Genealogy is not my passion; it is Dan’s hobby. I do get roped into his hobby when some formatting, scanning, and emailing of documents is needed. I have been busy with those efforts since June. After many years of sharing his family history articles with close relatives, they have reached a broader audience.
In June, a long lost cousin, Chuck Boyle, sent an email through Ancestry.com hoping to make a connection. Chuck is a first cousin, one generation removed. His father was Dan’s first cousin. The email conversation started with Dan sharing family information including papers that Dan had written years before. Chuck was so impressed with what Dan had done; he said the information needed to be available for the ages.
Chuck set up a web page with all the documents that Dan shared with him including email conversations. The exchange included stories, photos, and historical documents. The story I like the best is Breakthrough to Ireland where Dan describes the fifteen-year effort to discover the location of the Boyles in Ireland. This involved trips to Ireland to do research including our honeymoon in 1982. As you will see the breakthrough came in 1995.
Dan has an amazing recall of anecdotes about long dead family members. He is now the source of many family stories for the younger generation. His research goes back to a Boyle born in 1766 on his father’s side and a Brown born in 1707 on his mother’s side. Many Irish records are no longer available as census records were destroyed and no one paid much attention to native born Irish peasants. He has a three drawer filing cabinet of copies of land records, mortgages, birth certificates, death certificates, and maps. Thanks to the hours of effort by Chuck Boyle, many of these items are now online.
Online resources have made it so much easier for the genealogists of today. They never had to do the field work or order microfiche from the Mormon Family History Center libraries as Dan did years ago. Now Ancestry offers “hints” on your tree of people that may be connected. Many times they are correct. I know some history about my Wall and MacKay family but do not have the interest to dig deep like Dan has done. We both value our history and heritage. We are both products of Irish and Scottish people of the land, not landowners, but peasants and crofters.