The Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership, with Pauline Loughran, ran two workshops in February for sixteen enthusiastic participants to develop knowledge, skills and understanding in how to trace family trees and find out who our ancestors are. Participants examined a Crossmaglen family from the 1790’s and used this to see how to join the dots with any family.
Pauline Loughran said, “Everyone knows more than they think they know! And what we don’t know can be ‘teased out’.” “A typical example would be knowing your grandfather’s/ grandmother’s name but that’s as far back as you can go. Well that’s a great starting place. More difficult sometimes can be ‘where is my grandfather buried?’ A more difficult question but in most cases can be resolved.”
During the training Pauline guided the participants through the 1901 and 1911 census, graveyard inscriptions, and what they tell us. Pauline had the inscriptions for Creggan, Cullyhanna, Mullaghbawn, Faughart (old graveyard) and part of Dundalk for participants to peruse. Everyone was able to produce a family tree of three generations of their families complete with dates. Griffith’s Valuation, 1848-1864 consists of all occupiers of land and houses in Ireland during this period with maps showing their exact location, participants examined this and also the Householders Index to find out where their particular family name was found. Every time a house or farm changed hands, or was renovated it was noted and is available up until 1930.
Last year saw many exciting developments in family history. GRONI, the General Register Office of Northern Ireland for the first time launched a service whereby, from your own home you can order up a birth, marriage or death certificate for a small sum. Also available now are all the RC parish registers for Ireland. For more information check out the Ring of Gullion website and head for ‘Living History’and ‘Discover your ancestors’.