Stories Of My Irish Families

Irish Native/Planter Stories

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Many years ago (well 16 years ago), my Great Aunt on my Mother's side had drawn up a family tree for my wife and I.
My wife (Jo Ann) was born in the USA. My Great Aunt made this Family Tree, for us, when we got married.
It went into somewhat great detail on fellow ancestors before me. It also would help my new Wife, to understand a bit of my Mother's side to the family.

It was one of the first few times, that family ancestral history was taught to me.

Some of the info was interesting, but many people wain from knowing or wanting to know such things, mainly because it's boring. The other thing is, that we newcomers to the "ancestral" history don't know about, is that we have no idea on how to relate to these people and their lives.
I found connection in photographs, there in lies a visual, on the person you want to know about. The photograph speaks more than a 1,000 words. It can almost sum up their life. (The looks of their face and person. Their clothes of the era they lived in).

At around the same time, we went through some info with my Aunty of my Father's side, which had some connection to Cork - Ireland. Though there wasn't enough stories on the Fitzgerald's, to research. Very difficult to research. Some other parts of the Fitzgerald connected families, related to the Gallagher's / Sheehan's and Hatch's. Most of them came from the Northern parts of Ireland One connection of the Hatch's, had a Blacksmith shop in around the ACT (Gininderra). It was said to have had connotations that the Blacksmith, 'shod' Ned Kelly's horse. There was also a Gallipoli veteran as well - James Sebastian Sheehan, who's WW1 medal I have seen.

Knowing basic information is ok and all well and good, but I found to become involved with more interest, you have to hear somewhat of a juicy story or more than that "they lived and they died".
You want to hear if they owned a pub, or owned lots of land or became a very important person - etc. They may also have had Convict ties as well. Some of these is best to understand, to figure out what went on their lives to become the "convict".

Ancestral history, is an acquired taste initially, but it soon becomes an 'obsession'. Trust me.

The 'obsession' part comes from unlocking parts of peoples lives that directly relate to you, particularly when you find out some news, that was hidden from the family (Child out of Wedlock, Parent's weren't married when they said they were, Court Cases involving unlawful activities . etc) and most of all, that hardly anyone knows about it.
It takes time to digest the first few times, when delving into one's ancestors lives, as it's not easily understood until it's explained a bit better.

Well, I'm here to set the record straight on "boring".

4 years on extensive researching, has netted to what I believe to be a very historical Irish family connection, to most parts of Ireland, from both Paternal and Maternal sides. But IMHO, my Maternal side eclipses my Paternal side of being "more Irish than the Irish".

My Father's side originates from the City of Cork, and were of the Carpenter trade.
Some other connections on the Paternal side, head to other parts of Ireland.
The Irish Fitzgerald left Cork in 1840 bound for Sydney, Australia.

My Mother's side has Cork, Galway and Dublin links in the most unusual way of connections.
Particularly it centre's on the Law / Parliamentarian side of things.
Some of them came here in the height of the Goldrush era or just after (1850's +) and they centred around Melbourne, Australia.

The key point is, that my Mother's side, is teaching me everything I wanted to know about Ireland.
It is also teaching me about my Father's side as well as "the how or the why's" did the Fitzgerald family come to Australia.
And mostly, I have never set foot in Ireland, but I know most of it's basic history and my Mother's side played important parts in it's development.

It is also teaching me so much about Ireland that I never knew, that no books or school teacher could teach me in that time. Even University (well some parts).
I am almost schooling them, as the history that is being uncovered, hasn't been put together. The history is there, but no-one has joined the dots to such extent.

Only 2 people, that I have communicated with in the last few years, have better understanding to Mum's side, is that of Author - James Kelly, who published a very extensive bio on my 6th Great Grandfather and unknowingly joined so many dots of one family ancestor and his family, that part of the book relates to my Mother directly (genes passed down). And Adam Lowe Martin, who has helped me to a great deal, to understand such a well known Irish family - the Persse family.

On a last note : Some people have also been on the trail, assisting me with the endeavours of sharing information to most importantly "corroborate" or confirm/deny details.
As many documents were just plain incorrect and chinese whispers were somewhat true, but had a different meaning when it was confirmed.
It is most important to recheck your information by different avenues, as you can come unstuck and spend a lot of money researching someone else's family.

I'll be posting the family connections in the next post (in basic form).

#Genealogy #Ireland #Irish #History #FamilyAncestry #Ancestry
by Stories Of My Irish Families Thursday, December 05, 2013 No comments


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