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I am searching for any ancestors of my 2nd-great-grandmother Margaret Manning.

According to her death certificate she was born 5 December 1840 in County Kerry. Her father's name was Thomas Manning and her mother's name was given as Welsh (no first name given).

She immigrated to the US some time after the famine and married Samuel Newel Bray (b. 13 Feb 1833, Bucks County, PA, USA) on 24 March 1859 in Richland County, Ohio, USA. Their marriage certificate gives Margaret's maiden name as "Manging"

They had three children John Edward Bray (my ancestor, b. 13 Dec 1863), Albert Bray (b. 7 Dec 1859), and Mary Ann Bray (b. 6 Jun 1868).

Samuel Bray died on 29 May 1898 in Shiloh, Cass Township, Richland County, Ohio and Margaret Bray died on 9 May 1921, also in Shiloh, Cass Twp., Richland County, Ohio. They are both buried in the Shiloh McBride, Mt. Hope Cemetery, Shiloh, Cass Twp., Richmond County, Ohio.

I have further information available about some of the decendants of John Edward Bray for anyone who is interested.



Saturday 23rd Jun 2012, 09:22AM

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  • Hi there,

    Kerry is a rather big county, so the most vital thing to do is to try to narrow down the place of origin.

    Also remember to check all variant spellings of both names when researching, as the same name could be spelled in many way. You can information about the frequency of the name in the mid-19th century and any other variant spellings of the name here: You can also put both surnames in to bring up possible locations.

    Have you tried checking the Ellis Island records ( or the Castle Garden records ( Generally, more information was given at the port of arrival rather than the port of departure. If you knew which city they arrived at, this could be a good place to find more information, and perhaps even find out an exact place of origin.

    You could also try checking the land records called the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38) or the later Griffith's Valuation (1848-64). Griffith's is freely available here: or here: Failte Romhat has lots of other useful links you could try looking at.Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38). Microfilm copies of the books for all of Ireland are available at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) or the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS).

    The Tithe Applotment List might be of use to you, or at least interesting for you. These lists constitute the only nationwide survey for the period, and are valuable because the heaviest burden of the tithes to the Established Church, the Church of Ireland, fell on the poorest, for whom few other records survive. The information in the Tithes is quite basic, typically consisting of townland name, landholder's name, area of land and tithes payable. Many Books also record the landlord's name and an assessment of the economic productivity of the land. the tax payable was based on the average price of wheat and oats over the seven years up to 1823, and was levied at a different rate depending on the quality of land. For Parishes where the registers do not begin until after 1850, this information can be useful, as they are often the only surviving early records. They can provide valuable circumstantial evidence, especially where a holding passed from father to son in the period between the Tithe survey and Griffith's Valuation.

    There is a book you could check by Michael O'Connor called 'Tracing your Kerry Ancestors', 1994.

    Without a more precise place of origin, I cannot recommend which church records you need to check. You could try writing a letter to one of the Kerry newspapers. This might be one way to possibly find more information.

    Also check the following links:

    Please make sure you link anyone else in your family who is interested in their Irish heritage to our site - and indeed anyone else you know of Irish heritage.

    Kind regards,

    Sinead Cooney

    Genealogist (Ireland XO)

    Wednesday 27th Jun 2012, 02:57PM

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