It's time for me to begin preparing for my trip to Ireland in June. I'll be leaving on June 27th and spending a week in Dublin. For those of you who are interested in research, please let me know as soon as possible. I'll only be taking a limited number of commissions this summer as I'll be joining my choral society on July 7th for a tour of Ireland and Scotland.
Each year I think about what research I would like to do on my own family and try to work it into the schedule. More often than not, I never get to it, but I can always plan. <g>
I had a meeting today with one of the people going on the Dublin research trip in October (there's still space available) and she has multiple families that she wants to research. We talked about the importance of focus. A week is not going to allow you to complete all of your research, so you want to cull out the families that have the highest possibility of success. Those would be the families where you have some information on their locality in Ireland. You might find it helpful to review some of the blogs I posted in 2011 beginning with Strategies for Starting Your Irish Research. If you follow the next four weeks (click on Previous at the top of the blog...I know this is counterintuitive, but that's the way the software works) you'll review the information on Administrative divisions and their importance, and then come to Sources for Irish Origins.
It turns out that she had the date of death of the mother of one of her Irish ancestors. She knew the county, but it was a common surname making it difficult to identify the family in any other records. Although the ancestor emigrated about 1850, the mother didn't die until the 1880's providing an opportunity to find the death in the Irish Civil Registration records. It turns out that the son had a memorial stone placed in the cemetery giving the mother's death date in Ireland. If we could find the woman in the index and obtain a copy of the death certificate it would provide the townland where she died, likely the area where the family had lived. Identifying the specific townland, and from that the parish, would open up the possibility of finding church and other records on the family. When we checked the civil registration for the date given on the stone we didn't have a likely candidate in the the county where we expected to find her. As I've mentioned numerous times, the Irish weren't very good with dates, so we expanded the search years and found a likely candidate. The next step is to send to the General Register Office for a copy of the record.
Frequently we have the answers to some of our brick walls already in our files. So if you're planning a research trip to Ireland or even to the next state, begin by re-reading everything you've already done, looking for clues you might have missed in the past. A timeline is a great tool for doing this.
Have you indexed census records today? I try to get at least one batch
done every day...it only takes about 20 minutes.