I can’t believe I never got back to this! Sorry about that.
So, when we left off, we were in a cemetery in Dublin. The Find-A-Grave volunteer that answered my call for photos proved to be one of the best. He made several trips to the cemetery and sent a load of pictures. He even went and did research at the National Library! I will always be in his debt.
But the real story here is what happened when I brought this to Facebook in the Dublin Genealogy Group. All I asked was “So, if I have a name, an address, and a date, what can I do with that?” The next week was a whirlwind!
The name, date and address in question were found on the burial record for mystery Annie Moore. It was the witness for Annie Moore, who you will recall, died 20+ years before William J. The name was John Hannon, living at 18 Upper Clanbrassil Street. I was not able to find him on the 1901 and 1911 Census returns, so used this info to ask the question of the Dubs of Facebook.
I was given all of the usual low-hanging items. “Yup, got it.” “Nope, doesn’t appear there.” It wasn’t long before the full story of what I was looking for was brought to the fore. A very knowledgeable woman decided enough was enough and she “took the bit in her teeth”. She worked almost non-stop for a week! I wouldn’t say we (well, she) finally solved the problem, but we (she, really) collected so much data that we were able to build out an entire nuclear family and his brother, the grand uncle, and his little family, too. But I don’t think that we ever figured out who the witness to Annie Moore’s burial was. Nor did we actually make the link to my branch of the family. We got damn close, though. I am convinced that I am missing one person. This would be the brother of the grand uncle and his brother, who was turned up during this frenzied week of digging. This missing brother would be the father of my father’s father’s father. He seems to be like the silhouetted figure in an otherwise clear family photo.
My father’s father’s father has been an unbreakable brickwall since I started doing genealogy all those years ago. In fact, he has been a brickwall since I was in seventh grade doing my first family tree! The man leapt from the water, fully formed and with a wife and child, onto the southern bank of the River Liffey. There are simply no other records of him to be found, so this mythological origin story makes the most sense, because Occam’s razor. But here we had his uncles and their families. And they left records.
During the course of the frenzy, a Hannon family in Dublin, that was not mine, kept popping up. They had similar given names, but lived in a different section of the city. Is it possible that there is a connection? Very possible. It is just going to take some digging to find the link.
I received quite the education on 19th Century Dublin while doing all of the previous digging. I learned about places I had never even heard of before. Kimmage and Cabra leading the charge here. I’ve seen maps that few have. I’ve been exposed to conspiracy theories regarding the state of Catholicism in Dublin South at the time. I probably spent more time conversing with this Dublin woman that week than I did with my own wife! Jenny is a very understanding woman.
So, there we are. Poised to strike…at some point when Life is calm and I am able to hear the voices of the ancestors from across the ocean.