Family History Through the Alphabet – K is for Kindness (Genealogical Acts of) and Kernan

K is for Kindness (Genealogical Acts of):

In researching my ancestry I have run into numerous brick walls, many of which have taken a great deal of time to tear down. In many instances, significant help and information came by way of genealogical acts of kindness. There are many websites and forums where such acts of kindness can be found. I am certain many that have been using the Internet to research their ancestry remember the website Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK) and how it was a great help to many before it went down around the death of its founder Bridget Schneider in 2011.

My own research was helped greatly by such acts of kindness, particularly in researching my Wellin ancestry. The fact that this branch of my ancestry is from Sweden and I do not speak or read Swedish made researching it very difficult. I learned that a great deal of Swedish records are available, but very few have English translations. In my attempts to figure out a way around this problem, I discovered several Swedish volunteers on a Swedish Genealogy forum on that were willing to help people find records via Genline, providing not only the original records but also English translations. The genealogical acts of kindness shown to me by these volunteers was not only amazing, but was greatly appreciated. Their kindness helped me uncover many facts I did not know, including the fact that a part of my family that left Sweden went to Brazil, and that there are still descendants living there today.

K is for Kernan:

K is also for Kernan, my surname and one of the four “cardinal branches” discussed on this site/blog. This surname in my line was originally spelled Kiernan. This original spelling was used interchangeably with Kernan until the “i” was completely dropped by the 1860’s.

Kernan (and thus Kiernan) is an Irish surname, and at one point was spelled with a traditional patronymic prefix, most likely “Mac.” The name is traced in Ireland to be a variation of MacTiernan, which is itself an Anglicized form of MagTighearnan, meaning Son of Tighearnan. Tighearnan derives from the Irish word “tighearna,” which means “lord.” More often than not, this meaning has been interpreted as indicating that those bearing the surname (and its variations) descend from Tiernan O’Rourke, King of the Irish Kingdom of Bréifne. However, such a claim is probably dubious at best.

Click here to learn more about Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge (Clicking this link will take you to another site.)

5 thoughts on “Family History Through the Alphabet – K is for Kindness (Genealogical Acts of) and Kernan

  1. Genealogists in general are a wonderful, giving bunch and are more than happy to help out with info if we’re able to. We all know how grateful we are to receive a copy of a document or photo of a headstone that relates to a reli from the other side of the world … and we just like to repay that kindness by helping others.

  2. How lovely that you have had a little help along the way. My family, on my mother’s side, are Dutch and a lot of the family history records have been lost in the war. However, one of my cousins has been busy with her research and has come up trumps with lots of information which I would not have been able to find for myself.

    1. It is a tragedy how much was lost in WWII. I’m hoping to find some help with my Hungarian branch, but no much look so far. One person helped me translate a family Bible with family notes in it that belonged to my 2nd great grandparents. Apart from that, I have not had much luck.

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