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Hello,

Martin Russell is my great-great grandfather. His gravestone is in Effingham County, Illinois; he had worked on the railroad being built in Illinois at the time. He died on July 2, 1866, leaving his wife Elizabeth Russell (nee McCarthy, also from Clare) and his 2 year old son, James Martin Russell.

A few days ago, I worked with a really nice guy on a Facebook County Clare genealogy page, who is from County Clare (and lives in Calfornia.)  He took the photo I had of the grave and enhanced it so that it was readable.

Martin was born in 1831, in Kilkerin, Killofin Parish, County Clare.

The Griffiths Valuation has a James Russell listed in Kilkerin, so it seems, given the first name of Martin's son, that this gentleman may well have been related to Martin, and to James Martin Russell, my great-grandfather.

James Martin named his eldest son Thomas James, his second son John Martin, and his third son Michael William. He named his eldest daughter Rose Elizabeth. I'm guessing the Elizabeth was for his mother; I don't know if Rose was a family name for the Russells. I checked James Martin's wife's family, and none of those names fit either her parents or siblings, or her name (May Belle), so I'm surmising that they are names of Russell family members in Ireland.

James Martin Russell, by the way, ended up working for the railroad himself. I found he and his mother on an 1880 census in Effingham County, Illinois. He and his wife and children moved out of the area in 1899.

Could you help me find more information about Martin's family in County Clare? I would like to document the relationship, and am hoping that there are records on Martin and his father and mother, siblings, etc. Hoping that the James Russell on the Griffiths Valuation is the James my great-grandfather was named for; if not that lucky, then an uncle, cousin, etc.

I've been looking for information on Martin for a long, long time. Was so glad to have this tangible proof of the county he came from in Ireland.

Thanks so much for your help!

By the way, here's a link to an article about the hardships the men endured building that railroad:

http://www.bntrades.org/?zone=/unionactive/view_article.cfm&HomeID=444902&page=Labor20history202620culture

Robin Russell Billings

 

 

 

 

 

RobinB.

Thursday 10th March 2016, 04:09PM

Message Board Replies

  • Robin:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    The RC parish for Killofin is Kilmurry McMahon. Unfortunately the baptismal records for that parish start in 1845 and marriages start in 1837. So a baptismal record for Martin would not be available. Civil registration did not begin until 1864. Here is a link to the parish register http://registers.nli.ie/parishes/0794

    The James that you found could well be the father of Martin but there is no way to make the connection.

    You may want to consider autosomal DNA testing. Possibly you will match someone who has more information on the Russell family.

    Let me know if you have questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 10th March 2016, 09:32PM
  • Hi Roger,

    You helped me get started with Griffiths, etc., a few months ago with my McCarthy family research in Clare. Thanks for that!

    At the time I posted the inquiry about Elizabeth McCarthy, my great-great grandmother, I didn't know that my great-great grandfather Martin Russell, her husband, was also from Clare.

    My brother and I have had our autosomal tests done - we've connected through DNA to our Sinnott and Fahey lines in Galway, which was wonderful! I had the names on my tree, but had no idea where to begin looking for them in Ireland. Luckily, the distant cousins I connected with from New Zealand, and from Indiana and New York in the States, knew exactly where they'd come from, so that narrowing down the common ancestor should be quite a bit easier.

    ANYWAY - back to Martin Russell: we have had no Russell DNA matches. My aunt, my deceased father's sister, has had her DNA done, so that we can have that next generation's closer DNA, and hers should be processed within a few weeks.

    Since records aren't available for that parish in Clare long enough back to help, I suppose what I need to do now is look at James Russell's descendants in Ireland; maybe begin my looking at his death record, since he lived long enough to be included in the Griffiths, would help as well. Would the parish have that information, do you think? I would appreciate advice on how to search the family line.

    When we go to Ireland, I want as much information as I can glean, and I'd very much like to connect with Russells in the area, to see if we are related.

    Any ideas you have on steps forward would be welcome!

    Best,

    Robin

     

    RobinB.

    Friday 11th March 2016, 03:27PM
  • Robin:

    The RC parish would not have his death info.Civil registration of deaths started in 1864. Killofin civil parish is in the Killadysert registration district. I searched on Find My Past and located three possible index records. You would have to contact the General Register Office to get a copy. Each copy would cost around 4 euros. A death record would show date of death, cause of death, townland of the deceased, informants name and usually the relationship of the informant to the deceased. If you need instructions or have questions, let me know.

    Roger

    First name(s)JamesLast nameRussellAge at death67Birth year1805Registered year1872Registered quarter/year1872Registration districtKilladysertVolume4Page265CountyClare

    First name(s)JamesLast nameRussellAge at death88Birth year1785Registered year1873Registered quarter/year1873Registration districtKilladysertVolume4Page251CountyClare

    First name(s)JamesLast nameRussellAge at death74Birth year1809Registered year1883Registered quarter/yearJan - Mar 1883Registration districtKilladysertVolume4Page234

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 11th March 2016, 09:19PM
  • Thanks so much! I want to obtain all three of these records, as I don't yet know which James is our family's James.. It took me by surprise that there were three James Russells rather than the one on the Griffiths, but the other two may not have had any land as tenants, and I suppose that would have excluded them from the Valuation, correct?

    Could you post the link on where I go to order the records?

    Thanks!

    Robin

    RobinB.

    Saturday 12th March 2016, 04:17PM
  • Robin:

    A registration district in Ireland covers more than one civil parish. Killadysert covers four full parishes and parts of three other parishes. There were James Russells in neighboring parishes who passed away. Go to the link below and print out the death form. Fill out the form to the best of your ability. Make sure you only ask for a copy. Include a note with the form and provide the information from the three index records but tell them you only want the record for the James Russell who lived in Kilkerin townland Killofin parish. Hopefully, one of the three is your ancestor. That way you should only be charged for one copy which costs around four euros. You have to mail the form to Ireland (address provided when you print the form) but you can ask GRO to e-mail the copy back. I provide a credit card number and never have any issues.

    Let me know if you have questions. 

    https://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Apply-for-Certificates.aspx

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 13th March 2016, 04:52PM
  • Thank you!!! Perfect.

     

    Robin

    RobinB.

    Monday 14th March 2016, 04:08PM
  • Roger,

    I've confirmed that Martin Russell is indeed my great-great grandfather, through a DNA connection. Martin was buried next to John Howard in the cemetery. On John's other side, his wife Ellen Howard was buried.I took photos of their gravestones. Turns out, my distant Russell-Howard cousin visited that cemetery ten years ago. Ellen Howard's maiden name was Russell.  I found out from my newly-found cousin that John and Ellen were Martin's aunt and uncle. Ellen was the sister of Martin's father, James.

    I'm taking a flight from Dulles to Shannon in early July. Purchased the ticket last week.

     

    RobinB.

    Wednesday 18th May 2016, 03:22PM
  • Robin:

    Great news! I saw your other message related to your Peterswell Fahys.

    Roger

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 19th May 2016, 11:43PM
  • Hi Roger,

     

    Yes, I'm doing all I can think of to get my information together before going over. I've just found out from my New Zealand cousin that the Fahey's in Peterswell still own some of the same land, and she is giving me the family's contact information. Very happy about that! I don't think there are Sinnotts in the area any longer. There weren't many to begin with - interestingly, I've now had DNA matches with several Sinnotts in the U.S.

    So I'm really down to figuring out my Russells and McCarthys and Howards - the Labasheeda area looks to have much less population, post 1800s. I think, though, that the Russells in my line may have come from Limerick originally. I'm trying to figure that out now.

    AND I still don't know which John and Mary McCarthy in Clare was my set of preat-great-great grandparents. They had to have had an Elizabeth circa 1840, and a Bridget circa 1844. I'm going to take another look through the microfilmed records, now that I know where the Russells were, and see if I can figure it out.

     

    RobinB.

    Sunday 22nd May 2016, 05:18PM
  • Roger,

    I have downloaded the application for death certificate form - thanks for that! Could you look up other death dates and info? I don't have access to Find My Past.

    I found these names when searching microfilmed documents for Kilmurry McMahon parish - and want to request the 4-Euro photcopied docs on these as well. I think it will help me figure out relationships. They are:

    Cate (Catherine, Cathleen, not sure) Russell

    Bridget Russell

    Michael Russell

    William Russell

    John Russell

    Patrick Russell

    Hope this isn't a problem! I'm hoping to get these requests written out and mailed soon. Will ask, as you mentioned, that they be emailed back to me to expedite things.

    Robin

    RobinB.

    Tuesday 24th May 2016, 02:08PM
  • Oh, findmypast has a free day, so I'm looking up those death records myself, and ordering a slew of them!

     

    RobinB.

    Monday 30th May 2016, 05:39PM