One last hope for direction—given my research quandary concerning the roots of my father-in-law's Kelly ancestors in Lafayette, Indiana—was an article I found through a last-ditch Google search. Published in the BYU Family Historian back in September of 2007, the article, "Irish Emigration and Immigration to North America" provided a promise I couldn't resist. According to authors David Ouimette and David Rencher, "there were numerous ways to immigrate to North America and each course had the potential to create the records needed to identify a home county or parish."
What I missed, at first, in that introductory statement was the qualifier, "the potential."
Granted, the ten page article was full of advice on useful resources to trace those difficult Irish immigrant ancestors back to their homeland—well worth your while to read. I read it twice, just in case.
As for emerging at the end of this month of research, answer in hand as to which parish in Ireland James and Mary Kelly bid goodbye on their journey to a new land, that has not happened. Yet.
Sticking to my research plan for this year—pursuing my "Twelve Most Wanted" for 2021—means that come Monday, I will be on to a new research challenge. While I will still attempt to solve this Kelly question, it will have to step to a secondary position until further documentation, or at least clues, come to hand.
In the meantime, my foray into the background information on Irish immigration to Indiana has been helpful in a more general way. Moving from searching through databases to absorbing information from articles and genealogical or historical journals, I've now stepped into the world of books, one of which I will share with you tomorrow as I close out this Kelly chapter.
It is difficult to give up on a research chase, but I've found that sometimes, we need to develop the knack of knowing when to close the books on one particular problem. There will always be more digitized records added to collections, more scholarly articles published, more books printed with helpful information. Once we exhaust all currently-available resources at hand, we need to accept the grace to take our leave and commit to returning at a more advantageous time.
I'm positive, in that up-beat attitude that helps researchers move forward in a productive way, that there will be more to be found...someday.