Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture: I Speak From Experience

Does the road wind up-hill all the way? Yes, to the very end. Will the day's journey take the whole long day? From morn to night, my friend.  Grantland Rice

Smallest Leaf has graciously extended the deadline for the latest Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture in order to include a contribution by a family researcher with a french Canadian maiden name searching her Irish family history. Go raibh maith agat

The latest Carnival  is a return to genealogy and asks us to "Speak From Experience."

Have a time-saving suggestion that helped you blaze ahead in your Irish research? Let us know how you did it. Have some personal failures you can share with us to save other researchers the same fate? We'll be grateful to hear your story. Want to recommend a particular type of record to shed insight on the Irish family tree? A certain repository or library, or way to organize your research? Let us know - tell us the tip and give us the story behind it. How did it help (or not help) you and why do you recommend (or not recommend) it?
I have posted about my Little family history and have come to categorize this line of research as my favorite brick wall. The place where I spend a warm summer afternoon - sitting on top of a stone wall; feeling the warmth of the stones and the breeze on my face, looking at the place where my Irish ancestors were born. The problem is - I have no idea where in Ireland this wonderful place is. So we continue the uphill climb.

"But first, Are you experienced?" asked Jimi Hendrix. If it isn't the destination but rather the journey of Irish family research then, yes, I am experienced. My lessons, which have yet to come together, remind me of a mismatched tea set: functional but not much to look at.

Irish Children Naming Patterns: a tradition that a large number of Irish families followed in the 1800’s and 1900’s, My great-grandfather had six siblings and naming patterns have been my road map for culling lists of possible Little and Gallagher family connections.:

1st son was named after the father’s father
2nd son was named after the mother’s father
3rd son was named after the father
4th son was named after the father’s eldest brother

1st daughter was named after the mother’s mother
2nd daughter was named after the father’s mother
3rd daughter was named after the mother
4th daughter was named after the mother’s eldest sister

Did you know ... it was not unusual for a mother-to-be to journey to her parents' home village to give birth to her baby? When searching documents it means, a child appearing on a census record may not have been born in the village of the record at the time of the census. The family could have immigrated to the village after the child was born, prior to the census being taken, or the mother may have returned to her parents' home to give birth. At any rate, a record search in locations beyond the census recorded place of residence should be considered.

Did you know ... English translations of Irish village and town names have taken on different spellings over the years? During the early 1900s map surveyors traveled throughout Ireland, translating Irish place names into English, which can cause considerable confusion when trying to place of birth, marriage or baptism if you don't take this bit of information into consideration.

Don't bother trying to locate your Irish ancestors ...  all birth records were destroyed in the Dublin Four Courts building fire during the Irish civil war in 1922. The Truth?? All Irish civil registration of birth, marriages, and deaths has survived intact. Although birth records were destroyed in the Dublin Four Courts fire, copies of the same birth records were kept in Counties' records offices throughout Ireland.

What family researcher doesn't dream of the day they not only make the leap across the pond but find themselves sitting on the stone fence next to the sign post of the village I can call my ancestral home.


Lisa said...

Thanks so much for taking the time this "warm summer afternoon" to sit "on top of a stone wall" and inspire us in our search for Irish ancestors, Cindy! I had never heard of the tradition of the birthing mother traveling to her parents' home to deliver her baby. You shared some great tips!

100 Years in America
Small-leaved Shamrock
A light that shines again
Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture

Anonymous said...


Tipper said...

Cindy-I didn't know any of that!! You gave me a wonderful lesson today-so thank you!!

Cher' Shots said...

Thanks for the Irish history you shared here. I love the birth order naming tradition. Would have done that had I known. :)


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