Tuesday, March 22, 2016

More Walsh's!!!

The Walsh's are coming out of the woodwork!  Awhile back, I ran across a Walsh Family Tree on Ancestry which looked promising, but on further inspection there were a lot of mistakes and I didn't trust that it was well researched, so set it aside.

Today on Facebook, one of the Irish community sites I follow, posted a link to the Oughterard Heritage page on the web.  I took a look and there were lots of family memories, and assorted postings about people who lived/worked in Oughterard.  As far as I know, none of my family actually lived in the town, just the surrounding district.  When I saw a post called "Walsh's of Oughterard" I thought I'd have a look.   I was met by this amazing photograph:

This photo and face just seemed to leap off the page to me, as if I recognized him.  I think I had seen this photo in the poorly researched family tree, but it also looked like photos of my Grand Uncle. I looked through the information on the page, and it stated that this man's parents were David Walsh and Sarah Walsh of Finnaun.  BINGO!!! This rang a bell, and I quickly found Sarah in my tree, she is my Gt Gt Grand Aunt, sister to my Gt Gt Grandfather William Walsh. 

I had Sarah and David Walsh's marriage record from 1866, with the correct Father's -- and the children listed, matched up with the children I had for them via baptismal records.  The naming patterns match up, as well.  

The man in the photo is either Patrick David Walsh or his brother John "Sean Guy" Walsh.  Patrick emigrated to the USA and lived in Pennsylvania and Ohio.  John stayed in Ireland.

The man who posted all of this information to the Oughterard Heritage page is this man's grandson and is in Australia. From comments on the page, there are descendants in Boston and England as well.  I've emailed the Australian man and am anxiously awaiting more info!

Amazing that with such a common name as Walsh, I've been able to keep adding to this family!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Walsh's in the background......but now in the forefront

While cleaning up my family tree, I came across a WALSH family that I had no death dates for......so with a little sleuthing, I figured that they could possibly be buried in Spiddal.  So I turned to my trusty Graveyard Inscription Book, and after looking through many WALSH entries, found the family I was looking for, and lo and behold they were literally next to my Grand Aunt's headstone (she being Margaret Walsh Folan).   While this totally made sense, it was something that I had never looked at before.

This Walsh family was only found this past Autumn, as they descend from a previously unknown brother of my Gt Grandfather.  This brother, Peader Walsh, only came to light via a DNA match to his great grandson.  We came up as 3rd cousins, but couldn't determine the common ancestor.  The village that he came from was very small, and with only one Walsh family in it in 1911.  I emailed a cousin in Galway, and he said "it's just up the road, and there are still Walsh's there".

About a month later he emailed me and said he'd walked up the road and had a long chat with a descendent, who said he came from Peader Walsh, who had moved from Muckanaghkillew (my ancestors village) in the late 1850's!!!!   Without DNA this brother and descendents would never have been found and connected to my tree!

So, back to the cemetery book......when I found the entry for the headstone with the names that I knew, I wondered if I had walked right by the headstone when I was at the cemetery in July 2015.  So I pulled out my photos from that trip, and lo and behold found a photo of my sister posing next to a Celtic Cross, and behind her were the headstones of Peter Walsh and family!!!!  It's like the ancestors were there all along, asking to be found!

I'm still blown away by the fact that we walked right by them, and didn't associate them with our Grand Aunt!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

DNA hit = 3rd cousin!

I love it when a random DNA hit leads me to a new "close" cousin!  Got a 3rd cousin hit, and checked on my Sister's kit, where the match was only 4-6th cousin.  Not surprising since I inherited more of the Irish DNA.

Started sleuthing on the family tree of the new cousin, and since they were in California, I could check the CA death records. I found a death record for Robert Martin Lee that identified the Mother as Conroy.  BINGO!  More sleuthing and found them in the census for 1920-40, and her name was Katherine Lee (nee Conroy).  I found her death record in 1963, and her Mother was listed as Toole.  KA-CHING!   My Great Grandmother was Cait/Kate Toole, and this woman was her sister Mary Toole!  I verified all of this with Irish baptism record for Kate Conroy and 1901 census for family of John and Mary Conroy.

Turns out I had Mary and her family in my tree, but not the descendents down to present day. It is curious that they are in San Francisco, and I wonder if my Grandfather knew them?  By my figuring, Kate Conroy and my Grandfather Martin Connolly would be 1st cousins.

The ancestors are talking to me......

Sometimes it seems that the ancestors are reaching out, showing me clues, making themselves known...and as we approach St. Patrick's Day, my Irish side is in full action mode!!

The DNA results for my two Irish Aunts came in this week, leading to lots of matches, many that I already knew, but further sleuthing and triangulations need to be done!

I've had numerous promising DNA hits this week, including a 3rd cousin (our TOOLE Gt Grandmother's were sisters, born in 1860's) -- and both our families settled in San Francisco (wow!)

Another DNA hit on the NEE name is very promising, leading me to Turlough, Rosmuc.  More sleuthing needed, but this is quite promising as I've never been able to pinpoint this family line to a place!

An old Facebook message via the Galway Genetic Genealogy group, has also led me to a 3rd cousin on the WALSH side.  I spent two hours messaging back and forth with her, exchanging old photos and information!  And of course the inter-connected ness of Connemara shows up, as that family of Walsh's seems to have married within their own clan quite a bit!

Some lovely new photos, and promised help to uncover unknown faces in another photo.

Walsh sisters in Boston (my 1st cousins 2x removed)

Amazing how the Irish Diaspora is as strong as ever, and with technology we can connect ourselves and keep that family contact across the generations, long after our ancestors left Eire.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Walsh's of Formweel

The view from my Grandmother's house looks across Lough Muckanagh towards a distant fishing lodge, called Fermoyle Lodge.  The back road (Shanapheasteen) from Oughterard to Carraroe passes by the lodge,  Local lore says it was a fishing lodge for wealthy British folks back in the day.

I haven't given much thought to this place, other than it's a nice view over to the Lodge.  But as my research has progressed, I've found one of my Great Grand Aunts marrying a Walsh from Formweel (one of the variant spellings).  This made me think that there could be some other connections between the Walsh families that are separated by Lough Muckanagh.  It is a remote area and the villages/townlands are very small, with only a handful of households in each.  And every household is a Walsh family!

I stumbled across a record last night that sent me down the rabbit hole.....and to another interesting possibility.  I found a World War One British Military Pension record for a Patrick Walsh of Rosmuck Parish.  I looked at the details, as I knew that generally you might find a birthdate and/or a listing of spouse, children, or parents names.   I thought this might help me identify where and who this Patrick was.  Sure enough, there was a listing of his parents, John and Mary, and his siblings: brothers (younger it said!): Matthew, Michael, Thomas, and sister Margaret.

So, with a little sleuthing, I found a family with a Mathias Walsh, and the other siblings/parents in the 1901 Census in Formweel.  Then found the baptisms of the children, which identified the parents as John Walsh and Mary Flaherty!  Looks like Patrick lied a bit about his age, as he was baptized in 1858, and his attestation has him as age 23 in 1892 (which would make him born about 1869).  He served with the Army, serving in India from 1906-1913, and was discharged in 1917 at Plymouth, as physically unfit (rheumitism).

Now, who is this John Walsh and family, and do they relate to my people.  In Griffiths Valuation for Formweel there are 3 Walsh's listed:  Thomas Walsh, John Walsh (!!), and Peter Walsh (who I know relates as the father of my Gt Grand Aunt's husband Comryn Walsh).   An earlier record, the Tithe Applotments, shows Peter Walsh for Formweel, and Muckanaghkillew.

So....more sleuthing to come to figure out if this family connects to mine!