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Brick walls: Keady, Hennessy, Doherty

Brick walls: Keady, Hennessy, Doherty

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United States
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Group: Community Member Last Active: Mon 6 Jan 2020 1:13 PM Visits: 16
I can't decide where in Ireland my wife and I should go in June in order to have the best chance of finding her Irish roots. We know from family history a bunch of facts, but not enough to pin down her pedigree within Ireland. Someone will tell me, I'm sure, if this is too much information for this forum. But here goes. My implicit question is where else I can look, and whether I need to be on the ground in Ireland to do the looking.

1. One Michael Keady, age 9, arrived in New York on 1 (or 2) November 1859 aboard the Jason, which was making the 2d of its two trips from Galway. Michael's naturalization petition in the U.S. specifies the arrival date, a birth date of 1 Oct 1847, and an origin of Cty Galway. His name is shown as "Cady" on the manifest. A woman named Mary Cady, age 35, and another unnamed minor are also listed. You might guess that Mary was Michael's mother, but Michael's U.S. death certificate lists his mother as Ellen Reilly. His father was Patrick, but I can't find a Patrick Keady or Cady on a passenger manifest -- presumably, he came by himself and later sent for his family. Griffith's shows 2 Patrick Keadys in Cty Galway, one in Moycullen Par and the other in Killanin. There are baptismal records in Moycullen (dated 9 May 1851, Patrick Keady & Mary Adley parents) and St. Nicholas (dated 15 Sept 1848, parents Patrick Keady and Mary Leetle). I don't know how customary it might have been for parents to delay one or more years after birth to baptize their children.

2. Michael married a Catherine Hennessy in America. Her death certificate, which I think is reliable because it was completed by her youngest daughter and caregiver, shows her parents as James Hennessy and Mary Burns and a birth year of 1849. I can't find any immigration records about any of them. Ditto baptism records for Catherine or marriage records for James & Mary. Family history is that Catherine came to America as a child.

3. A Katherine Susan Doherty died in America on 23 Dec 1911. According to her death certificate, completed by one of her sons, says that she was born 7 May 1867 in Ireland and that her parents were Daniel Doherty and Susan Kelley. I can't find any information about these folks after searching the same sources in which I found info about Michael Keady.

My wife's DNA is on file with Ancestry and GEDCOM, but that hasn't helped in finding her Irish ancestors.

Posted Sat 28 Dec 2019 4:31 AM
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Island of Ireland
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Hi Walter,

It's lovely to see how much thought you're putting into learning more about your wife's roots! It certainly sounds like you have wonderful starting points for learning more about her family and there are certainly a few resources that might just help in your search.

For Michael Keady and Catherine Hennessy, because they were born here in Ireland before 1864, you might have to reach out to the genealogical centre which represents the county they were born in. This might help a bit with Michael, in particular, as it sounds like you know he was from County Galway.

There are two separate centres for information on Galway, the East Galway Family History Society and the Galway Family History Society West, so if you do happen to know where in Galway he's from, that might help as well. I'd suggest reaching out, as these genealogical centres might be best able to answer questions about when it was customary to perform baptisms and have a bit more helpful advice to get you started.

As Katherine Susan Doherty was born after 1864, though, her records would be held in the General Register Office of Ireland (GRO). You can certainly reach out to them as well and they might have a bit more information.

Finally, I'd love to point you to a very useful thread here on our community, full of helpful research tips

I do hope that these resources help you to break through these brick walls and learn more about your wife's roots here on our island.

Thank you again for reaching out! 

Kindest regards,
Rochelle
Posted Sat 28 Dec 2019 11:36 AM
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Ireland - Portland, Oregon
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Hi Walter,

You have a lot of variables there! 
Remember that the origin port is just that, a port, not where they were born. Given that, the Moycullen area is just outside of Galway city (10minutes) but I would try and research a few more databases before you embark on the area. 

Also, remember that your wife's DNA is going to show her maternal line, not the paternal line with much accuracy. I'm not sure which test you used, but if she has Ancestry, she can upload her raw DNA also to www.familytreedna.com but again, they are mostly looking for paternal research areas, but she could upload it to the different family names and see if she has a match.  

Also, given the names, most of them are clustered together in Cork area. Kelly, Hennessey, Hennessy would fall together naturally there. Doherty would as well, but it is also a firm Northern Ireland name.  You might just do a quick search of the names and dates at www.irishgenealogy.ie A free site that is good for Cork, Kerry and parts of  Waterford and LImerick.  They are adding new records all the time, so check back with them often. 

If you would like specific help with your brick walls, feel free to drop me a line at info@timetraveltours.com and I'm happy to walk you through a few steps to see if you need more help or if you would like on the ground help with your travel planning. 

Happy New Year and Happy Hunting! 
Ginger 
Posted Mon 6 Jan 2020 1:10 PM
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