Posted by neilwholey on August 20, 2011
Rather inspired by the excellent Who Do You Think You Are? (UK) for June Brown, which I have just caught up with. Fascinating for me as I also have Jewish ancestors from the East End of London around the same period. They were the Abrahams and married in to the Wholeys some hundred or so years later. June herself followed her line back to North Africa in the 1500s. But it made me think how far do you go back and do you follow all the branches, or just the ones that are more interesting? Everyone has four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents and so on. Once you get back to the 1500s, even if just following one line (such as the origins of the Wholey name) then the roots are so watered down is there any real connection?
This is one of the reasons why I have moved away from the “Wholey Family History Society”. It was always just me and reflected my desire at the time to link all Wholeys in one tree, and to follow the convention of a One-Name Study. This is still an interest of mine, but in recent years the Abrahams and other female line branches have been of more interest to me. My Wholey ancestors in London were Irish dockers and labourers, the families they married into included the Abrahams (who included theatrical individuals who danced on the West End stage and ended up in American vaudaville), the Thatchers (who were Thames lightermen – river taxidrivers), and that’s before you even go on my mother’s side and her half Italian/half Maltese roots. So I want this website to be about families connected to the Wholeys. If it is interesting it should be looked into, on the basis that there are so many stories and branches to go into that life is too short to stick just to the Wholeys.
I will still collate and publish Wholey records and mentions but mainly I want to tell a story. Incidently I’m still looking for a good way to publish family tree records on WordPress – any good recommendations?
Posted by neilwholey on July 18, 2011
There are many Wholeys in the world and not all are related. This site has grown out of an interest in the name, which is very rare, which leads me to collect references as I find them. I have loads of information online, in files and elsewhere and this site is my attempt to share it with the world in the hope someone finds it useful. I am more than happy to respond to queries – but I need some information! I am amazed when I get a one line email that says “My father was Timothy Wholey. Are we related?” A good email would say the following (and is a good way to start your research anyway!):
- When and where were you born?
- When and where were your parents born? What were their full names? What jobs did they do? Where did they live? Did they have any brother or sisters?
- Same questions as asked of your parents apply to earlier generations. If you want to just know about Timothy Wholey who came over from Ireland to America, tell me everything you know about him!
Therefore a much improved email would be (this is a made up example) “My father was Timothy Wholey, he was born in 1934 in Dublin and was a shopkeeper in New York. His brothers were Dan and Tom (who I think were older). Their father was John Wholey who married Molly.”Adding in extra details, no matter how irrelevant it seems, is very useful.
In my own family tree my side of the family knew that Timothy Wholey (born 1877) married Margaret O’Shea, but we didn’t know if he had any siblings. We saw another family tree which referred to an older brother called Timothy Wholey who was married to Mog. It was only when my Grandma pointed out that Margaret O’Shea was known to everyone as Mog, that we put the two family trees together.
So my advice, before you send an email, is to write about your family history based on what you and your relatives know. Write it as a story which as much information as possible. This is the fun part of family history! From this you then need to check out the facts. Can you confirm dates and locations? Can you find out more about the occupations your ancestors held? I would love to put your stories up on this site as well as providing you with any information I may have on file.
Posted by neilwholey on June 12, 2011
I think I’m getting used to WordPress and setting up this site. Let me know what you think should go on this site. The most important page is the origins of the name which is here. The surname books do not do the name justice and usually just refer to the Irish origins. Many British Wholeys are actually a variant of Wooley.
I’ve also set up a Twitter page – follow this site now @thewholeys
Posted by neilwholey on June 5, 2011
I’ve decided to rebuild my website. So please bear with me as I transfer the information across. The old website, with lots of fantastic information, is available here. If you want any other information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org