Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2004-02 > 1076171681
From: "Linda Merle" <>
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] Knight / Carroll
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 08:34:41 -0800
Yes, it's a familiar story. This list at times
feels like a badly needed therapy group <grin>.
However if the naturalization rec said Antrim,
then you should be celebrating big time. This is
a MAJOR clue and one most of us do not ever get
a break on as the colonial migrants didn't get
naturalized except by oath to the new government
and the early naturalization recs tend to say
"Ireland". Helpful, but not so helpful.
I'm struck over and over again how often we think
that we should be measuring our genealogical
pain by the length of time we've searched. In my
family one uncle searched his whole life and never
found the grave of our immigrant ancestor. My
mother did. Reason? He apparently never bothered
to read a history of the county so he didn't know
to search south (Butler Co, PA) as that's where
it was settled from. Nor did he bother apparently
to search adjacent areas of the cou nty to the
south (Allegheny) esp. those not bounded by the
river as it was dang easy to cross! Sure enough
we founded a church in Allegheny Co but north of
Point here that I learned is that longevity doesn't
count. If you want to make progress you must
learn more and get smarter. It's not how long
you search its how smart.
I was once very depressed after reading some how
to book to learn that the solution to our early
19th century/colonial immigration woes is to
SEARCH ALL SOURCES. All? ALL??? It was very
depressing, but I've learned since then that, alas,
it is true, but it's not hard to get to the 85%
mark or so -- ie to search all the recs you can
get to without extreme pain (like days in the PA
State Archives looking at 17th century manuscripts
written in chicken scratch script with no index).
That's easy. Step one is to go to the LDS web
site and get a copy of the index document for
the colony/state and check them all. I just
did a excercise yesterday of creating a file for
all of the South Carolina indexes and checking
off which ones I had checked already and determining
which ones were in the library I'm going to next
week. Most were. One horribly long miserable
day ending in a headache due to dehydration and
I'll have 'done' them, including the SC military
recs for the colonial and revolutionary times.
Finding the list of things to search, in other
words, is a no brainer. Its been done by LDS and
you can get the list free. Yet a lot of people
don't even know about this because they've not
bothered to educate themselves about what freebees
are available to them.
Anyhow, you are HOME. You are ready to start your
irish research as you have the ONE important key
item you MUST have to hope to succeed: the county
Now you must learn how to do Irish genealogy
pre 1820s or so. THAT'S NOT EASY. Why? Because it
is very difficult for the majority of Irish
people, who were Catholics. They do not tend to
appear in the earlier records. Who does? PRODS!!!!
However most irish 101 genealogy courses don't
contain methodologies to effectively research
Presbyterians and other Prods because we were a
However you need to read some good books on
Irish research. The most important thing to
understand is YOUR ANCESTOR'S NAME DOESN'T OCCUR
IN THE INDEXES. That's right. He ain't there.
He left. His DA's name is there in the Tithe
Applotments, maybe, and maybe a brother or his
Da in Griffiths. You gotta learn to find his
FAMILY, not him. So you avail yourself of the
indexed sources in Antrim to create a chart
of where you got Knights and Carrolls near one
another. Then you do additional research to
understand the estate situation there and look
for additional records.
Those additional records are not well indexed.
The estate records ARE NOT. Though they may be
in LDS. There's been huge amounts of things
published, so you check the standard Irish indexes
If you have been trying to find church records,
then you do need to read up on Irish genealogy.
One of my rules for myself is SPEND TIME LOOKING
FOR RECORDS THAT DO EXIST. DO NOT SPEND TIME
LOOKING FOR NON EXISTENT RECORDS. Why? IT's durn
hard to find records that don't exist and never
did. That's true of most church records in Ireland
before about 1820. The Catholics and Presbyterians
were illegal. They did not keep church records.
I stil have to bonk myself on the head periodically
as I race off to try to find records that I think
should exist but I've not figured out if they do
It's a lot of work. I recall that one very very
senior professional researcher in Salt Lake who
spoke a few years ago at a conference told us how
he'd looked for the origins of his "Scotch Irish"
ancestor in Ireland for a very long time. The man
was a quartermaster in George Washington's army.
He finally found the family in NIDS. Dundalk and
Dublin! Not Scotch Irish, but definitely Irish
Protestant merchants. The merchant thing was a
giveway -- he was a quartermaster. Quartermasters
gotta know about how to move lots of goods. Most
of them are middle class and from merchant families,
I'd wager. That made the DING DING DING go off
in his head. There was a good chance of finding
this guy's family because merchants left lots of
Anyhow you just keep on searching and learning.
Our website has the names of books to read. The
same man said with Irish research you must spend
1/3rd of your time LEARNING HOW, and 1/rd TRYING
TO FIND THE RECORDS, and the last 3rd only looking
at the records. So most of us have to make some
radical shifts in where we put our time to have
a hope of a chance. Heck, probably 95% of the
people here think they will find their answer
on the web!! Wow, is that unlikely. Someday a
cousin may actually bother to do the Work and
find it. Will he post a list you are on or will
you be long dead and gone? If you want to climb
your brick walls in our lifetime, we gotta do the
Work ourselves, now, alas..... (I am still looking
for those cousins though myself!)
That's why the list is here -- to help you
get started. The website has lots of ideas:
http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~merle and for
NIDS and Hayes see
www.rootsweb.com/~bifhsusa 's guide on Irish
My website lists the books you'll need. The great
thing about learning how to do Irish genealogy is
it is not like brain surgery: You can learn as you
go. The patients are already dead <grin>.
Also study what their religion was in the USA --
EARLY. I mean like some of my ancestors started
out Reformed Presbyterian, became UP and died
Methodists. Perhaps they were not religious but
you are looking for signs like maybe they gravitated
to Episcopalian churches or they were fanatical
Reformed Presbyterians or Associate PResbyterians.
These smaller groups existed in a smaller number
of congregations and areas. It can be a MAJOR
Very best of luck!
---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
Date: Sat, 7 Feb 2004 07:36:46 EST
>I am new to this list and hope someone will recognize my family. I have
>posted to the appropriate Name and County lists, with no success.
>I am seeking any information on ELIZABETH CARROLL and MICHAEL KNIGHT. They
>were the parents of my gr-gr-grandfather, JAMES KNIGHT. James was born about
>1832 in "Antrim" according to his U.S. Naturalization papers. After many years
>of searching, I have been unable to locate his actual birth place, or any
>information about his parents.
>I know the family considered themselves "Scottish", I have seen some census
>forms listing Scotland, or Ireland, or England as place of birth. My
>grandfather, James Knight III, always said his family was "Scotch-Irish"!
>Do this couple sound familiar to anyone on this list? Does anyone have any
>suggestions about where to search for them? I've really hit a "brick wall".
> Thanks for any help,