The Irish in America

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Glenamaddy Update

Galway -- not Glenamaddy, but a pretty shot from near Spiddal (2009, RBM)

Remember James who was looking for descendants of relatives who emigrated to the US from Glenamaddy, County Galway?

Jim, the head researcher with Archival Solutions, tracked down several leads for James based on the information he provided.  James was trying to locate his mother’s brothers and sisters in the historic records, with the ultimate goal of finding living relations.  Only one of his uncles remained in Ireland, and when he died his widow sold the farm in Glenamaddy and moved to Scotland.  James’ mother was the youngest sibling, and she moved from Glenamaddy as a young woman.  The five remaining McGuire siblings emigrated to America.

Before he contacted us, James had never spoken to a cousin on his mother’s side, least of all met one face-to-face.  This has all changed for James.  I would like to share his email:

Dear Aine,
Just to keep you up to speed – I have now had several emails (along with photos) from two of George and Arlene’s daughters.   One lot of photos showed the old farm buildings in Glenamaddy, along with one the people who remember the family.  He lived on the farm just below the McGuire family.
The sons of their daughter Linda, like my sons have red hair and her two boys would pass as brothers to my two sons!   They have also been in touch with other member of the family throughout the States.
My wife and I will finally meet Henry & Susan in September when our cruise ship docks in NY and we are staying over for a few days before flying back to the UK.
So you see you and your Dad’s work paid outstanding results for me – I will be forever grateful.  God bless you and yours.
Warm regards

How fantastic that the children and grandchildren of the McGuire sisters are able to compare notes on family history, photographs, and memories!  James had photographs belonging to his mother of American relatives that he is now able to identify.  I can’t wait for an update later this year, and am delighted we were able to help James find the American branch of his family tree.  Emigration tore so many Irish families apart over the years; it is nice to know that it is never really too late for family to come together again.

If you are interested in learning about what happened to Irish relatives who emigrated to the US, or would like to connect with your long-lost cousins, please visit our Find Your Cousins page for information on how we can help you like we helped James.  And do not hesitate to contact us — we would love to hear your stories!

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Sometimes it just takes a little detective work…

When I first received the following request for assistance, I thought it would be a piece of cake – James provided me with names, some dates, and the family’s home parish.  Here is the comment he left:

I am trying to trace family members on my late Mother’s side who came from Glenamaddy, Galway. There are the McGuire’s who went to Yonkers New York. Brothers James, Micheal and sisters Mary, Cathrine. James married Julia Higgins on 20 Sep 36 and James Jr married 1 Dec 62.

This seemed straight-forward enough, so when an initial search turned up nothing, I was a bit disappointed.  I knew there had to be something out there about James’ family, so I went to an expert.  This was a job for Jim, the head researcher for Archival Solutions.

Genealogy research often requires a good amount of detective work, and this situation was no different.  Jim was up to the task and in no time he told me he had a name of a possible relative of James living in Yonkers, New York.  Researcher Jim was able to trace, not the brother Jim for whom we had a spouse name and marriage date (as well as child’s name and his marriage date), but one of the McGuire sisters.  Catherine married and settled with her husband in Yonkers, New York, where the couple had one son.

I passed the information to James, and I was struck by the appreciation he expressed.  He told me that he telephoned the individual Jim had found, and indeed it was his first cousin.  This was the first time that James had ever spoken to a relative on his mother’s side.  James said they spoke for a “very long time” and his American cousin has filled him in on some family history.

James put together a package of family photographs to send to Yonkers, and has some rather fragile old letters that he will hand-deliver when the cousins meet in New York later this year.

I think I would call that a success!  James, please keep us posted on your future family discoveries!

May not be Glenamaddy, but it's a pretty scene from elsewhere in Galway...(2009 Regan McCormack)