My Pot of Gold
March 14, 2017
When I first became interested in genealogy more than 25 years ago, I began by asking my mother for stories about our family in Australia. She told me all kinds of stories, but there was one in particular I remembered. The story went that our family had once owned a castle in Ireland and then lost it through unknown circumstances. My mom did not really believe the story, but it was something she had heard about growing up. I was curious about where the story originated and if any part of it was true.
Years later, I started corresponding with relatives in Australia who sent me some information on the Ronayne family from Ireland. The Ronayne family owned an estate for many centuries in County Cork, but I could never tie our family into that one. My great-grandmother had received money from some properties owned by this family until the time of the Great Depression and then the money stopped. I have dug into Irish records to see if I could find a connection but have not been successful yet. Although I may never be able to prove our family owned a “castle,” I have learned a lot about Irish genealogy research.
The Midwest Genealogy Center and Mid-Continent Public Library have many resources to help with your own Irish research. A search of MCPL’s online catalog will show many Irish sources. Tracing Your Irish Ancestors, Irish Family History Resources Online, and Everyday Life in 19th Century Ireland are just a small part of MGC’s collection. You can also check out CDs and listen to the experts talk about Irish research with topics like Irish Estate, Land and Property Records or Finding Your Irish Ancestral Place of Origin. It is like going to a genealogy conference but from the comfort of your own home.
MCPL also has several databases that have Irish genealogy records. The Irish Newspaper Archives has been helpful for finding information on some of my Irish ancestors. You can also look through HeritageQuest Online for select Irish marriage and death records. Ancestry Library Edition and Findmypast (both in-library use only databases) are also great databases for Irish research.
Don’t forget to talk to your family members. They will probably have some stories to share. Maybe they will involve leprechauns and a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. What Irish stories do you have to share?
Midwest Genealogy Center