The year has quickly gone by and Christmas is almost here. Been going to different family gatherings and it is wonderful that we have the opportunity to enjoy these festivities. Daughter Sara had an Open House to show her new remodel projects. Thanksgiving was spent at Chris and Mary's get away home in Topaz. Last night we got together at daughter Keri's home to left over turkey in the form of a pot pie and visit with our grandson Steve and his family, Eric, Chris, Mary and granddaughter Ann-Marie. Today we stayed inside our house, because it snowed last night and it is cold out there.
We enjoyed a visit from Aaron and Lisa. We enjoyed memories of our granddaughter Allison's wedding to Trevor Love. Beautiful bride and groom and lovely venue. The summer is quickly moving by and we have just been living life. Getting together with family members is always exciting. Earlier, we had grandson, Joe visit us, too. It is wonderful seeing Joe. He has an exciting future ahead of him. This summer he is scheduled to learn how to fly with the Air Force, Next semester is the start of his senior year at the Air Force Academy. His brother, Porter is also in the Air Force and is stationed in Florida with the Bomb Squad (EOD) The Bomb Squad consists of highly trained members that respond to and render explosive devices safe and to provide guidelines, training and assistance to department personnel responding to explosive ordnance calls.
Ron Hill took a DNA test to get more info on his heritage. We have learned that both of his father’s (Melvin) parents were of Portuguese decent ~ John Mora and Carolyn Lewis.
John Mora was a barber and died young. Carolyn then married William Hill and Melvin was raised as their son. He didn’t know about his birth father until later in life. He changed his last name legally to Hill.
It had been a mystery to Ron's Mom Rose. She always thought that Melvin's parents got divorced. The truth is that John Mora died young when Melvin was only 2 years old. Carolyn remarried William Hill and raised the baby as his.
Through newspaper articles, I discovered the truth.
Wonderful things have been happening in the ministries I am involved. One is Landings Welcoming Returning Catholics, We just finishing a session with a 90 year old man who had been away over 60 years. He said when visiting Germany and Austria a few months back, he was touched by an enveloping feeling when he entered the first church. Like angel wings surrounding him. All he wanted to do was to stay there and pray. It happened with each church he visited. He knew he was supposed to go back to his roots and his Catholic faith. When he was first meeting with me about Landings, his sister called and told him, she too was returning. Neither knew the other was doing it. He finished his session and now is proudly helping with another session, two more returnees with 40 + years away and a parishioner who is in training to help with future Landings. All this with over two years of dormancy.
Besides all the activity in our parish, two other parishes have contacted me about Landings, St. Rose of Lima and Our Lady of Snows are considering implementing the program. This week, 3 members of the parish counsel of St. Rose of Lima came to observe what we do in our sessions. It was a pleasant visit.
Eddie, Paula and I are in a pro-life ministry, “Save the Holy Innocents,” started by a parishioner and his wife from St. Teresa of Avila.
At our last monthly meeting, we had a visit from +Thomas Mar Eusebius Bishop of Parassala, our group has decided to sponsor two seminarians from his diocese Brother Akhil M. and Nitheesh Simon. The bishop has 16 men in his seminary. Please keep these men in your prayers.
Besides “Landings” and “Save the Holy Innocents,” I am in a small faith sharing group each week at St. Gall and I am a Benedictine Oblate connected to Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Phoenix AZ. Sr. Lydia came this month to give us a Lenten retreat that ended with Taizé prayer. We got inspiration for our Lenten journey. As a group, we all thought in this world of confusion, hatrred and evil, we should follow our Lord’s command to witness by our love, kindness, and gentle spirit and follow his commands. Here are some pictures of the various groups.
Haven't had much time to update this site. Since it is snowing, I will try to post some of the most recent news regarding our O'Neill family DNA results. Results are in from the Big Y DNA tests and we know we are linked to the Clanaboy O'Neills and the O'Neills of the Fews.
We had a nice family gathering for Thanksgiving and now I am preparing for Christmas. I filled in my December calendar and I will been a very busy person. Not many days free for December. Right now I am writing Christmas cards and updating my address list. Sadly, I had to delete some of my friends this year, they have gone on to their reward.
My brother, Dave, took the Big Y 500 DNA test on Family Tree DNA and we are in the process of discovering where our O'Neills come from. Hopefully, we will connect with others of the same strain and learn more about our beginnings.
Want to wish all who visit here a joyous Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Since the birthday celebration, things have been quiet and not much has been happening except the fires plaguing California and Nevada. With all the smoke , our area has been listed has hazardous and we've been told to stay inside as much as possible.
One positive is that I have been working on our family genealogy and have been discovering more about our O'Neill side since the Champness family and my brother have taken the Big Y500 DNA. It shows we are from the O'Neills of the Fews and the Clanaboy O'Neills. Just hope to find the exact area that my great grandfather Patrick O'Neill came from. It seems likely it is Antrim and possibly Portglenone, Ireland.
We are having our main bathroom re-tiled and plumbed, so there is lots of activity happening in our house. Besides that over the weekend my niece, Renee and her husband Mike, their friends and my daughter, Keri and her husband Eric met for lunch at the Overland and had a wonderful visit.
Will update with more news on our genealogy progress in the near future.
June 2nd, Ron and I celebrated our 80 years on earth with family. Ron's birthday was in January and my birthday was in March. We waited until we had beautiful Spring weather to have a party. Thanks to my daughter Keri for organizing the event and all those who helped her make it possible. Ron's son David (who was in the accident) was a blessed surprise. Most of Ron's kids came and some of his grand kids and great grand kids. I feel so much joy and full of love for being able to experience love of family and my special other family (Janet, Larry, Josh, Courtney and kids). Of course all of my kids except my daughter who lives in China came and contributed to make it happen, my two nieces, Michelle and Elyce brought special desserts, helped with the photo display and set up and gave an elegant feel with special flower vases. So many did so much to set up the after party. Can't say enough about the whole thing. Love felt was overwhelming for both of us. Thank you to those who participated and shared the day.
Cake made by Gala Bakery, heard they made a cake for Mark Zuckerberg and the Warrior's team in Bay Area. The cookies have our pictures on them. Feel so special. New found relatives on my O'Neill side came, too. We are 2nd - 3rd cousins. They got to meet family members. Amazingly Tim and Carrie live right here in Gardnerville. Chris came from Bakersfield.
Genealogy update. Met my new found cousin, Tim Champness and his wife Carrie and their sons through DNA and was able to visit him and his family yesterday. What are the chances of having them live a few blocks away? Well it is true. We had a wonderful visit and I brought them a family history book that I made of the O'Neill and Curran families. Had a wonderful lunch and visit with them and got a tour of their beautiful home. To me family is everything and I want to know all about my ancestors and where I came from and what were their character, traits, foibles, successes and the hardship they endure to make it through their lives. It is an excited adventure with lots of surprises. Looking forward to springtime weather and the feeling that brings to revive a soul from the winter blues.
Below are some pictures of the family and the great grandfather Edward Champness whose mother was Merriam Seale. Edward was born on March 4, 1890. Merriam said she married a Mr. Brooks in 1890 and somehow the next year Mr. Brooks wasn't in the picture. We can't find any marriage record or death for Mr. Brooks. At the time of Edward's birth Merriam was 22 and the only O'Neill relative of the right age to be the father is James O'Neill who was 17 at the time. The Seale brothers were in business relationship with our Curran relatives owning a stable at the time. So the families Seales, O'Neills and Currans must have been in association. The mystery still needs to be solved but the Champness family are definitely O'Neills according to DNA matches and the Y111 test the Champness boys did.
Picture of visit Tim Champness, Rita O'Neill Hill and Carrie Champness
Pictures of the Champness family
Pictures of James O'Neill