Tally up Senator Patrick Leahy in the good guys column.
My dad called his Washington office at 9 on Wednesday morning. By 4 pm, Senator Leahy called him back personally. They had a 15 minute conversation in which they mutually concluded that, yes, we are indeed third cousins (To be precise, my dad is his half second cousin once removed, and I am his half third cousin.)
"This is Pat Leahy", the Senator began the conversation.
Not "Senator Leahy", or "Senator Patrick Leahy". Just average guy "Pat" Leahy. A very nice touch.
The bad news is that our previous information that the Senator had actually traced our mutual great-great grandfather, Andrew Leahy (1809-1882), back to Ireland, is incorrect.
Family legend is that Andrew came from "the south of Ireland", which is consistent with the legend from our side of the family. Our tradition was Kerry or Cork, but the Senator's tradition is just generally "the south of Ireland."
The good news is the Senator pledged his support to our efforts to solve the mystery.
Stay tuned !