Celebrating My Irish Heritage
After many years of researching, there are still brick walls that keep me from learning all I wish to know about my Irish ancestors. Still, there remains hope, especially when the kindness of others bring forth something new.
Joel Smith, a full-time factory maker and part-time volunteer firefighter and EMT, kindly photographed the headstone of my great-great grandmother Ellen Crotty. She was laid to rest at Saint Patricks Cemetery in Chatsworth, Illinois. Every since I received a written response to my query to Livingston County, Illinois with a partial transcription of Ellen's worn white tiered headstone, I've wondered what those missing letters might reveal.
That was approximately fifteen years ago. Since then, the internet has dramatically changed the response time and the availability of records. I would have never imagined that requesting a headstone photo at Find A Grave just a month or so could have been fulfilled with such swift response … and now seeing Ellen's engraved headstone, I have finally determined her nativity!
After Googling Waterford, Ireland maps, I stumbled upon a link to Abbeyside Dungarvan, County Waterford – which meant absolutely nothing to me. But! The page included a map of Waterford County, and northeast of Dungarvan was a place called Kilmacthomas. I had known the first line of the transcription said, “Native of Kil …..thomas,” but had no idea it was one word!
Case solved! Transcription reads: ELLEN, wife of JOHN NAGLE, Native Kil Mc Thomas, Co. Waterford, Ireland, DIED, APR 12, 1885, AGED 51 YRS.”
One stumbling block down, but many to go before I can learn her ancestry and how she came to marry John Neagle/Nagle in New York.