Monday, December 22, 2008

Irish records going digital

Posted by Craig Kanalley on 12/22/2008 4 comments
Great news for those of Irish descent!

The Irish Family History Foundation is busy at work digitizing millions of birth, marriage, and death records, as well as census and land records. The project is in progress, though some 6.9 million births have already been indexed, as well as 3.5 million marriages and 1.2 million deaths across the island.

From Northern Ireland's Co. Antrim to the Republic of Ireland's Co. Cork, a number of counties north, south, east, and west are already on the Web. Just 10 are not, at the moment, but more records are added all the time.

The site with all of these records is brsgenealogy.com. A simple, free registration allows you to conduct free searches of the index. Then, the full records can be instantaneously viewed via the site for an affordable five Euros each. One way to increase your chances of a match are to enter your person's name with their father's name (if you know it of course). You can also search for a name by parish.

I'm particularly excited about these new records in that I've already had success with them. I found the baptism record of my 4th-great-grandfather Thomas Bulger and learned that he was born Mar. 10, 1825 in Ballinabarney, Parish of Killaveney, Co. Wicklow. I also found baptism records for his siblings John (1826), Mary (1828) and Michael (1832) in the same townland and Ellen (1842) in nearby Glenphilipeen. I confirmed it was them through their parents' names, James Bulger and Judith Kealy, which I had through Canadian records.

And I also found the baptism of my girlfriend's 3rd-great-grandfather John Hendrick. He was born in May 1843 in Raheen, Parish of Rosbercon, Co. Wexford (previously we knew nothing more than just "Ireland"). Again, I confirmed it was him through parents' names, which I had before (Charles Hendrick and Ann Byrne). Very interestingly, I then learned that Raheen is only about five miles away from Dunganstown, Co. Wexford, where President John F. Kennedy's family originated.

If you have Irish roots, and especially if you're searching for an uncommon name, give the site a look. With Irish records so lacking, due to the great Dublin Fire, war, and famine, this effort is literally a goldmine.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where we might be related

Posted by Craig Kanalley on 12/12/2008 3 comments
If you go back far enough, you can usually find any two people with European ancestry to be related.

I found my parents to be 6th cousins, once removed - their common ancestors marrying in Germany in 1737. To date, due to our common royal ancestry, my girlfriend Nicole and I are something like 28th cousins. But we're likely related much more closely.

First, I take a look geographically.

I have many ancestors from the village of Bremmelbach, France. Nicole has many ancestors from the village of Oberseebach, France. They are just FIVE MILES apart. There's a good chance we connect at some point due to this; families often intermarried in Europe and they often married into families from neighboring/nearby villages as well.

Then, here's some common families we share and where they lived. I've ordered them from closest geographically to furthest apart.

HOFFMANN
(C) Molschbach, Germany
(N) Dudenhofen, Germany
(distance) 56 km

WAHL
(C) Waldfischbach, Germany
(N) Schifferstadt, Germany
(distance) 68 km

KUHN
(C) Homburg, Germany
(N) Schifferstadt, Germany
(distance) 90 km

BENDER
(C) Neualtheim, Germany
(N) Schifferstadt, Germany
(distance) 103 km

MAYER/MAIER
(C) Waeschenbeuren, Germany
(N) Schifferstadt, Germany
(distance) 146 km

WILHELM
(C) Waeschenbeuren, Germany
(N) Schifferstadt, Germany
(distance) 146 km

SCHMITT
(C) Grossdeinbach, Germany
(N) Seebach, France
(distance) 158 km

WAGNER
(C) Bierbach, Germany
(N) Wirtheim, Germany
(distance) 202 km

FABER/FABRI
(C) Epping, France
(N) Sedan, France
(distance) 220 km

SCHLOSSER
(C) Darmstadt, Germany
(N) Hochdorf, Germany
(distance) 264 km

I think it's most likely our Hoffmann, Wahl, and Bender families are one in the same if you go back far enough. I'd say the same for Kuhn, except I have evidence my Kuhn's originated in Belgium and Nicole's were from Germany.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Common families

Posted by Craig Kanalley on 12/04/2008 4 comments
Something fun about researching two family trees at the same time is trying to find links between them.

Here's a list of families that my girlfriend and I both descend of. However, I've yet to find any definite links between the two sets (meaning they're unrelated, as far as I know, for now), some are miles and miles apart, and some are common surnames.

BENDER
FABER/FABRI
HOFFMANN
KUHN
MAIER/MAYER
SCHLOSSER
SCHMITT
WAGNER
WAHL
WILHELM

(Also LANG, but her Lang family was in England and mine was in France so probably no connection.)

I'll post another blog entry soon looking at these families a bit closer. I'll see which ones are closest geographically and where we're most likely to connect if you go back far enough. Certainly at least one of them, we probably connect.
 

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