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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?

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