Redux

Well, I have been “asked” to pull all reference to the memoirs used in my Irish research on Agnes McDowell Fraser’s children and grandchildren because one of the authors is amazingly still alive. That is a wonderful thing but of course, not one I had expected. I assumed that the person handing them on would know this. I admit though the temptation was too great to miss the opportunity to paint a picture of my relatives lives.

This has given me pause to think of how I would feel if I came across someone else’s writing about my family. I would probably be surprised if they were in possession of something written by me as well. That being said I think of two things. One, I would never pass out to anyone something I absolutely did not want published or known. Two, if there were errors of which I had documented proof, I would let the person know. But generally, I would be delighted, as many people are, that someone was doing all the legwork and want to know who they were and how they know my family.

Of course, if you use ancestry, most public information on the person is already available. It is a little surprising how many people are still paranoid of the internet. I compare it to when the telephone first came out and remember moving to a small town where there were party lines. You could get some first class entertainment there!

This event has thrown my writing into a shambles because I had centered my posts around the delightful stories written by these women. Who wants just dry fact anyways? For the moment I am thinking I will perhaps compensate by including whatever public information I can find out about Agnes’s children instead. God knows how long that will take. There are risks in every activity. Agnes McDowell was a risk taker herself. She lived to 102.

5 thoughts on “Redux

  1. Mornin,
    I’ve been doing some genetic genealogy for myself and my partner. On her side, she has McDowells from around Antrim. She has a cousin who has Fraser family around the same area, but we cannot pin the connection – so seeing the name “McDowell Fraser” caught my eye. 🙂 I was wondering if there might be a connection (while being aware that there’s a large chance its just a coincidence).

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    • Hi Damien, nice to hear from you. If you click on the Fraser family or the McDowell family in the Categories section of my blog it will take you to the relevant posts. You can also view my page for William McDowell at ancestry.ca, https://www.ancestry.ca/family-tree/person/tree/79540162/person/34402377284/facts. Let me know if this link works. Basically, the 2 families originated in Scotland and moved to Northern Ireland as part of the Elizabethan plantation. People tended to associate with people of their own origin. In my family, two Fraser brothers married 2 McDowell sisters in the mid 1800’s in Tipperary Town. I believe the McDowell’s had association with Belfast because one of the sons moved there. These people were surprisingly mobile if they had any money at all and family was everything to them. My policy is to try to get the Birth, Marriage and Death records for the people in your direct line which is where you have to start anyway and get as much concrete evidence in the form of letters and certificates from your parents as you can. Wills are great because they usually name members of the family. Ancestry or FamilySearch are good broad scope websites and you can usually get a lot of help from local family history centres. At the moment, genetic genealogy can only give us a very broad area of where we came from and the type of people. It is sort of a different thing altogether. Even when we find people they have to be linked directly back one at a time through each of your parents. Tedious but true …… So yes, the chances are that the family may be linked by marriage somewhere, its following the paper trail to that point from your parents backwards.

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      • Hmmm. I’ve found over time that getting records out of Ireland is a bit hit and miss. 🙂 At least for the pre-1850 period. I’ve got some comprehensive paper records as well – the genetic stuff is coming afterward to try and patch some holes, and then matching random cousins as well. I probably need to revisit this line, its been a while since I tried to fill in gaps.

        My first thought after looking through your notes is probably not. There’s no sign of the direct line of McDowells being any further south that Co. Down, and they mostly cluster around Antrim.

        They did the same clustering after emigrating to Australia tho – there’s a lot of intermarriage with other northern Ireland families for a generation or two around Warrnambool, where a lot of them landed.

        Unfortunately I cannot see ancestry information – limited resources for the search at the moment. 🙂
        cheers,Damien

        Like

    • Hi Damien, nice to hear from you. If you click on the Fraser family or the McDowell family in the Categories section of my blog it will take you to the relevant posts. You can also view my page for William McDowell at ancestry.ca, https://www.ancestry.ca/family-tree/person/tree/79540162/person/34402377284/facts. Let me know if this link works. Basically, the 2 families originated in Scotland and moved to Northern Ireland as part of the Elizabethan plantation. People tended to associate with people of their own origin. In my family, two Fraser brothers married 2 McDowell sisters in the mid 1800’s in Tipperary Town. I believe the McDowell’s had association with Belfast because one of the sons moved there. These people were surprisingly mobile if they had any money at all and family was everything to them. My policy is to try to get the Birth, Marriage and Death records for the people in your direct line which is where you have to start anyway and get as much concrete evidence in the form of letters and certificates from your parents as you can. Wills are great because they usually name members of the family. Ancestry or FamilySearch are good broad scope websites and you can usually get a lot of help from local family history centres. At the moment, genetic genealogy can only give us a very broad area of where we came from and the type of people. It is sort of a different thing altogether. Even when we find people they have to be linked directly back one at a time through each of your parents. Tedious but true …… So yes, the chances are that the family may be linked by marriage somewhere, its following the paper trail to that point from your parents backwards.

      Like

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