Below are a few suggestions for the sort of topics and questions that you could address.
The two most important pieces of information about your Gleeson family are 1) what townland did they come from? and 2) did the family have a nickname? Knowing the townland will help identify neighbouring Gleeson families that could vey well be related to you. Knowing the family nickname will also tie you to other families with the same nickname, and these families are likely to be your close cousins and a little bit more digging might establish a firm paper trail connecting your two families.
Other useful information is the names and exact birth order of your earliest ancestor's children, particularly the first son. Irish naming convention meant that the children were named after specific family members so this could give you a very important clue to the previous generation. Sons were named as follows:
- First born son was named after the father's father
- 2nd born son after the mother's father
- 3rd born son after the father
- 4th born son after the father's eldest brother
- 5th born son after the mother's eldest brother
A corresponding naming system existed for daughters:
- First born daughter was named after the mother's mother
- 2nd born daughter after the father's mother
- 3rd born daughter after the mother
- 4th born daughter after the mother's eldest sister
- 5th born daughter after the father's eldest sister
So here are the questions. Have a go at answering them and see how far you get. If you're happy with what you've written, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org (along with a few photos if you have them) and we will draft a blog post and publish it for you here on this website. You can also look into developing it as a poster which you can bring along with you to the gathering.
1) What townland did your Gleeson family come from?
2) Did your family have a nickname (like Gleeson Cooper, or Gleeson Fira, etc)?
3) Who is your earliest known Gleeson ancestor? (give name, birth, death, & marriage details, particularly locations and dates)
4) Who were his children and what was their exact birth order?
5) Do you have a 3-4 generation family tree chart for your earliest known ancestor and his descendants? If so, include a jpeg or pdf version of it in your report.
6) What happened to your Gleeson family? did they emigrate? why (or why not)?
7) What did your Gleeson family do? Were there any notable characters in the family? Did any of them have a "brush with history"?
8) What mysteries exist within the family history and which ones are you hoping to solve at some stage?
And there are probably a host of other questions that you could address too. There is only one general rule that you need to observe ...
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