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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Finding an Ancestor in Griffith's Index and Scottish Newspapers

Sandra's Question:
My g-grandparents Robert Thomson & Jane Cochrane were born in Ireland and moved to Scotland where they married in 1868 in Port Glasgow, Renfrewshire. I have found their marriage certificates listing their parents names and professions. I have searched the Scottish Censuses for 1841 through 1891. In every source their birthplace is listed only as Ireland. The last names of Thomson, Getty, Cochrane & Fullerton, (my gg-grandparents), I learned from Irish web sites, were Scottish. Their relegion was Presbyterian. From the frequency of appearance of these last names and their religion, I believe they are from Northern Ireland (Antrim, Armagh, etc.) but may have
come from Scotland sometime in the past.

I have searched in Ancestry, Family Search, Scotland's People, and a few Irish Library resources. I have had no luck so far. I understand that the Irish censuses were destroyed for the pertinent years. My question is, What online resources are available for more information? I'm happy to pay for access to this information, but before subscribing, I would like to know the probability of success. I've heard of Griffith's Evaluation but not yet located it online.

Ask Olive Answer Hi Sandra - You indicated that you have searched the Scottish census, but did not mention how much success you had. Did you find Robert (or Jane) with their parents? Do either of them have siblings?

It is always a good idea to check the siblings' marriage and death records, too. Some subtle changes may occur in maiden names, and the "deceased" notation under parents' names may help to narrow down the death date range for those parents. And occasionally, very detailed information (i.e. street addresses, towns) may be found.

Nor did you indicate whether you had searched the Scottish records for the parents of Robert and Jane. There was significant travel between Ireland and Scotland (though no passenger lists are available); it is not inconceivable that parents of Robert born 1849 would have lived past 1855, and hence findable on the ScotlandsPeople website.

Griffiths Index is available (free) at Fáilte Romhat and Ask About Ireland

The Scotsman (newspaper) has archives available online for a fee; you may find obituaries there.

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