Ireland: lost relatives

A comment that was just posted on a 2005 post about Irish industrial schools. The commenter is looking for infomation, so I want her comment to get more eyes.

Catherine Mitrenas writes:

My Mother was incarcerated in this establishment from two years old until sixteen years old. Her brother went to a separate orphanage and they did not see each other again until they were sixteen years old. He was only one when they separated. Their Father was a sailor and their Mother died when they were infants. From what I have read recently I now wonder if my Mother’s mother did die as they do not know where her grave is, how she died or even a photograph. I would like anyone that knew my Mum or her family to get in touch with any information that would help me find some of her long lost family. I did not realise that this orphanage was so cruel. I now understand why my Mother has been the way she has. It has brought tears to my eyes for not understanding her pain. The Farrell family: Thomas Farrell. Two children Mary Bridgett and Thomas. Do not know the exact dates but must have been around 1936 onwards approx. This would be greatly appreciated.


  1. F [nucular nyandrothol] says

    Best wishes, Catherine.

    I’m in the US, and my known Irish ancestry stops at the Atlantic. It was the least discoverable bit of genealogy of all the nationalities represented in my family, even though there have been several dedicated genealogists every generation, even though the Irish lineage was patrilineal to most of them. (And many people tend to be more motivated to trace the male surname line in our cultures.)

    Other people have much better luck. Also, we recently found a whole new branch of the family, from children who were given up for adoption when their mother died, so tracing descendants has actually been better to us.

    It can get very complicated, and take a long time, and require lucky accidents. I hope you find your records and your people.

  2. Cathy W says

    Catherine – if you get this – there are a lot of Irish civil registry records from this time period available on – I would be happy to search there for you but there isn’t enough information in what you’ve provided to narrow it down. If you know where they lived before they were taken to the institution, or their mother’s maiden name (or even her first name) it might be possible to find some information. I can’t promise results – but I’m happy to at least help you look.

  3. says

    Your local Mormon church will likely have a Family History Center where you can get help with genealogical research. They don’t do the work for you(the attendants can give some basic guidance), but they do offer resources for you to do it yourself. This service is free(they might charge for printing and copying, not sure about that) and open to the general public- no church membership or association with church members is required. The records they have and can access are not limited to church members, you can research basically anything to do with genealogy there.

    Not sure how useful their resources would be for this specific situation, but it might be worth a look if they aren’t far from you.

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