Monday, September 12, 2016

Can Genealogical Lightning Strike Twice?

It's been an off again, on again experience, trying to determine my husband's roots via his Falvey line from County Kerry, Ireland. With the surprise email contact from New Zealand arriving in my inbox almost three weeks ago, now, I'm trying to revisit my research trail to piece together what still needs to be done. This is perhaps my perfect opportunity to finally figure out how our Fort Wayne Falveys connect with some Falveys in New Zealand.

Thankfully, I now have a traceable path, in part owing to the many posts I've made about research in Ireland right here on A Family Tapestry. If I can't remember which resources or topics I've already covered, I can simply Google it!

In piecing together that Falvey research history, I noticed my observation in one post doubting the possibility of "genealogical lightning" striking twice. That was the thought I had in 2014, trudging through the rain back to the Valuation Office in Dublin on one of my last days of research in Ireland. I had had phenomenal results putting the research process through its paces on another branch of my father-in-law's Irish ancestry, and was hoping for a rerun on ecstatic results.

This time, I was seeking Falveys in the records. I didn't fare so well. I've since tried to revisit the genealogical chase on a number of occasions, but each time I'd start, I'd almost as soon drop the pursuit.

Not that I hadn't tried. Looking for records on Johanna Falvey, my husband's second great grandmother, I had noted her 1903 obituaries in a post back in October, 2013, had included a blip of a mention about a sibling who emigrated to New Zealand. That was the only mention of a New Zealand connection I have been able to findno name, no dates, no further connections.

The other leads which have me stymied include a reference to a location known as Molahiffe which, as I noted in 2014, was designated as a civil parish, at least during the time of Griffith's Valuation. Again in 2016, I attempted work on this Falvey line by aggregating a list of research resources for New Zealand. But I never really knew where to begin the search.

Perhaps revisiting this search just one more time will be the charm. If not serendipity, at least it may be well-timed in coinciding with the fresh availability of more online record resources.

Just last week, a number of genealogical news sources heralded the cyber-arrival of the General Register Office's digitized birth, marriage and death records at Predictably, the minute the collection was launched, a worldwide rush by the Irish diaspora to get in touch with their roots brought the system down. Claire Santry of Irish Genealogy News kindly provided the blow-by-blow of how the website fared in the hours and days after the launch.

Between the arrival of these digitized records and the collection of Catholic baptismal records provided, thanks to the National Library of Ireland (thankfully now searchable on FindMyPast and, who knows? Perhaps this time, it will be possible to see lightning strike twiceor at least a redux on some genealogical fireworks.

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