Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2009-09 > 1254176271
Subject: Re: [S-I] Alexander McBride and Family
Date: Mon, 28 Sep 2009 22:17:51 +0000 (UTC)
> Does anyone on the list have an idea if there would be any protestant church records from that era in the Newry or >County Down area.? I do not know what occupation Alexander may have had.? Any ideas on where to look would >be appreciated.
If you took a course in Irish genealogy it'd tell you that it is impossible to trace non-gentle families in Ireland before about 1820 when most church records begin! However what you are trying to do is very difficult -- but perhaps not impossible.
"Protestant" is also a little vague -- there were plenty of Protestants of various stripes. You must look for existing records in all. This is difficult since what you have is a point of departure. Most likely they lived nearby, possibly in Newry, but very possibly not. WIthin whatever area you choose to check, there are many Protestant churches. Most of them will not have surviving records so it's not your problem!
Two suggestions for searching existing records:
1. Search here: http://www.irish-roots.ie/ . Free index to many church records.
2. Obtain in a library or by purchase a book that identifies church records in County Down. Using maps (you can get at PRONI), ID the parishes/congregations near Newry. Check the surviving ones that are not indexed up in in Number 1, above. The Antrim-Down center should list what they got. The list was provided by the Ulster Historical Society, though, and the last time I checked, they didn't have that info. Bad guys! BOOO!!! The other county centers do.
There's a couple books, you can find by checking in Amazon for Irish church records. One by Mitchell. I have Ryan "Irish Records".
You should also check IGI as an increasingly large number are indexed there.
Some are in the FHL so you can order the film.
However if you th ink y ou will be able to use church records to find these guys, you will not find them. The sad state of Irish church records is why the Irish genealogy classes teach that you probably can't find your ancestor before about 1820. So why would you expend a lot of time/money pursuing a course of action that others have found to be fruitless????? Spend a little time doing this and not much.
Instead focus on strategies that might work out for you. These are not easy to learn to do because the book has not been written! Most of the books on Irish genealogy address the majority of Irish genealogy problems -- 19th century migration, not 18th century.
However if you read the emails on this list you'll learn a lot. Many people here have ideas.
You need to pin down where in the Newry area they came from. You need to do a fairly standard Irish search for these locations. This is called "preliminary Irish genealogy" -- when y ou nail it down, so you can dig deeper into records that are not indexed or easy to use -- then you are really doing Irish genealogy.
The way to do a preliminary report is to check the archives of this list for more info than I'll give here (search 'preliminary report'). Basically you vacuum up all the easy to get records, not paying a huge amount of attention to the time. You must use 19th century records like Griffiths and the Tithe Applotment. Y ou will use Raymond Kelly's County Down site. You will gather all the McBride records carefully noting in your spreadsheet or Word table the parish and townland (if given). Esp. note ones that seem familiar -- same uses of first names. Near the same people they are near in South Carolina.
They'll cluster. Then you'll have to learn a lot about these areas. Lewis' gazetteer is on line. It's URL was given today -- check today's posts. You'll be looking then to map these places into estates. You'll study the estates and look for estate records.
The first part of the project will take you some time to do. You can hire someone to do this for you but you will not learn how to do Irish genealogy and you won't get familiar with the area. So you will unable to continue the work. If you do it yourself, you'll be able to continue since you'll have learned how.
I did this work on my lines a few years ago. Meanwhile a distant cousin hired someone in Ireland to do research on a line we shared. In the end we had the same information exactly except I had one piece more. I was very happy and knew what to do next. He was very depressed because the researcher in IReland had failed to turn up a single record that named our common ancestor. My distant cousin had failed to learn how to do Irish genealogy -- not only the methodologies but what to expect. You are extremely unlikely to find a record that names a poor Irishman, esp. one named Alexander McBride in a way that you can tell he's yours. You may find him on some muster lists. He didn't own land. He didn't die so there's no will. There are no emigration records -- largely.
One thing you need to do is get his DNA tested. You need a male descendent. Then go to www.familytreedna.com and order a kit. Get at least a 37 marker kit, preferably 67 because the DNA in Scotland/Ireland is so much alike you gotta. If you get enough markers tested you can find help free. Otherwise no one'll bother with you. You join (free) the Ulster Heritage DNA project at Family Tree DNA and your surname project. Worse case -- you'll eventually get a match. Meanwhile you can be doing genealogy and so you'll understand the match better.
I worked on a situation very similar only we didn't know where the lads came from. They manifested in 1770 or so in Virginia. Three brothers, of course. Most believed they were from Ulster. They later moved to eastern Tennessee. We could find no trace of information about where they came from here. So we did a DNA study and some Irish genealogy. We did Scottish too but found nothing there..... The surname is not common even in Ireland, so there were two groups only -- one in Tyrone and one in Down (Banbridge area). My client paid to have the Banbridge area records searched for one parish. This turned up the usual nothing directly relating to our lads. Except we did note the first names weren't alike so we were pretty sure these were not his relatives.
The Tyrone family was smaller but the first names really seemed to match.
We found a man in Belfast from the County Down family who had his DNA tested with us. Not a close match. We needed a match within 7 generations. I might add we tested descendents of various brothers to make sure we knew the DNA of these men. Eventually (much googling, waiting, looking, etc), I found a lady in Australia who was researching the Tyrone family on the female line. She had done a lot of church records in Tyrone. Her ancestors left in the 1800s for Scotland and after a few years there migrated to Australia. She found a few church records but not many. We joined up and flushed the bushes heavily -- and found hiding in the Australian bush--- a male descendent of a relative of her ancestress. We talked him into allowing my client to test his DNA. The first kit sent was lost at sea, it seems...wow, we were bummed...this was months of waiting. Second kit sent did return to Dallas. The results were unbelievable -- a match! A match!!! This man had been born in a village in Tyrone about 1820. His parents' names were on his death record in Australia as well as his village of origin, and this matched the Irish church record. So....we're pretty sure we know where our three brothers came from -- there or nearby -- a mere fifty years before. We shall probably never know much more. Have searched and searched. Everyone with the surname seems to have left Ireland. Did trace one family into Dublin in the early 1900s.....
This is a sort of case study of how you proceed and what you can hope to find. But generally church records are not going to help you much at all for pre 19th century Irish genealogy.
We continue to work with a DNA fellow who thinks he can figure out the 'deep ancestry' of the brothers. It is clear they are North West Irish lads -- not Scots. Possibly O'Doherties, or so he now tells us, though he had said O'Cathains before. I donno and I suspect he doesn't either. They found a private (family) marker for the O'Doherties, I hear, and our lads don't have it but a lot of O'D's do not. It is possible that my client could get a free guiness in that village but I'd not bet on it <grin>! Still how many of us know what our ancestors were doing a thousand years ago? My client's were ruling Ulster. Or so the fantasy goes <grin>! It's a good fantasy and maybe it's true. If they weren't, what is clear is that their cousins were. Which is knowing a fair amount about three poor Irish who got to Virginia somehow.