BigCon Registered User
#1

Can we have a thread for funny or unusual records that we come across during our research?

For instance this entry where the priest was transferred to a new parish in such a hurry that he left without his breakfast!

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srmf5 Registered User
#2

I haven't come across anything too funny as far as I can remember. I did come across this record though that made me smile where a priest seemed to have been practicing his box drawing skills in the left corner.

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Jellybaby1 Registered User
#3

Dublin Weekly Register, November 24, 1849: "Beheaded himself"

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BigCon Registered User
#4

Here's another one, Rev Peter Blake was transferred to Roscrea and the parish of Bournea got a new priest (Rev Peter Cleary). When Fr Cleary died 3/4 of the parish transferred to Roscrea (maybe they didn't like the new priest or were very fond of Fr. Blake)!


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RGM Registered User
#5

I thought this census record was funny: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai003312648/

The father was a staunch nationalist. The mother... perhaps not so much?

On a more sobering note, the oldest son was executed by Tans in 1921.

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paumurp Registered User
#6

Not funny, but I was surprised to find a Golf Professional whilst looking for someone else in the Little Bray part of Bray in the 1911 census (William Hanna)

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1911/Wicklow/Bray_No_1/Donnellans_Cottages/891257/

srmf5 Registered User
#7

I came across a record of a relative's death in America. It's definitely him but the strange thing is that his race is recorded as black. Do you think that it's an error in transcription or an error in recording? They'd hardly be using a term like 'black Irish' in an official document.

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pinkypinky Moderator
#8

Hmm, I'd get the actual record rather than rely on the transcript. While it's very unlikely, it's not impossible he was black.

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srmf5 Registered User
#9

pinkypinky said:
Hmm, I'd get the actual record rather than rely on the transcript. While it's very unlikely, it's not impossible he was black.


Yeah you're right. It's hard to make any judgement calls without seeing the actual record since it could be a simple error in transcription.

#10

srmf5 said:
I came across a record of a relative's death in America. It's definitely him but the strange thing is that his race is recorded as black. Do you think that it's an error in transcription or an error in recording? They'd hardly be using a term like 'black Irish' in an official document.


I don't know about death records or if this even applies, but... on stateside census records, a few of my ancestors were listed anywhere from white, mulatto or black on different censuses. I questioned a genealogist, who suggested census takers (at the time) determined race through their own perception (if a farmers skin appeared darkened by the sun, etc), community assumption, or living/working circumstances, rather than asking a person's race directly. This article tends to corroborate the idea. Even present day census takers fail to properly ask racial identification questions, according to CNN............. But on a death record, I've no idea.

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srmf5 Registered User
#11

DunnoKidz said:
I don't know about death records or if this even applies, but... on stateside census records, a few of my ancestors were listed anywhere from white, mulatto or black on different censuses. I questioned a genealogist, who suggested census takers (at the time) determined race through their own perception (if a farmers skin appeared darkened by the sun, etc), community assumption, or living/working circumstances, rather than asking a person's race directly. This article tends to corroborate the idea. Even present day census takers fail to properly ask racial identification questions, according to CNN............. But on a death record, I've no idea.


Thank you for the reply and links. That could be it. He was a retired farmer so he may have been weather-beaten giving him a darker complexion.

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tabbey Registered User
#12

srmf5 said:
He was a retired farmer so he may have been weather-beaten giving him a darker complexion.


There is more to race than complexion; afro-hair for example.

I would say either a mistake, ticking the wrong box or a tick straddling two boxes, or else, he was the result of mixed race parentage. With an Irish surname that would imply white father + black mother. I still think an error is more likely.

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RGM Registered User
#13

tabbey said:
With an Irish surname that would imply white father + black mother.


Not in America, it wouldn't.

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kildarejohn Registered User
#14

Unusual inscription on a stone in Kildare Cathedral-
"Underneath lie the remains of the body of John Smith ...erected by his son Dennis Molony in memory of him"
Was Dennis an illegitimate son, if so seems strange to be declaring it publicly.

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srmf5 Registered User
#15

tabbey said:
There is more to race than complexion; afro-hair for example.

I would say either a mistake, ticking the wrong box or a tick straddling two boxes, or else, he was the result of mixed race parentage. With an Irish surname that would imply white father + black mother. I still think an error is more likely.


Well I'm fairly certain that neither of his parents were black since he and both of his parents were born in Ireland. I descend from his mother's brother and I have very pale skin that doesn't tan, or burn actually. My grandmother and her siblings were pale too and Anne Greene would have been their grandaunt. Unless it was on the father's side but I know the people that descend from both of John Flynn's parents and they're not dark either.

Now some members of Patrick Flynn's and Anne Greene's descendants do have very dark curly hair so that could have come from the Flynn side who knows. Maybe that could have been why he was recorded as black.

I didn't realise it would be just ticking boxes so if that's the case, then more than likely the wrong box was ticked.

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