Finding Ireland ancestors

This is probably going to be long, so bear with me.
For the past 23 years I have been searching for some ancestors of my wife. As far as we know, they migrated to the US from Ireland. I have joined more than one website that concerns ancestors from Ireland and so far, no results. I have searched every county in Ireland through Ancestry’s all access and again, nothing. The closest we can get to getting across the pond is one Bartholomew Phillip Igoe, Born abt 1829, died before 1890, place unknown. His last know location was Chicago Illinois. His wife was Bridget Donagher/Fallon, born 1830 Ireland, died 1890, Chicago. I have who their children were. I have searched ships passenger lists and port of entry locations into the US. My wife’s connection to the Igoe lineage is that her paternal grandmother was Mary Helen Igoe, born in Kansas. She would be Bartholomew’s granddaughter. We know that a lot of the Igoe men became lawyers in the Chicago area. In fact, we have spoken over the phone to more than one of them and as soon as we tell them about Mary Helen they clam up like a bear trap and won’t discuss the Igoe lineage at all. It has been said that the Igoe family though Mary Helen married beneath the Igoe name and they disowned her for many years.
Unless we can find something or someone who knows about this family it looks like our next step is to hire a genealogist to do the research but as all of you know, that may require robbing a bank in order to get it done.
We would appreciate any tips, ideas or inputs.

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What is the specific ‘research question’ you are trying to answer?

If you hire a genealogist, they’re going to what to know what focused item you want them to concentrate on.

For example, you seem to wanting to establish the linkage between the US and Ireland. So your research question might be one of the following:

  • What was the father of Bartholomew Phillip Igoe
  • What was the father of Bridget Donagher/Fallon
  • When did Bartholomew Phillip Igoe immigrate to the United States

If the US/Ireland linkage is your objective, and you already can establish your wife’s connection to Mary Helen Igoe, the Mary Helen isn’t really something to focus on in your quest. You’ve already solved that part of the puzzle.

Once you have a focused, targeted question to answer, it makes it much easier to look for / pinpoint the sources most likely to answer that question while setting aside those that won’t help.

Research questions are out of scope for this RootsMagic Community. Cyndi’s List is a good place to start. Here is the link to a list of Facebook groups - Cyndi's List - Facebook - Under Construction

FamilySearch also has a community where others could help you -