Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Found: missing great-great grandmother's baptism record

Good luck if you are trying to find an ancestor whose name is like Mary McCarthy. Mary ended up being a tough research problem at BOTH ends of her life. I had to write to Ireland GRO several times for her death record. If you have not read my prior post about the mistakes I made looking for that death record, you can read all about that experience here.

When I was researching McCarthys in Garryglass, Drinagh, Skibbereen Heritage couldn't originally find her record. I simply had it on faith in what my aunts were telling me that Mary McCarthy was the aunt of a man named Daniel McCarthy, who was a rather well-known schoolmaster in Drinagh.

Mary McCarthy is not in the index of the online church records. So this morning I started visually inspecting the Drimoleague & Drinagh images starting around 1835. I noticed that a number of these images have the "feature" of dark edges and a smudgey black bottom that makes some records unreadable. I immediately suspected that Mary McCarthy's baptism record was buried under such a smudge spot.

Finally, I found something in 1838. I think this is her. Only the name of her mother (Ellen Connolly), the name of the baptism sponsors, and the residence (Garryglass) are visible.

I believe there was another Ellen Connolly in Garryglass, married to somebody named Hayes. For now, I will take it on faith that this record is that of Mary McCarthy.


Amy Coffin, MLIS said...

Congratulations on the find. I agree, Mary McCarthy would be a challenge. I'm wrestling with Schmidts on my end.

sb10 said...

Amy, I feel like an idiot for allowing the search to get so out of control.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have been using Excel spreadsheets from day #1.