Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Hurleys of Coolnagrane

My ancestral Hurleys of Coolnagrane were a rather quiet mysterious and lonely bunch.  Unlike the legal scrapes and brawls that my Collinses may have found themselves in, there isn't anything like that about the Hurleys in the Southern Star archives (one was victimized by the theft of a good suit, but that's a long story).  The descendants of one Daniel Hurley got most of the press, with the girls winning butter-churning contests! I call the Coolnagrane Hurleys "lonely" because they were not surrounded by lots and lots of Hurleys, unlike my Collins and McCarthy ancestors in Lissane.

The Abbeystrowry Tithe Applotment (1835), which was incredibly faded and practically impossible to read, indicated only a John Hurley in Coolnagrane.  There was a Daniel Hurley indicated in what I think is Kilnaclasha (too faded to read the townland name).  Those were the only two Hurleys I could scrape out of Abbeystrowry.  There are more Hurleys in Castlehaven, Caheragh, and other surrounding civil parishes.

In trying to find a death record for my great-great grandfather John Hurley, I had to get a copy of a death record for just about every man named John Hurley in Skibbereen, from 1880 on, but I finally found it.  (1880 was the year John's youngest child Annie Hurley was born.)  I was fooled by the  1901 census, as he is not on the household record, but his wife Margaret did say she was married, not widowed.  John died 1-Apr-1908, age 70, four years to the day exactly before his daughter Ellen died.  Son John was present at death.

From the death record I was able to estimate the birth year (1838) and have Skibbereen Heritage dig up John Hurley's family, since we knew about his father Michael.  John was baptized 23-Feb-1839. His mother was Bridget Cahalane.  Skibb Heritage said the Hurley residence was not noted on the records (only Skibbereen & Rath RC parish), and they were unable to find a marriage record.

It looks like John had three younger brothers:

Patrick, bap. 2-Mar-1841
Daniel, 31-May-1843
Michael, 15-Jan-1849

Those winning the butter-churning contests were possibly descended from Daniel.  I am not sure, because I find two Daniel Hurleys in the 1901 census, one age 40 and one age 69.  I think the older one (the dairy man) is John Hurley's brother.  Since he was a dairy man, his descendants were probably the prize-winning butter-churners.  I don't know whose son the younger Daniel is.

I hold a slight question mark over Patrick only because the record says Coughlan, not Cahalane.  These are two distinct names with different origins.  But from having stared at many hundreds of illegibly written records I wouldn't be surprised if there were a transcription error picked up on the way.  And, Bridget apparently went by Biddy.

The Coolnagrane John Hurley in the 1835 Tithe Applotment is an unknown, speculatively the next Hurley up the patrilineal line from Michael (the Michael married to Bridget Cahalane).  Perhaps Daniel of Kilnaclasha? was John's brother.  I can only theorize.

Griffiths only shows Michael Hurley in Coolnagrane.

My Hurley chart is updated:  Hurleys of Coolnagrane

My quick scan of the BMD index available from the LDS library only turns up one Bridget Hurley death record of interest.  She sounds too old to be Bridget Cahalane - she would have been about 46 when John was born!.  But the estimated age at death could be wrong so I will give that one record a shot just to eliminate it as a possibility.

Of course the question remaining, which may not be possible to answer is, where did this little cluster of Coolnagrane Hurleys come from?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Grandmom's uncle Daniel Collins, 21-Sep-1865, of Cullomane

Denny Dan Larr's youngest brother was Daniel Collins, whose birth was registered around 21-Sep-1865 in Cullomane. Thanks to Aunt Peg I finally know what happened to him.

The whole topic came up when we were discussing my 2009 trip to Ireland. I had sent some photos of Kenmare to my cousin, and Aunt Peg said on the phone one day, "Did you know we have cousins down in Kenmare?" When my ears perked up she laughed.

When she was about 17, Peg went down to Kenmare and met a cousin named Laurence, who was about 10 years older. He had a brother named Denis. Laurence had a chemist's shop (a pharmacy) and Denis was a schoolteacher. Aunt Peg also said something about a policeman.

It turns out there aren't that many Collinses in Kenmare, and my initial online search turned up a Daniel and a Denis born in the 1870's, plus a Laurence born in 1913.

From Laurence's birth record I learned that Daniel Collins was his father and Elizabeth Lavery was his mother. Daniel was listed as an ex-R.I.C. Constable. I did some further searching at the LDS Family Search but have not yet turned up another child named Denis. The family residence was listed as Direen. There is a Direen on the Ring of Kerry.

I searched the 1911 census online - nothing.

At the church record website Irish Genealogy, I did turn up evidence of an older child named Mary Ellen, born 1906.

I tried again to search the 1911 census for Daniel, Elizabeth, or Mary Ellen Collins. Nothing.

I was starting to think that the family lived in some special kind of construction that was tallied on certain forms that did not get digitized for the census online. Or that they lived in England. I searched some UK census databases, but could not find anything that really matched.

I tried to match Elizabeth Laverys to Daniel Collinses in the PILOT at Family Search, in the hopes of coming up with a marriage record. No luck.

The name Lavery is very rare in Southern Ireland, and is far more frequently found in the northern counties or even Dublin. I was starting to think that Daniel married Elizabeth up there, and that their marriage record was buried in the church records up north.

In the meantime, I finally obtained the death record of Daniel and Denny Dan Larr's father, Danny Larr. Danny Larr died 14-Jul-1894 in Cullomane.

Daniel, the son, was the informant. For informant residence, there is a somewhat illegible scrawl followed by "Co Kerry."

A post to Co Kerry Roots Chat soon attracted someone who was able to identify the place as Templenoe, a civil parish in Kerry. He provided a link about Templenoe at Genuki. This very informative page says that Templenoe was segmented between the district electoral divisions of Dromore, Greenane, Kenmare, Reen, and Loughbrin.

I tried the 1911 census again. In Greenane, there is a placename called Derreenfinlehid. Well, that starts with Derreen, which sounds like Direen.  Geographically, it is close to Sneem, which is rather far away from the other Direen I had spotted earlier.

In Derreenfinlehid, there is a Domhnall Ó Coileáin. The household census return is in Gaelic. His wife is Eilís ní Choileáin, and his daughter is Máire Eibhlín. There is another son called Domhnall Sheosaiph.

On the form, which was filled out in Gaelic, somebody had handwritten "pensioner" for Domhnall's occupation and "schoolmaster" for Eilís's occupation.

Never would I have imagined that their census return was in Gaelic!!!

The 1911 census says that Daniel and Elizabeth were married nine years. That would put the marriage date around 1902. Still no luck finding the marriage record.

I did find Lizzie Lavery in the same place in the 1901 census. She and her sister were teachers. Elizabeth was born in Sneem in 1870 and the Lavery parents were also teachers.

Why can't I find the marriage record of Daniel and Elizabeth at Family Search? And when and where was their son Denis born? Or is Daniel Joseph really Denis?

And who were Daniel and Denis in the 1870's, born to John Collins and Mary Houlihan?  Are they somehow related?