Thursday, October 16, 2008

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture

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!

This post was written for the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture hosted by Small-leaved Shamrock.

Originally posted @ my LiveJournal blog on 17 August 2008.



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