A cautionary tale

Right here’s a horror story from the entrance line.

The Irish Instances ran a story a couple of days ago concerning the unveiling on the Chicago Irish consulate of a portray of Mom Jones, the firebrand union activist who was known as “probably the most harmful girl in America”. She was co-founder of the Industrial Employees of the World, an indefatigable strike organiser, all-round nuisance to huge enterprise and (no shock) a Corkwoman.  Born c. 1837, she emigrated to Canada after which moved south to the US within the 1850s. After the lack of her husband and youngsters and the next destruction of her dressmaking enterprise within the Nice Fireplace of Chicago, she threw herself into union work and remade herself because the little Irish Mammy from Hell.

The little Irish Mammy from Hell

I’d by no means realised she was Irish, so began idly wanting her up. Wikipedia data her as baptised Margaret in Cork in 1837 to oldsters Richard Harris and Ellen Cotter. So straight onto the transcription websites to take a look. No Richard Harris/Ellen Cotter entries in rootsireland.ie. On IrishGenealogy, there’s one Richard Harris/Ellen Cotter entry for the baptism of a Richard in Iveleary in 1835, a marriage for the couple also in Iveleary in 1834, however nothing else.  No Margaret.

On to FindMyPast, on the acquainted foundation that their mistrancriptions will likely be completely different to the others.  A Mary to Richard Harris/Ellen Cotter in 1846 in St Mary’s, North Cathedral, however no Margaret. The household had clearly moved into Cork metropolis by then, however why did the sooner two searches miss this specific baptism? As a result of it’s within the fallacious diocese for Rootsireland, Cork & Ross not Cloyne, and IrishGenealogy skipped it as a result of they have been instructed there’s already a transcript achieved regionally. Which certainly there may be, however not on-line. So the one on-line transcript is the one from the NLI microfilms achieved by Ancestry and FindMyPast.

Thus far, so convolutedly typical. However why no Margaret? Again to FindMyPast to seek for baptisms confined to North Cathedral with a Richard and Ellen as dad and mom between 1835 and 1846. And there’s a “Mary Hayes” in 1837 with a Richard as father and Ellen Cotter as mom. If you take a look at the unique picture after all it’s the bould Mom Jones herself, Margaret Harris, mistranscribed.

Mom Jones (straightforward to mistranscribe)

Lest you suppose I’m simply beating up on FindMyPast for the enjoyable of it, precisely the other occurred the day after. I went searching for a Thomas Healy, son of Thomas and Mary Cavanagh born in Dublin within the 1850s on IrishGenealogy. No cube. Siblings aplenty, however no Thomas. Again to FindMyPast and there he’s in St Michan’s in 1856, clear as day.

Thomas, son of Thomas Healy and Mary Cavanagh

Why nothing on IrishGenealogy? After I regarded, the entry was transcribed twice and in reverse:

Thomas, son of Thomas Healy Healy and Cavanagh Mary


The data could also be convoluted however the ethical is straightforward. In the event you don’t discover one thing in a transcript, by no means take that because the final phrase.