Thursday, September 11, 2008


A new edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture
is coming up and it's a "Back to School" sort of theme, but
in the sense that it deals with family and genealogy. Here's how
Lisa at Small-Leaved Shamrock puts it:

Have Irish heritage in your family history? Make a plan to further
investigate the Irish side of your family tree and share your goals
with us. Here are some ideas:

Work back a few more generations on one branch of your
Irish family tree

Find naturalization papers that give the county of origin
for an immigrant ancestor

Find the townland in Ireland where your immigrant ancestor
was born

Get in touch with other relatives who share the same Irish

There are also other activities she suggests other than genealogy
but I need to do a lot more work on my Mom's side and this
gives me a chance to formulate an organized plan of attack,
so to speak.

I've had some success these past two years in tracing my family
lines on Dad's side but there's still a lot of blanks on my Mom's
branch of the tree, starting with her grandparents John and
Anna (Kelley) McFarland .According to the 1900 Federal Census,
John and Anna were married in 1879 and emigrated to the States
either that year or a year later in 1880. (depending on which census
I'm looking at.) So here is what I need to do:

1. Check out the newspaper collection at the Main Branch Boston
Public Library for obituaries on John, Anne, and their children.
This will entail a train trip into Boston on one of my Thursdays off.

2. Visit the Archdiocese of Boston's archives when they reopen
in Braintree to check on any baptismal, marriage, death, and
burial information they might have. Since the Archives are closed
until 2009 while they are moved from Boston to Braintree it will be
awhile before I can do this. The good news is that once they are
open, it's only a ten minute drive which is very cool! I can spend
more time there than if it were in Boston.

3. Search online for ships' records of John and Anna McFarland
and on the passenger lists. So far I've had no luck on this but
I 'll keep at it.

4. Search for John and Anna's naturalization papers. I'm not sure
Anna when became a U.S. citizen. Up until the 1930 census she
wasn't, and the entry in that column in 1930 could be either "Na"
for "naturalized" or "Pa" for "first papers". John had died on
3 Aug 1924, so perhaps his death caused Anna to apply for the
better legal protection citizenship might give a widow. John
was listed as "Na" beginning with the 1900 census.

5 Explore the possibility of what Boston City records might exist for
John who was employed as a city laborer. Would they list his
parents, and the exact place of birth in Ireland?

6. Explore the possibility of records of John's employment by the
Boston Elevated Railroad(now known as the Massachusetts Bay
Transit Authority) for the same information. My mother told me
several times that John had been one of the workers when it was
originally built.

7. Talk with my older cousins for any thing they might know
about John and Anna that they might remember or that their
parents told them.

So there it is. Let's see how much I can get done before "school's
out" next June.

1 comment:

Colleen Johnson said...

Best wishes with your homework. Boston is tough to get in and out of. I didn't know they were moving the records down to Braintree.