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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2007-05 > 1178206619

Subject: Re: [S-I] Griffiths Valuation McDavitt
Date: Thu, 03 May 2007 15:36:59 +0000

Hi, I am assuming you did a lookup on either the CD with the index or an on line source. Let's call this 21st century 101 Griffiths. The CD is known to have errors, btw. I still use it as the ol' 101 search.

Few people bother these days to order the microfilm with the index and then to followup by searching the actual microfilm of the record. That's the 101 of the 20th century (we're degrading). If you do this you know how to order microfilm from LDS and have viewed actual original documents (after you ordered and viewed the actual microfilm, not the index). You've learned a lot. Sans the learning part, you can also have a firm in Ireland or elsewhere do this part for you. Again, this is 101.

>From here there's two ways to respond to your question.

One is by suggesting you explore Griffiths more deeply. There are articles on how to do this, as well as courses. There's a chapter in Falley "Irish and Scotch-Irish Ancestry Research', as well as helpful info in the free LDS Irish guide. They used to have a free guide just on using either Griffiths or the Householders index -- I forget. I tended to reread it everytime as I'm pretty stupid. I usually learned something new. There's also chapters in standard Irish genealogy books like Grenham.

There's also a thin book on using Griffiths. I forget its names, but you can find it in 4 secs by searching on the Internet I'm having a problem finding it in my bookcase. GRRR!!! I hate that. It gives you a lot of historical background which helps you understand why soemone is or is not in it. It shows you (as well other sources, mentioned above) how to use it to trace the land and/or your ancestors into the 20th century as well as to get more info from it about your ancestors' status. It's invaluable to anyone seriously doing Irish genealogy. Required reading. This particular iceberg proably has far more than 90% of the data hidden from you but WAY over 90% of the folks never bother to look for that data. So sad. Griffiths is the Irish county deedbook (for Americans <grin>).

However if you check a book like Ryan "Irish Records" you will find a quick and dirty, 101 list of stuff available on that county. Check the ones that apply. Read chapter one on all Ireland records and check the ones that apply. Order the OS Memoire for the barony and read it. Turn to the LDS catalog and use the place search to locate unpublished microfilm. Order some.

The next thing to do that easy is check the Tithe Applotment index, on CD, full of errors, but easy. This'll tell you if they lived there earlier. Griffiths was done in the middle of the Famine. Lots of movement during that time. Want a snapshot of the parish before the Famine? Tithe Applotment index. Then check the Tithe Applotment. I was reading a parish once in Tyrone and noticed the
surnames were very much like the surnames in central Antrim. At the bottom of the parish the
census taker (or tithe applotment taker....whatever!) had written that this parish was full of
spawn of the Scottish Covenanters who had migrated here from Antrim and were the source of
the Hearts of Oak disturbance. So...I was right! I might be related to any of these people.

In some cases transcriptions can be found on the Internet. No transcriber is infallible. So always check the original or a microfilm of it, if you can. Eventually.

These days it is easy to quickly hop back using websites and CDs. You quickly reach a point where you can go no further. Why? Because you don't know how to do Irish genealogy. That takes a long time to learn, and we're impatient. I know this space -- been there!! So you have missed valuable clues in what you have researched and you don't know how to find more stuff. One reason why this is particularlly difficult with Ireland is that due to records destruction and the fact that many records were never made in the first place, we must rely on secondary records collections. Like Crossle. Here we need to learn to do 'real research' like library science majors and grad students do. It requires a lot of skill, but it is a lot like tracking down a murderer. We all watch murder mysteries on TV, so we all know much more than we think about how to do this, seriously. has on line guides that can help you, including identifiying major indexes like Hayes. Hayes is not a lot of help if you don't know the place they lived in as Hayes will not name your ancestor (unless he was gentry). It'll name the place. Your ancestor or another family member might be named on a list of freemen in a town nearby, for example. The freeman is not on Hayes. The town is and so is the topic of freemen's lists.

The other thing to do first is check the Internet, starting with for transcriptions from that area.

Another caveat: don't neglect church records of other denominations. People change religion. Don't whine and moan about how your ancestors are nowhere when they are all over the local Catholic records. Seen this a fair number of times. Don't be blind sided by your preconceived notions. These days you can usually find a firm that has indexed most of the church records in the county and can get a list of all the hits far cheaper than you can search all them by hand.

Even when we're searching in the 18th century, it can be helpful to resarch 19th century church records. In fact learning how to use 19th century records to do 18th century research is one of finer skills few ever learn. We talk about it here. Using Griffiths and the Tithe Applotment indexes is one of them -- to get a bead on where the ancestor might have been earlier. If you learn the family was Catholic in 1820 but yours left in 1770, what does that tell you ? It says that they might have been Catholic in 1770. As there were few Catholic congregations in America in 1770 it was durn hard to remain Catholic. People assimilated. Maryland of course had them, and so did Adams Co, PA.
However if they don't seem to be on the muster lists and freemen's lists, Etc, in the 1700s and 1600s,
it might be because they were Catholic. In which case, you might need to consider DNA research
unless you can find them in estate records. Unfortunately they are not usually indexed. To really get into them, assuming your estate records survive, y ou need to read them. This is tough. There's
hundreds of film of the Abercorn estate in LDS, but due to no index, they are rarely used.

DNA research shows that many Ulster Protestants are of Irish descent. As we learn more, you
may be able to connect yours to folks in Scotland (much of Scotland came from Ireland) or
maybe the local indiginous Irish. Why there isn't a lot on the average Irishman, you can trace the lineages back further than any other in Europe.

I'm free associating's time to go! Best of luck.

Linda Merle

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