African American Lives
Analyzing the Evidence
The Science and the Investigators
Who am I? A Genealogy Guide
Sharing Stories
For Educators
About the Series

Sharing Stories
One Families Story: Read a story matching the term you chose:
STORYTELLER: mother, grandmother, aunt and uncle LOCATION: Jamaica and USA YEAR TOOK PLACE: 1794
TELLER'S PLACE OF ORIGIN: Port Antonio, Jamaica HOW HEARD: oral history

I have been working on the family genealogy for four years. In July 2005 was the first time my grandfather's sibling's decendents had ever been together in 100 years. Our story has many turns. My mother left me information about the family, she came to the USA 1929 by way of Ellis Island (that is where I started my search) There I found my grandfather,grandmother, aunt and my grandfather's brothers. The story is......we are O'Meally's but the name was changed from O'Malley to O'Meally in the 1700s because the brothers John and James fell out with their family on retrning to Ireland. They went back to Jamaica on this HMS 1794. John & James and their sons where Barristers (Jamaica court records) We have heard many stories as to why this happened. One story was that they married Island women. My great-grandfather was James O'Meally, he was married to Anne Isabelle Cooke, they had ten children. As the 10 children left Jamaica they went in ten diffrent directions. As I located their grandchildren & g-grand & g-g-grand (two of the brothers still have living children 79,80 & one will be 90 in April) some of us are Black & some of us are White. But we all have the same grandmother,great-grandmother&great-great-grandmother Anne Isabelle Cooke O'Meally. One of the white family member asked at the reunion "What are we?" In the Ellis Island records, they where Jamaican, in the Fed.U.S. Census some are white and some are negro. My story is not just with my grandfather Cyril McVegor O'Meally but also with my grandmother (his wife) Rebecca Atkinson Sutherland who's grandfather George Mathew owned import business from Africa to Jamaica. I am beginning to find from of the records in the British records. There is no end to this story but it is very interesting.

back to story list back to sharing intro