Family History Through the Alphabet – M is for Military Service, Mistakes, Midwest, Molnar, & McLaughlin

M is for Military Service:

One thing many people find really interesting and take a great deal of pride in when researching their ancestry is discovering the military service of ancestors or relatives. In researching my own ancestry, I have discovered several ancestors and relatives with military service, many of which with service during war. Perhaps the earliest known of these is the service of Mathieu Agé, my 9th great grandfather, in the Glorious Revolution. Mathieu was a Huguenot refugee in the Netherlands and was conscripted in the army of William of Orange (1650-1702) that invaded England in 1688. He was among many Huguenot refugees that served and was granted land in Virginia for his service.

In addition to Mathieu, I also have ancestors and relatives that served in wars in and involving the United States, including eight ancestors that served in the American Revolution, one of which was on the side of the British; some yet unverified claims of service in the War of 1812; four confirmed ancestors that served in the American Civil War, one of which was on the side of the Confederacy; one in the Spanish-American War; one in World War I; no direct ancestors in World War II, but two step-great-grandfathers that served, along with some great uncles; one that served during the Korean War; and a couple of relatives that served during the Vietnam War.

M is for Mistakes:

M is also for mistakes. In researching our ancestries, everyone comes across mistakes, particularly in oral accounts of our ancestry. On my paternal side, it was always claimed that my 3rd great grandfather, Owen Kiernan (1836-1901), and his wife, Harriet, were born in Ireland. Research revealed that Owen was in fact born in Canada to Irish émigrés, and Harriet was born in New York. On my maternal side, many mistakes were collected from the recollections of my great grandmother, Goldie (Worthington) Hamilton (1912-2006). Although she had the names kind of correct for several ancestors, they turned out to be of her own ancestry and not both hers and her husbands, Harry Carl Hamilton (1891-1960).

Although mistakes can take some time to discover and correct, I have found the process in doing so to be rewarding, as you uncover the past for what it really was piece by piece.

M is for Midwest:

M is also for Midwest. As I researched my ancestries, I was amazed by how many of my branches traced back to the American Midwest. The Midwest, also called “the heartland,” is a region in the United States that consists of 12 states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. All four of my “cardinal branches” (Kernan, Lapham, Hamilton, and Sebok) discussed on this site/blog trace to the Midwest; and I have connections to all but Kansas (so far). I know (from oral accounts) that many of my Midwestern ancestors left the Midwest because of the cold weather, so I suppose they avoided Kansas because they didn’t want to end up in the Land of Oz.

The following is a listing of which of the 11 states in the Midwest each of my four “cardinal branches” (including related branches) trace to:

  • Kernan: Missouri, Minnesota, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois
  • Lapham: Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota
  • Hamilton: Ohio, Missouri, Indiana
  • Sebok: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio

M is for Molnar:

M is also for Molnar (or Molnár), the maiden name of my 2nd great grandmother, Julia (Molnar) Balla (1885-1962), the mother of my great grandmother Irene Vera (Balla) Sebok (1913-2006). The surname is Hungarian in origins and is an occupational name from the Hungarian word “molnár,” meaning “miller.” Some name studies state that it may be a Magyarized form of the Slavic word for a miller, “mlinar.” My Molnar family traces back to a village called Eszény, which was in the Tisza District of Szabolcs County in the former Kingdom of Hungary. Today, although still inhabited by a majority of Hungarians, it is located in the Zakarpattia Oblast of Ukraine.

M is for McLaughlin:

M is also for McLaughlin, the maiden name of my 3rd great grandmother, Eva Flora McLaughlin (1863-1899), who was the biological grandmother of my great grandmother, Maxine Elizabeth Davis (1912-1992), who married Delmar Clair Kernan (1908-1979). According to name studies, the surname is Irish and Scottish in origins, and is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic “Mac Lochlainn” or “Ó Lochlainn,” meaning “son (or descendant) of Lochlainn,” with Lochlainn being a personal name meaning “stranger,” originally denoting Scandinavia (a compound of “loch,” meaning “lake,” and “lann,” meaning “land”). This name may originate in Ireland around the time of the Viking Invasions of Ireland. Irish bearers of the name often claim descent from Lochlann, a 10th century lord of Corcomroe, County Clare.

Click here to learn more about Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge (Clicking this link will take you to another site.)

6 thoughts on “Family History Through the Alphabet – M is for Military Service, Mistakes, Midwest, Molnar, & McLaughlin

  1. You have packed a lot of information into that post. Your family is extremely well spread, is it not! No wonder you are so interested in your family history.

    1. I suppose it is not that uncommon here in the United States that ancestors came from many different locations in the U.S., but I thought it was interesting how many came from the Midwest.

  2. You have a lot for M. I have been paying much more attention to Military this year. I have been trying to find out more details about the ones that I know served.

    Mistakes of course is something I always have to look out for. I have learned that it is always important to question things that I have found. I also have ancestors who have turned out to come from somewhere other than where it was thought they did.

  3. That a whole lot of M’s, all very relevant. I can agree with you on the mistakes. It is interesting finding out piece by piece what’s right and what’s not quite – or even on occasions what is just totally wrong. As for where my reli’s came from, I can only lay claim to New Jersey in the US, as most of mine are English, and Australian.

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