While (or whilst…as my wife who studied in England would say) hacking my way through the digital jungle we’ve discovered a little tidbit.

Seems there is a little info out there about a family dead end. My Mom’s family name is Senate. It was changed from Sennett after the Civil War, supposedly by a sergeant who phonetically spelled it on my Great Grandfather’s mustering out papers. It is also assumed that Sennett is derived from Sinnott the original Irish spelling. It is also surmised that the Sinnott clan descended from Sir Walter Sinnott who defended the County of Wexford, Ireland from Cromwell in the English takeover in 1650.


As a side note, this is Cromwell, how could this guy be the leader of
“The Roundheads” looking like the lead guitarist of Iron Butterfly?

Unfortunately old Walt picked the wrong side and as the real genealogists write “Cromwell’s soldiers absolutely destroyed the public records of the Sinnotts and in a large measure, the private records. There was no registration of births, marriages or deaths etc. until quite a recent time

Now I know how bona fide genealogists are doing spit takes and are spinning on their heads about the leaps of faith here.


This does lead us to a totally stumbled upon item from Google Books (I think I’m starting to love Google). Seems a barber in Maine wrote a book in 1906 about all the conversations he had with customers. In it is a tale told by one Captain William Sennett, an officially registered ancestor in our family. In the story he mentioned places that fit with the scrawny family tree we have and…voila’! Not just a better timeline…but…a story about fighting pirates off one of the Malay Islands near Manila!

Holy goldmine, Batman!

I rushed off to Google maps and confirmed the locations in the story and it shed new light on this murky part of our heritage.



So here we are with a breakthrough. At first, folks thought we were from New Brunswick N.J. where they eat a lot of smoked salmon. Then that changed to New Brunswick, Canada where they catch a lot of salmon. Now it seems that the area around Brunswick, Maine is our old stomping grounds, and I have no idea about salmon trends there.

Of course there isn’t a “New” in this Brunswick, but what the hell; I’ve got an old barber’s word on it.

Fun Fact :

Did you know that when the royalists or Cavaliers or king lovers got back into power, 12 years after Cromwell died, that they dug him up and “executed” him????

Whew…talk about holding a grudge.more blog posts

4 Comments. Leave new

We came from (@wecamefrom)
October 14, 2012 12:26 am

Great breakthrough – there are some fabulous old books out there now on Google aren’t there that are really helping. I’ve had some similar breakthroughs recently

Reluctant Genealogist
October 14, 2012 7:57 am

Thanks for the comment. I checked your “about”. (I know, cheeky of me) and heard your genealogical ennui. You might find that putting your research together in a video format might re-energize you. Keep checking back to find out how to become a Videalogist!

We came from (@wecamefrom)
October 16, 2012 5:27 am

Building a picture of a few places my family came from has definitely inspired me again – really brings all the people to life!

Reluctant Genealogist
October 16, 2012 8:56 am

My English roots come from Puttenham. My ancestors were involved with the Bishop Bayeux. One supposedly appears on the Bayeux Tapestry. Since this is new research research to me (only connected about 3 years ago) I’m having a great time collecting pics etc. from Puttenham area.

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