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Messages - Ghostwheel

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Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Saturday 21 April 18 19:32 BST (UK)  »

In my personal philosophy, impressions and guesswork are very important.  You need them to come up with hunches, that can possibly be tested.  That was why I was soliciting impressions, to hone my hunches.

I'm sure, what I've said has struck you as using a dousing rod.  But in my experience, it really helps.  Studying the map, even the mountains and looking at very lateral names - people I wasn't directly interested in, that couldn't be connected on a tree - has helped me enormously, not once, but twice.  In Ireland, you need out of the box approaches.

In one instance, my starting point was actually this same "relative."  Her mother was born quite close to where one of my G grandfathers was born.  My G grandparents had married in the US.  They were from different parishes and I hadn't even conceived of the idea that they had known each other in Ireland.  This changed all that.  It changed my idea of scale and direction.  It helped me find 2 of my GG grandmothers who had extremely common names, and who had almost zero clues associated with them.  Me finding them so close together - associated with the same townland and knowing that they had the same surname was its own check,  Because I realized that they were related, though the paper record didn't go far back enough to say how.

No one searching for just one name, or just in one line, would have ever found that.  It was on nobody's tree, and I'm sure I was the first person to figure it out, and likely the only one who would have ever figured it out.  Because no one else would have had the patience or the right clue. 

And, it all began with this same unknown "relative", and ended with two other people who were unknown relatives to each other.  My closing thought: "relative" or "cousin" should never be disregarded in Ireland.  It may be a snipe hunt, but it might surprise you and turn out to be profitable, even if you can't trace it.

Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Saturday 21 April 18 18:51 BST (UK)  »
Heywood, that is an interesting perspective.  I had never thought that: there is a level of kin beyond knowledge.  For instance, sometimes rarer first names are associated with surnames.  if you were living in the same parish with another fellow who had the same name as you, you'd probably consider him kin.

Sinann, that is quite a lifelike picture you paint.  If you have secretly built some time machine in your garage, I hope you don't throw anything out of whack in one my parishes.  Or should I even say counties and provinces?  Just how far are you going back?!  Maybe, next time hop to Ming-era China to be on the safe side?

Aghadowey, that is really a funny line about not saying anything.  i'm surprised I never heard it in a movie.  Thinking about it, I'm not too sure how far back people could remember.  My own aunt had some really mistaken impressions about her aunts, thinking some were half-sisters, because her grandfather was a widower who had remarried.  I can't decide, if she was told a story or not, as the first birth was a bit early.  But I've always thought of that as Americans quickly forgetting most kin.

Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Saturday 21 April 18 06:07 BST (UK)  »
Ruskie, sorry for muddling you.  I've rambled too much, when I should have been trying to cut to the essentials, which is really more about psychology of kin.  Very imprecise and mostly guesswork but still interesting to me.

Brigidmac, I've considered that the 1920 US census might have a clue, but I've kind of written it off.  The name is Brien.  I don't know the names or ages of the people to whom the widower's kids were likely sent (incomplete birth record for that generation)  The most likely destination is NYC.  Second, lesser possibility Boston.  Both with heaps of Briens.   

Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Saturday 21 April 18 05:56 BST (UK)  »
I want to be clear here:  I am not looking for names, or others to find connections. 

The story is superfluous and contains too many elements for all but the very motivated (descendants interested in genealogy) to grasp.  The relevant connections are not direct, since none exist.  They are lateral and circumstantial, done looking heavily at the map and searching many, many names.  Marriages between 3rd persons in different townlands with the same maiden names or surnames.  Connecting relevant townlands.  Some with few people living in them.  Some distant from each other. Simply observations about who lived in x townland and who didn't.  Where so-and-so moved? Where did Mr. Y's bride come from, or Mrs. Z's groom?  Where were their kids born?

Obviously, I erred in giving any details at all.  I was only trying to explain my motivations and the general nature of the type of relationships I was thinking of.  What I wanted was only general impressions about blood relationships, and more specifically about #6 of the following.

Here are my vague impressions:

1.) kin was very important (particularly in the mountains)
2.) marriages were mostly arranged by kin
3.) sometimes people who married were related (2nd to 3rd cousins)
4.) You needed someone who could vouch for the groom or the bride.  Know they weren't from crazy families, violent, lazy, dishonest, thieves or promiscuous.  They were mostly your neighbor, your relative, or the neighbor of your relative.
5.) people with the same name, who interacted were almost certainly related.
6.) the limit of one's known relations was their 3rd cousins.

That last is really the important and relevant one.  It comes from the Church.  The reason (by theory) consanguineous marriages between 2nd and 3rd cousins required dispensations and 4th didn't was the average peasant couldn't possibly be expected to know their 4th cousins.  There are dispensations for 2nd cousins-once-removed and for 3rd cousins.  There are not any for 3rd cousins-once-removed. Because people certainly didn't know all of the last.

There was a limit to the amount of relationships a person could keep track of.  Back then, each person knew all their GG grandparents, but probably not beyond that.  That is exactly why I told the story.  The question at hand really falls on the tail end of #6.

Theory #1: the little kids on the 1911 census, living in the same household, are 3rd cousins.  This is the limit of functional kin relationships.  The older kids are able to grasp how they are related to the little girl, and know who their common ancestors were.  They consider the girl to be kin in the normal way, and when she grows up she will understand that they are kin too.


Theory #2: the heads on the 1911 census are 3rd cousins.  They know each other, but the older kids don't understand who the little girl is.  They don't know their common ancestors, and can't possibly grasp something like 3rd cousin-once-removed, since that is not a normal, known relationship in Ireland.  With big families how many 3rd cousins does one have?  A heck of a lot.  Do you know all their kids?  Nope.  Do you know the kids of the ones living within a 2 miles of you?  Maybe.

That's what I wanted:  impressions on theory #1 vs. theory #2.

I think #1 is a lot more likely, but that is my impression.  I've never traced a blood relative who was called a relative or a cousin, so all I have is an impression.  No test.  Others may have experience - that's great.  I'd like to know the most distant, successful trace.

Again, I know they are related.  They are not random people.  They are not neighbors.  They are kin and know it.  The head in one townland had some of his children's baptisms most likely sponsored by the others.  These townlands are close, but not adjacent.  Obviously, the two men understand who their common ancestors were and how they are related.  They are either 2nd cousins or 3rd cousins.  The real question, to my mind, is do the little kids have any bearing on this?  Does it matter if they don't grasp who the little girl is or who their common ancestors are?

Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Saturday 21 April 18 02:28 BST (UK)  »
Alpine, good point about the census being a snapshot.  I'd really like to see the 1921 census.  I have reason to believe it wasn't a one night thing, as the widower's other young children can't be traced in Ireland on the census and were probably in the US.  i think the girl may have also been sent abroad later - she doesn't seem to have a death record or a marriage record.  The widower died in 1834.  His death was reported by a nephew, not a child.  Maybe, he had none around.

Ruskie, it is impossible to trace back before 1799.  The paper record ceases to exist, in very late 1798.  Assuming John (m1808) was at least 18 when married, he was born 1790 or earlier, at least 8 years before the paper record begins.

Sinann, you've summarized it very well: it is impossible to connect it pre-1800, so I trying to connect it working from the 1911 census.  I'm afraid there isn't much hope on the death records.  I've found both heads already.  I believe one didn't have any siblings in Ireland, at the time, so that makes the chance for any cross-reporting low. 

Rosinish, the child on the census is not illegitimate.  She has a birth record and a mother who died before the 1911 census.  She is living two townlands over (all in the mountains) from her father, who is a widower.

Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Friday 20 April 18 21:40 BST (UK)  »
Two things I want to clarify:

1.) The widower had lots of relations.  Lots of siblings (some geographically closer and some more distant).  Lots of first cousins (somewhat more distant).  Many possible places to put the child. 
2.) The household couple where the "relation" was staying in 1911 were not godparents to the child.

Ireland / Re: "Relative" on the census
« on: Friday 20 April 18 21:26 BST (UK)  »
I know all that was very confusing.  I've probably used some possessive pronouns without clarity, as in "their children."

To clarify: I was not talking about an ancient Egyptian or Incan royal marriage - no brother and sister wedding each other.  The closest marriage I ever saw between Catholics in Ireland was 2nd cousins.  Most consanguineous dispensations that I've seen were not even for 2nd cousins, but either for 3rd cousins or 2nd-once-removed.  The Irish were not an inbred lot, at least not in the 1800s.

Sinann, that is an interesting point about the "nephew."  Ruskie, good point about names.

I am descended from John Brien, (m1808, my GGG grandfather) and know that I'm related to someone descended from Julia Brien (m1820, other's GGG grandmother).  It seems certain that they were related somehow.  I am not descended from either 1911 household (headed by their respective grandsons).  One head (c1911) was the brother of my G grandmother (b1870), so the wives of the heads on the census don't obviously enter into it.

I'm sorry, I know this is all very confusing, I'd give more names, but I'd hasten to add there is no direct connection.  I'm interested in the idea that John and Julia were brother and sister, as Julia (m1820) may have a surviving baptism record from 1799.  If  they were siblings, it follows that Julia's parents would be John's parents, ie. I've found my GGGG grandparents.  But John was older than the surviving record (only goes back to very late 1798), and he certainly has no surviving birth record, ie. John and Julia cannot be directly connected through their earlier ancestors.

The only evidence is circumstantial evidence, and it is kind of a weird parish.  There are different gaps, some small and some large.  The heads on the 1911 census were born in a large gap, they and their siblings have no surviving baptism records.  One even has no birth record, but I'm still able to trace it back to John (m1808) and Julia (m1820), their respective grandparents, with virtual certainty.

I have found various bits of circumstantial evidence - it is a very complicated theory.  But I'm sure nobody is interested in bits of very circumstantial evidence or very lateral names.  Suffice it to say, John (m1808) is inferred to be tied to the 1799 townland and, his unknown relation, Julia is inferred to be Julia (b1799).

I hasten to repeat there are no direct connections.  I've searched very thoroughly and am quite certain. What I'm interested in is purely an abstraction, based on "relative" on the 1911 census and the reasonable theory that John (m1808) and Julia (m1820) were related:

If we accept that John (m1808) and Julia (m1820) were blood relations and we accept that their respective grandsons (heads, c1911) were related by blood through them, and had no equal or closer blood relationship along a different line, then to what degree where the heads (c1911) related, based on the child of one being called a "relative" in the others household?

I am sure of all the incidentals.  I know we cannot be sure of the conclusions, but I'm interested in impressions - that is what I am soliciting.  Were John (m1808) and Julia (m1820) more likely to be siblings (ie. I've found my GGG grandfather's parents) than first cousins?

In other words, would someone leave their 3 y.o. child with 3rd cousins?  Or put another way, would someone, with several young children, take in their 3rd cousin's 3 y.o.? When the widower had obvious siblings closer (though crowded living)?  As Julia (m1820) had many children, presumably the widower (c1911) had many first cousins, but more distant (6-8 miles).  Would the heads being 2nd cousins (ie. John and Julia were siblings) be a lot more probable than the heads being 3rd cousins (ie. John and Julia were first cousins)?

Or if that is all too complicated, I'll just put it another way:  what is the most distant blood relationship you have ever been able to work out for a "relative" on the census?  Preferably a child.  And assuming an actual blood relationship, not something by marriage or godparent.  I know Irish records are messed up, so I'll take any European country or offshoot like the US or Canada, as well as Ireland.

Ireland / Re: Court and legal,James Crowe,1788 Carlow.
« on: Saturday 07 April 18 21:53 BST (UK)  »
I know in Athy, a little ways away in Co. Kildare.  They burnt down the Catholic church (somehow the parish records survive after about 1750)  They also cut off the heads of several men and threw the bodies into the river, which, very unscientifically, makes me think it was mostly an informal process.

I don't know whether it is coincidence or not, but there is a parish in Kerry that I am interested in, Killorglin and oddly the church records seem to begin in October of 1798.  It really doesn't seem like a coincidence, since the rebellion officially ended in September.  Though supposedly the church which was later torn down dated to about 1790.

Ireland / "Relative" on the census
« on: Saturday 07 April 18 20:10 BST (UK)  »
What is the reasonable limit of the term "relative" on the 1911 census? 

I'm trying to prove a complicated theory, and a key part of it is that a man and woman having all their children in the same townland (pop. >200) in the 1820s were brother and sister.  From baptisms, the husband of the woman definitely knew the man.  The woman at marriage in 1820 is listed as being from the same townland as the man had his very first child in 1809.  I infer that he was already living there when he married, but the record only gives the bride's townland.

Two other women with the same surname who married were said to be from the same townland and known to the man.  No other men with the surname had children in the townland.  Though it is a common name: Brien.  Possibly some men may have married out of the townland, but it is not known.

Here's the key part: the 1911 census.  A grandson of the early woman is listed as a widower.  He has no children in his house, and though he has adult siblings in the same townland (different from the original), none of his children are staying there.  I can only trace one.  The others might even be in America.  A three y.o. girl, daughter of the widower, is living two townlands over, in the household of the grandson of the early man and is listed as a "relative."

Some qualifiers:  I know the wives were not 1st cousins, but cannot trace it further, as they came from parishes where the records only go back to 1850 and 1830.  Different parishes though perhaps not too distant from each other.  No repeat names.

The men on the census were also not 1st cousins, though quite likely were related twice, as they shared a surname, but the closest they could have been along the male line of the surname was 3rd cousins.

Is it reasonable for me to assume (let's say >90%) that the men on the census were 2nd cousins and their grandparents siblings?

I know that Irish people often knew their 3rd cousins, but my theory would make the little children 3rd cousins to each other. And it seems hard for me to believe that anyone with living siblings would leave their child with 3rd cousins, if the heads were only 3rd cousins, and the original man and woman not brother and sister, but 1st cousins.


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