Apr 272012

Based on an obituary I found in the Buffalo News, I learned that my great-great-grandmother, Bridget (Sweeney) Cruice, has a service for her death at the Church of the Annunciation in Buffalo.

I learned that their records are now kept by Our Lady of Hope in Buffalo. I emailed asking if they had any more information on the Cruice family and this is how they responded:

I found information on both of your grandparents, although the books do not tell very much. It just says Patrick age 45 died on April 20, 1896 and was buried at Annunciation. Bridget was 63 years old – died January 25th and was buried on January 28th, 1924. I also found a Josephine Cruice who died on March 24, 1896 at 2 years old. Don't know if this was their child or not, that is the only information in the book, but that name is not very common. Hope this helps – but nothing tracing the family back to Ireland – some of the other books tell where people were from, but unfortunately the books that your relatives were in do not have that information in them.


In checking a little further, I found a baptism certificate for Ann Cruise (for some reason everything for your grandparents that I found has the last name spelled Cruise with an S not Cruice with a C. – She was the child of Patrick Cruise and Brigetta Sweeney Cruise. Born on April 22, 1896 and baptized on May 2, 1886. Godparents are Hugo Higgins and Maria Fahey. I will send you a copy of the certificate if you send me your address again.  

Perhaps the most interesting piece of information is that the last name is spelled Cruise, not Cruice on some documents.

Jul 012006

The very first step in any genealogy project is to ask your parents and grandparents for any information.

Sadly, most of my grandparents were deceased when I started this, and the only one still living was in a nursing home. I remember putting together a basic genealogy when I was in school. I talked with my great-grandmother and she gave me the names of her parents and some of her grandparents. Like many school projects, that's long gone.

On my dad's side, I knew my grandmother's parents, Carmela (Parisi) Millonzi and Rosario Millonzi. My great-grandfather died when I was a few years old. My great-grandmother died when I was on a teenager. 

My dad said his father's parents were Angelo and Maria Palmeri, but did not know Maria's last name. I might have met one of them when I was little, but I don't remember.

On my mom's side, I knew my grandmother's mother, my great-grandmother, Gramma Wilson. I might have met my grandfather's father, my great-grandfather, Grampa Burke. But maybe not. 

My mom knew that there was something like a Cruice and a de Guehery, but wasn't quite sure how to spell the names, or who went with whom, so she had me get in touch with one of my aunts, who was the family historian. She sent me this family tree with another couple of pages with some of the birth and death dates.

After spending most of my efforts working on and off on digitizing and adding to my wife's genealogy, I used this as a starting point for uncovering my own.

Based on what we knew then, I was 1/2 Italian, 1/4 French, and 1/4 Irish. My mom's parents were both 1/2 French and 1/2 Irish. According to family lore, both French families fled the French Revolution, with the Cruice's escaping to Ireland and then to the US, and the de Guehery's escaping to Germany, then to Canada, and then to the US.

original Burke family tree