The name of the book is “500 Brickwall Solutions to Genealogy Problems” from the publishers of Family Chronicle Magazine. Published back in 2003 it is a compilation of letters from people who have experienced our nemesis “the Brickwall” as it pertains to genealogy. The interesting entries that I have read so far makes me want to share them with you, the readers of this website. So from time to time I will copy one of the letters which may have broad appeal to others. Their solutions may just be the “hint” you have not thought about before now. Herewith is the first:
Check Out The Irish Festival
I had tried all the usual ways to find where in Ireland my husband’s family had come from. The name O’Brien was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Recently my husband and I were in Chicago for the weekend and there happened to be a Celtic Festival going on. Having about two hours left before we were to depart, we decided to go. Hurrying down the last row of tents before leaving we spotted the sign “Irish American Heritage Center” and decided to peek inside. There were only a few books on tables, but knowing that Bill’s great-grandparents had lived in Chicago in the late 1800s I decided to take a look. The first book I picked up was Irish Obituaries 1890-1910. Flipping through I quickly found Bill’s great-grandparents’ date of death, where they were buried — Calvary Cemetery in Evanston, IL, and best of all where they were from in Ireland — County Kerry. On my husband’s next business trip to Chicago, he paid a visit to Calvary Cemetery where his great-grandparents were buried. On the headstone were all the family names and the names of the town, Dingle in Garfiny Parish in County Kerry that the family belong to. In the spring of 2002, we took a trip to Ireland and visited Dingle. At St. Mary’s, the Catholic church in Dingle, we located the marriage records from 1852 for the great-grandparents. It was an overwhelming feeling to be in the town where they had lived so many years and to visit the church where they were wed. All thanks to an Irish Festival in Chicago ! ~Kathy Monaghan Weibel, NH.