|Giant's Causeway, County Antrim, 2011.|
Photo taken by my brother.
At the time, I didn't know about my Irish 5th great grandfather, Henry Sefton. If I had known, I would have asked my brother to do some research for me. He was probably too busy anyway ... climbing hills and bodhran-drumming and step-dancing and eating at pubs (and maybe studying).
Although I didn't get to travel to Ireland, I was lucky enough to inherit some notes about the Sefton family that were handwritten by Henry Sefton's 2nd great grandaughter, Nettie Ryan Hamilton.
According to Nettie, Henry Sefton was born in Ireland on November 10, 1767. His father, John Sefton, a Protestant, had fled England due to religious persecution and afterwards became an officer in the Army of Ireland. Henry married Elizabeth Boyes in 1799 in County Antrim, now part of Northern Ireland. In 1803, Henry, along with his wife and two children and his brother William, left Ireland to come to America, settling in Butler County, Ohio. Over the next decade, the Sefton clan grew to include eight more children, including my 4th great grandfather William O. Sefton.
In the early 1830s, a cholera epidemic swept across the midwest. Henry's young daughter, Charlotte French, and her husband Jeremiah died in June 1834, leaving their infant son an orphan. Then, on July 27, 1834, Henry Sefton fell victim to the dreaded disease. He was buried at New Haven Cemetery in Cincinnati, Ohio.