I echo what Boyd has said. 

 Armstrong is a very common name in Ireland.In the 1901 census there are 6122. 
545 in Co Tyrone, 6 named Samuel and41 named William. The names would have been 
even more common in the mid 1800s asthe population was considerably greater 
then. (It was 8 million in 1841 and it’sonly 6 million today).

 There’s 42 parishes in the county, and probably250 – 300 churches. Not all the 
churches have records back to the mid 1800s letalone 1811 when William was 
born, and of those that do, many are not on-line.Only the RC records are fairly 
comprehensively on-line. For all other denominationsit’s very patchy. A lot 
have been copied and are in PRONI, but there are somesmall churches where the 
Minister still has the only copy of the records.No-one has copied them at all, 
and the only way of checking them is to contacthim/her. Searching all the 
various church records for Tyrone is a mammoth task.Researchers need to be able 
to reduce the search by knowing the exact denomination(s)of the families they 
are looking at. And we need some reasonably reliableinformation on where they 
might have lived to keep the research withinreasonable bounds. Searching the 
church records for the whole county forArmstrong would be a huge task. But even 
then, there’s no getting away from thefact that the Church of Ireland lost a 
significant portion of its records inthe 1922 fire, and that other 
denominations didn’t always keep records, or ifthey did, they have been lost or 
damaged. So no certainty of success at all.

 It’s worth bearing in mind that noteveryone is listed in Griffiths. Servants, 
people lodging with others and folkwith very low value properties were all 
excluded. Labourers who moved aroundregularly to follow available work often 
slipped through the Griffiths clerks net.There are other examples. Also it was 
compiled for Tyrone around 1860, so if afamily had left by that year, they 
won't be in it.

 With your Samuel and William, I wouldsearch all possible records in Canada, or 
wherever else they ended up. Marriageand death certificates sometimes give 
places of birth, as well as parentsnames. Military records, obituaries, wills 
etc can all throw up informationabout someone’s origins.  Because it’ssuch a 
common name, to trace William Armstrong born c1852, we’d need hismother’s full 
name, to be sure of finding the right family. Presumably you knowthat, though 
it isn’t in your post. 

 The researcher’s expertise is obviouslyimportant but equally we can’t magic up 
records that don’t exist anymore, and themore accurate your information and the 
narrower the search area, the better thechances of success.


      From: Boyd Gray via CoTyroneList <>
 To: Mailing List <> 
Cc: Boyd Gray <>
 Sent: Monday, 3 December 2018, 22:31
 Subject: Re: [CoTyroneMailingList] Using a researcher
Hi Margaret,
I am a "researcher" currently working on a project very similar to the one you 
describe.  And after weeks of research, I have not found that magical "smoking 
gun" which you seem to desire.  Thankfully, I am not being expected to do so 
and I made that clear at the start when I offered to help.  It is as simple as 
this.  If the records do not exist, no amount of research, by anyone other than 
a magic fairy, is ever going to find that definitive link for which you seek.  
In the end, it will all come down to probabilities.  If you have researched 
every birth, marriage and death, every land record from the Tithe Applotment 
Books, through the Griffiths Valuation AND beyond through the Griffiths 
Valuation Revision Books, through their overlap with the censuses and right 
through to their end circa 1930, then you will have sufficient sense of the 
family in that area to know whether they are your folks, to withing 80% or 90% 
degree of certainty.  But you can not expect even a professional researcher to 
magic up a record which does not exist.
Just like you, we found a Christopher Irwin, but not the Christopher Irwin who 
emigrated to Ontario in 1850 because this Christopher Irwin was still in Co 
Tyrone when he died in 1906.  But, we have done enough work on this branch of 
the Irwins, compared to other Irwins from County Tyrone, which was the only 
clue given by Canadian records, to be reasonably sure we have the right Irwins. 
 But no smoking gun.  No family bible.  No record from a list of sources which 
simply does not exist.  No researcher with a magic wand.  If you need to know 
what sources are actually available, have a look here at the helpful hints, 
workshop videos, sources and links:

That is the reality.
Keep researching, do not give up, but do not look for the impossible.... 
though, who knows.... you may strike lucky and find that mythicak family bible.
I hope this helps.

On Mon, 3 Dec 2018 at 21:42, margaret marion via CoTyroneList 
<> wrote:

I have grown more and more frustrated with my research in Northern Ireland.  
Has anyone ever used a researcher?  Was it a good experience?  Can anyone 
recommend someone?I have done my research for Samuel Armstrong born 1811 and 
his son William born 1852, Tyrone, Northern Ireland.I have done Griffith's 
Valuation and the census from 1901 and 1911.  I centered on the Armstrong's of 
Sixmilecross.  I went there because in Griffith's Valuation, they had a Samuel 
Armstrong.I now know that it is not my Samuel Armstrong.  I figure he came to 
Canada in 1860 - 1862.The Samuel Armstrong of Sixmilecross is present right 
into the late 1800's.  this is what frustrated me to the most.I have done the 
family tree for the Armstrong's of Sixmilecross back to 1797 with Isaac 
Armstrong, father Francis, I believe, but not lots of proof.My own guess is 
Samuel is a younger brother of Isaac.  But absolutely no proof.Hence the reason 
I am thinking of getting a researcher for a bit.Any advice would be 
appreciated.Margaret MarionOshawa, Ontario, 
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