Difficult Irish Ancestors

I don’t know about you, but I find researching my Irish ancestors extremely difficult! But they are also so interesting to learn about that I keep trying my hand at it. At this stage the only Irish ancestry I’m aware of comes from my Dad’s side (although I’m fairly certain Mum’s bio paternal side also has Irish ancestry…but until I’ve confirmed some things, you won’t be hearing about that!) My Dad’s Mum, my Nana, had the maiden name McBride. I have got as far as my 3rd great grandparents within that family and I have to say, confirming each direct ancestor up to that point has been painstaking-McBride is a rather common name in Ireland it seems, and when coupled with names like John, Michael, etc that makes it even harder!

My McBrides come from Donegal, and according to records, my third great grandfather  Michael McBride, along with his wife Mary and children Hugh, John and Cicely (John is my great great grandfather) immigrated to Sydney on the 3rd of February 1885 aboard the ship Gulf of Venice. The Sydney Morning Herald discusses the ship’s arrival:

Sydney Morning Herald, 4 Feb 1885
Dated 4th February, 1885

Now, the road block with my third great grandparents is this: Michael McBride is a common name for starters. Secondly, it appears there’s inconsistency with his immigration habits…from the looks, he was born in 1858 in Donegal, Ireland, immigrated to Philadelphia, US…had a child there…moved BACK to Ireland and had my great great grandfather John there in 1877…and then either moved to Australia or Philadelphia US and died in either of those places. Head spinning yet? Basically, something isn’t right here and I have to work out what that is.

Then there is the problem of Michael McBride’s wife, Mary. Was her maiden name Monigal? Or McMulligan? Monigal shows up on my great great grandfather’s marriage certificate when he lists his mother…but on his death certificate, she’s listed as McMulligan. When searching either one of those on ancestry.com.au, findmypast.com, etc. NOTHING seems to come up. I have no idea when or where she was born, same thing with her death. It’s driving me mad! Any ideas anyone on how to push through this brick wall? As I understand it, the Irish civil war caused the destruction of many records in the 1920s, and there’s a possibility that Mary’s information has been lost that way…I hope not, but I just have a feeling.

Are you a descendant of Michael McBride (born in Donegal) and Mary Monigal? If so, I’d love to hear from you!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Caitie G says:

    My Great Grandfather William Gow arrived on the Gulf of Venice, except his was the one that arrived in October 1886!


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