Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Cashel - Contents

The Irish family and the Alaska family reconnect

George Cashel of Ireland (born 1807) had two sons, from whom all the living Cashel family descend:

In 1860 or earlier, Edward left Ireland and went to America. His family heard almost nothing from him.
His brother Blen made an extraordinary (for anyone not rich) trip to America in 1870 to try to find his brother Edward.
As far as we know, they never met again, but the Irish family did learn that he went to Alaska and he married. (He married in 1870.)
Then things went quiet for 132 years.
Until 2002, when, thanks to the Internet, the two sides of the family re-discovered each other.
And later, thanks to more technology, DNA testing proved we are cousins.
I discovered that the last living person with the Cashel Y chromosome was Frank Cashel, from the Alaska family, and he died in 1991.


Blen visits America, 1870

Edward Francis Cashel's family back in Ireland clearly had very little news of him.
His brother Blen went to America in 1870 to try to find him.
In fact it is a bit of a mystery why Blen went to the US in 1870, since in 1869 William Kickham had told the family Edward was in Alaska. Blen must have known he could never hope to travel there to meet Edward. So why even cross the Atlantic?
Maybe the answer was that Edward told them he was leaving the army that month (July 1870, which he did) and might go back to the East coast. But in the end he stayed in Alaska.

Blen had to resign from the railway on 9 Mar 1870 [GSWR record] in order to go to America.
He came back to Ireland and was reappointed to the railway on 4 Aug 1870 [GSWR record]. His job was clearly kept for him.
See full size.

Blen got to New York, where the US War Department told him that his brother was in "Alaska Territory", an impossible distance away.
See full size.
He almost certainly never saw his brother again.
In fact, there is no evidence the Irish family heard from Edward again after 1870 (when they heard he got married).


Irish family tree (before 2002)

Since the 1980s, I have worked on a Cashel family tree.
Before 2002, I knew almost nothing about Edward, nor did any of my side (the Irish side).
  after Civil War went to Alaska (purchased by U.S. from Russia 1867) with Company 'G', 2nd Regiment U.S.Artillery, as quarter master sergeant                                                                                                     
    at Ford Kodiak ( must be Kodiak Island, S Alaska ) Dec 1868, 'I had a letter from Edward. He is at Fort Kodiak, Alaska Territory .. He is taking a steamer for San Francisco, California' ( then still a small town on the wild W coast )      
       [letter from his uncle William Kickham to his father Feb 1869, John Lavelle has it]                                                                                                                                                         
  in Alaska 1870 when his brother Blen went looking for him                                                                                                                                                                                        
    can't find death in [NatReg] 1864-1907, prob.died over there    


The bottom part of Edward's entry in my offline Cashel family tree of 1992.
We know about "Company 'G', 2nd Regiment U.S.Artillery" but we know nothing after 1870.


Edward's marriage in my offline Cashel family tree of 1992.
It was known that Edward married a "Russian girl" and that was it.

Snapshot of my website in 1999.
The Irish family still knows almost nothing.


American family tree (before 2002)

Meanwhile the American side had done a family tree, but had not been able to connect back in Ireland.

The start of Bob Fleek's family tree.
Made before he made contact with Ireland in 2002.
He knows about "Company G, 2nd U.S. Artillery", but he does not know Edward was born in Ireland.


Contact in 2002

In 2002, Edward's descendants, the von Konsky family, discovered my Cashel family tree website.
After a short time, we realised that their Edward Cashel who fought in the Civil War was indeed identical with our Edward Cashel who fought in the Civil War.
Bob Fleek sent me his family tree.
The two families were connected again after 132 years.


Extract from Cashel genealogy page made out by Brian von Konsky in 2002.

My website in 2007 is still barely updated.

I actually only updated my website in 2008.
My website in 2008 is updated and shows Edward's descendants.
See the current page on Edward Francis Cashel.

DNA matches

Later, many DNA matches proved beyond doubt we are cousins.
See tables of the many DNA matches between the Irish family and the Alaska family.

A massive 54 centiMorgan DNA match between one of the Alaska family and one of the Irish family.
There are many other large matches.

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