I am contacting you in Boyletoday.com in the hope you can assist me in some way with regard my endeavour to trace some of my Irish family/connections.
My paternal grandfather was, as far as his military record shows, born in Boyle in 1877 – exact date is unclear – address: Green Street, Boyle, Co. Roscommon. There was no “Green Street” listed in Boyle in 1901 or 1911. However, there is “The Green”, also listed as “Church Street” listed in the 1911 Census. Which adds to more confusion as his enlistment details states address as “Green Street”.
He enlisted in the Connaught Rangers on 27.02.1895 and was discharged on 28.03.1919 – approx. 24 years service. During this 24-year period, he was posted to India (x2), South Africa (x2), Malta and France (duration of the First World War). How he survived all this, we will never know. Due to his extensive overseas tours of duty, it appears that he never returned to Ireland. Or if he did, he was never in Ireland at the time of any of the Census dates. His military record confirms this.
Although I have traced some possible family connections (possible father, mother and siblings, etc), I am unable to confirm these connections due to the fact he (my grandfather) would not have shown up on any of the censuses from 1895 – 1919, during his time with the Connaught Rangers. Another problem, his military record shows he enlisted as Thomas McGuinness (27.02.1895) and was discharged on the termination of engagement 03.05.1907. He then re-enlisted as Patrick Ward 11.11.1907 – 28.03.1919.
On his discharge from the Connaught Rangers he settled in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire and married my grandmother in 1920. This marriage produced (between 1920 – 1931) seven sons (second youngest was my father). Unfortunately, my grandfather died in 1933 – long before I appeared. Sadly, my father and five of his brothers are also no longer with us. My one surviving uncle was only two years of age when my grandfather died – he does not remember much about his father.
In my endeavour to fill in some of the gaps with regard my grandfather’s history and his connections with Boyle, I have now contacted the Connaught Rangers Association and await their reply.
I am hoping to find out more about my grandfather, his family and their lives in general. Since the start of my research, I have developed an increasing interest about Ireland, especially the period during my grandfather’s generation, and his father before – tough times, to say the least.
I have travelled to Ireland several times – enjoyed every trip. However, I never attempted to use these trips for any serious family research. Any information, I had at the time, was very vague and would have made, due to time limits, it very difficult to be meaningful.
Nevertheless, I am hoping to make a trip to Ireland sometime this year – to include a stay in the Boyle area. In the meantime, if I can gain some more detailed information with regard possible family, local knowledge and Connaught Rangers connections it would make a trip of a lifetime for me.
If you have read this far, I really do appreciate your patience and hope my email may have generated some interest; possibly leading to something.
So, thank you for your time, much appreciated.
I look forward to hearing from you or your viewers
Again, many thanks.