Monday, 13 August 2012

An Irish genealogical sojourn

A gathering of descendants of John Whelan and Ann McDonnell of 49 Bolton Street, Dublin.I will add names once I have checked them all. I am centre back row in blue shirt.
The gathering took place at the Hilton Hotel, Dublin in August 2012 

Have recently returned from a family holiday to Ireland, spending a week with Theresa's mum Kitty Dwyer in Tubber, near Moate, which is on the Westmeath/Offaly border and then a second week at Finny near Clonbur, this time on the border of Galway and Mayo - an area I believe to be where my father's Irish ancestors the Flynns and Finns came from before settling in Birmingham shortly after the great famine of the 1840s.

In our first week I journeyed back from Moate to Dublin with my son Patrick where we had the enormous pleasure of meeting up with some of my mom's cousins on my grandmother's side of the family, the Whelan and McDonnell line. I have written fairly extensively about the Whelan branch of my family tree on this blog, in fact it was through this website that some family members in Dublin first made contact with me a couple of years ago, wih our recent gathering at the Hilton Hotel on the Grand canal being the first time we have ever met in person.

It was a fantastic evening, with some 14 or 15 people swapping stories, memories, photos and even fascinating old documents such as a copy of my great grandfather's baptismal certificate from 1865 and my great-great grandfather's Will from 1916. I will post up seperately about these fascinating documents shortly. In the meantime I wish to thank Gaye Mulholland for organising the evening and also thanks to everyone who turned up to meet me and Patrick (and each other) at the Hilton. A good time was had by all and your warmth and hospitality was absolutely brilliant.

Prior to our departure for Ireland two weeks ago (it seems such a long time ago now) I hastily prepared a draft family history record of my mother-in-law's family, the Stone family of Lurgan, County Offaly. Kitty is 80 this year so I wanted to give her at least a draft copy of my research up to this point, much of which has previously appeared on this website over the past 2 years. The written record requires a lot more editing work on it, but it was well received in its draft form by Kitty who proceded to fill me in during the next few days with plenty more fascinating anecdotal information. I also took the opportunity to make some notes of these oral tales as well as noting down information from many old Mass cards and obituaries from Kitty's 'biscuit tin'.

The Stone family history can be read in an attractive format on the Calameo website here:

Kilmonaghan cemetery in Offaly - the resting place of many
Stone ancestors from 19th century Lurgan

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