Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2005-10 > 1129218612
From: "Linda Merle" <>
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] Another elusive Scots-Irish
Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 08:50:12 -0700
I question what the various censuses actually say regarding
his birth place. "N Ireland" -- if you mean "Northern Ireland"
didn't exist till 1922. It's remotely possible that 'the
north of Ireland' was indicated in all those censues, but I
It's very common for ages to differ in the censuses and
with other sources. Learning to deal with this is a common
topic in genealogy lectures, articles, etc....I can't
digest all that stuff here.... It's not even surprising that
they differ.... It would be surprising if they didnt.
> His naturalization papers state he arrived at the Port of
>New York on 15 July 1886 -- he's not on any immigration list anywhere, even on
>boats that arrived on that date. I checked the Canadian lists, thinking he
The only way to find this is to search the ship lists of
all ships arriving on that date sequentially. They are not
indexed. If you pick up a book like "The Source" it will
tell you what is indexed and what is not. As I said in an
earlier post, the New York ship lists aren't all indexed.
If you don't find him on THAT date, then you search several
days before and after. It's tedious work. I've done it at
an LDS library that had all the film there. This helped for
speed and cost. I do not think Ancestry has 1886 indexed
yet, but it is not difficult to tell....
>might have snuck over the border and also checked Baltimore, Gulf Coasts,
>Philadelphia and San Francisco as well as checked into Australia in case he went
>their first in chains. Nada. Nowhere. Maybe he rowed across.
Again, unless you've checked the actual ship lists for these
ports, you've not checked them. A few may be indexed -- I
gave the (free) source I use a lot in a prior email. Most
at your date won't be because of the volumes of ships arriving
and the lack of volunteers to do the indexing <grin>. Not
sure at all about how many of the Aussie arrivals are indexed
but I would expect that they are not. A thorough search of
the New York arrivals using microfilm of the actual ship lists
is in order. If you did this, I'd do or have it done again,
being careful to look for funny spellings.
Indexes are always wrong at least 10% of the time. With
the exact date, you should be checking the actual records,
even if your search of an index has been negative.
You cannot assume his religion by his surname. People change
their religion all the time -- as you know <Grin>.
>I can't start writing away for church records when I have no idea where to
>look. Any guidance/thoughts will be much appreciated.
My advice is to spend some time learning a bit more about
him in the USA. I would (and while I do genealogy professionally, I still do this myself ALL THE TIME) re-read
information in "The Source" and other important genealogy
books on American ship lists and censuses. I would review all
the data that you have. I would obtain obits. I would research
all his children and get their death info, looking for
additional clues. I would follow up on occupation related
I would then do a search again for the place in Ireland using
reputable gazetteers. I would arm myself with some additional
knowledge about Irish placenames, re-reading articles.
I would re read my reference material on Ireland and make
a list of the types of records that exist and that might help
me find th is man in his time frame. I would then attempt to
locate him in those surviving records.
In doing this you will learn a lot, as I do every time I do it,
that will help you. I am very curious as to where you think
you will write for Irish Church Records. There really is not
a single place to write. They are not agregated in any one
spot. If you doubt what I say consult Ryan "Irish Records".
You will see that many church records are still locally held.
Many are aggregated by county. There are 32 counties in Ireland. So you can pay to have a search done of indexes for
records that are indexed -- 32 times. You may find civil
registration a better option.
The biggest problem we all face with finding our ancestors
is that we don't know how. We believe we do, but we don't.
We don't bother to learn how the experts have gone about doing
the research. We think that we can make do on the INternet
though we don't know if records have ever existed that could
be indexed and put on the internet (ie pre 1820 ship lists).
So of course we can't succeed, even with 'easy' cases, let
along hard ones. It's even possible that your family research
has been completed by a cousin who published the research
in a genealogy magazine. Have you checked PERSI?
There are great free courses on how to do immigration research
at www.genealogy.com/university.html . I got books I paid for
that are not as good as these or as easy to use.
When I start out with one of these, I review ALL the info
and as I do so, I write down ideas of things to follow up on.
If the information is not primary, I check the original. Ie
I would be very surprised if every single census and document
listed a country that didn't exist as his origin and birthplace.
Could be (I've seen stranger <grin>) but you must check.
Possibly there is a clue somewhere in these records. Finding
that they all do say "North of Ireland" itself is a clue.
Then you review the ideas you wrote down and you make a list.
You go over the sources as I mentioned. There are some things
that can be very difficult to follow up on. Others are easy.
You start with the easy and methodically pursue them.At each
step you consult reference books. You do this even when you
use the INternet. Too many people use Ancestry and have not
got an idea at all of what percentage of existing records
are indexed in Ancestry. Thus they cannot possibly evaluate
a negative result. They also can't then go find the rest of
When it comes to Irish research, due to records destruction
and to records that were never recorded in the first place,
one of the experts said in a lecture I heard that you need
to spend a third of your time learning what records exist,
a third figuring out how to get those records, and only a
third looking at the records. He's right. So if we aren't
doing all that reference work, it is hardly surprising that
we can't get results. If the experts need to work this hard,
you can bet the rest of us must work even harder.
As we move earlier in time in Ireland, the records situation,
which in the mid 1800s is different from the USAs (meaning we
must learn how to do it or we screw up), gets far worse. In
fact often in Irish genealogy classes, one is told it is not
possible to do Irish genealogy before about 1820 unless you
descend from the aristocracy. That's often not true but it
is hard and requires a lot of effort.
Best of luck!!
Sent via the WebMail system at mail.fea.net
|Re: [Sc-Ir] Another elusive Scots-Irish by "Linda Merle" <>|