Monday, 25 July 2011

It's still July!

Well, this is a bit better..............I had intended to post every couple of days, but this last month or so have just been so busy or I've not been well! The latest hurdle to get over was conor's 10th birthday party............all up there were 10 children aged 9 or 10 years old, running around our little was a good day though! I had the party time set for between 1 and 4 pm...............the last of the kids left at 4:30pm and I collapsed on the couch - I didn't wake up until almost 10pm!!
Now thats over, I can concentrate on more of the Donegal research. Today I was checking on the status of some books I've ordered - I use EBay,, and Alibris to do a periodical search on any new or old books which have become available and which I can afford! Occassionally the price is just too high, which is when I resort to the library for an inter library loan - I can then have the book for a month and scan the sections I want from it.............that was the case with 'In Praise of Ulster' which I've just finished scanning. Sometimes people have copies of books I am after and although they won't part with them, they offer to copy/scan the book so I can have a copy until I do find one to buy. Colleen did that today with one book I've been after for ages - yay!
I seem to be stuck on Killaghtee parish these last 2 weeks..............not stuck, as in don't know what to do next - stuck in that whatever I do, I always wind up back doing something on Killaghtee! I completely stumbled across Brid Ward's excellent book on St John's Point, then I had some email queries about different families from that parish.............then I was learning and playing some tunes from 'A Dossan of Heather' - Irish traditional music from Packie Manus comes with a cd, so where I can't read the score well enough to get the tune, I can listen to it on the cd! I have Packie's book 'Recollections of a Donegal Man' so, I thought I'd have the cd playing, while I read some of it sarts with an Introduction and the 4th paragraph says that Packie was born in Corkermore, 'in the parish of Killybegs, ten miles or so inland from that picturesque fishing port'...........hmmmm, Corkermore...........Corker More? I drag out the maps and consult my townlands database.............yes, there it is - Corker More, Killaghtee Parish! It is right where it's shown to be in the book, but it is part of Killaghtee Parish. THIS is what I mean about being stuck on Killaghtee parish, and no doubt, I will soon have more emails for other Killaghtee families, or I will be doing something totally unconnected to Killaghtee - and end up right back there again. I DO have alot I should be working on for Killaghtee - there's graveyards (inscriptions and photos) to add, and more beside that.
Well, I will make a start and link Packie Manus to a place on my main Killaghtee page - under people to start with, with a link to Roger Millington Publishing, which has a website dedicated to Packie and his works in both stories and music.
Before that, I need to see to an's the kind that make me go 'grrrrrr' and not many things can do that. Its along the lines of 'I saw you have my great grandparents names on your website. You may link my name to them.' and 'I'm researching Gallagher from Donegal', or 'John Gallagher and Mary Sweeney are my ancestors.' No please, thankyous and really, I'm not even told exactly what they want me to do! These emails are short, one line emails, without any clue for me to know who the heck they're talking about or even the parish involved - sometimes not even the names of the ancestors..........ho hummmm...........
Never a dull moment!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

What an interesting month.............

Not! Everyone (except me, for a change) managed to get a cold, so there were runny noses and the misery of sniffles and temperatures for me to see to. I don't think there was a day for a fortnight that I didn't have one or other of my boys under foot all day - but they were all good patients at least! Then the inevitable - they all got well and returned to work and school, while I have been laid low with a doozy of a cold! And who is here to look after me?? Hmmm - well, they did point out that by NOT being here, they were in a way 'helping' - and they are right! At least when they were all out of the house, I could rest for a while - no dramas to see to for Liam, no questions to answer for Conor, and no dogs let out or doors left open by my husband.
It did mean that I have fallen way behind with all the updates and projects I have for my website, and emails are piling up............I will get to them soon though - just need my get up and go to show up!
I have enjoyed collecting a few new books these past weeks, and I've spent some time on the dog licence registers too. One thing about them - I find it amazing that anyone in Donegal, in the 1850s and 60s, could have kept a Newfoundland! I expected to see terriers, collies, and curs, but Mastiffs and Newfoundlands were a surprise! In 1866 in Seaview, Ardara, John Hamilton kept one, as did Rev John McAuley over in Kilross, Rev Richard Smyth at the Killea Rectory, William McCormick Esq of Mason Lodge, Pat Glackin of Ballyhaskey, and Thomas Barry of Grange, to name a few..............there were also half breed Newfoundlands - Thomas Magee of Aghasheil being just one.
Newfoundlands were originally bred and used as a working dog for fishermen in the Dominion of Newfoundland, now part of Canada. They are known for their giant size, tremendous strength, calm dispositions, and loyalty. Newfoundland dogs excel at water rescue/lifesaving due to their muscular build, thick double coat, webbed feet, and innate swimming abilities. They weigh about 160 pounds and can stand 30 inches tall!
Well, there will be more tomorrow - hopefully i'm back on track with the blog now!!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Where did the days go?

Well, this is what happens when you're me.......I run out of puff/energy and there's nothing much I can do until I've rested. I've been back and forth, been prodded and poked, by both my heart specialist and my local GP over the last week. Still breathing though, so I can't compain - too much!
It's why I have a note on my main website page - that I can't do research for anyone.............I can't help myself sometimes though, especially if I get a query which is interesting or a challenge...........better chance of a timely response from me if its a really easy query though! I do feel bad sometimes, for people who send me an email and have to wait forever for a reply..............I know what it's like, to decide to email a query about my family to someone, then wait and wait for some reply. If I could, I would answer all the queries!
I have so much going at the moment - I'm still working on pages for the Ballymanus mine tragedy and Mary from Dungloe.............I have two graveyards that need attention too - St Anne's in Killult and Frosses graveyard near Inver. And, as usual, my email inbox is filling up! I figure I might get through those from the last couple of days today though!
I did get to some good info on O'Sullivans..........and I did get notices online for Eva's new book 'A Cottage in Donegal, Mary Doherty's Story'. Bernie sent some new photos and I got some of a Brenan graveslab in the Old Glenties graveyard off to Angela............
I got a nice email from someone who wanted to make a donation to my website - I'd found and photographed some family headstones in Killult and Old Ray last year. Just to offer is payment enough...............besides, I had fun finding those graves. What an adventure it turned out to be, that day! First there was the problem of finding St Anne's............the lady at the petrol station pointed and said to just go 'doon the brae', turn left and there you'd be. Doon the brae?? My hsuband and I just looked at each other then drove in the direction she'd pointed, until we could make a left turn. The 'road' we turned onto was lined on both sides by tall hedges and was barely the width of our car, even though it was a two-way road..............not sure what we'd have done had we met anyone travelling in the opposite direction! We almost missed the church too - we found it as a glimpse of an old iron gate in a break in the hedge.
Next stop was the Old Ray site - with that ancient cross...............I could have spent all day there!

My husband was busy taking video in and around it, and I was busy trying not to break my neck/legs in the undergrowth, which hid headstones, graveslabs and goodness know what else! Why on earth is that vegetation called UNDERgrowth?? If anything, it should be refered to as was up to my chest in places!
Anyway, the boys were occupied with a donkey in a paddock opposite the site - it came running/trotting up to them from the bottom of a long paddock............

Conor and the donkey
That reminds me - I don't think I have a page online for Old Ray! I'll add that to my things to do today!
Anyway, where was I? The email offering a donation............I probably would have gone to those sites anyway, but the main thing is, it was such an enjoyable time had by all of us, it just dosn't seem right to be paid for it as well!
Now, I think this will do for now................I could probably sit and waffle to myself a wee bit longer, but there's beer bread baking and the smell of it is making me hungry! Time to stoke up on some energy so I can get back here and see to things Donegal.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Another day.............another find!

So, in between yelling at the kids to get ready for school, I duck into my shed in the backyard.........its a lovely little shed with white walls, a red roof, red doors and a wee verandah over a small deck...........somewhere where I can hide out with my computer and research.
There are some new emails............Rachel wants help with her Murphy grandfather who is supposed to have been from Inch, Donegal - I check the Griffith's first, but find no Murphys in that I check the census............maybe Charley Murphy, a 35 yr old 'milk server' in Skeog is her man - he looks to have moved on to Carrowreagh by 1911 - he's still a 'milk server' but has only aged 4 years. Must find out what a 'milk server' was. I head to Google next and search for Murphy family Inch Donegal - somehow I end up on a page called the Cassidys of County Donegal - Legowney in Donegal parish features, so I check to see if I have transcribed that census I'll add that to things to do today. I have alot in the way of RC baptisms in that area, so once the census is transcribed, I will start looking in the records for anything on that family.
Somehow I get both boys to their schools, then I'm back to do a bit around the house and to see to the dogs and cat - they're after their breakfast and they can't be ignored...............Doogan is a 3 yr old Irish Wolfhound, and a BIG one at that, Too is a Giant Schnauzer, and the sweetest, funniest, smartest, naughtiest dog I've ever owned.............lording over those two(and the rest of the hosue really) is Biddy - a common black and white cat with 13 years under her belt, but spritley enough that she'll chase both dogs and sort them out if they give her any grief!
Now back to the email is in from Angela, with an update on a Kilteevoge family..............and something rings a bell with that one - for years, my cousin Fr Frank McHugh (a twice retired RC Priest in Donegal - but still actively 'employed'!) had mentioned a connection between our Gallaghers from Galwollie and a family of Arnolds.............I'd never been able to find any connection in the records I have but here is Angela with info that Daniel McGlinchey and Bridget Gallagher of Meenbog, had a daughter Mary b 1879 in Galwollie - this Mary married Edward Arnold of Kiltyfergal...............oh my..............time to hit the registers and also compose an email to Fr Frank..................
Jonathan in Christchurch has emailed to say he received his folder this morning - I'd sent it back to him after he gave it to me last friday. I am working on a project on Mary from Dungloe and found Jonathan, who is desended from Mary's sister Annie............the folder has old photos and some great info on the family - Mary, 2 brothers and 2 sisters, emigrated to New Zealand and they all settled around Patutahi, up on the North Island, between 1876-1884 - the new page is coming along great now! I asked Jonathan how things were down there - we'd had a strong earhtquake yesterday, which was caused by an earthquake in Christchurch - they got a 6.3 mag shake, which has caused even more damage to that lovely city. He's okay, thank goodness!
There's emails from Annie and Meg checking on me after that earthquake damage here - just a few frazzled nerves.
Janice has some queries about perambulation books (they're pre 1857 Griffith's Valuation), so there's a reply to be done to explain what those books are, and Jo has popped up with some info on the Browne's from Galwollie, who married into my Gallaghers..................
Paddy McBrearty has sent me a photo of a graveslab in Kilcar, newly uncovered - needed help with figuring out the name on the slab............its really old - looks to me like the name is Hugh McCally, who died 11 Jun 1788 aged 67 years.............his wife died 1778 aged in her 50's, but frustratingly, she is not named - just 'his wife died........"! I wandered that graveyard in the rain last July - its a really interesting site, very very old, on the brow of the hill looking down on Kilcar...............Paddy wrote a book which was published last year and I have a copy here...........if you're interested in that southern area of Donegal, see if you can find a copy of 'Bridging the Ages'
Now, there'd something else I shoudl be seeing to too - ahhh, Dunmore in Mevagh - Liam is after some info...........he's a photographer - Liam Sweeney Photography
Ooooh - Eva has published her book - A Cottage in Donegal, Mary Doherty's Story - must get that linked to my Books page............and update the Clonca and Carndonagh census for that family!
Hmmm.......starting to lose the plot now - there are even more emails this afternoon and I don't think I will be able to respond to them all - there is one I could work on - it involves O'Donnells and McFaddens in Drumnasharragh, Gartan parish.
Time for a break - and then I'll be back to see if I can get some more done tonight - wish me luck!

Monday, 13 June 2011

The birth of my Blog

I've been considering doing a blog to go along with my website - Donegal Genealogy Resources - for a while now..........maybe some people would be interested in how it got it's start back in 1998............and maybe some would be interested in what I'm up to on a daily (or semi daily) basis, when it comes to answering queries, updating the website and adding new content.
So? Where did it start and why?
It all started when I wanted a good way to organise my research - I had folders of stuff and piles of papers and books, but it took so long to find anything................I discovered how to at least get a start on a website through Freepages, part of - I was subscribed to a couple of Donegal Lists at the time and they led me to this website thingy...............I got to work and in short order, there were pages on Gartan parish townlands and some in Templecrone - specifically Stramore and Augullies, where my gr gr grandparents were from.
As time went on, I collected more and more records to do with those parishes - civil, church, land and maps - pretty much anything I could lay my hands on. They included info on not only my places of interest, but of surrounding townlands and parishes................what to do? They were in the public domain, I had them, and if I was to do nothing with them, they would end up on a shelf to gather dust! Figuring that others would be having as hard a time as I was, accessing records, I got to work transcribing the records I thought could be of help to other people.
Soon after I started adding those new records, people were contacting me and offering their transcriptions of records, as well as photographs, passenger lists and information on various families.
The rest they say, is history - from a start of a few pages, the website now has close to 2,800!
And, the people I have 'met'! Berni at the Donegal County Library, Bernie in Momeen, Bernie in Derry, Meg in Bartlesville (love that name!), Cass in the US, Angela in Glasgow, Len in Australia, Boyd near Lifford, Margaret in Laghy, Muriel in Church Hill, PJ in Gweedore, Michael in the US, Michael in Derry.................and sadly, I've lost a few really lovely people -
John 'Sean' O'Donnell (RIP 2008)
James (Jim) Doran (RIP 2008)
Jack Herron (RIP 2010)
So that's a bit of background................the rest of my posts will be on my daily doings with the website!