According to the letter written by my second great-grandmother, Jane Barre, Owen O’Neill and Ellen Russell had a child named Ellen O’Neill in New york in 1852. When I found the O’Neill family in the1870 and 1880 Census, Ellen M O’Neill was listed there as being born 1852 (and respectively 1855) in Massachusetts in these two censuses.

I decided to check this out in the NEHGS database for Massachusetts Vital Records and I got a very interesting result:


The Record States: Ellen M O’Neill born 1 Dec 1852 in Blackstone (Millville), illegitimately born to George H Southwick, a scythe polisher, and Sally A O’Neill born in Uxbridge

I showed my case to David Lambert at NEHGS, because there is a good chance this could be my relative. He suggested I try the 1855 State Census for Blackstone. I found the family in Blackstone.

The record states:


Ellen M Southwick, 2 years old, born in Massachusetts

James O Neal, 55 years old, dyer, born in Ireland

Ellenor O Neal, 63 years old, born in Massachusetts

Sally O Neal, 22 years old, born in Massachusetts

Jullious O Neal, 17 years old, born in Massachusetts, store clerk

As of now I am looking for sources that would lead me to who these people are. I have not found a scythe polisher named George H Southwick, perhaps he was born in Rhode Island. But initial searches have yielded nothing, I plan to go back to NEHGS to follow up on this.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Jake Fletcher