Green fields, gray stone walls and wonderful wooly sheep greeted us each day. My daughter and I loved the little lambs we saw every day, nuzzling their mothers and chasing each other. We set genealogy aside and enjoyed Ireland. We rode in a horse cart in Killarney National Park,; drove the Ring of Kerry; and enjoyed seafood on the Dingle Peninsula. We took a ferry to Inis Oirr, the smallest Aran Island, where we enjoyed our first day without rain. My daughter and I walked around Galway, climbed on the Giant Causeway and spent the night in Ballygally, a haunted castle. Then we turned south to County Cavan.
Michael Coyle, b. c. 1820, and Mary Cunningham raised their family in County Cavan. [My maternal grandmother was Helen F. Coyle Gardner.] I have slowly gathered information on the Coyle family for several years. Before taking this trip I contacted Cavan Genealogy in Cavan Town contracting for them to search for my family. I requested they not mail the report to me. I wanted to pick it up in person. I wanted the opportunity to talk to someone in person and ask questions. I hoped to find information and to see the places the Coyles had lived.
The address I had for Cavan Genealogy was First Floor, Farnham Street, Cavan. My daughter easily found the town and the street. We drove along the street slowly and looked, unsuccessfully, for a sign to help us find the right location. Then we saw a large blue & white “i” for information painted on the side of a large building. She pulled over and parked and I walked up the hill to the building. It turned out to be a department store with shoppers buying clothes. I found the customer service desk and spoke to a gentleman there. He kindly explained that the tourist information, down the street, was no longer there. He asked where I was going and said I wanted the library, just down the hill. We moved the car down the block to the library’s car park.
|Johnston Central Library, Farnah Street, Cavan|
Inside we went up to the first floor and found the genealogy room. We got a warm welcome but Concepta, the woman doing the research for me, had just left for lunch. We were advised to do the same and were given directions to Café Mana. We should return at half two. The café was bustling with coffee drinkers and lunch seekers. We had tea and a nice lunch with a delicious slice of lemon meringue pie! Back at the library I met with Concepta who couldn’t have been nicer or more welcoming. She had limited information for me, saying I had done so much research already that there wasn’t a lot of new details. However, since she did not discover much new information on the Coyle family, she also researched the Brady family for me.
Concepta did find the 1821 census which has only remnants still existing. Fortunately, our Coyle family is in those remaining sections. It also has the Cunningham family with little Mary who later married Michael Coyle.
The report also included the death of Catherine Gibney Brady on 27 March 1873 in Co. Cavan. There were more findings that I will be looking at very closely and incorporating into my records. Shel als told me that there is no more information to be found on the family. She suggest I try to get a copy of Ballymachugh & Drumloman South: Our Home Place by Sheelin's Side - County Cavan, Ireland by the Ballymachugh History & Heritage Committee. The library once had a copy of the book for sale but no longer. She had copies some pages for me but strongly suggested I find the book. [more on the book's discovery later!]
Concepta also gave me a very detailed map of the section of Co Cavan where my Brady and Coyle ancestors lived. She highlighted the areas where they could be found over the years. This included churches they attended. She also gave us a modern day, local map and showed us how the two maps overlapped so we could leave the library, take N55 onto R154 to Killinaleck and find our way from there. My daughter will agree that my navigating skills are not the equal of her driving skills but we thanked Concepta for her research time and results and were soon back in the little rental car, in the rain, of course. [more on our travels & findins later]