Thursday, May 5, 2016

Eyes on Ireland

It's been a long time since I've sat down and systematically revisited my Irish ancestors. As I have a trip to Ireland planned I thought it time to become reacquainted.

I found that much of my old research is unsourced or that I have sources listed in the notes field of my software ( a result of using an unsophisticated genealogy software program years ago). So as I go through the records I am doing them over.

So what have I done? I identified my earliest ancestors and wrote their names on a piece of paper then starting at the top of the list I started researching on the free digitised  Catholic Parish Registers at The National Library of Ireland. It wasn't long before I struck gold, I identified, using the FAN principle or Cluster Genealogy, the Regiment in which my 3xGreat-Grandfather, John D'Arcy served. I knew he was a Lieutenant in the army but for over 25 years had been unable to identify his regiment. I'm indebted to the priest who recorded this information on a baptismal record of an ancestor's sibling. It found it hard sticking to one resource as my discoveries threw up tangents I wanted to pursue.

This early success fired me up. I spent seven hours on that first day going through the registers. I found baptisms for a few more family members and a marriage in 1839 for Dennis Tierney and Eliza Darcy,  I had this recorded (unsourced) as 1834. It had always bothered me how Dennis and Eliza had avoided having children in the first five years of their marriage! I was surprised to learn that Eliza's name was recorded as Elizabeth on her baptismal, now I can tell my daughter that she is named for her 2x Great-Grandmother. I scribbled on my piece of paper details of the registers I had consulted. Discovering a new sibling, Michael, for Eliza/Elizabeth has given me a whole new line to chase down.

On waking with a clear head and a mighty resolve the next morning I realised that my scrap of paper just wasn't going to work. I opened up Google Drive and created yet another geneasheet. Down the left side are names and details of the ancestors and across the top columns are listed the resources I may consult during my hunt - this has morphed into a very wide spreadsheet. As I have trouble researching down a straight and narrow path this document allows me to Zigzag and follow whims and be organised at the same time.

I remembered that there was a more efficient way to search the Registers so I took out a one month subscription to Roots Ireland. As well as offering Registers searches this resource allows me to search other indexes.
Resources at Roots Ireland
Using this resource found a record I had missed when scrolling through the microfilmed Parish Registers late at night. It was 18GBP well spent.

State Library of New South Wales
As I was meeting genimate, Lilian, at The State Library yesterday I decided to use my time chasing up the Irish. I searched the library catalogue for my Irish surnames and also the towns in which the ancestors settled. I ordered around twenty promising resources which I perused in the hope of finding snippets of information on the ancestors. I found a few more family members (remember those FANS) in cemetery registers, one line in a printed genealogy but not much more. One of the resources I found will be of great assistance with my CurryAus study but that's a story for another day. I love visiting the State Library and have resolved to do so again before I travel.
Lilian and I settle in for a day of research

I need to repeat this exercise with the catalogues of The Society of Australian Genealogists. I have a busy few weeks ahead of me. Before I set off the catalogue of the National Library of Ireland will get the same treatment.

While I was jumping all over the place I found a few mentions of the Irish ancestors in Ancestry Member Trees  (much of which appears to be copied from my website) and one of these actually sourced a book, a printed genealogy. Trove tells me that there is a copy of this in the Newcastle Region Library so I'm planning a trip up there to see if it will verify the information in that Ancestry tree.

Discovering via a hint on another Ancestry Tree that my ancestor Bridget Ryan wasn't a swimmer after all was another high spot for me. I had a newspaper reference that said Bridget had travelled to New South Wales in 1847 with her brother, Michael Harrington Ryan. I have now verified that she actually travelled to Victoria on British Empire in 1849 with her sister, Anne.

Hopefully, with the support of my new geneasheet, I'll be able to give my Irish ancestors a good doing over.


Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

You've been busy...nothing like an upcoming geneajaunt to kick us in the research pants ;) glad you've made discoveries! Would you consider sharing a snippet of your geneasheet? Love to see new ideas :)

Marg said...

Jill did your Dennis Tierney come on the Hive? If so I have just read Babette Smith's Luck of the Irish and a Dennis Tierney is mentioned. Probably a coincidence as it is a common Irish name

Magda said...

I am also working on my Dad's Irish after a 10 years break. At the Irish Catholic records online at the National Library of Ireland, I was heartened by the discovery that my great-grandmother was born or baptized on the same day as my daughter. I also keep a kind of "geneasheet" to keep track of the urls, and labelled the worksheets by location/parishes or surnames. I use Google drive too and I freeze the top row so I do not lose track of the rows of information.

Laren said...

Jill, I'd be happy to check the book for you if you don't want to trek up here to Newcastle.

Jill Ball said...

Magda, Great minds etc. Yesterday I also froze the left few columns as my sheet had grown so wide that I lost sight of the individual names.

Jill Ball said...

Thanks Laren, that's So kind. It's an unpublished family history that I need to go through and evaluate (against other sources) for accuracy. My excuse id=s that I have two daughters in Newcastle so there is an added benefit to travelling up there. My little car knows the way!


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