Sunday, October 4, 2009

Research Updates

I was able to find a birth record for Grandmom's uncle Daniel Collins for September 21, 1865, which definitively shows that Grandmom's paternal grandmother was Mary Mahoney (not Margaret).

I found the household of Grandmom's dad Denis Collins in Colomane East in the 1901 census. At the time his first wife Kate was still alive. Sister Johanna (Hannah) and mother Mary Mahoney Collins were living with them.

Grandmom's granddad Daniel Collins is definitely in Colomane East in Griffith's Valuation.

I poked around the 1901 census records, but without further information am utterly unable to identify which records are those of relatives. There are five McCarthy households in Upper Lissane and four Collins households in Lower Lissane. I am only certain of Granddad's household in Tooreen.

I got a nice stack of paper back from the Ireland GRO. I now have information about: Ellen Hurley Collins death, Humphrey Michael Collins death, Margaret McCarthy Collins death and that of her daughter, Margaret Collins; and Humphrey Michael Collins and Margaret McCarthy marriage. This last one was super-important because it had the name of Margaret McCarthy's father, which was Cornelius. Also of note is that Humphrey was living in Lower Lissane, while Margaret was living in Upper Lissane. This information has been updated in charts on the Collins website.

I thought that maybe Grandmom's uncle Daniel might have been married in the 1890's, and I tore through the GRO records looking for any marriage record that showed a Daniel Collins groom in which his father was Daniel, Denis, or Lawrence (Laurence). I am certain at this point that Grandmom's granddad was Daniel, but I thought I would look anyway. With a history of names like "Danny Den Larr" I wasn't sure what to expect. What a goose chase. The marriage records don't usually report the ages of the bride and groom, which makes this even more difficult. There is one Daniel, son of Daniel, married in 1892 in Rath, Skibbereen to Kate Sheehan. (Rath is sort of south of Skibbereen town, out on a peninsula.) Another one is married in February 1895 and says he is 28 years old; that would put him at 1867, about 17 months after the real birth date. The bride was Ann Driscoll.

One of the questions on my mind of course, is, what happened to the older brother of Denis Collins, Jeremiah (or William, as he may have gone by)? Why did he not stay on the Colomane East farm, as it was usually the eldest son who did this, and the younger ones left. It looks like he was a witness at the 1904 wedding of Denis and Ellen. I will probably never know why he left Colomane East.

I sent letters to people in Colomane, Colomane East, and Colomane West along with some genealogical documents asking them if they knew anything about Ellen Hurley and Denis Collins. One person actually responded, and thinks the Collins property was sold back as far as 1930. He believes the family moved to Castledonovan, then to Dunmanway, and thinks that people in Dunmanway might be able to help me. So that is still another lead I need to pursue.

I have a news clipping of a court proceeding in which Humphrey Mickey Collins and a "Mrs. Collins" testified. This was after 1906 (when Margaret McCarthy died) and before 1910, when Humphrey Mickey died, so this definitely looks like Granddad's dad. The question is, who was "Mrs. Collins?" It couldn't have been his wife, since she was already dead. I thought perhaps that she was his mother. A solicitor asked her when she was married, and she said something about how it was around the "year of the big snow." The solicitor then said that would be 1854. So I have to think how I am going to go about looking for marriage records from the mid-1850's.

All research is getting much more difficult now. I still have Ellen Hurley to track down. The McCarthys are a research project unto themselves. I thought at one point Uncle Denis said that Granddad had cousins named Maher, which I have not looked into at all.

It's getting to the point where I may have to wait until I have time to spend a few days in Dublin at the National Library so I can search Roman Catholic records.

1 comment:

JW said...

My name is Fr John Walshe. I am the Parish Priest of St Patrick's Parish, Mentone, Victoria, Australia. My mother was Agnes Patricia Downes. She was the daughter of Daniel Joseph Downes and Thirza Lines. Daniel Joseph Downes was the son of John Downes (Co Clare) and Diana Collins (Co Cork). Diana Collins is the daughter of Daniel Collins and Mary O'Mahoney. She left Ireland and emigrated to Australia where she met and married John Downes. I would be very happy to inform you of the family of Diana Collins in Australia. I have found your research of the Collins family in Ireland of tremendous value.
My email for contact is