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Records where you least expect them

Updated: Jan 7, 2019


Petition for Naturalization for Hugh O'Hagan

 I’ve often mentioned that my own research takes a back seat to client work and lectures.  I do however, frequently use my own family as a topic for this blog.  About a month ago, I contacted a woman who had a DNA match to my husband, Brian (he gets all the matches…me, not so much).  This individual showed up as a 4th cousin and I recognized the surname but there was no family tree to put her in context.  I wrote to her, asking where she fit in.  Turns out, I had her parents in my tree and she pointed me to an aunt who was doing family research.  I had emailed with the aunt last year, so this new cousin fit into the tree and was actually a 2nd cousin, once removed.  Just goes to show you that predicted relationships can be off.  

   I was at Jamboree in California when this correspondence took place, and I told the cousins I would put together information for them over the next week and email it.

   As typically happens, I jumped into my own database and realized that I hadn’t updated this line for a while.  I thought I’d just pull in some collateral civil records (since they are now online for free at and one thing led to another.  I took me two weeks and I probably could have spent another month or so getting the information in better shape.  I finally sent it last night with the caveat that it wasn’t complete, but unless they wanted to wait for forever, I wanted to get something to them.😀

   This particular family, the King/O’Loughlin family, was the family of Brian’s paternal grandmother.  His grandmother emigrated from County Down probably about 1907 and was one of eleven children.  I’d obtained most of the civil and church records for the family from and  Because they lived in County Down, the records at IrishGenealogy only go to 1921.  The records beginning in 1922 are at the General Register Office of Northern Ireland (GRONI).  Privacy laws (the same in the Republic and Northern Ireland) only permit records to be placed online that are more than 100 years old for births, 75 years old for marriages and 50 years old for deaths, so I can check marriage records to 1942 and death records to 1967.  FYI there is no limitation to checking records onsite in Ireland. 

   Another confession…over the years I have added records to my Ancestry Tree based on hints, but have not always transferred them to my database.  Yes, shame on me.  So my Ancestry Tree and my genealogical database, I use Reunion, don’t match.  Although I’ve used RootsMagic on my Mac as a PC port, I’m waiting for them to release the Mac native app, hoping to transfer my existing database, and then syncing with Ancestry.  Bruce Buzbee, please hurry!

   If you looked at the 2012 blog on the King/O’Loughlin family, I really have made some progress.  In 2015 while I was traveling in Ireland, I received an email from Anita Gallagher who thought there was a connection on the O’Loughlin family.  Turned out Anita lived in County Down and I was headed to PRONI.  On my way from Belfast to Dublin we met for tea and confirmed the connection. Anita was related through Bridget a sister of Brian’s great grandmother Ellen O'Loughlin.   Anita has done some great research on the O’Loughlins and has many stories passed down in the family.  She and my husband are 3rd cousins, once removed.  In 2016 I took her a DNA kit and the relationship was confirmed.  

   Back to the King family.  As I was trying to get at least birth and death dates for all of the siblings, I was stymied on a civil birth record for Edward King.  He does not appear in the index at, however I do have his baptismal record from RootsIreland showing his baptism on 9 Jul 1875.  Since Roman Catholic children were typically baptized shortly after birth, I assume he was born in early July of 1875.  I did a check of the index at GRONI and there he was…the index listed his birthdate as 12 Jul 1875 and his mother’s name as Loughlin. Another case of a child baptized before birth!  (This is usually caused by the person registering the birth estimating the birth date, or if the registration is late, simply changing the date so as not to pay the fine.) The index entries at GRONI have additional information making it easy to pick out the correct individual.  There was also another Edward King born in 1875, but the mother was Mallon.  Since this was just the index I purchased the full image for about $3.30 using the credit system on the website.  Why wasn’t he in the IrishGenealogy index?  Who knows, but it is a reminder to do an exhaustive search of all of the records (Rule #1 of the Genealogical Proof Standard).  Here’s a link to an article by John Grenham back in March about multiple indexes.

GRONI, Index and Images Online, 1875 Banbridge, Registration ID U/1875/34/1006/7/297

   Information on Edward’s death came as a surprise in a Facebook message from Pat Clarke in Ireland. He indicated he lived in the old King homestead and was a descendant of the O’Loughlin family through another sister of Ellen O'Loughlin, Anne.  He as able to tell me that Edward was killed in Gallipoli, Turkey during World War I. Pat’s grandfather was with Edward earlier that day at Mass. That led me to a British Military record of his death on 21 Aug 1915, which also stated his residence at the time of enlistment as Southmoor, Oxford, England and his place of enlistment as  Stanley, Durham, England.  The likely candidate in the 1911 census is an Edward King, single boarder living in Stanley.  Unfortunately, all of the other columns are listed as Unknown.

   Teresa, the youngest King child, was unknown when I began my research.  None of the cousins had ever heard of her.  I had her birth registration (1895), her marriage to Hugh O’Hagan (1916) and the birth of two children, John (1916) and Hugh (1922).  I had no idea what had happened to her.  An Ancestry hint popped up for a US Naturalization for Hugh O’Hagan.  I was just going to ignore it, as no one in the family knew of this sister emigrating, but when I looked at it, Hugh listed his wife, Teresa, deceased 3 Feb 1931 in Ireland and his two sons, John and Hugh living in Ireland.  I was able to confirm Teresa’s death with a death certificate in Ireland.  It appears that Hugh emigrated in 1927, filed his Petition for Naturalization in 1932 and received his Certificate of Naturalization in 1938.  Now my “to do” for Ireland this year is to see if I can find out what happened to the two sons.  Ireland…can you hurry up and release the 1926 census?

   Happy Hunting!

Do you listen to podcasts?  There are a number of excellent ones out there.  I listen each morning while I’m riding my bike!  Lisa Louise Cook’s GenealogyGems Podcast is an excellent place to catch up on what’s new and learn about new methodologies.  If you’re curious about the content of my Irish Quick Reference Guides, you can listen to an interview I did with Lisa in Episode 214.  My interview starts about 20 minutes in, but I recommend you listen to the entire podcast!

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