Using Local Tour Guides in Our Search

This week’s genealogy hint is one that I used in my Irish family research, but I never thought to use it in looking for information regarding my Russian relatives.  Perhaps I need to listen to my own advice and see if it helps.

The branch of my mother’s family that I was able to locate in Ireland lived in Castlebar, which is in County Mayo.  I have mentioned a lot of the folklore of Dad’s family, but my mother has her own set of interesting family members.

My most famous Irish relative was Louis Brennan. His claim to fame was the torpedo he invented, which was used by the British Navy to defend its harbors and some of its territories for many years, as well as a monorail and helicopter.

I have the Brennan Family Bible, but there are a few holes in the family tree that I was unable to fill until I went to the Castlebar website, where I located the name of a local historian and tour guide, Brian Hoban.  I contacted him, and like my traveling friend, Bumblebee Trails who photographed a Russian graveyard as a random act of kindness for me , Brian graciously offered to take some photos of the Brennan family grave (He even got someone to translate the Gaelic inscriptions!), which contained the final resting place of the missing family members. In addition, without my asking, Mr. Hoban photographed the Brennan family home on Main Street and also went to the library to insure that he was, in fact, taking pictures of the correct home.

So my advice, which I will try with my Russian family, is to see if there are any local historians and/or local tour guides who may be willing to assist you, or at least point you in the right direction, in finding information regarding your family.

Childhood home of inventor, Louis Brennan, located on Main Street in Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. (Photograph taken by Brian Hoban.)

Childhood home of inventor, Louis Brennan, located on Main Street in Castlebar, Mayo, Ireland. (Photograph taken by Brian Hoban.)

Here lies five of the children of Thomas and Bridget Brennan (siblings of the inventor, Louis Brennan): Catherine, Eleanor, Julia, Thomas Daniel, and Bedelia (Photograph taken by Brian Hoban.)

Here lies five of the children of Thomas and Bridget Brennan (siblings of the inventor, Louis Brennan): Catherine, Eleanor, Julia, Thomas Daniel, and Bedelia (Photograph taken by Brian Hoban.)

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About kjw616

I am a genealogy detective. I have already written one book about my Irish family's journey from 19th century Ireland to the United States- a family history sprinkled with personal anecdotes. My second book was intended to be a similar story about my Russian ancestors. Instead, it turned into a tale of just my father's immediate family. It is the tale of what happens when 6 children from New Jersey are moved to the Soviet Union by their Russian-born parents during the Great Depression. It details who lives, who dies, and who is able to return to NJ during a time when leaving the USSR was not an easy endeavor, particularly during World War II and the Cold War. It is my hope that those interested in history during this time period will find this story fascinating as well as those fellow amateur family historians who will learn some of the tools such as ancestry.com, visits to the National Archives, and local libraries I used to uncover this story.
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3 Responses to Using Local Tour Guides in Our Search

  1. Bumblebee says:

    Hi Karen, Great tip and idea! History is fascinating for all concerned! Add “travellers in the area” to people that might help! 😉

  2. Pingback: Genealogy Search Brings About a Surprise Trip | Do Svidanya Dad

  3. Pingback: Mystery in a Bible | Do Svidanya Dad

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