Thursday, August 21, 2014

Putting Together Those Road Trip Details

It’s almost the end of August. I have somewhere to be by the end of September—namely, Ireland. Now that all the research is done—well, all the genealogical searching that's going to be accomplished by then—it’s time to start making those travel arrangements.

While I know—and you do, too, if you have done much genealogical research—that a family tree is never really completed, I do have to draw the line somewhere. After all, tickets need to be purchased. Hotels need reservations. Meetings with people need to be planned.

It looks like it will not only be my husband and I who will make the trip back to the ancestral lands. His sisters will be able to rendezvous with us. Of course, there will be visits to those features of Ireland that no tourist can resist—the Blarney Castle, after all, is a short drive from where our daughter is attending college in Cork. How could we pass up features like that?

Less easy to plan, but no less important, will be those drives to the locales where we have located ancestors. At this point, that means our Tully and Flannery lines in County Tipperary and Malloy and Flanagan in County Limerick—plus, if I get lucky in the next few days, I may be able to confirm a parish in County Kerry for our Kelly and Falvey lines, too.

It occurred to me yesterday that, since discovering the baptismal confirmation letters for both Johanna and John Tully, I hadn’t revisited Griffith’s Valuation for the years before the family’s emigration to Canada. Just to be sure I had the right area, I worried myself into double-checking Griffith’s Valuation listings for Tully against the information I now had from those baptismal notes.

Though one report indicates that the survey wasn’t completed in County Tipperary until 1853—a couple years past our Tully family’s departure—I have been told by others that the report was published closer to 1848, a date more compatible with our family’s timeline. Here’s hoping that the Denis Tully found in the survey is one and the same as our Denis Tully and family.

Just to double check with those more familiar with their records, I touched base with volunteers at the Ireland Reaching Out forum, to see if I could find any more confirmation on locations. For some reason, those terms—civil parish versus church parish, townlands, baronies, poor law unions—do not register in my brain. I couldn’t get my head around these divisions, until reading what I found to be the most sane explanation in the John Grenham book, Tracing Your Irish Ancestors—something I’ll discuss a bit further tomorrow.

It was helpful to connect with the Ireland Reaching Out volunteer, who explained to me that the townland listed in Griffith’s Valuation as Fountinna was likely a typo in the original transcription. The townland is actually Tountinna. The civil parish is Templeachally—yet another worry for me, since I can’t readily find this name when I search in other records. How do these long, unusual names vanish when I’m looking for them?

Thankfully, the volunteer sent me links to historic maps of the area—including the townland of Tountinna. Since I had asked if there were any possibility of seeing, in our times, the church our Tully family once attended, I was excited to see the map sent back in reply. Note there is an old “R. C. Chapel” listed in the town of Ballina, which hopefully I’ll soon be seeing in person. Add that one to our itinerary, for sure.

I was overjoyed to be provided with a map which included the area where Denis Tully likely lived. I am usually a sucker for maps, and can stare at them, transfixed, for hours. (I can get lost in maps. It’s a good thing I never yielded to the temptation to buy that world-map wallpaper I once found in a paint store; otherwise, I'd never get any work done.) It was a delight to lay eyes on the very land where our Tully family once walked.

If I can figure out how to overlay these old maps with current road maps, we will hopefully be able to drive by the land where the Tully family last lived, before making that life-changing decision to leave homeland and look for a better life across the ocean.

 Photograph: Sixty years later and a few towns removed from the home of our Tully ancestors, this is Castle Street in the town of Nenagh in County Tipperary, circa 1910; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.


  1. I love maps too! Especially old ones!

    If you print out the old ones and highlight the main road(s) in town - say yellow for east-ish/west-ish and orange for north-ish/south-ish and do the same on the new maps - the "X" will mark the spot and help you align the old to new. Most of the main roads haven't changed in decades (if not centuries). :)

    1. P.s., I've kissed the Blarney Stone. If you are afraid of hanging over the edge at several floors height, this isn't for you. :)

    2. Well, let me just say, I have all the gift of gab I need already ;)

  2. I like maps too and sometimes I can while away an hour or two just looking at them! Iggy has a great idea! If they are all the same scale it should work!!
    I have never been outside the US..well Mexico once when I was about 14 and my Dad drove into Mexico a few miles but we were not allowed out of the car.
    So I am excited for your adventure! :)

    1. That old map of Toutinna is a hard one to read!!

      I found it on google maps:,+Co.+Tipperary,+Ireland/@52.8416444,-8.3877736,15z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x485c9be3877bceab:0x542d3d3c31151a00?hl=en

    2. Wait! Far Side! I thought you bought some photographs from an antique shop in Winnipeg. That's Canada, right?

      Iggy, that's a much clearer map. The "street view" was interesting. Almost seems to be a timeless view...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...