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Trying to find out more about the Geoghegan family ancestry tree before 1800.  The furthest back I have been able to trace ancestors in the Clonakilty area was to 1809 when available Church records begin.  Our family's 2x great-grandfather was John Joseph Geoghegan, who was living in the Clonakilty/Kilgarriff area until immigration to the USA in the 1850s.  He was born about 1816.  John Geoghegan's name appears in Griffith's Valuation as living in Kilgarriff/Tawnies Upper/Clonakilty/New Chapel St.  He married Margaret Blake on 12 April 1845 in the Darrara parish.  She was the daughter of John Blake and Peggy Fitzpatrick of Clonakilty.  Three of their children were born in Clonakilty during the 1840s and early 1850s (Mary Jane, Ambrose Francis, and Margaret Anne).  John's brother James Geoghegan married Mary Delahunty in the Darrara parish, too.  However, when I asked the Clonakilty historical society what anyone knew about the Geoghegan family in the area, they thought the family arrived from somewhere else in the late 18th century, probably for the wool trade.  Of course, all Geoghegans trace the family origin to County Westmeath - but the family had scattered throughout Ireland by the 16th through 18th centuries.  I am trying to find out who were the parents of John Geoghegan, and if they actually were from the Kilgarriff - Clonakilty area after all - And if not, then from where?  Macroom and Donraille also had Geoghegan families listed as residents in the early 19th century.  If anyone has a clue as to the Geoghegan history in Kilgarriff & Clonakilty, I would greatly appreciate any information. 


Tuesday 13th Mar 2018, 03:28AM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear AnnieG:

    Thank you for your query to the Ireland Reaching Out message board and welcome to the site.

    I'm going to forward this query to one of our volunteers in the West Cork area who is very active.  He should reply to you within the next week or two.

    Thank you for your interest in Ireland Reaching Out.

    Kind regards,



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Wednesday 14th Mar 2018, 11:41AM
  • Hi Annie,

    Jane passed on your query to me to see if I could help you. Unfortunately, I cannot see any way of getting any reliable or informative records pre existing Church records which you correctly state are only back to the early 1800s  in most cases.

    I will continue to look for any info that may be there but am not at all confident of anything significant turning up. Maybe in 2022, the records currently being traced and digitised in Dublin will provide some further insight into our past.

    My apologies for negativity and I will continue to look

    Frank Fahy

    Abbeystrowry Cork

    Thursday 15th Mar 2018, 12:32PM
  • Thank you so much, Jane and Frank!   

    I know I am not the only one researching ancestors who frustratingly must come to a halt in tracing their family due to a lack of records!  At least the Church records go back as far as they do for now (1809).  I have been looking into records for nearby towns for clues, where family groups with the Geoghegan, Blake, and Fitzpatrick surnames were located, but their records are similarly lacking.  And there is no clear link between those towns and the families in Clonakilty. "Fitzpatrick" is a name that goes far back in Clonakilty, so I am assuming that "Peggy Fitzpatrick Blake" (John Geoghegan's mother-in-law) and her parents were native to the town.  She would have been born around 1790.  For now, we just have to hope that more records become available at some point in the future... If you ever come across any older records with the surnames I am researching, please let me know - 

    By the way, Jane - The son of the Ambrose Geoghegan born in 1848 Clonakilty - also was named Ambrose (grandfather) - He married (grandmother) Winifred Holleran (slight spelling variation from yours).  And, the younger sister of the elder Ambrose, Catherine Geoghegan, had a son Walter Francis Lee who married Cecelia Ryan -

    We have a Fahy in the family tree, too - But he was from Galway!

    Best wishes!




    Thursday 15th Mar 2018, 08:49PM
  • Short update:  A family of Fitzpatrick descendants told me that Margaret Blake's grandfather was John Fitzpatrick, who had farmland at Derryduff, between Rosscarbery and Clonakilty.  He was probably born between 1760 to 1765.  His wife is unknown - for now.


    Tuesday 14th Jun 2022, 07:37PM

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