Hello, everyone!

Just wanted to get the discussions kicked off in this ancestry / genealogy group by asking where you've hit your dreaded "brick wall."  How far back have you been able to work through your ancestral line?

Mine came with my third great-grandfather.  The only record on which I've been able to find him is from his son's death certificate where he is listed as the father.  His son was born around 1867, so this likely means he was born in what ... the 1830s or 1840s, right?  Haven't been able to find anything on him, and I'm not sure if he was born in Kentucky (where he eventually ended up) or in Virginia (where the generations preceding him ended up).

Anyway, I went ahead and did the DNA analysis a few years ago so I was able to jump over the wall and get beyond it that way ... but there's still that one or two generations I'd love to be able to locate and link everything up in a nice clean line.

Any tips for me?

How about you ... where are you stuck?

Views: 3636

Replies to This Discussion

Hi James,

Not sure if you think Margaret may have also ended up in the New York City area, but this is a great index of marriage records: http://italiangen.org/records-search/brides.php

There are a bunch of Margaret McNamara's married after 1909. I would recommend looking through them and clicking the little "G" on the right, which will tell you the groom's name. You can then search for each Margaret with her respective married name in the censuses and narrow down the list from there (although keep in mind that Irish immigrants' "ages" often varied wildly from one record to the next).

My 3x great grandmother Mary Minihan born abt 1819 in Abington, Co Limerick married to James Bourke in 1838 Murroe, Co Limerick.

  • cannot locate Mary Minihan baptismal record.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


You are not likely to find this baptism record.  The Catholic Church was only able to keep records beginning about 1828-29.  There are some that do begin about 1790 though.  You should check the church records of interest on Grenham's Irish Times site which includes where the records are for each parish and what time periods covered.  Good Luck.


Thanks for the tip on Grenhams Irish times, I will give it a try!

David Brown

Ryan, I am curious why we don't get to see the others' replies?  thanks.

I don't follow, James.  What do you mean by "others' replies"?

Martin Madden, born Sligo 1800-1822. Immigrated to Boston MA, then to Hastings County Ontario. Would love to know his birth date and exact place of birth, parents names. Martin Martin met and married Margaret Winn. Margaret's father, Patrick Winn.

I've got quite a few "brick walls" to contend with, but here are a couple about which I have enough details that there may actually be hope for them. My gg-grandmother was Bridget Kearney, born in the late 1850s-early 1860s in Magherafelt or Desertmartin, County Derry. She was RC and her parents' names were John Kearney and Margaret Larkin. Bridget immigrated to the US around 1873 and worked as a silk weaver in the West Village/Meatpacking neighborhood of New York City. I *think* I may have found her parents in the 1901 Census: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Londonderry/Desert...

Bridget married Thomas F. Curley, my next "brick wall." He was born about 1852 in Galway, but I don't know whether that means Galway City or just the county in general. His parents' names were John Curley and Bridget (or Delia) McCormick. I found records on FamilySearch for the births of several children in the 1860s to a John Corley and Bridget McCormick in Glenamaddy. Don't know if it's the same family. A priest in Glenamaddy was kind enough to look into it for me but couldn't find any church records for these Curleys/Corleys. Thomas came to the US around 1870, worked as a bartender, and ended up owning a saloon/liquor store on West 13th St in New York City.


I did some digging and found the following!

John Curly married Bridget McCormack in 1848 in Glinsk/Kilbegnet RC.  They had children Maria born 1849, Thomas born 1852, Catherine born 1858 and  Michael born 1861 in RC Glinsk/Kilbegnet.  The next two children John and Margaret were born in 1866 and there are civil records of their birth registered in Glenamaddy as they were born after 1864. John Corley born 1866, Reg Dist Glenamaddy, vol 14, page 319 and Margaret Corley born 1866, Reg Dist Glenamaddy, vol 14, page 319.  Their birth certs should give more information ie address, etc.

Thomas married Bridget Kearney who was born 1857 Marherafelt/Desertmartin, Co Derry.





Holy cow, thank you Paula! I should have updated this post but I've since found some of that info thanks to another researcher, but much of what you found is new to me, particularly John and Bridget's marriage date. Does the record happen to mention witnesses?

That also clears up why those latter records said Glenamaddy in the FamilySearch index--civil vs church recs. I wasn't sure before whether this was the same family.

The Curleys were from Leaha/Leahive townland in Kilbegnet, and I've recently been in touch with a possible cousin from Kilbegnet whose ancestor, William Curley, was also from Leaha. She doesn't have much info about him but he was likely born around that same time period, roughly the 1850s-1860s. You didn't happen to see him in your browsing, did you?

Thanks again for looking into all this. If you ever need any help with research, please let me know!

Hi Brendan,

I was away on holidays.  The next time I'm in the National Library I will look up the marriage record for John Curley and Bridget McCormick to see sponsors.  Regarding William Curley there is records of William Curley in Glisnk/Kilbegnet in fact there was two Catherine Curly's born to John and Bridget one in 1858 and the other one in 1854  (prob died in infancy) and her sponsors were William Curly and Maria McCormick.





According to the transcription on RootsIreland, the sponsors were Richard Grealy and Dominick Costelloe. Unfortunately, the names of the parents were not recorded. I will check the original record to confirm this.


The Wild Geese Shop

Get your Wild Geese merch here ... shirts, hats, sweatshirts, mugs, and more at The Wild Geese Shop.

Irish Heritage Partnership


Extend your reach with The Wild Geese Irish Heritage Partnership.

Congrats to Our Winners


  • Add Videos
  • View All

© 2020   Created by Gerry Regan.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service