Each year as I get ready for my trip to Ireland, I give some thought to one family I would like to research. I usually don’t get much time to work on my own research, as I’m working with the participants. This year I have a couple of extra days and will be visiting cousins. I also have a cousin (we've never met) traveling with me this year. I had hoped to be more organized by this time, but instead of one family, it turns out I'm visiting with three families this year. I've tried to spend some time this summer looking at my past research (and I have to admit to going through piles of un-filed research) and I keep getting pulled into the BSOs (bright shiny objects). So much of my research is old (pre-online databases) that I end up spending hours finding the certificates for the collaterals. In some cases I've actually found records that have broken a brick wall (sometimes that's simply a matter of re-reading material I already had) but alas, other brick walls are still there. An example of a brick wall I haven't been able to break is my Shaw ancestors who I’ve identified as being from Antrim. Unfortunately, they emigrated in 1794 and so far, I haven't been able to identify any records for the family.
Within the past few weeks, I received a message from a woman in Westmeath stating she though she might be related to my husband. She absolutely is! She and my husband are 2nd cousins (their grandparents were siblings). I arrive in Ireland on Oct 3rd and I'm hoping to meet her on Oct 4th. Perhaps she'll be able to identify some of the unknown pictures I have or even provide one of my husband's great aunt! I had not planned to work on the Moughty family on this trip, but things change and I spent all day yesterday trying to collect my research. As I've discussed over the past few weeks, I have some DNA results on this family and some charts. Remember, re-read everything! I've come up with 2 hypothesis that I didn't have before and both relate to a John. James Moughty and Margaret Clark had a son John (from a baptismal record in 1820).
I had an unattached John who married Margaret Eustice in 1857. They had three children and Margaret died in 1911...in Drumnicor in the parish of Shrule, the same place where John was born. Hypothesis #1 - the John Moughty who married Margaret Eustace was the son of James Moughty and Margaret Clark. I have found no other Johns of the correct age that could be this individual. (This is one of the benefits of dealing with an unusual surname...lucky me.)
The second John is the one hanging out on the previous charts from Multyfarnham...the family which died out in the early 1900s. John was a merchant who got into some financial trouble and declared bankruptcy. He also seemed to have some problems with drink and was a fairly consistent individual in the petty session records. He also spent time in Prison for "threat of assault" but was bailed out by James Moughty (his brother?). There is also an indication of a relationship in the death record of one of John's children where the informant is "Maria Moughty, present at death from Aughnabohy." These are little bits of information that I obtained over the years, but it was only when I went back and re-read all of them that I was able to put it together. The one missing piece of information is the lack of a baptismal record for this John. A am currently going through the images of the baptismal registers on the National Library site page by page. The Moughty name appears with various spellings and there are clearly gaps in the children's births where another child could fit in. I'm also looking for a Catherine Moughty who married a Reilly in 1874 in Moyvore (where my Moughtys reside). I have the church record, however, a civil marriage record (which would give me her father's name) does not exist. I've been through the indexes at FamilySearch, IrishGenealogy.ie and even wrote to the local registrar with no luck. The only families that were baptizing children in Moyvore at that time were Thomas and Bernard. Thomas had a daughter, Catherine, who died a spinster in 1918. My hypothesis here is that Catherine who married Reilly was the daughter of my Bernard and Mary Glennon.
I only have a little more than a two weeks to continue my research before the trip. Although I don't have a research objective, I have created a research plan with identified documents to find for this family. I keep a running list on a spreadsheet of research for my next trip, so I've pulled some of those items out for the Moughty family. Lots to do before the trip.