I became an Irish citizen in 2007 and today have what is known as an Australian Irish ‘Duel’ Passport. My first visit to Ireland was late August 2013. At that time I had a few photos and even less information about my Irish ancestors or the history of Ireland and the region where they came from. Many of the photos I gathered and used for this website came from a chance meeting on that road trip with one relative and the subsequent ongoing research that continues today.
My grandfather was James Joseph Judge. He was born in 1889 in Carracastle, Ballaghadereen, County Mayo Ireland. He immigrated to Australia in the early 1930’s and became a publican of several large hotels/pubs in Queensland, Australia. His descendants knew very little about his Irish history, because he didn’t speak of it, excepting to mention his Father’s surname and where he was born.
Before I left Australia I met with an Irish historian and brilliant story teller of all things Irish, including some invaluable background on the shires or counties in Ireland and importantly what to and or not to see on my family tree research trip.
Today I highly recommend to anyone, about to embark on a similar journey to seek out and connect with such an expert or two. It makes such a difference. I only had one week to spend there and welcomed any advice to ensure my time was well spent. I located my great, great grand parents graves, their farm and met with my fathers’ second cousin, who today owns the family property. His excellent memory provided some very useful information going back several generations, including several relatives living in the USA.
This site is a result of that trip and the subsequent family tree research conversations. My objectives for the website include :
- Create a logical visual diary and layout on my Irish ancestry to learn more about how the past has shaped me and my family, particularly my late father and his grandfather.
- Share my Irish family history and stories to connect with relatives, including those using the online family tree research programme known as Genes Reunited.
- Provide some useful links and resources to others interested in doing similar research; wanting to set up a similar website with the expertise of FAMILY MATTERS and or travel to Ireland to learn more about its rich history.
I started, quite by accident collecting family history in 2001, when our daughter brought home a school history assignment, which necessitated building a family tree using Ancestry.com. I found a bunch of old albums, photos, only three photos of my grandfather and a few births, deaths and marriage certificates. This was enough to start my research, patchy as it was.
Family history and my past relatives and their stories I soon discovered could soon be easily lost, because so few people share what they have and or have the time or the inclination to keep up with it all. I was curious to learn more and connect with Ireland and its rich history because of the mysterious gap of information we had within my family. It seemed such a shame our father was was unfamiliar with his Irish ancestry, particularly the story of his proud and strong grand parents, John and Catherine Breheny of Carracastle, Ireland and their relatives. The questions we had about why our Grandfather immigrated to Australia and why he spoke so little of his past, triggered not only this research, but also the Family Matters project idea where I could possibly also help others research theirs.
For more information on this go to the ‘Research Steps’ page on this site.
Click on the title FAMILY MATTERS above to learn more.
- The Breheny’s spelling throughout this sight and on the family tree linked to it, there are several slight variations according to the census of 1901, of the spelling of Breheny into Breheney.
- Importantly so as to embrace the philosophy of continuous improvement we welcome your ideas, facts and or feedback comments on this site and or anything else presented. There will be certain to be some bits of information that are not correct. I have put down things the way I found them, and things were often wrong on census forms, other handwritten documents, records written down from the spoken words of a citizen, but written the way the scribe thought it sounded, often because the citizen in those days could not read or write. Sometimes people in recent times have given me or someone else information they thought to be accurate, but turns out to be not quite right. I can only say I have made every effort to get things down correctly, but inaccuracies are bound to exist.