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Messages - mjflynn

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Louth / Re: Margaret Byrne
« on: Monday 12 June 17 17:13 BST (UK)  »
Yes the spelling could vary and often did between one record and another. When considering whether this would be the case I tend to think about who is making the record, and how much input there is from the subject into the information being recorded and also the level of literacy of the subject. The spelling is more likely to vary on older records and when the subject of the record was illiterate. As more people could read and write spellings tended to become more standardised. From my experience with Irish records the catholic parish registers probably have more variation in spelling than most others, though of course it does vary a lot from parish to parish and priest to priest, but usually what got recorded was how the priest thought or guessed it should be.

Louth / Re: Margaret Byrne
« on: Friday 09 June 17 01:11 BST (UK)  »
A person born in Monasterboice may identify with Drogheda, as its the nearest large town that someone in England might have heard of. When civil registration started Monasterboice came under the Drogheda registration district.

The witnesses on the Monasterboice baptism were Patt Carroll and C McKena

Louth / Re: Margaret Byrne
« on: Wednesday 07 June 17 15:43 BST (UK)  »
Pretty much all the Irish Catholic parish records are now available online on Ancestry, Findmypast, and Rootsireland and the transcriptions are linked to images of the original register. The transcriptions are not perfect so sometimes you might have to be a bit creative with your search. As far as I know Findmypast (and possibly Ancestry) allow access to these records without a paid subscription, Rootsireland requires a paid subscription.

As for proving whether a particular record relates to your family, that can be very difficult especially with common names. My approach is to try to find as much information about each individual and family - both the ones you know are connected and the ones you are trying to link and look at every detail on any records you can find. If you are lucky you may come across additional clues that help to establish the link. You can also try to eliminate potentials eg. look for marriages of Margaret in Monasterboice, if you find one and her father is Michael then the Margaret baptised in 1844 is probably not yours.

Louth / Re: Margaret Byrne
« on: Wednesday 07 June 17 11:50 BST (UK)  »
As stated by others they are two separate towns about 20 miles apart within County Louth. They do have very separate identities, so if Drogheda was put down as the place of birth on an English census that would be the place to start.

There was a Margaret Byrne born to Michael Byrne and Mary Moonan in Monasterboice which is a small village a few miles outside Drogheda town who was baptised on 7 Jul 1844. This one is the best match I found to your information. There was another baptism in St Peter's Drogheda of a Margaret daughter of Michael Byrne and Margaret Maguire on 28th Nov 1852, but it would be very unusual for a woman's age to be recorded as older than her actual age.

Louth / Re: Margaret Byrne
« on: Wednesday 07 June 17 09:21 BST (UK)  »
Margaret Byrne was a pretty common name, a quick look at the baptism records shows several possibilities in both Drogheda and Dundalk (and several places in between). If you have a marriage certificate you should have her father's name, that may help to narrow down the possibilities. Also what leads you to think she was born in Drogheda?

Louth / Re: Margaret Byrne/Burn baptism
« on: Friday 15 July 16 08:03 BST (UK)  »
That is always going to be a tricky one, and in the end it may not be possible. You should also bear in mind that the reference to Drogheda on the census may not mean the baptism was in one of the two parishes in the town, but could have been in one of the surrounding rural parishes.

I would suggest that you try to find out everything possible about your Margaret and her family, and look carefully at details such as sponsors at baptisms of her children, witnesses at marriages etc., and places where she lived. At the same time fully investigate the possible families you have identified, look at who the siblings married, where they ended up, and at the same details of sponsors and witnesses. You may find a clue in there somewhere especially if a less common given name turns up, or siblings appear as sponsors or witnesses or as neighbours, but you may spend a lot of time chasing this and come up with nothing definite.

As you have so many census records I am guessing your Margaret ended up either in England or the USA, if it was the latter depending on which state it may be worth getting her death certificate as I have seen these give the mothers full maiden name.

Generally I have found that ages on census records can vary widely, but often the following pattern is followed - ages on the earlier census' tend to be more truthful, and women generally will put themselves down as a few years younger than their true age. Sometimes if there is a significant age gap between husband and wife the ages given may be adjusted to reduce it. Ages on death certificates were often the best guess by the person who reported the death. Ages on marriage certificates when given were just as given by the individual, age 21 or above was often referred to as of full age and the marriage could take place without the fathers approval. Marriages could take place at younger ages but the fathers approval was supposed to be given, generally if this was the case the age would be given correctly on the certificate. If Margaret was born in 1852 then she would only have been 15 at the time of her marriage - would the difference between a 15 year old and a 21 year old have been obvious to the priest?

Hope that helps,


Down / Re: William Bingham b.1826
« on: Monday 11 July 16 15:32 BST (UK)  »
There certainly were Bingham families in Co. Down, you can check the Griffith's Valuation at to get an idea of how many families of that name were present in the 1840/50s and which parishes they were in.

As for records that would give his parents details, you will need to look at parish registers, and where to look will depend on what religion he was - finding the record for his marriage may help with that. Many parish registers are available on line.

Meath / Re: Elizabeth Hoey
« on: Monday 11 July 16 14:04 BST (UK)  »
I had a quick look, the only one that came up for me was not in Co. Meath, but matches in other respects:

Elisabeth Hoey bapt 13 Mar 1846 at St Paul's Arran Quay, Dublin, parents Michael Hoey and Elisabeth Keenan, sponsors Thomas Meledy and Rose Smyth.

Could this be the one? By the way I checked for and did not find any other children born to this couple.


Louth / Re: baptism of james sheilds and thomas sheilds
« on: Saturday 02 July 16 01:31 BST (UK)  »
If the baptisms you were sent are correct I would be confident that the other children I found are part of the same family, and could be the family you are looking for. Don't forget that it was not unusual for children to die young so they would not appear on the census where you found the rest of the family and the later children in England. It was also very common for the names of children who had died to be reused for their younger siblings, and more especially if it was the father or grandfathers name, so to have another child in the family named John would not be at all surprising.

English census records typically only have Ireland as the place of birth rather than the county or the town, do you know that the family was from Louth/Meath? Have you sent away for the birth certificates of the other children to confirm that their mother was Catherine McCabe?

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