Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First trip to Ireland to research genealogy

This is my first ever blog entry. I found an old obituary on an Irish ancestor and after a lot of research determined that the Klonbrowa referred to in the obituary was Clonbroney, a small Roman Catholic parish in the County Longford, Ireland.

I was delighted to stay at a bed and breakfast in Longford County and drive through the land of my ancestors. It was quite the experience with the very narrow roads and driving on the other side of the road. Even with the GPS unit I was having a tremendously difficult time finding the chapel. I pulled over and asked a kindly farmer who proceeded to stop what he was doing, get in his car and drive 15 minutes out of his way to show me where it was located. He was probably half an hour late for dinner because of his kindness to a stranger, but I never would have found it without his assistance.

The hospitality of the Longford community was amazing. I spent a lot of time in the county library and arrived home to find someone had relayed my research interest to someone who went around the area and photographed all the tombstones of Faley/Fealey/Feley folks who had died in Clonbroney. The owner of the B&B, the librarians, the farmer, all wonderfully kind people who made my genealogical journey so very pleasant. I strongly encourage anyone thinking of visiting Ireland, to do so. The people are the friendliest you will ever meet.

Longford is a rural community that is off the beaten tourist path. A well kept secret as far as I am concerned. It is close to the Famine Museum which I did not have the time to visit. But, no worries, I will be back someday.