Irish burial records can be found online

Posted March 15, 2009, at 3:43 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:43 a.m.

To mark St. Patrick’s Day tomorrow, let’s take a good old Irish name and go looking.

How about Sullivan?

How many people named Sullivan would you guess are buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery on Ohio Street in Bangor?

I’d guess 50, and I’d be wrong.

According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland Web site, there are 151 Sullivans in the online burial listings for Mount Pleasant, the Roman Catholic cemetery for several parishes in the Bangor area.

The Web site for online cemetery listings in the Diocese of Portland is www.portlanddiocese.net/genealogy_main.php.

Certainly there are many more Sullivans in Mount Pleasant than 151, because the records on the Web site are incomplete, which you could pretty much tell if you wandered the cemetery and looked at old stones, then realized that those online are for the most part in the 20th century.

Still, every bit of information helps. And for the more recent listings, say the 1960s to the present, frequently we’ll find the person’s spouse and parents listed. And you can figure out who’s buried in the same plot by looking at the plot numbers.

What other Irish surnames might we find on the Web site for Mount Pleasant? Here are just a few:

• Curran, 105.

• Welch, 98.

• Lynch, 90.

• Nelligan, 60.

• Murray, 56.

• Cassidy, 46.

• McInnis, 28.

• McLaughlin, 16.

• Orr, 2.

• McGinty, 2.

• McSweeney, 1.

So how do the other Catholic cemeteries on the diocesan Web site compare if we count Sullivans in their online listings?

• Calvary Cemetery, South Portland, 257.

• Notre Dame Cemetery, Springvale, 1.

• St. Francis Cemetery, Waterville, 19.

• St. Ignatius Cemetery, Sanford, 3.

• St. Joseph Cemetery, Biddeford, 7.

• St. Mary Cemetery, Biddeford, 112.

• St. Peter Cemetery, Lewiston, 4.

You can guess from the numbers of Sullivans per cemetery which ones have lots of Irish burials, and which ones probably have more French.

Of course, not all the Irish burials in Bangor are at Mount Pleasant.

The city of Bangor’s online listings shows two entries for Sullivan in Pine Grove Cemetery. You can view the city listings by going to www.bangormaine.gov and clicking on City Government, then Departments, then Public Works, then Cemetery Interments on the right-hand side of the page.

The Web site for Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor at www.mthopebgr.com yielded 22 listings for the name Sullivan. This Web site is updated on a daily basis.

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Would you like to go back and read a Family Ties column from the last few months?

More than 30 recent columns are archived on the Bangor Daily News Web site at www.bangordailynews.com

Click on Lifestyle and you’ll see Family Ties on the list of features.

And while you’re reading Family Ties online, do note that there is a link to the Obituary Archives/In Memoriam on the BDN Web site. Legacy.com maintains the BDN obituary archives online, which go back to late 2003.

You can search obits by surname, or even by a first name if you like — any name that shows up in the obituary.

We now have online more than 40,000 obituaries, death notices and In Memoriams from October 2003 to the present on the BDN Web site.

You also can get there directly by going to www.bangordailynews.com, clicking on Obituaries, and then on Obituary Archives/In Memoriam.

Whether you read obituaries in our newspaper or online — or both, you’ll find that they preserve well if you print them out or photocopy them.

And, you’ll note that the Obituary Archives/In Memoriam page has a link to the Family Ties page. Isn’t that handy?

Another page I read a lot on our Web site is Maineville, where I find out what’s going on in our readership area. I also use Maineville to list where I’m going to give a public talk on genealogy.

I will have a brand-new talk for the next meeting of the Penosbcot County Genealogical Society at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the Lecture Hall on the third floor at Bangor Public Library, 145 Harlow St. The elevator is inside the children’s department entrance on the right side of the building.

The topic will be “Fighting the Internet Follies.” Don’t we all have a few of those? All are welcome to attend, and refreshments will be served.

The Aroostook County Genealogical Society will meet at a new location starting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 23, at Cary Medical Center, 163 Van Buren Road, Caribou. The society meets the fourth Monday except in July and December.

Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail queries to familyti@bangordailynews.net.

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