For the 3rd Edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture, I submit this small piece of what I know so far on my ancestors and where they came from in Ireland. Lisa over at Small-leaved Shamrock has done a great job with this new carnival even though this edition has been a challenge for me personally. I think because I haven't done enough research to establish the Irish hometowns for all my Irish ancestors. Among the Sullivans, O'Keefes, Griffins, MacEntees, Slatterys, Farrens and McGinnises, I have only found conclusive evidence of my great-great-grandmother Bridget Farren having come from what is now considered Northern Ireland.
Growing up as a child in upstate New York, I was always told by my great-grandmother, Therese McGinnes Austin that her mother, Bridget Farren McGinnes had come to this country from County Armagh. But that's all I was ever told. No dates, no exact location. Nothing. Even worse, I had no information about her husband Matthew McGinnis who also arrived on these shores from Ireland. Had that met in Ireland? Were they married in Ireland? Did they meet in New York and if so, how? So many questions, most of which remain.
I only have slight pieces of evidence about my great-great-grandparents, Bridget and Matt McGinnis: I have Matt's citizenship certificate from September 9, 1888 and I recently located a passenger ship manifest for the Auriana which arrived in New York on May 25, 1885 (pictured above). Source: New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 online (downloaded from http://www.ancestry.com on 5 January 2008), Provo, Utah: The Generations Network, Inc., 2006.
My great-great-grandmother's name is written as Bridget Farran, which is an acceptable variation of her surname, and one that I've been using in research. In addition, her point of origination is listed as Belfast. I have to conjecture that the person completing the manifest either used that as a generalization or it is the location that Bridget gave during the process.
County Armagh is close enough in location, the northern part touching the Belfast area that this seems correct. In addition her age and date of birth seem to jive with what I've been given. The other piece of information on this manifest that confirms to me this is my Bridget Farren is the listing of the Martin family from County Clare immediately below Bridget's name. In The Box, which is my treasure chest of items from my great-grandmother, are several photos of Martin family members. I never could understand the connection with the Farren family but now it is much clearer. I wonder if Mary Martin was actually born Mary Farran and was sister to Bridget. Time and research will tell.
One bit of confusion has been an entry in the International Genealogical Index which lists her location as County Tyrone. Source: International Genealogical Index (R), Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1980, 2002, data downloaded 3 January 2008, Batch #: C012095. I believe the confusion may come from a town named "Omagh" in County Tyrone and is close enough to Armagh.
One other piece of handwritten evidence, undated, done in Therese McGinnis Austin's hand, is a small scrap of paper with "In case I need these" in ink at the bottom. There is also a note which states "Names of legatees of Ed Farren estate. 3 are dead I heard."
I am going to post the info here in hopes that there is a connection somewhere with someone - sort of the proverbial message in a bottle. I just hope it lands in someone's caring and helpful hands! (Note: the information is posted as is, errors included)
9 Upper Edward St.
Newry, County Down
6 Davis St.
Newry, County Down
Mullaghbawn, County Armagh
Aghayalloghue Meigh, County Armagh
Ballinliss Meigh, County Armagh
Ballinless Meigh, County Armagh