I’ve got to come clean on this: I have no idea where to take this Flannery search next. Do I try to press back in time, searching among any Irish records I can find online for Ballina in County Tipperary? Or do I grab what Flannery descendants I can find in Canadian records for Ontario and explore connections in the hope of flushing out any distant cousins?
Seeking free Irish records online would be a challenge. Over the years, there have been disparate groups of volunteers willing to post record transcriptions, but such resources are pockets of random collections, hidden away hither and yon in the vast universe of online resources we dub, simply, the Internet. Witness the Flannery clan site. Or Tipperary Genealogy, part of the network called IGP—Ireland Genealogy Projects. Whatever random Flannery matches I’d come by in a search like this would likely be a mixed bag of leads.
Looking for such records online might also be a waste of my time. I am, after all, planning to travel to Ireland in the fall. Some genealogical documents are just better sought for in person; it is only a small percentage of such records that are available online—free ones comprise an even tinier fraction.
Furthermore, “free” is always a limiting factor, requiring the proverbial “Some Kind Soul” to dedicate time and know-how to transform written documents to digitized versions or correctly transcribed text files. There are, as we all know, collections of records available for a fee. Reader Dara has already mentioned one in a comment: Rootsireland.ie. Of course, Ancestry.com has a modest selection of Irish resources that fit within the narrow sliver of time—up to 1849—in which I’d still be able to locate my Flannery family in Ireland. In addition to the downside of the cost for such sites, my ability to include links of my findings in public posts on A Family Tapestry would be limited to sharing with only those readers who are also subscribers.
On the other hand, one of my goals was to find documentation linking Edmund Flannery’s family in Paris, Ontario, with his neighbor Denis Tully’s wife, Margaret Flannery Tully. I would either need to achieve this through church records in Ireland, or government records in Ontario. Do I scrub the “distant cousin” notion, barring any way to obtain Irish records cementing the connection? Or do I press on, full speed ahead, with descendant research on Edmund’s line as a sort of genealogical public service? I have, after all, compiled a list of links for several of those Canadian Flannery family members.
While these possibilities are floating around in my mind—and until I can determine a solid strategy for my next research target—I think I’ll pursue the Genealogical Good Samaritan route and go through my list of Flannery connections to see what loose ends may be cleaned up through resources easily located online. If for nothing else, that will ease my mind on one troubling question that popped up while considering the news report on Patrick Flannery’s unfortunate demise:
If Patrick died in Paris, why was his passing reported in a newspaper published nearly two hundred miles away?