03 April 2015

First Friday Folder: Patrick Keating & Catherine Dooley

Patrick and Catherine are two of my maternal great-grandparents.  It took me over 10 years to find them and prove it.  There was a lot of research with three independent serendipitous events involved and, someday, I should blog about it all….

I selected this folder for review this week because recent atDNA matches show promise and have re-energized my research on this line.  Maybe I can find out where my Irish roots are….

The Couple
In the 1880 US Census, Patrick Keating is 32, born in Ireland of parents born in Ireland, wife Catherine is 26, born in Canada of parents born in Ireland.  Their son, Fillamin T., is 4 years old and born in Ohio.  In later records, he is referred to as "Thomas" or "Tom" with a middle initial "F." They were living in Benton, Ottawa, Ohio.  Both a marriage certificate and state register show they were married in Ottawa County on 28 November 1873; Catherine's surname was given as Dooley. There was also a son, John, who died young with no children. My brother and I are their only daughter's only grandchildren.

The Folder
Much more than half of this one-inch-thick folder was loose pages of clues or ideas of what, where, and how to find the origins and ancestors of this couple.  I spent this morning organizing the folder and now I have bundles with sequenced contents:
  • vital records
  • census info (including a possible 1870 census listing for Patrick)
  • deeds and land info & clues
  • info on the linguistic origin and geographic likelihood  of both "Keating" and "Dooley" in Ireland 
  • a very sizable bundle of censuses, family group sheets, and other info on Tom's 7 children and their descendants. 
I was able to either consolidate or discard a very few duplicates…I'd hoped for more.  Mostly, I was struck by how many solid clues or possible record types I have to follow.  The two biggest may be the possible atDNA matches I have: one for a Dooley and the one for a descendant of Ellen (Keating) Earl  (discussed in an earlier post).

The Plan
I have all of Thomas Keating's children and 13 grandchildren.  I have some of the great grandchildren.  I need to bring all of the grandchildren as far forward as possible.  Then, I need to consider paying for one of them to do a Y-DNA test and perhaps find one of them who's interested in an atDNA test.  Triangulation might help the analysis of my existing matches.

I have some of Patrick's deeds, but I need to find the earliest ones.  I'm pretty confident that I have the right Patrick in a 1870 census in Ottawa County, but it says he has land and I can't find any deeds for him prior to 1874.

I need to find a primary birth/baptism source for Thomas F. (Fillamin).  I'm going to have to get a system and just go through the Toledo Diocese records image by image…. Hmm, maybe I could even find Catherine's death record, circa 1887.

Perhaps the biggest thing my review today recovered is that I have a baptism record for Patrick & Catherine Keating's second child, John Keating, that gives Bellevue, Huron, Ohio as the location.  I knew I had the baptism (since 2009, no less) but I had no recollection that it's in a county where I have never looked for the family.  That's embarrassing!

  • For research problems, review what I already have and then review it again.  I know I've written that before but here I've gone and proven it again!
  • DNA results may not immediately solve a major research problem, but they can certainly reenergize a search.
  • Having spent a day with this folder spread all over the breakfast table, what I really need is a whole wall like the ones in Homeland or Criminal Minds or Blacklist where the whole entire wall is covered with documents, images, maps, dates, with boldly colored yarn connecting some points.  It would stay up all the time, never having to be put away until the problem is solved.  Yeah, I know I could sorta do that with mind mapping software, but it's just not the same. 
Photos by MHD.  All rights reserved.