In 1901, my husband's great-grandparents, Patrick and Rose Anne Martin McMahon, had been in America for about 14 years. They had left both families behind in Ireland. At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I was delighted to find these families in the 1901 Ireland census.
Patrick's younger brother, Charles, had married and had a son born in 1899, Peter Joseph McMahon. I wanted to find this baby.I took a chance and sent a letter to Ireland in care of the postmaster, asking for help in finding descendants of this family. I prayed and fasted for an answer.
Four weeks later, a letter came from Ireland written by John Carron, 88. "The postmistress thought I might be able to help, I being the oldest person in the district," he wrote.
He added that he remembered Charles McMahon and he had been friends with Joe (Peter Joseph McMahon.) Joe had grown up, married, had five children, and had died recently.
He gave my letter to Joe's daughter, Mary. We are now corresponding. I thanked John for bringing us together.
Remarkably, he also knew Rose Anne's family, the Martins, and gave me details about them.
He said Rose Anne's siblings had no children, except for an older brother. He was married with six children. A sickness took the lives of the young parents, and the six children were left to be raised by Rose Anne's two sisters.
One of those six children became a musician with a band. John was also in that band. He said all six children died with no descendants, and thus, the Martin line of Ireland ended.
I know Heavenly Father had a hand in my finding this information. I was amazed I could write to Ireland and find an old man still alive, probably the only man in Ireland that knew both families, and have him lead me to the living part of the family that had all moved away from that town.
It was more than coincidence. It was an answer to a prayer.