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July 20, 2015

Ask and Ye Might Receive!

Have you ever hit that proverbial brick wall and wondered where to look next for a reclusive ancestor? Often we genealogists find ourselves stuck because the records we want are in another country and we aren't sure how to access them.. or  if they even exist!

Don't overlook asking Libraries, Archives and Museums for help. My husband's ancestor Michael Jackson (yes truly that is his name) lived in Nenagh, Tipperary Ireland. Finding details on him or his family have been challenging! 

It Never Hurts to Ask!
Marriage Michael Jackson & Mary Moynahan 1835
What I had found in my research was that Michael married a woman named Mary Moynahan (Minihan) on 14 February 1835 in Monsea Parish, Tipperary. I found the christening records of three children in the online Catholic Parish Registers at the National Library of Ireland. I also found instances of Michael and a man I believe is Mary Moynahan's brother in  Parish Poor Law Union Records for Loughnora, which is where the two families lived. 
4 February 1847: Rate for the Relief of the Poor of Nenagh Union: Michael Minihan"  house and land, Sarah Minihan, Michael Jackson 
But I wanted details! After a search of various websites to find out where these records might be held, I learned from the National Archives of Ireland that the Tipperary Public Library had the Rate Books. An hour on their website didn't yield any information that led me to believe they offered any research services, and I could not find a working email address. 

Since I'm not one to give up, I ended up "creating" a few email addresses based on their domain name Most websites have an admin address and other standard ones such as "info".  So I wrote to and a few others I thought might work. None bounced back so that seemed successful. Of course whether or not anyone would respond was another matter. I kept my email request concise but provided necessary details, offered to pay for research services and requested assistance.

To my surprise and delight, early this morning I received a lovely email from a woman who is part of a Tipperary Studies project. I guess one of my emails was forwarded to her. She took quite a bit of time to research all the Rate books on my behalf, as well as gravestone inscriptions and prison records. She also provided a link to a subscription Irish Newspaper site where I could search for the individuals in question. 

What a lovely surprise that was! I now have more details on Michael Jackson and his possible brother-in-law Michael Minihan. 

So never hesitate to ask.  Offer to pay for services, keep your email brief but be sure to give details needed (names, dates, locations), and ask for help with ONE question. You never know - you might get lucky.


Cindi said...

Great post !

Anonymous said...

Any connection to Rodjer Jackson of Loughna 1826 tithe ?

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

I believe there is a connection as Michael named his son Rodger. But are they brothers? Father/son? I don't know (yet)

Would love to talk with you! Write me at olivetreegenealogy AT gmail DOT com please

Lorine McGinnis Schulze said...

That's olivetreegenealogyATgmailDOTcom

Dana Leeds said...

What a wonderful lesson! And, how wonderful that people are willing to help out.