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I believe Margaret Jane Gallagher was baptised 04 March 1896 at Inver; can anyone please help with more information about her family and where she lived. Is it possible to get a copy of her baptismal record?

Thanking you in anticipation - Gilwil

Thursday 30th January 2020, 10:01AM

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  • Margaret Gallagher is a very common name in Donegal. You ought to try and find a marriage certificate or death certificate to get her parents names. I don’t see any birth around March 1896 in the statutory records for that area (Donegal town civil registration district) and the parish records for that year are not on-line. However this family in the Inver area looks promising:

    Bear in mind that people sometimes just guessed their ages or dates of birth and so the baptism date you have may not be totally accurate. You could write to the parish office to see if they have a baptism that fits.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 30th January 2020, 01:18PM
  • Thank you for your prompt reply to my enquiry Elwyn. I will contact the parish office, hopefully they will have a baptismal record for her. Is there any time restraint in Ireland between birth and baptism? There isn't in England and it's not unusual to find a multiple baptismal record for one family on the same day because it saved on the cost.

    She emigrated to the US is the 1900s, married there in 1918 and died there 60 years later.


    Friday 31st January 2020, 09:48AM
  • Gilwil,

    For Roman Catholic baptisms, the child is normally baptised within a few days of the birth.  The religious belief was that if the child died without being baptised it would end up in limbo. That concept is no longer valid but it was in the 1800s. So normally birth and baptism are very close together. That’s not the case with other denominations where a delay of 3 months or even some years was quite common and, as you say, a group of children may be baptised together. But this was presumably a Catholic baptism and it would be very unusual to delay in that faith.

    The only Margaret Gallagher birth in 1896 registered in the Inver area was on 28th June 1896. She was Margaret Josephine Gallagher and her parents were Patrick Gallagher and Bridget Slevin. So that doesn’t look like the birth you are seeking.

    I am not sure what your source is for the baptism date of 4th March 1896, but unless you have a baptismal certificate (which I assume you don’t) the date needs to be taken with caution. People didn’t celebrate birthdays in Ireland in the 1800s and rarely knew when they were born. If officialdom asked them for an age or a date of birth, they often made one up.  So the information can often be out by quite a few years. Given that there isn’t a Margaret/Maggie Gallagher birth registered anywhere near March 1896, I’d suspect this might be one of those.

    I am not sure the family I found in the 1901 census can be yours. I looked for them in 1911, and found that their Maggie Jane appears to have died. I can’t actually find a death certificate for her but the census says they had 9 children, 8 of whom were alive. 8 are there save for Maggie Jane so presumably she had died.

    We really need your Margaret Jane’s parents names from her US marriage or death certificate to be sure of tracing the correct family. The 1901 census of Donegal has 8400 people named Gallagher/Gallacher and 331 of them were named Margaret or Maggie. So lots of scope for finding the wrong family.



    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 31st January 2020, 08:17PM
  • Thank you Elwyn, I've sent the information you have supplied to my sister-in-law, in the US, who raised the enquiry with me. I'll post again once I have more details from her.





    I have heard back from my sister in law - her grandmother Mary Jane Gallagher was born 06 May 1889 at Dunkineely, father John Gallagher a farmer and mother Mary nee Gallagher; birth registration number 11797520.

    It would appear the initial information supplied was incorrect; thank you for your help.


    G W

    Saturday 1st February 2020, 12:09PM