This week is Favorite Names prompted by Amy Johnson Crow.
Melody is a surname that my family would not let die, a homage to our petit but feisty ancestress Bridget Melody. She was born in 1864 in Galway, Ireland to parents Michael Melody and Dorothy Guinnessy/McGuinness. Her parents would have experienced first-hand the Irish Potatoe Famine and Bridget would have grown up in a community still recovering from the tragedy.
Bridget’s family likely thought there were opportunities for her further afield. In 1879 she traveled solo (as far as we know) to Canada and settled as a domestic in the home of a Scottish merchant.
Bridget was married in 1887 to Samuel Dever in Montreal. When their sixth child arrived in 1897 they passed on Bridget’s maiden name to him, John Melody Dever. (It is possible he was named after Bridget’s grandfather, more research to be done on that).
Bridget had five siblings survive to adulthood but she is the only one that had children. Her descendants have kept the Melody name alive, at the last count, there are twelve descendants carrying the name. Four generations later, the name is alive and well and I am guessing we aren’t done.
The Melody family is not forgotten because we choose to remember.
Bridget Melody c1887
The next step after finding your relative in Griffith’s Valuation is to head to the Valuation Office in Dublin, either in person or remotely. Read to the end to find out exciting news about this collection.
What you can find there is a record of the land you have located in Griffith’s changing hands. You are charged 1 Euro per page. And no, you do not have to visit them in person to order the records. A friend was telling me that she has requested the information on-line. You can read more about the Valuation Office services here.
When using Griffiths, I had found a John Melody & Michael Melody owned land in Corrabaun, Galway. My recent trip to Ireland along with a handy lesson on using the overlay of Griffith’s maps along with modern ones allowed me to see that the land owned by Michael Melody had previously been owned by John, possibly his father? I still don’t know that yet, but likely.
A page from Book 6 (1847-1939) at the Valuation Office, Dublin.
By using the valuation records, I can see that the land changed hands about 1867, and John is no longer listed at all on the later valuations. I think John may have died but I will have to do some further investigations, although the index for civil death registration for Loughrea is on the Irish Genealogy website, the actual record needs to be ordered.
The entry showing John’s land being taken over by Michael Melody, 1867.
And now the news, these records I was told will hopefully all be on-line in about two years!! This will be a great boon to all genealogists.
A big thank you to Peter who took a day off of work to come with me to the Valuation Office and then he took me to the National Library. A great day of researching!