My name’s Duncan Campbell from the shire of Argyll
I’ve traveled this country for many’s the mile
I’ve traveled through Ireland, Scotland and all
And the name I go under’s bold Erin-go-bragh
— First verse of a 19th century Scottish song (from Wikipedia)
The buzz in the genealogy community last week was about a new effort to reconstruct many of the records lost in a fire that destroyed the Public Records Office of Ireland in 1922. The records included the Irish censuses of 1821 through 1851 and over half of the Church of Ireland birth/marriage/death registers.
Though most of my mother’s side of the family traces its lineage to Scotland, one of her ancestors, Jane Hannah, was from County Antrim in northern Ireland. The Hannah family came to America in 1835. Records of the family in Ireland prior to their emigration don’t appear to exist and were undoubtedly destroyed in the fire.
There is some hope that traces of their lives may now be resurrected through the “Beyond 2022” initiative, an effort to reconstruct seven centuries of Ireland’s lost history. An informative and entertaining video concerning the initiative is at Trinity College’s “Beyond 2022” web site.
There’s also hope that additional information concerning my wife’s Brown family ancestry will surface. They, too, were from County Antrim.
In the interim, and in sober memorial of our Irish—albeit northern Irish—heritage we’ve bought a case of Guiness stout to toast the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day celebration and cheer on the Beyond 2022 effort. Sláinte!