Thursday, June 9, 2011

Like Trying to Find a Kelly in Ireland

My cousin Cynthia is in Ireland with her husband. Before she left she called Mom and asked for some information on ancestors so she might personalize her trip. Mom told he what she knew and what we'd found out so far.

Once o'r the pond, Cynthia email me for more information. I got out one of my spiral notebooks that are always handy when Mom and I have our morning phone chat. Sure enough, one morning we started remembering that trip we all took to Ireland and there  in my notebook was recorded our memories. From then on it was easy to direct cousin Cynthia.

Here's what happened in Ireland in about 1981 when Mom, Dad and I went. What we knew was from GGGF F. John Kelly's tombstone. It said that he was born in Shannonbridge in the parish of Clonmacnois on 22 June 1829. We found our way to the historical site of Clonmacnois and chatted up the lovely ladies who worked there. We also found that a feature of Clonmacnois is Temple Kelly.

We were directed to the Historical Society of Tullamore. I vaguely remember that it was housed on the second floor of a building in town... and the pub lunch was spectacular;)

We were told that what we sought were church records and that we'd need a note from the priest. We found the priest and asked if we could see the records and he chuckled and said, "Ya could now but they are not here." After a good laugh, he gave us the permission note which Mom still has.

The next morning we went back to the Historical Society and as the luck of the Irish would have it, the people working there to automate the records were just then working on the Kellys! Amazing.

They printed out a sheet with GGGF's birth record and marriage record as well. Older records were likely burned in a church fire. But maybe not.

At Clonmacnois there were graves of Kellys as well but we were not sharp enough to take photos or at least record any information for later use. If we only knew then what we know now....

Am anxious to see if Cousin Cynthia comes back with new information about our shared Kelly family history.

Grandfather John Lee Kelly in Hollywood Florida in 1944.

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