Some time back – in July – I wrote about the Brick Wall and recommended a number of solutions to get through the wall. One of the solutions was that it was probably time to hire a professional genealogist! Well here I am to-day and I have definitely hit a brick wall with a particular search. I also advised that it is probably time to have a new pair of eyes give a fresh perspective on the search. So any suggestions out there will be appreciated.
I am currently on a search for a Kerry family who emigrated to Canada in the 1850’s. Over the years, the parents – McCarthy and Brennan and five of their children, all born in Ireland went to Montreal, Quebec. Despite having all their names – John & Mary McCarthy (parents) , Jeremiah, Michael, Daniel, Catherine and Ellen and their approximate dates of birth, presumably in Kerry, not one of their baptismal certificates can be found. Obviously the main problem is the lack of a location in Kerry from where they emigrated. Despite combing Irish Genealogy with all possible combinations. no trace seems to exist of these McCarthys. I ask myself ‘why’? I have visited many presbyteries and churches throughout the county, been received most civilly by all priests who are the custodians of the original records and now facing the ‘brick wall’, I have to presume that in some Kerry parish, the actual records are just missing for this family. I have come across original records that were burnt accidently, pages missing or torn, illegible and faded latin, idiosyncratic notes by priests of the era and I have been told of a parish where the Parish Priest and his housekeeper had a row and the houskeeper threw the record book into the fire!
I am currently trawling through Cyndi’s List for immigrant passenger lists for Canada. There are excellent links to all Canadian genealogical resources including an online searchable database for arrivals at Grosse Íle.