This blog is back!

I abandoned this blog for awhile and tried blogging at Blogger instead. I wanted to try a different platform. I discovered that I get more engagement and activity at WordPress, even when I’m not actively updating.

So now I’m back. I updated the Hegarty page and moved the links to a Resources page. It’s good to be home.

Irish census conundrum

I thought I had found my great-great-grandmother Ellen Cronin Hegarty in the 1911 census, living with her widower son-in-law Michael Phipps. Her age was mistranscribed, but I opened the image of the page and she was 67. She is listed as single with no children, and her role in the family is scrawled unclearly, but what other elderly Ellen Hegarty would be living with this man who wasn’t his mother-in-law?

However, I found that census entry by searching through the images at Ireland’s National Archives site. Since then, the 1911 Irish census has been indexed at Ancestry.com. Ancestry’s search turned up another 1911 census image for an Ellen Hegarty who is a 67-year-old widow sharing a house with someone, still working as a housekeeper, and the mother of 15 children of whom 5 survive. That sounds like it fits my actual ancestor much better. She is also living on the same street as someone who might be her son.

But if this new independent housekeeper person is my great-great-grandmother, then who is the Ellen Hegarty living with the Phipps? Could it possibly be Michael Phipps’s late wife’s maiden aunt, and that scrawl is for “Aunt”?  What did widows and maiden aunts tend to do in 1911 in Cork?

And why is Ancestry’s index finding things that I didn’t find in my fairly methodical searching?

It needs more looking into but it’s late at night so I will wait until I am fresh.

I am mostly posting this so I will remember what my thinking was when I return to this problem.

Friday links

What you missed if you missed my brief sojourn at Tumblr: not much – plus a Friday link

Ancestry has their Sticky Notes blog on Tumblr, but microblogging just didn’t seem to fit with genealogy blogging for me. In my head, my blog is the chatty current front matter to the family history information I put on separate pages. Tumblr has pages but the blogstream is completely separate from them; no one even sees your pages unless they leave the Tumblr stream and go directly to your blog. It’s easy to forget that Tumblr pages exist. Tumblr also has complicated and confusing commenting. So I’ve returned to Blogger.

My ongoing Blogger issues: I am in the process of updating my family history pages from my old WordPress blog; the pages area will populate eventually. I’ve started linking to PDFs of my research on each family because it’s easier to update my research document with all its footnotes than it is to update a webpage and figure out the formatting workarounds. I have chosen to stick with Blogger comments for now rather than turning on Google+ comments because G+ comments require all commenters to have G+ accounts, and I’m not sure everyone does.  [ Edit, Nov. 2013: I have abandoned Blogger and returned to WordPress, so the struck-thru comments are no longer accurate.]
My Friday link is an old (2001) but interesting essay about the myth of the “Black Irish” by T. P. Kunesh. I got a comment on Tumblr where someone (perhaps from Ireland?) said they had never heard this term. I heard it many times growing up in Boston. It was used to refer to people of Irish descent with black hair. The Spanish Armada myth was invoked. Very often, the term was used jestingly to refer to a racial situation, such as a Black person with an Irish surname or a Black person patronizing an Irish bar.  I like the article at the link because it talks about the survival of cultural memories in an otherwise fairly nonsensical term.

One brick wall down; new brick wall installed

You win some, you lose some. I’m in the process of writing up what I know of the Hegarty family history in Register style. I’m finding the process really helpful in establishing what I do and don’t know, what I do and don’t have sources for. Already I have made some changes. When I have my new Hegarty outline done I’ll post it up in place of the now outdated history that’s up there on the sidebar, and then start on the other lines.

I think I was wrong about the link to the Fitzgeralds. In reality, I don’t know where John Hegarty was born and I don’t feel comfortable narrowing it any further than County Cork in general, so I really can’t seek him in a particular parish marriage record. During this time period people were moving into Cork City in large numbers due to the famine, and just because someone was married or baptized a child in a Cork City parish doesn’t mean they were born in that parish as well.

This same new understanding expanded my search for Cronins. I found Ellen Cronin mis-transcribed in the 1911 census of Ireland, and the census provided her age. I calculated back to her birthdate and did a search of baptismal records for Ellen Cronins born in 1844 with a father named Cornelius, and there was only one! Married to a Foley — so I have a new ancestor. I’m not guaranteeing I have everything right yet, but I feel like I have made headway by working the census alongside the baptismal records.

In other research news, I tried out the new FamilySearch family tree wiki but I don’t like it. Too much clicking! It throws up potential matches from other people or records, but the majority of the matches are not actually matches and each requires two clicks to dismiss. When one record had 99 matches, I decided I didn’t want to work that hard for FamilySearch.