Spoiled by Technology

Today I have spent a bit of time on Find My Past looking for anything that could be slightly related to my Connell / O’Connell line. I was not satisfied with what I found, it’s not the search engine, it’s not company. It comes down to this, we are spoiled by technology! I know that not everything is on the internet for my research and I fully realize that I will eventually have to go to Ireland to do on the ground research. Believe, I cannot wait for the time to come. But, I really hate looking at records and not knowing if they belong to my family.

For example,  I searched for the names of all my 2nd great grandfathers siblings that were born in Ireland. I found a few records that could possibly be death records for them as children. Understandably so, they lived in Ireland through the Famine years. So, I would expect that not everyone survived. To be honest, I only have mention of two of the children in the United States. My 2nd great-grandfather, John O’Connell and his younger brother Daniel O’Connell. The only record I have of Daniels birth is the 1870 US Federal Census, nothing more.1 So I really wanted to see if I could find anything mentioning the balance of the siblings.

What I found is of no help to me. Here is what I know, Ellen Connell was born 30 Sep 1849 to Denis Connell and Ellen Feehane, the family was residing in Fairyhill, County Cork, Ireland when Ellen was born.2 According to the family information I have found to date, Ellen was the fifth child of this couple.

Here is what I found, a death index for Ellen Connell.

Ellen Connell Death Index
Ellen Connell Death Index
Source: Find My Past

As you read through the index, there is nothing that helps to identify who Ellen is. Nothing to tell us who her parents are. So, our next step would be to order the record from Ireland to see if we found the right person.

Here’s a few reasons why this makes me crazy:

  1. The index comes from a paid site, Find My Past.
  2. The information is obviously from FamilySearch, a free site.
  3. I have to pay to get the record (and I am already on a paid website, so I would have to pay twice to for this information).

Is that enough? Okay, I know it’s not a lot and I know that many of the genealogy websites are sharing indexes today. We see that with the addition of Find A Grave to Ancestry.com and Billion Graves on FamilySearch. But, usually there is a record to go with it. I am sorry, but if the idea of this ‘free’ weekend for Find My Past (FMP) is to get me to pay for their website, this is not getting me to do it. I understand that FMP has other records that show the full record, but again there is nothing to ascertain that the records I find belong to any of my ancestors. I have very common names in my Irish line, I need something to help them standout.

I know that I am being petty about these things, but I am completely spoiled by todays technology and I want instant gratification on some things. Especially when it comes to my Connell / O’Connell line, this line breaks open a bit every few years or so and then stands still. I need a sledgehammer to come and blast this wall to smithereens!

Guess I need to get planning that trip to Ireland!


  1. 1870 US Federal Census 

  2. Ellen Connell Batismal index 



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  1. Terri, we certainly understand where you are coming from. We too know that many of the genealogy sites out there are paid or if you sign up for a free version or free weekend, eventually you’re going to have to pay for additional information. We are definitely spoiled with technology with the amount of family data available online, but you’re right, this fact finding needs to be supplemented with some hard facts and trips to locations of ancestor origin. The Internet and all these sources of data are great (including ours), but getting hard copies of documents and proving the lineage is essential to completing the research. Best of luck on your future trip to Ireland!

    1. Thanks, Mark. I am glad to hear that I am not the only one that feels this way. I am looking forward to the day I can research in Ireland, it truly will be a dream come true.

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