Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The power of message boards

Hello friends,
After my last post on the lack of reponse from the Schuylkill County churches, I did a query at the roots community board ( the one for Schuylkill county PA ).
Here's the query :

Hello everyone,
My father's family ( CARROLL ) lived in the New Castle & Shenandoah areas.
I have a date of birth( or christening)for my great-great-grandfather, which was listed in his marriage certificate in Philadelphia. But, without a town name.
That is why I have attempted to contact several parishes through the mail, in the hope of finding this parish.
But the churches don't answer back !

I invite you to discover my genealogy blog, to read about these research difficulties :

If ANYONE has experiences or tips to share on researching in Schuylkill County churches,
please write !
Thank you .

I had two kind people, Rita and cwhite, who offered some suggestions.
Thank you both, if you happen to be reading !
It was commented that I could ask for
1) A paid search by the Schuylkill Co Historical Society
2) Also a paid search through the State of PA Dep't of health. This would be to find death dates.

Then Rita has been doing some fine work, just by careful obsevation.
She reminded me that my great-great grandfather, Andrew Carroll was marked as being a naturalised US citizen.That came from the 1870 Ceneus, that I had a collegue look up for me.
Then, she reported something that could make a difference in this research

I went back to the 1880 Census for the Carroll family tonight. My eye moved down to the next resident at the Cherry St. address and it was H. F. O'Reilly, Pastor of The Annunciation Church. The church is located on Cherry St. in Shenandoah. There is also Annunciation Cemetery. Might be worth looking into.

I wrote to the Hisorical Society of Schuylkill county today.
On their website, I only see a e-mail of a Barb Lavin. I think that she is the contact.
Here's something else to keep busy with !
I hope that I will have a response .

I'll keep the progress posted on this blog.

Happy hunting to all.


Mark Major, Pottsville said...

Check with the Historical Society of Schuylkill County. Their official website is

The Roman Catholic Churches of Schuylkill County, for the most part, are not apt to reply to genealogical requests. The best way to track down records of your ancestors in the church records is to hire a genealogist on the ground. And that genealogist better have an inside track on the Church you want, or you will probably not have much success.

If your ancestors are Irish and lived in New Castle and Shenandoah, then the respective churches would be Saint Mary's RC Church in Saint Clair (I have actually seen their church records in good condition) and Annunciation BVM in Shenandoah. Good luck there. I have rarely heard of anyone having "genealogical" success at that church.

barbara said...

Hi Mark,
I have written to Barb Lavin of the Schuylkill Historical society.
I'am still waiting on an answer.
I think that I'am going to have to find a local genealigist because all my personal efforts have been unsucessful ( se my last posts !).

I cannot research in person
because I live in France.
Would you happen to know a genealogist ??

Thank you for your concern.

seev said...

Hi Barbara, I can't help you much with your specific problem but I used to belong to the New England Historic Genealogical Society located in Boston and website

Maybe you could find a genealogist through them, although maybe you've already gone this route. I last visited them in (gulp!) the late 1950s! "Websites" wasn't even a word then. But it looks like their website is quite a good one.

Best of luck to you.


barbara said...

Hi Mardé,
Thank you for coming over. I was not in any way asking for help.
Just presenting one of my hobbies.

I think that my best bet is to hire a pro for Shuylkill Co area.
I was getting NO WHERE with my individual mail queries.
Interesting to see that you also have done genealogy.I don't know if the New England Society does requests outside of New England ??

I will be putting in any progress on this blog. It is slow going from here.
Thanks for your best wishes !
See you soon ,