Category: <span>Ireland</span>

I was finally able to get to Belfast, post-pandemic, to visit the Linen Hall Library for some research on my husband’s ancestor, the mysterious Mr. Robert Gracey. I knew from marriage records that his daughter, Lilian Ann Gracey (my husband’s 2nd great grandmother) had married Hugh Macauley in Belfast in…

Period newspapers can provide some very interesting reading as historical backgrounds for family research. My husband’s great-great-grandmother, Lillian Gracey Macauley (abt. 1836-1920) was a comfortably situated, upper middle class, Irish Catholic housewife living in Belfast in the 19th century. I found an article from the Belfast Morning News from November…

In my last blog post, I wrote about a connection between my husband’s 2nd great grandmother Lillian Ann Gracey (c.1836-1920) and the Irish scholar and politician Eoin MacNeill. Now I’ll turn to another mystery, regarding Lillian’s father Robert Gracey. Lillian married twice: first to Arthur Boyle in 1855, then to…

Eoin MacNeill was an influential Irish scholar and a key figure in the emergence of an independent Republic of Ireland in the early twentieth century. He was a co-founder of the Gaelic League, which sought to re-introduce the study of Gaelic language, history, and culture in Ireland. He led the…

The 2019 season of the BBC series Who Do You Think You Are features an episode on the ancestors of TV personality Sharon Osbourne. Her Victorian Irish ancestors fled the potato famine, sailing to Massachusetts in hopes of securing jobs in a textile mill that would provide happy, prosperous lives…

  My husband’s great grandfather Maurice John Macauley was an Irish physician who lived much of his life in England. Maurice’s older sister was Mary Elizabeth Macauley, born in 1868 in Belfast. Mary Elizabeth was married, for a very brief time, to another physician (both her husband and Maurice John…

I have been looking a lot lately at my husband’s ancestors from Northern Ireland, specifically the Macauleys from County Antrim and County Down. In the late 1800s, this Irish Catholic family owned a linen manufacturing business in Belfast, called Hugh Macauley & Sons. How they rose economically to become mill…