Kelly/Verge Genealogy

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Kelly/Verge Genealogy

Famous Connections?

I think I've outlined fairly clearly, on the main page, why I have chosen genealogy as a hobby. It means more to me than a collection of names and dates, but that being said, sometimes I find out something that makes me giggle and say, "Cool!" That's what this page is for... some of the surprising, and interesting relationships that I have discovered in my research.

Amelia Earhart

I just found out about this one - it's based on research at, and it's not verified... but it looks pretty good.

                           Nathaniel Underhill
 Abraham Underhill                                    Nathaniel Underhill
  Jacob Underhill                                       John Underhill
  Hannah Underhill                                    Nathaniel Underhill
    Mary Cornell                                  British Nathaniel Underhill
     Isaac Otis                                      Noah Bishop Underhill
     Alfred Otis                                     James Bishop Underhill
     Amelia Otis                                   Alexander Bishop Underhill
    Amelia Earhart                                 Mildred Susanne Underhill
                  \                                            |
                   \                                    Mary Joan Kelly
                    \                                          |
                     SEVENTH COUSINS TWICE REMOVED?---Natalie Susan Verge

Bing Crosby and Denise Crosby

My grandmother, Mildred (Underhill Kelly) Hogan, maintained for years that the famous singer/actor, Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby, was related to her family. This is pretty interesting, but being a big science fiction nerd, it's the next generations that really make me go "Squee!" - since Bing's grand-daughter, Denise Crosby, is none other than the actress who played Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation! Anyway, back to Nanny's story - I was somewhat dubious, since she had heard it second-hand, and such stories often turn out to be just dreams of reflected glory. In the course of research, what she told me turns out to be mostly supported, but... As might be expected, it is the critical link with which I still have issues. So, if anyone out there can provide concrete proof, please contact me!

My Line

  • Family history says that Nanny's great-grandmother, Catherine Meighan, came to New Brunswick as a teenager; as a stowaway, no less! Along with her, came her sister, Ann. Catherine found work with the family of British Nathaniel Underhill and Abigail Balch in Barnettville, where she fell in love with and married the eldest living son, Noah Bishop Underhill. I have an unproven date of 28 Mar 1828 for this marriage. However, it is verified in the records of St. Patrick's Church in Nelson, in the baptisms of the three sons of Noah Bishop Underhill and Catherine Meighan: William John (b. 10 Nov 1828, bap. 13 Sep 1830), Noah Bishop (b. 6 Jun 1830, bap. 12 Sep 1830), and James (bap. 24 May 1833, age 19 months). Catherine is listed in the 1851 Census with sons John and James, and daughter Mary Ann; Noah died in 1850.
  • James Bishop Underhill, the third son, married Susan Sullivan on 9 Nov 1854, recorded in the County Marriage Register (Reference 3598, Record #6948). James and Susan had ten known children.
  • The youngest child, Alexander "Sandy" Bishop Underhill, was born 2 Jul 1876 according to the 1901 Census. He is found listed with his family in the Censuses of 1881, 1891, and 1901. Sandy married Margaret Catherine O'Brien on 2 Oct 1901. This date is mostly(!) verified - I could not find it registered with the province, but it was given to me by Debbie S., who was researching the O'Brien line; her mother extracted the date from Church records, likely St. Patrick's. This date does fit with my estimate of between 23 Apr 1901 and 15 May 1902 (the date of the 1901 Census, when both were living with their parents, and the date of the birth of their first child). However, even if the date is a little lacking in provenance, the marriage itself is verifiable: this couple were my grandmother's parents - she was the fifth (fourth surviving) of eight children... so she would know!
  • Anyway, now we come to the land of my living memory: Mildred Susan Underhill, my grandmother, married Burt Kelly on 22 Sep 1937 at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Blackville (as recorded in the family bible - like Nanny's parents, it is not found in the provincial register!).
  • Their oldest child is my mother, (Mary) Joan Kelly, who married my dad, Chuck Verge.
  • ... And then there's me!

The Crosby Line

Here is where we turn to, if family stories are to be believed, Catherine's sister, Ann Meighan. There was indeed such a person, at the right time, at the right place. She is documented in the book Old North Esk, Revised Edition by W. D. Hamilton, published in 1988. Bing Crosby's roots are chronicled in various publications, including Gary Giddens' 2001 book A Pocketful of Dreams.

  • Ann Meighan married John Ahearn on 24 Jun 1827 in Newcastle (Hamilton, p. 44) They are found in the 1851 Census in North Esk with six children, and again on the 1861 Census, with two children remaining at home.
  • The fifth child of John and Ann, Catharine Ahearn appeared in both the 1851 and 1861 Censuses with her parents. She married Dennis Harrigan, Jr., son of Dennis Harrigan and Catherine Driscoll, in 1867 (Giddens, p. 20). They moved to Stillwater, Washington County, Minnesota (as did many others from the Miramichi in the mid- to late-1800s), where they are found on page 3 of the 1870 Census for that township, with two children. In 1880, they are found with seven children; they were operating a boarding house with 53 residents!
  • Catherine Helen Harrigan was the fourth of seven children on the 1880 Census. She married Harry Lowe Crosby on 4 Jan 1894 in Tacoma, Washington (Giddens, pg. 28). They are found in the 1900 Census in Precinct 3 of Tacoma, sheet 9, with sons Laurence and Everett. I couldn't find them in a quick search of the 1910 Census, by which time they had moved to Spokane, but I did find the whole family in the 1920 Census, when Bing was 17.
  • Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby married Wilma Winifred "Dixie Lee" Wyatt on 29 Sep 1930 in Los Angeles.
  • Dennis Michael Crosby was the second son of Bing and Dixie Lee, born 13 Jul 1934. He had a relationship with Marilyn Miller Scott, which resulted in a paternity suit in which Dennis was ordered to pay support for their daughter.
  • Denise Michelle Crosby was born 24 Nov 1957.

For fans of the TV show Dallas, Bing was also the father of Mary Frances Crosby (by his second wife, Kathryn Grant), who played Kristen Shepard-Ewing. So my (possibly) fourth cousin (once removed) shot JR!

The Verdict

So it all sounds pretty good... but is it true? Since everything else is supported, it all goes back to the relationship of Catherine and Ann. Were they in fact sisters?

  • It is true that so far I only have a family story to support their relationship, so as far as anything else goes, this puts the relationship definitely in the "Not Proven" category.
  • Catherine and Ann were, however, contemporaries. Catherine married in 1828, and Ann married in 1827. As well, they lived not only in the same county, but also close by in Northumberland County. Catherine settled in Barnettville, and Ann was nearby in Williamstown.
  • But... according to what they told to the enumerator in 1851, Catherine came to New Brunswick in 1827, while Ann arrived in June 1820. It is possible that one or both is in error, after all this was 24 and 31 years before. Also, Ann gave the same date as her husband; maybe the enumerator was just given one date, or wrote the same for both.
  • There were other Meighans in the area: for example, there was a Mary Meighan, who married a William Fitzpatrick; they had a son, baptised 6 Aug 1826, age 1 month, at St. Patrick's. Is it possible that they were all related, or maybe there was more than one family, and who was whose sister has gotten mixed up?

So, in conclusion, I would have to say "Plausible, but not proven". One of these days I'll examine church records on microfilm and see if anything turns up there (wedding sponsors, for example) or maybe someday I will find a magical ship's list that will illuminate all... In the meantime, this is what the connection looks like... if it's true!

                                       |                                                      |
       Noah Bishop Underhill = Catherine Meighan                           John Ahearn = Ann Meighan
                             |                                                         |
                  ------------                                                         ------------
                  |                                                                               |
        James Bishop Underhill = Susan Sullivan                      Dennis Harrigan Jr. = Catherine Ahearn
                               |                                                         |
            --------------------                                                         ----------
            |                                                                                     |
Alexander Bishop Underhill = Margaret Catherine O'Brien           Harry Lowe Crosby = Catherine Helen Harrigan
                           |                                                        |
                           ------------                                 -------------
                                      |                                 |
     Burton Peter Kelly = Mildred Susan Underhill         Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby = Wilma Winifred "Dixie Lee" Wyatt
                        |                                                            |
                        ---------------                                         ------
                                      |                                         |
        Charles Harris Verge = Mary Joan Kelly                        Dennis Michael Crosby = Marilyn Scott
                             |                                                              |
                             |                                                              |
                             |                                                              |
                 Natalie Susan Verge              FIFTH COUSINS?             Denise Michelle Crosby


© Copyright 2010 by Natalie Verge