Today I’m embarking on a trip to Ireland and I’m very excited because I will be meeting my O’Rourke relatives, my Irish family, for the first time.
About this time last year, I was looking at new DNA matches on the FamilyTree DNA site when I came across a Mr. Tom O’Rourke. FTDNA estimated that Tom was a fourth cousin of mine. Figuring he was a man living in the United States, I got in contact with the administrator of Tom’s account who told me Tom was living in Ballintur, near Killowen, the same townland in Ireland where my great grandfather was born.
I was able to contact Tom’s daughter, Bernadette O’Rourke (now Bernadette Cousins), and we have been corresponding for a year. Bernadette lives on the property that is adjacent to my ancestor’s home. We’ve arranged a visit next week and I’m very excited to meet all of them.
Yes, they are distant relatives, but just to have a connection with a family that still lives where my great grandfather was born is very exciting to me. I have been searching for an O’Rourke relative for a number of years. Last time I visited Ireland, I visited a third cousin, Kieran Waters. Kieran lives in Newry, Northern Ireland, a few miles west of where my great grandfather was born. I will be meeting with Kieran as well and am looking forward to seeing him again.
I will let everyone know how it turns out
Update: Rose Rogers’ baptismal record found
I just wanted to let everyone know I have finally located Rose Rogers’ baptismal certificate. It was hiding in plain site. Rose was my great grandmother Mary’s sister. I hope my third cousins in Oregon, the Stupfel family, will be excited to hear that I have found it. Rose was baptized on Sept. 29, 1863 in Glassdrumman near Kilkeel in what is now Northern Ireland. Kilkeel is just a few miles east of where my O’Rourke relatives lived.
Two years ago, I downloaded some documentation from the Roots Ireland site and I found it on my computer the other day. When I opened one of the files and it was Rose’s baptismal record. I had no idea I had it. I think I didn’t realize it’s significance when I downloaded it. In fact, I’m not even sure if I knew she was my great grandmother’s sister back then.
This morning I received an email from my new genealogy friend in Australia, Dermot Balson. I had contacted him to let him know I found it. He sent me a screen shot of the original baptismal record and I will include it in this post.