Looking for my Irish roots

Like I told the class before, my dad is really into genealogy. He’s been doing this for years, so I chose to take this interim to find out what he’s been so excited about all this time. He’ll be super excited to find out that I have most definitely been bitten by the genealogy bug! It’s almost 1:00 am and I told myself I was planning to go to bed early, but here I am, still awake having spent the past 3 hours on ancestry.com!

I’m looking mostly at my mom’s side of the family, since my dad has done a lot of his ancestors already. So far, I’ve traced my mom’s side back to the first generation in America. I’ve found 6 of the 8 great-great-grandparents on that side of the family and 4 of the 16 great-great-great- grandparents. I’ve mostly used US census data and other American information. This week I plan to research more into the Irish documents, particularly searching for immigration records.

However, my dad has provided me with copies of my great-grandmother’s immigration records:Image

Mary Nally came to America in 1912 from Clonbonny, Athlone, Westmeathe, Ireland. She came by herself to stay with her aunt in Albany, NY. I had seen these records before, but it was pretty cool to upload them onto my family tree and really understand more about who she was and how she is connected to me. It really got me think. Mary was 20 years old when she came to America, the same age as me. She came all by herself, leaving behind her entire family to go with an aunt that she probably didn’t know very well. It seems terribly scary and incredibly brave. I’m not sure I could do what she did, at this age. And what is also cool is that I can find out a lot of the rest of her story. She came to America at age 20, married Joseph McEvoy, an electrician, within the next 7 years, and had 6 children! I also found Joseph’s World War I Draft registration Card, which I used to help me find the name of his mother (and subsequently, his father).

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Another interesting thing that I may have found is that my great-grandfather, James Quirk, may have been a bootlegger during prohibition! I found a newspaper article saying he had been charged with bootlegging during prohibition, but I’m still trying to establish for sure that he lived in that town at that time (it could be a different James Quirk, after all). Census records around that time have him living in areas fairly close to where the newspaper is from, so it’s looking good!

So far I have been having a ball looking into my family tree. Now I just need to call my dad and tell him about it!