Early on in my family research, I came across a number of records in Westmeath, Ireland for the Moughty family. Moughty is an unusual name…I know now that there are only two famliies in the U.S. with the name, a few more than that in Ireland, and the rest in Argentina. I had diligently worked through the indexes to civil registration (on microfilm at the Family History Library) year by year, extracting all of the Moughtys. I had found my husband's grandfather, Bernard and his family, but in addition I had found the family of a James Moughty and his ten children. I had no idea however, if, or how, these two families were related.
On a visit to Ireland about 1997, we visited Jack Moughty in County Longford, who we met on our first trip. That day, Jack drove us to the cemetery at the parish church of Moyvore in Westmeath where my husband's great grandfather, Bernard, was buried. Jack led us to a very large monument telling us that he had attended the funeral of both Bernard and his son Jack and they were both buried there. I moved around the monument writing down all of the information, and when I had completed it, I still had no information on my husband's ancestors. All of the information on the stone related to the family of James. Jack was able to clear up the mystery…James and Bernard were brothers. Also buried in the grave was another Bernard, their father.
Wanting to confirm the information I wandered over to the Rectory, and knocked on the door. When the priest answered the door, I explained the problem, asking if he had a interment list for his cemetery. The answer was no, however, he invited me in for tea, and provided me with the original registers which contained the burial record in 1954 for Bernard, age 94.
Since I had already collected the information on all the Moughtys, I had learned that expanding your search to other members of the family is important to your research. Jack was able to provide the link between James and Bernard and the trip to the cemetery gave me the name of their father, also Bernard. He also was able to tell me that the family was originally from Longford which allowed me to find the baptismal records for the children of Bernard and Mary Glennon including James, and what I thought was our Bernard baptized in 1854. Was he really 100 years old when he died? A bit more research found a baptismal record in Moyvore for another Bernard, son of Bernard and Mary Glennon. It was not uncommon for the Irish to use the name of a child who had died a second time. This second Bernard was baptized in 1860 which made his age in the death record accurate.
I have not been able to find tombstones for all of our Irish ancestors, but when found, they can make connections which may be hard to prove because of a lack of surviving records in Ireland.
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