|My Irish Great-Grandmother with her son and granddaughter |
For many years I had no idea where my Irish Great-Grandmother Helen Mullen-Mason came from. I only knew she was born in Ireland. My father thought she was born in Cork, Ireland. That was a common misunderstanding as most Irish immigrants travelled from a port in Cork to the US. I only found out that was erroneous when I received a copy of her sister's eulogy which stated she was born in Co. Galway, Ireland. Her parents names were said to be Patrick Mullen and Mary Huvane, also according to the eulogy. I was thinking Huvane didn't sound like an Irish surname. I was told it was Spanish. I have since found out it isn't Spanish but a variant of a surname common to the area, Hoban.
Here are all of the sources I've used to discover more about my Irish ancestry:
1. The first source I had access to was Helen's sister's Eulogy, naming their parents and place of origin. The eulogy stated "Mary Kathleen Mullen was born in County Galway, Ireland on February 1, 1888, just two months after Mary Frances Clarke died. The BVMs motherhouse was still St. Joseph's on the Prairie and Mt. Carmel was only a dream." Bridget Mullen, Sister Mary Kathleen, was a younger sister of my great-grandmother.
2. With the parents names was I able to find a marriage record for my Great Great-grandparents Patrick Mullen and Mary Huvane. The fact Huvane is so uncommon allowed me to find the correct marriage record quickly by cross referencing Mullen and Huvane. I wrote to Ireland to get this marriage document which is now online and free (I give the Irish Civil registration website link below).
3. With the ecclesiastical parish name I was able to order a church record microfilm from my local family history center. I found some baptismal information for my family and further confirmation of the information from the marriage record, which stated the family lived in the Townland of Pollaturick. My great-grandmother's date of birth seems to be off by a day however?
These church books are now searchable at the National Library of Ireland website. You just need to know the name of the parish. Click on the microfilm you want to search, and a digital copy will come up.
4. Armed with this information I posted on Irish Genealogy message boards. I found some posters with the unusual Huvane surname. I heard back from someone with quite a bit of information about the Huvane family. This family was from bordering Co. Mayo. The spouse of the cousin who answered my inquiry has provided me with a great deal of information. She and her husband have visited Pollaturick, and the Huvane (Huane) townland of Fallakeerin. She was able to get in contact with a cousin who wrote to her regarding the whereabouts of my living cousins. We now know that Tom Huvane and I are 4th cousins. We also match as 4th cousins at AncestryDNA.
5. I found both my Mullen and Huvane family on Griffith's Valuation of Ireland. The valuation gives information about their property, and the name of the landlord. The name of the Landlord can lead to more information about families.
9. Findmypast Ireland also has dog license records which will tell you what kind of dogs your ancestors owned. I found out my ancestors had mostly black and red border collies. These dogs were working dogs for herding their sheep.
|Church marriage record book|
You can search the 1851 Census at The National Archives of Ireland website
|1851 Census Ireland reconstructed.|
You can find digital copies of the original Irish Civil registration records at the IrishGenealogy.ie website.
|Cemetery in Google Street view where my ancestors might be buried|
|They still keep Border Collies|
Success in Ireland comes down to knowing the name of the Townlands your ancestors are from. Once I had the townland I was off and running.