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Thursday, January 7, 2010

"Show and tell": Irish genealogical treasures

Genealogists are treasure hunters of a different kind. Instead of searching for riches, we dig for information. Instead of prizing gold, we value documents - the visual proof of the life stories of families that have passed before us.

This 17th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture is a chance for some of us to show off the treasures that we have accumulated during our search for family history.  Show and tell is always lots of fun, and this one is no exception.  Get ready to see some true Irish genealogical treasures and hear the stories behind them.  Happy reading!

A family Bible is a rare treasure appreciated by every family historian.  Frances Ellsworth (aka "Hummer") presents images of the family Bible that once belonged to her Magill ancestors.  Using the information in the Bible, she was able to confirm that the land patent records that she had found listed the correct Magill family. Visit Frances' 17th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture Irish Treasures posted at Branching Out Through The Years to see the Bible pages for yourself and read about the land records Frances found.

Unable to come across the information I was looking for in a family Bible, a state record repository, a county record repository, or church archive, I was thrilled to find it nestled within the pages of my great-great-grandfather's Civil War pension file.  View the church document (complete with the parish seal) that I found within that file that listed the birth and baptism dates of many of the Cowhey family members for whom I was searching at my article Family treasure at the National Archives: 19th-century birth records & more here at Small-leaved Shamrock.

Sometimes the rumor of Irish ancestry runs through a family, although the actual proof is hard to find.  Debra Osborne Spindle (aka "Tex") finds that to be the case in her family.  As she states in Irish Roots at Last. Probably., this author of All My Ancestors "joined the Carnival of  Irish Heritage & Culture on faith", since she has not yet been able to find a primary source document confirming her Mitchell clan's Irish ancestry.  She has, however, found a book that includes a mention that her ancestor "emigrated from Ireland in 1752".  Visit Debra's blog to read more about the story of her Mitchell ancestors and her quest to confirm her possible Irish roots.

Thomas MacEntee of Destination Austin Family has the type of family document in his possession that Debra is looking for.  Visit An Irish Treasure: Citizenship Papers for Matthew McGinnes to see a copy of "one of [Thomas'] most cherished treasures": his great-great-grandfather's original United States citizenship certificate dated 1888.

I have a similar document in my possession (although it is not the original): the naturalization papers of my great-great-grandfather dated 1876.  Visit Tierney family treasure: Patrick's naturalization papers, 1876 to see the documents, read their transcriptions, and learn which "item" within these documents that I like the best.

For this "show and tell" carnival Julie Cahill Tarr of GenBlog shares with us an obituary of her great-great-grandmother Margaret "Maggie" Millet Cahill.  It states an important piece of information: Maggie's birthplace in County Kilkenny, Ireland. Visit Julie's Irish Genealogy Treasures to read the obituary for yourself.

K. Wech started off her new blog with an entry for our carnival.  At Central PA Genealogist she presents the story of her First genealogical trip to Ireland which resulted from the discovery she made in an obituary of an ancestor who died in 1900.  Visit her blog to hear the story of the kindnesses she experienced in the people of County Longford, Ireland during a visit there in search of her roots.

Dorene Paul, the Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay, shares with us the Marriage Record of Thomas F. Larkins and Lula M. Cross, her great-great-grandparents.  After an unsuccessful search at the Erie County, Ohio courthouse, she states, "I came across the marriage record for my great-great-grandparents, Thomas F. and Mary Louise Cross Larkins, in Kalamazoo County, Michigan during a Google Search."  A happy surprise for Dorene in her search for family history!

Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith wasn't sure he had any Irish ancestry until the discovery of the birthplace of his great-great-great-grandfather way back in 1745 in County Wicklow, Ireland.  Visit Dr. Bill Tells Ancestor Stories for more of the fascinating story of John Butler - [Bill's] Irish Ancestor who followed his brother from Ireland to America and fought in the Revolutionary War.

Moving ahead to the middle of the 20th-century, Bill West of West in New England shares the 1949 land deed for the transfer of a Boston home from one family member of The McFarlands of Parker Street, Boston, MA to another. Like my Boston Tierney family and many other extended families of the time, the McFarlands settled together on one street, sometimes renting, sometimes buying, sometimes moving down the street, but often remaining close neighbors with other family members.

Karen Hammer of Ancestor Soup shares with us her most important "treasure" in terms of her Irish ancestry - and the reason that her family has retained pride in their Irish heritage.  Visit My Irish Genealogy Treasure to read her story.  Those of us that have an "Uncle Jimmy" in our own families certainly can relate.

Alice Keesey Mecoy has a special treat for us at this edition of the carnival.  She says, "I don't believe that I have any Irish blood flowing in my veins, but I can share my love and memories of the Irish Crochet my grandmother lovingly created for many, many years." Visit Genealogy Treasure Show and Tell in the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture posted at Alice's John Brown Kin.

Thanks to all of you who contributed to this "show and tell" fun and to those of you who took the time to read.  Please plan to join us for the upcoming 18th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, also known as the:

3rd annual 
Small-leaved Shamrock 
St. Patrick's Day 
Parade of Posts 

The topic is anything and everything Irish, so come join in the fun whether or not you have Irish roots!  The deadline is Sunday, March 14, 2009.  The carnival will be published on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.  For more details, visit the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture blog.  See you there!


Bill West said...

Hi Lisa,
I think my email with my post addy
for the carnival went awry. It's
at http://westinnewengland.blogspot.com/2010/01/mcfarlands-of-parker-street-boston-ma.html


Lisa said...

I apologize for the delay, but you are now included in the carnival, Bill. Thanks for participating. See you at the St. Patrick's Day edition!


Cindy Bergeron Scherwinski said...


A wonderful post - as usual. I am all ready planning my participation in the St Patrick's Day carnival.

I am probably not the first but wanted to award you the Happy 101 Award. Your blog continues to inspire, inform and touch the lives of so many - including me.

You can pick up your award at http://anaharcockermom.blogspot.com/2010/01/happy-101-award.html


kathlingram said...

Better late than never,I have given you my vote for the Happy 10 Award.At my site Carrow and Faunt Family Tales
Kathleen Carrow Ingram

grace said...

From my “My Family Root Run Deep ” blog to you — I’d like to pass along the Happy 101 Award to your blog. I have enjoyed reading your blog so much.
A copy can be found at:http://www.myfamilyrootsrundeep.blogspot.com/

Colleen Degnan Johnson said...

Great post. Sorry I missed submitting. I'm looking forward to St. Pat's!


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