• Barbara Mathews

Learn How Institutional Records Helped Amy Whorf McGuiggan Find Her Great Grandparents

Updated: May 16



An Evening with

Amy Whorf McGuiggan

Finding Emma: My Search for the Family My Grandfather Never Knew

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 at 7:00 PM EDT via Zoom



Amy Whorf McGuiggan's recent book Finding Emma: My Search for the Family my Grandfather Never Knew, will be the focus of her discussion on at the next M:O.R.E. event.


Please join us for this free event! Pre-registration is required. Click here for registration. John Joseph Osborne grew up as an orphan and an only child—that’s what family and friends were always told. There was never any talk of his childhood or teenage years, and there was even some uncertainty as to where he had been born. It was as though he had sprung from thin air fully formed. If anyone knew the real story, they weren’t sharing it. ​ But mysteries have a way of begging to be solved. In 2011, a granddaughter’s curiosity, and then questions, began to percolate. How and when had he been orphaned? Where had he grown up and with whom? Who were his parents? How does someone without a family or ancestry understand who he or she is? It was time to reconnect John Osborne with his story.

Join us as Amy Whorf McGuiggan takes us on a compelling genealogical journey of discovery, beyond the names and dates on vital records, to reclaim the branches of John Osborne’s ancestry. To do so, she had to expand her research beyond commonly available records to include both public and private institutional records. These records are often considered unavailable, but Amy did the work required to gain access. ​ Along the way, John Osborn's personal story--a story of survival against the longest of odds—is unearthed after being buried for more than a century. Amy’s work could be a master class in writing family history and in good old fashioned genealogical legwork. She will probe the question of whether learning and knowing something that was previously unknown—and

that one has gone through life blissfully unaware of—actually matters. ​ This presentation is free, but pre-registration is required. Click here for registration.


Co-sponsors: David Allen Lambert Library (DALL), Friends of Irish Research, (FIR), Massachusetts Society of Genealogists (MSOG), The Irish Ancestral Research Society (TIARA).



The photograph of Amy McGuiggan comes to us courtesy of the Vita Brevis blog of American Ancestors.

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