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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Hoping for More - O'Brien's in Ireland

If you want to find something or someone bad enough, you can.   At times, my methods of finding my ancestors may be a bit far fetched, yet I do have a method.  I take any scrap of information that I can find about my ancestors and apply what I know to a map.  I'm getting better at the geography of Ireland, especially in County Clare.

It is no big secret that if you are looking for O'Brien's in Ireland that you'd probably try your search in County Clare and/or County Limerick.  That seems logical to me.  O'Brien's bridge extends over the River Shannon in a village called O'Briensbridge.  You might find that to be pretty obvious and a great place to start.  It can be, provided your Irish ancestors did not move to a completely different part of Ireland.  That happened sometimes.

My other clue in search of my O'Brien's, is Kate's place of birth/baptism that she provided to her family.  Kate was born Catherine Mary O'Brien to Edmund O'Brien and Anne Gleeson of County Clare, Ireland.....or was it County Limerick, Ireland?  Kate's origins revolve around her birth in Castleconnell.   Actually, she was probably baptized in Castleconnell.  She indicated that Castleconnell was in County Clare but it isn't on today's maps.  It is literally a couple of thousand feet away from the border of Clare in County Limerick.  Did the Griffith's Valuation change the border of Clare along Limerick which is also very close to County Tipperary in this area?  It seems possible and I've found other border shifts for County Clare.

When I Google County Clare, the County Clare Library pops up online as a search result.  I can do a quick search of O'Brien's for Clare in a Griffith Valuation.  The result produces hundreds of results.  The transcribed chart that I've looked at indicates the year 1855.  I've thought to myself that my O'Brien's left Ireland in 1853 for Australia so why would I think they'd be found in the records?  Well, they still might have been indicated and any remaining family would have been.  The issue that I'm having is the frequency of the O'Brien name.

In certain parts of Ireland, certain surnames are quite common.  Even today, surnames such as Hickey, O'Brien, McMahon, and McNamara seem to crop up all over Counties Clare and Limerick.  This makes it tough to trace one's own family line.

I do hope to someday find my great great grandmother, Kate O'Brien, true origins.  I actually need to call it "proof".  I would like to prove her existence via true source documents other than in the United States.  Someday............

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