Sunday, September 18, 2016
Wondering About Wedding Bells
If I couldn't find baptismal records for my Johanna Falvey Kelly's children—other than the two possibilities for Mary—perhaps it would be easier to locate marriage records. Only, of course, if they could be located in church records. Due to legal restrictions in Ireland, when John Kelly had wed his bride, Johanna, there would have been no possibility of civil registration for them; they were Catholic.
Thankfully, it wasn't difficult to locate a possibility for our John and Johanna—although, even here, it might be for an entirely unrelated couple. I keep having to remind myself how common the surname Kelly is, and how fond of the name John the Irish people seem to be.
What I found was in the records of the church parish of Kilcummin. Now, I realize there is also a civil designation of Kilcummin—it's also the name of a civil parish, happily containing the townland of Knockauncore for which I keep seeing references—so I keep having to remind myself which side of the document divide I am currently accessing. Though church and civil designations may utilize the same names, they may not exactly correspond to the same geographic area.
Considering John and Johanna's first child—a son they named Timothy—was born in 1860, it would be reasonable to discover the couple had married the previous year. That was indeed the year I discovered this particular marriage record: 1859.
The church parish of Kilcummin is in the diocese of Kerry. Apparently, the diocese has an extensive history. Once a researcher gets the chance to actually travel to Ireland and get an eyeful of the multitude of crumbling remnants of antiquity across the land, it then becomes no surprise to see, as this website from the current-day diocese explains it, a heritage stretching back to the twelfth century. It is also encouraging to learn of the part the diocese has played in the digitization of their records—which records, in addition to their ecclesiastical role, have now taken on genealogical significance, as well.
Preserved within this collection—and now available online, thanks to the foresight of those keepers of the records at the diocese of Kerry—was a marriage entry in the Kilcummin church parish on 2 March, 1859, for Johannis Kelly and Johanna Falvey of Knockauncore. Once again, that surname Fleming showed up, this time as one of the witnesses to the wedding vows.
Again, I'm tempted to claim this one as ours, though I resist getting up that hope. There are so many likely others with the same combination of names, even within County Kerry. I keep hoping for some additional ways to conclusively verify.