I have been making some inroads into my wife’s side of the family tree and I’m having great fun with the research. This is the outline of my most recent fun find, but if you find the details of this post too long, please scroll to the bottom for my question to genealogy folks. (And follow me on Twitter, where I’m strictly limited in my verbosity.)
Several months ago, after floundering around with a completely incorrect surname for one of her paternal great-grandmothers, I finally found a record that led me to the right one. The simple change from searching for Josephine “Dreslen” to “Bernemann” opened a floodgate of records and others researching – as well as a 3rd cousin working on the same line who also knew my wife’s grandparents!
Using that new info, I began to rummage around Familysearch and found the info from the Iowa marriage record of her great grandparents Michael Duffy and Josephine Bernemann.
Actually, the building has left Saint Gabriel.
According to the book of Daniel (and Wikipedia) a being resembling a man and identified as Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel to give him “skill and understanding” regarding his visions. I’m fairly sure my genealogy research does not rate as “having visions”, although I’ll gladly take some skill and understanding.
As of late I have been tracking down various documents for my Tierney family in New York, all the while hoping that one might offer a clue to their origin in Ireland. I am happy to say that each new document I find has offered at least some tiny tidbit of information or led me further down the path to the next record.
However, my Tierneys seem intent on stringing us along when it comes to where they came from in Ireland. My list of records to find in New York has included my great-grandparent’s marriage certificate, their death certificates, plus the birth and baptism certificates for my grandfather and his siblings.
Using the Catholic Church Registers list at rootsweb and a few other pages that have now succumbed to the Internet abyss I began to inquire at various churches near East 35th Street to see if any of these records might be extant.
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I have been quite excited that the Irish Family History Foundation’s Advanced Search is now Available on All Ireland searches. Since I do not yet definitively know where my Tierneys or McDonalds came from in Ireland, that will allow me to search across almost all of the counties to try and narrow my focus. (Limerick and Sligo are not participating in advanced search.)
Trying to take advantage of this capability, I thought I would look around for my great-grandfather Michael Tierney. We have a fair amount on him over here in New York City, including his exact birth date from his NY Municipal Police records and his death certificate. (Which also has his parent’s names.)
So, I search for Michael Tierney (and surname variants) on the year exact 1858, which returned 4 possible records. Adding his parent’s names, John Tierney and Margaret Murphy to the search in various combinations discounted all of those records. But, being optimistic I thought perhaps one of them could still be valid if the names were mis-transcribed and so purchased all of the records.
An added good thing about the advanced search is that you can purchase groups of records at a discounted rate – rather the the standard cost of €5 per record, I got all 4 of them for €12.
But, sadly, I have not done very well with any of my record purchases on the site yet. My prior purchases have been in search of my great-grandparents John Egan and Maria Farrell’s marriage and birth records. So far I have a likely marriage record and a single birth record that is a “maybe.” Slightly disappointing since I know exactly where they lived (near Creggan, Moyclare, Endrim, & Ferbane) in Kings County.
Good news for me was that I found four folks for the price of one! Both of my great-grandparents, Michael & Anna Tierney were there, as well as my grandfather’s brother Thomas.
The nice surprise was finding Winifred Tierney as well, who passed when only 3 years old during the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. Winifred was one of four children of my grandfather and his first wife Sabina Gilroy who, quite sadly passed away only a few months later from the same illness.
(Update in 2012: After researching in the death certificates at the NYC Municipal Archives, I found that little Winifred actually died from Diptheria. Primary sources are your friend.)
For those keeping track, little Winifred would be my half-Aunt, if there is such a thing as “halfness” in this situation.
We first saw mention of Winifred in a tree online that was compiled from an interview with her sister Sabina many years later. I found a listing for Winifred in a NYC death index and also a short notice for her in the NY Times obituaries. But, when I found the grave of my grandfather John Tierney and Sabina, I was surprised that Winifred was missing. It seemed odd since she died so near her mother.
But, now we know she has been safely set with her grandparents all this time.
*Please note the restraint I exhibited by not using the phrase “dig up”