Irish genealogy help all the way from Australia

I’ve made a few more discoveries about my great grandmother’s family with the help of a man from Australia with ties to South County Down. Dermot Balson contacted me all the way from Perth and he holds a wealth of information on the people of Kilkeel.

These aren’t my ancestors, but this was taken in the countryside near Kilkeel where my great grandmother’s family was from. I imagine this is very similar to the home that my ancestors lived in. This was taken around near the turn of the 20th century. Demot Balson sent this to me.

After reading my blog, he emailed me a couple of days ago offering his help. I sent him my great grandmother Mary Rogers O’Rourke and her father Hugh’s information and already he has found my possible ties to the Quinn family. He has found one mistake and located my second great grandfather’s death certificate, which has eluded me all this time.

I have the wrong Rose Rogers

First, the mistake:

I don’t have the correct birth record for Rose Rogers, my great grandmother’s sister. Instead, I have a Rose Rogers that was born to an Arthur Rogers and Mary Roney.  Here’s what Dermot wrote:

I found a discrepancy in the 1868 birth record for Rose. Her father was Arthur, not Hugh, and she was born in Moneydaraghbeg, which neighbours Moneydaraghmore. Arthur is not a typo or mistake, nor is he Hugh using another name. As you’ll see from the attached document, this pair Arthur and Mary had two more children, one in 1866, the same year that Hugh had Mary. Rose is definitely NOT Mary’s sister, but probably a cousin. These townlands were swarming with Rodgers and Rooneys.

I agree with Dermot that the “townlands were swarming with Rodgers and Rooneys.” This is why I have had trouble figuring out who is who when I research my ancestors. All my relatives that insisted to me Rose was older than Mary, and they now appear to be correct.

Unfortunately, Dermot could not locate a birth record for my Rose Rogers.

So if Mary did have a sister Rose, it wasn’t this Rose. I can’t find any other Rose Ro(d)gers born anywhere else in the 1860s. The answer may be that your Rose was born before 1864, or that her birth simply wasn’t registered, which did happen especially with Catholic births.

Hugh Ro(d)gers death certificate located

Also, Dermot found the year of my second great grandfather’s death – 1871. Armed with that information I was able to go to the GRONI (General Registers Office of Northern Ireland) and get a screenshot of Hugh’s death certificate. I also found that Hugh had died of tuberculosis, the same disease that killed Rose’s future husband and my great grand uncle James O’Rourke. So Rose witnessed two of the most important men in her life die of this tragic disease.

Family legend was that Kate, Rose and Mary were orphaned at an early age and now I know that their mother, Mary Rooney Rogers, died in 1868 and their father, Hugh Rodgers in 1871. My great grandmother would have been just five years old in 1871. Losing both parents at this young age must have been devastating.

Hugh Rogers death certificate. He died in March 1871 and his cause of death was Phthisis or tuberculosis.

The Quinn connection

Dermot also found a Quinn connection for me:

As far as the Quinns are concerned, I think your best bet is the pairing of Hugh Rodgers and Margaret Quinn (see in attached). Hugh could not of course have been a brother of Hugh (father of Mary), so he could have been a first cousin. And I think this is exactly what you predicted with the DNA results.

So there it is. The Quinns were probably related by blood to the Rogers, not the Rooneys. Just how Margaret Quinn fits in, I don’t know yet.

A gravestone inscription

Another interesting tidbit Dermot shared was an inscription he found for a gravestone in Glasdrumman Roman Catholic Graveyard.:

 “I. H. S. Here lieth the body of William Rodgers of Monydaraghmore who departed this life 05 May 1837 aged 68 years”. Could be an ancestor of your Hugh. No picture, sorry.

I say it most certainly could be an ancestor of Hugh as well as an ancestor of mine. I guess I will be taking a trip to the Glassdrumman Cemetery when I’m in Ireland next month.

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