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In Search of My Irish Family Tree: Genealogical Research in County Mayo and County Roscommon Ireland, Huddersfield England and South Bend, Indiana

County Mayo Beginnings is a website devoted to Irish Genealogical research in County Mayo and County Roscommon Ireland, Huddersfield England and South Bend, Indiana. A Research Aids section includes everything I felt that I needed to do Genealogical Research in County Mayo. There are maps of County Mayo Baronies, Civil Parishes, Catholic Parishes, Market Towns, Civil Parish descriptions, Townland lists, Landlords, available records and an explanation of the geographical divisions of County Mayo. I created references on Irish name variations, Latin terminology and tips on interpreting Catholic Church records on microfilm that is still essential in Irish Genealogical research. Finally, I created a resource to aid in deciphering the Griffith's Valuation, a key resource for post-famine records. I will expand these resources sometime down the road to include the County Roscommon border Civil Parishes of Boyle, Kilnamanagh, Kilcolman, Castlemore, Tibohine, Kilkeevin and Kiltullagh.

Of all the research I have done in genealogy, my Irish Family Tree has been the most elusive and challenging of all. The Brennan Surname, being one of the 25 most common in Ireland, doesn't help narrow my search parameters. The success that I have had in my Irish research comes from leaving no stones unturned. With this in mind, I am documenting all of the Brennan (Brannan), Corcoran (Corkeran, Cochrane), Coffee (Coffey, Coffy), Gahagan (Goaghan, Goghan, Gaughan, Geoghegan, Goggin) Families in County Mayo Ireland records in the Irish Surname section of my website. I have begun documenting these surnames in County Roscommon records as well. The church records are being presented by spouse's surname so many other Irish Surnames are also readily searchable. My Irish great grandparents left County Mayo due to the famine like many others. Their journey took them to Huddersfield England on their way to America.

The Irish Community in England Mid 19th Century is the focus of the fourth section of my website. A large percentage of Irish from the Connacht region of Ireland (Mayo, Roscommon, Galway, Sligo and Leitrim) came to Yorkshire, Lancashire and Staffordshire Counties in England and either settled there or moved on to other destinations. The Irish communities of Liverpool, Manchester, Huddersfield, Leeds, Bradford and Wolverhampton are a few of the Civil Parishes that I will be covering in this section. The Irish in the Huddersfield, England Census Records and St Patricks Church records (only one microfilm is available in the LDS library) are being documented in detail. Irish-held occupations are being recorded specifically for Huddersfield and for England in general, and available resources for Irish in England research are being compiled.

The South Bend, St Joseph County, Indiana Irish Community is the final segment of my genealogical research. The train lines opened up between New York and Chicago around 1853 bringing Irish immigrants like my great grandparents and their friends the McNultys and Frains East. The developing Irish community of South Bend, Indiana became their final destination. The University of Notre Dame employed many Irish immigrants who lived nearby in Portage Township on the east side of town; they attended Sacred Heart Church at Notre Dame and later St. Joseph's Church in South Bend. In this section I am documenting all of the Irish families living in South Bend, St Joseph County Indiana from 1850 to 1900 using census, church and other records. Specific emphasis is placed on surnames Brennan, Frain, McNulty and Roach, my great grandparents close circle of friends, who like many other Irish immigrants in this close knit community sponsored each other's children's baptisms, and witnessed their weddings. Their lives were intertwined in South Bend and possibly beyond.

This website was created to share records on everything I have gathered along the way, in search of my Irish immigrant grandparents from County Mayo and County Roscommon, Ireland to Huddersfield England and finally to South Bend, Indiana.

Robert Emmett BrennanThis site is dedicated to my father Robert Emmett Brennan who died before I developed my passion for genealogy and could share my findings with him.