Thursday, October 20, 2016

Maybe This is The One

Having found a promising entry in County Cork civil registers for the 1868 birth of Philip Sweeney, son of Cornelius and Johanna, the next step was to see if there were any marriage records for his parents at the same location.

Once again, a transcription of an old "collection" at provided the trailblazer to hint at the right place to search. Now that the Irish civil registers are provided online, I returned to see what could be found for Philip's parents.

The Ancestry report indicated that I need to be creative with spelling. They had located a record for Swinyrather than Sweeneyand Cornelius' given name abbreviated as Cor's. However, the rest of the entry was promising: a bride named Johanna Denehy, the same location as Philip's birth in Millstreet, and a date for the marriage set at a discreet distance from his December 1, 1868, arrival. According to this Ancestry transcription, the date of the marriage was 26 February, 1865.

From this point, I went to the Irish Genealogy website to see what I could find to replicate that Ancestry report.

While the civil registrations for birth records that we viewed yesterday included digitized images of the original records, that was not soat least as far as I could tellfor the marriage records I was seeking today, even for those only a few years prior to Philip's birth.

Still, the search engine brought up a result for a Cornelius "Swiny"just as the Ancestry collection had indicatedbut it only showed the transcription for Cornelius, alone. No mention of the wife or any further details than the year of the marriage.

Undeterred, I did a second searchthis time for Johanna, spelling her surname just as the Ancestry record had indicated: Denehy. Sure enough, the returns quarter, volume number and page number matched the entry for Cornelius exactly.

I'd say we have a match.

Above: "On the Saco" undated oil painting by German-American landscape artist, Albert Bierstadt; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.


  1. Replies
    1. Actually, I'm quite blown away with all the detail that can now be accessed. Research is infinitely more rewarding with so many successful hits.

  2. How smart to cross-reference the source data for both bride and groom like that ! This trick will make me go back and try this on some of mine.

    1. Magda, it was merely a measure of my desperation. Hopefully, it will turn up a few good results for you, as well. In the meantime, I think it will only be a matter of time before all these other images will also be digitized and available for us to search. The wise Irish realize their transparency and helpfulness in records access will only make us want to visit there all the more.

  3. i know it's not what you'd like to hear, but actually there isn't a match :-(

    the register shows that cornelius dennehy married a maria murphy on march 28th ( )

    and Hanora Danahy married cornelius murphy on Jan 26th ( )

    we have listed all the registers in the millstreet area here:

    so now you know how to view the actual registers

    hope that's a help
    michael (one of the admins for

    1. Oh oh...sounds like it's back to the drawing board on this one. Thanks for the heads up on this, Mike. It's better to get it right than done quickly, so I really need to know this. I'll check out those URLs you mentioned when I get back home. The Millstreet site sounds like a useful one, in our case now.

      On the other hand, I probably need to take a good, long look around. I have seen transcriptions referencing the Murphy marriage, for instance, separate from my Cornelius and Johanna, so I'm hoping there will be other references that help untangle this apparent contradiction. I hate to think it was simply an error in transcription that caused the record to show up as Swiny/Denehy. But that also points out the absolute need to see a copy of the document, not just rely on transcriptions.

      Again, Mike, thanks for pointing out the discrepancy--and especially those websites. You know I'll be taking a closer look!


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