Are you working on filling out the branches of your family tree? Have you hit the proverbial wall in your genealogy research? Your fellow Wild Geese may have come up against that same wall or might have the key to get through. Smash your genealogy walls together!

Share your recent struggles in compiling your Irish family genealogy and let others know about your ideas or resources!

Tags: Genealogy

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Three letters:  D-N-A

I've been struggling for decades to connect Regan to County Longford, which is the family's oral tradition. My grandmother Sue Regan nee Condon in Manhattan in 1896, had told me that she heard her family's roots were in Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan. I traveled there in June 1977 and asked a few locals for Condons there. They didn't know of any with that name in the village or environs. I asked about Irwin, as a second-thought, and got some nods yes. Never got around to following up yet.

The "Church Records" part of the Irish Genealogy website (accessible via a tab at the top of the link you provided) is a very good service and will be truly excellent once data from all of Ireland's counties has been added. It is also free, which is unusual for Irish family history websites.

I have used the church records to uncover many of the baptismal, marriage and burial records of my Dublin and Cork relatives (I think Kerry is the only other county currently covered) but what is particularly nice about the way the search results is presented is that there is often a link provided which allows you to see a scanned image of the entry within the actual church register itself.

A good tip when searching for Catholic church records is to remember that Priests frequently recorded a name using its Latin variant and that the spelling of these Latin names could also vary from parish to parish. James, for instance, could be recorded as Iacobus, Iacomus, Jacobus etc, John could be Ioannes, Joannes, Iohannes; Matthew could be Matthaeus, or Matteus; Andrew is usually listed as Andreas: Mary is record as Maria, or Mariae and Patrick is given as Patricius. This is worth remembering if you come to a brick wall during your research, as is the fact that the people who transcribe these records onto databases compound the problem by guessing at the spelling of the names.

Examples of the above problem can be seen in the following two records from the "Church Records" site which concern the baptism of two children born to my 4xGreat-Grandparents, John Murphy and Mary Farrell http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/346646...

http://churchrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/details/468a47...

You can see that in one record John and his son, John, are recorded as Joannes, and Mary is listed as Mariae, while in the second record John is recorded as Joannis (with an i rather than an e). A look at the scanned church register does not reveal why the transcriber chose one spelling over the other, or why they chose to add an e to the spelling of Maria.

Kieron, thank you for these insights and specfic examples. Superbly useful and instructive! GRMA.

Thanks Ger. To be fair, the "Church Records" site will usually, but not always, list all the possible variants of James shoudl you just enter the "James" as your search term, but many other sites, including the Irish National Archives 1901 and 1911 census pages, are less forgiving and will only produce exact matches for what you have typed.

In summary, if you cannot find information for a relative you know existed, try searching under every possible spelling of that person's name that you can think of. Also search under nicknames and petnames as these are frequently entered on Irish official documents, and remeber that the name you may know a relative by may not be their actual name as people frequently used their second given name to avoid confusion with another relative, or parent, who had the same name. On the 1911 Irish census, for instance, my paternal grandmother is listed as Maggie, although her name is Margaret, while her sister, who is listed on other documents as "Ciss", is listed under her real name, Mary Ellen. On the census form for my maternal grandfather, his sister, who we always knew as "Rosie", is listed under her real name, Mary Margaret.

Lots of interesting info on the Kelly clan on www.kellyclanireland.com
Ryan is correct, DNA is the way forward.
Joe Kelly

http://thenewwildgeese.com/profiles/blogs/using-y-dna-to-close-in-o... Read about Alannahs experience with a DNA search.

Wall? When it comes to my Telfords - Walkers - Devines, my father's paternal lineage, it is more like a Mountain! I know they can be found in Antrim, as I have found the marriage record for Robert Telford and Ellen Walker at Cullybackey Church in Ballymena 31 October 1864. That would be my Paternal Great-great grandparents. Even though I have the names of their parents, I can find nothing at all any further back. Robert and Ellen were the last to be born in Ireland with their chidren born in Scotland.

I hav ebeen told that Cullybackey Presbyterian has extensive records but that an in person visit is necessary to obtain records. I guess I know where I will be headed in June for certain.

The maternal side, Rice - Murphy - Kane - Thomson, as proved slightly easier but only after I tracked down living breathing relatives to fill in the gaps. Even then, stories differ and information gets jumbled in the process.

I am luckier than some in that my better half does genealogy research. However, even he can't  chisel down the mountains.

I never met my Irish McNamara grandparents.  They were unhappy their son moved away after the war  Even though I have no memory of meeting them, I actually met my grandmother Mac as I found her voter registration at my parents address the year I was born.  I have learned so much about the families.  I have photos of the homes where my grandparents were born in east county Clare.  When I was last in Clare I had help with two more bits.  My last McNamara cousin gave me a large paper photo of my grandparents wedding day photo, and also a crayon portrait of my great-grandfather Daniel McNamara. She also gave me a memorial card of my great-grandmother Mac.   I also learned from her that he married into the McGrath home in that townland, and found out he was evicted from townlands near Truagh and Broadford.   I stopped in at National Archives and as the record was off-site they mailed me several pages of evictions from that time frame and this included two evictions of my great-grandfather, Daniel McNamara.  I can't get back much further and have found some of the assumptions I made were not true.  I will upload some photos here.  I have had good success on my Mac and Cleary lines and have given up to get back further although each trip I make to Ireland I learn a little more.  

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A beautiful image, Jim, and a poignant story. Would love to entice you to share more details, and provide a narrative of your search, using your WG blog. Ger

Hi Gerry,

Since you asked, some questions for you.  If I start a blog, is it really mine?  Do replies get put in between entries?  What level of control is there?  Can I remove it all at some future point or edit parts?  Or once it's there is it stuck in time?  With this in mind is it best to write each section completely before posting it?

Is there any FAQs for the blog section?

Thanks,

James

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