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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mysteries in my Family Tree - Part 1

Everyone loves a mystery, right?  When it comes to one's family tree, most people hope that the mysteries are cleared up quickly and easily.   That hope can sometimes be dashed by the fact that there just is not enough information preserved to trace a line back in time.  Eventually, a researcher hits a brick wall.  I have broken through a few brick walls and continue blazing my family tree back in time.

Rather than call the end to the current research a "brick wall", I think I will change it to "a stop".  Sometimes you've got to stop the research for a while and allow time, resources, and maybe some people to catch up.  I had thought for a long time that I'd hit a brick wall in my research in Ireland but am now beginning to realize that it is just "a stop" for now.  A stop on one line gives me the chance to go work on yet another family line.  I can even do some "clean up" on my family tree.  Lord knows that's system does not always populate information in the most neat, complete fashion.
So what about those mysteries?  What ever happened to Thomas Flanagan of Termonfechin, Louth, Ireland?  What about Richard Flanagan who went to London's family line?  Who was Owen McLaughlin and how was he related to the McLaughlin's found in the Irish Settlement in Newport, New York?  I find these mysteries in my family tree to be rather fascinating.

The first two mysteries are little different than what most people may expect.  Instead of working back in time to find ancestors, our Flanagan Family in Ireland is actually looking for their descendants, if there are any.  You'd think that moving forward in time would be an advantage.  It is in England but only until 1911 when records then cease to be available from then to present day because of privacy reasons.  And, I am not sure how to go about researching a person who disappeared to Dublin, Ireland around 1850.  He is presumed to have died there.  Will we ever find out what really happened to Thomas Flanagan?

Descendants aside, the Irish Settlement in Newport, New York, found people holding close ties to each other to create and maintain a community in the early to late 1800s.  Owen McLaughlin appears to be the mystery cousin to my McLaughlin's.  Is he really that much of a mystery though?  We have quite a bit of information about him.

To be continued..............

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