The Irish in America

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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)