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Monday, October 20, 2014

Collinses of Baunnahow, Lower Lissane and Russagh

I think I have identified in the baptism records better candidates for the James Collins who married Catherine Driscoll and lived in Russagh, south of Skibbereen.

The details of this couple are in a previous posting. A summary of the family is here:

Marriage:  4-Mar-1862 Skibbereen & Rath.
Witnesses:  Humphrey Collins, Jeremiah Driscoll

Johanna bap. 20-Aug-1863 Skibbereen Creagh & Sullon
Godparents:  Michael Hegarty, Catherine Driscoll

Nancy bap. 11-Apr-1865 Skibbereen.
Godparents: Jeremiah Driscoll, Margaret Driscoll

Mary bap. 19-Feb-1867 Skibbereen
Godparents: John Collins, Julia Donovan

Hanora bap. 14-May-1869 Skibbereen
Godparents: Laurence Hourihane, Ellen McCarthy

Michael bap. 9-Oct-1871 Skibbereen
Godparents: Michael Collins, Mary Hourihane

Patrick bap. 19-Mar-1874 Skibbereen
Godparents: Michael Driscoll, Hanora Donovan

Catherine (mother recorded as Cadogan) 22-Dec-1876 Skibbereen
Godparents: Patrick Cadogan, Mary Donovan

Denis bap. 14-May-1879 Skibbereen
Godparents: Humphrey Collins, Mary Donovan

There was also a son John in the 1901 census, age 14, placing his birth around 1886. By 1911 both parents are shown gone (James died in 1907), and son Michael subsequently married one Maria Driscoll and had children.

According to his death record, in 1907, James was 67, putting his birth year about 1840. In the 1901 census he was 63, possibly pushing his birth year back to 1838.  The oldest son of James and Catherine was named Michael, and the known remaining sons were named Patrick (born around St. Patrick's Day), Denis, and John. No known son was named Humphrey.

Among their family's event witnesses were Humphrey Collins and Laurence Hourihane, names that are nearly unique to the area around Lower Lissane.

I tried to place James either in the family of Humphrey Collins and Johanna Barnane, or in the family of Michael Collins and Mary Donovan. Based on the evidence, neither are a good fit.

In the Lissane family of Humphrey and Johanna, son James was born 1833. In the Lissane family of Michael Collins and Mary Donovan, son James was born 1829. From a naming tradition view, James of Russagh would have fit better with Michael Collins and Mary Donovan, but the age is nearly a decade off. From an age standpoint, he would have fit better with Humphrey Collins and Johanna Barnane, but no son was named Humphrey.

I have found two possible babies named James, both from Baunnahow, a location that is emerging as a place of great importance in my research.

1. James, son of Michael Collins and Ellen McCarthy, was baptized 30-Dec-1838. His godparents were Jerry Kedagon (Cadogan) and Nelly McCarthy.  I cannot find any other children for this couple, who were married in Drimoleague & Drinagh RC Parish 5-Feb-1837. Witnesses were Simon Collins and Jeremiah McCarthy.

This one is my preferred working model for now, for several reasons - the age fits, the name of the father fits in that the first son was named after his paternal grandfather, and both the names Michael Collins and Ellen McCarthy show up as godparents to the Russagh Collins children.

What isn't explained is why there aren't more children for Michael Collins and Ellen McCarthy. Also, those two names - Michael Collins, Ellen McCarthy - could easily have been plucked from elsewhere to fill in as godparents.

It is tempting to think the name "Jerry Cadogan" would qualify as a possible future father-in-law to James. However, searching for Jerry Cadogan in the Drimoleague records does not turn up a daughter Catherine in the right age range, or son Michael (my theory being that Michael Driscoll Cadogan of Currabeg was her sibling).

2. James, son of Simon Collins and Johanna Driscoll, was baptized 5-Jul-1840. Godparents were Bat (Bartholomew) Collins and Joan Driscoll.  There isn't anything particularly remarkable about this family, except that they had a daughter Norry, bap. 18-Jun-1837, who is a contender for the Honora Collins who married James Collins and lived in Lower Lissane. I'm still working on her.

I would prefer to think that James, son of Michael Collins and Mary Donovan, married Honora Collins and stayed put in Lower Lissane because it is simpler. The marriage took place 24-Jan-1861 in Drimoleague & Drinagh and the marriage record notes James was from Caheragh parish. I believe my grandfather's family had ties to this family.

A move from Baunahow to Russagh is a complication, however from the church record evidence the family in Russagh knew people from the Lower Lissane area, so there was a move.

I am very interested in finding descendants of this family.