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Ask a Genealogist: Using an obituary for Irish research.

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Question:

I found an old an obituary for Michael Fox in an old family scrapbook. He died on 9-28-1910 IN Coraugh (Lower Drumreilly Ireland)and is buried in Corraleehan burial ground. (St Bridgid's) Ireland.

What is the easiest and least expensive way to determine who his parents were? Would and Irish death certificate list his parents if they were known at that time? Can old Irish newspapers be viewed on line any where?

Answer:

Reply from Judy Lucey, NEHGS Archivist

Thank you for your inquiry to our Ask a Genealogy service. You are trying to determine the parents of Michael Fox who died in 1910 in the townland of Coragh, Drumreilly Parish, County Leitrim in the easiest and least expensive way.

I’m afraid death records in Ireland do not have names of parents of the deceased. Out of the three civil records, death records are the least informative. A quicker way to obtain parents’ names is to try to determine if Michael married after 1864 when the registration of Catholic civil marriages began. These records contain the fathers names of the bride and groom but not the mothers names. However, it is still a good place to start.

In order to search in any Irish historical records you must identify all of the various land divisions associated with your ancestor’s townland because these records are organized these division names. So for Michael Fox you must identify and know all of the associated divisions with the townland of Coragh. They are as follows:

Townland – Coragh (exact address by which Irish identify themselves from) Civil and Catholic Parish – Drumreilly (must know for govt. and church records)
Poor Law Union/Registrar District name – Bawnboy (this is used to find civil registration records of birth, marriage and death and to use for Griffith’s Valuation)

I began my search for Michael in the 1901 Census of Ireland online at the nationalarchives.ie. This is a free database. I found Michael living with wife Susan (maiden name unknown) with their three children and sister Margaret Fox in Coragh. I then searched the 1911 census hoping to find widow Susan Fox as the 1911 census asks widows and married women how long they were married and the number of children they gave birth to. Susan is still alive in 1911 and states she was married 33 years. Given that Michael died in 1910, I calculated Susan and Michael were married sometime in the mid 1870’s. I then turned to the Civil Registration Index for marriages in Ireland on Ancestry.com and found two marriages for a Michael Fox in the district of Bawnboy, 1872 and 1875 respectively. I believe the 1875 marriage is correct as the Ancestry database provides a list of names on the Register’s page and there was no Susan listed in the 1872 hit but there is a Susan Kerner listed in the 1875 marriage. If you have an Ancestry account, you can view the index image here:

http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=FSIrelandCivRegMarriage&rank=1&new=1&MSAV=0&msT=1&gss=angs-d&gsfn=michael&gsln=fox&msgpn__ftp=bawnboy&dbOnly=_F80066E8|_F80066E8_x&uidh=pp2&pcat=34&fh=1&h=1817484&recoff=4+5&ml_rpos=2  
To order a certificate, you must contact the General Register Office in Ireland. The least expensive request is to order a photocopy of the record for 4 Euros (about $8 dollars). A certificate is 20 euros. Fill out the application for the marriage record, choose photocopy request for 4 euros and mail or fax it to them. Please record the year, and bride and grooms names along with the district name, Bawnboy, County Leitrim info. Here’s the link to the page:
http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Apply-for-Certificates.aspx

The marriage record will give you the place of residence for each. With this information you could see if you could find a possible baptism for Michael in County Leitrim church records. Some of the parish records are online at the Irish Family History Foundation, a pay per view site. Check the source list for County Leitrim to make sure Michael’s parish of origin is listed and the dates cover the year he was born.

Lastly, there are some Irish historical papers online but they are spotty for dates and coverage of Ireland. The best one is a subscription based which you must pay a fee to obtain the page. The best placece to start for a newspaper search is locally and the Leitrim Observer covers all of County Leitrim ad has been in business for over 100 years. You can conduct a search for Michael Fox at the link below:
http://www.irishnewsarchive.com/  

Best of luck in your research! If we can be of further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

Ask a Genealogist: In search of church and cemetery records

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Question:

Can you tell me if the church records for the defunct Saint Matthews Episcopal Church, Ward 12. I think I heard that they are at Mt. Hope in Roslindale. So would you know if the church records for the 1800's would exist. And if so where can I search online, or to whom may I write for requests? Does Mt. Hope have a burial database for St Matthews Church?

Answer:

Reply from Jeanne Belmonte, NEHGS Genealogist. I spoke to the archives office of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. Records from closed parishes are generally sent to the archives. Lynn Smith is the volunteer archivist she may be able to help you find the records you are searching. You can reach her at 617-482-4826. In addition some of the records for St. Matthews have been microfilmed. The following films are available for loan through your local family history center.

Baptisms 1817-1884-film no 856692
Marriages 1821-1884 Burials 1818-1884 film no. 856693
To learn more about film loan and locate a family history center please go to http://www.familysearch.org.

Mount Hope Cemetery does have an index for those that were moved from the tombs of St. Matthews. I spoke to the Janice at the cemetery, and was told there are a few buried there with the surname Eayers. You can email Janice at Mount Hope for more information at sbjtm@msn.com. Please put Janice/Eayers family in the subject matter.

Ask a Genealogist: Looking for a hotel in 19th century Boston.

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Question:

I have the diary of my ancestor for 1886.  In the diary he mentions staying at the St. Belmar in Boston.  I do not see that this hotel is still around.  Can you tell me where it was in Boston?

Answer:

Reply from David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist                                                                                                                                           The Saint Belmar Hotel was located at 854 Washington Street in Boston.  It appears listed City directories as early as 1870's, and was in existence at that address into the 1920's.  From an observation of the local area the structure does not appear to be still standing.

Ask a Genealogist: A question on basic Irish research.

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Question:

If relatives are from Londonderry, do I use Irish records, English records or Northern Ireland.

Answer:

Reply from Judy Lucey, NEHGS Archivist

Thank you for your inquiry to “Ask a Genealogist”. You are trying to determine where you should begin your genealogical research concerning your Irish grandparents from Londonderry.

As you know, all genealogical research for Irish immigrants’ origins begins on this side of the Atlantic. Once you have identified a place of origin in County Londonderry, you can then use records such as church records to conduct your research. Research on Londonderry ancestors takes place within County Londonderry which is in Northern Ireland. You do not use English records unless they lived there.

Start with yourself and work back in time to your immigrant ancestors. Obtain all the information you can on them from records here and then before jumping into Irish records in Londonderry, educate yourself about how to do Irish genealogical and what to expect. I highly recommend taking a look at Claire Santry’s website, the Irish Genealogy Toolkit at http://www.irish-genealogy-toolkit.com/

If you need additional assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

Ask a Genealogist: Maine marriage rules of the 19th century.

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Question:

I am looking into the plausibility that first cousinsor first cousins once removed could have married in Waterville, Maine ca 1851.The problem is that there were two Sophie Marcoux, aunt and niece to eachother, both born in 1833. One of them was my great grandmother, married to JeanAntoine Poulin, also known as John and Tony Pooler. The other would havemarried Pierre Rancourt. At issue is the identity of Pierre Rancourt. Thereappear to be two principal possibilities, one a close cousin, and the other withno known consanguinity. In civil law of the time, could first cousins and firstcousins once removed have legally been married? 

Answer:

From Rhonda R. McClure, Genealogist

A search of the Revised Statutes ofMaine revealed first the statutes that were passed April 17, 1857,in which Title Five, Chapter 59 (p. 390) read as follows:

Sec. 1 No man shall marry hismother, grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, stepmother,grandfather's wife, son's wife, grandson's wife, wife's mother,wife's grandmother, wife's daughter, wife's granddaughter, sister,brother's daughter, sister's daughter, father's sister or mother'ssister.

Sec. 2 No woman shall marry herfather, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, grandmother'shusband, daughter's husband, granddaughter's husband, husband'sfather, husband's grandfather, husband's son, husband's grandson,brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother, or mother'sbrother.

However, since this was a few yearsafter the likely year of marriage for the couple in question, asearch for an earlier statute showed that the Revised Statutes ofMaine, passed October 22, 1840 showed the following in Title Six,Chapter 87 (p. 358):

Sec. 1 No man shall marry hismother, grandmother, daughter, grand daughter, stepmother,grandfather's wife, son's wife, grandson's wife, wife's mother,wife's daughter, wife's grand daughter, sister, brother's daughter,sister's daughter, father's sister or mother's sister.

Sec. 2 No woman shall marry herfather, grandfather, son, grandson, stepfather, grandmother'shusband, daughter's husband, grand daughter's husband, husband'sfather, husband's grandfather, husband's son, husband's grandson,brother, brother's son, sister's son, father's brother or mother'sbrother.

With the exception of the omissionof a man marrying his wife's grandmother, the two statutes wereidentical. Not clear if this was an accidental omission or if itwas a necessary change in the 17 years between the twostatutes.

It would appear though that themarriage would not have been allowed if the two individuals werefirst cousins.  The first cousins once removed do not appearto have been addressed in the statutes, which would seem toindicate that this would be acceptable.

Based on the names though it appearsthat the families in question were Catholic and consanguinity wouldhave been detailed in any church record for the marriage if it wasa question. Many Catholic marriage records have written out thepotential degree of consanguinity and anything within the fourthdegree of consanguinity was generally not allowed. According to theConsanguinity Table found here: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Table_of_Consanguinity_showing_degrees_of_relationship.png>first cousins once removed are considered to be in the fifth degreeof consanguinity and as such would be allowed.

 



 

 

Ask a Genealogist: War of 1812 ancestor discovery

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Question:

I have recently confirmed I am a 3rd great grandson of a War of 1812 veteran.  Is there an organization that is specifically concerned with War of 1812 descendants and research?

Answer:

Reply from David Allen Lambert, NEHGS Chief Genealogist

Congratulations on locating a War of 1812 veteran in your family tree.  I am certain you will find the General Society of the War of 1812 able to suit your needs.  This organization is still active and has been around since 1894.  At that time three societies merged to form the General Society. You can find out more about membership, and download a form online at: http://societyofthewarof1812.org/membership/become-a-member/

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