How a 30 year search across the Irish Sea taught me about a man I could never hope to meet
How common was/is the surname Kirby in Ireland Dean ?
My 3rd gt grandfather Michael Kirby and his daughter were living on Irk street in the 1861 census, his daughter Margaret Welch,Welsh,Walsh. ( depending on which document your looking at ) was my 2nd gt grandmother and she was still living on the same street in the 1871 census . In 1881 she was living in Elizabeth street which I presume was nearby ?
Family history anchors us to a past we sometimes never knew we had. I can never understand how some people are completely disinterested in their ancestors. I've spent the last 50 years Dipping in and out of my history. Some roots are in Cheshire and Staffordshire and then through my Dad's side to East Lancashire/West Yorkshire and later Gorton where Dad was part of lots of Goddards that were in the area. Previously a female line from County Mayo like you(male in your case though) but further back and hellishly difficult to unearth. Time is not on my side now and my daughter ,although interested, is too embedded in her work to take more than a passing interest.
I'm still very interested in the social history side of my family and its stories and , as I was brought up in Manchester, always lapping up Manchester history.
I think it's amazing what you have found out Dean and how it led you to become an author and onto a PHD . I hope it's going to be a lifelong passion for you as it has been for me.