Thursday, December 20, 2012

as if it mattered

I'm getting ready to pack up for an extended holiday break and won't be back in the office until January 2. Now that I've wrapped up all my work before I take off, I decided to do some math. I'm awful at math, but I find it is closely related to my obsession with making lists. I always calculate stuff. Distances, checking accounts, percentages. It's an obsession albeit an obsession I'm terrible at.

Anyway, I decided to calculate what my heritage is. So, here it is:
50% Italian
28% Irish
12.5% French
7% English
1.5% unknown/unverified
less than 1% German

But this didn't tell the whole story. I needed to figure out what my wife's heritage was so I could eventually calculate our daughters'.
My wife:
25% Swedish
25% Italian
12.5% Portuguese
12.5% Welsh
12.5% Irish
10.9% Unknown/unverified
1.5% English

And representing the true diversity of the United States, our daughters:
37.5% Italian
20.5% Irish
6.25% French
12.5% Swedish
4.25% English
6.25% Portuguese
6.2% Unknown
and not enough German to document

I don't know if this matters to anyone in the world, except me, but there it is. Now, go find my math errors.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


There are a lot of "firsts" that we remember in our lives. Our first love, our first bike, or possibly the first time a book or album changed our life. There are other firsts that we don't remember; like our first birthday. My youngest daughter's first birthday is next week (12/19) and we're having a big party for her on the 22nd. She won't remember anything about the day, but I think it should be a big celebration to remember her first year in our lives. It also made me think of this picture of my father's first birthday in October 1953. The clothes, the decor, the picture; to me, it's a classic picture. So, happy early birthday Lyla Kathleen Barresi and I hope all your future "firsts" only get more memorable with time.

Wordless Wednesday - a day late

Malden, MA 1983
Clockwise: Foreground Theresa (Fields) Echavarri, Xavier Echavarri, Edward Fields, Anne C. Fields, William Fields (my grandfather,) Betty (Fields) Barresi, in her arms is Alicia Barresi, Sheryl Barresi, me, and the kid standing is my cousin Jeffrey Fields.
This is Christmas at my Aunt's (Anne C. Fields) house, 1983 (we lived upstairs.) This is how I remember Christmas. To me, it doesn't get any better than this.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

102 Years Ago

I never knew her, my mother never knew her, my grandmother never knew her, but 102 years ago today, my 2nd great grandmother, Ellen Moynihan (she married James Slater and then married Thomas Tibbetts) passed away. She was in the hospital for a little more than two weeks(admitted on Nov. 25, 1910,) but had been suffering from stomach cancer for a year according to her death report. She was 42 years old.

Her son, James Paul Slater, had recently gotten married, November 20, 1910, and now I'm wondering if he got married because his mother was gravely ill? Unfortunately, we'll never know.

Rest in Peace.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Barresi - Fields Family Tree

I currently have 2,612 people in my family tree on with 1,281 records. I couldn't be prouder of the family lineage that I have been able to tape together over the past five years and have been able to share with many family members. William Huff (b.1782 d. 1886) was my 4x great grandfather and I have been able to trace my family line back through much of English and European history through him. However, I was just notified by a Huff family historian, that the father I have (and many other Huff families have) listed for William, is not his correct father. At least it hasn't been verified. Bill Huff told me via e-mail, that through DNA testing, that they are not father and son
 The parents of William have not been substantiated.  Although he lived in close proximity with Edmund Huff, we have no record to show that William is his son.  At one time, I believed that Edmund and William were father and son but the DNA evidence is not close enough to substantiate this close relationship.  It would appear from DNA (and Max knows more about this than me) that they are related but the common ancestor is likely some number of generations removed.  Again, I am not an expert but this is my interpretation of the data. 
Though I don't care so much about the royalty I thought we had in the family line (i.e. the Plantagenets) it's the feeling of losing a connection to others. I thought I had built a solid resource for my family to use and I hope that I haven't broken the trust by providing false information for so long. Now hundreds of people could easily be wiped off our lineage. I could go from 2,612 people to 2,300 or so. However, I am not going to remove the information from my family tree until stronger evidence would require me to do so. However, I'm not going to continue researching that historic family line either. I'll keep working to determine who William Huff's father was, but it could take DNA testing to get a solid answer.

Also, if you know any male Huffs in our family line please let them know they can take a Y-DNA test. Grandma Fields (Nellie Huff) had at least two brothers, John and William, but I don't know what happened to them.