1948 Header


Written by: Barry P. Foley
Copyright © 18 Mar 2023

When My journey started all I knew was that Mama was a Foley, her Mama was a Sawyer, and Daddy's Mama was a Pilson, and that was it.

I first sat down with my Grandma Vada of my Mama’s side.  From memory, she rattled off names and dates faster than I could write.  Info on her Daddy's family, the Sawyers, from Carroll County, names of her Mama Sarah Lou’s family, who were also Foley’s.  Vada could only take me as far back as her grandparents.  When I asked her where our ancestors came from, she waved her hand and said, "over there," meaning Europe.  But that was a good start.

Then I sat down with my Grandpa Cleve Foley of my Daddy's side.  He whipped off info, like reading it out of a book.  Told me his Mama died when he was 4 years old and that his great Uncles Peyton and Reed had fought in the Civil War.  Again, he could only go back as far as his Grandpa William Green "Buck" Foley.  But that was a good start.

My primary goal was to find my Grandpa Cleve's Great Grandpa.  I went the logbooks of Marriage Licenses in the Patrick County Courthouse and found the Marriage License of Rebecca Foley from 1st of July 1865, and on it was her parents' name, Jeremiah and Nancy Foley.  I was so thrilled.  I took a copy to Grandpa to tell him who his Great Grandparents were.  That made me proud.

In 1993, Mama’s family, descendants of James Foley and Martha Law Foley, put together a book of all the family.  Inside was a family tree, and there was that name again, Jeremiah, but this time it listed his father, Bartholomew.  For the first time I could see where my two family lines connected.

With the internet, I found a direct trace from Bartholomew to Immigrant Thomas Foley, who arrived in 1664 from England.  Yes, from England, but he had to be Irish, as Foley is an Irish Name!!!!  Fast forward to 2018, when I made a DNA test from Ancestry and turns out I'm 94% English

Although my journey will never end, I have marked a milestone with this project of tracing my Immigrant Ancestors


Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.         © Copyright 2002-2022 Barry P. Foley.   All rights reserved.