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Hi All,

I'm looking for any possible help to locate a baptismal record for my great grandfather, the chances of one existing sound slim. Andy Leonard was quite famous in the US as a member of the first professional baseball time, the Cincinati Red stockings. We believe based on public newspapers and documents that he was born June 1, 1846 in Cavan. His diary shows that he was born in Kilsalagh and that his parents Andrew Leonard and Ann Leddy were friends or acquaintances of Bishop Nicholas Conaty. This document will help several family members pursue Irish citizenship.

There appear to be no Kilmore parish records from that period on the NLI or rootsireland. 

Just trying to validate that this is now a dead end or is there somewhere else I can search. I've tried to contact the Kilmore parish but haven't received a response over the last few months. 


Kevin McCarty


Monday 13th September 2021, 05:02PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Kevin,


    According to the website Society for American Baseball Research, “Ann Leonard, her youngest son, Andrew, and his two sisters, Ann and Catharine, fled to America, sailing from Liverpool on the ship Milan, which arrived in New York on June 13, 1848. They settled in Newark, where they were joined by the family’s three oldest sons, John, Thomas, and Richard. No record can be found of what happened to their father.” 


    It’s not clear where the name Andrew came from as being the name of Andy’s father. If Andy said that was his father’s name, that’s pretty reliable; if it was on his death cert, it’s not so reliable.  According to the previous blurb, Andy was the fourth son.  In Irish naming patterns, the third son is named after the father.  So it’s possible Andy’s father was not named Andrew.


    Note too that some websites presenting info about Andy say that he was born in Antrim.


    Monday 13th September 2021, 05:35PM
  • Kevin:

    Kilmore RC baptismal records start in May 1859 so if Andy Leonard was from that parish, no records are available.

    I looked at the 1855 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing ( I know the family had left Ireland by 1855) for Kilmore civil parish in order to see if the surnames Leddy and Leonard were found in the parish. There were 13 Leddy households and one Leonard household in the parish.

    There are fragments left from the 1821 census and some records exist for Kilmore parish. There was a 28 year old Andrew Leonard living with his mother and brother in Drumcarban townland Kilmore civil parish. Possibly this Andrew was the father of Andy the baseball player.

    There were no Leddy records in the 1821 census fragments for Kilmore parish.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 13th September 2021, 06:08PM
  • Thanks Patricia - I would consider that Andrew Sr is the father of Andy, his mother noted in several contemporary resources that she was the widow of Andrew Leonard and it's noted on several of Andy's sibling's death certs as well. 

    We do consider the Andrew Leonard in the 1821 census in Drumcarbon as his father as Roger has found. More information, Andy noted in his diary that he was born in Kilsalagh and that his mother and/or father grew up with and knew Bishop Philip Conaty. Also, Andy's diary noted that his mother was from Drummallon.

    I think any bios that say Andy was born in Antrim are incorrect and have no sources for that. I would take his diary references over that. 

    I reached out to St Felim's in Ballanagh to see if there are any surviving baptismal records from the 1840's.


    Tuesday 14th September 2021, 03:19PM
  • Just an update - St Felim's and the Kilmore diocese got back to me yesterday to confirm what I thought. There are no existing baptismal records from this area in 1846. 


    Thursday 16th September 2021, 01:58PM