In this episode of Series Four, host Andrew meets Irish genealogist and tutor Claire Bradley. She explains how she got hooked on family history, how she researches in Irish records and navigates the impact of the Irish Civil War, and how she’s been teaching genealogy to classes for a decade.
Listen to the episode
The Life Story:
Claire has chosen her 2x Great Grandfather, Michael Joyce, who was born in Limerick, County Limerick, Ireland in 1851.
A family story of him being kicked out of the family home led Claire to eventually debunk the story and uncover the fascinating life of her ancestor.
Remarkably, this includes surviving 5 shipwrecks, (one involving a torpedo during World War One), and becoming a Mayor of Limerick, and a Member of Parliament for Limerick City in the United Kingdom Parliament. It seems clear that Michael remained dedicated to those he served, almost right up to his death in 1941.
The Brick Wall:
It’s a mystery within one of Ireland’s most common surnames – Reilly (there are several variants here).
A family story said that Peter was from Cork, but the documented evidence showed him as being born in 1882 a children’s hospital in Dublin as ‘unknown Reilly’. Peter’s marriage certificate reveals his father as Thomas Reilly.
Claire has been trying to identify the correct parents of Peter, who appear to be a Thomas Reilly and an Elizabeth Murphy, however she has been unable to satisfactorily confirm the correct Thomas Reilly, nor a marriage for Thomas and Elizabeth. Thomas’ death is also a mystery – Elizabeth is noted as a widow in 1901, but despite extensive research, his death record has not yet been found.
Can you help Claire find;
- The correct Thomas Reilly pre-1901
- The marriage between Thomas Reilly and Elizabeth Murphy
- A birth and death for Thomas Reilly.
If you think you can help Claire with her research brick wall, perhaps with a clue or a research idea, then you can contact her via her twitter account (@CBGenealogy), her Facebook Page, or her website. Alternatively, you can send Claire a message via our contact form, and we’ll pass it straight on.
In the meantime, Claire has a few questions about Andrew’s offer of help….
Series Four, Episode Six
- Andrew Martin: Host & Producer
- Claire Bradley: Guest