Contributed by Laura Hurst at

20 January 2009

Picture of Henry and Rose O'Neil

Henry and Rose O'Neil, Circa 1910

Picture of Henry and Rose O'Neil

Henry and Elsie O'Neil, Circa 1930

Maybe this year I will find my grandfather's O'Neil family! His family came from Ireland. His name was Alfred Henry O'Neil was born in California on DEC 31, 1881 and died on April 28 1940. His father was Henry and his mother was Sara. He married three times. The third time he changed his name to ROBERTS.

Just recently (March 2006) decovered his real name and family line:

Father: Henry O'Neil born 1846 in Ireland (census records for San Joaquine Valley & Sonoma County). He came with his parents over the ocean in 1852 to America. (d. before 1900)

Mother: Sarah M. Robbins born 01 JAN 1861 in Blue Earth, Minnasota (d, 27 APR 1937 in CA)

*Afred Henry O'Neil's parents are found in census records of 1880 in California

1900 census we find his mother is a widow and he is 18 1/2 yrs old in Russian River Township, CA

1910 census he is married to a Mary L. (for 7years) and has a 5 year old son in San Joaquine Co., CA

1910 census (later) he is just married to 19 year old Rose in Sonoma, Russian River Township, CA

1920 census we found Afred Henry Smith ?? from Ireland, visiting in King County, Washington with Elsie Mable Crosby-Uhrich.....I believe he was hiding from ex-wives and gave false info to census.

1922 Alfred Henry O'Neil aka:Roberts, marries Elsie M. Crosby on 09 April 1922 in Seattle, WA

1930 Alfred Henry Roberts and family are found in Washington census

1940 Alfred Henry died on 28 April 1940 in Amador County, Latrobe, California

Does anyone reconize either of the photos of Alfred Henry O'Neill / Roberts? One picture is with his first wife and child . . . we think.

Any clues are most welcome.

Laura Hurst

Earlier emails on the subject

20 July 2008

Been looking at these old census records and some are very hard to decipher. Yet found a two from 1910 that make it look like my grandfather Alfred Henry O'Neill (who changed his name and remarried at least once) was married to a Mary L (7 yrs) and to a Rosie (just got married) both in California. Mary L appears to have a little boy named Henry R O'Neill b. about 1905 and this would fit my grandmother's old picture. His parents came from a Mormon life style, so he may have had more then one wife. He died before I was born and mom was only 15, so many questions were not answered. When he died on 28 APR 1940 in Almeda Co. CA his name was Henry Alfred Roberts. Two different news papers said he was a native of Stockton, how odd. He bled to death from a cut on his wrist in an auto accident, while knock unconscious.

In 1880 Sarah & Henry O'Neill lived in a little township called "O'Neill Township" from what I can see on the census records of 1880 in Sonoma county. Henry and Sarah were the parents of Alfred Henry O'Neill. Any help with Henry would be greatly appreciated! In 1910 we found Sarah living next door to her parents George Hastings Robbins (and wife Abigail). Sarah was a widow with her son now 19 (b. 31 DEC 1881).



16 July 2008

Grandmother had a small, aged old photo that she saved in a tin box with many others. This one says Henry R on the back of it and the baby boy is about 6 months old and sitting up in a field of grass with a white gown on. Who is this little baby boy?

We found census 1910 in the township of Dent and the county of San Joaquin, California. His father 30 yrs old was Henry D. O'Neill (or my Henry A. O'Neill b. 31 DEC 1881) records showing in CA. He was a farm laborer and worked for Grission Farms. His mother was Mary L. O'Neill (maiden name not known),, but she was born in Missouri and 29 yrs old.

Sadly my grandfather changed his name a time or two and these pictures help to tell a story that was hidden. Grandfather died at the age of 40, an only child and a hidden past with 2 or 3 different marriages and possibly 2 children in each. If you have any leads, ideas or any help here please let me know.

Thank you,


12 December 2007

I know that I am going to find a lot of Henry O'Neill's from Ireland. Only found one that came to America and lived in California were a couple of the children were born and one was born on the ocean (on the way over).

This census info tells me they came over to America about 1852, if this is the O'Neill line I am looking for:

*In the household is :

This family is the only one even close to our Henry and the name Etta May that was given to mom, was found a few months back in this line. I found Sarah (Robbins) O'Neill and Henry in CA census Then found Sarah and son Alfred Henry O'Neill b. 31 DEC 1881 in Lodi, CA...she was widowed in 1900 and living near her parents according to census readings (George and Abigail Robbins).

Then I began to trace Alfred Henry's marriages and found that my grandmother was #3 in 1922 (they had two children). He went by Henry Alfred ROBERTS. This Henry had been married to a Mary L. and to a Rose before grandma Elsie M. He told his family that he changed his name to prevent his ex-wife (only mentioned one) from getting money from him to spend on her boyfriends. He also told them that he was Irish. Mom NEVER knew his true last name until Jan of 2007.

Thanks for any help here...


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