Sausages and heritage databases

I’ve just added another map service to the site, in time for Paddy’s Day. Once again Brian Donovan of Eneclann and FindMyPast has kindly let me use the Ancestry/FindMyPast Roman Catholic parish transcripts, this time to create dynamic maps showing the numbers of marriages in each parish. See Mungovan, for example. As with other maps, you start with a surname and then can then click through the map marker to go to the full transcripts on, where they’re free to view after registration.

One difference with other maps is that you can now actually search for marriages between two families and then go to the full records. It’s also possible to browse the record listings for any of the parishes and then jump to marriage (or baptism) transcripts for the surname. I was surprised, yet again, at how much more intelligible the records appear with a visual overview.One reason is that it’s been a while since I’ve done a fresh map from scratch. I’d forgotten how queasy heritage databases can be. Otto Von Bismarck is reputed to have said that you should never examine too closely how laws and sausages are made.  The same holds true for looking at the entrails of heritage databases. Courtesy demands discretion, but just let’s say you shouldn’t expect to find too many surname matches for marriages in the Sligo parish of Emlefad and KIlmorgan.

Bismarck and sausages being made.

12 thoughts on “Sausages and heritage databases”

  1. Just curious about your Sligo comment. My people are Killoran, Davey, Quinn from Ballymote Co Cligo which I think is Achonry but there is spill-over. Thanks!

    1. I suspect John might be discretely mentioning the proclivity in many communities to have cousin marriages…which from personal experience I know are still common..

  2. Hi John: This is great. I wonder if it’s possible to add the Clare Library transcriptions as these were done voluntarily and are online through the site for County Clare parishes. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you.

    All the best,

  3. I just took a look for McCann and there are a LOT of them but no dot in Virginia, Cavan for my GGGrandparents Felix McCann and Catherine McPhillips/Phillips (age 13 in the 1821 Census) married 8 Nov 1833 at Lurgan parish church, Virginia. I have a copy of the hand-written entry from the parish register. I think that church was not in Virginia but a little way out of town, somewhere along the road to Ballyjamesduff? We haven’t found Felix’s parents but they must have been in business of some kind to help Felix set up such an extensive business. Catherine had a spirit-grocery with back entrance (Felix had a publican’s licence) and Felix had a drapery at 95 Main Street, Virginia (95 being the Griffith’s number so I’m not sure it’s the actual street number) until he committed fraud. There was a big trial in Dublin and he and his son-in-law went to goal. We found all the newspaper reports. Everything was auctioned off and we have a great description of their stock and large premises. It is marked as the National School on the Griffith’s map. I wonder why their marriage didn’t show on the map.

  4. As a test, I examined the first page of marriages in the parish register for Effin and Garrienderk, looking for names I could clearly decipher (I have been having trouble interpreting the priest’s penmanship).
    I found that in April 1843 Patrick Joyce married Johanna O’Donnell.
    I then used the new marriage map feature and got the following results:

    No matches:
    No Joyce to O’Donnell marriages.

    Can you help me understand?

    1. Hi John.

      I’ve had a look at the register and there’s only one marriage recorded for April 1843 in Effin and Gamenderk, David Carey to Mary Ambrose on April 22. See on FindMyPast and on the original NLI site.

      I’m not sure where you found Patrick Joyce marrying Johanna O’Donnell.


      1. I retraced my steps and found my error. I had mistakenly selected a baptism record thinking it was a marriage record.
        Having learned from that mistake, I used the new feature to search for my second-great-grandparents marriage record. John Reilly and Mary Flood were married in Effin in April 1854.
        I had previously found the image, so I could not understand why I could not find the transcription detail. Using the new feature I was able to eventually find it, and better understand why I had had difficulty.
        Seems that what I had interpreted as “Rahily” had been transcribed as “Rahlly”.
        I guess this is another example of sausage in the database.
        Thanks for the new feature.

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