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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Derby Connolly and Susanna Fuller of Drinagh

Derby Connolly (likely a Jeremiah) was probably a brother or other close relative of my 3g-grandmother, Ellen Connolly McCarthy Knuck of Garryglass. Notably, his wife Susanna Fuller showed up as a godparent of one of McCarthy Knuck children. There were lots of men named Derby Connolly in Drinagh around that time, but for this particular Derby, his wife Susanna helped him stand out.

Derby and Susanna had a relatively colorful history, when all you have to view them by is ordinary church records.  There is a marriage record 26-Jan-1828 in Drimoleague & Drinagh R.C. Parish. The record says they eloped 12 months earlier!  Las Vegas wasn't exactly near by, so I wonder where they went.

The first child, transcribed as "Patrick", was baptized 24-Feb-1828. The baptism record is difficult to read and I question whether the child was really a "Patrick."

Yes, I could see where Derby and Susanna had some explaining to do to the local priest when they asked about getting their marriage on the books a month before the birth of their first child.

Susanna was received into the Catholic Church 11-Oct-1829, with only Connollys as witnesses. The surname Fuller shows up in Church of Ireland records, so perhaps there is an original baptism for her lurking there, and perhaps even the original marriage record for her and Derby.

Two more Connolly children have been found: Mary, baptized 20-Sep-1830, and Mick, baptized 10-Mar-1833. After that, this Susanna Fuller disappeared. Searching for her was a challenge - in one instance her surname was recorded as "Tuller" - in another case her first name was "Suan."

These Connolly and McCarthy families are recorded mostly in Garryglass, but some residences are recorded as Curraghalicky, right next door.

A Patrick Connolly does show up as a godfather later to a child of Charles McCarthy (1826 - ?) of Garryglass. If Patrick Connolly was "real", he would have been Charles McCarthy's cousin.

Not a single Fuller ever showed up on a Connolly church event. It certainly makes me wonder if Susanna severed ties with her Fuller family when she eloped with Derby.

In my quest to find out more about my Connollys in Drinagh, I did discover that some Connollys went by "Gackney" (or a spelling variation thereof), and others went by "Brack."

The Connolly-Fuller family tree is entered on Family Search (registration is free).

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