The actor Liz Carr, known for her role in Silent Witness, looked into her Liverpudlian and Northern Irish family history when she appeared on Who Do You Think You Are? She discovered the life of her maternal grandfather, John Joseph Hughes, and her paternal 3x great grandfather, Bernard / Barney Ryan, who was involved in an attempted murder in 1852.
1. Royal Navy records
John Joseph Hughes was in the Navy during the First World War. On Who Do You Think You Are? traced his career using his service record (pictured above). This can be found amongst Ancestry’s collection of military records but can also be downloaded directly from The National Archives’ digital records collection (currently available for free).
2. Griffith’s Valuation
Liz Carr went to Armagh to learn more about her Northern Irish family history and to learn more about Barney. He was located in Armagh using the Griffiths Valuation for his townland. As many Irish census returns were lost when Dublin’s Public Records Office was destroyed during the Irish Civil War in 1922, Griffith’s Valuation is a useful census substitute and can be searched for free online.
3. Scottish death certificates
Barney and his family left Ireland sometime after the shooting and were found in Scotland. Barney died there in 1877. His death certificate was located in Dumbarton. Scottish family history records are online on ScotlandsPeople. The indexes can be searched for free but viewing the certificates incurs a cost.