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Locating Baptism Record for Mary Collins born about 1868, in County Clare


I am trying to locate the baptism record for my husband's great grandmother, Mary Collins, who was born about 1868 in County Clare. I have managed to find her marriage certificate and death certificate, which were the only sources of information I had on Mary.

The marriage certificate states that Mary married William Winfield on 21 January 1885 in Queensland Australia. She was 17 years old, a spinster and from County Clare. Her parents were listed as James Collins and Ellen McKerney? I have attached a section of the marriage certificate which records the names of her parents, but wasn't sure of the spelling of Mary's mother's surname. This confirms that Mary was born about 1868.

The death certificate states that Mary died on 30 April 1943 in Queensland Australia. She was 75 years old, a widow and from County Clare. Her parents were listed as James Collins and Mary McInerney? The informant was Mary's son John Winfield. I have attached a section of the death certicate which shows the name of Mary's mother as Mary McInerney?, not Ellen McKerney. The fact that Mary was 75 years old when she died in 1943, confirms that she was born about 1868.

I have tried searching for Mary's baptism record using both Mary McInerney and Ellen McKerney as her mother's name for the 5 years prior and 5 years post 1868, but with no success. Any help would be greatly appreciated, and any help deciphering the name of Mary's mother also would be great.

Many thanks, Gabrielle


Sunday 10th May 2020, 01:26AM

Attached Files

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Gabe:

    I have had a look at the civil births and some of the Clare baptism registers that are online through the Clare Library website.  So far, I have found a Patrick  Collins in Tullagower (Killimer parish) with children baptised to a Patrick Collins and an Ellen McInerney between the years of 1857-1872.  I'm giving you the link and you might have a look at that particular register if you think it's a possible match.  

    If there were other siblings that joined Mary, it may be worth looking at the above parish to see if they match with that family.

    If you have any further information that you would like to share, please let me know

    Kind regards,


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 11th May 2020, 10:18AM
  • Hi Gabe,
    First place to look is family search
    Taking these dates we look in this site,  I have put records below.
    The civil records were introduced in 1864, maybe Mary wasn't registered.
    These were the only children born to James and Ellen McInern(e)y
    The place is the town land called  Doohana,  Carrigaholt.
    Copy all this link and you will see the area.
    The Registration District is Kilrush if you zoom in and out to see the places.

    I have looked for the Baptisms for the children, this is the site.  (if you are in ancestry you may get these as you can search by their name, it's a bit easier)
    I hope this helps.




    Monday 11th May 2020, 12:41PM
  • Hi,

    In relation your query, there are c22 "James Collins" listed in Griffith Valuaions taken in the 1850's in County Clare. The 1901 census has two "James Collins" living alone, and registered as Married. 

    You can access those free sites  - for Griffith and for the 1901 census. 

    The State records did not start until January 1st 1964 and may families did not register births or deaths even later.

    Have you any idea of the name of the landlord of her father's property? What ship did she travel on? Hve you the names of those on board this ship?

    In relation to her mother's maiden name it could "McInerney" or a similar name "McEnery".






    Tuesday 12th May 2020, 01:16PM
  • Hi Jane, Margot and McCoy,

    Thank you all so much for your responses. The links and suggestions you provided me with will be very helpful with my research.

    Unfortunately I don't know the name of the ship which Mary Collins emigrated to Australia in. Mary's death certificate of 1943, does note that she had been living for 64 years in the state of Queensland Australia. This would suggest that she emigrated in about 1879/1880, when she was just 11 years old. A possibility with my research to date, is that Mary sailed to Queensland on board the vessel the "Silver Eagle", as an assisted immigrant in 1880, and she was in the category of 'Single Girls". I will need to explore the information recorded for the passengers on board the Silver Eagle, and try to determine if Mary emigrated with her family, and if so, what names were listed for her parents.

    I also don't know the name of the landlord on her father's property. Apparently the occupation of Mary's father listed on her death certificate, was "cattle breeder." Hopefully once I can locate the district where Mary was baptised, I could use the Griffith's Valuation and determine the name of her father. Thanks also for your suggestion re the spelling of the surname McInerney or McEnery.

    All your help and suggestions are very much appreciated,

    Kind regards, Gabrielle




    Wednesday 13th May 2020, 05:01AM
  • Hi Gabe:

    My pleasure.  Please get back to me if you find any further information.  The surname Collins is noted throughout County Clare as is the surname McInerney (and its variants).  

    As I had stated in my reply to you,, the family that I noted (who did not have a Mary listed as a child) did have the two surnames and it may be worth keeping them in mind.  If Mary tried in 1879/80, the others whom she travelled with, may offer further clues.  

    The very best of luck with your research.


    All the best,



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Wednesday 13th May 2020, 12:37PM
  • Hello Gabe,

    To add to the information that Jane and Margot kindly provided, I found the baptism transcription as well as a copy of the original Carrigaholt Catholic Parish baptism record for Mary Collins. The transcription for Mary was discovered at the Find My Past (FMP) website. But, the person who transcribed the baptism record at FMP wrote that Mary’s mother was Ellen “McSuerky,” rather than Ellen McInerny. This is because the handwriting in the baptism register where Mary’s baptism is recorded, is not the best, and is difficult to read in places. Ellen’s maiden name in the baptism register is actually “McInerny,” as you’ll see a little later.

    The FMP transcription shows that Mary Collins was baptized in the Carrigaholt, County Clare, Catholic Parish on 27 October 1865. Her father is James Collins, and as mentioned above, her mother Ellen’s maiden name is erroneously transcribed as “McSuerky.” See the transcription at the following:

    The FMP baptism transcription for Mary Collins includes a link that takes you to a copy of the original Carrigaholt baptism register for October 1865. The baptism registers are held by the National Library of Ireland headquartered in Kildare Street, Dublin.

    To access the baptism register, go to:

    There are two facing pages to the baptism register. Mary’s baptism is on the right-hand page. You can enlarge the register pages by means of round icons in the upper center/ right of the screen. The icons are white with green backgrounds. You can also access the full-screen function by clicking on the last icon on the right with the two arrows pointing northeast and southwest.

    Scroll down to the number 27 in the left margin of the right-hand page and you’ll arrive at Mary’s baptism. Below Mary’s name you’ll see the word, “Dunaha.” This is the residence of Mary and her family at the time of the baptism. The actual spelling of this place is “Doonaha.” Margot had mentioned Doonaha in her reply of 11 May 2020, when she noted the residence of the Collins family as found in the civil birth records.

    To the right of Mary’s first name in the baptism register is the name of her father, James Collins. Below James’s name is the name of Mary’s mother, Ellen McInerny. When looking at the handwriting and the way Ellen’s maiden name is spelled, you can see why the FMP transcriber thought the name may have been McSuerky. To the right of the names of the parents is the name Kate Hennessy. This is Mary’s godmother. No godfather is recorded, as far as I can see. The name of the priest who baptized Mary appears to be P. White.

    Jane and Margot did not find a civil registration birth record for Mary Collins, and neither did I. Mary was born during the second year of civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for all religious denominations in Ireland, and so her mother, father, or midwife did not report the birth to the registrar in the Kilrush Registration District.

    Margot provided the links from FamilySearch and the website for the civil registration birth records of Anthony Collins (1867); Francis Collins (1870); Eliza Collins (1873); and Thomas Collins (1875). I found the FMP Carrigaholt baptism transcriptions as well as copies of the original baptism records for the same children at the National Library of Ireland website.


    Anthony was baptized on 27 June 1867 in the Carrigaholt Catholic Parish. The person who transcribed his baptism record spelled his surname as “Coxin,” rather than Collins. This is probably due to the handwriting in the baptism register. You can view the FMP transcription of Anthony’s baptism at:

    A copy of Anthony’s baptism record is on the left-hand register page at:

    Scroll down the page until you come to the large number 27 in the left margin. The baptism record actually shows the first name of the child is spelled, “Antony,” rather than Anthony. His father James’s last name is faded, and so you can see why the FMP transcriber thought the surname was Coxin, rather than Collins. Below James is the name of Antony’s mother, Ellen McInerny. To the right of James Collin’s name is the name of the godmother. She is Ellen Collins who may have been James’s sister. The priest who baptized Antony was P. White, who recorded Mary’s baptism. Below Antony’s first name is what appears to be the word, Dunaher, which is a reference to Doonaha, the townland where the Collins family was living at the time of the baptism.


    Francis Collins was baptized on 1 November 1870 according to the FMP transcription at:

    His mother Ellen’s maiden name is transcribed as, “McEnerny.”

    A copy of the original baptism record for Francis is the 2nd entry up from the bottom of the right-hand register page at:

    The godfather is Michael McInerny, who may have been Ellen’s brother. The first name of the godmother is Margaret. Her last name appears to be Magnan, or Magner.

    Below Francis’s name in the register is a word that appears to be “Dinaha,” which would be a reference to the residence of the Collins family. Dinaha, of course would be, Doonaha.


    The FMP transcription shows that Eliza Collins was baptized on 6 April 1873. Her father James’s first name is abbreviated as, “Jos.” Her mother Ellen’s maiden name is transcribed as “Mc Querney,” rather than McInerny:

    The Carrigaholt baptism record for Eliza can be found on the left hand register page at:

    Scroll down the register until you come to the large number 6 below the April subheading in the left-margin. Eliza’s baptism is the 2nd entry under the number 6. Below her name is the residence, “Doonaha,” which actually looks like Omaha. Her father’s name is abbreviated as “Jas,” rather than Jos. Eliza’s godmother is Mary Quealy. The priest who baptized Eliza was M. O’Gorman.


    Thomas was baptized on 23 December 1875. His mother Ellen’s maiden name is recorded as, “Mc Querry.”

    A copy of Thomas’s original baptism record is the first entry in the left-hand register page at:

    Below Thomas’s name is the word Doonaha, in reference to the residence of his family. His godmother is Margaret Collins, who likely was James’s sister.

    The National Library of Ireland website shows that the Carrigahold Catholic baptisms are available from 8 February 1853 to 29 March 1881, while Carrigahold marriages are available from 12 January 1852 to 30 April 1881. Go to the following National Library of Ireland link to see the availability of the Carrigahold Catholic registers and to view a Catholic Parish map showing the location of Carrigaholt and neighboring Catholic parishes situated in the Loophead Peninsula of County Clare:

    The Carrigaholt baptisms begin too late to have recorded the baptism records for James Collins and Ellen McInerny, that is, if they were born and baptized in the parish.

    Knowing that the Carrigaholt Catholic Parish marriages are extent from 1852 to 1881, I looked for the FMP marriage transcription of James Collins and Ellen McInerny, but didn’t find it. I also looked for their marriage in the other County Clare Catholic parishes, but again, without success.

    James and Ellen’s daughter Mary was baptized in 1865, and so I figured James and Ellen would have been married any time before 1865. I did a little digging into the Carrigaholt marriages at the National Library of Ireland site, and found there are gaps in the registers. For example I found that:

    Marriages for 1864 are available for the months of February, April, June, July, November and December.
    Marriages for 1863 are extent for the months of January, February, and September
    Marriages for 1862 can be accessed for the months of January February, March, April, and July.
    Marriages for 1861 include the months of January, February, April, June, September and November.
    Marriage for 1860 are available for January, February, May, June, July, October and November.

    James and Ellen may have been married in one of the months that are missing in the Carrigaholt registers between 1860 and 1864.

    I also looked for a civil marriage record for them at, but did not find it.


    The name of the Carrigaholt Catholic Parish Church is the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary. You can view the location of the church on a Google Map of Carrigaholt at:

    For a Google Street View of the church, go to:

    I found that there has been a Catholic Church in Carrigaholt that predates the baptisms of the Collins children. This comes from an Ordnance Survey Map from the 1837 to 1842 time period, showing the R.C. Chapel in Carrigaholt. The church appears to be located on the same location, or near the same location as the church today. The map comes from the GeoHive website:

    At one time the church was called “St. Mary’s R.C. Chapel,” according to another Ordnance Survey Map of Carrigaholt from the 1888 to 1911 time period. See the map from GeoHive at:

    With some further research I found that there was, and still is, another Catholic Church in the Carrigaholt Parish, that also predates the baptisms of the Collins children. This church is located in none other than Doonaha itself, where the Collins family lived, and is called the Church of the Holy Spirit. You can view the location of the church on a Google Map of Doonaha at:

    For a Google Street View of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Doonaha, see:

    You can also view what was labeled as the “R.C. Chapel” in Doonaha on an Ordnance Survey Map from the 1837 to 1842 time period at the GeoHive website link at:

    Another Google Map shows that the Church of the Holy Spirit in Doonaha is 3.2 miles east of Carrigaholt:

    The Carrigaholt Catholic Parish registers do not record which church a child was baptized in, but the children of James Collins and Ellen McInerny may have actually been baptized in the Doonaha Church, rather than in the church in Carrigaholt, as the Doonaha church was in their hometown.

    By the way Gabe, I did not find James Collins in Griffiths Valuation in Doonaha or any other townland within the Moyarta Civil Parish of County Clare. The valuation was completed for the Carrigaholt/Doonaha area by the year 1855.

    Both Carrigaholt and Doonaha were situated in the Moyarta Civil Parish. But, Griffiths Valuation does show that Occupiers named Simon Collins, Mary Collins, and Martin Collins, all leased houses and land in Doonaha West, from an Immediate Lessor named Nicholas Westby. The Collins Occupiers in Doonaha West were likely related to James.

    You can search Griffiths Valuation by going to:

    With Very Best Wishes,



    Wednesday 13th May 2020, 05:11PM
  • Hi Dave,

    Totally blown away by all the research you have done for me! I now know that Mary Collins was baptised in October 1865, and that her father was James Collins and her mother Ellen McInerny. The links to the original Carrigaholt baptism register and the findmypast transcription record are invaluable sources of information. It is also intersting to note that Mary had four siblings, Anthony, Francis, Eliza and Thomas. I can now add her siblings to my husband's family tree, along with all the associated baptisim records. I also now know that the family lived in the townland of Doohana, County Clare, between the years of 1865 and 1875 (probably longer). It is interesting to note the name of the godparents on the baptism records of the Collins children, and that these people were very likely relatives and close friends of the family.

    All the links to the Carrigaholt Catholic Parish are very interesting, and certainly give me a greater idea of the churches around in the area at the time of the baptisms of the Collins children. I look forward to studying them in more detail.

    I also really appreciate all the effort you went to to try to locate the marriage records of James Collins and Ellen McInerny. The resources you listed that you used to research this information was very helpful to me. I think that knowing where to look to find the information you are after, is the key to success. Knowing that FMP, NLI, and Catholic Parish Records are great sources of information is very useful. It is also good to be mindful of transcription errors, and take that into account when doing your research.

    I found the way you outlined how you researched and sourced your information, was extremely helpful.I have now copied all of these links and documents into the Collin's family tree, which I have on Ancestry. 

    I agree that the Collins Occupiers in Doonaha West are most likely related to James. Perhaps James worked for one of his relatives, and didn't have land which he leased, or that his block of land was too small to attract a fee?

    Can't begin to thank you enough, for all your help and effort in locating the baptism record for Mary Collins. The suggestions by yourself, Jane, Margot and McCoy have been invaluable in my research.

    Kind regards, Gabrielle 


    Thursday 14th May 2020, 04:59AM
  • You're welcome Gabe, and many thanks for your reply and kind words. They are very much appreciated.

    God Bless,



    Thursday 14th May 2020, 04:11PM
  • Hi Margot, Davepat & Gabrielle: 

    Thanks Margot and Dave Pat for your assistance.  The FindMyPast website is great for looking for information, but it is a subscription site.  It is great for Irish records, and it may be worth getting a short subscription.  The local library may have a subscription to view there.  If so, it is a good resource as they add new records frequently. 

    Gabrielle:  You might note that the Carrigaholt parish registers (also known as Kilballyowen) are available on the NLI website which is free.  The link is here:

    The Clare Library also has some information about the area that you might want to review for your research.

    Unfortunatelly, the baptism register has not been transcribed or put online, but that should probably be done very shortly.  The marriage register is online and that may be of some assistance.

    We do have a local volunteer in that area--a very knowledgeable volunteer who I will pass on the query to as he will be able to assist you further with information.

    Many thanks for your interest in Ireland Reaching Out.  Please keep us posted with your research and please consider creating an Ancestor profile if you have not already done so.  The link to do so is here:


    All the best,




    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Friday 15th May 2020, 11:58AM
  • Achara Jane,

    The Find My Past (FMP) website is indeed a subscription website, except when searching Irish Catholic Church baptisms, marriages, and available death/burial transcriptions for the 32 counties of Ireland.

    The good news is, the FMP Catholic Parish transcriptions are available to search for free.

    Attached to each transcription is a link that takes you to copies of the original Catholic parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials for your parish of interest. These parish registers, as you know, are held by the National Library of Ireland. The parish registers at the NLI linked from Find My Past are also available gratis.

    I believe you have to establish a free account with the FMP website to search for Catholic parish transcriptions.

    The search engine for the FMP baptism transcriptions can be found at:

    The search engine for Catholic marriages can be accessed at:

    For Catholic Parish burial transcriptions go to the search engine at:

    I used to use RootsIreland a lot but it got very expensive for a year’s membership, though one of the advantages that RootsIreland has over FMP is that you can access Protestant baptism, marriage, and burial transcriptions, whereas the FMP website does not provide Protestant parish church transcriptions for free, as far as I know.

    A year’s subscription to RootsIreland from the U.S. where I live is $255, which is about €235.

    One of the draw-backs with RootsIreland that I found is that the church records you access are transcriptions from the originals, whereas with the FMP transcriptions, you are provided with links that take you to copies of the original baptism, marriage, or burial records held by the NLI.

    Even at that I’ve found over the years a great many errors in the FMP Catholic parish transcriptions. In several instances I’ve been able to correct the errors by looking at copies of the original parish register entries. The copies of the original parish registers, in turn, can be very difficult to decipher. This is because the handwriting can be difficult to understand. Terrible handwriting, coupled priests’ notation in Latin in some parish registers, make it even more challenging to understand what you are looking at.

    By the way Jane, I really enjoy your responses to people looking to find more details about their Irish ancestry. I think Ireland Reaching Out is very fortunate to have you for the wealth of information you provide at no cost.

    At one time people would have paid a premium for the details you, and the other Ireland Reaching Out volunteers provide to those looking for their Irish roots.

    With Very Best Wishes,

    Dave Boylan


    Friday 15th May 2020, 09:16PM
  • Hello Jane and Dave,

    Thank you Jane  for providing me with the links to the Clare Library and the Carrigaholt Parish Register. I know that they will be very interesting to browse through and research my husband's Collins and McInerny relatives. Thank you also for offering to pass on my query to a local volunteer, it is very much appreciated.

    I will definitely create an Ancestry profile for Mary Collins and post it to the link you provided. I also have Hegarty and Kelly relatives from County Clare, and I would like to create Ancestry profiles for them and post them to your site as well. 

    Dave, thank you also for providing me with the additional information relating to FMP website and other associated links. I agree with you, that we are very fortunate to have Jane from Ireland Reaching Out, and the fact that all this wealth of information is provided to us at no cost. The efforts of all the volunteers like yourselves is wonderful, and I'm sure that so many people now have links and information about their Irish past which wouldn't have been possible without all your help.

    Kind regards,



    Saturday 16th May 2020, 01:26AM
  • You're most welcome Gabrielle. It's been a pleasure.

    All the Best,



    Saturday 16th May 2020, 02:04AM
  • Thanks everybody for the nice compliments.  That is what we are all about here at IRelandXO and please be sure to keep us posted Gabe about your research.  I did send an email to the local volunteer and he should make contact with you at some stage.  If you do not hear from him, please let me know.  

    Any problems with creating a profile, please let me know and I will help you out.  

    Stay safe and well.  

    All the best,  


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 18th May 2020, 11:00AM