Day 1 - Jan 22
Arrived Shannon 8AM. Picked up rental car, which had surprise charges for second driver (€50) and petrol deposit (€70). Kate drove the first day, from Shannon to Killarney via the Ring of Kerry. We arrived in Killarney about 4PM or so, but the tourist office was long closed, so we ended up just choosing a random B+B, the "Castle Lodge", which was quite nice at what we would find to be the standard price of €35 per person. Nearly across the street was the hotel where we stayed while in Killarney on our AMA motorcycle tour. That hotel was closed for re-construction and the formerly very scary and sloped parking lot was now a hole in the ground.
Day 2 - Jan 23
Monday was overcast, temps around 5 to 7 C, and this was to be the pattern most of the week. Amazingly, we saw NO RAIN the entire week we were in Ireland.
We decided to drive down and retrace our steps (from the 2002 tour) on the Ring of Bearra and stop at the Urhan Inn and see the proprietor again, Jim O'Sullivan, because in 2002 he had told us that there were Dudleys living nearby.
We found the Urhan Inn again (something I was apprehensive about) and had a very nice chat with Mr. O'Sullivan and his wife. They have a book of collected genealogies for families living on the Beara Peninsula, and they hauled it out and let us study it for evidence of Dudleys. Kate has photos of the pages of interest.
We left the Urhan Inn and then continued 'round the Ring of Beara, (with a diversion to the Dursey Island Cable Car terminus) finally exiting it and settling in for the night in a B+B in the town of Glengarriff. Dinner was in the pub next door.
Day 3 - Jan 24
After our breakfast (Irish, full, one each) we headed East, toward Mitchelstown. We stopped for lunch and hit an internet cafe in Mallow, where we were able to check email.
Then, off to Mitchelstown. There, we parked in the large square in town centre, and walked about some. We found the local Tourist Information storefront, but it was closed for lunch. The town library didn't open on Tuesdays, so that was a wash. But across from the town library is "Thornhill Opticians", run, I assumed, by a descendent of Elizabeth, wife of William Dudley 0. We popped in and introduced ourselves, and ended up having a short chat with Thomas Thornhill, who, while personally ignorant of his history, did volunteer to give us the email address of an Australian chap who had been visiting a few years ago, on the trail of Thornhill ancestors since he was married to a Thornhill (in Australia).
We went back to the tourist info office, figuring that it might be open after lunch, and it was. The ladies there were quite helpful and gave us a brochure for the Mallow Heritage Center, which has ALL the birth, baptism, marriage, and death records for the parishs in North Cork. We would visit MHC on the morrow.
We next decided (in our ignorance) to visit the old Catholic cemetary, so we walked up the hill to the Catholic church and spent an hour or so stumbling about the cemetary reading (as best we could) old gravestones. No Dudleys or Thornhills, which figures, as they were C of I. Tiring of this eventually, we found a B+B right near the center of Mitchelstown, run by "Mary", and it, too, was very new looking. Pity she didn't have the heat turned on very much. Dinner was in the Clongibbon Pub.
Day 4 - Jan 25
There was frost on the windshield of our rented Opel this morning. We rode over to the old Brigown Parish (C of I) church on Brigown Road. This church was abandoned when the move to the "new" church was made in 1830, and the old one is now just walls and a cemetary. We spent an hour or so walking about in the cemetary, but found no Dudleys or Thornhills gravestones.
We then headed back to Mallow, to go to the Mallow Heritage Center. We parked in town centre, and happened upon a legal firm by the name of O'Connor and Dudley. We stopped in, and Mr O'Connor was very nice. The last Dudley partner had retired some years ago, and was unlikely that he was a relative, but still, he was a dear to spend some (unbillable) time with us.
Next we walked down the block to the Mallow Heritage Center. The woman there was all business, but did help us quickly, and sold us the birth/baptism dates for the one or two Dudley offspring, plus Elizabeth Thornhill Dudley's death certificate particulars for €3.50 each.
Back on the road to Mitchelstown, and a visit to the Mitchelstown public library. Sheila, the librarian, was very helpful, even letting us borrow some library materials so we could take them and get them photocopied in town. We spent some time there, poring over her stuff (which was photocopies of materials in the Cork County Library) and taking notes of births and deaths from one of Bill Powers' books.
It turns out that we were able to buy this book at a shop in Mitchelstown, so the note-taking could have waited. Many of the shops close early on Wednesday in Mitchelstown, so to get our photocopies, I asked a woman in a real-estate office if she could copy them, which she nicely did.
Our next move would be to visit the Cork County Library main office in Cork, so we left Mitchelstown around 5PM and took the N8 south to Cork. Downtown Fermoy at rush hour is as bad as anything I've seen back home.
When we hit Cork town centre, we tried a couple of hotels, but the rates were too high, or they were booked, so we ended up driving down to Kinsale where we found a very nice B+B, the "Sunrise". Dinner was at a pub in downtown Kinsale.
Day 5 - Jan 26
After our enormous breakfasts, we headed north to Cork and the County Library. It took a bit of doing to find it, but we eventually did, and the Reference Librarian N----- was very nice, setting us up with various reference works. We failed to find anything in these that might help the search, but did get a nice photocopy of an 1841 map of Mitchelstown.
From Cork, we drove back up to Mitchelstown and visited the "new" C of I church. Since Bill Powers' book lists all the inscriptions on the gravestones (as of book writing), we didn't need to examine the gravestones closely looking for a relative, since we already knew that there weren't any. But we wanted to at least snap some photos of the church and gravestones, which we did.
We drove next to Ennis, in preparation for the non-genealogical part of the trip. We found a good, inexpensive B+B this time, right on the edge of Town Centre, and at €25 it was a real bargain. The small town center had several bars offering live music, and this was on a Thursday night.
Day 6 - Jan 27 We spent the day driving around ------ and ended up staying at a B+B in Galway. Galway is famous for it's traditional music scene, and we saw at least a dozen bars advertising live music, starting any time from 5:30PM to 10PM.
Day 7 - Jan 28 Our last day in Ireland, we spent the day driving around Connemara Peninsula in brilliant sunshine, and ended up back in Ennis, where we stayed in our favorite Ennis B+B.
Day 8 - Jan 29
Got up, massive breakfast, an hour walking around a (mostly closed
up) Ennis, and then drove down to Shannon, returned the rental car,
and got on the plane for home. 6.5 hours in the air, 2 hours in
trains, an hour in our car, finally home.