Sunday, October 19, 2014
Last Day in Dublin
Friday was our last full day of research here in Dublin. After wrapping up my project examining County Kerry tax records at the Valuation office, I met my husband for dinner—he had just spent the entire day on a trip to Newgrange—and then we retired to our hotel room. There, I took the time to gather my thoughts on the day's progress and prepare the next day's blog post. Inevitably, after answering email, following online links and organizing notes for the next morning's blitz through my last microfilm roll, the evening was spent. The time was nearing one in the morning.
Shutting everything down for the night, we unplugged the laptop and set the iPad and phone up to charge. Just as we turned out the lights, there was an unusual sound from the electronic devices, so my husband went to check everything out. Apparently, the noise was to alert us that the devices were no longer charging. As he unplugged and then re-inserted the converter into the outlet, something in the wall popped—sounded like a small explosion to me—and there was the smell of something burning.
I screamed—not a wise move for that time of night. But hey. Every research trip needs a little excitement.
On Saturday, I had just three hours to crank through an entire decade of Catholic baptism records from the 1830s. It didn't help that the day started out with glorious sunshine. It's been culture shock for this California resident to spend so many hours under cloud cover. I hadn't realized how much my subconscious registered this deprivation until I actually saw real sunlight on Saturday.
Not to worry. I powered on. Fifteen minutes before closing, I realized I had only made it to 1834 in the County Tipperary parish—I had started at 1832—and if I were going to capture a copy of our John Tully's baptismal entry, I had better fast-forward to the appropriate spot and grab my opportunity now.
I do have to say, the journey through that Ballina parish register was informative. My hope had been to connect the dots between any Flannerys and Tullys in the area and our own Margaret Flannery and Denis Tully.
If you recall my consternation over the ink blot unserendipitously deposited upon the precise spot on the page of the 1851 Canada West census which contained relatives of our Flannery line, you will be happy to note that the name was Edmund Flannery after all. I came upon his son Cornelius' baptismal entry Saturday morning.
I'd like to say I hated leaving the rest of that microfilm roll behind at the sound of the closing bell, but I really can't say that. There was, after all, sunlight awaiting my emergence from the rotunda of the National Library. I joined my husband who, along with what seemed to be the entire residency of the city of Dublin, was out enjoying this novelty called sunshine. We walked along, taking in the sights of the city in which I had spent the last week sequestered indoors.
The afternoon presented a bonus, in that our research trip was deftly designed to coincide with Dublin's Back to Our Past conference. The DNA lectures there included a keynote presentation by Spencer Wells of National Geographic's Genographic Project. Being so far from home, I found it a treat to run into the familiar face of Katherine Borges of ISOGG, and even Maurice Gleeson, whom I had met and discussed this trip with, back at the Southern California Jamboree last June.
On today's agenda is nothing but time to enjoy the sights of Dublin and relax. Then pack. Tonight—if all goes as planned—we will be joined by our daughter, who once again will take the train from Cork to spend this last evening with us. Early tomorrow morning, we'll be off to the airport and the long trip back home.
Photograph: Looking into the ruins of the Aghadoe Cathedral in County Kerry from an outside wall of the building. Photograph courtesy of Chris Stevens.