Growing up in Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa I heard stories of my Irish ancestors from my elderly aunt and my father (who was 55 when I was born). I knew they had escaped torture in Ireland (my aunt relished telling me of how her grandpa's fingernails had been torn off by the English) and had come to Waukee (Dallas County), Iowa and farmed. We used to visit an old cousin of my dad's who still lived in Waukee, but, alas, according to dad, there were no others!
Well, in the past several years I have found that not to be true...not true at all! There are a ton of cousins still living in Dallas County! Whatever reason dad had for not acknowledging their existence went with him to his grave. Another whole section of the Irish cousins ended up in Dallas, Texas and were removed from any family discussions due to their abandonment of Catholicism.
Today I am grateful for all the resources available online for Dallas County, Iowa. The Dallas County Gen Web site, operated by Conni McDaniel Hall and Lynn McCleary is one of the best around. And thanks to many volunteers, the Iowa Gravestone Project should not be overlooked when searching families in this county.
|This gravestone is at St. Mary's Cemetery, outside of Dallas Center, Iowa. Many of John's children are also buried here.|
|List of Perry, Dallas County, Iowa area newspapers on NewspaperArchives.com|
|1887 Land Record for John Hanlon|
FamilySearch.org has updated some records this year, but like many of you, we wish it could be faster! And yes, I've registered as a volunteer, tho my hours toward the project are pitifully small.
|Iowa collections on familysearch.org as of 28 Dec 2011|