Search for content in message boards Date Accuracy?? Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1316878127000
Classification: Query
This website has been extremely helpful, but I question the integrity of the dates displayed. Most identify the source of the dates as either "assumed" or "based on other information". Here's what I'm finding:

In my U.S. research I discovered that my great-grandmother's(Catherine) maiden name was Cavanaugh (Kevane) and that they came from Kerry. I found out that Catherine and John McDonnell had 5 kids Michael, Patrick, Catherine, Margaret and Ellen. I found only one marriage record for John McDonnell and Catherine Kevane for 1850 (Ballyferriter), but found the baptism records for Catherine, Margaret and Patrick in the same Parish with parents John and Catherine Kevane, but their birth dates were 1838, 1843 and 1846. Those dates are all off by 6-8 years compared to the US records. I then found baptism records for Michael and Ellen in a different parish (dingle) with the same 1854 date, which is close to what I have for Michael in US, but 4 years off for Ellen.

Before I dismiss these records, I wanted to see if anyone else has encountered issues with the dates on this site. If these are the only ones listed on the site with the appropriate names and its not them, can I assume they were not registered with a church?

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317254138000
Classification: Query
Yes, you will find dates in the US that will differ than the ones on and this is due to several reasons. The primary reason that today we are at the mercy of those who took and recorded the information as well as those who gave the information. My Great Grandfather's oldest two brothers were about three to four years younger than what you find on the website. Do not dismiss the dates on the irishgenealogy site because they are the church records and even though the accuracy can be indoubt here also the information is closer to the actual fact than some of the records in the US. After I found my information on the website I emailed the church secretary in Ballyferriter and I received the church record with the dates recorded. I know it's not the perfect answer but I hope it helps.

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317256387000
Classification: Query
Thanks for the reply, the dates always seem to be a challenge, even in the U.S. each source has a different birth year. Did the Parish e-mail you the documents or end up mailing hardcopies to you? I've heard so many stories of people not having luck writing to the parishes, I'm just curious if there was any secret to your success?

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317261824000
Classification: Query
Surnames: McDonnell, Kavanagh, Kevane
I have some information on a McDonnell and Kevane marriage, but it may not fit with your Holyoke connections, but I hope it does. The name Kevane/Kavanagh are interchangable in West Kerry, with the name Kevane being the older name and Kavanagh somewhat posh in the early 1900s, or so I have been told. Both names have co-existed for quite some time, with quite a lot of families keeping or reverting to the older name, when they came to translating it. The name is Caomhanach in the Irish language and pronouncation is similar to Kevane.
Re Irish Genealogy records - the originals are extremely difficult to decipher which is why a lot of the information is approx, it relates to the rest of the information on the page. Year would generally be correct, the month may not be and day, near enough to being right. Can you reply privately to and I will see do a check. Tks Eibhlin

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317285359000
Classification: Query
There were other reasons for incorrect dates.

Sometimes, they just didn't know. Also, especially after 1864 with civil registrations, there was a fee to file and a penalty for filing late.

My experience has been that +/- 2 years is not unusual. I have requested multiple certified birth records and found that to be the case...

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317295829000
Classification: Query
I had an aunt born in 1906. She would say she was baptized before she was born because it was more important and cheaper to be baptized than being registered with the government.

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317300787000
Classification: Query
Right, I also had some strange situations where the same relative was baptised in two different parishes. In this case, Glenflesk and Rathmore in Co Kerry. That also caused some discrepancies.

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317308322000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Malone, Connor, Sears, Kennedy, Sugrue
The Ballyferriter Parish Secretary's is Eibhlín Ní Laoithe and you can email at:

What I did to make it easier for the search was to save the record found on and attached the record I was requesting to the email. Eibhlin kindly did the search, put it on the parish form which was signed by her, and emailed the record back to me.

The primary names in my family are Malone, Sears, and Connor among others. These three families resided in the Rahinnane, Ballybeg, and Ventry area and the names Kevane and McDonnell have touched those three names mentioned. The mother of my 2nd Great Grandmother was a McDonnell. Another McDonnell was connected to the wife of my Great Grandfather's oldest brother. In this case it was a William Malone marrying a Catherine Boland but Catherine's mother was a McDonnell. I noticed in one of the messages someone referred to Holyoke connections. Would the Holyoke connections belong to you. My family came to Chicopee.

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317320350000
Classification: Query
Thanks....yes, we have the Holyoke Connections as follows:

Descendants of John McDonnell and Kate Kevane that migrated to Holyoke:
Catherine McDonnell
Margaret McDonnell
Michael McDonnell
Patrick McDonnell (My Great Grandfather)
Ellen (Nellie) McDonnell

Re: Date Accuracy??

Posted: 1317472423000
Classification: Query
Hi Gerald,
I've had great success on and was interested in your post and the various replies. DISCLAIMER: My views of the site and my degree of success in finding reliable data may not reflect the views or success of anyone else. (Whew. Now that is over...)

I'm not familiar with the family names you identified, by my general obsersations may be of use.
- Records, particularly RC records are of baptisms, not births. The baptism was postponed for any reason, the dates could easily be "off". In the parishes I'd researched, the priest often went to the home and perfomred the baptism there within a few days of the birth.
- The quality of the original document may be poor, resulting in errors in the transcription.
- Images of the original page are a available for SOME parishes and records. I'd not found them for my "parish of interest" in Kerry (Listowell). Perhaps they will be added at some point.
- Whenever they ARE available, always download a copy of the original document. There may be additional information not in the transcript or parish form, such as the names of the marriage witnesses and the fact that they were parents to the bride and groom. Contrary to an earlier reply, I've found these generallly readable.
- Echoing the comment on common name variations, there can also be name differences due to the recording of information. Surname spelling until the past 150 years or so was somewhat arbitrary (in the U.S.).
- Also recognise the commonality of names and be cautious in accepting a find as individual you are seeking. Names we feel are unusual may have been very common for that period, and you may find several records of distinct individuals with the same names.

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