Both ends to the middle – Part 1

In April 2019 I posted a blog on my family history website entitled “DNA: the magic bullet?”. (https://www.roscommonstanley.me.uk/direct-line/dna-the-magic-bullet/ ) In the intervening period, the number of DNA matches that appear on my list from Ancestry has expanded. In the 4th-6th cousin group (above 20 cM of DNA in common) there are 294 names. I refer…

Boston Pilot

I am conscious that many of those emigrating from Roscommon ended up in America. For 90 years (from 1831 to 1921) a newspaper called the Boston Pilot published a ‘Missing Friends’ column. Photo: Boston Harbour in the mid 1800s Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Boston_harbor_and_East_Boston_from_State_St._block,_by_Soule,_John_P.,_1827-1904.jpg (cropped) The database has over 40,000 records. (https://infowanted.bc.edu/search/ ) Advertisements were placed by people…

The Great Famine

In almost every country in the world, there are events that are central to the collective memory. Examples include the release from prison of Nelson Mandela (1990), the death of Diana, Princess of Wales (1997), the attack on Pearl Harbour (1941) and the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). These events act as a pivot…

Another Kenny

John Stanley (b 1857/1861, in Dewsbury) married Ellen Kenny in 1884. According to the 1881 census, Ellen’s parents were William, born 1840 in Ireland, and Ann, born 1841 in Dewsbury. In 1871, their dates of birth are 1844 and 1845 respectively. Ann is now stated to have been born in Ireland. Staying with them was…

Stanley – sporting superstar

One of my unfulfilled dreams is to deliver a sporting performance that would merit a headline like the one above. I may be past my peak (whenever that was!) but I remain hopeful. As Alexander Pope wrote, “Hope springs eternal in the human breast.” My research has discovered that there was a Stanley for whom…

Off in the Wrong Direction

According to Patrick’s marriage certificate he was born in 1884. Calculating back from his death certificate suggests 1883. Family folklore has a story that a birth certificate was obtained in order to prove his entitlement to a state pension. This proved that he was older than he thought. He was already past retirement age. Sadly,…