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Hello all,

I've been researching my husband's Irish roots with the goal of finding and visiting his ancestral homeland later this year, likely in September. With the help of a professional genealogist, we have discovered that his 2x great-grandmother's hometown was Maidenfield.

Her name was Elizabeth Nolan (b. bet. 1823-1829), and her parents were David Nolan and Ann White. Ann may have been born in England.

Elizabeth's siblings were Maria (b. bet. 1830-1832), Ann (b. bet. 1831-1836), Bridget (b. 1833), James (b. 1836) and John (b. 1839), all baptized in Arles.

It seems that David Nolan died in the 1840s, likely during the famine. His widow and children emigrated to the States by the early 1850s, initially to Pennsylvania and then on to Monroe County, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Ann Nolan died at age 90 in St. Cloud, Minnesota, "the oldest lady residing in St. Cloud."

We'd like to visit Arles and the Maidenhead/Ashfield area and would love to find any possible descendants of the Nolans or Whites, if they are still in the area.

Baptismal sponsors' names were William Gail, Mary Donaghue, Patt Kinsella, Mary Kinsella, Patt McDonald, Mary White, Jim Horahan, Kitty Nolan, Edward Donahoe, and Betty White... if that is helpful.

The online records are difficult to read. If we wanted to see the baptismal or possible marriage records in person, would they be at Sacred Heart Church in Arles?

Thanks in advance for any help,



Wednesday 10th Apr 2024, 12:24AM

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  • Helen:

    The subscription site Roots Ireland has the baptismal records for four of the five siblings of Elizabeth: Maria baptized February 3 1830 Bridget August 22 1833 James March 1 1836 John February 24 1839  John's record showed Ashfield for the family. No location info on the other three records. A record for Anne was not shown possibly because the register was difficult for the transcriber to read. Also, sometimes a baptismal record never made it to the register.

    The records for Arles parish start in 1821 and as you have discovered the earlier records are very hard to read. The microfilm copied by the NLI in the 1950s came from the actual Arles register. I assume Sacred Heart church has the books from the early 1820s and beyond but their condition and legibility will not be much better than the microfilm version.

    FYI. Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths started in 1864.

    Once you firm up your travel plans, please complete this form regarding your trip

    Roger McDonnell


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 10th Apr 2024, 03:30PM

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