Thursday, February 16, 2017

All Roads Lead To Garrettstown


     Now that my Vincent family has been fairly well figured out, at least until I'm able to get a peek at those 1812 pension applications, I've turned my attention back to Ireland and Counties Carlow and Kildare.  Mostly because a recent DNA match appears to link me to John McGarr who I believe is the father of my Daniel in Ballyraggan.  

     When the NLI put the Catholic parish records online, I spent days pouring over them and creating lists of baptisms and marriages from Rathvilly and Baltinglass Parishes, but my organizational skills being somewhat lacking, they were all over my computer; some were transcriptions, some were screen shots, a few downloads... you get the picture.  Deciding that the best way to handle this mess was to create one document arranged chronologically by parish, I set to work and now have a useful set of records.  I still have a folder containing the above described mess, but now I also have a neat index of what I've found.  I like duplicates because I still do NOT trust computers.  And every time someone's airline cancels their flight due to a "computer glitch" my mistrust is vindicated.

     Looking down at the addresses in my ever so neat list,  three places dominate--Ricketstown, home of the Hore family, Ballyraggan where the McGarrs resided and Garrettstown, where it appears both lines lived before moving to the other two townlands.  All are quite close together.  The earliest event mentioning Garrettstown is the 1802 baptism of Richard "Magah", son of John & Catherine, alas no maiden name is given.  This couple are, I believe, John McGarr and Catherine Murphy, also the parents of my Daniel (I think) making Richard and Daniel brothers.  In 1803 Elizabeth "Magah" was born at Garrettstown to a Michael and Mary.  They, I believe, are Michael McGarr and Mary Hayden, Michael being a brother of the above John McGarr (again, I think).  If I'm right about this, that would make Daniel and Elizabeth first cousins, and following my tree down to the present day, Elizabeth my 5th cousin which is exactly what the DNA match says.

     I didn't find any early Hore baptisms with a Garrettstown address, but there is a barely legible one from another family in 1801 for whom Michael and Winny Hore acted as sponsors.  Also, when my third great-grandfather Michael Hore married Mary Travers in 1814, the address was Garrettstown.  That year is the last time I find Garrettstown in my ancestor's records. Checking the Tithe Applotment books I found no family members in the townland, they had clearly moved on before the book was compiled for that area.  Michael McGarr is believed to have died about that time, and his widow Mary Hayden was among the early Irish immigrants to Auburn, New York.  The only individual that I found named Hore in the area is John living at Ricketstown.  I know there were others in the area, but the books don't reflect this.

     The Tithe books did show my Daniel McGarr in Ballyraggan and a John "McGra" living about 5 miles away in Knocklasheen More!  This John could be my man, especially since the name right next to his is "Widow Murphy", his wife Catherine Murphy's mother perhaps?  There's really no way to be sure, so I go on collecting puzzle pieces.  As I once read somewhere, the more pieces you have the easier it is to see what the picture will eventually be.


  1. Ellie have you checked the field and house books, the back up information for Griffiths?

  2. Hi Kat, Yes I did, thanks for the suggestion though. I was amused to find Daniel had a "cow house" and "car house".

  3. It certainly seems you're on the right track, Ellie. Maybe a second DNA match will clinch it for you someday Best of luck!