Friday, September 30, 2011

Will the real Hugh Cummiskey please stand up?

Hugh's signature as it appears on his naturalization record.

Sometimes I think I have a touch of OCD.  I remember once I read a Tony Hillerman mystery novel.  I was hooked.  Within a couple of months I had read every single piece the man ever wrote.  Did I stop there?  No.  I made a number of visits to Arizona and followed the route the main character, Jim Chee, followed.  My wife would wonder why I was driving out of our way to get somewhere, but I knew what I was doing.  Jim Chee rode this highway and stopped at this rest stop.

Just as I thought I've recovered from my addiction, Hugh Cummiskey pops up, or I should say Hugh CummiskeyS pop up.  Yes, you read it correctly.  I was sitting in Mahon's Hotel in Irvinestown.  The team was out at a local pub.  By this day every muscle in my body was crying out in agony so I snuck away to my room.  I came across a note we had made weeks earlier of a second Hugh Cummiskey, this one in Boston, but at about the same period.  Were they related?  One was a labor leader, the other a ship's pilot.  Ever since we came back, we've made little inroads as to who Hugh2 was.  That's when the little voice in the back of my head started speaking to me.  It said one word, "Google."  And that's what I've been doing every night since then.  The last name of Cummiskey is not that common.  The first name Hugh is not uncommon, but it's not Patrick or Mike either.  So you figure the name Hugh Cummiskey must be unique.  Nah!  There are more Hugh Cummiskeys than you can shake a stick at, and they're all over the place. 

Right now I'm following one line on Prince Edward Island about the same time period as Hugh1.  I'll call him Hugh3 (though there are more Hughs in this family).  One of the streets where Hugh3 lives is Dromore (the area in Ireland where Hugh1 is from).  One of Hugh3's family has the last name of Sherry (Hugh1's wife's last name was Sherry).  Hugh3's family moves to Lowell for a short period.  So obviously they're the same family!!!  Nah!  At least no proof yet. 

On another note, just got an email from Colm.  Irish America magazine just published a nice piece in their magazine.  Some of you may know IA magazine as one of the leading journals of Irish culture on both sides of the Atlantic.  Take a look: http://www.irishcentral.com/IrishAmerica/  We made the big time!

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