I’ve heard it said that only about 10 to 20 percent of the genealogical information out there is available online. Yet, that is often the first or maybe the only place that people, myself included, look. I prefer to do my research late at night when there are no distractions. Unfortunately, libraries and other places where records are kept prefer to do business during the day.
Even though the possibilities are limited, I have made several interesting discoveries during my late-night searches. And there are always new records being made available online, for which I am grateful. Lately, I have been going over records that I already have, looking for new clues or something I may have missed before.
On one such night, I was looking at the records for my great-great grandfather, Dennis Bolger. Dennis came to Michigan from Ireland via Canada with his wife Anastasia (Ronan) and their 5 small children in 1867. The voyage from Dublin to Quebec took 32 days, I cannot imagine what that journey must have been like. I know the family settled in Belmont, Michigan, but I was curious to find out where exactly. Well, I was looking at a City Directory record from the late 1800’s and I realized that it had the section number of their farm in Plainfield Township. I had never noticed that before. Well, I immediately Googled “section 17 Plainfield Township, Belmont Michigan”. A site came up with historic maps of Michigan and I found a map for that area with the name D. Bolger on two plots of land. Scott Creek runs right through the middle of the land, so I could figure out where it was on the current map, that is assuming the creek has not changed. It happens to be just a couple of miles from my house.
Who knows what I could find if I actually did some research at a library.
Denise Haviland Fedko
Below are some Dennis and Anastasia’s children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews. The little girl with the big bow in the front row is my grandmother, Helen Bolger Doud.