The latest Ancestry.com newsletter featured a great article by Juliana Smith on their new collection of Irish Catholic parish registers, which are said to be digitized versions of holdings at the National Library of Ireland. I am pleased to have these records as an integrated database and have already located a great-grandfather in them, but the fact is that I had already found the identical record at the Irish government’s free Irish Genealogy site.
I would love to see a clarification of the relationship between these two sets of records, both apparently emerging in digital format under the aegis of a government initiative. Are they the same collection? Or do they just overlap? I thought the Irish Genealogy site was stalled in its digitization project due to the economic problems in Ireland. The site says it anticipates adding more records on October 4th, which is almost as exciting to me as the new iPhone release
In a related point of interest, the Irish Times reports that the National Library of Ireland is making legal inquiries into the release of these Irish records on the UK branch of Ancestry.com, with concerns that there are copyright violations. The report says that a private company digitized the records on behalf of the library. Is this private company by any chance the company Irish Genealogy Ltd. that is mentioned on the government’s Irish Genealogy site? Because that would imply that these are the same set of digitized records, wouldn’t it?
I don’t know if these are good questions or stupid questions, because I feel like I am just beginning to learn how to research Irish ancestors. Smith’s article links to the Irish Ancestors site sponsored by the Irish Times newspaper. She was linking specifically because the site reflects John Grenham’s work on civil parishes versus Catholic parishes. But the site also features a surname search, with links to surname histories, bibliographies, and link lists.
Naturally I typed my surnames Hegarty and Costigan into the little search box. Imagine my surprise when I found the Irish Times site linking to me! And not even to this site but to my now defunct Earthlink site. I was so disheartened; it is like when Ancestry.com tells you there are new hints but the hints are only people who have linked back to you. I don’t know whether to email the Irish Times and give them my new URL or not. I don’t feel I am an expert, but apparently no one else is researching these names — or if they are, they’re not doing it online. (N.B.: There is another Costigan researcher listed — she is my 3rd cousin with whom I traveled to Newfoundland. The other Hegarty researcher is working on the Donegal branch, not only not mine, but a whole different region.)
An unrelated linkage note: Now that Google+ is open to everyone, I am there. There are a lot of genealogists networking on Google+, though I also use it for academic stuff. Feel free to follow me!
Galore by Michael Crummey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Galore combines history and folktales with a bit of magical realism to tell the fantastic and cryptic stories of several generations in a fictionalized Newfoundland outport called Paradise Deep. I loved how this book created a sense of tradition all around the eruptions of the weird. The characters were great. The dialogue was perfect. The writing was beautiful.
I am working on a genealogical/family history project tracing Newfoundland ancestors, and I felt like the specific issues I see there show up here in this novel, so maybe that made it more plausible for me: all the religious rivalry, the disowning, the shunning, the interwoven families. The melodrama of personal feuds in a small isolated village is intense in reality, and intense in this book. Crummey grounds everything in a detailed historical sense of place, so that the beliefs and actions of the characters are seen in their context of extreme deprivation and poverty.
For all of that, there’s a lot of humor, even when it’s dark humor, but I think that’s cultural too.
View all my reviews
1. You may recall that in March someone complained about Hegarty inaccuracies, specifically that Hanora Hegarty (b. 1878, Cork City) had not married but had instead perished in the Titanic disaster. However, that unfortunate Nora is a different person who was born in 1894 and lived in Whitechurch, not Cork City. So that’s one question settled.
2. A new question arises about Ellen Cronin (b. 1852) who married Michael Hegarty. I have very solid evidence for her place in my tree: family narratives, her marriage registration, and baptism records for her children. However, someone on Ancestry.com has contacted me to inquire because they have the same woman married to an Ahearn in the same parish, complete with marriage record and baptism records for the subsequent Ahearn kids. It’s not a second marriage because my Ellen Cronin is still having little Hegartys after the Ahearn/Cronin marriage date. So, it seems that there were two Ellen Cronins with fathers named Cornelius living in the same parish at the same time. Right now I don’t have enough information to resolve the question so I am just placing a big question mark here for now.
3. Also in the Hegarty tree is Julia Foster (1898-1977) who married William Libby. They are listed in the 1930 census in Dedham, Massachusetts, but I didn’t know anything more about William Libby. Well, the “hints” function on Ancestry.com pointed me at the 1920 census too, where they are listed as the family of William Lebowitz. William shows up with his Hungarian parents in the 1900 census in Utica, NY as Wolf Leborvitch. So that’s why there weren’t any Libbys showing up; “melting pot” name changes.
I’ve been cleaning up some sloppy citations I made to the records of St. Finbar’s South Church in Cork, Ireland. St. Finbar’s South, dating back to 1766, claims to be the oldest Catholic church in Cork which is still in use. The church is famous for a marble sculpture by John Hogan of Dead Christ, which is installed under the altar.
St. Finbar's South (Wikimedia Commons)
This was Hogan’s most famous statue, and he made three versions of it. There was the one above in Cork, another one in Dublin, and the last one is in, of all places, St. John’s Basilica in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Basilica of St. John the Baptist, St. John's, Newfoundland (Wikimedia Commons)
I have records of both churches in my files, and I like that they’re also linked by this sculpture.
From my scant Wikipedia reading, it seems that these sculptures were highly valued during a 19th-century boom in church building following the upheaval of Catholic emancipation.
Lately I’ve been experiencing a disquieting little glitch when using my generally lovable Reunion software. Source citations are attaching themselves to facts in an apparently random manner. For example, I will look at a family in the 1890s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I will click on the citation number to see what my source was for that date of birth. I am expecting a census, or maybe a Massachusetts vital record. Instead I get a Newfoundland town directory. I recognize the Newfoundland town directory, which is a source for a completely different family not even related to the one under consideration.
Of course I delete the Newfoundland town directory from the record as it’s the wrong source, but now my date of birth lacks any source at all.
Did it have a source and somehow the source numbers got swapped around? Is there a Newfoundland family linked to a Massachusetts census? Or did my Massachusetts person never have a proper source for date of birth and somehow a record was randomly attached?
The first time I saw this I thought it was user error; that I must have clicked the wrong thing when adding sources. That is still a possibility. But now that I’ve seen it three or four times, I’m getting a little worried about the integrity of my source list. The only thing I’ve done differently of late was to sync the Reunion database to the Reunion iPad application. However, I haven’t done any real researching with the iPad. I doubt I’ve made any changes at all to the source list on the iPad, so I don’t think it’s a syncing problem.
I don’t know what it is and there are no references to similar issues on the Reunions website or chat forum.
I would love to know if anyone has run across this. I wish I knew whether it was a software bug or whether I’m doing something wrong when I input and link sources. I don’t really want to switch software because otherwise I have Reunion all set up the way I like it.
A few updates were made to the Hegarty, Murphy, and Gaule pages.