Even his drooling is ridiculous.

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Bridget Agnes Groarke 1869-1954

Record of Aliens Held for Special Inquiry
“New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957,” online images, Ancestry ( : accessed 26 Aug 2017), manifest, Arabic, 21 Jan 1905, microform serial T715, 1897-1957, roll 529, page 31, Bridget Basquill, line 10. Rec. Date: 15 Oct 2016.

1940 United States Census
1940 U.S. census, population schedule, Troy Hills, Morris County, New Jersey, enumeration district (ED) 14-89, sheet 42B, p. 3360 (stamped), B. Basquill; digital images, Ancestry ( : accessed 26 Aug 2017); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 2373. Rec. Date: 8 Oct 2016; Inmate, married, 64 years old, born Ireland, naturalized.

Bridget Agnes Groarke was born 28 Oct 1869 in (as far as I can make out deciphering the handwriting) Cloonacannana, County Mayo, Ireland. She married James Basquil, the son of John Basquil and Mary Haran, on 19 Feb 1900 in the Catholic Church at Swinford, County Mayo. On 13 Feb 1902 their only child, Patrick John, was born in Lisheenabrone, County Mayo.

Those are the dry facts. For some as yet unknown reason, Bridget and her son emigrated to the US in 1905 and settled in Newark, New Jersey. Her sister, Catherine, had married a man named Fred Hymers, and they also lived in Newark. Surely there was more to the story that just that, though? Bridget followed through on all the steps to naturalization and took the oath of allegiance on 11 Dec 1933. In her naturalization paperwork, she says that her husband, James, resides in Darlington, England. What happened between them? As far as I can tell, they had no personal contact after she came to the US.

I have so many questions! When Bridget and Patrick arrived here, they were detained because Bridget had no money with her, despite there being a notation on the ship’s manifest that she possessed $5. Bridget is on line 10 of the first image, and you can see the notation L.P.C., meaning “Aliens likely to become public charges.” She was finally allowed in to the country, but she hadn’t had family here already, willing to take responsibility for her, she could have been refused and returned to Ireland.

Still more questions! If you look at the second image, you can see it’s from the 1940 US Census. Bridget is on line 59. The image quality isn’t great, but you should be able to make out that she’s an inmate at the New Jersey State Hospital. A “public charge,” indeed. What happened? And where is her son, Patrick. Tracking them both using city directories and censuses, it looks like they were together right up until 1934, then in 1935 she’s an inmate at Greystone Park (AKA New Jersey State Hospital). As far as I can tell, she spent the rest of her life there. She died in 1954 and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery, in Morristown, New Jersey.

I believe Patrick died in 1979. I have no idea what happened to James, nor do I have any idea what happened to break up their family.

So many questions!

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Cute Aggression

Those ears. Bounce bounce bounce. #dogs #boxerdogs #deadofears #cuteaggression

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Every day, every walk, Thomas and his ears bounce along. The cuteness when his ears flippy-flop in unison is almost more than I can stand.


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