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Like Tim Lemire, who posted to this site in January 2018, "My goal is to locate and connect with living relatives in Ireland".

I am a Collins and have traced my ancestry back to the mid 1700's, principally in Dunmanway. Before they emigrated to Ontario, Canada, my ancestors were members of the Dunmanway parish. They lived in the surrounding townlands, and were all farming families. For many years prior to their emigration, between 1845 and 1850, they were tenants on the Donovan farm in Derinasafa/Derrynasafagh.

My Collins ancestors, and many others from the Dunmanway region, made the voyage to North America (Ontario,Canada) and settled primarily in the counties of Middlesex, Elgin and Huron. Those in my tree, many related by marriages over two centuries, include these:   Breen, Collins, Coughlin, Coveney, Crowley, Deasy, Daly, Donovan, Grace, Hooley/Whooley, Hurley, Leary/O'Leary, Mahoney, Maloney, Manning, McCarthy, Murphy, O'Brien/Brien, Regan, Ronan, Sullivan/O'Sullivan and Sweeney.

All of these families lived near and among each other after their arrivals in Canada, which primarily occurred between 1840 and 1880. I have a wealth of information, stories, photos and records, about my ancestors and the Dunmanway emigrants. But most of what I have gathered and discovered has added little to my knowledge of my ancestors lives in Ireland, before they left. What I am earnestly seeking is any resident/residents of West Cork who might have some connection to the ancestors of Dunmanway area as described here.

I have done extensive y-DNA testing in an effort to aid my search. However, myself and less than a dozen other Collins in West Cork, share a unique DNA not expected by the experts to exist in Ireland at all. I have been classed in a haplogroup in which only one other tester appears. In short, DNA matching for me has been nearly nill, and has not advanced my quest to know more about my ancestry pre-emigration.

I am encouraging any interested readers of this post to contact me. Bridging the gap of nearly 175 years between now and then has been expectedly difficult. How glorious it would be to hear from anyone with a relationship to any of these people.

Kind regards:
Michael Collins

P.S. I previously posted to this site in January, 2019. I uploaded some photos of ancestors, but am including here another upload of my great, great grandmother, Honora (Sullivan) Collins. She married Thomas Collins in Drinagh in 1843, and they lived thereafter in Derinasafa, on the Donovan farm where other family also resided.  30 years after arriving in Canada,  in 1881 she left there, to join my great grandfather, Michael Thomas Collins, in Los Angeles, California. She died there in 1904, at age 90.


Michael Collins

Saturday 14th Sep 2019, 06:59PM

Message Board Replies

  • Michael Collins

    Saturday 14th Sep 2019, 07:00PM
  • Hello


    Interested in your Regan connections of Dunmanway.

    Did some come to Canada?

    Reg Volk

    Sunday 24th Nov 2019, 05:14PM
  • Hello, Reg: The short answer is yes, many! I presently have nearly 300 Regans in my tree, and my quick guess is easily 50% of them were famine emigrants to Ontario, Canada, primarily in Middlesex, Elgin and Huron counties. The balance are composed of the descendants of the above. Many of the Regans I have researched came from the West Cork area, particularly in the area of Dunmanway. I have contact with only a few descendants in California, where I live. My Collins ancestors settled in Middlesex, Ontario, but my direct line (descending from my gg grandfather who died in Canada in 1875) all came to California between 1870 and 1890. Hence, my family had little contact with the emmigrants to Canada post 1880, with the exception of a few Regans who also came to California. Feel free to reply, particularly if any of the above strikes a chord with you. Always interested to share and to hear from others with common ground.

    Best wishes:

    Michael Collins

    Michael Collins

    Monday 25th Nov 2019, 06:54PM

    I have visited Dromourneen, a townland near Dunmanway where other Regans from the townland live/lived.

    My Regans seem to have come to Canada in the early 1860s.  They lived in Quebec City, Montreal and York/Toronto.

    My great grandfather, Peter Reggin, was born in Quebec, April, 1863.  The name was changed from O'Regan, to Regan, to Reggin.

    I have been in contact with a Peter Regan from California.  He has since passed away.

    However, I still do not have specific connections.



    Reg Volk

    Tuesday 26th Nov 2019, 03:44PM
  • I have two family connections in Cork,

    My great grandfather was John Connolly, born about 1830, son of Daniel and Johana Daly.

    He married Mary Donovan, daughter of Timothy and Mary/Margaret Neal, in NewYork City 1n 1861.

    My grandmother, Mary Elisabeth Connolly was born there a year later.

    I do not know where John came from, only County Cork

    Mary Donovan was born about 1838 inClashnacrona, Dunmanway, Cork.

    The Donovans were tennant farmers on lands now held by the Beamish family.


    Saturday 28th Mar 2020, 05:19PM

    Ahhh, the elusive Regans et al.  You have much more specific info then moi.

    Do any of your Regans connect to Dromourneen near Dunmanway?

    I have been to Dromourneen and Dumanway but it is still only a maybe.

    Looking for A Regan/Morris(on) marriage circa 1850.







    Reg Volk

    Sunday 29th Mar 2020, 05:44PM
  • Reg, your name sounds familiar to me. I think we were  probably in touch a few years ago. My grandmother was Ellen, Mahony, born to Maurice Mahony and Mary Kingston in Gurteeniher, Drimoleague. This was just one of many places Maurice lived as he must have moved around looking for work. Maurice was born in 1826 in Toam, Dunmanway to parents who never married: Michael Mahony and Julia Collins. I have many, many DNA matches (autosomal on Ancestry) with those who share the names Collins, Regan, and Mahony. Some of my matches I believe come from siblings of Michael Mahony (probably born about 1800-1805 or so in Toam). They include Crowleys and Buckleys, among others. Do you have a tree on Ancestry by any chance? My username on Ancestry is janfortado1

    Best! Jan  (Janice Kenney Fortado)


    Wednesday 12th Aug 2020, 12:37AM
  • Hi Michael!

    I have info on Collins, Donovan, Regan & Sullivan. Where do you have your DNA and under what name or email address? I am on ancestry, My Heritage, GEDMatch and more. All under same email address as listed below. 

    I connect through Regan and Sullivan but have other DNA matches I could connect you with who descend from Regan, Sullivan, Donovan and Collins.

    Maureen Donlevy Clary 


    Thursday 22nd Oct 2020, 06:06PM

    JOhn J Regan was allegedly from the Dunmanway area. I have done my DNA so where would I send mine, as you said yours didn't match a general population.  My John J Regan married Elizabeth Dougherty in Rochester, NY 1891. M y grandfather was born the following year, Feb 2.  Another cousin has done contact work with cousins in Dunmanway. I only found one regan. in the church records in town. I was there for a few hours one day, ten years ago.  Maybe I can find the chart I was given and get back to you. Feel free to contact me on my email:   PTDEMERS@GMAIL.COM.  I've seen Regans in Ontario but assumed none of them were related. I have no idea why John J Regan went to Rocehster. A couple of his siblings came with him, some remained in Ireland, and two cousins were in Rochester also , brother and sister, John and Hannah Regan who returned to Ireland for retirement years about 1940. both are dead now but in Rochester they ran a thoroughbred horse farm and John was heavily involved in the old racetrack in Rochester, Driving Park, where people would come from across the country to run their horses.   Someone tried to burn the barn once but it was caught in time and saved.  Horses were in there; made the front page local news.  Never heard who tried to do it.  The farm is still intact. A woman owns it now for some new age business.  I contacted her once but she never answered.   Hope to hear from you,  Pat Troy. (that part of the family is from Clare, Kilydsart.)



    Patricia TROY Demers

    Friday 18th Dec 2020, 04:15AM
  • Hi Michael.

    I am a Collins originally from West Cork, specifically Drimoleague. I do have some relatives that are Daly and Sweeney. I don't know what the chances are of being related to you in any way. Can you recommend the best websites to do DNA tests or what other ways did you get genealogical history on your family?




    Tuesday 12th Jan 2021, 02:16AM
  • God love all of you for trying so hard to connect your family dots. It is a labor of love which lately has been overwhelmingly frustrating for me. I am a Donovan linked to the Collins family through the marriage of my great grandparents Richard Donovan and Mary Collins in Clonakilty as well as links to the Cullinanes as GGGGP's. In researching it seems these farming families moved quite a bit throughout West Cork from Bandon out to Drimoleague and down to Clon and it has been very hard to connect with even my Grand Uncle and Aunts families who were born in early 20th century and lived in Tullymurrihy and Knockskeagh during the last 2 census. I have no information that any moved to Canada, but a few did emigrate to the US including my grandfather Thomas Donovan. ironically my mothers side who are Barry's did emigrate to Canada from Cork and we know quite a bit about them. Good luck to all and if you would like to look up my tree on ancetry feel free: terrence donovan family treee. Cheers, Terrence


    Wednesday 24th Mar 2021, 07:38PM
  • John J REGAN (REAGAN on the state marriage record; rest of his records are REGAN) was born (Dunmanway is one reference), Cork, Ireland 26 Dec 1851. His father was John REGAN, mother Hannah CROWLEY. Still need to see his petition for naturalization, and the naturalization record. he claims to be naturalized on later census records.  A cousin of mine has been to Dunmanway and met other cousins. I'd like to hear from someone who recognizes John J's parents.

    His wife: Elizabeth DOUGHERTY,  her father: Patrick DOHERTY, mother Bridget CONROY, all from northern Ireland, not certain yet which county. They met in Rochester as far as we know.

    John J REGAN's 2-4 siblings who came to Rochester New York USA with or after him didn't marry in Rochester, NY.  At least 1-2 returned to the Dunmanway area. I don't know about the 1-2 others.   He came from a family of 8 or 10 kids according to a cousin who gave verbal info to my mother, a Monsignor Burns.

    As for other Rochester marriages:              (All spelled REAGAN on the certificates)   Potential siblings may include Mary, wife of John Hurley, marriage 1879, and, Elizabeth who married John Corcoran, 1881,  Elizabeth who married 1884 to Thomas Corcoran,   and finally Ellen, wife of Thomas Costello, marriage 1878, both in Rochester, neither of which provided parent's name on marriage certificates in Rochester.  No proof of relationship to John J Regan.

    I did see on several REAGAN and REGAN marriages that one or both spouses were b in Canada if that is helpful to anyone.  There was a lot of travel between Rochester and Ontario Province, the Toronto end as well as Kingston, the opposite end of Lake Ontario. Thousands of ships were going back and forth, both ways, E to W as well.  

    Pat Troy Demers  







    Patricia TROY Demers

    Thursday 15th Apr 2021, 06:41PM
  • I previously posted on both the Fanlobbus parish message board, and the Drimoleague board. My prior posts (Michael Collins) included my then email address, I am now using the email address of Please contact me via this email address with any questions or assistance for help. I have been actively researching my Irish heritage for nearly 30 years. My Collins ancestors lived in the Dunmanway parish region, and lived on the Donovan Farm of Derrinasafa for many years before they left Ireland in the throes of the Great Hunger. They and many other Dunmanway families emigrated to North America, specifically the province of Ontario, Canada. My research includes the history of 20 or more families of the Dunmanway parish who settled principally in the counties of Middlesex, Huron and Elgin, from and after 1848. Primary families affiliated with the Collins include Coghlin/Coughlin, Coveny/Coveney, Crowley, Daly, Donovan, Driscoll, Mahony/Mahoney, Malony/Maloney, McCarthy, Regan, Ronan, Sullivan, and Sweeney.

    Happy Hunting to All, and I hope to hear from some of you.

    Michael Collins,

    Michael Collins

    Wednesday 19th May 2021, 11:05PM


    Please view my recent post to the Fanlobbus Parish message board. My previous postings requested questions or assistance should be sent to an email address I no longer use ( I am now using the email address of

    I apologize if I have missed any posts directed to me, and am happy to reply, via this new email address.

    Best wishes, and Happy Hunting to All:

    Michael Collins,

    Michael Collins

    Wednesday 19th May 2021, 11:14PM
  • For some time, I have been tracking my ancestors in the parish of Dunmanway - Driscoll, Duggan, Donovan and Denahoughe/Donoghue.  Like many other families in the early 19th century, they moved around a lot, probably looking for work.  I can document them fairly well from about 1810-1820 on (when sacramental records begin) but can't get them back any further.  Recently, Ancestry has been indicating that I also have a distant tie to several Crowleys, and I am trying to figure out what the connection is.  It might be through John Crowley of Direens, who married 17 Oct. 1839, Dunmanway, Margaret Duggan of Direens.   Some of the children of this family ended up in Springfield, Mass.  My four specific lines were primarily found in Dunmanway proper, sometimes connected with Cat Lane.  These were pretty modest people, and one line ended up in the Work House in the 1860's.   Can't find what happened to the parents, but all of the children eventually migrated to the US.

    Contact with others who are researching Dunmanway families is kind of neat!

    Annette Lynch



    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 12:30AM
  • Hi all, 

    My grandmother's maiden name was Collins and we have traced her family back to the 1700s in Dunmanway. Her great grandfather Michael Collins (1821-1891) was born in Dunmanway and migrated to Southwark in London in 1849. I do have some brick walls in the family which I'm hoping to solve! I have some cousins currently living in Cork who I plan to visit some time this year, and am hoping to add Dunmanway to my Cork iteniry too. 


    Monday 16th May 2022, 10:35PM

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