To all of the mothers and for our own mothers either here are gone before us, Happy Mother's Day. I hope you all had a great day. I was surprised by a knock on my door this afternoon with the Desk Manager standing with this beautiful arrangement of flowers, a gift from my daughters, daughter-in-law, son-in-law and granddaughter. What a wonderful, unexpected surprise. I'll get to thank them on our weekly Sunday Family Zoom call this evening (or tomorrow morning since I need to set my alarm for 12:15 am).
So back in Ireland this was Day 5 for me, but Day 2 for most of the Research Group. Having arrived yesterday and gotten a good night's sleep, today was a light day with sightseeing for some, consultations and EPIC for others. All of the feedback from the consultant at the Irish Family History Centre has been excellent. It's great to get a fresh set of eyes on our research. Everyone has commented on recommendations for sources they hadn't considered.
Here is what Julie had to say...
"My first full day in Ireland was full of sunshine and fellowship, beginning with a delicious breakfast buffet. Following that was a walk to Epic for a consultation with a professional genealogist, which was very exciting and extremely helpful for future research. Then a trip through Epic an interactive museum about immigration and the contributions made in the arts, history and science by the Irish. Totally absorbing. The day ended with a hearty bowl of Irish stew. What could be better. I wonder what tomorrow at the National Archives will bring."
I joined Julie, Kathy and Jeannette for dinner (back at the Quay) and had a lamb shank that was delicious. I always try to get my fill of lamb while visiting Ireland.
Pati had the first consultation this morning at 9:30. It's only a 10-15 minute walk to EPIC, but the bridge was closed for maintenance which meant we had to walk down to the next bridge and then back to EPIC, and the doors were locked! They were supposed to be open. Even with that we manage to get started on time. Here are Pati's comments about the day...
"My consultation today at the IFHC was very productive. I found the consultant to be very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, just a delight.
My Cribbins branch comes from west County Galway near Clifden. I had found a couple of newspaper articles dated Feb 1849 discussing the death of a Patrick (or John) Cribbins from Cleggen who was found dead by the side of the road. An inquest was held. His sister in law Bridget Joyce was a witness at the proceedings. Verdict came back as death by starvation.
The consultant was able to answer my questions and provide avenues to pursue.
- The discrepancy in the first names may be attributed to the fact that he was known to some as "John" but to others by a middle name of "Patrick", or vice versa. I had been told years ago that the Irish did not have middle names. That is not the case!
- So many people died during the famine years, how could they have had inquests? Proceedings were indeed held throughout those difficult years. Criteria for which deaths would be investigated changed over time. It may have been that this death was looked into because the body may not discovered for a while and foul play had to be ruled out.
- I got a recommendation for a book that discusses coroners' work in Ireland around this time. Melancholy Madness: A Coroner's Casebook – February 27, 2004 by Michelle McGoff-McCann (Author)
- My family tree did not have any Cribbins/Joyce connections. The consultant found an Irish Poor Relief Commission record in which a Patrick Cribbins stood as guarantor for a loan to a Michael Joyce in Cleggen. Yay! This gives me more to work with!
-I also received a general recommendation to check out the website www.duchas.ie. This contains the interviews conducted by Irish school children for a government project in the 1930s to document memories and stories from the oldest people in their communities.
So rather than the usual BMD records, I came away with:
- a book to read on coroners' work of the time
- a Poor Relief Commission record leading me to a Michael Joyce
- a website of local history and traditions to check"
Here's some additional information in a blog I wrote about the Irish Folklore collection, dúchas, last year. Tomorrow we're off to the National Archives...what will the day bring?