My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WEDNESDAY'S WORLD OF PHOTOS - 1985 O'Donnell Family Reunion, Birmingham, AL

Susie O'Donnell and 18/20 Grandchildren
Recently while scanning family photos from one of my mother's photo albums I came across all the pictures that my younger sister took of the last O'Donnell Family Reunion, held in the summer of 1985 in Birmingham, Alabama. That year Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev were world leaders. New Coke was introduced to the world, as was the first Nintendo console in America and DNA in its first criminal case. It was also the year "We Are the World" and Live Aid took place to raise funds for the Famine in Ethiopia, as well as the beginning of the fall of Communism throughout the world. In other words, it was a long, long time ago.
l to r - Loretta Crawford, Barbara Nelson, Charles
O'Donnell, Susie O'Donnell, Mary Slade

I remember attending the Saturday evening dinner held at my aunt's home and hanging out with my sisters and cousins and new baby niece that night but not much else. O'Donnell families came from around the country including California, Virginia, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. Unfortunately I honestly don't remember even meeting one new relative at the event.

Susie O'Donnell and Children

At the family reunion were descendants of Patrick O'Donnell (1823-1911), who came to America from Ireland, and his wife Bridget Kennedy (1838-1893), also an immigrant from Ireland. They had seven children, 6 daughters and 1 son. Those at the 1985 Reunion were descendants of two of their children - Mary Ann "Mollie" O'Donnell Casey Kenealy (1859-1936) and John Martin O'Donnell (1865-1937). John is my great-grandfather.

Family of Ed and Mamie O'Donnell
My grandmother Susie Flemming O'Donnell (1909-1999) was there. Her husband, my grandfather, John Huber O'Donnell (1905-1964), was the oldest child of John O'Donnell. Huber, as he was called, had 2 younger brothers and a younger sister. Brother Charles Patrick O'Donnell (1906-1987) came from Atlanta with a large number of his family. Youngest brother Edward Joseph Kennedy O'Donnell (1908-1989), called Ed, lived with his wife Mary Elizabeth "Mamie" Watters (1908-1996) in Los Angeles, California, and they didn't make the trip, but many of their children, their spouses and grandchildren did come. Also in attendance was youngest sister Barbara Lena O'Donnell Nelson (1909-1996), who travelled from her home in Biloxi, Mississippi, and members of her family.

Charles O'Donnell (seated) and Family

Barbara Nelson (seated) and Family
Also in attendance at the reunion were descendants of Patrick & Bridget's second child Mollie. Mollie had married twice. In attendance were the grandchildren of Mollie and her first husband Thomas "Pat" Casey (1841-1896), the children of their oldest daughter Frances Loretta Casey Slade (1879-1960), known as Lottie. Both daughters of Lottie and husband Charles Albert Slade (1867-1917) were in attendance - Mary Slade (1904-1990) and Loretta Slade Crawford (1906-1986). Loretta brought several of her own family members along with her to the reunion. Mary & Loretta both lived in Birmingham.

[Click on pictures to enlarge]

I would love to know exactly who the individuals are in each of these families for posterity's sake. If you can name them from your family I really would love to hear from you - everyone who knows can write me. Better to have too many than not any. Please don't write them on the comments below. But if can help me name them from your family please, please, please contact me on Facebook or email me! (I said please.) And if you're interested in where you can find all the pictures of the reunion let me know.

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