I just returned from my first trip to Ireland and have fallen in love with researching my Irish roots. I have always been intrigued by my paternal grandfather's story about his paternal grand mother.
According to notes he hand wrote some time in the 1970s, his grandfather's mother was named Harriet Collins from Cork, Ireland. Her parents died in the Civil War bombing of Charleston, SC so she married Charles Herschenroder when she was 12 years old - and had his grandfather Julius Herschenroder when she was 15 years old!
I found a Harriot Banks Collins on the 1850 census in Charleston, SC. She's listed as 10 years old with a birth place in New York. Her father James N. Collins lists his birthplace as Ireland. In the 1860 census, Harriet's mother and two of her sisters on living together. James, Harriet and another sister are missing and the mother lists her occupation as milliner. Where did Harriet and James go?
I can't find any marriage record for Harriet and Charles Herschenroder. No birth certificate for their son Julius. A James Collins is listed among the Confederate dead at a battle on James Island in Charleston in 1862 so theoretically that could be him and match up with the family story.
I would love to know more about James so that I can trace him back to his native village in Ireland - I see several possible matches age-wise on passenger lists but I have very little detail and his name is incredibly common.