Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Genealogy Travel: Derby, CT - Preparation

 As a part of our Irish cousins gathering I recently spent a day in Derby, New Haven County, CT. I wanted to uncover documentation to prove that Ann Brady Kilday, born in Ireland, was a daughter of Thomas Brady & Catherine Gibney. I wanted to gather information on descendants of Thomas & Catherine Brady who lived in the Derby/ Ansonia area. The trip was a success.

Before going I first made a list of the things I wanted to uncover.

·         Marriage Certificate for Ann Brady & James Kilday, probably between 1800 – 1884. Hopefully the certificate would show Ann’s parents and prove her link to Thomas & Catherine Brady.
·         Birth certificates for the children of Ann & James Kilday: Catherine, 1884; Annie, 1887; Margaret, 1889, James L, 1892; Frances, 1895.
·         Death Certificate for James Kilday, probably between 1894 – 1900.
·         Any evidence of William and Owen Brady, brothers of Ann Brady Kilday.

I searched the internet for possible places I could find this information. It looked like my choices were:

·         Ansonia City Hall, 253 Main Street, Ansonia. The records there begin in 1889 which would not help with some of my wish list.
·         AnsoniaLibrary, 53 Cliff Street, Ansonia.
·         Derby City Hall, 1 Elizabeth Street, Derby. It was difficult to get an idea of their holdings from the internet.
·         DerbyHistorical Society, 37 Elm Street, Ansonia. I contacted them by email & they told me they have no birth records or directories.
·         NewHaven Public Library, 133 Elm, New Haven. I contacted them by email. Response: We only have New Haven records, and only prior to 1850. You'd want to contact the town clerks in the towns where the events occurred.
·         Milford Public Library, 57 New Haven Avenue, Milford.

Next I decided to check one of my favorite blogs, Explorations in CT Genealogy written by Bryna O Sullivan. I read her blog regularly and know she has expertise in researching CT. I emailed her concerning my goals and asked for places to look. She kindly sent me this response:
Unfortunately, not every town website contains the history you need. The 1800s are in a gap period – it’s too late for the Barbour Collection, but too early for statewide recording. The Connecticut State Library offers a great cheat sheet that’s probably a better place to start: http://www.cslib.org/cttowns.htm. That page indicates that Ansonia was taken from Derby in 1889…which means your record is probably in Derby. (Here’s Derby’s website: http://electronicvalley.org/derby/govern/Misc/City-TownClerk.htm.) Of course, that would only work if you’d like a full, certified copy. It might be cheaper to start with the Derby Historical Society (http://derbyhistorical.org/).

Bryna was a great help!

I decided to begin my search at the Derby City Hall, clerk’s office. I checked out their hours and phone number. I contacted my cousin, Pat, and we decided to meet in Derby. I packed my genealogy bag with my CT info, my binder of the Brady family, my iPad with my Ancestry APP, my camera, paper & pens and I was ready.

Results of the trip next Tuesday.

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  1. You are the champ at planning ahead and gathering information BEFORE you go. It's helpful to me reading how you do that.

    1. Wendy, I usually have limited time when I travel for genealogy. Careful preparation helps maximize that time. Of course, I usually want more time anyway. ha!


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