Friday, 3 August 2012

Our extended family in Ballyduff 1782-1852: The O'Donoghue male line

(to go to family tree click here)
I have now searched all the Causeway parish records from 1782-1852 for the Donoghue and Boyle names and analysed them by townland.  The records for 1787 to late 1806 are not available.  The Connor name is just too extensive to cover in the same way.  I will look at the other adjacent RC parishes and townlands in due course.
Family history is all about creating hypotheses and then trying to prove or disprove them.  It is time to try to come to some conclusions as to our extended family and their friends in Ballyduff and Poplar.  I will deal first with the O’Donoghue male line and in later blogs with the female lines.
Witnesses or sponsors are a key influence in trying to pin down who was ours and who not.  They are the closest relationships to the folk whose major event (marriage or birth) is shown in the parish register.  This note will show who I think were of our family and why.  I have used the ratings of strong, medium and weak to describe my level of assurance.
If in doubt, my working assumption is that sponsors (godparents/witnesses) would not have been chosen later than age 30-35 as 40 was average life expectancy at that time.  This might help me separate siblings from uncles and aunts.  A confusion in the consideration of sponsors is that they seem to vary in their use of maiden vs married names.
I have used the surname spellings as recorded in the register in the detailed comments but they are all the same as Donoghue really.
It is clear that the recording practices of the parish priests could be very random as to who finished up in the register.  The priest would very often carry out the services at the homes of the people involved, wrote the details on a piece of paper and might or might not have remembered to make an entry.  It seems very few marriages were recorded.  In fact I have been told that religious practice itself was not very strong prior to the famine.
This was a very close community with a lot of intermarriage within a quite limited area.  Marriage between cousins seems to have been quite common.
So many names, so confusing!  Simultaneously with this piece, I have put up a genealogical tree on the blog which summarises all that I have found so far.  Or at least I will do when I can work out how to publish in Landscape!  I suggest you print it out when reading this article to help with identification. 
The male O’Donoghue line
Generation One (parents not known):  James Donoghue and Juliana Boyle
Their children: Thomas (1806: Generation Two below), Patrick (pre-1806), James (pre-1806), Mary (pre-1806), John (pre-1806)

Generation Two: Thomas Donoghue (b.1806) and Ellen Connor (b.1808)
Their children: Juliana (1834), James (1836), Catherine (1839), John (1841), Thomas (1844), Ellen (1847), Mary Ann (Poplar 1852)
Ellen Connor’s parents are thought to have been John Connor and Ellen Donoghue.  Their children were Ellen (1808), Daniel (1814), Mary (1815), Honora (1819), John (1822), James (1824), Margaret (1832?).  I would give this relationship a Medium rating for reasons quoted in an earlier blog.
Generation Three: Thomas O’Donoghue (b.1844) and Mary Sullivan (married in London in 1865, when O’ was put back on certificate)
Their children: Mary (1866), Catherine (1867), Thomas William (1869), Margaret (1872), James (1874), my grandfather, Mary Ann (1877), Gwendoline Anastasia Celina (1880)

James and Julia’s other possible children - Patrick, James, Mary, John and Catherine - are not found in parish records but can be elicited from the parish records.
Patrick: James and Julia are shown as sponsors to Patrick Donohue and Catherine Dee’s child, Mary, in 1823 in adjacent Knoppoge townland.  This implies that Patrick was an older brother to Thomas. Strong
In 1841 a Patrick Donohue was sponsor at the baptism of Thomas and Ellen’s John.  In 1844 Patrick Donnoghue and Anastasia Boyle married with sponsors John and Jude Boyle; Jude is a short form of both Julia and Joanna.  This Patrick may have been the son of Patrick and Catherine above, but see later in Poplar.
James: James Donoghue and Elizabeth Boyle had a daughter Juliana (1836), as the first, she was named after her paternal grandmother.  Their other children were Ellen (1839), Honora (1842), Mary (1844), Patrick (1847). Strong

Mary: Mary Donoghue was a sponsor for James and Elizabeth’s Ellen (1839).  Strong

John: John Donoghue and Joanna Boyle’s first daughter was named Juliana and first son, James, so after paternal grandparents.  Strong

Catherine: In 1812, Catherine Donohue was a sponsor at the baptism of Matthew Ryan and Ellen Callinane’s child, Patrick.  The reason for suspecting a relationship with James is that the other sponsor was George Gunn and we know that Juliana had a connection with the Gunn family.

James Donoghue’s siblings or possibly cousins

Rattoo and Killury civil parishes contain virtually all of the townlands covered by Causeway RC parish. 

I need a way to show where the greater preponderance of O’Donoghues were from 1782-1852.  I have counted the number of parish register references with first time for parents counting once, every time counting for sponsors. 

In Rattoo civil parish, the O’Donoghues are concentrated (more than 5 references) in
Benmore/Ballyduff (26), Drommartin (21), Knoppoge (14), Ballincrossig (8) and Ardagh (6) townlands.  In Killury civil parish the concentration is in Dromnacarra (22) and Kilmore (18).
All bar Dromnacarra (4 miles) are within 2 miles of Ballyduff.

For Generation One, a number of theories can be set up around Sylvester, Bartholomew, Ellen, Catherine and John as siblings of James.  Nearly all of these are based on records for Benmore/Ballyduff. 

Sylvester Donohue and his family

  • Sylvester is an unusual name in Causeway parish.
  • Sylvester Donohue and Mary Flahive had children, Ellen and John, in 1784 and 1786 and this suggests he was born in the 1760s. 
  • In 1812 a Sylvester Donohue was sponsor at the baptism of Anastasia Mahony, daughter of Thomas Mahony and Margaret Sullivan in a townland recorded as Knockanehigue.  I am unable to find this townland, but suspect it is an extension of a Knockane in either Listowel or Ballyheigue, probably the former.  The interesting thought, however, is that in Generation Three in Poplar, Mary Sullivan was the daughter of John Sullivan and Margaret Mahony, and Thomas and Mary gave this name, Anastasia, to their last child born in 1880.  Intriguing but not in any way conclusive, as these surnames are relatively common.
  • Sylvester was a sponsor at the birth of Daniel, John Connor and Ellen Donoghue’s second child, in 1814.  As he would have been in his late 40s this Sylvester may have been his son.  Juliana Boyle was a sponsor of their fourth child, Honora, in 1819 suggesting strong family connections of a similar generation.  Similar age considerations apply but I have not found another Juliana Boyle to fulfil this role.
  • In 1820 Sylvester Donoghue had an altar tomb or mausoleum built in Rattoo churchyard.  It is placed just below a Boyle one.
  • In 1821 Bartholomew Donohue and Bridget Ferris had a first child, Sylvester (named after paternal grandfather), so Bartholomew must have been his son.  In 1823 Juliana Boyle was sponsor to their second recorded child, Ellen, connecting him to James.  In 1832 a Sylvester was sponsor to their third child, James; he was probably Bartholomew’s brother.
  • In 1824 the Tithe Applotment Books show a Silay and Bat Donoghue holding land in Chapel Land which would have adjacent to the church in Ballyduff.  These are nicknames for Sylvester (I think) and Bartholomew and confirms their relationship.  Another Bat is shown in East Benmore and this may have been Sylvester and James’s brother.

It is my current opinion that Sylvester and Bartholomew Senior were James’s brothers, but I can only give this and what follows a Medium confidence rating at this stage. 

In 1784, Ellen Donohue, was a sponsor at the baptism of Sylvester and Mary’s first child, Ellen, which suggests she was his sister and therefore also James’s.  She married Maurice Nelan and had a child, Mary, baptised in 1786.  It seems probable that the 1784 child, Ellen, is the wife of John Connor described above, and the mother of Ellen Connor who married James’s son Thomas.  Ellen was, therefore, Thomas’s first cousin once removed, being his uncle’s grandchild.  I have been told that first cousin marriages were quite common.

In 1812, Catherine Donohue was a sponsor at the baptism of Matthew Ryan and Ellen Callinane child, Patrick.  The reason for suspecting a relationship with James is that the other sponsor was George Gunn and we know that Juliana had a connection with the Gunns. 

A sponsor at Ellen and Maurice Nelan’s child, Mary, was John Donohue, which suggests he was her brother.  In the Tithe Applotment Books of 1824, a John Donohue is shown to be on land in Bishopscourt which is adjacent to Benmore.  But John is a well-used name.

At the 1814 baptism of John Connor and Ellen Donohue’s second child, Daniel, the sponsors were Sylvester and Honora Donohough.  As described above it seems unlikely that they would have been of Generation One on the basis of age, so for the moment we will assume that they were Sylvester and Mary Flahive’s children.

In Poplar in 1851
After the famine (1845-51) the incidence of Donoghue events in Causeway reduces to very little.  So what happened to all our ancestors?  They might have died during the famine, left Causeway for another parish looking for work or emigrated to UK, North America or Australasia.
We know that Thomas and Ellen Connor brought their family to London sometime between March 1851 and March 1852 when Mary Ann was born.
I have checked all the Donoghues in Poplar in the 1851 UK census.  Families sent members ahead to recce the proposed new settlement area and there were two possible for our family in 5 Sophia Street.  Honoria Donaghua (b.c.1835, and described as the sister of a Joanna Connell) and John Donohou (b.c.1820, a visitor) were amongst many people living in this one building.  Other names were Fitzgerald, Flaherty, Hayes, Healy, Murphy and these all crop up in the Causeway Donoghue records.  I have not identified birth events in Causeway for these two but the names are common in our family (but also in many others).  At the time of Mary Ann’s birth in 1852 our family was living at 3 Sophia Street which does suggest a relationship.
There is also a Patrick Donohue, wife Ann and child Juliana, living as lodgers with a Dee family in 8 Salters Buildings, Poplar.  He was born around 1821.  Earlier in this note I identified a son of our James and Juliana of this name married to a Catherine Dee; two children are recorded in 1823 and 1826.  It is as yet unclear to me who this Poplar Patrick is, but I feel he is probably one of ours.
How common is the name Juliana Donoghue?  There are only 13 in the whole of Kerry in the period 1784-1852 and 8 of those are in Causeway.  There are however hundreds of Julias, but only a handful in Causeway so Juliana is a very singular name for our part of north Kerry and is a very clear indication that this Patrick probably came from Causeway. 
There is a lot of work yet to be done in Poplar and surrounding districts.

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