Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Fancy a challenge?

Let's see what you make of the record below.

This baptism is from Sept. 28th 1850. (just after the famine)

It's the second entry alongside the number 28. It records the following..... name of infant, names of parents, townland and underneath that line is the name of the sponsors.

Of course I was at an advantage as I knew what I was looking for but this is another example of how difficult it can be.

I would like your participation so it can give me some idea of the variations of what people are seeing and perhaps it can give us some insight on how reliable/unreliable transcribing can be.

Please leave a comment or send an e mail.

Good luck.

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Thursday, 15 December 2011

Visiting the town of my ancestors.

Not only am I going to write about my ancestors but also the places where they are from.
My McCormack’s came from the parish of Tallanstown, Co Louth and in fact my Great Grandfather Bernard McCormack was born in Tallanstown during the famine. (1849)
I must admit I was more than pleasantly surprised when I visited Tallanstown. Not only is it well situated to visit Drogheda and Dundalk it is one of the finest villages/small towns I have visited in Ireland. (tidiest town winner of 2011)
There certainly appears to be a strong community spirit but also the local people are so friendly and helpful.
I was most fortunate to stay at a local B&B run by John and Anne Sheridan. Not only was it an excellent and comfortable stay but it helped me immensely that Anne has more than a passing interest in Genealogy. I highly  recommend Louth Hall B&B to anyone visiting Co Louth. Being known as the “Wee County” (Ireland’s smallest county) everything is nearby.
I felt great pleasure in knowing my ancestors were from such a fine town and I am sure my ancestors were equally as nice as those that I met on my trip.
I'd like to generate more interest in Co. Louth and visitors to the area. Many millions across the world claim Irish ancestry and if we can all do our little bit to create visitors and business Ireland will benefit.This post is drawing attention to not only Tallanstown, Co. Louth but Ireland as a whole.
Rose McCormack bap. 30th July 1845 at Tallanstown, Co Louth of same parents.
 Thomas McCormack bap. 20th Sept. 1847 at Tallanstown, Co Louth of same parents. 
Bernard McCormack bap 16th Jan. 1848 at Tallanstown, Co Louth of same parents 
Bernard McCormack bap 20th Jan 1849 at Tallanstown, Co Louth of same parents.

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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Co. Cork Executions

Here are a number of executions that were carried out in Cork City & County.

HallahanTimothy1 March 1822DeshureWhiteboy affairs and arms possession
HalveyPatrick28 March 1798Mardyke FieldSeditious practices
HamiltonThomas3 December 1800WhitegateMurder of Thomas McCarthy and his wife
HannanFranics6 May 1799Gallow's GreenEncouraging a sergeant to join the rebels
HannanJohn26 August 1824Gallow's GreenMurder of David Kilgrew
HannanTimothy26 August 1824Gallow's GreenMurder of David Kilgrew
HanniganMichael25 April 1818Gallow's GreenAttempted Murder of D. Lane at Cloyne
HaynesPatrick18 April 1798Gallow's GreenMurder of Colonel George Mansergh
HaynesThomas22 August 1882County GoalMurder of his wife Ellen
HeaffyDavid29 March 1833County GoalMurder at Castlepooke
HeaffyElizbeth19 August 1833County GoalMurder at Castlepooke
HendleyWilliam29 March 1788Gallow's GreenBurglary at Timothy Dorgans, Ballygiblin
HennessyPatrick (20)9 August 1823Gallow's GreenMalicious Fire at Castletownroche Mill
HennessyPatrick (45)9 August 1823Gallow's GreenMalicious Fire at Castletownroche Mill
HoranDennis2 May 1789Gallow's GreenForgery
HorganDaniel27 April 1754Gallow's GreenStealing stockings
HorroganDennis14 April 1787Gallow's GreenBurglary at Collin's house, Ballinaig
HoulahanJames5 March 1822NewmarketWhiteboy activities
HouraganHanora5 August 1815Gallows greenMurder of her husband
HourahanEdward24 April 1786Gallow's GreenMurder of William Jackson
HoyJohn16 April 1798ArraglenMurder of Richard Mansergh St. George and Jasper Uniacke
HurleyHonora5 April 1740Gallow's GreenLinen theft
HurleyTimothy Jnr.5 April 1740Gallow's GreenLinen theft
HurleyTimothy Snr.5 April 1740Gallow's GreenLinen theft
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Friday, 2 December 2011


In an earlier blog I explained that one could find notes in baptismal registers relating to a subsequent marriage of the child in later life post 1907. This was because of the requirement that a "letter of freedom" was sought from the home parish to state the person had not married before. (R.C.)

Joseph Wade a brother to my Great Grandfather was born in North Co. Dublin in the 1860's. Next to his baptismal entry the details of his marriage are recorded. Joseph married Sabina Jackson at St Francis Xavier Church, St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. 1908.

Though you may have birth certificates of  your own ancestors it is always wise to check out baptismal registers too. Email me! click here

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Something will always turn up

Over the years I am never surprised to make contact with a fellow researcher who happens to be connected.

This time a 3rd cousin of mine contacted me from the States following something that he spotted on line.

His Great Grandmother and my Great Grandfather were brother and sister and we have exchanged valuable records and photographs.

This side of my ancestry needed a kick start and I'm sure we can help each other out.

Pictured below are Bridget and Roseanne, sisters to my Thomas Wade of North Co Dublin.

Best news I've had all week.

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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Local History Books - Updated

I would advise anyone researching their ancestry in Ireland to acquaint themselves with the county,town and parish where their ancestors came from. If you do not know where they came from I would suggest you read the history of Ireland. The reading will certainly give you some insight into the times of your ancestors and why they left.

Many parishes have a book dedicated to the history of the parish and it's people. They probably will not be found on commercial sites but for many parishes they certainly would exist.

Some parishes have an incredible amount of detail written on the history and it's people. I will give an example of some details from a local history book written in the 1990's for Mid-Cork and I think it's extremely well written and researched. It's in relation to the famine and parts of it make a  tough  but  fascinating read.

I strongly believe  research is much more than names and dates and of course that extra reading can give us all clues.

1.From the baptismal register of 1847 Donoughmore, Co Cork....... "This was the famine year.There died of famine and fever,from Nov.1846 to Sept.1847 over fourteen hundred of the people and one priest, The Revd. Dan Horgan requiescat in pace. Numbers remained unburied for over a fortnight, many were buried in ditches near their houses, many without coffins, tho' there were four men employed to bury the dead and make graves and two and sometimes four carpenters to make coffins. All this year also we were visited by the cholera. 5 only died of it in this parish.

2. Dr Godfrey the dispensary doctor in Donoughmore gave details of visiting the Riordan family in Goulane, with 6 children and the parents dying of fever and another child in the Poor House in Macroom.The Kiely man of Coolacca, recently released from the Fever hospital, was dying and, in the Buckly household, the wife  was lying on a few sods of turf, nearly exhausted from hunger. At her head lay a boy, dead for a week past, at her foot were two boys, the remains of a family of five sons. In another corner was a boy, 15 years of age, who died from the dysentry. A fifth was buried three weeks previously and the father said no one would enter his house either to bury his dead boys or to remove the living. Email me! click here

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Griffith's Valuation and beyond.

I'm willing to check out your ancestors property that you have seen in the Griffiths valuation. I can establish how long it remained in the family and under what names.

I would also be able to get a photocopy too.

It can be a bit pricey but worth it all the same.

The potential is to show who were in the house right up to 1977. Email me! click here

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Monday, 7 November 2011

Great Grand Uncle - GAA

This article is once again linked to my great grandmother's brother Michael McKenna.

The meeting that led to the formation of the GAA took place in Thurles. (1st Nov. 1884)

Three years later Michael McKenna attended the GAA convention in Thurles 1887.

Newspaper reports are a great source of information.

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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Great Grand Uncle meets Charles S Parnell

The following was published in an Irish newspaper 1885 and a brother to my Great Grandmother was part of a delegation that met Charles S Parnell at Dunleer, Co Louth.

As Charles S. Parnell was returning from Dundalk, by train, he was met at the Dunleer Railway Station by members of Dunleer Branch of the Irish National League and presented with an address.

“We, the members of Dunleer Branch, Irish National League, beg to tender our heartfelt congratulations on the signal victory you have gained over the concentrated forces of our enemies, namely the castle, represented by Philip Callan and supported by the Tory and Whig Catholics of North Louth. We beg you to take back to Dublin the assurance that you had always Dunleer with you, to a man and that, in the victory now achieved, no truer sons of our glorious land exist than those that are represented by this address.”

Signed: James Butterly, Treasurer, Patrick Byrne, Hon. Sec., PW McKeon, James McKenna, Michael McKenna, Michael Lynch, Thomas Rafferty, Patrick Stock (Stokes?)
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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Church of Ireland

I was asked to provide some Anglican records from Ireland.

You will notice a good number of the entries are what appear to be converts. (gap between birth & baptism and multiple baptism from one family)

These entries are from Dublin in the 1880's.

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

Cork Baptisms

Over the years I have transcribed a large number or records. Listed below are a few with the surname Carver form St Mary & St Anne's Cathedral (R.C.) which is commonly known as "The North Cathedral" which is located in Cork City.

Baptisms Parents

1837-18-01 Brian Carver Brian Carver and Elizabeth Clancy

1828-12-09 Hannah Carver Brian Carver and Elizabeth Clancy

1831- 01-04 Margaret Carver Brian Carver and Elizabeth Clancy

1817-21-04 William Carver Denis Carver and Ellen Delaury

1794-07-04 Ann Carver John Carver and Sarah Millerd

1800-04-05 Ellen Carver John Carver and Sarah Millerd

1801-06-09 Mary Carver John Carver and Sarah Millerd

1792-30-06 Mary Carver John Carver and Sarah Millerd

1798-18-02 Sarah Carver John Carver and Sarah Millerd

1805-07-09 Catherine Carver John Carver and Sarah Miller

1796-16-03 Elizabeth Carver John Carver and Sarah Miller

1815-25-06 Jean Carver John Carver and Sarah Miller

1812-04-09 John Carver John Carver and Sarah Miller

1810-02-07 Margaret Carver John Carver and Sarah Miller

1803-27-11 William Carver John Carver and Sarah Miller
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Sunday, 23 October 2011

Headstone of Great Grandparents

Below is a photo of the headstone of my Great Grandparents and a couple of their daughters.

St Peter's cemetery, Drogheda, Co Louth.

Photo kindly supplied by Kathy.

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Baptism of Great Grandfather

Here is the baptism of my Great Grandfather Bernard McCormack 1849 Tallanstown, Co Louth. (3rd entry down)

The previous year the parents (Thomas &Annie) had another son Bernard who obviously died. This proves that it was very much the norm to name an infant after a previous child who had died.

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Your photographs and records.

If anyone has a photograph and/or record they would like to share relating to Irish ancestors then I would consider publishing to the blog.

If you would like me to put up any examples of records I can do that too.

Feel free to leave comments too. Email me! click here

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Bernard McCormack 1849 - 1908 Gx1 Grandfather

Bernard McCormack was the son of Thomas McCormack and Anne Mathews and was baptised on the 20th January 1849 at Tallanstown, Co Louth. This period was towards the end of the "Great Hunger."

The family moved onto Dunleer (see a previous blog regarding a great grand aunt) and then onto Drogheda.

Bernard was a cattle dealer and publican (bar on Trinity Street, Drogheda) it was also mentioned that he was 6' 6" tall and  a sister at 6' too, quite a height for then.

I enclose Bernard's  obituary from the "Drogheda Argus" March 21st 1908.

It is with extreme regret that we chronicle the death of Mr Bernard McCormack of Trinity Street Drogheda. Deceased was a popular figure not only in this town but thoughout counties Louth and Meath where he was universally known and esteemed.  He ranked amongst his friends all classes of the community. Of a sterling character, genuine honest temperment, and sunny disposition, deceased moved amongst the people and was ever welcome. Amongst his colleagues in the cattle trade he will be greatly missed. The late Mr. McCormack who attained his 60th year, was attacked with an incurable disease and despite the surgical skill of Dublin experts, his end came on Sunday last when he passed away surrounded by his sorrowing family. The remains of the deceased were removed to the Mortuary Chapel, St. Peter’s on Monday night. Requeim Mass was celebrated on Tuesday last for the repose of his soul and the funeral that afternoon was largely attended by the principal citizens of the town, also representatives from Ardee, Dunleer, Balbriggan and the surrounding districts. To his bereaved widow and family we tender our most sincere sympathy in their bereavement. RIP

*I hope to obtain an image of the headstone soon.
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Today I had success going through town and trade direcotories of 1800's Ireland.

Not only are there parish records, civil registration, griffith's valuation, newspapers, tithe applotment records but also directories.

It really is a case of putting a jigsaw together at times.

Happy hunting. Email me! click here

Friday, 7 October 2011

Great x3 Grandfather

This is a photo of  my Gx3 Grandfather 1808-1898 who lived on the English side of the English/Welsh border.
He was a stone mason and was married 3 times (previous two wives died young) and he had at least 21 children. The last of which were born when he was in his 70's.

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Tuesday, 27 September 2011



From Cork to America’s most dangerous woman.
If one was to ask an American who had any interest in 19th and  20th century American history who “Mother Jones” was they would probably be able to tell you without hesitation.

After being told about her story briefly I decided to look into the history of Mary here in Cork and in the U.S.A. Mary certainly has a more than interesting history which includes tragedy. bravery and much respect.

Mary was baptized  on the 1st August 1837 at St. Mary & St Anne’s  Cathedral (North Cathedral) Cork City. 

Mary’s parents were Richard Harris and Ellen Cotter and her siblings were  Richard who was born in Inchigeelagh, Catherine who was baptized 29th March 1840 St Mary’s & St Anne’s, Ellen c1845 and William baptized 28th Feb. 1847 also at St Mary’s & St Anne’s Cathedral.

Mary’s Mother Ellen Cotter was from Inchigeelagh, Co Cork and it was here that she married Mary’s father Richard on the 9th Feb 1834. Richard was from Cork City though it certainly appears that he had family in Inchigeelagh. I  found a baptism from St Mary’s & St Anne’s Cathedral dated 9th July 1802 for Richard Harris son of William Harris & Mary White….the age fits perfectly as I will explain later.

There is little else known of the family’s time in Cork other than during the time of the famine Richard, Ellen and family left for North America.

Mary and her family settled in  Toronto, Canada and in the 1861 census of Canada  Richard and Ellen with Mary’s siblings Richard, Ellen and Catherine were living in York County , Ontario.

Mary (recorded as Marie) and William are recorded as absent……. Absent usually meant away that night but  Mary was probably at this stage in the U.S.A.

Census of Canada 1861

York County


Richard Harris Labourer 58 born Ireland  Catholic.

Ellen Harris 48

Catherine Harris 19

Ellen Harris 16

Richard Harris 27

William Harris 13 absent

Marie Harris 23 absent

 Richard was recorded as being 58 years of age ……note the baptism for  Richard in 1802 previously.
 Mary’s brother William Harris became a R.C. priest and was a very well known R.C teacher and writer in the province of Onatrio.

Mary left Toronto and became a teacher in Monroe, Michigan. She eventually settled in Memphis Tennessee (via Chicago) and it was in Memphis that she married George Jones and the couple went on to have 4 children in quick succession. Unfortunately tragedy soon hit the family and in the yellow fever epidemic that swept across Tennessee George all four children succumbed to yellow fever and all five died. All four children were aged under 5.

Mary returned to Chicago and she set up a dressmaking business in the city. The poverty of the people that she saw  left a profound mark on her. .  Tragedy wasn’t too far away in Mary’s life and in October 1871 the Great fire of Chicago claimed hundreds of lives and an area of around 4 sq. miles were  destroyed including Mary’s business.

It was from this time that Mary’s life changed. She joined the “Kinghts of Labor” and when they disbanded she campaigned for the Union of Mine Workers and the Socialist party of America.

Mary organized miners in picketing and also involved the wives and children in campaigns too.

Women’s suffrage was not at the top of her priority list as she stated that women should be at home looking after the children . Mary stated she believed the mother being at work led to juvenile delinquency. One has to remember that this was well over 100 years and she certainly concentrated on conditions and fair pay.

In 1902 Mary was described as “America’s most dangerous woman.”  Many strikes broke out over the years  and these disputes led to many lives being lost. The following year she organized a children’s march from Philadelphia to New York (home of President Theodore Roosevelt) demanding education and no to working in the mines.

Mary died on the 30th November 1930 in  Maryland, she (or others) had claimed she was born on May 1st and was a hundred years old but that appears to be symbolic. (May 1st being labour day) Her burial took place at the Union Miners cemetery in Mount Olive, Illinois.

Mary Harris “Mother “ Jones elementary school in Maryland is named after her and  in the 1970’s a magazine named after her “Mother Jones” was published and still is. In 1989-90 a coal strike broke out in Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky and the wives and daughters of the striking miners called themselves  “the daughters of Mother Jones.”
There is a lot more to Mary Harris’s work and legacy than what is recorded here. It’s a brief description of her political and social reform campaign and of course a brief look at her Cork ancestry which  the people of Cork City and County can be proud of.

To see an image of Mary's parents marriage entry from 1834 click here.

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Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Irish abroad.

I am often given information on families that went to the USA and obviously researchers want information from Ireland.... which is grand when you know where they came from. But what of those researchers that only have Ireland?

Before trying to get back too quickly researchers should gather as much information as possible from the country where their ancestors settled. For records. A baptism will give sponsors (if R.C.) and these are often relatives.....even if the godmother has a name you do not recognise she could be a sibling to the mother or father. (obviously her married name.)

From my experience many Irish had relatives that followed them or indeed they themselves  followed relatives.

All of this is worth checking out in Church records and census returns. I also believe Irish immigrant bank account records are available.

Any researcher worth his/her salt should gather as many records as possible...if you have a church record go for the civil registration too. Obviously if money is tight then I leave it to the individual what record they should go for.......a civil record usually gives more information.

Also, names are often indicators to what area/County a family could be from.

Keep on searching. Email me! click here

Monday, 5 September 2011

Family photos

Here is one of my favourite photographs. Pictured is my Grandmother (paternal side) with my Great Grandparents c.1912.

The quality of the photograph is excellent.

My Great Grandfather bred horses   (see my photo on twitter @kevinmccormack2  ) for the Guinness Brewery in Dublin.

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Saturday, 27 August 2011


Over the years I have come across many entries in  marriage registers (R.C.) here and one that I find quite confusing is the following.

"Dispensation in the 3rd and 3rd degree Consanguinity."

It obviously relates to a blood relationship and dispensation was sought to get married. Whether the rules were based on moral or for inheritance reasons I do not know. There are many rules but dispensation was often sought and in turn was given.

If you google "Consanguinity Canon Law" you will see it explained in the Catholic Encyclopedia. It still left me not fully understanding.

Feel free to leave a comment. Email me! click here

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Death cert.

I was asked to give an example of a death cert. This one is again from Co Louth 1907.

I can obtain these quickly.

Certs are available from 1864 onwards. Email me! click here

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Terence Mac Swiney

Following on from an earlier post relating to the funeral of Terence MacSwiney the Mayor of Cork City who died on hunger strike at London's Brixton Prison 1920.

Here are details from the the death certificate.

Death registered in the registration district of Lambeth, sub district of Norwood in the County of London 1920.

Date of death 25th October 1920 at H.M. Prison Brixton.

Terence James Mac Swiney

Male 40 years

Occupation Volunteer Officer of 4, Belgrove Place, Cork, Ireland

Cause of death- Heart failure from dilated heart & acute delirium following scurvy due to exhaustion from prolonged refusal to take food.

Other information given relates to coroner and inquest held.

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Saturday, 6 August 2011

1845 parish register

Here is an example of entries from a baptism register from 1845. (time of the famine) If you are lucky enough to research your ancestry back to the time of the famine I think you have done very well. I can always try to help to get the images similar to the one above. Email me! click here

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Ever wondered?

Have you ever thought while researching for baptisms and marriages how many records there are for the parish you are looking at?

I have picked a random year (1835) for baptisms in the North Co Louth town of Dundalk and for Mid Co Louth the rural small town and surrounding area of Dunleer.

For Dundalk there were 490 baptisms......Dunleer 135. (These numbers are based on R.C.'s only)
Yes, I  did actually count them!

When we look for an ancestor we have to be a bit open minded on the actual year of birth. One must always give a couple of years either side when searching.....see how the numbers you have to go through increase ?

Next time you ask somone to take a look at a register remember it isn't as easy as you might think. Email me! click here

Monday, 11 July 2011

Mary Harris (Mother Jones)

Mary Harris was born in Cork City 1837 and was baptized on the 1st August, 1837 at St Mary & St Anne's R.C. cathedral.
Mary was the daughter of Richard Harris of Cork City and Ellen Cotter who was from Inchigeelagh, Co Cork.
I have many records on the family and I have an image of the marriage of Richard & Ellen from the register at Inchigeelagh. (see below-1834)

The family moved to North America at some stage during the famine.

If you google "Mother Jones" you will see that much was written about her.

Mary was once described as "America's most dangerous woman." To read more - click here.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Terrence MacSwiney

The following is a link to a film clip of the funeral of the Lord Mayor of Cork, Terrence MacSwiney who died on hunger strike in Brixton Prison, London. 1879-1920.

Terrence MacSwiney is buried in the republican plot of St. Finbarr's cemetery in Cork city.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Records from the Irish Civil War

My children's great grandfather served in the IRA during the "War of Independence" and the "Irish Civil War."

 Denis McCarthy, Address, - - - - - - - -.
Age 22. Single. Rank: O.C. Transport 3rd Battalion 1st Cork Brigade. Employment: Labourer. Sure of Employment: No. Education:Fair. Circumstances: Poor. Work Prospects: He is an able motor driver. (Removed to hospital July 31st. Refused to sign form).

The prisoners were released if they were willing to sign a form disavowing their allegiance to the Republicam cause. Obviously Denis was threatened that he would not be sent to hospital to be treated for his illness unless he signed this form. He steadfastly refused to sign and was eventually sent to hospital as the prison authorities feared he might die.They probably feared trouble in the prison, which was grossly overcrowded, and in which conditions were desperate, if a prisoner died from neglect.

Denis escaped from the hospital dressed as a woman after visitors brought the clothes into him.Pictured below are the medals he was awarded. War of Independence 1921 with active service bar, Survivors medal 1921-1971 and a medal awarded after "the emergency."
medals shown by his great grandson Seán. (my son)

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Saturday, 2 July 2011

Gx3 Grandparents Marriage 1791

This is a photocopy of an entry from the Parish registers of Tallanstown, Co. Louth. My Gx3 grandparents were married in 1791. Not all entries would be as good as this and of course some registers are better.
If anyone would like me to look into getting same for one of their ancestors contact me via "comment" below the latest blog. Email me! click here

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Great Grandfather

This newspaper report shows another line of my ancestry in Wales where my Great Grandfather thankfully missed the Cilfynydd mining disaster which claimed the lives of well over 200 men and boys. Also where he rescued two miners at Llanbradach. (I spoke to a relative of one of them)

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Sunday, 26 June 2011

Marriage cert. Co Louth

For those that haven't obtained a birth,marriage or death cert. This is from Co Louth 1900 ....civil registration for R.C.'s began in 1864 and civil registration for Protestant marriages began in 1845.
If anyone needs a further example let me know. Email me! click here

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Great Grand Aunt

This is my Great Grand Aunt Margaret McCormack. See the court case blog that I posted in May. Email me! click here


With Irish records we rely on mainly parish records and birth , marriage and death registration, There are valuation records too which give limited information.We also have memorial inscriptions but of course these are limited.
I hit the jackpot on the latter as I found the headstones (pictured above) whch included my Gx2 Gx3 and Gx4 Grandparents. I do not expect to make such a find in my ancestry again!
One has to allow for transcription errors and of course the ages might be a couple of years out.
The following transcription is for the headsone on the left and anything I add will be in a smaller font. 


Erected by James and Mary McKenna (my Gx2) of Dunleer , in memory of their beloved son Owen who died 8th Feby, 1852 aged 2 years. Also the above James who departed this life 27th Jany. 1861 aged 49 years. And also the above Mary McKenna his wife who departed this life 14th January 1875 aged 45 years and Michael McKenna son of the above named died 30th July 1914 aged 57 years. (Michael McKenna met Charles S. Parnell as part of delegation in Dunleer)  And also his wife Anna McKenna who died 27th May 1916 aged 55 years.
Requiescant in Pace.

I shall add details of the other headstone at a later date. Email me! click here

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Gx2 entry from the marriage register

The first entry is the marriage of my Gx2 Grandparents Arthur Savage (also Savidge) and Catherine Teeling 11th Aug 1862 that took place in Co Meath. Email me! click here

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Ireland to the U.S.A.

In the 1860's a sister to my great grandfather left Ireland with her husband and several children for New York.I had seen them in the censuses but other than that knew nothing. This piece is about one of the children that was born in New York.
George Brannigan was born on the 4th of July 1871 (quite rightly too) and was baptised on the 9th of July 1871 at St Columba's Church, 343 West 25th Street, Manhattan, New York City.
George was educated at Seton Hall, South Orange, New Jersey (record states NY) & a college and seminary in Maryland.
George was ordained a priest on the 23rd December 1899 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Rev. Brannigan then served in Ohio from 1900 to his death in 1941.He served in 6 different parishes including Cleveland and his final parish in Toledo.
I received much of this information from a nun who is the archivist of the Diocese where George served. This shows you really do have to put yourself out there for the information.
Of course obtaining a photo of my Grandfather's cousin was a bonus and of such good quality too.
George died on the 4th Dec. 1941 aged 70. Email me! click here

Monday, 13 June 2011

Griffiths Valuation

Most researchers with an Irish interest would know of the Griffiths Valuation from the mid 1800's. I believe many are unaware of the fact that you are able to track the same property through the subsequent years.
Some months ago I was in Dublin looking up some of my ancestors in valuation records ( also looking a few others  for fellow researchers) and found some very interesting facts.
What with parish registers and gut instinct I had always suspected that my Gx2 Grandfather had moved from one parish to another in the same county though I could not prove it.
Checking the Griffiths valuation I of course had a name but the name wasn't the most uncommon of names.
When checking subsequent valuation records I was able to see who took over from the property (1870's) which fitted in exactly to when he would of moved to a town a few miles away.It did help that I knew he was a publican.....what is interesting about these records is if the family stayed on the land for a couple of generations (at least) this shows a researcher who exactly lived here. These records go forward as far as 1977. (head of household only)
It can be expensive to research these records and for the first time researcher quite confusing (colour coded) but after an hour or so you get used to it.
I recommend to those that have their ancestors in the Griffiths to take that extra step.
Always here to help. Email me! click here

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Parish entry from 1772 which shows the marriage of my Gx4 Grandparents. The marriage took place in Co Louth. A lot of researchers believe Ireland lacks records....... it's the  not knowing of where they came from is the problem. Email me! click here

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Irish Newspapers

The newspapers can be a a very useful tool in adding records to your family. Irish newspapers of the 19th century have lists of Irish in the US who contributed to various causes in Ireland and at times these same lists give the County of origin too. One list in particular that comes to mind is for the city of Philadelphia.

One newspaper  is the Freeman's Journal that is archived from the early 1800's to 1900. I often carry out research for more local newspapers which would cover a particular County.

I am a great believer in adding to your ancestors details that give an insight into their lives. For example if you know yours left Ireland in the latter half of the 1840's read as much as you can of the Famine and indeed the journey's these people had to endure to reach their destination...... it certainly was no cruise.

I am always willing to help out in anything regarding Ireland. Email me! click here

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Great Grand Aunt court case.

Over the years I have discovered many references to my ancestors. Below is an absolute gem that relates to a Great grand aunt of mine. My great and great great grandfather's are quoted.

If you would like me to help in any way regarding research, please feel free to contact me.

Dublin 1873 -

Court of Common Pleas before Chief Justice Monahan and a Common Jury.

Action for breach of promise  of marriage.

McCormack v Mathew - In this case the action was brought for alleged case of breach of promise of marriage. Damage was laid at 2,000l. (pounds)
The plaintiff is the daughter of a publican in Dunleer, county Louth, and the defendant a farmer living in the same neighbourhood.
Counsel for the plaintiff - Sergeant Armstrong, Mr J. Murphy, QC, and Mr Kane, instructed by Mr W G Delany, For the defendant- Mr Porter QC, and Mr Monroe, instructed by Mr Michael Verdon.
Mr Kane opened the pleadings, and Sergeant Armstrong stated the plaintiff’s case.

Margaret McCormack, an extremely well looking young lady, was examined by Mr Kane, and stated that she was 20 years of age; she lived with her father in Dunleer; the defendant lived on his farm; which was distant about a quarter or half a mile from Dunleer; he was the landlord of her father’s house; she had been acquainted with him some seven or eight years, and they attended the same chapel; the defendant commenced paying his addresses to her about 4 years ago; about 3 years since he asked her if she would go and get married to him privately - unknown to any of their family or friends; she replied that it was time enough; he again repeated his offer two years ago.
Mr Kane said the witness was becoming agitated , because of the defendant looking at her. Mr Moore- The defendant is not in court at all.
Examination resumed – On the 5th of July the defendant asked witness to go with him and get privately married- that Father Murphy knew him well and would do whatever he wanted; he met her on the stairs of her father’s house on that day and asked her into a room to speak to her; it was in his room that he asked her to get married; she agreed to do so on that occasion , and he then said, “Whether you would like to go to Dublin and bring your niece with you and get married there;” she said she would leave it to himself , and he said he would wish to go to Dublin; her sister, Mrs McMahon, who had come up from Drogheda that day to assist in the shop, it being the fair day at Dunleer, came into the room where they were sitting; the defendant then m in the presence of Mrs McMahon, asked the plaintiff would she marry him, and she said she would; Mrs McMahon then told him that Maggie (the plaintiff) would have a fortune of 100l, and he replied that that was very good with Mag ( a laugh); he came backwards and forwards after that ; she recollected the 26th November, when he again asked  her would she go with him; she said she would, and then he said, “Won’t you come to-night?” but she refused;: he then said,  “Well I will never ask you again;” he did ask her to name another night to go with  her, and she said “manage it yourself;” he then named Thursday, the 28th, two days afterwards; he came on Thursday morning and asked her was she going to do what they were speaking about , and she told him not; he then answered, “Well, perhaps it is better to leave it for another time;” he came again, however, in the evening, about 5 o’clock, and said, “You don’t seem willing to come away with me, but we can never get married unless you do;” he then went away and returned on the 30th of November, at about 9 or 10 o’clock and asked would she then go away with him as she had promised; the plaintiff said she would not, and he replied “you must come”; he thereupon, called her sister, a girl aged about 17 years, out of an adjoining room, and told her to bring her bonnet and shawl. He (then caught her by the hand and pulled her out of the house, saying, “we will go to Brannigan’s;” he changed his mind  where they would go, and they went to a house of a man  named Tourist; the defendant knocked at the door and told Mr Tourist that he had a partner with him, and walked in; Tourist’s two daughters lit a fire, and got tea and beefsteaks, and sat up with them at the kitchen fire until morning; the defendant went away at six o’clock and said he would be back again at dark;  she never saw him since.

Cross examined by Mr Monroe – My Father keeps a small public house in Dunleer, and I used to serve the customers behind the counter; the defendant is a farmer, and I would consider marrying him a good match; he asked me first to go away with him about two years ago; I did not tell my father or mother; he asked me to first go away with him about two years ago;  I did not tell my father or mother; he asked me at different times afterwards; I told my mother what took place on the 5th of July; I told her that the defendant had proposed marriage to me; she was agreeable to it; I did not tell my father;  the defendant asked me a while after July if I would go to his wedding; he said he was going to marry a Miss McKenna, I said I would go to it; he knew he was promised to myself.
Notwithstanding that, you said you would go to his wedding to another girl? I did not know; I did not want him to think I was vexed.
 Did you or did you not believe him when he said he was going to marry Miss McKenna? I did not know whether he was or not.
Did you intend to go to his wedding when you said you would? I did not know whether he was speaking the truth or not, and I could not say if I intended to go; on one occasion, on a Thursday evening, he came to my father’s house having “a drop of drink in him.”
 What was the size of the drop (a laugh) ? I could not say; I heard that he was in a Mr Devin’s house on Saturday; I did not know what state he was, or what he was doing; a man named Hanratty, who lived near him, told me they were drinking  together, I told Hanratty he was going to marry Miss McKenna, and Hanratty said , “that’s a day you’ll never see.”
Were you to have been  bridesmaid at his marriage? No.
You were going as a guest? I simply said I would go.
Did you tell him that a month ago he promised to marry you and no other girl? I did not mind.
What condition was he in when he went to see you on Thursday the  28th of November ? He had a sign of drink on him.
Is that the Dunleer expression for being blind drunk? No.
Did you ever manufacture burnt whiskey in that respectable hostelry, as the Sergeant called it, “The Carman’s Inn.” Do you know what scaltheen is (laughter) ?
Sergeant Armstrong – Oh, that is a white drink (laughter).).
His Lordship – Before the days of the railroad, when barristers were going circuit, in cold weather, “scaltheen” was what they got (laughter).
Sergeant Armstrong – I saw a Chief Baron get a glass of it (laughter).

Cross-examination resumed- I have seen it made; it is made of  whiskey and sugar and butter; my father ordered Mathews home that night, as it was nearly beyond the hour of closing.
When you were both so anxious to get married, according to your own statement, why were you not married? Well, I could not be married unless he brought me, and he promised to marry me within four days.
Where were you to spend the four days? He did not tell me.
Mrs McMahon, sister of the plaintiff, corroborated her evidence with reference to the promise to marry.
Rose McCormack, another sister to the plaintiff, swore to her having brought  her sister’s shawl and hat, as deposed to by the plaintiff.
Bernard McCormack, plaintiff’s brother, examined by Sergeant Armstrong, said he was married 2 years ago; previous to his being married he met the defendant one day, who asked him where he intended to take his wife- was he going to take her home; witness replied replied that he would not like to take her home on account of his eldest sister, Maggie,  and the defendant replied , “Never mind; Maggie wont long be in your way.”
A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse;  and, of course, you understood what he meant (laughter) ? Yes, I understood what he meant. Luke Tourist , examined by Mr J Murphy QC, gave evidence of corroborative of the plaintiff’s statements with references to the defendant and her having gone to his house on the Saturday evening, and remaining sitting at the fire, in company with his two daughters, till six o’clock in the morning; witness said to the defendant, “John, what will your mother say when she hears this?” and he replied “She has knowledge of this this  good while.”
Miss Tourist, examined by Mr Kane , deposed to having heard the defendant say that he would get Father Murphy to marry them, and that the marriage could be done for 50l; he went away at 6 o’clock in the morning with the intention of seeing Father Murphy, and he said he would be back at dark; he never came back.
Cross – examined by Mr Monroe, - How long was he asleep during the night? He was not asleep at all; he leaned his head on the table for about a quarter of an hour.
John McArdle examined by Sergeant Armstrong, said he knew the defendant, who had about 300 acres of first rate land; on the first of December about 7 o’clock, Mathews came to his house and asked him to go over to his mother, to console her about the marriage; I heard him telling my wife he was going to take Miss McCormack; he told me to speak to his mother, to console her about the matter; when I went to the mother  she complained that her son had been out for the greater part of the week; I said , “It will be alright, for he brought a wife home for him;”  she answered that he had done very wrong, and added,  “ I can’t keep from him what his father left him, but I’ll make him a poor boy.”
I suppose you understand  what courting a girl is? I do (laughter) I never saw them going to mass together.
I suppose you  saw the plaintiff  and Mathews together? I did; I saw him treating her.
Cross-examined by Mr Monroe – You know what courting is? – how is it done (laughter) ? I know the way I did it myself- I don’t know how others may do it (laughter).  Your theory is if a man treats a woman he intends to marry her (laughter) ?  Not always.
When did you see them last? The last time I saw them she was washing in the kitchen, and he was standing over her (laughter).
And you concluded from that he was going to marry her? Marrying is different to courting (laughter).
This closed the plaintiff’s case.

Mr Monroe addressed the jury for the defendant, and observed it was a great mistake to imagine that the defendant was by any means well off, the fact of the matter being that he had not one head of cattle of his own, and was a tenant from year to year of some poor land in the county of Louth. If his real position were known there would not of been such  anxiety on the part of the McCormack’s  to get the defendant as a son in law for the daughter. Counsel submitted that the plaintiff’s case had not been sustained by the evidence given. The defendant would be examined, and he and the witness on his behalf would prove that there had been no promise to marry, and anything that upon which such an idea could be founded took place when the defendant was quite incapable, from the effects of drink, of understanding what he was doing.
Mr John Mathews, the defendant, was examined by Mr Monroe- He stated that he had about 117 acres of land in his own name, which he held from year to year at a rent of 120l; he had no stock or cattle; he lived with his mother and never made any proposal of marriage to the plaintiff; He was in court when Mrs McMahon gave her evidence, and it was untrue; in November and December he had been “on the spree” for five or six weeks; he recollected Thursday, the 28th November; on that day he was drinking with a farmer named Devin and another named Hanratty in McKeown’s public house in Dunleer, and he was in the hotel before that; they all slept in one bed that night at Devin’s; next day (Friday) he continued drinking at Devin’s , at Hamilstown, along with Hanratty; they drank over three quarts of whiskey; he was so drunk Saturday that he did not remember being in McCormack’s house at all; when he next came to his senses it was on the Wednesday evening; he did not recollect being in Tourist’s at all.
Cross-examined by Sergeant Armstrong- I have 117 acres of land in my own name, and also a farm of 91 acres; my mother, is over 70 years of age, and I manage and work the farms.
Do you ever say your prayers? I do.
Did you say them to day? I did.
Do you believe you have a due regard for the sanctity of an oath? I do.
And you are a conscientious man? I am.
You are a sober man? I am sometimes (laughter) ; I am often some twelve months without drinking any.
Have you the two lockets you asked this girl to give you? I never got any lockets.
Do you swear you never gave her a pair of gloves in exchange for the lockets? She never gave me a locket
Are you going to marry Miss McKenna? Yes I am.
When did you make the promise? In July.
What fortune has she? £200.
Why did you not marry her before this? Because my sister was unwell at the time we had arranged to be married.
Were you drunk when you engaged yourself to Miss McKenna? No.
You were sober? I was; I am engaged to her now; I saw her last on Sunday last; I believe Carberry- a ploughman of mine- came for me, and I believe I left McKeown’s with him, because he told me he brought me out; I don’t know where I went after being there.
Now, when last were you so drunk as to have lost all reason and memory, and, in fact, were a perfect beast? Some time about the 26th November.
Were you ever in a position of a beast since then? No.
Were you dead drunk in the last week or fortnight? No.
Or the last three weeks? No, I took the pledge on the 1st   of  January; I was not dead drunk since the Doctor attended me.
By your oath do you know where you were on the 30th November? No.
Or the next Sunday? I do not know.
Do you know were you in McArdle’s on Sunday morning? No.
Will you swear you were not? No.
Will you swear that what McArdle has sworn to is false? No I will not; I may have gone to his house, but I do not remember.
Did you see your brother on that Sunday morning? I do not recollect.
Do you walk in your sleep? I don’t suppose I do.
Do you ever recollect having talked in your sleep? No.
Have you often talked to Margaret McCormack? Yes.
What was it about? Was it about sheep or mashed turnips ( laughter)? I don’t know.
Was it anything soft? Don’t you think she is a fine girl?  She is a fine girl, I asked her one occasion to come to my wedding.
Did you ever hear what the son said when told by his father to say something soft to the girl he was courting – he looked full in her face and said “ mashed turnips” (laughter)? Did you ever look her in the face and say that? No, I swear I do not recollect being in McCormack’s on Thursday, the 28th of November.
Who lay at the head of the bed when you all three slept together? We all lay alongside each other.
Were you not one of the cleverest fellows in the county? In what way?
To be courting two girls at the same time? I was courting none of them at all; I was in love with Miss McKenna; in November I determined to marry her; on the day of the fair at Dunleer in July I saw Miss McCormack in the shop; I spoke to her then, but that was the only time; I did not speak to her upstairs in one of the rooms that day; Mrs McMahon was behind the bar on that occasion; she did not come up stairs and see me and Miss McCormack and me there; I did not see Mrs McMahon upstairs at all.
And I suppose you did not ask Margaret upon that day? I did not.
Then has Mrs McMahon perjured herself? I suppose she has.
But you will not say that McArdle perjured himself? I could not tell.
Is your memory good? It is when I am not drinking.
You find that your mind has been so affected by drink  that you forgot what  occurred? Yes.
Do you swear that , except speaking to Margaret in the shop on the 5th of July, you did not speak to her that day? I do.
Did you sign any piece of paper connected with your farm? No, I am not trying to dispose of it; I have no money of my own; I give the money to my mother.
You hand it over to your Mamma (laughter) Yes.
How much does your drink cost you in the year? Sometimes I don’t drink any for a year, and when I would break out I would go on for a week or fortnight; I will not swear I was able to talk or walk on the Saturday night; the last thing I remember was having a fight over cards.
Dross-examination resumed – I never kissed the plaintiff on any occasion; I never paid any attention to her; I was told since I was in McCormack’s  house on the 30th November last; I do not remember it, because Carberry told me I was drunk.
Dr Robert Trimble, of Castlebellingham, deposed that on Monday, 2nd of December, he saw the defendant at his mother’s house suffering from “delirium tremens”;  he was well on Wednesday.
Cross-examined by Mr Murphy -  The defendant first complained of a sore throat which he fancied was the matter with him; witness knew at once what was really the case, and prescribed the black draught and blue pill; he only took portion of the prescription; it was not a severe attack, and I could not say how many days of drinking brought it on.
To the Chief Justice – I asked how long it was since he had slept; and was told he had not slept for two nights before.
John Hanratty, examined by Mr Monroe, said that he remembered having been with the defendant drinking in company with Mr Devin; they all got into the one bed; the plaintiff told him she had got a new dress for the defendant’s marriage with Miss McKenna; he heard the plaintiff examined ; he never knew that any flirtation or courtship had been going on between Mathews and her, but he saw her talking to him in a friendly way.
Matthew Devin was examined by Mr Monroe, and gave evidence as to his having been drinking extentensively with the defendant and Hanratty on the occasion deposed to by the former.
A servant man named Carberry was then examined and gave evidence to the same effect.
A man named Conaghty , examined by Mr Monroe, deposed that the plaintiff told him that Mathews asked her to attend his marriage with Miss McKenna.
He was cross examined by Mr Murphy, QC, and stated that Miss McKenna also spoke to him about the middle of August; he frequently saw Mathews after that, and dod not speak to him about the marriage.
The plaintiff was re – called, and in answer to Sergeant Armstrong, said that he had a conversation with the last witness about Mathews getting married to Miss McKenna; she began the conversation herself, because she thought if it true Conaghty would know something about it as he was a friend of Miss McKenna;  Conaghty said there was nothing at all about it.
During the entire of your time with Mathews on that night of  the 30th  November did he appear drunk? No, I thought he had a drop of drink, but that was not the first time he asked me to do what he made do in the end.
Mrs McCormack examined by Sergeant Armstrong, said the defendant was in liquor on the night in question, but was not drunk.
Mr Tourist deposed that the defendant was not drunk on the evening he was at his house.
Thomas McCormack, the plaintiff’s father, was examined, and said he never saw Mathews kiss his daughter.
Mr Monroe addressed the jury on behalf of the defendant, and Mr J Murphy replied in an able speech for the plaintiff.
His Lordship charged the jury, who after a short absence returned into court with a verdict for the plaintiff with 500l damages.
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