Margaret agnew's birthplace

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PowerPoint presentation given by Elayne Lockhart to Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society for their "Great Moments in Genealogy" evening, 2009.

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Margaret agnew's birthplace

  1. 1. How Australian records broke through a long-standing brickwall Goal: finding Margaret Agnew’s birthplace in Ireland
  2. 2. Margaret Agnew – age 39, 1868
  3. 3. Margaret Agnew age 54, 1883
  4. 4. What I already knew about Margaret Agnew – my great grandmother • Parents: Esther Fleming - died 5 March, 1875, Belfast John Agnew - died 20 January, 1843, Belfast • Siblings: David – born 24 May, 1831, Belfast • Jane Anne, born April, 1833, Belfast • Robert – born 1 March, 1835, Belfast • David G., born 16 October, 1836, Belfast • Marriage: 28 May, 1858, Belfast (to Alexander Lockhart) • Died: 18 October, 1887, Belfast, age 60
  5. 5. But where was Margaret born? • All Belfast Church of Ireland records searched by professional for birth approximately 1827 • All Belfast Church of Ireland records searched in person • No birth/baptism record ever located • Conclusion: The family must have moved into Belfast from somewhere else. But from where, and how to determine this locale?
  6. 6. Years pass And more years pass , until……
  7. 7. June, 2008 – while researching at Salt Lake City (the vibes must have been good) • An email from Oregon, U.S.A. “Hi. My name is Sally Agnew. I just sent a reply to your Gen Forum posting regarding John Agnew. I am married to Robert Agnew who is descended from John Agnew, (b. 1791, died 20th January, 1843; Belfast, married to Esther, b. 1796, died 5th March, 1875, Belfast, at the house of her daughter Margaret who married A. Lockhart on 18th May, 1858), via one of his sons, (I have a count of 5 sons), Gilmore Agnew, b. 1822, d. 1884 at age 62. We have a family Bible (Edinburgh, 1836) with information that I know you'll be interested in. I will wait to hear back from you”.
  8. 8. Notice all the matching data? • Dates and places all matched mine. • The date of my original message on Gen Forum? January, 2001 • Any idea how many nanoseconds it took to push the reply key? • What did I receive once I contacted Sally?
  9. 9. Notice that the middle section is written in Shorthand – more mysteries
  10. 10. What new data did I obtain? • More siblings of Margaret Agnew – • William, born 1819, died 1st May, 1865, London, England • Gilmore, born 1822, died April 7, 1884, San Francisco, California • Torrens, born 1825, died 20 Nov. 1869, San Jose, California • John, born 1828, died July 16, 1868, New York • But – still no reference to Margaret’s birth
  11. 11. Next step – (amongst others) - the U.S. census records • Torrens Agnew – had died in 1869 in San Jose, California • but the 1870 census for San Jose, California showed that his wife and two children were born in Australia • Assumption – Torrens went to Australia before going to the U.S., and married there
  12. 12. How to determine a locale in Australia? • Knowing that Australian records are very complete, sent excited email to our local expert on “Down Under” – Marian Press • Within minutes received response that World Vital records shows him in land records in Ballarat, State of Victoria • Learn that State of Victoria has placed their Civil Registrations on- line • Victoria - http://online.justice.vic.gov.au/servlet/bdm_home • Located and downloaded Agnew marriage, plus 5 births and 2 deaths • Cost: AUD$17.50 per download – cheaper than flight to Australia
  13. 13. Marriage of Torrens Agnew • 22 August, 1857, Ballarat, Colony of Victoria • Eliza Bower, 16 • Torrens Agnew, 32, bachelor, Commercial Traveller • Father: John Agnew, grocer • Mother: Esther Fleming • Born: Queen’s County, Ireland • Queen’s County? – after 1922 name changed to County Laois
  14. 14. Birth of Gilmore Agnew • Born 4 August, 1858 • Ballarat, Colony of Victoria • Mother: Eliza Bower, 16 • Father: Torrens Agnew,33 • Born: Maryborough, Queen’s County • Ireland • Maryborough – now known as Portlaoise
  15. 15. Next step: • Locate records of Church of Ireland for Maryborough • Learn that records for St. Peter’s Church, Maryborough, are available from 1793 • They are held in the Representative Church Body Library in Dublin
  16. 16. Search results • 1825 – John and Torrens Agnew, twin sons of John and Esther Agnew, were born April 22, 1825 and baptized the same time • 1827 – Margaret Agnew, daughter of John and Esther Agnew, was born 20 February, 1827 and baptized 25 February, 1827 • 1829 – John Agnew, son of John and Esther Agnew, was born 6th October 1828 and baptized 9 October, 1928
  17. 17. Baptismal font in St. Peter’s Church of Ireland, Portlaoise, Laois County
  18. 18. Conclusion and Next Steps • Searched surrounding parish records – no sign of first two sons, nor of marriage of John and Esther, nor of any other Agnew’s or Fleming’s • It seems the family was only in Maryborough for a few years • So – I now need to go back to earlier Belfast records for births/baptisms of two eldest sons – William and Gilmore, and marriage of parents • OR – Wait for another email !!!!!

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