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My great grandfather, Thomas Kelleher, was born abt 1830, the son of Thomas Kelleher and Catherine Linahan.  He lived in the Parish of Drumtarriff (Diocese of Kerry) in the townland called Garavesoge or Fairy Hill in Cork.  This is currently the site of the Kanturk Golf Club.  Thomas emigrated to the USA abt 1855 and lived in West Newbury, MA.  One sister, Margaret, married Jeremiah Corkery and they emigrated to Peterborough Ontario, CA.  His other two sisters, Catherine and Mary, resided not far from him in Massachusetts.  Thomas was reputed to be a school teacher before leaving Ireland and worked as a shoemaked in the USA. 

I am at a dead end in finding information from Ireland as there are no parish records prior to 1832.  He had cousins, Jeremiah Linahan in Cork ( a barber) and others named Hughes who lived in New York State (near Canada) and Iowa in the USA.  Any information or connections relating to this will be much appreciated.


Thursday 18th February 2021, 06:16PM

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  • At this link, you can see more info about the townland of Garraveasoge (as it is now usually spelled), which in Irish is Garraí Féasóg, meaning “garden of beards”, possibly referring to the beard-like appearance of heads on growing wheat stalks:

    I was intrigued by your inquiry, because one of my great-grandmothers, Elizabeth Cronin, was born in 1835 three townlands to the west of Garraveasoge, in the townland of Garranbaun.  It's in a different civil parish (Kilmeen), but the same Catholic parish (Dromtarriffe).  I don't know of any Kelleher, Linahan, or Corkery ancestors in my family, but if our great-grandparents lived that close to one another, then we're probably at least distantly related.  The Cronin surname originated in that general area, and MacLysaght's Surnames of Ireland says that the Kellehers have been in the Cork/Kerry border area since the 14th century.  He doesn't say where they came from, but gives Ó Céalachair ("descendant of the dear companion") as the original form of the surname. There were apparently at least two separate Lenihan/Linihan families, but MacLysaght says that the Limerick/Cork one had Ó Luingeachán as its Irish form (which could mean several different things).   He also explains that virtually all Irish Corkery's (Ó Corcra in Irish) were from Cork, but the name has nothing to do with the name of the county.  He says that it's based on the word corca, which means "purple" in Irish.

    In case you're interested, the name of the Catholic parish, Dromtarriffe, is Drom Tarbh in Irish, meaning "bull ridge", and may refer to an ancient pagan ceremony where a bull calf was sacrificed on May 6th near a holy well still located in the parish. 



    Friday 19th February 2021, 11:45PM
  • Thank you, Kevin.  I will be sure to follow it up.  I do know that the site where my ggf lived is now part of the Kanturk Golf Club and it is my hope to go there and play before I get much older.


    Saturday 20th February 2021, 08:10PM