January 2009February 2009March 2009April 2009May 2009June 2009July 2009August 2009September 2009October 2009November 2009January 2010
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.
If relatives are from Londonderry, do I use Irish records, English records or Northern Ireland.
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.
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.
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/