Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Mahonys of Bohernabredagh, version 2.0

When the church records went online in October 2011, I was able to more conclusively link the Mahonys of Bredagh (jpg pdf) to my Grandmother's Collins line.  However, there remain many open questions, specifically, whether and how they are related to Mahonys in Clashduff and Tonafora, Toughbaun, and in Minanes.  Recently I've added Castledonovan to the list of Mahony locations of interest.

Up to now I had assumed that the Mahonys along and south of R586 were a somewhat different set than the ones in the north part of Drimoleague parish.  Now I'm not so sure.  I had originally based my assumption on the names I've seen on both sides of the road.  For example, I haven't yet found anybody named Cain, and I don't know if there are Timothys deep in the north side.  But those names occur very frequently along R586 and on the south side.

The cultural division between the north and the south is not a complete figment of my imagination. When I told my aunt about talking on the phone to one of her first cousins who grew up in Ceancullig, she asked me if he "sounded rough." She then explained that even they in Bauravilla had a hard time understanding the speech of "the people in the mountains" even though those "mountains" were hills just a few miles away within bicycling distance! My Bauravilla-raised aunt, in turn, told me about how the nuns in the convent school in Skibbereen, just a few miles south, would constantly correct her speech and pronunciation.

That was a digression.

The Mahony names that are practically ubiquitous in the area are Denis and Daniel.  The earliest Mahony in my direct line was Denis (1788-1872), who married Catherine Hurley (date unknown).  Given that their youngest known child was Kate (1840), I would not expect Denis and Catherine to have been married too long before 1820.  Unfortunately the Drimoleague & Drinagh church records don't go back before about 1818.  The earliest child found in the church records was Patrick (1822), followed by my gg-grandmother Mary (1823).  There isn't a baptism record available for him, but based on census and death records, I believe there was a child Cain born before the first available baptism records. 

Mary Mahony married my gg-grandfather Daniel Collins of Adrigole and I believe they first lived there, in Castlehaven civil parish, before moving out to Cullomane East on the west edge of Caheragh civil parish, near Bantry, around 1850.  Catherine and Laurence, their two oldest children, were born in probably in Adrigole and the rest of the Collins children were born in Cullomane.  One of those children, whose name remains somewhat unreadable to me, was born in 1856.  That child's baptism sponsors were Daniel Mahony and Mary Burke.

I put Daniel Mahony and Mary Burke in the church records search engine and lo and behold, a couple with those names turned up in Castledonovan.  I turned up three children for them: Denis (1838), Margaret (1840), and William (1842).  The reason I am paying attention to Castledonovan and the area north of the R586 is because I have a good autosomal DNA match who has Mahony ancestry in Clodagh, which lies north of R586. This is the first piece of evidence I have found placing some of my Mahonys on my match's side of the road.

It isn't clear when Daniel Mahony and Mary Burke married and whether they were roaming around.  There are records of couples with these names married in Rosscarbery (1824) and in Enniskeane & Desertserges (1836).  But children show up in 1823 (maybe illegitimate) and an odd one pops up in 1830 in Aughadown church parish.  So far the marriage record in Enniskeane & Desertserges looks like a better match, and there is a Daniel Hurley as a witness - possibly a relative through Catherine Hurley.  I find it somewhat odd that there were only three children in Dromdaleague, but the famine could have put an end to their family production capacity.

If Daniel was an older brother of my gg-grandmother, he strikes me as somewhat young to have married in 1836 let alone 1824 !  So the evidence is weak that he's my gg-grandmother's older brother; I think he may have been a first cousin or an uncle. Supporting that theory is the difficulty turning up men named Daniel in the descendant branches of the Bredagh Mahonys, though I did manage to find a few.  The Daniels I found were among the youngest children in their families suggesting to me it was not a "high priority" name.  There are plenty of Daniel Mahonys elsewhere.  For now I am putting Daniel in the tree as an older brother even though I believe this is not correct.

If Daniel and Mary were moving around and if Daniel was an uncle, it could explain why he is not recorded in Castledonovan in Griffiths Valuation, although there is a Castledonovan Daniel in the Dromdaleague Tithe Applotment and there are Daniels in neighboring Garranes North and in Deelish recorded in Griffiths.

I am somewhat more confident in data indicating that my gg-grandmother's older brother Patrick married Catherine Hayes, though the marriage date for the record - 1861 - causes me to question whether I have the correct marriage record.  There were apparently children born well before that date, and I haven't found any marked illegitimate. 

So my work has progressed in tracing these branches of the Bredagh Mahony family:

Cain Mahony - Remained unmarried and stayed in Bredagh
Patrick Mahony and Catherine Hayes of Rearahinagh - Probably deceased by 1901 with their son remaining
Mary Mahony and Daniel Collins of Cullomane East - My line; Mary was widowed by 1901
Honora (Norry) Mahony - unknown
Margaret Mahony and Denis Collins of Lissane - Possibly also related through the Collinses
Timothy Mahony and Mary Ann Donovan of Rearahinagh
Denis Mahony and Mary Anne McCarthy of Bredagh
Kate Mahony - Witnessed several baptisms through 1869

What I still have not done is link any of these people to anybody in Clodagh, the home of my DNA match's family.  None of the Clodagh Mahonys have names that correspond to mine, except for a Denis Mahony baptism sponsor, and there were a lot of men named Denis Mahony running around back then.