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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Youngs of North Street, Skibbereen

Tessie Young was a pharmacist on North Street. My mother and her siblings were told by Granddad that Tessie was Granddad's "cousin." Of course, we don't know exactly how.

It was this little genealogy tidbit I heard from my aunt that confirmed for me that Skibbereen Heritage pinpointed Granddad's McCarthy-Sowney line: that of Charles McCarthy and Margaret Young of Lissane. Their son, Cornelius (1824-1900) was Granddad's grandfather.

Now I need to fill in the gap in between Margaret Young McCarthy, living in the early 1800's, and Tessie Young (1889-1964).

In the 1901 census, Tessie's mother, Ellen, was widowed. The oldest child listed, Mary, was 23. Tessie was 11.

Tessie was born in 1889. Her parents were William Young, a North Street shopkeeper, and Ellen Hurley. (Yes, Ellen was one of the Coolnagarrane Hurleys. That's another story.)

William died in 1897 at age 58. That would put his birth year around 1839.

Working backwards, William Young and Ellen Hurley married in 1875. His father is listed as John Young and both father and son are listed as shoemakers.

In Griffith's Valuation, there is a John Young listed in Coronea, Skibbereen, but no further information about occupation is given.

There is a John Young, North Street, Boot and Shoemaker, listed in Slater's 1846 commercial directory.

There is a William Young listed in the Abbeystrowry Tithe Applotment in Coronea in 1835. Update: In the Creagh Tithe Applotment from 1831, there is a John Young on North Street.

Pigot's Commercial Directory of 1824 lists a Thomas Young, saddler, in Bridgetown. There are no Youngs on North Street.

Elsewhere in the Tithe Applotment books are Youngs in Killaveenoge, Rearahinagh, Derreeny, Derryclough, and Driminidy.

Looking at the online church records, I found one William Young in Skibbereen in 1837, whose father was John Young and whose mother was Mary Collins. Other children of this couple that pop up are Thomas 1832, Joanna 1834, and James 1843. No residence is given on any of these baptism records. If John Young named Thomas after his father, perhaps Thomas the saddler is the next one up the ancestry ladder.

Unfortunately, that's the end of the rope. To find John Young who had a son Thomas in 1832, I would have to assume that John was born before about 1812, and the records just don't go back that far.

Now I have the same problem that every researcher out there has. How do I link these leather workers, shopkeepers, and pharmacists on North Street to Margaret Young McCarthy out in rural Lissane?

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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

DNA Testing for Genealogy

This is a presentation I am giving Sunday at the meeting of the British Isles Family History Society in Los Angeles on using autosomal DNA as a nice complement to your traditional genealogy research:

Guiding Your Ancestral Search with Autosomal DNA Testing