Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dallas Public Library - A Wonderful Place To Visit

Dear Uncle,

Today my Beloved and I went to the Dallas Public Library to investigate their Genealogy section.  What a wonderful place! Neat, clean, organized, and friendly.  Microfilm and Microfiche readers. Nice and open and airy.  Not a stuffy place at all.  I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of information for Massachusetts.  Our trip was bascially a go see what it's all about.  I had a couple of things that I wanted to verify if the info was available and it was on microfiche. So that was a pleasant surprise.  I think it may be a place I will frequent. Family Historians and Genealogists can work side by side in a wonderful, fostering atmosphere.

They also have a lot of Texas info which will benefit my friends who are just starting their trek into genealogy.  It will be wonderful for them to start here in Texas and work their way back to the East and then up to New England.  All without leaving Dallas.

The 8th floor of the library is home to Genealogy and there are sections for each state in the Union.  There are State censuses, Passenger lists, maps, and a section is for searching overseas. I haven't gone into that section yet. That will be my next trip.  Once I get my Irish situation under control.  No, Uncle, I do not want to talk about it. Other than to say there are just too many Williams, Patricks, Martins, Bridgets etc., etc.  My spreadsheet is getting a bit out of hand.

Until the next time,
Your Devoted Niece

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Genealogical Atlas of Ireland, Spreadsheets & a Magnifying Glass

Dear Uncle,

It had been my intention a year ago to start on the Irish side of the family. In preparation for what I knew would be walls everywhere I mentioned to my family what I would be very happy to see under the tree.

1. Brian Mitchells: A New Genealogical Atlas of Ireland
2. Family Tree Pocket Reference
3. A book of humor regarding digging up the dead folk

My Beloved gave me all three and made me a very happy woman.

Now it's taken me a year and a bit to actually get down to the Irish side. I've played with it a few times.  Just sorting out what I already know, getting the easy online confirmations of what I had written down 15 years ago when I was on my trip up North.  I double checked the Natick database to confirm dates that I had.  I filled in causes of death for the ones I hadn't already. The filler stuff.

Having done that there was my foray into the land of emigration where I shared with you finding William Sr. coming to America.  I guess it was that spark that really got me going.

Now here is something you may not know about me Uncle.  I am a firm believer in there is no such thing as too much information.  Hence the spreadsheets.

I've gone through Griffiths Valuation to find the surnames, the first names,the parishes etc. I've entered them into a spreadsheet. I also photocopied the cover of my atlas and divided it into 4 parts.  My brain likes things organized and this method was the easiest way for me to sort the counties out.

Sections 1 - 4 are the Irish Free States.  Census records have indicated that the ancestors came from Irish Free States.

Section 1: Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Tipperary, Limerick and Clare  (Munster)
Section 2: Kilkenny, Wexford, Carlow, WIcklow, Laios/Leix,Offaly, Kildare, Dublin, Meath, Westmeath, Longford and Louth  (Leinster)

Section 3:  Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, Sligo  (Connaught)

Section 4: Donegal, Cavan and Monaghan   (Ulster)

Section 5 : These would be the "other" Ulster counties. Fermanagh, Tyrone, Armagh, Down, Antrim and Derry

So now I have a huge spread sheet with names of ancestors, having culled the lists to names that I believe are ancestral in nature. A thousand Johns but no Jonathans, Williams, James, you get the idea.
Here are the headings of my spreadsheet:

Surname, First Name, Townland, Parish, Roman Catholic Parish, Diocese, Barony, County and last of all, Section.

Now with most of the information that I have already I can populate the fields with the help of my Genealogical Atlas ( I am currently blessing Mr. Mitchell hourly for this genius of a book.)  If you do not have this in your library ask for it as a gift or get it your self.

I can manipulate the info by sorting it, I have the info by county ( color coded of course), or section or whatever way I want it. And as a result I think I may have found one of the couples I was looking for.

He and she, same section, same county, same Diocese, same parish.  Not the same town but the same Roman Catholic parish. Pretty exciting.

I am holding off getting deeper with these two because I must get the rest of the info into the spreadsheet.  We know what will happen if I go off on another tangent lol.

Then the big map of Ireland will go up on the wall, the timelines will go up, the town historys will be found and accessed, may be even a picture or two that some generous soul has put on the web.

This is getting VERY exciting!  So that's all for now Uncle.  I hope you are getting as excited as I am.  It's The Hunt! The Chase! The Mystery!  Following the clues!

So until the next time,
Your Devoted Niece

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Ancestor Birthdays This Month

Dear Uncle,
I thought you might appreciate an update on the birthdays this month.
January Births- 
Ezra ALDEN 185, Ezra ALDEN 220, Susan ALDEN 187,
 George Balcom 110, Alice BEAL 138, Andrew BEAL 326, Azariah BEAL 255,
 Bethiah BEAL 310, Calvin BEAL 195, Charles BEAL 149,  
David BEAL 243,  David BEAL 198,  David BEAL 328, Desire BEAL 301, Elisha BEAL 330,  Evelyn BEALE 81, Hannah BEAL 251,
 John BEAL 269, Joseph BEAL 341, Japeth BEAL 265, Lewis BEAL 194,  
Mary BEAL 206,  Melinda BEAL 154, Phineas BEAL 255, Priscilla BEAL 280,  Ruth BEAL 278,  Ruth BEAL 294,
 Sally BEAL 200, Sarah BEAL 190,  Sarah BEAL 167, Sibbel BEAL 259, Sophia BEAL 216, Tabitha BEAL 265,  
Anna CARPENTER 266, Jonathan CARVER 253, Martha CHUBBUCK 343, Eunice DOWNER 288,

 Hannah EDDY 289,  Patience EDDY 260, Charles E. GILSON 174, George GILSON 174, Phebe GOULD 247, Thomas GOULD 173,
 Urania HALL 303,  Miranda HARTWELL 219,  Nelson HARTWELL 201, Oliver HARTWELL 284,  Ruth HARTWELL 277,  Sally HARTWELL 217,  Esther HOVEY  309,  Abijah HOWE Jr. 208, Harry HULBERY 129,  
Benjamin JONES 349,  Dorothy KIDDER 361,  Amos LEAVITT 253,  George LEIGHTON 108,  Dorothy LONG 108,  Florence LONG 106,  Molly MAY 233, James McNEILL 183,  
Lawrence PARSONS  91, Hannah POLDEN 242, Ephraim PRATT 284, David RALPH 223, Experience ROOD 293,
 Rebekah SHAW 295, Rosewell SPOONER 172, George STAVELEY 181, Stephen TUCKER 240,  Hammond YATES 110.

Until the next time,
Your Devoted Niece

Monday, January 16, 2012

Back on Track for the Moment

Dear Uncle,

I needed a bit of a break and thought it the perfect time to drop you a note.  I am not working today and was not feeling up to snuff so I took it rather slow today. 

For the past several hours I've been working on the Irish side again. I am trying to figure out the names of William Greene seniors' parents.  I have taken several ideas from the internet in regard to naming traditions.  I've played with the names, rearranged the names, rearranged the tables of names. Rearranged the arrangement of namesakes.

I made my own charts to assist in the clues of naming within a family [ I am a visual person, charts and graphs work for me]. I even went so far as to try to find the Gaelic spelling of William ( Liam), John ( Sean, Eoin, Seaghan, Seon) and James ( Seamus, Seamas) so that when I look in the Griffiths valuation I don't miss someone by accident.

So far the naming traditions have not panned out.  At least in so far as William Senior is concerned. He and Catherine named the first son John H., which theoretically should be the name of William Seniors father.  It may well be. The oldest daughter should have been named after Catherines mother, Bridget, but was instead named after Catherine. 

It is my understanding that in those times Irish girls were referred to as "Brideys". The name "Bridey" being a nickname for the name Bridget.  However, at the time this nickname, among those unhappy with the Irish immigrants,  became somewhat akin to an epithet.  It could be that William and Catherine chose to wait on using the name Bridget for that reason since the name wasn't used until their 3rd daughter was born.

The second son was named James. Traditionally the second son would have been named after the mothers' father and in that case his name would have been Laurence/ Lawrence.  The name of Lawrence/Laurance was given to the 3rd son.

The fourth son was named William after his father, but according to tradition he would have been named after his fathers' oldest brother.

So my only clues are John and James, hoping that there is someone in the family of those names.  I am crossing my fingers that the second daughter's name- Mary Anne -is the name of William Senior's  mother.

That being said here is who I plan on looking for: John/ Sean/Seaghan/Eoin/ Seon and James/Seamus and Mary/ Maire/Muire Greene.   John and James and Mary Ann would have been born before or about - I'm guessing - 1800 +/- 10. William was born 1825. Emigrated to the US 1851.

The other hint that I have is that both William and Catherine were born in the Irish Free State so that eliminates 6 entire counties. They were Catholic so that helps limit the selections even more.

So the search continues.  Please keep good thoughts for progress.

Your Devoted Niece