More often than not, the sponsors or godparents that appear in Catholic baptismal registers are relatives of the parents of the baptised child. Knowing that the sponsor is a relation can add to our knowledge of the family tree - giving us useful potential additions.
Sometimes, however, the sponsors are not related; but perhaps are close neighbours and friends. We can then use these sponsors’ names in trying to determine the location that the family lived in.
We recently undertook a search for a family in county Wexford. When searching for them in Griffith’s Valuation, we noted that there were eight different entries in a variety of civil parishes.
We managed to find them in a parish register - narrowing down the search - but there were still more than two potential individuals who lived in the vicinity of the Catholic parish (but were in two different civil parishes).
We looked again at the baptismal entries and using the names of the sponsors we were able to pinpoint the exact townland.
In another search of late 18th century London baptisms, we found that at least one sponsor’s name was a business contemporary - adding another little piece of the jigsaw.
By Helen Moss.
By Caitlin Bain
I am looking for birth records for Cornelius Lanigan who was born about 1850. The problem is I do not know where in Ireland he was born, he emigrated the the US about 1864. I do not know where he left from or what city he came into once he got o the US. He died in Trenton, New Jersey on January 8th, 1898. Census records I have located in the US list his birthplace as Ireland, but not county or city. I realize this may be a long shot as it was such a long time ago.
I am looking for my Gr Gr Grandmother, Margaret Collins. According to her marriage records in Australia she would have been born abt 1855 and came rom Kilcommon, Tipperary in maybe 1874. I have found a brother who also migrated to Australia. He was born abt 1853. Their parents were Martin Collins and Margaret McCarthy.