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Friday, January 1, 2010

Irish Genealogy Treasures

The 17th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture is a Genealogy treasure "show and tell."

Genealogists are treasure hunters of a different kind. Instead of searching for riches, we dig for information. Instead of prizing gold, we value documents - the visual proof of the life stories of families that have passed before us.

Share with us the image of and the story behind a document (or documents) that have been valuable to you during your search for an Irish branch of your family. How and where did you find these documents? What are their significance to your research and/or why are they special to you? Here's your chance to show off some of your genealogical "loot" at our online "show and tell."

The following obituary is for my second great-grandmother, Margareth “Maggie” MILLET Cahill[1].  In it, her place of birth is listed as Thomastown, Kilkenny, Ireland.  Had I not already found this information in other sources, this would have been a gold mine, as it pinpoints a specific location in Ireland to search “across the pond.”

Having obtained a location, as well as her parent’s names from her marriage license, I searched for a baptism record for Margaret using Irish Family History Foundation website [2].  I found the following extraction among the results, which seems to fit.

I am not 100% sure this is her, but it’s certainly a possibility.  First, the parents names (except the surname spelling) match the information provided on Margaret’s marriage license.  Additionally, the baptism took place in County Kilkenny.  The baptism date is also consistent with the age provided on the marriage license. 

But, according to her death certificate, and the obituary, the baptism date is too early.  The death certificate records her birth as 28 February 1865, and the age listed in the obituary is consistent with that.  Additionally, the death certificate records her father as Michael Millet and a mother unknown.  I tend to rely more on the marriage license because it was created closer to the date of birth, and the information was more than likely provided by Margaret, whereas the death certificate is a secondary source of the birth information created 79-82 years after her birth (the information was provided by her son).  Another source that aligns with the marriage license, and this baptism extraction, is the 1900 census [3], which indicates her birth month and year as January 1863.

There is still much work to be done with this family.  I have received some information from one of Margaret’s granddaughters, which is mostly consistent with other sources.  She does indicate that there has always been a discrepancy in Margaret’s date of birth.  The granddaughter only mentioned one sibling, Catherine, who stayed in Ireland.  The obituary, however, provides details for at least two additional siblings, and their locations in the U.S.  That said, the obituary is a wealth of information in that respect, which will hopefully help me to find the other siblings in the U.S. as well as research the family in Ireland.

Sources

  1. Obituary for Margaret Cahill, 8 January 1945, Beacon News (Aurora, Illinois), p. 4, col. 4-5. 
  2. Margaret MILOT, "Rothe House," database, Irish Family History Foundation (http://kilkenny.brsgenealogy.com/search.php)
  3. 1900 U.S. census population schedule, Aurora Ward 3, Kane, Illinois, enumeration district (ED) 68, sheet 9B, p. 18, dwelling 209, family 222; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T623. 


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1 comment:

hummer said...

These are true treasures. Aren't obituaries wonderful! Thank you for sharing research resources for Irish birth records.

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