Sunday, January 17, 2016

Michael Mahony of Toughbaun, Drinagh

There's nothing like a good news clipping to push the genealogy research in a different, hopefully more constructive direction. Such is the case of Michael Mahony of Toughbawn. The Southern Star published a death notice of "centenarian" Michael Mahony of Toughbawn, Drinagh, on February 10, 1940.

The sources in the prior post, plus the funeral announcement, helped put together this information:

Married Ann (Mary?) Sullivan 24 Feb 1870 in Kilmacabea & Kilfaughnabeg R.C. Parish. Michael's father's name was recorded as Michael.
1871 Honora
1872 Michael John (M.J.), went to Kilorglin, Co Kerry
1874 James
1876 Daniel
1878 Stephen
1880 Mary Ann
A son Timothy went to Manchester.

Michael the centenarian was from Buddrimeen, Ballineen and was one of six boys. They were among the Mahony branch of the Cain O'Mahonys. If there is a death record in civil registration, it is puzzling. The entry for a 98 year old Michael O'Mahony in the Skibbereen district is dated Q1 1939. Why are the death record and the funeral announcement a year apart?

There is a Michael Mahony, son of a Michael Mahony and Anne Hennessy of Buddrimeen, baptized in Dunmanway on or after Feb 6, 1842.

The problem is - it's very difficult trying to find five brothers. There are other records with a matriarch Honora Hennessy. Perhaps Ann was her nickname. Or, perhaps Honora died and Michael the patriarch married Ann.

The earlier family with Honora Hennessy was:

1836 Sep 14 Michael

1838 Jun 29 Peter

1840 Apr 07 Timothy

Then a Jeremiah Mahony was baptized 11 Feb 1846, son of a Nancy Crowley. Another son to Nancy Crowley, James, was baptized 23 Jun 1850.

Even if Ann/Honora Hennessy died after 1842 and Nancy Crowley was a second wife, a reasonable assumption is that 1836 Michael died during childhood, hence Michael in 1842. That still leaves one more brother to account for.

Neither the Toughbaun family nor the Buddrimeen family have a member named Cain (Kean) as far as I know.

Monday, November 23, 2015

DNA Testing Scholarships for Cork men

I am offering Y-DNA testing scholarships for men named Driscoll or Collins with paternal ancestry from Cork. The eligibile tester must know *unequivocally* the townland of origin. West Cork men named Cadogan are also of interest.

Driscoll at FTDNA

Driscoll on Rootsweb

Collins at FTDNA

Collins Rootsweb site

I am also offering a Y scholarship to any man named Hourihane with ancestry from Cork. He doesn't have to know were exactly, just know that it's from Cork.

Hourihane at FTDNA

Joint projects including Hourihane on Rootsweb

For Driscoll or Cadogan, email Susan at For Hourihane, email For Collins, email

The test sale lasts through December 31 and the offer expires then. I must know by December 23, to give us time to correspond and make sure you are comfortable with testing.

I have agreed to give a presentation to the Cork Genealogical Society in May, 2016 on DNA testing.  I understand it will be open to non-members.  The projects above will be discussed.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Patrick Collins and Catherine Collins of Bawnnahow South

Patrick and Catherine both came from Collins families outside Drimoleague, one of the *many* Collins families I am investigating in the area.

I think Catherine was the daughter of Michael Collins and Mary Donovan of Lower Lissane. The 1911 census says she was 78, which would fit with an 1833 birth year. (Her age seems way off in the 1901 census.)

In a prior post I "assigned" a Catherine Collins, born 1820 in Lissane, to a Donovan family in Lissalohorig. Now I am assigning another Catherine Collins, born 1833, to this Bawnnahow family. Their fertility windows are being taken into account, with an assumption that women stopped having babies somewhere between 45 and 50. Beyond 50 is starting to push the limit.

There was a 13 year span for the births of the Lissalohirig children: 1852 - 1865.

There was a 15 year span for the Bawnnahow family: 1860 - 1875. It is considerably more difficult fitting 1820 Catherine in this scenario, having nine children between the ages of 40 and 55. 1833 Catherine is a much better candidate.


Patrick's original family is a bit harder to pin down, but since this family lived in Bawnnahow South that's where I have started to look. The godparents of Pat's and Catherine's second child Mary (1861), were Simon Collins and Johanna Driscoll. Simon and Johanna had a son Patrick baptized in 1834. Patrick's and Catherine's first child, Johanna (1860), could have been named after Johanna Driscoll. But they didn't have a known son named Simon. So maybe Simon Collins and Johanna Driscoll were a related family.

There was another family, Patrick Collins and Mary Cadogan, who also had a son Patrick in 1834. Since Patrick's and Catherine's first son was Patrick, this appears to be a better fit. But if Patrick and Catherine both had mothers named Mary, it doesn't explain how their first child was named Johanna. If these are the correct families for Patrick and Catherine, there must have been another reason for how Johanna came to be named.

The Bawnnahow children were: Johanna (1860), Mary (1861), Catherine (1862), Patrick (1867), James (1868), Honora (1871), John (1873), Patrick again (1874), and Humphrey (1875). I will have to verify the two Patricks when I have a chance to look at the civil registration records.

The witnesses to the church events of the Bawnnahow family were: Michael Collins (her father?) and Catherine Collins; William Harnedy and Ellen Neill; Simon Collins and Johanna Driscoll; James Collins and Mary Collins; Pat Donovan and Honora Collins; James Collins and Ellen Hurley; Patrick Donovan and Johanna Mahony; John Sullivan and Hannah Collins; William Harnedy and Eliza Hourihan; and Daniel Harnedy and Honora Sullivan. (Notice there are no Cadogan witnesses.)

A sticking point is the presence of son Humphrey in 1875 (who, incidentally, is grossly mistranscribed as "Helen" in the online church records). If I have found the correct Catherine as the mother, she had an older brother (a rather mysterious character) and probably an uncle named Humphrey (deceased by the the time his grand-nephew was born), and so her son could have been their namesake. Why didn't Patrick and Catherine use the name Michael, after her father, prior to using the name Humphrey ? Maybe they thought there were too many Michaels running around - but Humphrey would stand out.

Humphrey became a priest and taught at Niagara University in the United States. He died during the flu epidemic in 1919.

Son James married one Mary McCarthy before 1901. The family is in both Ireland censuses. Son Humphrey (1910) became a local Drimoleague creamery manager, married Ellen McCarthy, and died in 1975.

The Family Search ID of Catherine Collins is KCDY-BC8. She and her original Lissane family are in Family Search Family Tree. No family data for Patrick Collins has been entered yet as his family is still being researched.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Catherine Collins Donovan of Lissalohorig

Catherine Collins married Denis Donovan 01-Mar-1851 in Caheragh R.C. Parish. Her residence recorded on that marriage record was Lower Lissane. Witnesses to the wedding were Humphrey Collins and Honora Collins.

Catherine was probably the daughter of (and first child of) Humphrey Collins (1785 - 1873) and Johanna Barnane (BD dates unknown), baptized 02-Dec-1820. On Catherine's baptism record, I think the father's and godfather's names were transposed.

Another possible wedding witness named Humphrey could have been Catherine's cousin or close relative, Humphrey Collins bap. 01-Aug-1831. Honora could have been Catherine's sister, Honora (Norry), bap. 17-Dec-1829.

The known children of Denis and Catherine were all baptized in Skibbereen R.C. parish. They were:

Julia, bap. 20-Dec-1851. Godparents Daniel Donovan and Honora Collins.

Mary, bap. 05-Dec-1852. Godparents John Donovan and Johanna Collins. Johanna could have been Catherine's younger sister, bap. 07-Dec-1835.

Johanna, bap. 27-Nov-1853. Godparents Daniel Regan, Johanna Cadigan.

Honora, bap. 11-Oct-1855. Godparents Mick Collins, Catherine Collins.

Cornelius, bap. 11-Nov-1859. godparents Dan Donovan, Catherine Bohane.

Ellen, bap. 23-Apr-1864. godparents Daniel Donovan, Margaret Coakley. Coakley is a very Lissane name.

Catherine, bap. 25-Jun-1865. godparents Patrick Regan, Norry Cady (Keady).

Catherine Collins Donovan and her family are entered in Family Search Family Tree (registration is free). Her ID # is LKCD-M3S. Her father, Humphrey Collins is ID # LKC8-BYD and her nuclear Collins family are entered there.

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).