|The section of the original cottage, which shows the former location of a window, is right in front of the wheelbarrow of apples|
Using records ordered from the Valuation Office in Dublin, and Ordinance Survey maps, I have been able to locate the site of my great-great-great-grandfather Daniel McGarr's cottage in Ballyraggan, Kildare. I wrote a blog about how I did it here. It was very exciting to find exactly where he lived, I could even use Google Street View to stroll to the beginning of his lane, but that was as far as I got. Google never went down that lane to record what laid at the end of it.
Enter fellow blogger Dara of Black Raven Genealogy. Dara's blog is new, and has a uniquely Irish point of view--because she lives and writes in Ireland. I really enjoy reading Dara's blog, and while perusing her bio, noticed her home is in Kildare. I asked her if she was near Ballyraggan, and amazingly, she was! Even more amazing, this lovely lady offered to go there for me! Which she did.
Dara and her husband snapped wonderful photos for me of the property, the home that stands there now, and the lone remaining fragment of the original cottage. You can see it in the picture above, kind of a blocky U-shape in the left corner where a window used to be. They spoke with the current owner of the property who has spent his entire life there, and even got a few pictures of him. He described to them a cottage with mud walls and a thatch roof in which he lived with his parents, and the storm that took the building down sometime in his early childhood. Naturally I was disappointed that I will never get to see Great-Great-Great-Grandfather's cottage, but that description and the photos Dara and her husband took are wonderful substitutes. I'm so grateful to them both, and to the owner, who gave them the description and according to Dara, serenaded them to boot.
Getting my passport photos this week, and hopefully within a year or so I'll get to meet the owner of Grandpa's farm for myself, and personally thank Dara, one kind and generous lady. Take a peek at her blog, I'm sure you'll like it as much as I do.