The journey overseas is always fraught with troubled waters. Genealogical research can so easily stall once one tries to cross the ocean to discover roots in the old country. When this research takes one back to Ireland the pitfalls can be numerous. In my personal genealogy and that of my husband I have crashed into many Irish brick walls. One issue which I cannot seem to get passed is the lack of information regarding these individuals’ home towns and even counties. On a Canadian census one encounters only the country of origin Ireland, and because Canadian’s were considered British subjects until 1947 those immigrants from Britain and Commonwealth countries (such as Ireland) did not require naturalization. No naturalization equals less documentation! Without an Irish place name to pinpoint and with such common names…feels like a mission impossible!
Our Brick Wall Irish ancestors:
John McGinnis (my husband’s 4th Great Grandfather) ~ Born 1 May 1818 in Ireland. ~His Immigration year according to the 1901 Canada Census 1832 but could have been anytime between 1832-1857. Immigrated to Township of Flos, Simcoe ~Wife Margaret (Maiden Name unknown)
James Sloan(e) (my 3rd Great Grandfather)~Born abt 1811 in Ireland ~Died 12 May 1871 in Oxford County, Ontario, Canada (in poor house) ~1851 Canada Census – Living in Brantford, ON, Labourer, religion Church of England ~Immigration year sometime between 1811 and 1847 (when oldest child was born in Canada) ~Wife Margaret (maiden name unknown) also born in Ireland; Children: William, Mary Ann, James, Margaret, and George all born in Canada.
Henry Rutledge (my 4th Great Grandfather)~Born abt 1796 in Ireland ~Immigration year had to have been before 1823 ~Wife Ann (Maiden name Unknown). She was born in New Brunswick and died sometime bet 1842 and 1851. ~1851 Canada Census – Living in Norwich, Ontario, W. Methodist, farme ~1861 Canada Census – Living in Derham, Ontario, W. Methodist, labourer, Living with his daughter and her family ~Children: Margaret Ann (born in New Brunswick, Canada), Christopher, Elizabeth, Catherine, and Isabella (all born in Ontario, Canada)
Because of their early immigration years even looking for their immigration to Canada has been challenging.
A few Early Irish Record Sets I’ve searched thus far:
~All Irish Canadian Emigration Records, 1823-1849
~New Brunswick, Canada Passenger Lists, 1834
~Irish Emigration Lists 1833-1839
Find My Past (Currently $1 for the month special)
(**Link to the Irish research Guide)
~Griffith Valuation (1847-64)
~Poverty Relief Loan Fund Records (1824-)
~Newspaper Collection (1740-)
~Farrar’s Index of Marriages 1771-1812 and Baptisms 1771-1812
So far little success but I will continue to chip away at those Irish Brick Walls, maybe the Luck o’ the Irish will find me and I will find the gold at the end of the research rainbow!