The Late Mrs. John Lawrence

Gone the way of all flesh When it comes to family history, obituaries can provide a fascinating look into the lives of our ancestors.  They can provide a perspective that is rarely matched by other types of documents and records. This is certainly true in the case of my 3x Great Grandmother, Martha Lawrence (nee Farrar). I think part [...]

David Dunbar: Son of Ulster

A life cut short As I approach my fortieth birthday, I have found myself thinking about my Great Grandfather, David Dunbar.  He was thirty-nine years old when he died suddenly of a heart attack, leaving behind a wife and five young children.  The date was October 6, 1929, less than two weeks before David and his [...]

The Dunbars of Gortnacor

Ulster Scots When it comes to being elusive, the Dunbars have been some of the most challenging ancestors to trace in my family tree.  With a surname like Dunbar, surely they must have come to Ulster from Scotland...but when?  I have never been able to conclusively make the connection.  When my wife and I visited Ireland in [...]

Kiss me, I’m Irish! Five free websites to track your elusive Irish ancestors

With St. Patrick's day now drawing to a close, this seems like a perfect time to pause and share a list of free online resources that can be used to trace those oh-so-elusive Irish ancestors.  While many service providers require a subscription in order to search their online record collections, the good news is that you don't actually have [...]