Sunday, September 1, 2013

Church Record Sunday/Baptism of Maria McGarr, Ballyraggan

     Today's church record comes to you from the Parish of Baltinglass in County Wicklow, and is the baptism of Maria McGarr, my great, great grandmother.  She was born in Ballyraggan, County Kildare to Daniel McGarr and Anne Donahoe in 1826.  Baltinglass Parish straddles the border between Kildare and Wicklow and includes parts of both counties.

     I copied this entry from microfilm I rented from the LDS.  The film was very difficult to read for the most part, but after several trips to my local Family History Center, a pounding headache, severe eyestrain and some slight profanity I located all the baptisms that are indexed on the IFHF website, ("trust but verify" is not just for dealing with teenagers).  I also looked to see if there were any other records the indexer missed, but found none.

     The record above reads, "13 Bap Mary of Danl MGhaa & Anne Donahoe", sponsors are Jno and Betty MGhaa the address is misspelled Ballaraggin.  It's great to have those sponsor names.  John and Betty are certainly relatives of Daniel, a brother and sister or cousins at the very least.  Over the years the name John shows up in the family on both sides of the Atlantic.  It's definitely a McGarr family name.

        One concern that came up is the date.  January 13, 1826 is awfully close to 1825.  From correspondence with the Wicklow Family Heritage Center, I'm told that during that period in Ireland, baptisms usually occurred within days of the birth.  This makes sense given the high infant mortality rate and the belief held at that time that unbaptized babies could not enter heaven.  That being said, I'm going with 1826 for a birth year.

     I'm not at all concerned that the baptism gives the name Mary instead of Maria; the year, the parent's names and address are all correct, and these people had a propensity for changing names through the years.  Sometimes I think is was to make things more interesting for you and me.

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