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It's my 12th Blogiversary

Yes, it's true. I wrote my first blog on 7 July 2007. Since then, I've written just about every week, and every day during my research trips to Ireland. That's a lot of blogs! I've had two major updates. The first was in 2010 when Apple discontinued iWeb, my original platform. I only had three years of blogs at that point and as I moved to Sandvox, my second platform, I had to manually copy and paste each blog into the new site. Sandvox was an application that ran on my Mac and each week I would add to the site, make updates, then upload it to GoDaddy which was my web hosting service. As a non-technical person, the software worked well for was a WYSIWYG platform and I could basically get things to look exactly as I wanted them.

By 2018 there were some cracks appearing. There were not a lot of updates being made to the software and some of the features I wanted, such as tagging and searching the blogs were just not there. Support was lacking and even people in the user forums were complaining. Since the software resided on my Mac, any updates had to be done on the computer and not online on the web. It was time to bite the bullet again and move the platform. I tried out several different sites and opted in the end for Wix. For me, it was the easiest one to use and I was able to get a basic working site up and running on my own. I've been using computers forever; I worked at both Xerox (when they came out with the first graphical user system) and then joined Apple in 1983 when the Lisa was introduced. I am, however, a sales and marketing person. As a Regional Manager at Apple, my systems engineers always said I knew enough to be dangerous! Ease of use is important to me and I don't want to get caught up in the techie part. It wasn't a completely seamless change, as I had to manually (again) cut and past each of the old blogs into the new site. I made the decision to bring over one year, so when the site launched on January 1, 2019, it included all of the blogs from 2018.

By last December I was panicked! Many of my blogs contained links to older posts (pre-2018). I started checking each one and bring over the referred to blogs. It was never ending! As I got closer to the end of December and the dreaded cut over, I worried about what was going to happen to all of my old work? It was all stored on my computer but when I assigned the domain to my new site, everything was going to disappear. Luckily over Christmas, my three daughters talked me back from the edge of the cliff. Two of the three are involved in digital media and the third, an Episcopal priest, had just gone through a website transition at her church. The solution was to create a new domain and leave the old one running for the time being...hence this site, IrishFamilyRoots. I've been asked how long the old site will remain, and honestly, I'm not sure. I have renewed the domain name for at least another year. I may eventually turn it into a site for my personal research.

In taking a look at the most popular blogs this year, the top four were:

The blogs I brought over from 2018 have not received much notice. Part of that could be that many of you read them when they were first written, but I know I have a lot of new readers since then. I looked at the stats from my old site and the top four in 2018 were:

The good new is that I have more readers...the bad news is the new people have not taken advantage of the wealth of older material. Remember that I said that one of my objectives for the new site was tagging and searching blogs. If you look at the menu just above the the title of each blog (which begins with All Posts), you can click on a topic of interest to see what's been written. When you get to the right, hover over the word "More" and you will get a drop down menu of additional topics. Even though Griffith's is in the title of two blogs, it is discussed in 10 blogs. Getting Started brings up 19 blogs. I hope you'll spend some time exploring. Here are four of my favorite blogs.

Another reason for migrating the site was for feedback and comments. I've been a bit disappointed that I haven't gotten more comments, questions or dialog. I don't know everything, and since this site is focused on Irish research, other readers may be able to provide feedback and suggestions. So don't be shy!

Happy Hunting!

The dates for the 2020 Ireland Research Trip are set. Belfast - Oct 10-17; Dublin Oct 17-24. Pricing should be available in the next couple of weeks. Watch the Irish Research Trip tab for updates.

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Donna, thank you so much for these suggestions. Initially they lived in a small town outside Cleveland that did not have a nearby Catholic church. I need to research this further. They did move to Cleveland around 1894 and I have the church where Mary's funeral was held in 1900. I just contacted the church last week, gave the office person all the names and dates of birth, and hope she can find some information. You've given me specifics to research, which I greatly appreciate. Donna


Unknown member
Jul 31, 2019


Did they marry in Ireland or Cleveland? If the married in Cleveland do you have their church marriage record? Make sure you ask for everything in the record. Some priests would not marry a couple unless they had proof of their baptism. Next, get the baptismal records for all of their children and research the sponsors (godparents). Try to determine relationships (sponsors tended to be close family members or friends since they would be responsible for the children if anything happened to the parents). They may have come from the same place in Ireland and if the married there you might get a location.


Hi Donna,

I do not know where my 2nd great grandparents were from. They immigrated sometime in the 1870's and were in the Cleveland, OH area in 1880. The 1900 census indicates Michael Keenan was born Feb 1848 and Mary Keeney/Kenny Keenan was born May 1852. Based on DNA matches I believe Mary was perhaps from Co Donegal, Parish Killaghtee. My great grandmother was born in the Cleveland area in1880 so I know they were probably married around 1878 but I have found no records in the US or in Ireland. I continue to explore every possibility!

Kind regards,



Unknown member
Jul 30, 2019

Hi Donna,

Do you know where your grandparents were born? What years?


Happy anniversary, Donna. I am definitely reading all of your posts and very much appreciate the information! I also have listened to some of your wonderful webinars. I'll have to make more of an effort to post questions and comments. I am struggling with my Irish 2nd great grandparents and anything I can learn about researching in Ireland is extremely helpful.

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