This week’s genealogical success was with the Hayes branch on the Lewis side of the family. In the recent months I had found many articles that mentioned James V. Hayes, but lacked concrete evidence to link them to the descendants of Patrick Hayes and Johanna Cowhey.

Several months ago, I had found a Tierney cousin by gambling and sending a letter to a him in hopes that he he had the same name and followed in his father’s footsteps in being a lawyer. Well it worked. But not because he followed in his father’s footsteps.  In fact, the Raymond Tierney I found turned out to be the son of the person I was looking for.  This Raymond’s father had nothing to do with legal profession.  I guess I just got lucky!

Since that strategy worked once before in finding relatives on the Tierney side of the family, I took a chance and thought it might work again.  So last month, I sent an email to an attorney named James V. Hayes who I found on the interent.  He was part of a Law Firm in New York City.  After several weeks, he responded back to me to let me know that he did not believe that we were related. His family came from the Boston area.  Bummer… so it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Last week  I came across several articles, which I’d seen before, but had dismissed because the generations didn’t seem to match up with what I expected. After reviewing two obituaries and a marriage announcement, I became convinced that I had found the correct descendants of James B. Hayes. So using Google and other tools on the Internet I found a bunch of possible snail mail addresses. I decided to send them a letter in hopes that they would respond.

Once again I quickly received an excited phone call from Mary Ann Mummma of Larchmont, New York, confirming that I had found the correct descendants of Patrick Hayes and Johanna Cowhey.  We had a very nice conversation in which she told me that she didn’t think she had any cousins.  Well, I let her know that she had twelve cousins in Pennsylvania, New York and Connecticut.    She gave me her brother’s telephone number in Colorado and told me that he had been extensively researching the Hayes’ of Limmerick, Ireland for sometime now.  In fact, he had even been to the place where they were allegedly from.

Now here is the kicker.  I am her second cousin, twice removed!  My branch of the family tree had squeezed in two additional generations.  So while she was talking about her great grandparents Patrick and Johanna, I was talking about my great-great-great grandparents Patrick and Johanna.  That explains the generation issue I had trouble with early on.

After speaking to cousin Jim in Colorado, I learned that the Hayes’ came from a little place called Bruree, which is just outside of Limerick, Ireland.  We agreed that between the two of us, we should be able to put together a well documented history of the Hayes’.  So the work begins…

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