Fiona Fitzsimons teaching “Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” in Salt Lake City

Fiona Fitzsimmons explains how to use land records to find more about our Irish ancestors.

Fiona Fitzsimmons explains how to use land records to find more about our Irish ancestors.

Fiona Fitzsimons from Eneclann is teaching ‘Tracing Your Irish Ancestors” at the ISBGFH or commonly known as ‘The British Institute’ in Salt Lake City, Sept 21-25th.

If you love Irish genealogy – this is the place to be!  Having Fiona teaching a week-long class is so wonderful.  Fiona spends the morning teaching and then the class moves to the Family History Library to research their personal family using the information that Fiona has given us.

Several of the class have made major breakthroughs with their Irish ancestors this week!  It is so exciting to have an expert in Irish genealogy as a teacher for a week, this so much FUN!

Fiona started the week with the basics of genealogy research.  Then she did a wonderful presentation on Irish history and how that affects what record groups were created and why.  (One of my favorite subjects!) Fiona then moved on Civil Registrations, Church & Cemetery Records, Census Records, Land Records, and Court & Prison Records. This is just a shorten version of 5 days of class!  Fiona has so much great information, then she stops and gives us excellent examples stories of the history of each record groups. I don’t have enough space to tell you all of the great information Fiona has given us.

The myth that all of the Irish records were destroyed in 1922 – is NOT true! Fiona busted that myth! Fiona had us purchase “The Directory of Irish Archives, 5th Edition”.  There are so many records that are available – she suggested that we start reading this book! Two hundred and eighteen pages list 269 different archives to research in Ireland. Time to plan another research trip to Ireland! Fiona has been giving us excellent tips on researching in Ireland.

We have short breaks during the morning class – Fiona takes time during the breaks to stop and talk with us about how to drill down more for each bit of information on our ancestors.

Part of the class is that Fiona meets with each of us and does a personal consult.  She gave me excellent advice on how and where to find additional information on my family and then asked to me write it up! I love land records, they have really helped push my family back another 100 years in Ireland.



I found William Neville’s home in Mountmellick!

Lot 5 Mountmellick, Queens County, Ireland

Lot 5 Mountmellick, Queens County, Ireland

I have been looking for a map to correspond with the deeds for William Nevill/Neville for over a year now.

I found it today – Lot 5, numbers 21, 22 & 24!  On landed estate records – Alexander Bewley & Henry Bewley were renting the land.

“Lease dated 2nd of June, 1743 from John Bagot to William Neville, for 3 lives renewable forever, at the yearly rent of £6 : 15: 0 late Irish currency, and £3: 7: 6 like currency, renewable fine of the fall of each life.”

“Twenty small cabins, yards, and gardens in Forge-lane, Mountmellick, with two fields and part of a garden in the occupation of Robert Fale.  The last renewal of this lease is dated 21st February, 1854, from Thomas Neville Bagot and James Grant to Alexander Bewley and Henry Bewley, and is for the lives of Albert, Edward, Prince of Wales, Prince Alfred, and Prince Arthur, all of whom are living.”

I have a copy of the lease from 1743 where William Nevil, the elder, a cloatheir named his three sons, Henry, William and Joseph.  William was married the first time in 1702 to Elizabeth Pleadwell, and the second time in 1719 to Anne Atkinson.

I have been trying to figure out exactly where the land was, but from the original lease it was a little hard.  Using a current map of Mountmellick – “Main street upper” is now Patrick Street.  “Pound Street” is now O’Moore Street. “Forge Lane” is now Emmet Street. “Chapel Lane” is now Chapel Street.

Lot 21 contains the 20 small cabins, yards and gardens.  I can not wait to go to Mountmellick and now I can walk the land that William leased in 1743!

I just love land records and maps – they add so much to genealogy research!

Thanks to for their donation to the Kansas City Irish Fest 2015

The Kansas City Irish Fest Genealogy area 2015.

The Kansas City Irish Fest Genealogy area 2015.

We want to thank for their wonderful donation to this year’s Irish Fest.

  • Lauren Carver (@mrswinchester6) and Annie Wallace (@WaitressRN) each won a year’s subscription to Ancestry’s World Edition.
  • John Hill won a year’s subscription to Fold3
  • Bridget Hernandez won a year’s subscription to
  • Judith Cody and Tracy Pfeiffer each won a copy of Family Tree Maker

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who entered!

We had entries from 15 different states this year!

  • States represented for Ancestry Drawings:
  • Missouri (Kansas City, Springfield, Columbia, St. Louis)
  • Kansas (Lawrence, Overland Park, Wichita)
  • Hawaii
  • Ohio (Toledo, Cincinnati)
  • Oklahoma (Tulsa, Oklahoma City)
  • California (Los Angeles)
  • Illinois (Chicago, Peoria)
  • North Dakota
  • Washington (Seattle)
  • New Hampshire
  • Iowa (Des Moines)
  • South Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Massachusetts

We had 8 computer stations with a volunteer who helped families look for their ‘roots’!

The genealogy area is inside the Crown Center Atrium – so the heat or rain does not bother us!

Adrian Farrell Consul General of Ireland visits Kansas City Irish Fest 2015

Adrain Farrell visits the Genealogy area of the Kansas City Irish Fest.

Adrain Farrell visits the Genealogy area of the Kansas City Irish Fest.

Adrain Farrell the Consul General of Ireland from Austin Texas visited the Kansas City Irish Fest this year. The genealogy area is inside the Crown Center atrium. We don’t have to worry about rain with all of our computers and printers.

We had 8 computer stations each with a volunteer helping people. This year we had over 100+ appointments during the festival. One appointment can mean 1-6 people from a family. It is so rewarding to help families connect with their Irish ancestry!

Many families do not know where in Ireland their family came from. Oral traditions can be lost within 3 generations. I have a 3Great Uncle, James Smith lived in Friend Nebraska, who wrote a letter when he was trying to get his Civil War pension.

“On this 18th day of June 1913 personally appeared before me a Notary Public duly appointed in and for said count and State. James Smith of lawful age and who being first duly sworn according to law says: That he was born in county Meathe (this is the spelling that James used) Ireland, that his parents came to the United states when he was but two years old, that he does not know what parish he was christened in, or whether he was christened at all or not. That his parents are dead and all brothers and sisters were older than he are dead, there is no Bible or family record to which he and refer in order to establish his age at this time. That he is unable to furnish any other evidence of his age at this time other than. That his parents always told he he was born on the 6th day of May 1843 and that he had always kept account of his age from the information given him by them and from no there source.”

My question for James, “You never asked your parents where in Ireland you were born?” Smith is a very common name for County Meath!

Kansas City Irish Fest Genealogy Volunteers

Barbara with the 5-year volunteers. Cicily Mahoney, Terry, Davin, Stacey Hodges, Coleen O'Gorman, David Kite, & Amy Fitzgerald.

Barbara with the 5-year volunteers. Cicily Mahoney, Terry Davin, Stacey Hodges, Coleen O’Gorman, David Kite, Max Breeze & Amy Fitzgerald.

We honored some of our fantastic KCIF Genealogy Volunteers.  We couldn’t do it without them!  These are the 5-year veterans for our festival.  We also now have 3-10 year volunteers, Collette Kiszka, Don Kiszka and Cheri Piersee.

Most of our volunteers sign-up for multiple shifts over the weekend. They have so much fun helping find Irish ancestors for people.

2015 is our 13th year.  With over 30 bands on seven stages, heritage workshops and displays, comedy, genealogy, a massive children’s area and so much more, there is no better way to celebrate Celtic Pride in Cowtown!

The Genealogy area is located in the air-conditioned Crown Center Atrium, genealogy staff will be available on Friday from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Do Love to Search for your Irish Ancestors?

Volunteering at the Kansas City Irish Fest  in the Genealogy area.

Volunteering at the Kansas City Irish Fest in the Genealogy area.

Do you love to search for your Irish Ancestors?

We have a lot of people who come to the Kansas City Irish Fest who want to find their Irish Roots!  We need some more volunteers to help staff our area.

The Kansas City Irish Fest is Sept 4th – 6th. The genealogy area is open 5-8pm on Friday and 11am-7pm Saturday and Sunday.

click her to  Volunteer @ KCIF 2015

Are you the person in your family everyone reaches out to for information about the family tree? Do you “lose” time when searching the internet for a long-lost relative? The Genealogy area wants YOU! We’ll provide the computers. You’ll bring your best ancestor-detecting skills and together we’ll uncover some amazing Irish history. Must have experience with online genealogy resources. -then volunteer to be a “Genealogy Fact-Finder”  (need 14 more )

Just getting started with genealogy? This is the opportunity for you. Come help us answer questions, match volunteers with people looking for long-lost relatives, and keep the genealogy area running smoothly. You’ll be the glue that holds us together. No computer experience necessary. – the volunteer to be an “Genealogy Emcee”. (need 10 more)

Friday  4:30 PM to 8:00 PM

Saturday & Sunday10:30 AM to 3:00 PM   or 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM

This is such a fun experience to share your love for Irish Genealogy with others!!!

After you volunteer you can stay and enjoy the festival! Great music, heritage workshops, shopping and food!





Looking for Living Descendants of John Neville!

John Neville born 1847 Lynally Glebe, County Offaly, Ireland

John Neville born 1847 Lynally Glebe, County Offaly, Ireland

Have you ever taken time to go back and re-evaluate you genealogy research?  You know more now than when you started your research.

What new tools or resources are now available to use?

I started asking questions about my family about 1962.  Have I made mistakes? Yes, not asking enough questions when I had the chance, but I was only 11 and I didn’t know what genealogy was.  I just knew I wanted to know more about my family.

I have tried to learn as much as I could.  I attend the National Genealogy Society annual Conference.  This is a great place to learn from the best.  What’s new, and how to ‘do it right’. Document what you find!

I am working on a timeline for my Nevill/Neville family.  I am documenting the family in a spreadsheet.

This weekend I attended a reunion with a living male grandson of John Neville born 1847 Lynally Glebe, County Offaly!

John Neville was left behind when his parents – Abraham Neville and Margaret Molloy left Tullamore, traveled to Liverpool to leave for America with two little girls, Mary Ann age 7 and Bridget age 5.  They arrived in New York in April of 1850 with three children – William was born ‘at sea’.

My great-grandfather John Neville finally reunites with his family 14 years later.  I know this using land records I found in Lincoln Nebraska.

John Neville married Anna Morgan in 1882.  John and Anna Neville lived in York County, Nebraska. They had 11 children and 9 survived, and there were 54 grandchildren.

What a special day to get to talk with a grandson of John Neville!  There are not many living descendants left.

A special thank you to Matt Weides for hosting the Neville-Clouse reunion!

Searching for the name of a ‘cousin’!

I know she is a relative, but I don't know her name.

I know she is a relative, but I don’t know her name.

This photo was in my grandmother’s photo album.  I know she is related, but I don’t know her name!  My grandmother was Mary Veronica Neville who married Francis Patrick McTygue.  I know that both of my grandparents had only Irish ancestry.  So my first clue is that she is part Irish.

What I know –

1. The photo was taken in Oshkosh Wisconsin.

2. I know that my grandmother had a relative that lived in Wisconsin – James Kehoe married Mary Neville in 1876 in Green Bay.

3. I know that James and Mary had three children: Joseph born 1877, James born & died 1882, and Mary Ellen born 1885 – she married William Patrick Corrigan in 1906.

4. The photo is a “Cabinet Card” from the 1870’s – 1900.

I am going to try to find out the name of my Irish ‘cousin’!

Is it time to “Circle the Wagons” with your Genealogy

This gallery contains 1 photo.

The signature of James Nevill of Wigam from 1808! I attended the National Genealogy Society Conference in St. Charles Missouri.  I have been doing genealogy for a long time!  I can still walk away with new ideas!  David Rencher asked, … Continue reading

Celebrating Mothers

Sadie Hendrix Morgan, Lucille Morgan Saulsbury, Jean Saulsbury McTygue Barbara McTygue Scanlon and Sharlene McTygue Larson

Sadie Hendrix Morgan,                        Lucille Morgan Saulsbury,
Jean Saulsbury McTygue
Barbara McTygue Scanlon
and Sharlene McTygue Larson

This is one of my special photos taken in the spring of 1955!  Four generations – of my mother’s family.  Sadie Hendrix Morgan Naviaux, was my great-grandmother.  Lucille Morgan Saulsbury my grandmother and Jean Saulsbury McTygue my mother!

Sadie Hendrix was born in 1884 in Barclay, IL. I have a few fond memories of her.  My grandmother Lucille Morgan was born in 1908 south of Overton Nebraska. I have lots of great memories of ‘Granny’.  I met my husband because of her…..thank you so much!

I am so lucky that we still have Mom!  Take time to call your mother this week-end!