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David O’Sullivan and family Mallow and Fermoy area





We are looking for information regarding my wife’s Great Grandfather David  O’Sullivan and family from Mallow/Fermoy area.


What we know


Mary Murphy (b. 13 Feb 1865 in Scarrah? to  William & Johanna Murphy Nee Rourke) married Michael Dunlea, Labourer (Father Denis Dunlea) in Mallow on 30th Nov 1893. Father of Mary - William Murphy of Bridewell Lane, Mallow.

Note Bridewell Lane was where Timothy Dunlea was born 10 years later and Thomas O’Sullivan some 17 years later.




Margaret (we think also known as Agnes/Aggie) Dunlea b. 6 Jan 1882 Cloonbey? 


William Dunlea abt. 1884


Charles Dunlea b. 4th Oct 1886  bapt. 5 Oct 1886 Glantane (Sponsors John Murphy & Mary Shine) Father Michael Dunlap (presume should read Dunlea) Porter on the GS & WR (Great Southern and Western Railway)


Timothy Dunlea.b 10 Nov 1887 Bridewell Lane bapt. 13 Nov 1887 Mallow (Sponsors William Dunlea & Margaret Hassett) Mother Mary Dunlea formerly Murphy – Father Michael Dunlea Railway Porter


Michael Dunlea of Spa walk, Mallow died 17 April 1893 at the age of 33. Occupation Railway Porter


Mary then married David Sullivan (O’Sullivan) Servant In Mallow on 30th November 1893. David’s father was Thomas Sullivan (Steward) David was baptised in Newcastle West, Limerick on 31st March 1870

Note – in a later Court case David mentions that he worked for Mr. Nunan at Mallow at this time. Could it be that his father Thomas also worked for Mr. Nunan.




Thomas O’Sullivan 12 Dec 1894-1971 b. 12 Dec ? Bridewell Lane

Bapt. 1894 9th Dec (so dates wrong somewhere) Mallow – also was bapt as Thomas Joseph Sullivan whereas later he was known as Thomas Francis O’Sullivan

(father David was listed as a Carrier)


About 1895 family moved to Fermoy


Mary Kate O’Sullivan b. 25 July 1896 College Road, Fermoy (father David was then listed as a Mineral water maker). Bapt. Mary Catherine on 26th July. One of sponsors was John O’Sullivan, possibly who David worked for – John (does not appear to be  related) was a Mineral Water maker in Vulcan Street.


John Joseph O’Sullivan b 10th Nov 1897 William Street, Fermoy bapt 14 Nov  Died 1942.


Teressa Bapt. 30th Nov 1900


1901 31st March Family living at 27 King Street in Fermoy – all the children are “listed” as O’Sullivans (though some were born Dunlea). William (Willie) and Charles (Charley) are listed as Mineral Water Makers so presume helping with the Mineral Water business run by David O’Sullivan. Thomas O’Sullivan is not home at the time.


Guys Almanac Directory entry in 1903, 1907 & again in 1910/13 and finally 1914 – Mineral Water Manufacturer. David O’Sullivan Grubbs Quay, Fermoy. 


From Court cases in 1908 & 1909 and again in 1911 – the relationship between David and Mary appears to have deteriorated.


During the early 1900’s we also know that the “Dunlea” children emigrated to the USA and we have been in touch with some of their descendants. 


1911 March 25th – David O’Sullivan King Street, Fermoy was issued with a dog license


In England 1921 marriage of Thomas, his father David occupation is mentioned as Engine Driver, his brother John Joseph’s marriage in 1923, father David’s occupation is stated as Labourer.


My wife has DNA links with the Dunlea descendants in the USA (through Mary Murphy her Great Grandmother). Other DNA links connect her to Grandmother Elizabeth Kay (wife of John Joseph O’Sullivan 1897 – 1942) and to her Great Grandmother Sarah Ann Foster 1878 – 1962.






1/Nunan Family in Mallow – Is there anyway of finding records that might say if David’s father Thomas was indeed a Steward for the family (my first reaction on Thomas being a Steward was similar to a waiter but since understand most likely a land steward who would be responsible for running the estate for the owner, including being responsible for payment of earnings and collecting taxes).

Then of course was David himself servant for the same family?


We know their sons Thomas and John Joseph O’Sullivan (my wife’s grandfather) both went to England around or before start of the First World War. Thomas served in the British Army and settled down in England we are in touch with his descendants. John Joseph died in a shipyard accident during the WWII blackouts in 1942. So whilst we have questions there, they are not in regard to Ireland.



2/What happened to the rest of the O’Sullivan family including parents David and Mary?

    We have no knowledge of Mary Kate b. 1896, Teressa b. 1900 after the 1911 census in Fermoy.


3/Have been confused by several records over the years including another John possibly, so there could well be other children.

Have relevant paperwork for any of the dates mentioned above.

Thanks Derek

Ps just deleted an earlier similar post that had failed to include the areas involved 




Derek M

Saturday 18th July 2020, 01:08PM