Monday, October 13, 2014
And Now, For the Serious Search
Hurtling along the midst of impossibly narrow country lanes of western Ireland has had its charms, I admit, but it has come time to bid adieu to all the wild excitement, board a train and head to staid Dublin for some serious research. No more reliance on memories of the locals, directions-cum-conversations to now-nonexistent townlands, and those serendipitous meetings with total strangers who, nonetheless, are able to add just one jot more of information to help solve the mystery of our forebears.
We are in the big city now.
Now checked in at Buswells Hotel in the city centre—historic treat in its own right—we have regained our bearings, having had a moment to catch our breath on the nearly three hour train ride from Cork. The change in ambience is palpable. It feels almost as if we had crossed the Irish Sea and were now staying in a proper place in England.
This affords us a new city in which to get lost with abandon. Thankfully, on the taxi ride here, I noticed that my main location of interest—the National Library of Ireland—is a short walk from the hotel. Perhaps I can arrange to avoid getting lost this week.
All the material gleaned on this research trip prior to this point may be considered "field work." Now, the tasks will involve inspecting old documents—where any may be found—and ferreting out which of the many subjects of the former British crown resident on this island belong to our family, and which are simply false leads with the unfortunately coincidental name and date of birth. I'm trusting the years of research already poured into this moment to lead me to the right resources for the real people, but there is still that sense of sheer terror that, after all the miles and expense, I will not find what I'm hoping to find.
Then, again, I'm not really sure what, exactly, I'm seeking. The words of the woman at the Nenagh Heritage Centre in County Tipperary still echo in my mind: not many Catholic church records predate the 1830s documents I've already uncovered. Unless there are resources at these national repositories that are not transcribed online, I may discover that I've already found all that's available to be found.
When we left Cork yesterday, we emerged into the sunlight from the bed and breakfast establishment which, coincidentally, was situated straight across the street from the hotel where we began our journey. What drew us across the street from that hotel was the little coffee shop affiliated with the bed and breakfast. Called Serendipity, it became our home away from home when we needed a little more liquid energy—or a way to tap into the Internet when everyone else's service seemed to have been knocked out by the latest storm. Every time we had left Cork on an overnight trip to ancestral places, we had returned to a different hotel, conveniently accommodating our seeming need to get ourselves lost at least once a day. By this last return to Cork, we just needed to feel as if we were returning home.
And so it was that, for that last night in Cork, we stayed at the tiny Anam Cara Bed and Breakfast, and ate our last dinner and breakfast at the Serendipity.
Perhaps this Serendipity will stay with us for these last few days in Dublin. I certainly can use a little bit of that.
© Copyright 2011 – 2023 by Jacqi Stevens at 2:43:00 AM
Labels: County Cork, Ireland, Research Journeys
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Staid and English - Are you certain you're in Dublin? Best of luck in the Library, I just love that building.ReplyDelete
Dara, you had warned me about the different accents. I guess my ear became well attuned to the sounds of County Cork and places beyond. Perhaps our family has more of an affinity for the west coast of Ireland than we realized. We are, after all, from the west coast of America. In contrast, dialing back to Dublin seemed quite British to my ears. It definitely has a different feel to it than the more western regions of the country.Delete
Ah, the library. I hear it has recently been re-done with fresh colors to the interior architectural features. It is lovely.
Dara, it just occurred to me, my first impression of Dublin may also be owing to the hotel where we are currently staying. It is quite historic. Couple that with the fact that the street is cordoned off right now by the Garda--apparently there are debates over the budget occurring right now in governmental sessions--and I can see why I might have gotten that impression.Delete
You will find much in Dublin and try the national archives as well as the national library. There are many resources available that are not yet online. Good luck from Adare!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Kat! I am headed to the national archives within the hour, to receive my orientation there. Looking forward to it!Delete
IF and I do say IF you find nothing then you are one great researcher! Having found all your information before your trip! I am certain you will find something...some tid bits that will make the whole trip worth while...hope you got your Ipad back:)ReplyDelete
Oh! Now there is a post I need to add in the near future. I may find myself having to do more than one post per day. There is so much happening!Delete
It's been so fortunate, having a professional genealogist serving as our tour guide here. I just spent some time with Donna Moughty, who helped me reformulate my strategy for the next few days. I'll be switching to another line for the time being, but perhaps it will yield some additional information. Sometimes it helps to switch tracks, rather than just staying stuck and stumped, with all these unique resources at our fingertips, but with the time clock also ominously ticking away. Before we know it, we will be headed back home...
Bet this is the first time you had "plenty" of hot water for showering!ReplyDelete
I hope you find some things in the musty archives!!
I am wishing I could embed a photograph of the placard posted on the shower wall here. Apparently, because this hotel is made up of three historic Georgian houses strung together, the convoluted pipe layout requires guests to turn on the hot water tap and let it run for a long time.Delete
Yes, though the visit here was a treat, we will be quite glad to head back home.
The way you've written about your trip to Ireland is absolutely charming, Jacqi. I feel as if you are speaking directly to me as we sit across the table from eachother sipping Irish tea. Thanks so much for sharing so much of your journey here on your blog! I'm just now getting to read through many of these posts of yours, and enjoying them all.ReplyDelete
Lisa, I'm so honored that you stopped by! Glad you enjoyed it. It's always good to connect!Delete