Friday, July 13, 2012

Death in the Family

I am back in Scotland due to the death of my mother Margaret Lindsay nee Hall, and will be here for a while. She had been sick with cancer for a while but actually died suddenly and peacefully from something else at Forth Valley Royal Infirmary, Larbert on Monday 9th July. The funeral service will be on Monday 16th at St.Ninians Old Parish Church and cremation at Falkirk. Her remains will be interred next to her mother Jean Hall.
She was ever a lady, diginified but with a silly sense of humor, stubborn, hard working, extremely talented at all she attempted. Totally devoted to her family and much loved by many people. She dedicated most of her life to the Girl Guides being on numerous committes and holding many leadership positions. and was also a member of the Tuesday Group (church). Professionally she had worked for the Royal Bank of Scotland in many capacities and was always quietly efficient.
Mother was an only child and raised with much fondness by my grandparents. They were a close knit little family and grandpa was very protective of the two ladies in his life till his sudden demise in 1965. He steered mother toward banking, and while it was not her first choice of career, she did well with it. While working at Drummonds in London she met my father and for us the rest is personal history :)
She loved her back stone walled garden and devoted numerous hours to tending it and making it beautiful. Dad increased his flower photography skills as a result. She spent even more hours chatting to everyone that passed by while she was in the front garden :) She also welded a paint brush with great ease and spent many an hour painting walls in our home.
She loved to get grubby in the dirt but was always immaculately dressed when leaving through the front door. (I don't have her fabulous dress sense unfortunately.)
Strict but fair and caring as a mother, caregiver to our father through his many health battles, much adored grandmother and loyal friend to those that knew her well. She will be missed but we know she is at peace with the Lord and enjoying the eternities with her beloved parents and son David.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Tribes of Galway

I mentioned Eyre Square in my last posting. We noticed a number of banners with coats of arms and surnames on them and wondered what they were. Our tour bus guide told us what they represented.

From the mid 13th onwards 14 merchant families basically dominated the area through politics, commerce and social life. The families were Athy, Blake, Bodkin, Browne, D'Arcy, Deane, Ffont, Ffrench, Joyce, Kirwan, Lynch, Martyn, Morris and Skerrett. The families traded with continental Europe. "The Tribes of Galway" was a derogatory term given by Oliver Cromwell but it was later adopted as a mark of defiance.

I have to say that the banners are a very colorful and striking way to introduce non-locals to the history of the town. The doorway to the old Browne family resident is now preserved as a monument on Eyre Square.
If you want to find out more about each family visit

Later on our tour the bus guide told us that the number 14 shows up in other areas of Galway. 14 roundabouts and 14 childrens playgrounds being two examples he cited.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I went to Ireland

Indeed I did. With my husband and out two youngest offspring. We got back late on Tuesday evening. It was wonderful. The scenery is gorgeous and we saw a lot of it :)
While I did not physically sit down and do any paper genealogy or research we were in areas that some of my ancestors and other relatives came from which was great. We were not able to visit the area that some of my husband's ancestors came from (Co. Sligo) but that gives us an excuse for another visit :)
We did a number of bus tours which proved very interesting and learned a lot about Irish history and local customs.
"The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara got a lot of Americans with Irish ancestry in Connemara interested in their genealogy. Our bus stopped at the famous cottage, drove by the bridge and we also saw the village of Cong.
My great uncle came from Galway. We stayed at a B&B about 15 minutes outside of town for a couple of days. While the hubbie spent a day at the local office we explored the town. Lovely place and fairly simple to walk around once you get Eyre Square stuck in your brain as the center.
I'll share some photographs later.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

USA 1940 census

On this side of "the pond" there is much excitement about the newly released 1940 census (2nd April). Lots of people are re-visiting their genealogy and family history while others are being inspired to start for the first time. For many the idea of possibly finding living relatives or themselves is exciting.

I took a look yesterday and was happy with what I found. The images are large and, on the whole, easy to read. Yes it is a disadvantage if you have no idea where your relative lived and you don't want to plow through page after page of images but I look on it as "the thrill of the hunt" type task :) Indexing is in process to make the process easier but will take a while.

Found my father-in-law with his parents and the family story about the surname being spelled differently is true. Does that mean we should switch back ?

I have a lot of cousins that came to the USA from Scotland so this census is relevant in my search. Looked for three so far. One stayed put, one moved within the town, another appears to have moved elsewhere.

Hints -
If you have relatives in the 1930 census type in the enumeration district number to get the 1940 one and see what happens.
Where to go? Click on "getting started" and scroll down to "convert 1930 to 1940".
Try a smaller town first just to get your exploring feet wet and then graduate up to something larger. My large one will be Manhattan, New York.
If you find someone you can bookmark, download, or print.
Try not to use the site at peak viewing times.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Barry Ewell of

I'm excited ....... Barry now has a blog ........ a good one. Lots of fun short videos to watch and learn from. It will be interesting to see what he shares over time about his journey through genealogy.
Go check it out.