This won't mean anything to anyone here, probably, but it's a huge
breakthrough for me, so I have to blather about it for awhile.

I've been researching my family's ancestry actively since the 1990's
somewhere, when genealogy information finally started to be available
on the internet. I'd done research before, but it was very slow-going
and I hadn't gotten very far.

I'd interviewed my mother and my father's mother before either died, so
had quite a bit of data about generations they knew about, but that
only went back to grandparents and names of great-grandparents (except
for maiden names), but no further.

The past two days I finally found a hint in a US passport application
of one of my ancestors, who was returning to Ireland to visit their
sick mother, that led to not only finding my ancestors in Ireland, but
even led to finding a photo of the little 6-house clachan and the house
they lived in!

John McMullan (McMullen) and Anna McVicker McMullen lived in
Mullinaskeagh, County Antrim, Ireland, which is inland from Cushendall
on the far north-eastern coast of Ireland.

Even though that family had arrived in the US well before Ellis Island
existed, two of my ancestors went back to Ireland after Ellis Island
was created, so I found them in the Ellis Island records. And from
there, searched for their US passport applications. One of those
records gave the name of a town, which ultimately led to finding my
ancestors in another town close-by.

Up until yesterday, I'd checked the death records and the published
obituaries of each of the many, many, many McMullan ancestors I found
in Chicago, and none showed where the family was from in Ireland except
to mention County Antrim, Northern Ireland. I'd searched passenger
lists, federal and state census records, marriage records, you name it.
Nothing showed where they were from.

Until yesterday, a good 15 years after I first started searching,
finally a clue was found that led to success!

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