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Prepping for Ireland

   Each year as I get ready for my trip to Ireland, I give some thought to one family I would like to research.  I usually don’t get much time to work on my own research, as I’m working with the participants.  I usually try to stay an extra couple of days, but because of another commitment, that’s not possible this year.

   I’ve spent most of the summer working on the consultations for the participants.  The experience level varies, but it’s important that they know at least the name of the county where their ancestors lived.  Depending on the timeframe, sometimes the county is just not enough information.  An example of this is my Shaw ancestors who I’ve identified as being from Antrim.  Unfortunately, they emigrated in 1794 and so far, I have been unable to identify any records for the family.   

   If I have a bit of time in Belfast, I plan to work on my husband’s family…the Kings and O’Loughlins of Ballymaginaghy  County Down.   I wrote about this family in 2012 and I haven’t done much since.  I have a problem collecting information and never getting around to putting it into my database.  I’m trying to get better at that, and have been pulling files, scanning the information I have…much of it from the 1990s and updating my database.  Using the new indexes at FindMyPast and Ancestry, as well as those at the Irish Family History Foundation (IFHF), I have taken the family back one more generation and identified some of the siblings of James King.   According to his baptismal record, his parents were John King and Mary Cawley.  As I began to search the IFHF database for King children with a father John in the parish of Drumgooland in Down, I found five records.  The mother is listed variously as Cawley, Collins, Callan (2), and Colley (remember, spelling doesn’t count!). The marriage record, in the parish of Banbridge, identified the bride as Mary Callan. As in most Catholic records of this timeframe, there are no parents listed.  The earliest records for Drumgooland date to 1822, so no luck in finding baptismal records for this couple.   A search of the name Callan in Down (in Griffith’s valuation) turns up only names in Newry.  However, there is a record for a Cauley in Ballymaginaghy, living next to John King in Griffith’s.  I think this is likely the family.  My next step is going to be following the Revision Books (online at PRONI) to see what happens to the property.

   I still have a little more than a month to continue my research before the trip, and I’ll be creating a research plan for this family.   I also keep a running list on a spreadsheet of research for my next trip, so I’ll need to analyze that as well.  Lots to do before the trip.  

   Happy Hunting!


Don’t forget to sign up for the Genealogy Cruise   scheduled for February 2017 to the Eastern Caribbean. Take advantage of the Two free upgrades if you book before August 31st.

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017