Dedicated readers of my blog — if you aren’t you should be! — know that my great great grandfather is Michael McCormack. I know so little about my great great grandfather’s marriage. Some of what I do know is encapsulated in the file below;I previously wrote about Michael’s marriage in my post, An out of order marriage record!. There is a term in genealogy called either FAN or FANS. It can stand for Friends and Neighbors or Friends, Associates and Neighbors. It is also known as cluster genealogy. Basically what it is is that you research the people around your subject in order to help you gain a better understanding of your subject. In this case, I am attempting to research one of the witnesses/informants, Michael Doyle. I guess the first thing that I would like to find out is what was the relationship between my great great grandfather and Michael Doyle? I hope that he wasn’t someone that my great great grandfather met in the local pub and persuaded to be a witness for his marriage! Was Michael Doyle a friend of the McCormack family? What was Michael’s age? His standing in the community?
Some preliminary research that I did involved the Griffith’s Valuation. I went to Findmypast.ie and used their search engine. I found a couple of pages.
This is the first page;Here is my second page;
Finally, my third page;
I also found this file from the Irish Petty Sessions Court Registers 1828-1912 and it is very interesting;
Michael Doyle is the last name on the page. First of all, I don’t know if I have the right person or not especially on the Petty Sessions file. Of all the pages I have shown you, it is the first Griffith’s Valuation page that I find most interesting. That is because at the time of my great grandfather William E. McCormack’s baptism, Michael and Catherine lived on Jacob Street and one of the sponsors/informants is Michael Doyle! Another interesting thing from the baptism record  is the identity of the second sponsor/informant, Catherine Doyle.
For right now, my search will have to stop about here. To search in Ireland much further costs more than I can afford right now. I have some interesting leads to pick up on at a later date. I haven’t come to a firm conclusion on any of the information that I have presented today. The Griffith’s Valuation page from the city of Kilkenny, as I said earlier, is the most promising.
I would like to thank Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy for helping me out with the definition of FANS and cluster genealogy!
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!
1. 1853 Civil marriage record of Michael McCormack to Mrs. Catherine Steel (nee Paine), Kilkenny 1853, vol. 6, p. 317.
2. “Baptismal/Birth Records for Ireland,” William E. McCormack, digital image, https://rootsireland.ie/
3. Richard Griffith, General Valuation of Rateable Property in Ireland … Union of Kilkenny … County of Kilkenny (Dublin: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1849), pg.62, for Michael Doyle, occupier, Jacobs Street, Gardens (Townland), St. Patrick (Parish); “Griffith’s Valuation,” digital images, Ask About Ireland (http://www.askaboutireland.com : 2 Oct 2013.