Today marked a very important day. Armed with the knowledge there was a reference to my great-grandfather, Dan Kelly, in J. Sterling Morton's 1905 Illustrated History of Nebraska, I took off for the local library (just one block from my workplace), found the book, opened it to the biographical section and right before my eyes saw the name of William D. Kelly who was married to Mary Casey. These were Dan's parents.
Little did I know that the biographical sketch would tell me that William was born in Johnstown, County Kilkenny, Ireland and was the son of Keron Kelly.
Keron Kelly! Another generation back, back to the family's homeland. Now I even have a county in which to search more.
The sketch also told that William came to the U.S. in 1850 and that he and Mary Casey were married in 1852 in Boontown, New York. Another piece of new information!
It goes on to tell of their travels from Minnesota to Walla Walla and Idaho - places in their journey that I knew nothing of previously.
The article also identifies William and Mary's eight children - finally confirming information I had pieced together over the years. It even says where each of the children was living at the time - opening up new places to look for more.
As my eyes gazed at the page and saw the familiar names in print, realizing I had just made a connection to a new generation of family history, my eyes filled with tears. New family and new locations await my curiosity.