Monday, February 18, 2008

O' slightly more Aisterly speculation....

Some weeks ago I had an E-mail conversation with Alan McKinney that led me to find something in the Griffith's Valuation data. For those of you who don't know: between 1848 and 1864, all land was surveyed for the purpose of establishing the level of rates (local tax) to be paid by each landholder or leaseholder. It was later used as a means to help support and feed the poor in Ireland during the famine. If you earned more than 3lbs per year, which was later raised to 5lbs per year you were assessed a tax based upon this data.

Most of the Census data was lost when The Public Record Office in Dublin's Four Courts building complex was destroyed on June 29, 1922 during the Irish Civil War. Among the irreplaceable documents were the census schedules of 1821 through 1851, wills and administrations as well as almost a thousand Church of Ireland parish registers. Although some few fragments of these records did survive the fire, for genealogists their destruction is a great loss of data needed to construct relationships with their ancestors it was a genealogical tragedy and wall we run up against that stops the average researcher in their tracks. The rest of us have learned the hard way to rely on other sources. Tithe Books, Freeholder Polling Lists, The Griffith's Valuation Data, Etc.

What I found in the Griffith Valuation data intrigued me. I have been able to determine from the Griffith's Data that Alexander Gilmour/Gilmore did in fact live at the Killaloo Glebe. BUT I also found that an Alexander Gilmore lived at Mettican Glebe near Coleraine. There is also listed a Jane Gilmore too. There is however, no concrete proof to indicate that this is my Alexander, or even perhaps as I suspect his Father. The Glynn/Glenn family can also be found in this area in the data.

Now, My Great Great Great Grandfather Robert Gilmour's wife Mary Pollock emigrated from the Portrush/Coleraine area in 1846 at age 11. As a somewhat seasoned genealogical researcher I have come to realize that further research at a later date may very well prove what I am about to speculate to be proved as untrue. Yeah, but, the writer and novelist in me can't help but let my unbridled imagination run wild.

So here I go: It is possible, although unprovable at this point, that Robert, either visiting a Grandparent, or living there as a child if this Alexander was in fact his father, might have known his future wife Mary as a "childhood sweetheart" or playmate. AWW MUSH!

Yep! here it comes... Back story to the novel O' Wasterly Gale© possible inclusion more than likely, and in Ullans dialect:

Summer, 1846,

On the beach at Portrush, Northern Ireland.

Mary watched the sand squish between her toes.

"Doo ye think tha trip wil bae lang?"

"It's a weill-kent fact the say."

She lifted her foot, and pressed down again in a new spot.

"Ye'll gae ta Killaloo thon?"

"Aye, Mae Fathar weil moove frea this Glebe tae thon."

"Yae'll bae neer yer kin as weel."


Robert squished his foot into the place in the sand where Mary's foot had been.

"Ay'll miss yea ye kno…"


"Doo yea think yea'll 'member mea yince Ay'm gaen?"

"Shure an Ay weill, yer me ain dear pet yea kno…"

Mary pressed her foot gently down over Robert's and into the sand. A wave washed into the shore and swirled around their ankles.

~ ~ ~

Sorry, I just couldn't resist.