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My 2x grandmother and her children were one of those evicted from Coolbaun (Castletown Parish, Limerick) during the famine. They immigrated to America in 1849, almost two years after their eviction.  My question is:  what is the most likely survival theory for their family, and if there is any evidence to support that theory. If there were, I would greatly appreciate it.

Maurice and Bridget (Biddy) Bourke Doherty (b. 1809) lived in Coolbaun with their 10 children:  Margaret (b. 1828), Thomas (b. 1830), Mary (b. 1831), Michael (b. 1833), William (b. 1835), John (b. 1837), Judy (b. 1840), Patrick (b. 1842), Morris (b. 1845), and Maria (b. 1846 or 1847).  Baptismal sponsors for the children included John Cormack, Bess Cormack, Catherine Real, Patrick and Margaret Doherty, Mary Kavh, John Bourke (3x), Mary Bourke, Michael Bourke, Bridget Bourke, and Nancy Dwyer.  It appears that there were both Doherty and Bourke families in the area.

Maurice died between 1846 and 1847.  According to the May 1847 tenure book, the widow Bridget Doherty’s name is crossed out and the new owner John Lundergan listed.  The house is noted as “down” in the house book.  The family (less daughter Judy) left for America and arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana in February 1849.

It is quite extraordinary that the vast majority of family members survived that period.  Unfortunately, a few years after they arrived in New Orleans, the six youngest children died from one of the yellow fever epidemics that plagued that area.

Any information or likely theories about how they may have fared after eviction would be greatly appreciated.


Thursday 18th February 2021, 07:25PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Gibson, your query very interesting and you have amazing research done on 

    Doon Co Limerick as my Morrissey ancestors came from Toomaline Lower.

    I have some Books on Doon and will go through them, to search for possible material on evictions.

    I also will contact historian in the area re same. You say the family less  Judy  emigrated, is  it possible she married locally

    and has descendants in the area.

    Headstone inscriptions for  St Fintan,s Graveyard Doon on line at

    Best of luck with your research let mr know how you get on ,and if you have questions.

    Volunteer Christina.

    Christina, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 19th February 2021, 11:24AM
  • Thank you so much.  I look forward to your research about the evictions.   I suspect that they may have found refuge with family, or perhaps they were able to survive in a workhouse (though I'm not sure where they would put a large family and if there are any records)..  I doubt that Judy stayed in the area, as she would have been 9 when the family left Ireland.and she was one of the middle children. 

    As an interesting side-note, the eldest son Thomas Doherty (Dougherty) was my great grandfather, and he eventually married a local girl who followed the Doherty family to New Orleans, arriving in December 1849.  Margaret Tierney (b. 1830 in Solohead parish), was the eldest daughter of Maurice Tierney (1783-1879) and Margaret Barragry, and she lived just a few miles from Coolbaun on a farm at Clonlusk.  The Tierney family acquired the farm in Clonlusk prior to 1837, and descendants still own the farm in Clonlusk to this day.

    My next question would be what would be the best approach to research family lore of the Tierney's move from New Inn, Tipperary to Longford, Oola Hills, Limerick.  Family lore said Maurice Tierney (d. 1805) and his wife Margaret Quinlan (d. 1845) were evicted from New Inn.  I don't know when that would have been.  There is a tithe applotment for the widow (Margaret Quinlan)Tierney in Longford, Oola in 1826. Maurice and Margaret are the progenitors of several Tierney family members buried in a common plot in Kilpatrick cemetery in Annacarty. There had been a strong connection between the Tierneys and the Quinlans, and the Quinlan family gave the plot to the Tierney family.  If there are source materials/books going back to the late 1700's/early 1800's  I would appreciate any leads.

    Thanks again, and I look forward to any info you can provide.


    Saturday 20th February 2021, 04:12AM
  • Hi again Gibson. You have the most amazing research done,  I went through the Doon Journal,s that I have.

    Found nothing on Eviction,s, Also went through Limerick Library local studies obituary,s  looking for Doherty,s

    found none. Rang historian friends re material on eviction,s,they did not know of any.  I will try ringing the Local studies section

    of Limerick  Co Library, re possible material on eviction,s Did you ever manage to make contact with the Tierney family.

    Not sure how to research the  Tierneys move from New Inn  to Oola Hills one theory could be the same landlord owned both lands and moved his tenants, 

    around, will try and find more on this  Have records for Kilpatrick Graveyard will look at the graves near  the Quinlan and Tierney  plots for maybe more.

    Wil go through Doon graveyard records as well.



    Christina, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 21st February 2021, 10:58AM
  • Thank you so very much for all of your efforts.  I traveled to Ireland nearlly 3 years ago, and stayed in Doon. The people there couldn't have made my trip more memorable - the trip of a lifetime.

    My great grandmother, Margaret Tierney (1829-1909), was the first to leave Ireland, and all of her siblings except for one left for America.  In Margaret's sister's obituary, their (half)-brother Maurice Tierney (1837-1918) was mentioned as remaining in Ireland.  He inherited the family farm.  So, with nothing more than a connection to land, I hoped there may still be Tierneys in the area.  I couldn't believe my incredible luck in finding the last of the Tierneys owning the farm in Clonlusk.  It was that cousin who told me of the New Inn eviction, and showed me the graveyard in Annacarty.  It was that cemetery plot and all the family names and relationships listed that opened up a huge amount of research when I returned to the US - and of course, more unanswered questions!

    My cousin said that there was a Maurice Tierney (of course - one of 12 in the family) living in Dublin, who used to live on the farm next to her.  I thought adjoining Tierney farms had to be more than a coincidence, but she assured me that there was no relation.  BUT - it was that cemetery stone and the relationships listed that ultimately proved otherwise. Our common ancestors were Maurice Tierney (d. 1805) and Margaret Quinlan (d. 1845).  Their son Jeremiah (~1785-1847) was in the plot, and it was his line that produced cousin Maurice in Dublin.  Apparently, brothers Jeremiah and Maurice Tierney (~1783-1879) acquired the Clonlusk farms around 1837.  This would have been before their mother (Margaret Quinlan) died in 1847, so I'm thinking her land in Longford, Oola, went to another family alltogether -  or a son-in-law.

    What started me on this inquiry was another Ireland Reaching Out post about "Famine Evictions near Limerick" (, where the Limerick Leader had posted the names of families evicted.from Moanduff and Carrig More - not far from Coolbaun..  That landlord was listed as Hon. Henry Hare.  Col. William H. (Henry?) Hare was listed as the landlord of Bridget Doherty's land.  Looked like to me there were systemic evictions, especially in the Castletown area.

    Again, thanks for your perserverance.  Breaking through brick walls are so hard!




    Sunday 21st February 2021, 01:58PM
  • Hi again Gibson,  once again I have to say you have been lucky to have got access to so much amazing material.

    You were lucky to find headstones in Kilpatrick graveyard, I only got copy of them , from a  friewnd a few months ago.

    one interesting thing about headstones, is this the headstone,s beside it ofter are of relatives, just as the names in townlands in Griffith,s valuation

    are often of relatives.  Kilpatrick is a townland  and civil parish in the Catholic Parish of Anacarty.

    New graveyard beside the Catholic Church in Anacarty for the past 20   years.

    Will try and find  out more for you and get back to you.

    Volunteer  Christina.

    Christina, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 23rd February 2021, 08:55AM
  • Hi again Gibson, I had nolluck with getting material on Evictions,  but reading through the material you accessed, which is amazing reading through it, I had not seen it before.

    It mentions The  Limerick Examiner,  and the 18th of Dec  1848, reading through this newspaper if it is still in The archives could give more material.

    Will let you know if I find more.


    Christina, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 10th March 2021, 10:05AM