Sometimes you cannot go back any further
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  1. #1
    May 2010
    479 times

    Sometimes you cannot go back any further

    Sometimes you simply can't go back any farther. My father, born in 1907, long deceased, had an incredible memory until the very last. He had listened to his father and mother and siblings telling what they were told about family history.

    Allegedly, 7 sibling family members came over in a group to Brooklyn, then most dropped out of contact. Two of the brothers moved to Iowa, and lived miles apart in the same country. We knew what their father's name had to be, because of the Irish tradition of naming the eldest son after the grandfather

    But, though a distant cousin spent most of his adult life seeking documentation, we found no solid proof until a younger brother joined LDS. Hew as able to obtain permission to enter the mountain in Utah, and a high ranking official showed him that man's birth records, 1790's in Newry.

    But. though my father was told the names of the other 5 siblings, we have found no solid documentation to show where they went. Census and other records show such individuals in NYC, but William and George and Terrence were common names, so it tells you nothing.

    It was alleged several might have gone on to Australia. Family Matching DNA does show a fourth or fifth cousin in Australia. But, when I contacted him, all he could tell me was the common ancestor was reported to have come walking down the road one day, and asked for something to eat, then married into the family. I assume that was back in Ireland, but I am not totally sure of that. It might well have happened in Australia in the first years. I do think that man who came wandering in was probably from my family, part of the siblings that went to Australia, but am convinced we will never know.

    I do know my male ancestry came from Ireland, and DNA reports the Irish were mostly migrants from the Iberian Peninsula, 5000 to 10000 years ago. Thus, since 2/3 of Mexican men are descended from the Spanish, my y-markers are very close to my neighbors here in the mountains of Mexico.

    There are some cynical people who believe that there are in fact good records in Ireland, and they are sitting on them, to keep the genealogy funds flowing, pretending they were destroyed. I can't say this is not true; I can only say I don't believe it.

  2. #2

    Mar 2017
    38 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Dna is about all you can rely on. Are you member of, family tree dna, or gedmatch? If not, check them out. We never knew who my grandfather's dad was until dna proved it (or at least close relatives). Good luck.
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  3. #3
    May 2010
    479 times
    I have used FTDNA for a long time. I even found a fifth cousin by Family Matching, which to me is the only cost effective test. Well, I sent her a message, and told her who my close ancestors were, and she found that my maternal grandfather's grandmother was also her ancestor. I don't know who her other ancestors were, nor do I have that need. But, we did verify a family match.

    It may sound strange to say it, but I can clearly say there is evidence of no paternity errors close to me. Many people do find them.

    Back to OP topic. There are other reasons people lose track. In my case, family oral history said 7 came over in a group. Two went west to Iowa. In those days, people moved out from Brooklyn very fast. So, if the Iowans lost track for a year or two while getting settled, letters back to the address were often not deliverable at all. Once they lost track, there was no mechanism to find each other again. Only with luck by indexed records on the LDS database is there any way to link up.

    I also remember a story about part of a family which left Ireland and went to Canada. Some months later, they received a desperate plea for help from Ireland. "We are dying." They were not yet able to send money, and when they were, they could find no trace of family back in Ireland.

    And, being from the Fighting Irish, sometimes family members got on their ear and simply stopped communicating. Two or three years ago, I got a mail from a woman who saw my name on, and asked me if I were who I am. She was given up for adoption and moved clear across the US to the border area around 1950.

    It turns out she was indeed my first cousin. One of her brothers lived in the town where I went to high school and I knew of him very well. But, my dad was alienated from that family, because their father was violent to my dad's sister, that is, my aunt. So, we were never told they were close kin. I didn't even know I had all those cousins.

  4. #4

    Aug 2017
    Whites DFX, Whites Bullseye 2 Pointer, Audio 200 D Headphones, Garrett AT MAX, Garrett Pro-Pointer AT, MS-3 Headphones, Lesche Digger, Lesche Shovel, 4' T Handle Probe. GoPro, RC Truck, Drone.
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    Metal Detecting, Relic and Artifact Hunting, Prohibition Era and Civil War Era Cache Hunting.
    One thing to remember is that in the not so distant past you could just get up & decide to change your name. Poof!! Old name gone. My Mother's (86) Grandfather did this. Census records showed original name & then his New Name?? I did one side of the family back to 1673, but that is not always the norm. If you go to Elis Island there are tons of info on the dates, ships, staterooms that your family used. There is also a virtual search. The name changes were rampant there. It just depended on who was 'checking you in'. I was fortunate on 3 sides, the 4th was much harder, but I got in contact with another searcher in Ireland that did the hard records search check that never will probably make it online due to them being Smaller Church & Cemetery records that have birth, marriage & death hand written. Wills are also found that way on occasion. I traded her this service for doing her search in the USA. They couldn't find records of some of their ancestors who came here. Most countries have people who will trade services at no cost to either party except time. Just an Idea if you want to go back far.
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  5. #5
    Detectorist, Historian, Collector

    Nov 2017
    Southaven, MS
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    Professional genealogist here (I have way too many side jobs, self admitted work-a-holic). The only real way that I know of to get access to those Irish records is to travel there yourself or hire a proxy, usually a college student, or someone who doesn't mind making some copies for you for a big fat fee. It's expensive, and the results are limited by whats available, highly localized, and not always very reliable. Plus theres always some kind of static over there, for whatever reason, concerning those records. The ones I have had success with are Church documents and things, but again, you have to know WHERE to send the proxy, and tell them WHAT exactly they are looking for.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    Jan 2009
    South East Tennessee on Ga, Ala line
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    Banner Finds (1)
    Back to 1549 on my Fathers side.Mothers side not as far but well documented during the civil war.
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    All finds posted by me are from private property with landowner permission.

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    Classic car lover

    Jul 2017
    East TX
    Teknectics eurotek pro bounty hunter time ranger bounty hunter quick draw 2 used a teroso compadre.
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    baseball cards,hunting,bottle digging,coin roll hunting,shooting,Metal Detecting, swimming,
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    My dad traced his side of the family back to 1600's then couldn't back any further
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    audemus jura nostra defendere

    neque deditionem

  8. #8
    I have some of my line back to Edward I of England. We went everywhere, did everything and bought every last t shirt out there. Had 9 ancestors fighting for the Americans in the Revolution, had a land grand in Mississippi from the Spanish in 1799, and family names like Lee, Washington, Carter, you know, the little things. Got to actually visit the ancestral home at Stratford Hall, In Virginia, the home of the Popes and the Lees, and took my daughter there. It was quite the experience to stand on the actual piece of land at "The Landing" where our family came into this land about 1660.

  9. #9
    Charter Member

    Jun 2017
    39121 times
    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    I have some of my line back to Edward I of England. We went everywhere, did everything and bought every last t shirt out there. Had 9 ancestors fighting for the Americans in the Revolution, had a land grand in Mississippi from the Spanish in 1799, and family names like Lee, Washington, Carter, you know, the little things. Got to actually visit the ancestral home at Stratford Hall, In Virginia, the home of the Popes and the Lees, and took my daughter there. It was quite the experience to stand on the actual piece of land at "The Landing" where our family came into this land about 1660.
    thats pretty awesome
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    The Valley of Dry Bones

    37 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”

  10. #10
    Dec 2017
    Northeast Ohio
    Garret ACE 300 and a carrot
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    Metal Detecting
    I think you may have just helped me break down a break wall on my paternal lineage. I didn't know of any Irish naming traditions until now, now knowing that that is a thing I can do some more research (and confirm already done research) on my Irish ancestry. Thanks.

    Its quite difficult tracing ancestry back further than when your ancestors got off the boat after coming from europe.
    Last edited by Noah_D; Aug 09, 2019 at 12:43 PM.
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  11. #11
    Charter Member

    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
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    Getting back into time takes a lot of effort, and money. I sunk about $3,000.00 and, 600 hours into my family tree. Iwas able to get back to the late 1200s, but only because there is royalty in my family line in England and Scotland. If your relations were not part of a royal court or business owning class, records are mostly from local churches that have been lost or never digitized.

    Local Parish records in Ireland, are being digitized, but very slowly. Many of them are lost forever from rot and deterioration. The OP is right, getting records depends on your family's social standing in the "Old Country." My family goes back to the 1590s here in America.

  12. #12
    May 2010
    479 times
    A member of LDS told me some years ago, that LdS will not seal ancestors beyond a few hundred years, except those in the royalty or nobility class, which has its own research group. I cannot verify this. Does anyone know if it is true??
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  13. #13
    I can't answer the last question, however, what I'm not seeing is mention of birth, marriage or death records. Go from what you know, to what you don't and don't go in both directions at the same time. If you haven't subscribed to one of the genealogy services, do it. Back in the day I had to order the certificates and records from local and state jurisdictions the hard way and for a fee for each.
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  14. #14

    Sep 2012
    Murrieta, CA
    Minelab CTX3030 and Minelab Excalibur
    194 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    As an self-professed genealogy junkie, I am going to try hard to comment and then move on--these things are always fascinating to me. In addition to the changes that DNA testing is bringing to genealogy, I want to encourage you to keep checking sites like for new information. These days, you almost have to start over on a family line if you step away for 2 or 3 years--there is so much new information being posted online, some junk, but a lot of good stuff too. In other words, it you poked around on a family history site a few years back and found little, check it out again. You may be surprised. Good luck!
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  15. #15
    Mar 2012
    Whites MXT ALL PRO, Minelab Safari
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    Relic Hunting
    My heritage and ancestry goes back to both Ireland and Italy. While we are on this subject I'd like to add a little something if I may not in any attempt to hijack this or detract from it. IMMIGRANTS. As proof of this thread we are all descended from Immigrants from all points of the world over. It seems that some folks leave out a few details. Our ancestors came to America following a dream of a better way of life for themselves and their families providing they were willing to work and make sacrifices along the way. It was a long rough road along the way to becoming an American citizen. Our ancestors endured all these hardships because becoming a citizen of this country meant so much to them. Most took minial jobs with low pay, lived in very low income housing, and battled racism. While they kept their identities from the old country, they embraced Americanism and were proud to be called Americans. Our ancestors did not have the red carpet rolled out for them with the promise of free health care, etc. They worked for everything they had or would ever have. I have said all this to say if you come to our country come in the Legal right way and be prepared to work and pay taxes the same way our Ancestors did and the same way that law abiding Patriots do today. No one is entitled a living from our government. JMHO.
    Last edited by devldog; Aug 30, 2019 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Finish statement, did not go through


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