So recently my Mom has been researching our ancestry. By recently I mean for that past 5 or 6 years, maybe more. Anyway, she had gotten back to around the 1300’s with some of the branches, but she was stuck at her mother’s father. Her mother had very little memory of her father, I think he had drown when she was young. I don’t really remember the story.
So my Mom has been searching and searching for information on her grandfather and never found a thing. All she know is his name and birthday.
My Dad had to go to England on a business trip, so they decided to make a mini vacation out of it and go search records in Ireland for my great-grandfather.
When they came back, this is the story I got.
They went to The Church of Ireland cemetery, where they didn’t think they would find any information. Turns out they didn’t. But they did find a man who could help them. He took them to a priest, who then took them to the family that would have been my grandmothers cousins.
After a while of talking, my Mom learned that their uncle, who would have been my Mom’s grandfather, who she was searching for, never left Ireland. Well that’s a problem because my grandmother, this man’s daughter, was born in America, where her father died. It turns out that these people’s uncle lived another 30 or so years after my great-grandfather. How could this be?
Well, it wasn’t uncommon at that time for someone to use someone else’s identity to come to America, especially if they were running from someone. It’s possible that my grandmothers father is a completely different man from these people’s uncle and just used his name to come to America. However, both my Mom and these people saw resemblances in each other.
My guess, which my Mom had also come up with, is that this man, my great-grandfather, left Ireland long enough to start a family here in America, then faked his death here and returned to Ireland. It’s possible. If his cause of death was drowning, he would have had a closed-casket funeral and no one would have know if he was in there or not.
So know, instead of having to figure out who my grandmother’s grandparents are, we have to figure out who her father really was.
Finding this out was kind of a bummer. It was like hitting a dead end, only to find hope that there is an answer, only to find out that it really is a dead end. To look at this in a brighter light, we’ve now extended the activity of mapping our family history and created a mystery to solve. This should be fun!