Showing posts with label Lisa Louise Cooke. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lisa Louise Cooke. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2015

A New Resource for Irish Genealogy

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Curry village, Sligo, Ireland
This picture of a church sets the scene for a fabulous new resource I found this month. Lisa Louise Cooke, of Genealogy Gems, published a Facebook link to new records that went online at the
Irish National Library. You can get to them here.

I was very lucky. I knew enough information to make a smart guess at exactly where to look and within half an hour I had baptismal records for three people in my dad's family: his mother Catherine Marie Cooke, his aunt Mary Ann Cooke (called Mamie by the family) and his uncle John J Cooke (called Jack). My very fanciful (she once announced that we were really Italian and related to the Gherhardinis.  Eeek!) Cousin Katherine had recalled that Jack said the family was from "Curry village". I popped "Curry" into the parish terms and there were the records. I was lucky.

The geopolitical divisions of Ireland are a bit hard to get used to. For example, technically this family lived in the following: Province of Connaught, County Sligo, Barrony of Leyny, Civil Parish: Achonry, Poor Law Union of Tobercurry, Townland of Cloonigan. Where's Curry in all this mess? Well that's the Roman Catholic parish as well as a totally separate townland. There were also Church of Ireland parishes. What a mess!

The dates in the records are all over the place. The "official records" say, for example, that Mary Ann
Cooke was born on the 17 December 1874. Here is her baptism record:

Cloonigan is waaaaay out in the country. Even today on Google street view you get a few houses, a narrow two-lane road and lots of brushy open land. So I'm guessing she was born closer to the 12th and they didn't make the official record until closer to the 17th. The interesting thing in all these records are the "patrons" or  godparents. I don't know yet who these people are, but it is something more to go on. In this case we have Mary Ann Cooke and Michael Feehely. One person from dad's family and one from mom's I'm guessing.

Next we have John J Cooke born 19 April 1876.

Again this is almost a month earlier. His godparents are John Cooke and Mary Cooke. I know that Michael's father was named John, but the Griffith's Valuation shows a John and a John Jr., so maybe this is Michael's brother.

And lastly we have my grandmother, Catherine Marie Cooke, born 4 March 1878.

This time the baptism is a little bit later. The godparents in this case are James Cooke and Ann Feehily. Again I'm thinking uncles, aunts or cousins. Cloonigan was so tiny it didn't even have a town center, so the nearest church would probably have been the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Curry. My best guess is that my photo is the scene of the baptisms.

No wonder none of these three relatives were really certain of their actual birthdate! At any rate, this is a wonderful new resource for those trying to unravel an Irish family.  The serendipity of having a record pop up so quickly has encouraged me a bit. Persistence really does pay off.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Setting the Scene - The Archers in 1906

Market Street, San Francisco, April 14, 1906
I love the idea of capturing a small slice of life from the times in which my ancestors lived. The wonderful Lisa Louise Cooke has remastered an earlier podcast where she suggests using silent films as a way of putting the lives of your ancestors in context; looking at life at the time and appreciating early films your ancestors may also have enjoyed. You can listen to the whole podcast and read the show notes here. The still above is from a movie called "A Trip Down Market Street" and it was filmed just four days before the earthquake and fire. As I listened to Lisa describe the film in the podcast I realized, "I had an ancestor living in San Francisco at this time!"

OK...so I need to set the scene for my cousins. This was not a direct ancestor. I've made a little tree that shows how we are related.
So my three times great grandmother, Margaret Archer, had a younger brother Samuel Milton Archer who became a doctor and moved west to the Salinas Valley around Monterrey. He had two wives and a very large family. His eldest son, Aretas Allen Archer, became a San Francisco policeman.
For obvious reasons I couldn't find a 1906 directory, but he shows up in both 1905 and 1907 living with his sister Agnes Archer and her husband Christian Melin, a master mariner.
The Melins moved to Church Street briefly after the earthquake, but by the 1910 census they were back on Fair Oaks Street. This is between Noe Valley and the Mission District near Mission Delores Park. Did they "camp out" in the park after the earthquake?  Who knows? The area south of Market Street shook pretty hard. 
You'll notice that I've captured a still with a policeman in it. It's a little tip of the hat to Aretas Archer.  Go to YouTube and watch this film all the way through. It's just a little bit of light-hearted fun before a very grim chapter in San Francisco history, but it gives you a glimpse of a time gone by.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Leaf Twig and Stem is a Genealogy Gem!

One of the first things I did when I began working on my family tree was looking around for advice and help from other family genealogists. I read a lot of blogs, I visited a lot of pages and I checked a few books out of the library. It was overwhelming. About the same time I began going to the gym every day and I needed something to fill that time on the cardio equipment. Podcasts became my go-to entertainment. Almost immediately I discovered The Family History Podcast-Genealogy Made Easy. This took me step by step through some of the processes I had found confusing. I worked my way back through all the episodes and then I discovered Lisa Louise Cooke's newer podcast: Genealogy Gems. Lisa has recently really embraced all sorts of technology, so this was a great new find. When Lisa did a three-part series on genealogy bloggers I was interested and intrigued with the idea of carrying my research one step further-but not totally convinced. Blogging is work, right? But as I listened to other bloggers who wrote in to tell her of their blogging success, I began to think about this more seriously. And that is really how this blog was born.

Lisa put out a call to genealogy bloggers and I responded. This month she featured some of those emails and blog links on her latest podcast. Leaf Twig and Stem was included. You can listen to the podcast here. I was thrilled to be included and happy to be able to report to her that one of my blogging goals had already been met; one of the GeneaBloggers is a cousin through two different family lines. So I am reaching those missing family branches!

If you want to check out the original Family History podcast series, Lisa had made it available here.
Thanks for the mention, Lisa.