Tuesday, June 1, 2021

If a job's worth doing...

 ... you know the answer!

Moons ago I chatted with a fellow descendant about my 2xGreat-grandfather, Patrick Curry, and his lack of a baptismal record. I said that a task on my to do list was to go through all the digitised images of early St Mary's Cathedral Baptisms to see if I could find one for Patrick that had missed being indexed. The cousin said it had been done and there was no record for Patrick in the indexes.

As a green (and much younger) genealogist I believed this person. I thought it funny that there was no record for Patrick as his siblings had all been baptised but left it at that.

A while ago it hit me that I should really check the films for myself; they are only available in a few locations one of which is at the library of The Society of Australian Genealogists. These registers were filmed as part of the Joint Copying Project (JCP) between the Society of Australian Genealogists, National Library of Australia and the Mitchell Library.

I recently had a chance to visit Sydney so I booked into the library for a research session. The lovely librarian, Lorraine, got me set up at a reader with the correct film:

Church register of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney and St John's, Campbelltown Roman Catholic. [microform] :)

and off I went. My winding arm and eyes got plenty of exercise as I wound through the pages checking each baptism record from 1832 (when the first child of the marriage was baptised) onwards. 

Winding and looking at SAG

After about 45 minutes I found the record at the top of a page.

I knew it was my Patrick from the date and mother's name.

I was so excited that I didn't realise, until I got home and took a good look at the record that Patrick's surname wasn't listed on the register. He was recorded as "Patrick of Patrick ? by his wife Ellen Moore". 

A visit to the NSW Birth Index and a few searches returned this record:

It was interesting to note that the baptism was not a family affair as it appears that Ellen was not accompanied to the baptism by Patrick Curry Senior. I am wondering if the sponsors John Leary and Elizabeth Lucas were known to Ellen or just some random people who happened to be nearby at the time.

Fellow genealogists will appreciate how excited I was to find this one simple record that adds more detail to an ancestor's story. 

If it's worth doing - do it yourself.


Dara said...

I'd always assumed that mothers didn't attend their children's baptisms because they had to be 'churched'. Was this just an Irish thing so?

Alex Daw said...

Well done Jill! Excellent work!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...