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Sometimes the brick wall is solid

Updated: Dec 30, 2018

Daly Farm in Crumlin, Mayo

How I’d love to be able to take my Daly family back just one more generation!  I’ve come at it a couple of ways, but haven’t been very successful.  I know that John Daly was born about 1831,  married three times and fathered ten children.  Of those who survived, only one remained in Ireland and that was Martin (b. 3 Nov 1882) the middle son of the third marriage to Mary Morley.  My husband, Brian, is descended from Martin’s younger brother, Michael who emigrated to Stamford, Connecticut, along with his older brother, Thomas.

   If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I did a great deal of research on the Daly families when I was in Salt Lake City a few weeks ago.   I’ve got multiple families, but because there are no records pre-dating civil registration in 1864 (church records don’t start until 1872) I can’t connect them.   In preparing for my trip to Ireland, I wrote to the Pastor of the Roman Catholic Church in Kilvine to see if I would view the records, and if there was anything older, and was advised the records were not available for me to view, and nothing earlier existed.  I then contacted the Local History Librarian at the County Library looking to see if there were any estate records.  He was very helpful, checked multiple sources and said, there was no point in coming to the Library, there was nothing on the Daly Family of Crimlin   He had checked for estate records (none that covered the area) and also newspaper articles and found nothing.  

   So I spent the morning at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life in Turlough, Mayo.  It was wonderful and gave me a lot of background information on rural life in western Ireland. Even if I can’t give specific information on this Daly family, I can write about what life was like for people living in this area, so it was likely that the Dalys experienced something similar.  The museum was about an hour from where I’m staying and as long as I was on the “N” roads the driving was not bad. These roads are two lanes with a line down the middle.   However, I think the GPS is programmed to give tourists a heart

attack!  It took me on some back roads that were so narrow, I’m not sure what I would have done if there was a car coming in the other direction!  I’m serious…these roads were barely wide enough for my car with twists and turns so you couldn’t see if something was coming at you over the hill!  Add to that that the speed limit on these road is 80 km/hour…let me translate for you…that’s about 50 miles per hour.  I was crawling along at about 20 km/hour.  I survived, but with white knuckles!

   The afternoon, however, was very special.  I met with Paul Morley and Sabina Bell, for a whirlwind tour of the area, including the family homestead in Crimlin   Although it is still owned by a Daly, one of Sabina’s brothers, no one is living there.  In 1856 in Griffith’s Valuation, the land was listed as a bit over 13 acres, one of the largest single holdings in the townland.  I asked Paul and Sabina the question that always comes to my mind…what allowed our ancestors to survive the famine, especially in Western Ireland where it was so devastating.  Their answer was that the Dalys were self sufficient, growing various crops, and also having cows and pigs.  They weren’t dependent on just the potato. 

   The closest I came to a hint on the various Daly families was a trip to the Ballindine Cemetery, where there are three gravestones next to each other, barely readable…one for Martin, the Daly brother that remained in Ireland, next to a stone for Thomas of Crimlin (the same townland) and Michael of Boleyboy (an adjacent townland). Does the proximity of their graves indicate a relationship?  It would seem likely but this is a mystery I might never be able to solve, unless new records come to light (or perhaps a DNA test).  

   Tomorrow I’m headed north to meet a new Moughty cousin, then east to Longford to visit Jack and Breda Moughty.

   Happy Hunting!

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