Recently I have been trying to get back to my research to both tie up loose ends and tighten up the documentation. My hope is that another go-through will help me notice some clues I may have missed in prior passes. In particular, I’d like to get my Irish half of the tree back a generation or 4.
Even though I’m only 2 or 3 generations removed from Ireland and even with some excellent cousin contacts in Ireland to help answer questions and discuss things with, those parts of my trees could use some real leafing up.
Peeking at my family in the 1901 Irish census, I again noticed my 2x-great-grandmother living with them. She is 88 years old at the time and (unsurprisingly) is not there in the 1911 census. I realized I had never looked for her death certificate! I had been unsuccessful in finding her marriage earlier in time, so thought perhaps I’d get lucky and find her maiden name included.
With a name like Mary Egan, finding the right record can easily be a daunting task. But, with some calculated searching of the Civil Registration Indexes in the correct parish I came up with a likely death record for her in 1902. I faxed in a request for a photocopy to GRO Ireland (only €4) using the free online Hellofax service, and Voila! I received the certificate via email within a week or so.
It is definitely the correct death certificate, as it mentions the Townland and my great-grandfather as the informant. Sadly, no maiden name was included. (I didn’t really expect it as it would be atypical I think.)
Jeepers. I suppose open hearths and aged people are not a good mix. I wonder if anyone else has any interesting stories of having been surprised by how people have died?
UPDATE: As usual, after I received this certificate I forwarded a copy to one of my cousins in Ireland who is a 1st cousin from my Dad’s generation. He recalled that when younger, his mother told him that the family’s thatched house burned down. So, once again – it pays to keep in touch with family AND talk to them about your findings!