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RE: [Bann Valley] All Quiet or is it me?
The OAP/Census records provided me with by far the most important piece of
information I have ever discovered in 14 years of genealogy!!! Without
them, I would never have solved the problem which started me into genealogy
in the first place and might have given up on what has become a genuine
passion for me, researching genealogy, anyone's genealogy!
My name has always been a nuisance. Only yesterday a man wrote to me by
email, addressing me as Dear Mr. Boyd Gray. I have been called Mr. Boyd, or
Lloyd Gray or even Gary Boyd! In 1999, I decided to find out the origin of
my name. My mother had told me that when I was born, my father's aunt, an
Alice McShane, had come into the hospital and asked her to put Boyd into my
name. If she ever explained why, my mother did not remember though we all
knew it was a common practice amongst Ulster Scots families to include the
maiden name of a female ancestor in a child's name. But who?
I began my research and 4 years later was still no closer to finding out.
Then, in 2003, a lady I collaborated with on the internet, was trawling
through an LDsS microfilm containing the OAP/Census records, which, as you
may know, are not really organized into any coherent fashion, when she came
across one that related to me. It was my great grandmother's brother, a
John Brewster, applying for his pension and he gave his father as Robert
Brewster of Dromore, Parish of Macosquin. We already knew this so we knew
it was the right family. By rights, he should have given his mother's
married name as that is what she would have been called on the 1851 Census,
which is what he wanted searched. But he did not. He gave his mother as
So, there it was. The origin of my silly name was actually my great great
grandmother, Mary Boyd, 1810-85. She was the grandmother of Alice McShane,
whose real name, I had already found out, was Mary Alice Boyd Gray. The
record also gave the year of her marriage and various other details which I
did not know
So, yes, the OAP/Census returns can be an extremely valuable source of
information, IF you are lucky enough to have someone who applied for the
pension, and IF you have the patience to trawl through perhaps 5 or 6
From: kyle irwin [mailto:kyleski@xxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: 24 October 2013 14:57
Subject: [Bann Valley] All Quiet or is it me?
I have not had any mail on the site for some time so I was wondering is it
me or has the site gone quiet?
Next I was wondering if any of the members had done a search on pension
records for early 1900's and if so did they find that it was worth the
effort? In other words do these records have information which can be useful
in finding names and birth years for applicants in Co Londonderry?
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