Monday, January 28, 2008
I've been lucky enough to know the exact location where my SAYERS family originated in Ireland before they emigrated to Canada in the 1830s. Letterkenny is the largest town in County Donegal, in the province of Ulster, Ireland, and apparently was the home of many Ulster Scots. I've mentioned before that I really haven't done much Irish research on my family, mainly because they lived in Ireland during a period of time for which it is difficult to access records, if they still exist. Many of the records that were kept when the SAYERS lived in Letterkenny were later destroyed, or are only accessed onsite.
I enjoyed reading through Wikipedia's descriptions of the place names I mentioned above. I also did a Google image search for Letterkenny, Donegal and Ulster, and by clicking on these links, you should be able to see some beautiful images as well.
When the SAYERS family came to Canada in the mid-1830s (the family immigrated in several stages over the course of about five years), they settled in Prince Edward County (not to be confused with Prince Edward Island), Ontario, particularly Picton and Athol Township. Some of the siblings and cousins moved into Hungerford Township in Hastings County, while my direct line traveled further to Cavan Township in Durham County and Port Hope in Northumberland County. I'm still studying the rather complicated histories of the locations and residences in which this family lived, backtracking bit by bit over time. As more and more information is available online (I haven't been able to find many resources for these areas at my local library), I've been able to educate myself further. There's much more to learn, and I've been keeping myself occupied with researching these lines after they came to Michigan.
I'd love to have the opportunities to visit all these locations and see the places where my Irish immigrant ancestors lived, worked, and worshiped. Until then, I'll be satisfied in being an armchair traveler using the amazing technology of the Internet!