Saturday, December 13, 2014

Rootsireland As Index

    I rose extra early this morning since this is the only time I seem to have for doing genealogy lately.  Just three days remain on my subscription to rootsireland, and I'm determined to get the most out of them.  With the fantastic news that the parish records for Ireland will be coming online this summer, I've been using the freedom my subscription gives me to look at many of the transcribed records on the site instead of just the few I'm certain of; and I've found lots of peripheral relatives-- brothers, sisters, and cousins.  For instance, my great-great-grandfather James Hore, born in Ricketstown, County Carlow had a sister named Winifred who remained in Ireland after most of her family had sailed away to America in the 1840's.  Before purchasing my subscription I didn't want to pay for the individual records of her family, but now I've found eight of her children.  I suspect there is one more at least since there is a big gap between two of these children, so when the parish records from Rathvilly Parish go online I can concentrate on the years this child would have been born.  Some transcribed records for the parish are online now at

     Winifred and  her husband Thomas Lalor had a daughter named Catherine Lalor who married Michael Lalor in 1881. I found seven children for them, all baptized at Baltinglass, but again there is a gap. I couldn't find this family in the 1901 census, but they do appear in 1911 in Baltinglass and sure enough, Kate says she had eight children and all of them are alive.  I still don't know the missing child's name, it was old enough to be on it's own in 1911, but I do know I need to scour the parish records for the years it was probably born.  

     Knowing the names and order of birth can be useful due to the naming pattern used in Irish families, which is why I also need to find a baptism for an eighth child Aunt Winifred and Grandpa James Hore's mother Mary told a US census taker about in 1865 New York.  I've only located seven children for her and this eighth one was probably born first, making his or her name very significant.

     Come summer, some sense may be made of these two odd entries from rootsireland:
Dennis Lalor baptized 18 Feb 1849 at Baltinglass 
Parents- Thomas Lalor and Winifred Dean of Clough
Sponsors- Richard Slater & Mary
Denis Lalor baptized 18 Feb 1849 at Baltinglass 
Parents- Thomas Lalor and Winifred Hoar of Clough
Sponsors- Richard Kelly & Mary Hoar
Something is clearly not kosher here, Denis and Dennis Lalor baptized the same day, in the same place, with the same father.  Add to that, the  first names of the mothers were identical in both records, as were the sponsor's first names.  These are just some of the transcriptions to be investigated on that glorious day when the records come online.  Even entries on rootsireland that seem correct need to be checked against the originals, that's something that should always be done if possible.  With spelling variations, old handwriting and deteriorating registers that didn't microfilm well, transcriptions are not always accurate.  And nobody knows how to spot our ancestor's names in old records like we do.

     You may wonder why I'm so interested in the baptisms and marriages of very distant relatives?  Besides giving a fuller picture of my direct ancestor's lives while in Ireland, these records represent family members who didn't emigrate.  That means they likely have descendants still living in Ireland, and that means I have cousins in Ireland, and that means when I finally visit Ireland I will have family waiting if I can track them down!  Along with my pal Dara.


  1. I'm looking forward to your visit too, Ellie. Hope you can make it in 2015.