McLeod & Sibley Co. Research Trip

I took the day off work on Friday for a genealogy research trip to the McLeod & Sibley counties.  The last time I went to Sibley county, I found a number good records (birth and death) that I transcribed.  But I didn’t find everything I was looking for; I haven’t tracked down the birth records for all of Anthony’s children.  Since he kind of teetered between McLeod and Sibley counties, I thought for sure I would find the missing pieces in McLeod county.  I arrived at the McLeod County courthouse in Glencoe, which sits on the edge of town, practically in a corn field, just before 8:30am, thinking I would need to spend the majority of my day there.  Well, I think I had my hopes set a bit too high.  They didn’t seem to have any birth or death records prior to 1870,  so finding anything on most of Anthony and Bridget’s children was probably not going to happen.  I did come away with two new things though:

  1. The record of birth for yet another child of Anthony’s that I did not know about: Kate Maguire, born 23 June 1872.  That makes 15 kids from one man! Damn, Anthony!
  2. The record of birth for Henry Maguire, born 15 Oct 1879. (Mother: Mary O’Meara)

Some thoughts on the first thing:  wife and mother, Bridget died less than a month after Kate was born.  Do I assume that Kate died too?  She was not on the next census in 1875, and there was no death record for her that I could find.  Was she given away or put in an orphanage? (did they have orphanages back then?) Was she sent to live with a relative?

While I was there, I was determined to get actual photocopies of the records I found. The last time I did this, I only transcribed the birth and death records, because there were quite a few that I was interested in, and these record books are quite large and awkward for copying. But I find that I second guess some of my transcriptions after the fact, and so I must get photocopies, if at all possible. So I asked, and at first the woman helping me said something like, “Oh, I don’t think we can do that”.  But somehow it turned into, “Sure, that’ll be $2 a copy”.  (Quite the deal, compared to Sibley county, where they’re something like $9 a copy!).  So I came away with those two records, plus a photocopy of the death record for Bridget Maguire (not a new-to-me record).

I finished up there sometime before 11am, and then headed over to the McLeod County courthouse in search of probate records for Anthony. I don’t know if they exist, and I don’t know what to expect to find in them, but I hear these records are often overlooked and can contain some good information.  When I got there, I was told that there was nobody working in Probate today, so they weren’t sure what they could give me – “sorry”.  Meh, whatever.  On I went.

(Lunch break at DQ in Glencoe, where they did not accept credit cards, and where I read an article on the wall about a famous race car driver from Glencoe, while standing a few feet away from said race car driver as I waited for my food. We have the same birthday, according to the article.)

Then to Gaylord, for the Sibley County courthouse.  First to Probate, where a kind woman tried to help me.  They didn’t have records as old as what I was looking for; they had all been sent to MNHS for archival, but she did have an index, which did not contain Anthony’s name.  I still might check out the records at MNHS, though.  Moving on, I thought I would go back to the third floor to get photocopies of some vital records that I only typed up last time.  But more disappointment: they no longer make photocopies of the ledger style books.  So, I looked through a few books, to see if my eyes would spot anything new — they didn’t, and then moved on.

Next, on to Green Isle?  I don’t know why – just compelled to, I guess.  I thought I might try the church there, to see if they had any baptism records, but I had a sneaking suspicion that they were closed, and they were.  Since I was there, I stopped by McG’s grave. I doubt he ever would have imagined that 130 years after he’d passed on, some weirdo girl would visit his grave on multiple occasions. But this guy, at age 17, and on his own, risked his life to escape poverty in Ireland and come to the US to start a new life here.  And if he hadn’t done that, I might not be here.  So I feel like I owe him something, like a visit. I’ve been to visit twice since discovering it – and I feel like most people might consider that kind of weird. It is, and I am, probably. And I don’t know why I have such a high degree of interest in this morbid topic, but I do, and I can’t stop it.  It’s like solving a mystery, and I don’t think that I will stop until I’ve solved it.  (But, crap – how will I know when I’ve solved it? Where does it end?)

Now that I’ve gone all gushy, I’ll end with this: a genealogy friend of mine just returned from a trip to Ireland, where he found this:

Maguires Convenience Store in Dublin

So now, in addition to my castle, I have a convenience store.


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