Tuesday, November 8, 2011

This and that...and the other......

So, I get an email from one of my lovely bloggy friends asking me where I am and what I'm doing:) Not much people. I really detest this point in the seasons between fall and winter.  It's wet and cold and fairly dull. It makes me restless and uneasy and unable to settle on anything creative.

So I do genealogical research. It keeps me busy and out of trouble and I may actually find something interesting. I've discovered a cache of new records on Ancestry.co.uk for Liverpool and I'm having a blast from the past quite literally:)

I have one main family tree belonging to my husband's family that I'm working on. I just counted: 7,596 people and 16,200 records....eeeeek!!! They tended to have large families in the day. The mind boggles at the number of children some women had.

I'm also working on my own family tree with my second cousin who lives in Glasgow. We have hit a few brick walls. Our family comes from Donegal, Ireland. Anyone doing research in Ireland will tell you how frustrating it can be but it is getting better. More records are going on line but the sad thing is that sometimes you have to pay an arm and a leg to look at them. Fortunately my second cousin goes to Ireland frequently and just spent some time in Letterkenny at the records office looking for our illusive Great Grandmother Fanny Devlin.

When you put it down on paper, we do know a lot about her but we'd like to know more.

It says on her marriage certificate that she was from Rock. We have no idea where that is...? Her father was a Michael Devlin, farmer. She married our GGF Owen Bradley in 1867 at St Mary's at Cock Hill, Buncrana, Inishowen, Donegal and went to live on his tenant farm in Meenamullaghan, Donegal. The Bradleys had been tenants on that piece of land from before 1831 that we know of from our research.

ADDED: The Rock has since been found:)  It is near Foffanagh, Fahan Lower, Co Donegal. Fanny's father Michael Devlin is there in the 1901 census aged 82.

Look on Google maps for Meenamullaghan and you'll see it is pretty remote. In Fanny's day it was a small townland with about four or five families and not much else.

This is what the old Bradley farm house looked like in 2007. It has been abandoned for many many years and is falling to ruin. It used to have a thatched roof in it's day. The land is still being tended and used for sheep.

Fanny  was 16 when she married Owen in 1867. She was 31 years old when she died in 1882. She had 10 children that we know of, the last being twins in May 1882. She died about a month after their birth. Geez...:(

One of those twins was my grandfather.

When Fanny died her daughter Anne who was 13 took over the care of the small ones. Anne died at the age of 20 in 1889 of Typhus Fever from an infected well.

Age of the children at Fanny's death:

William - 14 yrs
Anne - 13 yrs
Patrick - 11 yrs
Catherine - 10 yrs
Charles - 8 yrs
Michael - 6 yrs
Jane - 4 yrs
Mary - 2 yrs
James - 25 days
John (Henry) - 25 days

Owen did not remarry after Fanny's death. He died in 1902 at the age of 66.

So that is all we know about her...not much. It was a hard life.

All of the children, except William, left Ireland and settled in Glasgow and became very successful. William took over the farm after Owen died, married and had several children...and at last count over 60 grand children......eeeek! William was the last Bradley to farm in Meenamullaghan that we know of and strangely enough someone has put a Bradley monument in the graveyard in Buncrana.


Strange eh??? We don't know who and we don't know why but my second cousin is a very dedicated researcher so I'm sure she'll get the story eventually..... any excuse to visit Ireland and harass see our relatives:)  

A lot of people think my hobby is a bit strange. But, I love the research bit. Some of my family start to look glassy eyed when I launch into my latest discourse about some old moth eaten record I've found. But I don't care:)  I think it's interesting to find out what your roots are because that's what made you......you:)

So that's what I've been doing.

On the crafting front.......I'm working on a Steampunk doll for a Challenge at Cloth Doll Artistry. Right now I'm just doing research and trying to get some idea of what I want to do. I keep going off in tangents though as I google here and there. It's all very interesting stuff and quite a fun genre. Leather and metal and lace are going to be involved......and Victorian stuff.

Take care:)


  1. How neat! I think it is really great that you have that as a hobby. I'm sure it is a lot of work, but it is wonderful that you are putting together pieces of the past!

    I've recently started working on learning about two of my great aunts. It is definitely not as easy as I thought it would be. But, I hope in time to learn piece by piece more about them.

  2. http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?client=safari&rls=en&q=rock+donegal+ireland&oe=UTF-8&redir_esc=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x485f0420deeefa6b:0x2600c7a819c1e2e2,Rock,+Ireland&gl=uk&ei=K5W5TvCdCM2dOo3FlK4I&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=title&resnum=1&ved=0CB8Q8gEwAA

    I know it's a long link (!!) but it'll show you where Rock is in relation to some of the other places you mentioned.
    My cousin researched our family, basically everyone seemed to come from Wales on my Mother's side and Wales and Scotland on my Dad's! (a different cousin did Dad's side) I think it's all fascinating, we had relatives banished to Jamaica for inciting riots in the Jacobite rebellion!

  3. Oh I have done lots of family history research in the past, my family back to the late 1700's and my husbands to the early 1800's. I love it but have not done it for years and years. One day I will pick it up again.
    I wonder who put that plaque to the family? very strange!

  4. Sounds like you are keeping busy! It's hard to feel inspired during the cold and dreary season. But as Christmas is just around the corner, that should put a spark in anyones creativity! :)

    Happy November Mary Ann!
    xo Catherine

  5. Oh Oh! A Steampunk Doll? When you get some images please PLEASE let me know? I'm looking for steampunk stuff, especially dolls.

  6. It's funny - I'm not much bothered about tracing my family history! But yours is certainly interesting!!

  7. Not finished reading the whole post yet but I wanted to tell you that there's a Rock in Cornwall near Padstow.

  8. See Rock in Padstow... cornwall is near Devon... Grandparents were Cornish and Welsh and Irish and English .... we could be cousins....
    On a normal note... keep going cos I wish I had the patience to do just the same and find out exactly where in Ireland my grandparents came from... If you come across an Elliott that's my lot :-) Keep going babes, find your post very interesting ....... lots of love... hey mouseie..... Stop that bouncein.... little devil.... he'll make himself sick... :-)
    :-) X X X

  9. you've done really well with the research for this family. How sad for all those children to lose their mother like that. I always find it sad when that happens as they all had such huge families didnt they

  10. WOW! That is quite a lot of information you found! Life certainly was more difficult back then, wasn't it? Imagine taking care of everyone at age 13? Yikes.

    Sounds like you are BUSY with all of this research.


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