Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Coffin Plate Database
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
An interesting notice about social customs in Massachusetts in 1749. Apparently if a man married a widow, he was excempt from her previous debts if she married him while barefoot and wearing only her nightgown.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
An interesting 1857 ad for coffins and coffin plates. offin plates are decorative adornments attached to the coffin that contain free genealogical information like the name and death date of the deceased.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
The membership of the society is soliciting the aid of the descendants of families buried in this cemetery during the 1800s. Many of the earliest graves, dating prior to the Civil War, have missing markers.
30 burials have been identified so far and will be recorded on a monument. Anyone knowing additional names of those buried there will be able to have those names engraved on the monument.
Email email@example.com for more information or to provide a name
Monday, December 07, 2009
Wreaths Across America is a tradition that began 18 years ago in Maine to recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families. It has since spread across the country to include more than 400 national cemeteries, as well as 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil and several locations in Iraq.
Continue reading about Wreaths Across America
Sunday, December 06, 2009
View names of those buried in the Ooltewah Cemetery
A to K and L to Z
Friday, October 30, 2009
But this week, as park workers dug below Washington Square they revealed his gravestone, a three foot sandstone tablet buried so long ago that it’s a wonder the writing on his headstone is still so clear.
Read More About James Jackson
Friday, October 23, 2009
Ask Olive Tree Blog
Monday, October 12, 2009
Death Reports of American Citizens Abroad includes records of the U.S.
consular officers that reported to the Department of State the names
of U.S. citizens who died within their consular districts. These death
reports commonly provide acceptable documentation in the English
language for cases in which satisfactory proof of an American death
might be very difficult to obtain in any other form.
You might also want to consult the
Ancestor Death Record Finder to help you in your
search for an ancestor's death.
The free death records on AncestorsAtRest.com include Coffin Plates, Funeral
Cards, Obituaries, Cemetery records and more.
Monday, September 21, 2009
If you want to take a look at all the coffin plates on Ancestors At Rest try the Coffin Plate Index
Friday, September 18, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
There are no markers, no fences, nothing to indicate it’s a cemetery except a few places where the ground has sunken in a little.
“I wouldn’t have known it was a cemetery,” said Mitch Adams, a senior GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technician for Whitfield County. “I only know it’s one because Marvin (Sowder) told me it was and because there are indentations in the ground.” Sowder is a local history enthusiast.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Sunday, September 06, 2009
This is an interesting group of memorial cards for the Berger family. I had a look around to see if I could locate this family but was unable to pin them down. I did find a Joseph Berger living in Miamisburg, Montgomery, Ohio in 1900. It would take a little more work to see if this is the family we are looking for.
1900 United States Federal Census
Birth Date: Jan 1838
Immigration Year: 1848
Relationship to Head of House: Head
Father's Birthplace: Germany
Mother's Birthplace: Germany
Marital Status: Widowed
Residence : Miamisburg City, Montgomery, Ohio
Household Members: Name Age
Joseph Berger 62
Ernest Berger 16
Sometimes people refer to this type of memorial card as a funeral card. This is not strictly correct as a funeral card was generally a small card that contained information on the funeral of an individual. I have lots more funeral and memorial cards on Ancestors At Rest.com
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Old Abraham was aged 81 years 8 mos 26 dys when he passed on. No date on this coffin plate but I would say it is from about 1870 to about 1890.
If you want to see all the coffin plates in the index go to the Coffin Plates Page
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
The mysterious, long-forgotten Lemon City cemetery unearthed by construction crews earlier this year will likely be preserved as a historical monument to the pioneering black Miamians who were buried there in the early 20th century.
The developers' decision to preserve the burial ground came after researchers found historical confirmation of the previously unknown cemetery's existence in a 1941 book published by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a government agency set up as part of President Franklin Roosevelt's response to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Continue reading the full story
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
Of particular note is the number of victims of yellow fever, which struck the city most severely in 1878. Half the populace fled Memphis and at the height of the disease that summer, 200 people died per day.
Over 1,000 Civil War soldiers are buried in the cemetery, as are former politicians, blues singers and criminals.
Read more about Elmwood Cemetery
Friday, August 14, 2009
Genealogists have 4 more days to explore World Vital Records and find ancestors for FREE.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The late Doris Hardisty who passed away early on Saturday morning November 1st was a student in Form IV A and her death cast a mantle of gloom over the studen body of the Collegiate. When we remember her attractive personality and the great promise of her life, her death is particularly sad. in school and school activities, in Church, in Young Peoples' organizations, she is greatly missed.
A search of the Death Records on Ancestry.com revealed that Doris died of acute peritonitis after an operation in Guelph General Hospital (Ontario Canada). Gangrene set in and Doris died at the age of 16 years and 10 months. She was the daughter of Ernest Edward Hardisty and Lily Burton, both born England.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Ruth Stone 1782~1863
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Naked, beheaded, and tangled, the bodies of 51 young men—their heads stacked neatly to the side—have been found in a thousand-year-old pit in southern England. Read More
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
St.Andrews Presbyterian Cemetery
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Townland of Minmore
I also have the following Townlands done.
People from the Fitzwilliam Estate in Wicklow that went to Ontario Canada.
Aghold Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Ardoyne Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Ballykelly Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Boley Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolattin Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolboy Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolboy Lower Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolkenna Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Coolroe Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Cronelea Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Cronyhorn Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Kilcavan Townland County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Kilquiggin and Quigginroe Townlands County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Knockatomcoyle Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Larragh Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Minmore Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Monaghullen Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Park, Coolruss and Drummin Townlands County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
Raheengraney Townland, County Wicklow in 1839. A census substitute.
You can see them at Ireland Genealogy
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
This is a photo of my Great Grandfather John Massey at work in the Maxwell Factory in St.Marys Ont. John is the guy in the middle with the funny look on his face. I am told he was a bit of a clown at times so the photo would seem to back that up. I think the photo was taken around 1920.
You can have a look at the coffin plate of Alexander Cameron 1806 ~ 1889 at Alexander Cameron
If you are interested in looking at the index to all the coffin plates on AncestorsAtRest.com just go to the Coffin Plate Index
Thursday, July 09, 2009
St.Johns Anglican Cemetery
If you are interested in other Simcoe County Ontario Cemetery records try Simcoe County Ontario
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The area was once the site of a Roman Catholic cemetery where between 40,000 and 50,000 people were buried.
A number of bodies were moved to Notre-dame-des neiges cemetery when the downtown burial site closed in mid 1850s, but some of the bodies are still there.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Ann-Marie Collins, archivist at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, confirmed that McDonald's grave marker had been missing from the old cemetery along the banks of the Saugeen River.
"It's just amazing that this stone has been found," she said. "There has been one other stone turn up in my time at the Bruce County museum, that's eight years now, and we're still trying to place it."
No one has been buried in the old Southampton graveyard for more than a century, and McDonald would have been interred there in its last 10 years of operation, Collins said.
He was only 46 years old when he died of "brain fever" on April 6, 1890. Collins first caught wind of a possible Bruce County link yesterday morning from a Simcoe County museum staffer. Further investigation verified it. Collins obtained a copy of the cemetery interment records and McDonald's date of death matched.
Several phone calls were received from people who subscribe to Ancestry.com saying that McDonald was from Southampton along the shores of Lake Huron.
... Continue reading
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Mel Blank, a Scrabble Headstone, Hippies, Computer Geeks and more....
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
If you want to see the coffin plate of Lucy Andrews or take a look at the index of over 500 coffin plates go to Coffin Plates
Monday, June 01, 2009
But one nagging question remains for Barry Smith: Will anyone from Canada come forward to bring her home?
Read more about Gladys Winifred Fowler who was only 18 when she died in 1917.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I have added a link to this valuable Missouri resource on my Death Records page on Ancestors At Rest.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
St.John Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
One last thing: It’s a cemetery, one that comes with 6,500 filled graves.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Restlawn Memorial Park Cemetery
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I just found a cool site for photographs. It is called Images Ontario and it is just great. I have all ready found some of my ancestors and am just getting started. I don't know how long the site has been online but I think its great.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
I have many early St. Marys lines and thought it would be fun to have a place to talk to others with ancestors in St.Marys.
Pioneers Of St. Marys, Perth County Ontario 1840~1860.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
If you are interested in sending a little bit of yourself into the future you may be interested in a series of articles on the Olive Tree Genealogy Blog called Making a Genealogy Time Capsule.
Just think how fantastic it would be if a hundred or perhaps a thousand years from now archaeologists were to find a time capsule full of information about you and your family.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009
The "millefiori" dish (a thousand flowers), believed to date from around the 2nd to 3rd century A.D., is a mosaic of hundreds of indented blue petals with white bordering.
"For it to have survived intact is amazing. In fact, it is unprecedented in the western Roman world," said Jenny Hall, curator of the Roman collection at the Museum of London.
The artifact was found 2.5 to 3 meters (yards) down at a sprawling ancient cemetery in Aldgate, east London, just beyond the old city walls. Romans were required by law to bury their dead outside the city gates.
It formed part of a cache of grave goods found close to a wooden container holding the ashes of a probably wealthy Roman citizen from the ancient imperial outpost of Londinium, now mostly hidden beneath modern-day London.
Continue reading Unique Roman glass dish found at London grave site
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Radiocarbon dating suggests that the man died in the fourth century. He was interred in a shallow scoop in a flexed position, on his left side.
The man, aged 26–35 years, suffered from iron deficiency anaemia during childhood and at 162 centimetres (5ft 4in), was a shorter height than average for Roman males.
The first known case of TB in Britain is from the Iron Age (300 BC) but cases in the Roman period are fairly rare, and largely confined to the southern half of England. TB is most frequent from the 12th century AD in England when people were living in urban environments. So the skeleton may provide crucial evidence for the origin and development of the disease in this country.
Continue Reading Roman York Skeleton Could Be Early TB Victim
ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 30, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2008/09/080916101038.htm
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Photos are now online for:
- Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cemetery, Ethelbert
- Riverview Cemetery, Kamsack
- Light Cemetery
- Old Richmond Cemetery
- Fairview Cemetery
- Sherman Cemetery
- Wallace Cemetery
- Delmage / Little Methodist Cemetery
- Herald Angel Anglican Church Cemetery
- Lakeshore Cemetery
- Littlewood Cemetery
- Melrose United Cemetery
- Mount Pleasant Cemetery Sections D & S
- St Peter's Cemetery
- Johnson Cemetery
- Port Dover
- St John's Anglican Church Cemetery
- Windham Centre Cemetery
- Woodhouse United / Old Methodist Cemetery
- Free Methodist Church Cemetery
- Hamilton Cemetery Section T
- St George's Anglican Cemetery
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
and volunteers are restoring dozens of historic Jewish cemeteries.
But in Shanghai, there are none to restore.
The four cemeteries that once served this city's small but prosperous
Jewish community disappeared in the late 1960s during China's Cultural
Revolution. The sites were paved over to build a factory, park, hotel
and Muslim cemetery, their history forgotten.
Israeli photojournalist Dvir Bar-Gal is trying to change that.
While the cemeteries may be gone, since 2001 Bar-Gal has made it his
mission to track down as many of the original headstones as possible.
He has located 85 and hopes to use them in a memorial to Shanghai's
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Sunday, April 05, 2009
The latest batch of 100 obits can be found at Sedgwick County Kansas obits
To see all my obits try the Obit Records Page
Saturday, April 04, 2009
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Lewis and Thomas King were brothers born in Wenhaston Suffolk England to parents James King and Hannah Blanden aka Blanding. In October 1830 when Lewis was 37 and Thomas was 34, the brothers joined a group of men and sailed from England to New York. According to written histories, the men arrived in November 1830.
Read More About From England to Arkell
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
See the coffin plate of Adam Wilkin
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Permelia A Grovesteen Coffin Plate
Sunday, March 15, 2009
An archaeological dig near Venice has unearthed the 16th-century remains of a woman with a brick stuck between her jaws - evidence, experts say, that she was believed to be a vampire.
Read More About The Vampire Of Venice
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
I am still geting the new grave photos on line and it will most likely take me the rest of the day to finish.
You can see what I have online so far at St Ann's cemetery
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Sunday, March 01, 2009
You can see the Coffin Plate of
Hannah Herbert on Ancestors At Rest.com
Saturday, February 28, 2009
I dont know who this Mary was but she may have been from North Providence, Providence, Rhode Island.
Monday, February 23, 2009
The topic for the premier edition of the Graveyard Rabbits carnival is "exceptional finds. So I thought I would share my 3 favorite coffin plates from my collection. I started my collection of coffin plates after my mother gave me one that had been handed down in our family for over 100 years.
For those of you that are unfamiliar with the subject. Coffin plates are decorative adornments attached to the coffin that contain genealogical information like the name and death date of the deceased. Generally made of a soft metal like lead, pewter, silver, brass, copper, zinc or tin. The different metals reflect the different functions of the plates, or the status and wealth of the deceased.
In North America in the 1840s the practice of removing the plates from the coffin before burial as mementos started to become common. This practice was particularly popular in the North Eastern United States, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The farther you get from the Northeastern U.S. the less common the practice becomes. This practice peaked in the late 19th century (1880~1899) and by the 1920s it had all but stopped.
I have many coffin plates in my collection, several hundred in fact, but my 3 favorite plates are rare as the come from England. The English never went in for the North American practice of removing the plates before burial. They preferred to leave the plates attached to the coffin when it was buried so as you can imagine the English coffin plates are a little hard to get.
English coffin plates were also different from North American plates in that the English plates were often much larger. In north America most coffin plates are only about 4 to 6in wide. However in England they often used much larger plates called breast plates. Breast plates can be as much as 12in wide and 18in tall and are often shaped like a shield.
This set of three brass coffin depositum plates are all from the Manly family. These items were removed with the family's permission upon the deconsecration of the church and clearing of crypts etc. The two from 1875 are in classic Gothic shield style are professionally manufactured by Ingali Parson whilst the 1893 piece is heavily influenced by Arts & Crafts movement but has no makers mark. All three plates are brass with hand engraved lettering.
The plates read
William Manly Died Oct 25 1893 Aged 84 years.
Martha Manly Wife of William Manly Died April 26th 1875 Aged 62 years.
George Frederick Manly Died April 8th 1875 Aged 28 years.
Many people are a little surprised when they first see my collection of coffin plates. A lot of them ask me why I collect something that to them is kind of creepy or morbid. To me they are works of art. The beautiful engraving was all done by hand in the days before machines took over that job. The designs of the plates themselves reflect the styles of the period in which they were made. They also represent the growing industrial skill of the metalworking industry. And of course as a genealogist I love the way they connect me to the past. When I read the names on the plates I think about who the person was, what their life was like. I often try to do a little research on the family to see if I can learn any thing about them. I feel in some small way like I am keeping the memory of that person alive. I may not be related to that person but in many cases I am probably the only person who ever thinks about them, or in some cases is even aware they ever existed. And I think everyone deserves to be remembered.
Monday, February 16, 2009
However my favourite Black Sheep Ancestor is William Massey. William was my 4th Great Grandfather and he lived in the small town of St.Marys Ontario. The details are sketchy but it seams William worked for the Wells Fargo company in the early 1860s as a stage coach driver. One of the things that Wells Fargo did was transport money from place to place. One day for reasons we will never know William decided to help himself to over $888 dollars. This may not seem like much money to us today but back in 1863 it was a lot of cash.
Well I guess William was not the smartest criminal who ever lived as he soon found himself in front of the local magistrate on an indictment of larceny. I do not know much about the workings of the Canadian Justice system in the 1860s but it seems that this Court appearance was some kind of preliminary hearing to see if charges were warranted. Sort of like a Grand Jury in the United States. One interesting little side note is that one of the jurors was Timothy Eaton. Mr Eaton went on to found the Eaton department store chain. For you Americans out there, Eatons was Canada's equivalent of Sears.
Anyhow it would seem that the jury thought there was enough evidence to warrant charges so William was sent home to await his trial. However old William did not want to take his chances in court. He decided to get the heck out of Dodge and head south for the border, and a few weeks later he was in Massachusetts where he enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in the Civil War.
Now it appears William being the crafty criminal mastermind that he was may have enlisted under the alias of John Smith. However William, or John Smith, did not much care for Army life for he soon deserted and made his way back to St.Marys just before his death in November 1865. It is hard to say what William's reasons for going back to St.Marys might have been. One can only speculate. His daughter claimed that he was so broken in body and spirt after the war that he died soon after returning. Whatever the reason it would seem he paid a heavy price for that $888.00 in stolen Wells Fargo money.
Hopewell Township, York County Pennsylvania, 1890 Tax Book
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Sunday, February 01, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
The 10th Edition of Smile For The Camera is Costume so with that in mind I thought this photo might be appropriate. The photo is of the sisters of my Great Great Grandmother, Harriet Purdue. The girls were all milliners, that is to say they made hats for a living. They also were accomplished seamstresses and made their own clothing. The photo was taken in St.Marys Ontario around 1895~1900.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Workmen digging foundations for 11th Street Opera House unearthed a small coffin with a brass plate. The inscription on the coffin plate read
died February 8 1826
age 6 years 5 months 6 days
The Opera House site was formerly a church and cemetery. In 1850 the bodies were moved but sadly it seems little Samuel was left behind.
See AncestorsAtRest.com for more coffin plates, funeral cards and death records
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Dec 23, 1882 Altoona Pennsylvania
Philip Gabriel tries to pawn the coffin plate from his wife's coffin.
Her coffin plate inscription:
Mrs. Philip Gabriel
died Nov. 29, 1882
Age 50 years 9 months 3 days
Mr. Gabriel was said to ask 25 cents for the silver coffin plate so that he could purchase whiskey.
To see if your ancestor's coffin plate is online visit the largest collection of coffin plates online (over 500!) at AncestorsAtRest.com
This rather strange photo came to me in a box of family photos. I unfortunately don't know the name of this person but the other photos in the box are all my Elgie and Facey relatives so this person probably is as well. The Elgie and Facey families lived in Ontario, just south of a place called St.Marys. I would think it has to be some kind of gag photo as no one in my family has had hair like that (not even in the 70s). I think the photo was taken about 1900.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
This is the only photo taken of my Massey Grandparents on their wedding day, Dec 31st 1939. The wedding was a small affair as it was the depression and they did not have a lot of money. My Grandfather was employed a delivery man for a bake shop at the time and my Grandmother was a bar maid in a local hotel. I don't know how much money they were making but I am sure it was not much.
They had only been married a few minutes when my Grandmothers father suggested that they should get a picture. And as cameras did not have a built in flash back in the days of yore, you had no choice but to go out side no mater how cold it was. And as it happened it was a typical freezing cold Canadian Winter day. My grandmother not having a coat on hand grabbed a old ratty sweater off the back of the door and out they went. I think the sweater actually belonged to my Great Grandfather.
So that is the story of my Grandparents only wedding photo. They may not have had a lot of money but the marriage lasted 50 years so I guess they had what matters.
Friday, January 09, 2009
Coffin plates are an overlooked free genealogical resource. They often contain the Birth Record and Death Record and can be used as a substitute for vital records.
Monday, January 05, 2009
Sunday, January 04, 2009
The quest to find my Masseys would not have been possible without the kindness of strangers. Jenny had done all the work of getting me the records from Delgany and it should be remembered that this info was of no value to her, she is not a Massey, she did it for no return. And now Annie would do something equally nice. She got her fathers D.N.A. tested for me. I say she got it tested for me because there was little she could learn from the test. You have to rember that Annie already new her lines were from Delgany. If her father and I were a match it would only tell her she had a few more distant cousins out there, that’s it. But for me it had the potential to finally prove once and for all the question that I had been working on for so many years.
I am a Delgany Massey
So as you may have guessed Annie and I are a D.N.A. match. Not a perfect match as I had hoped but close enough to prove what I had suspected all these years - that Annie and I are related and that my William Massey was almost certainly born in the Parish of Delgany. As you can imagine I was ecstatic. To finally have the answer to a question that had plagued me for so long was a great feeling. I was so happy. For about 10 minutes. Then like a true genealogist I started to think about what I still did not know, and I realized my search will never be over. Because for me it is not just about the answer, it’s about the search itself.
Saturday, January 03, 2009
I was contacted by a man who was researching the family of William Massey’s wife Ellen. I had never been able to find anything on Ellen, I did not even know her last name. As it turns out I probably would never have found her as I was looking in the wrong country. Anyway he had found a letter that Ellen’s father William had written to his brother Thomas in Etobicoke about 1860. The letter is now in a museum. The letter states among other things that William Massey was from a place just a few miles south of Dublin Ireland. And what is just a few miles south of Dublin. You guessed it, Delgany.
So I was now convinced that my Masseys were from Delgany but I of course had no real proof of this and I had run out of places that I could think of to look. Then again out of the blue another piece of the very circumstantial puzzle fell from the sky and landed in my lap. I made contact with a man by the name of Ron Mahone who was researching a Massey family that lived just a few miles from my Massey family in St. Marys Ontario back in the 1860s. The story handed down in Ron's family was that they were from a place called Redford or Redfoord. So I did a little diging and was able to confirm that they were indeed from Redfoord. And where is Redfoord? You guessed right again, Delgany. Now I had no proof that this new Massey family was connected in any way to mine but there were not a lot of Irish Massey’s in Ontario in the 1860s and knowing that the Irish would often settle in family groups I felt this was yet another small arrow pointing me to Delgany.
Then last year Jenny Selfe came to my aid again, albeit in a round about kind of way. She had received a letter from an Annie Massey about the Massey family. Jenny had put all the Delgany Massey data that she had on her website. Not having any more info than what was on her website she put Annie in touch with me. Now for Annie their was no question that she was a Delgany Massey. She had her lines well documented, for her there was no doubt about it. And with a little digging she was able to prove that she was related to the Massey family that had lived just a few miles from my Massey family in St. Marys Ontario. So everything kept pointing me to Delgany, it was like the place was calling me but I could not get that last little piece of the puzzle. The proof was always just out of reach. What to do?
The kindness of strangers.
To be continued.......
Friday, January 02, 2009
Meanwhile back in Canada I had searched for many years with out finding that magic little record that would tell me what Irish County my William Massey was from. Then one day in a most unexpected place, I found it. In a Cemetery record of all places. I had seen my William's tombstone many times and had searched for an obit to no avail, but then at the Archives of Ontario I found the interment records of the cemetery on microfilm and there it was. Wicklow Ireland. The strangest part was that my William was not even originally buried in that cemetery. His body had been moved after the original cemetery he was buried in was closed. So it was just blind luck that someone had recorded his place of birth.
Now you would think I would be happy with this new found info, lots of people never find this much, and I was happy, for about 10 minutes. Then like most genealogists I started thinking about what I still did not know. Where in County Wicklow was he from? Did they mean the town of Wicklow? How will I know where to start looking? So it was at this point that my one name study of Irish Masseys started to pay off. For one of those little pockets of Masseys was located in County Wicklow. In a little place called Delgany Parish.
Now I know what you are thinking, that it is hardly proof that my William Massey was from Delgany. And you are right, it was totally circumstantial. But I just had a feeling that I was on the right track. So I made a big leap of faith and started to concentrate my efforts on Delgany.
So I started to learn everything I could on Delgany. What records were available, the history of the parish, the geography. I read everything. I even spent hours looking at the place on Google Earth. It was during this search to learn everything I could about Delgany that I came across a lady by the name of Jenny Self. Jenny was an Australian living in England, who had done some research on her own lines in Delgany. Now Jenny and I are not related so she had no Massey info, but I found her work so interesting that I dropped her a quick email just to thank her for taking the time to put all her hard work online. Well to make a long story short this led to a correspondence and Jenny offered to do some looking in the Delgany Parish records on her next trip to Ireland.
I was very excited at the prospect of Jenny taking a look in the Parish Records as these records are only available in Ireland. But you can imagine how happy I was when a few months later Jenny sent me all the Massey Births, Marriages, Deaths and Burials for over 200 years. It was a fantastic windfall and I am still grateful for the hours of work that she put in to help someone who was basically a stranger. But to my disappointment William was not there. Of course at this point some people would have moved on but I still felt that Delgany was the place. And I would soon find more evidence to keep me looking in Delgany.
Sometimes you don’t find the next clue, it finds you.
To be continued.......
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Now don't get me wrong, there is no anti-Irish sentiment in my family that I am aware of but some how this little tidbit of information had gotten lost or perhaps hidden somewhere along the way. My grandfather had told me we were English. There was no talk of Ireland in the family stories, no Irish names, no tombstones in the local cemetery with the words, Native Of County Blah Blah Ireland, Nothing. Thus began my quest for my new found Irish roots.
I quickly learned that to do any meaningful genealogy in Ireland you need to have some idea of what County your Irish ancestors came from. Without this you are just flailing around in the dark.
The 1861 census had told me my GGG Grandfather William Massey was a native of Ireland. Where in Ireland I had no idea. So I did what any new genealogist would do, I started flailing around. However in my case my flailing around would one day pay off. It would just take about 30 years.
Fortunately for me Massey is not a common name in Ireland (this makes hunting a little easer) so I began to collect even the smallest mention of the Massey name anywhere in Ireland. Sort of like a one name study of Irish Masseys. At the same time I continued to research my Masseys in North America in the more conventional organized way, working on my direct lines. It was these 2 styles of research that would one day give me some of the answers I was looking for.
My somewhat haphazard one name study of Irish Massey’s soon began to paint an interesting picture. It told me that almost all the Masseys in Ireland are descended from a few men, most likely just 3 of 4 who came to Ireland in the 1600s. It also told me that the descendants of these men tended to stay in the same locations as their original immigrant ancestor. This has the effect of producing little pockets of Masseys located at a few different places in Ireland. This info was interesting but of course it did not tell me what little pocket of Masseys I belonged to.
Then I got lucky......