Strong(e)/Strang(e) Research in Britain and Ireland

Researching Strong(e)s and Strang(e)s in Britain and Ireland; 2nd Edition (Rootsweb)


UNDERSTANDING THE DATA BASE
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CHAPTER XII

UNDERSTANDING THE DATA BASE

(N: October, 1997)

(R: Thursday 1 January 2004)



Click on the indicated links to "jump" to particular discussions; (please note, you may have to use your browsers "back" function to return here):

Development of the Database:
The Six Fold Test of Consanguinity:
Database Structure & Sources:
Database Records:
Linked Files:
A list of "truisms":
Footnotes:
End of Page



Development of the Database: This chapter has been prepared as background for understanding the Irish Strong Database. Faced with the gap in records caused by the disastrous Four Courts Fire in 1922, and with the need to pull together gleanings from other sources gained over several years research, the compilation of the data base seemed necessary. In the latter half of 1988, David B. Strong and William L. Strong began to jointly develop a data base composed of all data relating to Anglo-Irish and Scots-Irish Strongs from the time of William the Conqueror (1066) to the present. Using a relational data base, Bill Strong developed an application program to specifications suggested by Dave Strong.

Database Structure & Sources: The structure of the data base began with entry of data gleaned from Dale G. Strong's privately published book, "The Descendants of John Strong and Martha Watson, of Drumhome Parish, County Donegal". This included valuable information recorded directly from registers of Drumhome, Kilbarron, Killybegs, and Templecarne Parishes in Donegal; information not contained in, or illegible in microfilm held by the Ulster Historical Foundation. To this was added, in stages, IGI data gathered from LDS sources; gleanings from library sources in Dublin, Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City; the 1821 census of County Cavan; and records of deeds (1708-1848) from the Registry of Deeds in Dublin.

More additions included records for the various counties of birth/baptism, marriage, burial, tax/tithe, other censuses, and court procedings. Also included are records of emigrants known to have originated in Ireland and Scotland, passenger lists, and the 1980 and 1989 telephone directories of Northern Ireland, Dublin, and Erie. As time went on, we were able to add information contributed by various individuals from their family history, family legends, and their own research.

The original concept involved entry of basic data in three files called IRELAND, SCOTLAND, and ENGLAND. Each file was to contain numerous records relating to various individuals found in research materials. IRELAND contains record relating to individuals in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The ENGLAND AND SCOTLAND files have not as yet been constructed. The SCOTLAND file was to contain records pertaining to individuals in modern day Scotland, as well as the northern areas of England embracing the ancient kingdoms of Cumbria (Cumberland) and Northumberland. A similar, related file has been prepared for all Strongs in Canada. The CANADA file is an important repository of data on Strongs who emigrated from all of the British Isles to Canada. In the future it may be possible to trace an immigrant from Scotland to Ireland to Canada, or beyond. Unfortunately, it remains "off-line" and has been put on "hold" until a future date when William L. Strong is able to devote time to it's completion as a tool.

In 1997 we conceived of the idea to published portions of the database on the internet. An older version can be found at the old Geocities location. However, in 2001, we published a revised and updated version on the Rootsweb Freepages location of this website at: Irish Strong Database. The first page is comprised of links to separate pages for the data sorted by Irish county, with an extra page for the "unknowns".

The Irish Strong Database contains records relating to five major variant spellings of the surname: STRONG, STRONGE, STRANG, STRANGE, and L'ESTRANGE. From "training in other disciplines, one is conditioned to observe fine differences, to note them carefully and to draw appropriate distinctions from them... That is an unreal pursuit in dealing with family names (and with place names) before the end of the nineteenth century... Then there is the pitfall of location and the tendency of one branch to disown any connection with a kindred group of the same name living but a few miles away..." 1 When first we commenced research of the Scots-Irish Strongs we assumed incorrectly that any other spelling must indicate a totally different family. Gradually, it became clear that it was necessary to consider the major variants noted above, as well as several minor variants previously noted in this text. One must throughly investigate all of the groups, regardless of spelling, with detachment and objectivity.

In recording the names in the data base we have attempted to maintain the spellings shown in the original records, even in the face of obvious interconnection with people using differing spellings. This way, we know exactly what the original said and try to eliminate the possibility of error through misinterpretation. Never-the-less, we can accept no responsibility for errors or omissions in the data as presented here. The data-base is intended as an aide to further research and investigation. Responsibility for verifying the data lies in every instance with the individual researcher.

If you wish, you may access a partial reproduction of the Irish Strong Database: Master Name Index file, and explore some of the data we have collected. The Irish Strong Database is "browsable" but NOT searchable at this time. The Master Index is ordered 1) alphabetically by name of the individual, 2) chronologically by date, and 3) then by county (also in alphabetical order). Please be aware that the Irish Strong Database: Master Name Index file is rather large, containing about 190 kilobytes, and takes a while to load. If you know the county your ancestor came from, you may more quickly find the data at the Irish Strong Database: County Index.

In the Counties Index, the data is ordered by date and name. The "record number" is given for each record, and should be cited when making any inquiries to the webmaster and author. Remember, to some extent there is often additional data held "off-line" in the database, which can be easily accessed, knowing the record number.

Note that most of the records contained in the Irish Strong Database concern Ireland.... However, there are a few data records, notably concerning passenger records, which have been included because they MAY involve persons who emigrated from Ireland to the colonies. Part of the concept of the database is to attempt to collate information from different sources, including books, libraries, archieves, public record facilities, and private family histories in an attempt to identify known individuals with the various records and to make it possible to trace the lineages involved. Identification of the coded entries for sources of data included in the Irish Strong Database can be found in the Sources file.

The data fields reproduced in the IRISH STRONG DATABASE file are a condensation to just 7 fields of a larger, more complete IRISH STRONG DATABASE maintained by the author which has some 27 separate fields. To view an image of a typical or representative record from the complete IRISH STRONG DATABASE: IRISH STRONG DATABASE: Record Image.
For additional information concerning one of the records contained in the data base attached please send a message SPECIFYING THE PARTICULAR DATABASE AND RECORD NUMBER IN WHICH YOU ARE INTERESTED to David B. Strong. Click for contact information. [Please note: in an effort to combat spammers, an effort is being made to eliminate email addresses from this website. David B. Strong can be contacted through the Rootsweb Strong-List. We regret any inconvenience.] If the record in which you are interested contains additional data in any of the fields, we will forward that information to you.

If you wish to submit information about an individual not presently included in the Irish Strong Database, simply forward the information via email. Please note, the information will be cumulated for inclusion in a future update to the Irish Strong Database. You agree as part of your submission to 1) provide your name and address as source of the data, 2) complete references to where you found the information, as well as 3) publication of the data submitted. Note, your snail address information will be maintained in our files; your email address will be not be made public unless you so desire. We do not desire to publish information concerning living persons which is not otherwise readily available from public sources.

The Six Fold Test of Consanguinity: Given that the data base will be shown to contain people of the same or similar family names (at least within certain counties or adjacently), with similar given names, coming from similar stations in life, living out their lives in the same parishes and townlands or nearby, one can draw the conclusion that many of these lineages are related. Dr. John A. Oliver has articulated a six-fold test to apply in these situations: To judge the likely relationship of people of the same, or nearly the same family name discovered in a particular district, examine: (1)location, (2)time, (3)prevalent Christian or given names, (4)religion, (5)occupation, and (6)social and educational standing. 2

A positive relationship may well be found, reinforced by the negative result to be found by examining the records of parishes, etc., perhaps twenty miles away. The absence of similar names there may well confirm the presumption of consanquinity between family groups within the smaller area which one may earlier have been misled into treating as separate families. 3

It should not be lost on the researcher that there were two seemingly countervailing forces affecting the "tracks" left by our forebearers:

First, not only was the level of education achieved by the society at large far less sophisticated than it is today...with resultant paucity of record keeping, but there was little thought of a need to preserve records and documents for family history and genealogical researchers of today. Family members were often situated over a relatively large farming community...in a day when transportation was by "shanks horse", or if one was lucky, by horse and buggy, and rural mail delivery and municipal telephone communications were unknown. 4 Thus, the modern researcher is left with relatively little to start upon.

Second, however, people were physically active...they got out and walked, often miles. Lacking modern day distractions such as television, they made their own entertainment, with church procedings, barn dances, court assizes, and a rich social intercourse. As a result, marriages, new residences, births, and deaths took place at locations seemingly far afield. The problem is to find such records as do exist and correlate them.

Database Records: Each record should contain fields of data storing information regarding any given individual who lived in the country in question, including such data as given name, event recorded, date, age, occupation, family---father, mother, spouse, place---town, townland, parish, diocese, county, source and references for the information, family identification, and remarks.

Close by the name and date fields in each record in the IRELAND file is found a field entitled variants. It has been used to set out known variant spellings of given and surnames, as well as such information as 1) a title, eg., "Sir", 2) more than one individual appears in the record, eg., "and another" when used with the Registry of Deeds records, 3) additional names when there is inadequate room in the name field, 4) references to another record, and the like.

After compilation of the basic data into the IRELAND, files we have "enhanced" the records to show obvious additional information. In some records, for example, we may have original data showing that an individual resided in "Portaferry". Reference to a Church of Ireland Directory reveals that Portaferry is a Parish in the Diocese of Down. Another record may reveal that the individual in question lived in County Down. All three records are then coordinated to show that the individual lived in the Parish of Portaferry, Diocese of Down, County Down. The enhancements to the respective files are denoted by a "+" following the data entered in the field. Exceptions to this rule are when the basic record represents a compilation of data from other sources, and when a Family Identification is assigned to a record.

Linked Files: The main data files are also linked relationally in the main database to other files called Sources and LDSFILM1. Sources was created to prepare a shorthand record of the sources used to compile the information underlying each record in the main data base. LDSFILM1 contains detailed information regarding microfilms searched at the Latter Day Saints Family Research Centers or genealogical libraries.

It will be seen that the data base may be used to resolve quickly questions as to which parish in which to search further for records concerning a family group or individual known to have resided in County Fermanagh or County Monaghan, for example. Additionally, by reviewing the full range of records concerning a particular area, one can often discern probable family relationships...There may be a record showing the publication of marriage banns for the marriage of George Strong to Mary Haron in Raphoe Diocese in 1820. Another record reveals the baptism of Jane Strong, daughter of George Strong and Mary Haron on July 1, 1821, in Drumhome Parish. Drumhome Parish is found to be located in Raphoe Diocese, County Donegal. Likely, George and Mary were married in Drumhome Parish as that was her home parish. Independant research outside the data base, in the IGI, reveals a number of Harrons residing in Drumhome Parish. Another imputation is that Mary brought the infant daughter Jane home for baptism in Drumhome parish after being born (where we do not yet know...but we keep searching the data as it is compiled into the data base!)

The data base will be seen to be a valuable tool. It does not contain all of the answers to one's questions concerning Strong genealogy, but it may be a point of beginning for further research. To the extent possible to date we have extracted information from the data base, and from other sources, and compiled certain genealogical charts or contributed the data to others who have compiled charts. As time goes on, we have either posted these charts in this website, or provided links to locations where they charts may be found.

A list of "truisms": In compiling the charts, we have developed a list of "truisms" or insights to help in evaluating the data. The truisms may be inaccurate in themselves, and may not apply to each situation, but they do help at times in interpreting the data. The truisms are:

1) In Irish parlance, "John Strong of Kilbarron" or "John Strong of Aghadowey" referredusually to the Townland wherein he resided, or originated; sometimes also to the Parish wherein he lived.

2) Variant spellings in early parish records often reflect educational levels of the time, and the lack of standardized spellings, rather than different people.

3) First names and groups of first names tend to run in families from one generation to the next, and to be repeated in issue of different siblings of the same generation.

4) In some families, it was common to alternate the given names of the first-born sons of succeeding generations, eg., Generation I ==> John; Generation II ==> James; Generation III ==> John; Generation IV ==> James; etc.

5) There was a Scottish custom in giving names, as follows: a) the first son was named after the paternal grand father, b) the second son after the maternal grandfather, c) the third son after the father; d) the first daughter after the maternal grandmother, e) the second daughter after the paternal grandmother, f) the third daughter after the mother. There were variations on each theme, and one must be very careful in assuming too much from this pattern. 5

6) It was common in the 17th through 19th centuries to name a 2nd child after a deceased child of the same name as a "replacement"; probably this was so the ancestor named in truism #5 above would have a "namesake". 6

7) In parish records, the "birthdates" are really baptismal records, usually days, weeks or months after the actual birth.

8) The parish records don't seem to reflect burials of infants; but rather adults and baptised children or adolescents.

9) Decedents were often returned from other parishes to the parish of their birth, perhaps for burial in a family plot... but there are often no headstones... it was too expensive for common people.

10) Not everyone got "churched"... the baptismal records are often incomplete; sometimes the girls were churched and the boys were not.

11) The Old Style / New Style (OS/NS) JULIAN calendar ended on 2 September 1752.The English and Scots omitted 11 days, specifically 3-13 September 1752 (OS), and then adopted anew the GREGORIAN Calendar (GC) on 14 September 1752 (GC). For the English and Scots, 2 September 1752(OS/NS) was followed directly by 14 September 1752 (GC), with a new Gregorian Calendar, having a different arrangement of weeks and days. It is a sadly common error for genealogists to think "OS/NS" was more than one calendar. Both OS and NS were actually identical Julian calendars. The weeks and dates of both the English and Scottish calendars were precisely the same, Julian dates (month and day only,not year-dates). English OS Julian year-dates started on 25March, Lady Day, and ended on March 24. Scottish NS Julian year-dates started on 1 January, New Year's Day. Thus, the Scottish NS Julian calendar was basically a Julian calendar, with a Gregorian New Year. There was no such thing as a "New Style Gregorian calendar." New Style (NS) should always refer to the Scottish Julian calendar, with only one change from the English Julian calendar, namely in the date of the Scottish New Year (1 January NS instead of 25 March OS). These two dates referred to the same day:1752/9/2 OS/NS = 1752/9/13 GC. Otherwise, we might say, English Old Style / Scottish New Style > Gregorian Calendar on 1752/9/14 GC.7

12) Irish placenames are often repeated from County to County and Parish to Parish. Example: there is a Town of Dromore in County Tyrone, and a Dromore Townland in Drumhome Parish, County Donegal. See the IreAtlas Townland Search Form.

13) A "Glebe" was a farmland owned by or for the benefit of a church or parish, with the rents going to support the church.

14) Families tended to remain in tenancy of the same farm lands through several generations; Ulster Tenant Right made it difficult for Landlords to raise rents unreasonably and families stayed on. See also: Effects of Ulster Tenant Right.

15) As children reached maturity, one of them often took tenancy of a farm from the landlord, and other children removed to other farmlands also owned by the same landlord as the prior leases expired, or as the prior tenants died or moved on. Thus, members of the same family might actually be in tenancy at several different locations, sometimes quite remote from each other.

16) "Racking" rents meant to raise them oppressively. Even where Ulster Tenant Right applied, rents were often racked at the expiration of the leases, precipitating emigration by tenants unable or unwilling to endure the increased rents.

17) The leases often ran for periods of 31 years or the life of the longest lived of three individuals named as tenants, whichever was less. Thus, it happened that a father and two of his sons, including the youngest, would be named as tenants. When looking for a record of a tenant lease, it is often smart to determine the date of emigration of an individual, calculate back 31 years, and search the Estate records for information on the lease then being let. See

18) Certain Christian names had different forms. The Gaelic Hamish, for instance, is the equivalent of James. Ian or Iain are Scottish forms of the Latin Johannes, which is the English John. Elspeth, Elspie, Isobel and Isabel are forms of Elizabeth. Daniel is the equivalent of Donald. 8

19) Sometimes the sponsors of children at Baptisms were chosen because they had the same Christian name as had been decided for other (probably family) reasons to give the child. The child was usually NOT named after the sponsor. 9

For the use of researchers, it will be noted that many records in the Irish Strong Database appear to repeat for various individuals. This reflects the fact that different sources were examined which produced information regarding the same individual. Further, there will be multiple entries for each individual for events such as birth, marriage, deeds or leases, emigration, death and the like. It will be seen upon examination that relationships begin to emerge for family groups, and that it is possible to apply the Oliver "six-fold test" to find relationships. Such relationships are reflected where possible in the family identifications assigned to various records in the complete Irish Strong Database file maintained off-line by the author.

The contemplated LDSFILM1 file will be assembled in ascending numeric order for ease of reference for the researcher interested in reviewing whether ground has been "previously plowed". In both the Sources file and LDSFILM1, every effort has been made to extract comprehensively all information relating to any and every Strong variant. Nevertheless, there are undoubtedly records overlooked or as yet untouched. The author views the database as a growing tool, and welcomes additions, corrections, and contributions. David B. Strong. Click for contact information.


Development of the Database:
The Six Fold Test of Consanguinity:
Database Structure & Sources:
Database Records:
Linked Files:
A list of "truisms":
Footnotes:
End of Page


Footnotes:
A few words about the footnotes in this Webpage are in order. When I first began writing the book that became "Researching Strong(e) and Strang(e) in Britain and Ireland", 2nd Edition (Rootsweb) , I was writing for the traditional print format, and intended the documentation to be in the form of footnotes appearing at the end of each chapter. When I subsequently published the various chapters on the above website, the footnotes were presented in that format. However, as time went on, I found that it was easier to present the documentation of particular points immediately in the screen-text. Simply, it was easier to navigate to the documentation if it was immediately at hand, rather than having to go to the end of the webpage to find the documentation relied upon. Consequently, as my webpages have been added to and updated there are two different means of documentation provided: the "on-screen" text variety, and the traditional footnotes. Anyone curious as to the context in which the material was found may consult further with the references in the Bibliography.
1 Dr.John Andrew Oliver, "Some Ulster Scots & their Origins in Scotland", Familia, Ulster Genealogical Review, Vol.2,No.3 (1987), p.96-100.
2 Oliver, p.100.
3 Oliver, p.100.
4 From correspondance with William George Strong, Ottawa, Ontario. Born in 1891, he spoke with the insight gained from childhood on a farm in rural Ontario, and from a lifetime spent as an educator.
5 Gerald Hamilton-Edwards, "In Search of Scottish Ancestry", Phillimore, London and Chichester (1972), p.71; D.J. Steel, "Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Family History", Phillimore (1970), p.47.
6 D.J. Steel, "Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Family History", p.49.
7 John R. Mayer, Email Message dated 27 January 1998
8 Hamilton-Edwards, "In Search of Scottish Ancestry", p.73.
9 D.J. Steel, "Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Family History", p.48.
END OF PAGE

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See also the Strong Genealogical Forum.

To review some of the discussion on the Strong-List in the past, Go to the Strong List Archives. or go to the Rootsweb Archives.

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Please let us know if this chapter has been helpful! We would also appreciate being advised of any possible additions or corrections to the directory set out here. Contact David B. Strong through the Rootsweb Strong-List.
Created: October 1997
Prior Update: Monday, December 21, 1998 - 1:33:53 PM
Last Updated: Sunday, 4 January, 2004

Copyright 1997-1999, 2001-2004 David B. Strong. Click for contact information.