This past weekend I gave a speech and attended a wedding in Charleston, South Carolina. When I got back, I found this email:
“Dear Ms. Crowe, I just wanted to thank you for the presentation yesterday at the library. …I have some additional sites to search now.
I have two real stumbling blocks — one is a grandmother who was adopted within her family — but no one ever really talked about her father and no one stayed close to her family;
and the other is a great great grandfather from somewhere in Ireland. I know his last name only — Lawler, probably born in late 1700 or early 1800.
He married Annie Pike who was also born in Ireland. If you have any suggestions, I would be most grateful. Sincerely, Pat Truesdell”
I have lots of them!
Okay, the Irish problem first, because it is probably the most easily solved.
First, go to Irish Genealogy, specifically the page http://www.irishgenealogy.ie/frame_1024.cfm and download the PDF file on how to search Irish genealogy. Keep it handy.
Second, as I said in my talk, go to Cyndi’s List, in this case, Ireland. You’ll see she has all kinds of professional, governmental and amateur genealogy links. Start poking around in them for ideas of where to look next.
Third, download look at the research guidance from Family Search at Ireland . Now, you’ll see that a lot of the information at the Mormon Church site is on compact disc. Your local Family History Center may have these CDs, or be able to get them from Salt Lake city for the cost of postage.
Finally, read my blog for 9 June 2008, Morse’s search forms may help you find your Irish ancestors’ entry into the country, which can lead you back to place of birth sometimes.
The adoption puzzle may be harder. Because no one talked about it, expect a scandal lurking back there (read my blog for 3 June 2008.) If you have her death certificate, it should have her birth date and place. It’s possible you can find the details of the adoption in probate court or whatever court in that state handled orphans at the time.
Also check out these sites for adoption search tips:
- Cyndi’s List, of course, on Adoption.
- The National Archives recommends this site: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse The NAIC will assist genealogists seeking modern vital records and gives current information on state laws and procedures.
- An excellent article by Maureen Taylor can give you some pointers.
- And resources at Genealogy Today may also help.
Good luck and Happy Hunting!