One year Bruce and I traveled to Ireland for genealogy research. We spent a day in Dublin, then headed west to County Galway. My second-great grandmother, Sarah Mullin, was from Tuam. Once in America, she married Thomas Francis Farrell, a tailor, son of Michael Farrell. His naturalization papers say he is from County Galway, but the town is not identified. We were looking for Farrells in County Galway, so started our search with the known, Tuam.
As we drove into Tuam we diverted from the main road and looked for a spot to park the car. As we were driving down a little side street I noticed a Dry Cleaners and Tailor shop, “Farrell’s.” Farrells in tiny Tuam. What are the odds?
We had to drive a couple of blocks further [or is it farther?] to park, found an spot, and headed back to Farrell’s. As we walked down one street, we came upon The Old Mill Museum. I had read in my AAA tour book that a recommended spot to tour in Tuam is The Old Mill Museum, so we went up to the door to check out the times it’s open, and it was all boarded up, locked up so tight there would be no getting in.
The city offices happened to be next door to the museum, so we went in and asked if we could go in the museum. The clerk responded that it’s not open to the public anymore, that all the dry rot and decay is a liability to the city if someone got hurt by falling through the floor. Disappointed, he got back on track and headed to the dry cleaners.
As we entered the dry cleaners we met with the proprietors, Kevin Farrell and his wife. We asked about the family name. He didn’t know much, only that in County Galway “where ever there’s a mill, there’s a Farrell.” He mentioned there’s a Farrell family tree on the wall of the Old Mill Museum!
We complained we tried to get in, but it was all locked up and the clerk wouldn’t let us in. He said he’d see what he could do, made a phone call, and said he got permission to take us in personally!
He also remembered that one of the townsfolk had written a history of the Farrells in Tuam! He made another phone call, then told us he had secured a copy of the Farrell history for us!
We walked over past the Old Mill Museum to the city offices, past the receptionist, through a back hallway that connected the museum with the city office, and into the museum. We tiptoed around holes in the floors, took the stairs two at a time when one was missing, all the while Kevin Farrell pointed out things in the museum.
When we got to the top of the stairs, he stopped and pointed up. There above the landing was a hand CARVED, wooden, Farrell family tree! It was beautiful! We took photos and I hand copied the information. There is a Michael Farrell on the tree, but I have not as yet linked him to my family.
As we walked away from the shop I thumbed through the pages of the pamphlet. It’s all about the Farrells and their mills in the area. The Michael Farrell in the book had seven sons, not all of them named. I have not connected my Thomas Farrell to these Farrells, but I’m still open to a clue that might do that.
I could write today about the benefits of researching on site but that would detract from my goal of showing you how to give family tree gifts.
I’m sure you probably don’t have time between now and Christmas to carve a wooden family tree. Some of you may not have the skill either. I surely don’t.
Creating a hand drawn tree is a nice touch as well. Most of you don’t have time to do that either.
You could have a paper tree printed professionally and frame it as a piece of art for the wall! There’s nothing like a family tree on the family wall to help family members gain a greater appreciation of their family, and remember who they are and who they come from.
Kim and Janet Hovorka’s Family Chartmasters (formerly the Generation Maps) has just the solution for you!
Family Chartmasters has so many charts, surely you can find one that you like: Generation Maps, Ancestor charts, Descendancy charts, Decorative charts, Color-coded Filing System charts, Circle charts, Fan charts, Pedigree charts, Custom charts, Working charts, and Fill in the Blank charts.
Check out their Family Chartmasters website.
Check out the sample designs on the Family ChArtist page. They are beautiful! Use the Family ChArtist Tool “with hundreds of graphics and billions of combinations” to design your own unique chart.
Still stuck? Send in your info for a free consultation.
Family Chartmasters assures, “We can do anything you dream up.”
How about a sweet deal? For 50% off your chart, go to Family Chartmasters’ Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/familychartmasters and “like” them. Then, order any blank chart at Family ChartMasters with the code “11FC121950″ or give them that code when you order over the phone and they’ll cross reference the Facebook page.
If you are going to have a chart printed before Christmas, you’ll need to order it right away because they have print deadlines. (Check out their website for those dates).
Still not sure? You may order a gift certificate to present as a gift for someone to use later! Get your certificates here.