Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ideas too early


I was glad that I kept the first genealogy printouts, and emails from 15 years ago.  I was just beginning to explore my ancestry, and information was appearing on early family tree websites.  I sent out an email with what I had found on Fearon births, deaths and marriages in England and Ireland.  In addition, we had taken a trip to Ireland, and I found additional information in the country's record archives in Dublin.

Digging out the paperwork today, I discovered that fifteen years ago a long forgotten email colleague and possible relative was pursuing the same ancestral question at the center of my recent research in Great Britain.  What caused the Fearon's in the world to originate in both Armagh County, Ireland, and Cumbria, England at about the same time?

Ross Fearon, now deceased, never found an answer which satisfied his curiosity.  His emails indicate that he had not found a common ancestor, and had a variety of evidence of separate origins.  But he wondered if their proximity (across the Irish Sea) had meant there was some social and familial crossover during the 17th - 19th centuries.

Seeing the same ancestral residential patterns over 200 years, I decided I needed to know more about the historical events in the two areas during the period.  I needed to know what caused movement between them, and if that might help me understand the relationships.  I've dug out the books that I've collected on Irish history (and promised myself I would read), and now I'll keep the promise.

I also needed to see if I could re-connect with any of my earlier correspondents to learn what they might have found.  I constructed a Google Map with placemarks for each of those Fearons who responded to my emails in 1997.  The Map allows me to re-invite them into a Fearon Family Community, and encourages them to add comments and links to information to the map for others to read and respond to.

I don't think you ever outgrow your wonder about your ancestors.  We'll find out who wants to strt up a new set of research using the latest internet tools.

Gregory Fearon

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