Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Persistence Pays Off

I usually refer to myself as a bulldog. I will chase after something endlessly and rarely give up. This a very good trait in a genealogist and I am going to explain why.

Brickwalls are a part of almost every genealogy. You get to a certain point and can't seem to get any farther. When you are Irish, it is inevitable. By a couple of happy circumstances, I have been luckier than most.

My great-great grandfather, Cornelius Donoghoe was married and naturalized in Massachusetts. I was able to get a copy of his civil marriage record from the state and on it I found his father's name and his wife's father's name. This is a really big deal.

Additionally, the naturalization document in Massachusetts is much more detailed than Connecticut and not only tells where he was born in Ireland but when he arrived in this country. To anyone who has done Irish genealogy this is the thing we all strive for.

I have been to Ireland, found his parents marriage and two sisters and that was pretty much that for the last almost 20 years. Last night, I was searching around on  Family Search and as usual was checking what records they have.

I wanted to check the 1850 census for Massachusetts to see if there was any new information on where Cornelius might be. I searched Geoffrey just for the fun of it and found two more siblings for Cornelius that I never knew existed. I also found a death record in Boston in 1860 for a Jeffrey Donahue 50 years old. Is this my Jeffrey? I don't know but if it is, it changes everything I thought I knew.

What the lesson here is, it is never over. We just need to keep looking and going back to the same sources because you  never know when new information will be added. 

Just for the record, the spelling that I used for Geoffrey and Donahue are not misspellings, there are the variations I have found in the records. At Cornelius' birth his father's name is spelled with a G and the Donahue was spelled with all o's and the g. 

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