Esther Claffy was born in Guigginstown County Westmeath in the 1790's. She is my Great Great Great Great Grandmother and we owe a debt of gratitude to those that kept this safe for many generations. Now digitised she is safe from the corrosive forces of nature. How many other photgraphs exist of an 18th Cenrury Irish woman? An heirloom to be treasured and carefully stored.
The once was a man whose father inherited a house from a lady he worked for. The reason for the inheritance was unclear and a mystery. Has their been a relationship between the couple possibly even a child conceived? It involved a landed estate house and a memoir written by a daughter of the estate describing many children born out of wedlock between the testosterone fueled men of the big house and those working for them. It made for an interesting few hours with him where we worked together to discover what the truth was. He did not know when his father was born or any previous ancestors except two uncles.
After 4 hours intensive work we found 9 aunts and uncles with 6 surviving and were able to trace 3 of his 4 great grandparents on his fathers side back to the 1820's. It included maps, taxes paid, properties owned.
It was then the mystery was solved......the surname of the lady his father inherited from was the same as his great grandmother who lived across the road. Family history lost in time now uncovered.
One the biggest changes in Irish Genealogy will take place on the 8th of July 2015. The National Library or Ireland will place 400,000 parish records online.
Dating from the 1740's to the 1880's they cover 1,091 parishes across Ireland. They are the most important Irish genealogical records prior to the census of 1901. The new website set up to showcase them has yet to be launched. And all for FREE.
The phone rings.I pick up and listen to a man asking, "Is that John Walsh?" Yes I answer noticing the seriousness in his voice. "We have had a report of an alarm going off at your property and want to know if you are at the premises?" Knowing we were not I said I would return and check to see if all was o.k or if we had been burgled. The question that remained in my head as I returned to the house was what if my thousands of photographs were stolen? Years of memories lost.They were more important than any material items. That's the power of Genealogy. Our need to hold and record our lives are essential to fully celebrate our unique time here and delving through the doors to our past enhances and enlivens it.
Genealogy is going to go mainstream.Or so said one the the experts in the field to me recently.The digital revolution is in full swing and access to records getting easier daily.So far so good.The only problem is also the silver lining.Irish records are dispersed in a multitude of locations but are largely free to access.Hence the need to set up this website.........here begins a journey to educate , help and celebrate the lives of others and in the process add flavour to our own.