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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Happy Winter Solstice

In 2004, I had the opportunity to visit Newgrange in Ireland.  It is the "mound of the Winter Solstice".

Newgrange is located at what is now called The Brú na Bóinne, World Heritage Centre in Ireland.  It is at least 200 B.C. and there are indications in the area that is much older.  So, a little ancient Irish history is called for today, a day of the Winter Solstice.

Link to:  Newgrange









Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Life and Genealogy

It has been a while since I posted to my blog.  I haven't worked much on my own family tree but have been keeping my research skills up, especially when it comes to Ancestry.com.

At the end of August and the beginning of September, I spent a few weeks working on the family tree belonging to a friend.  She was specifically seeking her mother's side of the family.  There's a mystery grandmother who's story still remains a such for now.  I was able to trace her grandfather's line back to a great great grandfather who was in the U.S. Marines during the Civil War.  Also, on her grandfather's side, I found her great grandparents who definitively immigrated from Ireland. We just aren't exactly sure where they were from in Ireland.

About 15 hours of work later, the research on her mother's line was evident for her grandfather while still a bit of a mystery for her grandmother.  I could probably keep right on going with her grandfather's line but the information would not come as quickly or easily.  Other research sources would certainly need to be sought after too.  At the point of her great great grandfather, I got the impression that her interested waned a bit.  The excitement that I glean from the discovery process is sometimes hard to pass along.

My other point in researching this friend's line was my belief that there was some disappointment in lack of actual findings on the grandmother's line.  The family had sketchy information about the grandmother.  They were thinking that a certain aunt raised two of the girls while they could not figure out where the grandmother was located.  I found the grandmother located with her girls, the aunt (her sister), and they were living with another aunt by the same first name (Mary).  It is not exactly clear who the older aunt is in the records.  She is, however, indicated as the parent on one of the girl's death record, despite the mother being in the picture during what appears to be a lot of her childhood and adulthood.

Records can be confusing.  What motivation did the one daughter have to indicate her mother as the old aunt on her death record rather than her real mother?  She must have told her children the name of her mother, right?  The information that I provided, which is source document facts, is probably still being digested by my friend.  She may even find it hard to weed through to make sense of things.

There are three city locations in Northern California where I'm sure more information can be found. A visit to a few a cemeteries and the local libraries would probably gain some specific information.
I definitely suggested a stop at a specific cemetery as the first place to try.

At this point, I can say that I have researched family trees for 4 different people besides myself with varying degrees of delight and interest from the person who requested the search.  As usual, some of the research results create more questions.  From County Galway, Ireland to Italian immigrants, I have enjoyed seeking out family roots for others.  Maybe I'll get a chance to do it again someday.