Well, some things take awhile. My Gillespie research has been at a virtual stand-still for the past five years. It's hard to know where to go when there simply are no Irish records to find, or at least the records that survive are, at best, spotty and incomplete. Nothing about that reality has changed much, although I must give credit to the many Irish genealogical organizations and individuals who have applied countless hours to piecing together useful historical evidence to help our quest along. So occasionally I try to review our situation to see if any new evidence and/or brain power can yet be applied to the problem of better identifying our Gillespie's in Armagh, and then finding that longed-for link back to Scotland.
This time I zoomed in on Cavanacaw because that is an actual place name that was handed to us in a Michigan deed pertaining to Thomas Gillespie. It's about time we found out more about my half 4th great uncle. Instead of worrying about the identity of every Thomas Gillespie in Armagh, I focused on every Gillespie who lived in Cavanacaw. This slight shift of attention brought some interesting and informative results. I now have a much better picture of the brother of Elizabeth Gillespie, the Michigan pioneer who died in 1857 and whose probate records have lead to some exciting insights into our Gillespie family. But more than that, if my research is right, we have many more descendants with whom we might at some point find a paper or DNA connection. That's pretty great because it means we are still inching forward.
So just in time for St. Patrick's Day 2018, I give a nod to my Scot-Irish ancestors, and send out my renewed hopes for making new genealogical connections with my Gillespie clan.