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Hello,  Cousins and I are interested in learning more about our familiy from Killedan.  So far, we definitely trace our heritage to Nicholas McDonagh (1836 - 1900) and his wife Bridget Jordan (1841-1908)  They were wed 12 Feb 1861 • KILCONDUFF SWINFORD, Co, Mayo  Witnesses Johanes Carrol and Brigida Jordan Kilconduff

We believe Bridget's Parents were Patrick Jordan and Bridget Sheridan.but, beyond that, we are uncertain.

More details and photos to follow, once I know the  files are uploading.





Tuesday 18th Jun 2019, 01:32AM

Message Board Replies

  • Casey:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    The subscription site Roots Ireland has baptismal and civil birth records for eight children of Nicholas McDonagh and Bridget Jorden. If you don't have the information on names and dates, let me know. Unfortunately, the baptismal records for Kiltimagh parish start in 1861 and I did not find a baptismal record for Nicholas McDonagh. I did find a Bridget Jordan record in 1841 with the parents names listed in Aglish (Castlebar) RC parish. Aglish is about four civil parishes to the west of Kiltimagh/Killedan and Jordan and Sheridan are common names so this could be another Bridget Jordan. At least you have a lead.

    Nicholas died in 1900

    Here is Bridget and three children in the 1901 census

    Bridget died December 1907

    I believe this is Anthony and his wife Ellen in the 1911 census

    Civil records can be found at the free site

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonnell


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 18th Jun 2019, 02:47PM
  • I may have located some info online for your family (which may be related to mine, by the way).  In the Family Search database, there is a Nicholas McDonagh and Bridget Jordan married couple, who are listed with several of their children, all born In Killedan at about the right time.

    The Family Search site is run by the LDS church, but is free for all to use, and it's the largest genealogical database in the world.  It’s actually arranged as one giant family tree, rather than separate trees set up by individual users, and you can access the site here:   Once you do that, you'll need to create a (free) account, but they don't ask for much in the way of personal info, and (in case you're worried) no missionaries will call or anything like that.  Once you're logged in, you can find Nicholas at his record ID#, which is 969S-LB1.  You'll be able to see easily how to maneuver up and down by clicking on other names shown in each person’s record.  You can also see who contributed info and send private messages to them.  If you get hooked on the site, you may want to take a class at one of the Mormon Family History Centers about how to use the many features which it offers.

    One feature is that the site automatically locates potentially relevant records for you, and offers them to you for review (like the Ancestry "leaf" function), and you can then attach them to the records for your family members if they are relevant.  It's a good way to find additional children in a family.  Right now, the site is offering a number of records for the family, and many of them seem relevant.  I started to add some of those records, but decided to stop and let you handle it, if interested.  There is also an interesting discrepancy for some of the records, which may not  actually be a discrepancy.  Some records which seem clearly related have the couple listed instead as Nicholas McDonagh and Bridget Sheridan, and you mentioned the name Sheridan above as well.   As it happens, the two surnames may be the same.  In Ireland, the surname Jordan can be an anglicization of the Irish name Mac Siúrtáin, and that name has also been anglicized as Sheridan (the Irish pronunciation is somewhere between the two names).  I know from my own family that the area was heavily Irish-speaking, even into the early 20th century, because I have two grandparents who grew up there and spoke Irish at home until they left for America in the early 1900's.  If the Jordan's and Sheridan's in the area were (as seems likely) Irish speaking, the apparently different surnames may have resulted from different choices in how to anglicize their Irish surname, made by different parish priests at different times.  This sometimes happened even within the same family, in the same generation.

    I mentioned a possible connection to my family.   My grandfather, James Peter Gallagher, grew up in the parish of Killedan, in the townland of Carownteeaun.  There were several McDonagh's who acted as witnesses at weddings in his family, who were presumably relatives (perhaps cousins).  I checked the 1901 census records, and there were several McDonagh families living in Carrownteeaun, as well as the neighboring townlands of Treannagleragh and Cloondoolough.  The other surnames occurring in the area are almost all ones which occur in my family, and the families in the area have intermarried for centuries (some perhaps for much longer), so while I'm not aware of any specific McDonagh connection, we might well be related.  I've had my DNA tested, and if you want to compare results, mine are on GEDMATCH as kit number T780556.

    With respect to the wedding in Swinford, note that weddings were usually held in the bride's home parish, so the Jordan/Sheridan family may have been from there (Kilconduff is another name for the parish in which the town of Swinford is located).

    The McDonagh surname arose separately in several places in Ireland.  In Mayo, it usually comes from the Irish name Mac Donnchadha, meaning "son of Donagh".  They were a branch of the Mac Dermotts, who were a large "clan".  According to MacLysaght's  "Surnames of Ireland", the Mac Donnchadha surname in that area originated in what is now County Sligo, which is just to the northeast, so it is a fairly common surname in eastern County Mayo.

    You may already know that the online parish records for Killedan only go back to 1861, for the most part, with some marriage records as far back as 1834.  If Nicholas and Bridget raised their children there, however, you should be able to find them  You can find the records here:  The records on Family Search do contain some baptismal records, but the details given are sketchy.  You can probably find more info by searching the same dates in the parish register, and the parish register often states the townland in which the family lived.

    Civil records of births began in 1864, and Family Search has found several of the McDonagh children that way.  If you find a civil birth record listed as being in Swinford, note that Swinford was the civil registration district for the area, so the birth in question may actually have taken place in Killedan.

    In case you learn that one of the townlands which I mentioned is relevant to your family, you can find more info about them at this link:

    That will take you to the info for Treannagleragh, but there are links there for the other townlands.  There are also links to census records for the townlands, as well as records from Griffiths Valuation.


    Tuesday 18th Jun 2019, 03:30PM
  • Roger's response posted while I was still writing mine, so an added note is that one of the links he gave is to a record showing Anthony McDonagh in Ardlee.  That is a townland within the parish of  Swinford/Kilconduff).  Perhaps he inherited the land from the Jordan/Sheridan side of the family.


    Tuesday 18th Jun 2019, 03:44PM
  • Attached Files

    AHA!  This is all making sense!  (Well, as much of it as my feeble, overwhelmed brain can process at this very exciting moment.)

    • So, Ardlee is wiithin the parish of Swinford and 
    • Swinford was the civil registration district  and
    • Anthony McDonough's wife, Ellen Carney, probably was from Ardlee (will check older records on her family) and
    • Jordan may be the same name as Sheridan (That helps explain A LOT of our conflicting info)

    Oh!Oh!Oh!   Useful information. THANK YOU, Roger and Kevin.

    I am very fortunate to have inherited some photos* and letters from/about the offspring of Nicholas and Bridget but there are many, many puzzle pieces missing and I think,with the resources and background information you provided, things will start to come together.  I can't wait to dig in.

      I do have an international membership in (same LDS folks as Family Search. Gosh, they are good at this geneaology stuff.  I would not mind if they send missionaries to my door. I would  sit them down and talk their ears off about family research!)  but I've not ventured into Family Search or Roots Ireland or the civil records or nli,ie,   So much to do!  (I need to win the lottery so I can quit my job and focus on this.)  

     Kevin, my GEDmatch kits are PB5622590  (23 & Me DNA  results upload)  and M163429  (  but I checked against yours and  GEDmatch does not seem to think we share DNA.  A newly discovered cousin, Trish McDonough (who lives on the Isle of Man  I am in the US) no doubt will want to check her kit against yours as well. She is a good researcher and I hope she will join us in this thread.

    I am going to venture into the  sites you two have suggested and I will return with questions. Thank you both so very much!

      *trying to post the McDonagh family photos on the Ancestors from Killedan page of IRELAND REACHING OUT and having no luck. Awaiting a response from technical support.. Meanwhile, here is a a photo of Nicholas McDonagh Sr (1836 - 1900)


    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 02:13AM
  • Attached Files
    mcD Halkoney.JPG (80.1 KB)

    Is Halkoney a name that is used interchangeably with Anthony?

    Family Search shows a  male child named Halkoney McDonough being born to Nicholas and Bridget on  30 Dec 1872.

    My notes  show their son, Anthony McDonough, born 22 Dec 1872


    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 03:54AM
  • "Halkoney" is someone's incorrect transcription of Anthony. Date of birth in birth register is 15th December 1872. His birth was registered by his father on 12th January 1873. He was baptised on 22nd December. There is a note in baptism register next to Anthony's name that he married Ellen Carney 30/4/10, i.e. 30th April 1910. 

    That was interesting about Sheridan and Jordan surnames being interchangeable. Someone in my family married a Sheridan in Swinford district.

    A website has lists of registration districts, civil and ecclesiastical parishes, townlands etc. with maps.

    Did you notice the large number of weddings in February compared to rest of year? There were more weddings on the day Nicholas married than there were all summer.  Marriages were in single figures in other months and none in June, July or October. There were over 30 weddings in February, more than in all other months of 1861 combined. My GGF wed in February in a parish nearby, that's when I first noticed that Feb. was favourite wedding month. 1 reason was religious, it was before Lent. Other reasons were practical, young men were home for winter and it wasn't a busy time of the farming year. Hardly any weddings in summer beacause a lot of young men would have been away working in Britain and people left behind were too busy with harvest and other farm work.


    Maggie May

    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 05:14AM
  • Learning so much here.

    Maggie May, how do I get to the website?  I am having no luck.

    Thank you for the backstory on February weddings in the word of farming. From family letters, I know that the youngest son of Nicholas Sr. and Bridget, Nicholas Jr, (b. 1877) l who had been working the family farm, left home to do work elsewhere.  In 1907, he was in Ferryhill. Attached is a snip of a letter from older brother John in England, referencing young Nicky. We sort of lost track of young Nick after that.

    There's another letter, referencing Anthony, from one of the sisters or sisters-in-law that says something to the effect of,"Shouldn't he be thinking about settling down now?"  Anthony worked out of town as a plasterer after returning from the military.  More on that later.


    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 12:39PM
  • I compared our results on GEDMATCH also, Casey, and I believe that we are in fact related, though probably somewhat distantly.  The minimum search threshold for comparison is set by default at 7cm, because matches below that are less reliable, but you can make it search with a lower threshold.  I did that, and we have 5 matching segments, for a total of 26cM of match, with one of the matching segments being 6.6cM in length, not far below the 7cM default setting.  What is also interesting is where the matches occur.  I have several second cousins in Mayo or of Mayo origin who have also been tested, and we've done chromsome comparisons to establish which matching segments seem to be from that part of Mayo, and all five of the segments where I match you are among those Mayo segments.  Also, by the way, I checked my family records further, because someting about the McDonagh name was nagging at my memory, and it turns out that one of my grandfather's sisters married a McDonough/McDonagh (the spelling varies).   So, fáilte romhat sa mhuntir! ("welcome to the family"), however distantly.


    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 05:24PM
  • Shane Wilson's Site

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 07:24PM
  • Young Nick looks very smart. Do you know when the portrait was taken? It could have gone on whatever the equivalent of a dating website was then; it would have helped the local matchmaker find him a wife.

    The writer of the letter mentions visiting if "in the North".  Did they mean North of Ireland or England? I know there's a Ferryhill in N.E. England.

    Maggie May

    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 09:00PM
  • Hello everyone,

    Casey just sent me this thread - I'm Trish McDonough and I'm also decended from Nicholas and Bridget.

    Kevin - we have one chunk of matching DNA on the 16th chromosone - which is actually not the same segments as you share with Casey.  My GEDMatch is HM3861465 and my Dad's is NH5439407 - I thought you may share more with Dad but I seem to have inheritated that whole segment anyway.  On a side note, I don't know if you've messed with DNAPainter - it's useful for visualising and documenting some of the patterns you're spotting e.g. this DNA came from this couple, this is Mayo DNA...

    The Jordan / Sheridan thing is very interesting!  I thought I'd only seen Sheridan appear once where I expected to see Jordan (on Bridget Jr's birth record) and I put it down to a simple situation where Bridget Sr was asked by the clerk "Mother's maiden name?" and she responded with her own mother's maiden name rather than her own maiden name - it's the sort of thing I would do!  They did all speak both English and Irish though (according to the census - although all their letters are in English).

    My computer is being funny so I'm going to post this before I lose it. Thanks all for the info!!!


    Wednesday 19th Jun 2019, 10:31PM
  • Index entry for birth registration  of Nicholas, born 1877 on Irish leads to the wrong register page. I reported the error.

    Regarding seasonal variations in life events; I've noticed a (sometimes substantial) dip in May baptisms some years in parishes in the area. Also noticed proportionally large numbers of baptisms in certain months. 

    Maggie May

    Thursday 20th Jun 2019, 09:43PM
  • Nice to hear from you, Trish!  That segment on chromsome 16 is one which I share with several of my Mayo matches. 

    It's pretty common in the 1901 census in eastern Mayo for people to be shown as speaking both languages.  By that time, most younger people were more or less fluent in English, as well as Irish, even though they might still speak Irish at home, because they were required to use English in school in most places.   As for older people, even late in the 1800's, you sometimes have to take with a grain of salt the statement in a census record that they could speak English, because their English may not have been at all fluent.  By then, people had become somewhat ashamed of speaking Irish, because it was treated as the language of poor, rural people, so they might claim to speak English even if they couldn't speak it well.  Of course, some families had stopped teaching their children Irish, and the ability to speak it became much rarer in the next genereation.  Also, since Irish was not taught in most schools back then, people were not very good at (or even incapable of) writing in Irish, so they usually had to write in English (or get somone to do it for them).  Oddly enough, now the reverse is often true, with some people being embarrassed that they can't speak Irish well, after studying it in school (although it was taught pretty poorly in many places until recent decades).


    Friday 21st Jun 2019, 12:01AM
  • How can I know if the Nicholas McDonough, tenant farmer in Cloondoolough, is my family's Nicholas McDonough who, per our records, was born and died in Killedan (1836 - 1900) ?

    This was my first venture into Griffith's Valuation and I am not sure I am using it correctly...was not able to make sense of the maps.

    It was fun to look up the land owner, Sir Roger Palmer!,_5th_Baronet


    Sunday 7th Jul 2019, 03:50PM
  • I'm not sure about making the exact connection, Casey, but one possible source which I've never looked into would be the estate records which were kept by the landlord.  I've read that they sometimes go back a long way, even before the censuses started.  However, I've also read that they can be hard to find, since some were lost, others have been archived in various places, and some were taken to England when the landlords left the country (after losing the land to their tenants during the land reform process).  The Mayo County Library does have some of them (check out this link:, but I don't see Roger Palmer listed there.  They may know where to find other records, though.  If you locate the Palmer records, I'd love to know where you found them, so that I can check them out myself.  There are also a number of museums in Mayo which might have some records in their collections, and here's a link to a site which has links to the sites for those museums:

    Maggie, your comment about weddings at certain times of year was interesting, and reminded me of something else which I found online.  Dublin City University's dú site has a huge online collection of folklore from most parishes, collected in the 1930's by local schoolchildren, and the collection covers all sorts of topics about local history, people, place names, etc.  A lot of material was collected in eastern Mayo, and here is the link to what they have for Killedan, in case you want to check it tout:  You can download the info, and I've done that for several parishes in the area where I have relatives.  In the materials collected for Killasser (a nearby parish where my grandmother grew up), I found this statement about marriage customs:  "People had a certain time for marriages.  It opened the 6 of January and ended the day before Ash Wednesday.  There were a great number of marriages on Shrove Tuesday before the holy season of Lent started."

    One last tidbit which occurred to me as I was reading a book recently is that the surname Sheridan is one of the common ones among the Travellers in Ireland (who used to be called Tinkers).  I assume that means that some of them are descended from the Mac Siúrtáin clan, but I don't know much about their actual heritage, or whether there's any connection to East Mayo.  There's probably been some research on the topic, though.



    Monday 8th Jul 2019, 03:51PM
  • Ha! Trish McDonough, do you see this?  We may have Tinker blood!  ;-)  (I do like to travel!) 

    Kevin, I will follow up on your Mayo research suggestions. Thank you.





    Tuesday 9th Jul 2019, 12:36AM
  • I saw the marriage of my eldest great-uncle in the register of Swinford Registrar's District this week for the first time. He married in February as his parents had 30 years earlier. He and his wife were bi-lingual. 1901 & 1911 censuses show their children to have spoken English only. In contrast, my grandfather's children, brought up away from Ireland, and decades younger than their cousins, could speak Irish.

    The folklore collection is absorbing. I found it a few months ago. Some of it echoes what I was told by my relatives.

    Re. tinker connections. Browsing McDonough marriages in Swinford District on Irish, I noticed the weddding of Michael McDonough and Anne McDonough. Michael's occupation was tinker. His father and Anne's father were both tinkers. Curiously there were very few McDonough bridegrooms among 81 McDonough marriages in Swinford 1864-1900. Only 6 McDonough men married there in that period. Two of those six marriages had McDonough brides. 

    Maggie May

    Tuesday 9th Jul 2019, 07:27PM
  • Hello everyone! 

    I am Paul Hogan from Sydney, Australia and Nicholas McDonagh (1831-1900) and Bridget Jordan are my 2nd great grandparents. Rita McDonough (born 1931) is my mum who is 90 years old and still zooming along!  Her grandfather was Michael McDonagh who she never met, however she did meet her uncle Thomas McDonagh the sea captain several times who told her some tales of the sea which I will set out for you all. He was in the merchant navy during WWII. 

    Thank you for all your research efforts Trish and Casey that I have recently read when I went on Ancestry to research the family history for my 10 year old son Liam.

    I discovered to our surprise that the famous bush ranger Ned Kelly is my 1st cousin 3 x removed on my dad's side - the Hogan/ Quinn's. Ned's grandparents James Quinn & Mary McCluskey from Antrim, Ireland, are my 3rd great grandparents who travelled as assisted migrants in 1841 from Antrim Ireland to Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne on board the "England."

    Now back to the McDonaghs! I was thinking of doing some research on Anthony McDonagh (1872 - c.1929) with the service records held by the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Is there any further update on any military service records in relation to him other than the photo in uniform of a " McDonough" in Dalhousie, Punjab c. 1898 wearing the uniform of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers? 

    I would also be grateful if anyone has other photos of my great grandfather Michael McDonagh other than the ones posted here and on Ancestry. 

    Good to meet you all! 

    Warm wishes 

    Paul Hogan








    Monday 21st Jun 2021, 03:12AM
  • Hi Paul,

    Good to meet you!

    I was in touch with another grandson of Nicholas McDonough a few years back, Andrew McDonough - he must be your cousin?

    Thomas McDonough, the sea captain was my grandfather, my father (also Thomas McDonough, a sea captain) is also alive and well at 90. I'd love to hear any stories your mum has!

    The photos are all Casey's but I'll have a look for what I have, I know I sent Andrew my Dad's ramblings - I've a copy of your grandfather's university record (as well as his sister Mary's) which I'm pretty sure I've never scanned as it's too big for the scanner.


    Monday 21st Jun 2021, 05:35PM

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