The back-to-school edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture is upon us. The challenge, as I understand it, is to make a research plan related to our Irish roots. The Irish side of my family is one I have not spent much time on lately, due in part to a brick wall with my ggg-grandparents. That being said, I fully accept the challenge to make a plan, and of course, follow through on it in the months to come. So...here's the plan...
Goal #1 - Figure out where in the heck my ggg-grandparents were born in Ireland. I am fairly certain that my gg-grandfather, Thomas Robert CAHILL was born in Thomastown, Kilkenny, Leinster, Ireland in 1860. As far as I can tell, his parents (my ggg-grandparents), Michael CAHILL and Anne HALE were born in Ireland probably between 1834-1838. Thomas married Margaret MILLETT, likely from Kilkenny as well. They were not married in Ireland; instead they were married in Illinois in 1887. It appears in the U.S. census data that they immigrated at different times, so I am not sure if they knew each other in Ireland or not. I also suspect that Margaret's parents, John MILLET and Mary RYAN were also born in Ireland. Following are some sources I plan to start with:
- The Master Book of Irish Surnames : Locations, Ethnic Origins, Variant Spellings & Sources by Michael C. O'Laughlin, 1993.
- Co. Kilkenny Ireland, Genealogy & Family History Notes by Michael C. O'Laughlin, 2002.
- Names of Irish Passengers to America by Michael C. O'Laughlin, 2002.
- The Birth Index of Ireland by Michael C. O'Laughlin, 2004.
- The Book of Irish Families, Great & Small by Michael C. O'Laughlin, 2002.
Goal #2 - Assuming I can uncover the mystery from Goal #1, I'd like to trace both lines further, using the same sources noted above.
Goal #3 - Find out what in the world a "dark Irish" is. I have been told I'm "dark Irish" but have no idea exactly what that means...I want to know more!
Goal #4 - Do some research on Ireland during the time period my ancestors lived there. Following are the books I plan to start with.
- The Great Hunger : Ireland 1845-1849 by Cecil Blanche Fitzgerald Woodham-Smith, 1991 (originally published in 1962).
- The Great Shame : And the Triumph of the Irish in the English-Speaking World by Thomas Keneally, 1999.
- To the Golden Door: The Story of the Irish in Ireland and America by George W. Potter, 1960.
Goal #5 - Just for fun, read the book Look What Came From Ireland by Miles Harvey, 2002.
Look for future posts reporting on my findings, challenges, and successes!
Originally posted @ my LiveJournal blog on 17 August 2008.