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Hi,                                                                                                                                                                                 My father (James Creaby) grew up in Kiltimagh, the village of Goulboy, on the Knock road. I have some information from the 1901 and 1911 census records, but as he never spoke of his family or upbringing, my curiosity is far from satisfied. I believe he  immigrated to America (NYC) in the mid 1930s and married my mother Delia (nee Conlon) who is also from Kiltimagh, the village of Bohans. My grandfather's name was Michael and grandmother's name was Mary (nee Brennan). I know of his brother Matthew and his sister Mary Ellen, but none of his other siblings. 

I'd love to hear about any connection we might have or any information you can provide about my father's ancestry.

Thank you in advance, Jim                            

***Correction - My mother's home was on the road between Kiltimagh and Knock in the townland of Bohaun which is situated in North Knock.




Friday 7th February 2020, 11:27PM

Message Board Replies

  • Jim:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    The fourth record on this page  shows the 1887 civil marriage record for Michael and Mary. Michael's father was Mathew (deceased and Mary's father was Michael.

    The baptismal records for Killedan/Kiltimagh parish start February 2, 1861. I searched on the subscription site Roots Ireland and did not find Michael's record so likely he was born earlier than 1861. I did find a record for a likely younger brother James. See below and it appears that Mathew Creaby's wife was also Mary Brennan.

    The 1855 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing for Killedan civil parish does not show Mathew but there were four Curraby records in Gowelboy for James John Michael and Patrick Curraby likely all relatives.

    This may be Michael's death record in 1936

    I would recommend that you search the free site for civil marriage records and death records for Creaby and you might locate records for siblings of James.

    Roger McDonnell


    Name:James CreabyDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:15-Jul-1863Address:GoulboyParish/District:Killedan RC parishGender:MaleCountyCo. Mayo
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:Mathew CreabyMother:Mary BrennanOccupation:
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Anthony BurkeSponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Kate Brennan


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 8th February 2020, 03:20PM
  • The townland of Gowelboy (as it is usually written now) is just at the eastern edge of the town of Kiltimagh.  You can see a map of it and other info at this link, where you'll also have access to the Griffith's Valuation and 1901 and 1911 census records for the townland:

    I couldn't find a townland in Killedan named Bohans, but there is a possibility very nearby, called Bohaun, to the southeast, just across the border in the parish of Knock, about which you can find more info at this link:

    That would be close enough that your parents could well have known one another in Mayo.  Townland names sometimes changed their (anglicized) spelling, and sometimes there are local names for certain areas, referred to as "sub-townlands", which were used by the people living there, but not recorded as formal townland names.

    As it happens, I have a great-great-grandmother from Killedan parish (Kiltimagh being the main town) named Margaret Curraby (another form of Creaby - see below).  There were Creaby/Curraby familes in two places in Killedan, one being Gowelboy and the other being just a bit north of Kiltimagh, in the townlands of Pulroghnahane/Pollronahan (in Killedan) and Treanfohanaun (just over the border in the parish of Bohola).  The two branches of the family were undoubtedly related, but the written records do not go back far enough to link them on paper (at least so far).  I have located descendants in the UK from both branches, and have dna matches to people in both branches.

    The surname Curraby/Creaby is a less common variant of the surname Corboy, which is Mac Corrbuidhe in Irish, believed possibly to be derived from the words “corr” ("crane") and “buidhe” ("yellow").   In origin, it was possibly a nickname for someone with blond hair who was thin and looked like a bit like a crane.  Most Gaelic-origin names are based on an ancestor's given name, nickname, or some characteristic (such as the Scottish name Cameron, which means “crooked nose”).

    The surname originated further to the east, in what are now the counties of Laois and Offaly, and online records at indicate that Curraby/Creaby is a rare variant of the surname, apparently found originally only in Mayo, and not widespread there.  Curraby was often used in older records, with Creaby becoming the more common form with time.  As pronounced by Irish speakers (which they would all still have been in the 19th century), the two forms can sound the same, and are just different anglicizations of the Irish name.  The switching from one form to the other happened even in the same family - my great-great-grandmother's siblings are recorded with both forms of the name.

    In case you're interested, Killedan is the anglicized from of the Irish Cill Liadáin (“Liadán’s church”), and Kiltimagh is an anglicization of the Irish Coillte Mach (“milking woods” or less likely “woods of the plain”).  Gowelboy is from the Irish An Ghabhal Bhuí, which means "the yellow fork" (as in a fork in a road or path).  Bohaun comes from the Irish Na Botháin, meaing "the huts".



    Saturday 8th February 2020, 08:17PM
  • Roger and Kevin,

    Thank you both for your knowledge and efforts on my behalf. It will greatly help me in obtaining a glimpse of my ancestors past.

    Sincerely, Jimc



    Monday 10th February 2020, 02:47AM
  • Hi Jim,

    On the 1911 census Mary Brennan-Creaby confirmed she had 7 children, 6 of whom were still alive in 1911.

    Their daughter, Mary, was born and died in jan 1890.

    The rest were:

    Catherine,   b. 13 dec 1887

    Anne,          b. 18 Dec 1890

    Matt,           b. 10 Dec 1893

    Mary Ellen, b. 19 Oct 1896

    Michael,      b. 10 Feb 1900

    James. P.,   b. 9 Mar 1904

    I have all the birth registrations attached to them on my tree on ancestry.

    The pattern of births, especially for the older children, suggests that Dad may have been a migrant worker  in England or Scotland. It was common practice for the men to go to England for several months of the year to earn additional income to send home to the family. They were all very poor tenant farmers.

    By 1911, Kate had left home. I can find no evidence that she married locally. it is very likely that she emigrated to England or America. The rest were all still at home in 1911


    I will send you an invite to my tree on Ancestry now.

    Best wishes,






    Wednesday 12th February 2020, 03:30PM
  • Kevin, you are right about Bohaun (or Bohauns as it is known locally). It is only a mile in the road towards Knock rom Goulboy.

    Another brother of Delia and John Conlon lived just in the road- his name was Fred. I think his son still lives in their house. My father had told us of their connection to Matt's family years ago.

    I think you are the only person I know of with links to both Goulboy and Treenfohanane area Creabys. I'm not sure if we'll ever be able to find the missing link, but it's fun trying!

    Best wishes,




    Wednesday 12th February 2020, 05:25PM
  • Hi Mary,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thank you for this information. I am not sure if these are my father's sisters, but from the website '' I found that a Kate Creaby came to the States from Kiltimagh in 1904 and an Annie Creaby came to the States from Kiltimagh in 1912. From there?                                                                                                                                                                           Thank you for access to your family tree, but I must be doing something incorrectly. The majority of entries are marked private. I'll try and figure out the error of my ways!





    Tuesday 18th February 2020, 02:23PM
  • Hi jimc,

    I'll email you!





    Friday 21st February 2020, 11:42AM