Monday, November 17, 2014

I Wasn't Even Looking For That! In Which I Try The New Roots Ireland

     
      I finally took the plunge and purchased a one month subscription to Roots Ireland, the site with all the church records.  RI recently changed from pay per view to subscription, and I hadn't taken a real look since the switch.  I've read some negative comments about how the search function has changed also, so I wanted to see if it was as bad as I'd heard.  I have to say, it's not.  You can no longer search on a 20 year span, but 10 seems sufficient for most searches, and if not, just re-do the search with a different start year.  I do wish the search engine wasn't so fussy about combinations of surnames and parishes, and it's still pretty touchy about spelling, searching for the name Honora does not bring up Honor for example, and  it would be nice to see the computerized index each heritage center works from since some spellings are quite bizarre.  I discovered there is a link for name variations, but you really have to look for it.  When a search has been done, take a look at the name in red over the generated hits, in between the first and last name you will see (plus variants)  this is a link even though it doesn't look like one.  Clicking it brings up the different spellings of the name you entered that the search engine will check for.

     Lately I've been looking at my Power relatives in the Tramore area, so I started with them.  Seeing as a large section of the Catholic records no longer exist for Tramore I wasn't expecting any breakthroughs when I typed "Mary Power" and her parent's names, "Edmond Power & Honora Crotty" of Tramore Parish in the baptism search.  As I expected--nothing.  I then decided to try to find her parent's marriage, so I clicked the box to switch to the marriage search form.  This particular search engine auto-fills the name and other data of the previous search to the new search for you, and before I could change the name in the search to Edmond Power, up popped several marriages for Mary Power.  I knew from US census and church records that Mary's husband was Thomas Ryan and I'd always assumed they married in the USA, but when I looked at the record, there he was!  They hadn't married in New York after all, but right in Mary's home parish; and I know it's them because unlike most old marriage records, this one gave the names of the happy couple's parents.  It also gave their address, Picardstown, and named Edmond Power as a witness, quite possibly Mary's brother.  I've always known there were other Power siblings I was missing, there are huge gaps between the ages of the three I've found so I'm always excited to get a lead on more Power's.

     One word of advice, when doing a marriage search try it first without the parent's names, even though there is a space for them.  In most old Irish records the parent's names were not recorded and if your search includes them your results will come up negative even if the marriage (sans parents) in in the database.

     Since Mary and Thomas were married in1860 and didn't show up in US census records until 1870 I figured it was worthwhile to look for the baptisms of some children in Ireland.  I found Patrick Ryan born 1861 in Picardstown, and John Ryan born in Tramore in 1863.  His godfather was Edmond Power, (I'll just bet he's Mary's brother).  Neither of these boys are in the 1870 US census with Thomas and Mary, only daughters Catherine and Ella, both born in New York.  Oddly, in both the 1900 and 1910 censuses Mary says she gave birth to only two children.  

     All in all I was pleased with the subscription.  I'd been tinkering with the old site's free searches for awhile and keeping a list of records I wanted to buy once a sale was announced, (they used to have them occasionally), so I had enough to keep me busy for several days, and of course new things pop up--like that marriage  and the baptism records.  It's very nice to be able to view the records of interest without stopping to wonder if they are really worth purchasing, I feel like I've gotten my money's worth on this one.

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