Hello again, PJ. I hope this finds you well and that you won't mind my picking your brain for advice, as I find myself in a bit of a predicament.
I took your advice; ordered the film for the Quin/Clooney Parish records with baptisms beginning 4 Jan 1816 and put in about 40 hours in studying it, extracting every baptism entry I could read which contained a QUIGLEY/Quigly, even if only as a sponsor, key words being "I could read", and that's a big problem. Allow me to give you a framework from which to base your advice, if you can spare the time in reading it...
The marriage record for my 3rd gr grandfather, John QUIGLEY, places his birth about 1815 and gives his father as Malachy QUIGLEY, stonemason. This marriage was witnessed by a Thomas QUIGLEY. (As an aside, I have contacted the Grand Masonic Lodge in Ireland inquiring about old membership records and, while they do have a database for Clare, I'm told no QUIGLEYs appear in it.) The diary of my 2nd gr grandfather, son to this John, places his father's birth in Clooney, Clare, Ireland. An 1891 document made by my 2nd gr grandfather and his mother, widow of John, confirms John's birth in Clare, Ireland and documents my 2nd great grandfather as a nephew to a Thomas QUIGLEY born in Ireland and a grand nephew to a Hugh QUIGLEY also born in Ireland. The 1861 census shows my 3rd gr grandmother, a widow, along with her two children, my 2nd gr grandfather and his sister. Further down on the same census page is the family of a Hugh QUIGLEY, age 72, from Ireland; living with him are his son, also from Ireland, daughter-in-law and grandson. At age 72, this Hugh is more than old enough to have been a sibling to my 4th gr grandfather, Malachy, and great uncle to my 2nd gr grandfather, figuring Malachy was at least twenty years of age when John was born in 1815. I do not find Hugh QUIGLEY in 1871 or 1881, but his son, daughter-in-law and grandkids are still there on the same street through 1881 and the 1871 record adds the detail that Hugh's son was born in Clare, Ireland. Looking through YorkshireBMD, I find one possible match for a Hugh QUIGLEY death in 1864, but there are no details in the index entry with which to prove it's the correct Hugh QUIGLEY.
I note that only one Malachy QUIGLEY appears in the readable baptism entries contained on the film and he is married to Mary MORRISSY. I also note that two Malachy(s) appear, in Knockanoura, in an 1821 list of Freeholders, QUIGLEY registered 1813 and QUIGLY registered 1819. In addition, I note that some of the surnames shown as "lives" in this Freeholders document match some of the surnames seen in the baptism records as sponsors for the children born to Malachy & Mary, though these seem to be common surnames in Clare. Peter Bierne at the Clare Library assures me these two Malachy Freeholder entries are separate individuals qualified to vote rather than two entries made for the same individual.
An old LDS IGI entry gives my John QUIGLEY's baptism as "25 Feb 1816 RC Clooney Parish" and cites this film of the parish records as the source of the information. In addition, a probable cousin in Australia shared a years old email with me. She wrote to Kathleen, an Irish look up volunteer asking if Kathleen could find record of children born to Malachy QUIGLEY & Mary MORRISSY. Kathleen wrote back with a list, including John on 25 Feb 1816 and noting that, nine months later in November 1816, twins were born to the couple, Martin and unknown. (I am able to read Martin's entry on the film, but do not find mention of the unknown twin.) Kathleen did not specify where she found the births she emailed but she did say she would contact the parish, though she wasn't sure if their records went back far enough. I've tried every way I can think of to track down and contact Kathleen, to no avail.
I ought to be able to find John's 25 Feb 1816 entry on this film, but I cannot. Nor can I say with any certainty that it *isn't* there. My predicament is that I find portions of the record in unreadable condition. I also note some oddities. 1816 is clearly marked and begins with 4 Jan. Entries run in expected chronological order through part of November. The February entries in this section are readable enough that I'm pretty certain John is not there. However, what follows those November entries is a section with pages extremely faded and appearing to be water damaged. Even with a magnified viewer, a magnifying glass, extra light and a vivid imagination, I can make out only a word here and there. The first word I can read is "April". Above the April entry, one can only discern that entries used to be written there. Seeing "April", I first thought the record had jumped ahead in time from November 1816 to early 1817. The entries in this faded/damaged section proceed, as far as I can tell, chronologically again through December. Then 1817 is clearly marked and runs January through December as one would expect.
I scrolled back and studied 1816 again and noticed page numbering, handwritten at the bottom of each page, which appears to be original rather than added later by someone else. In addition to some 1816 baptism entries seeming to appear out of chronological order, page numbers appear strangely, some page numbers skip completely, others are repeated (there are three page 15(s) and each has different information which appears to follow in logical order without any obvious gaps in time), you might see page 18 next to page 23 but the information flows logically from one to the other, again with no obvious gaps. There are some obvious places in the film were pages are obviously missing/partial and noticeable gaps in time appear, 29 Dec 1820 through 23 Feb 1821 for example.
I wonder if perhaps multiple copies of the Clooney Parish records exist/existed and surviving pages from more than one copy were collected and filmed?
I've contacted Peter Bierne at the Claire Library for information on the history and filming of these parish records but he's not sure who would know. He did tell me that two films were made, one by the LDS, a negative copy with light writing on a dark background, and one by the National Library of Ireland, a positive copy with dark writing on a light background. It is his understanding that the positive copy is the easier to decipher. The LDS film I studied is a positive copy. I have contacted the NLI asking about the history and filming and whether I could purchase from them copies of baptism entries for 1816 but that was a year ago now and I never had reply from them.
At Peter Bierne's suggestion, I also wrote directly to the Diocese explaining the condition of the filmed record and requesting assistance for the specific date of 25 Feb 1816. Again, I've not heard reply in a year.
I have located Martin's entry in November 1816, as mentioned, which took place at Ballyvergin, as well as Mary's in 1821 and Margaret's in 1824, both at Knockanoura. I do not find a Thomas but, if he did inherit Malachy's lease as an elder son, he'd have been born before this filmed record begins. The Australian descendants of Martin QUIGLEY do seem to believe that Griffith Valuation Thomas and his wife, Anne PILKINGTON are related to this family but can provide no proof. I've not yet discovered any means of determining for certain whether the land Malachy holds in the Tithe Applotment Books is the very same land Thomas holds in Griffith's.
Given all of this, and especially given that at least two individuals claim to have seen John baptized 25 Feb 1816, and that it *could* be written in that out of order terribly faded section of entries, what would you advise me to do? Are you aware of any other repositories for the Clooney Parish records which might not be so terribly faded or water damaged as to be unreadable? Are you aware of any early transcriptions which might have been made before the ink faded/damage occurred?
What to do?
If you are still reading this, thank you so much for your time. I hope it makes sense. I need sleep!