Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Wow, it's been ages since I've written! 

I've been spending my time looking at birth films, year by year, casting the net looking for potential ancestors.  I've also been looking at 1901 census films and at Tithe Applotment films. 

I have obtained a few books on Irish names and I've learned that the name Owen, to my surprise, is interchangeable with Eugene.  That explains why, in the Hourihane records Margaret at Skibbereen Heritage sent me, Owen is listed as Eugene.  I also learned that Marty, Murty, and Morty have all been used for Mortimer.


I found an article in the Ireland news archives about Daniel McCarthy, the schoolteacher whom Aunt Peg remembers.  The article did not give the names of the member of his nuclear family, but it mentioned his first marriage.  His first wife's name was Margaret Fitzgerald, and they married in 1888. 

I figured from that piece of information I would get Daniel's father's name and the townland he lived in before he got married.  So I sent away to the GRO for a copy of that record.

The 1911 census shows his elderly mother living with the family - his mother's name was Kate.

The marriage record said that he was 25 at the time of the marriage and that his father's name was Cornelius.  His residence was Curraghalicky in Drinagh.

In my research notes from film-scanning I found a Catherine McCarthy born in 1865 in Curraghalicky to a Cornelius McCarthy and a Catherine Burke.  What luck that I found a sibling born late enough to get recorded in the general registration!  Now I had the surname of the mother. 

In addition, the marriage record showed a Michael McCarthy as a witness.  I figured that might be a possible brother.

Armed with all that information, I contacted Skibbereen Heritage.  Margaret immediately found the family, in neigboring Garryglass.  She was unable to find a marriage record, so where Catherine Burke was from is a mystery, as it assumed that Cornelius went to Catherine Burke's Roman Catholic parish to get married.

I may have to resort to more letter-writing to Daniel's descendants, to see if anybody knows anything about his parents, particularly his father's family.  We think that Daniel's father was possibly a brother of Mary McCarthy, Granddad's grandmother.  I am in the process right now of looking for the death records of Mary and Cornelius.  From those records I will get their estimated age and therefore the approximate years they were born.  But it would be nice to know a little more before venturing into another search.


I was contacted by somebody who is probably a distant Hourihane cousin, named Pat.  Pat's great-grandfather was named Mortimer Howard, and there is reason to believe that Irish emigrants often changed the name from Hourihane to Howard upon arrival here.  This Mortimer Howard emigrated during the famine, in the late 1840's.  Pat also mentioned that there was a brother named Eugene.  Because of the similar family names, Pat thinks that his great-grandfather is somehow connected to the Hourihanes of Clohane, and I think it is true. 

Unfortunately, there are huge gaps in the records and therefore in our knowledge.  We don't know the details about the families of the Hourihanes listed in Clohane in the Caheragh Tithe Applotment, which was taken in 1827.  We only see the names of the men who were farming.  And unfortunately, Griffiths Valuation just adds to the confusion. People started getting creative with the spelling so Hourihane became Hourahan in the Clohane area. As I keep searching birth, death, and marriage films, perhaps something will illuminate this family.


I had to split my Larrys folder into two folders - one for Collins out of Colomane East, and one for Collins out of Adrigool, in Castlehaven.

Colomane East

Aunt Peg mentioned on the phone one day that "we have cousins down in Kenmare."  They are Collinses out of Colomane East.  There aren't many people named Collins in County Kerry when compared to Cork, and in Kenmare the name is rare.  Somebody named Laurence Collins is about as rare as Haley's Comet, so I was easily able to find the birth record of somebody named Laurence, born in 1913.  Aunt Peg said something about a policeman.  Laurence's father, Daniel, was an ex- R.I.C. (Royal Irish Constabulary) constable.  The mother's name was Elizabeth Lavery, which is not nearly as common a name in the Irish Republic as it is in Northern Ireland.

I searched and searched but was unable to turn up anything in the 1911 census for Daniel and Elizabeth.  I don't know if he had already left the R.I.C. and if not, what sort of living arrangements that constables had.  I did find a baptismal record of Laurence's sister Mary Ellen in 1906, on a website called Irish Genealogy, but I was unable to locate a marriage record for Elizabeth and Daniel.  It is strange how Daniel and Elizabeth stayed off the radar.

Who is this Daniel?  Is he Great-granddad Denis's youngest brother, born in 1865?  Or is he the son of another brother?  How are Laurence and Daniel related to Grandmom?


I am trying to figure out the Collins families from the 1900's and work backwards from there.   I continue to follow the trails of Larrys.   The death record of Laurence Collins, who died in 1867, shows a Jeremiah Collins present at death.  This is probably a son.  A Jeremiah Collins of Adrigool died in 1903, age 82.  Unfortunately, that does not neatly match the Jerry Collins I found farming with Laurence in Adrigool in the Castlehaven Tithe Applotment, taken about 1828.  Either the newspaper obituary underestimated the age, or there is another Jeremiah Collins wedged in there.

The Tithe Applotment also shows a William Collins and a Daniel Collins.  Grandmom's Granddad Daniel is "Danny Larr", son of Larry Collins.  Again, the ages don't match.  Could there have been another generation wedged in between Daniel and Laurence, maybe another Daniel, who would have been Danny Larr?  I think it is odd that Great-Granddad Denis did not have a brother named Laurence, at least, not one that I am aware of!  I have been going through scads of Daniel Collins records and so far I have been unable to turn up anything about any Daniel Collins in our family!  Who was Daniel in this Tithe Applotment and when did the Daniel who was Grandmom's granddad go to Colomane East?

There was a John Collins married to a Catherine Shiely.  They had three children I know about, including John J, born in 1871.  I think John J. Collins shows up later in the newspapers, and he purchased land in Smorane.  Was he somehow related?!?

In 1866, 26 year old Laurence Collins of Ballyriree (just northeast of Adrigool) married 24 year old Mary Hayes.  His father was John Collins.  Was this John Collins from Adrigool?  Was Laurence named after his paternal grandfather?  From the IGI, it looks like Laurence and Mary moved to the Rosscarbery area and had several children.  I have not found one named after the dad.

The Jeremiah Collins I am puzzling over married Mary Hourihane (a different bunch of Hourihanes), and had several children.  I *think* they could have had a son Laurence born in 1857 but I am not sure.   A Laurence, son of Jeremiah, married Elizabeth Sullivan in 1904.  This Laurence was living in Brahed (Brade), Myross at the time of the marriage.  But this does not match what I find in news archives.  There was a Lawrence Collins in Brade but his wife's name was Mary, they moved to Lissard in 1924, and he died in 1929. 

As you can see, there are several jigsaw puzzles to solve.