A Travellerspoint blog

Day 41 - Mary Mary quite contrary - where are you?

The elusive hunt for Mary Flynn

sunny 20 °C
View Following in the Family Footsteps on Neileeann's travel map.

Started the day by visiting a few places we couldn’t get to yesterday. First up Ross Castle which was average. Secondly, it was Muckross Abbey (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muckross_Abbey), which turned out to be very interesting. Well worth a visit if you pass this way.

After that we made the drive to Kildorrery, which was the home of my second strongest suspect in my quest to find the elusive Mary Flynn, who was my GGGM. I have hoped that I would find something here, or divide intervention gave me a sign, because this area is so much more pretty than my other possible location (Liberty).

Like all good Who Do you Think You Are episodes, I had arranged to meet a local historian to discuss Kildorrery history and any parish records they may find. Frank was my guide today and to start with he said that they could not find any further parish records, which I expected. Next he drove me to the local cemeteries where I already had some records of possible relatives being buried here. So I got photos of these, but the state of most graves were such that further identification of possible other relatives was impossible in the short period of time I had here.

After leaving Frank I revisited these places again and took my time just walking around and taking more photos. The Carrigdownanes graveyard had the most promising grave, which I believe in my romanticised irish way that it contained the grave of her sister Margaret and her child Mary Ellen. Mary Flynn travelled to Australia with her sister Ellen and Mary named one of her children Margaret. So my assumption is this Margaret (Mary’s sister) named one of her children Mary Ellen after her sisters who travelled to Australia. Unfortunately the grave was fenced off and I couldn’t get access. This graveyard was also nearby the Townland (Ballykeating) that I believe her father lived in around 1812. So everything was pointing to this being the final resting place for this family, whether she is the one or not.

However it is when I got back to our accommodation that things got going. Our host, Jennifer, took it upon herself to find my relative and she started calling people who were Flynn’s. So soon I was meeting Mark Flynn who had done family history and while it could not confirm or deny the connection, we have exchanged emails to swap details later on. Next her husband, Mike, took me back to the graveyard and dismantled the fence so I could get in and take some photos. When we got back to the house, Jennifer, had roped in the local grave digger and he said he knew where the bodies are buried. He then proceeded to ring an old Flynn (97 years old) and it was soon established that it was not my line of Flynn’s. Nevertheless it is worthwhile going out to this graveyard and see what is out there.

So all in all it was a real community effort to try and help me find my roots. So I hope that my Mary did come from here, so all this effort was not in vain.

Posted by Neileeann 17:00 Archived in Ireland

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