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The family names involved are Neely, Donovan and Halloran.   But my questions are very generic and pertain to the Mitchelstown/Brigown area of County Cork.


1) What RC church structure would a 1793 marriage, and subsequent Mitchelstown baptisms, have occurred in?   Where was it located ?   Any drawings of that structure ?     I have a ffollett collection of the marriage record from 1793 and then several baptism records.


Various residential addresses found in the baptism records include:   James St, George St and Mudlane.   I am assuming Mitchelstown.


2) Assuming that the family members were not buried in some small unknown family cemetery, is there a specific cemetery in the Mitchelstown area that RC would have used in the early 1800-1850 ? 




Tuesday 2nd November 2021, 08:09PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi, 

    At the end of George St. in Mitchelstown/Brigown is St. George's Arts and Heritage . Today its being renovated as a museum but it used to be a church of Ireland site. In the 1780s RC burials would also have taken place in these sites. The graveyard was recently surveyed as part of the Ballyhoura Development Historic Graves project . From doing a name search I can find 2 Donovan's in this graveyard (and in graveyards surveyed in the surrounding area). There are a few Hallorans recorded in neighbouring parishes. To search family names go to . Note that only legible headstones are recorded and not all graveyards are surveyed yet so just because you can't find someone on historicgraves, it doesnt mean they are not there somewhere! 


    I hope this information is helpful and it will help to refine your search. Getting in touch with St. Georges would probably be a good place to go from here.

    David Whyte, IrelandXO l Ballyhoura Development

    Wednesday 3rd November 2021, 10:16AM
  • RC baptisms would be a different story. Perhaps someone else can help with the RC structures in place during this time. The penal laws restricting the practice of catholicism were removed during the 1790s so this would also have been at play in your time period

    David Whyte, IrelandXO l Ballyhoura Development

    Wednesday 3rd November 2021, 10:19AM
  • Hello NKN,

    Mitchelstown was in the Civil Parish of Brigown. The Church of Ireland Parish was also called Brigown, also known as Saint George’s Church of Ireland.

    According to the National Library of Ireland website, the Catholic Parish was called Mitchelstown, but was alternately known as Brigown, Marshalstown/Marshallstown, or Brigown and Marshalstown. The church was and I believe still located in the Diocese of Cloyne.

    The National Library of Ireland website shows that the registers of baptism for the Mitchelstown Catholic Parish are available from 1 January 1792 to 7 May 1881. Marriages are available from 27 January 1822 to 1 November 1880. See:

    There are no burial registers available for the Mitchelstown Catholic Church, according to the National Library of Ireland.

    You can access the Mitchelstown Catholic registers of baptism and marriages for free at the above National Library of Ireland website.

    To add to the information kindly provided by David Whyte, I’ve attached an Ordnance Survey Map of Mitchelstown from the year 1842. The map is from the GeoHive website. In the center of the map you’ll see a cross-shaped structure which is labeled “Natl School.” To the east of the school is Thomas Street. To the north of the school is Edward Street. South of the school is Robert Street. To the west is George’s Street.

    Though labeled as a school on the map, this structure has all the details of having once been a church because of its architectural style known as “Cruciform,” that is, cross-shaped.

    Toward the lower right of the Ordnance Survey Map you’ll see the location of the R.C. Chapel, also in cruciform shape. Just to the west of the R.C. Chapel is the “Grave Yard,” and so this church and graveyard would have existed in Mitchelstown as of the early 1840s.

    What I needed to do at this point is to see if I could find when the R.C. Chapel noted on the Ordnance Survey Map was constructed in Mitchelstown, east of the town center, and to also see if there is any information showing that the National School in Thomas Street had once been the Mitchelstown R.C. Chapel.

    According to a link from the website’s “Architecture of Cork and Lost Buildings of Ireland,” the church located in the lower right corner of the Ordnance Survey Map was built in 1834 and was called “Church of the Immaculate Conception.”

    The information from archiseek also mentions that, except for the tower and spire, the church “was demolished in the 1970s and a new unremarkable church constructed.”

    Go to the following archiseek link to see the information about the Church of the Immaculate Conception as well as an old photo of the interior of the church.

    I then went to the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage/Buildings of Ireland website. There I found a contemporary Buildings of Ireland map of Mitchelsltown and what had been the National School in the 1842 Ordnance Survey Map. On the Buildings of Ireland map however, the altar section of the church that was attached to the cross section facing Thomas Street, is no longer present. The map is attached to this reply.

    A Buildings of Ireland description about the structure mentions the Ordnance Survey Map of 1842, and also includes the information I was looking for:

    “Description: In Mitchelstown, on W side of Thomas Street. Indicated on 1842 OS 6-inch map as cruciform structure (long axis E-W) named 'Natl. School'; projection at E end removed by 1905 OS 6-inch map, making overall plan T-shaped; on this map it is named 'Town Hall'. According to Lewis (1837, vol. 1, 225), school was 'old R. C. chapel'. T-shaped, 1-storey, gable-ended structure survives: long axis E-W with arms at E end. Long E elevation has central pointed door and window opes and inserted National School plaque. Chimney atop N gable. Now used as parochial hall. Limestone cross from this building removed to steeple of replacement church (14732) (Power 1996, 61) on hill to E. According to local information, area around church was used as burial ground during The Famine.

    “The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Cork. Volume 4: North Cork' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 2000). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.”

    The description mentions a man named Lewis who had written that the school was the “old R.C. Chapel.” This refers to Samuel Lewis and his 1837 edition of “A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland:”

    Unfortunately, Samuel Lewis did not mention how old the school and former R.C. Chapel off Thomas Street was when he wrote about the structure in the 1830s.

    “Lewis” is also mentioned in the Archiseek description of the Church of the Immaculate Conception noted earlier.

    It appears from the Buildings of Ireland description above, that burials took place near the church off Thomas Street during the time of the Great Irish Famine. The Famine’s worst years were from 1845 to 1851. I haven’t found any present-day accounts of graves near the old National School and R.C. Chapel off Thomas Street in Mitchelstown.

    The Buildings of Ireland description talks about the 1905 OS (Ordnance Survey) 6-inch map, and how the T-shaped building was a “Town Hall,” and also mentions that the T-shaped building is now used as a “Parochial Hall.”

    The 1905 Ordnance Survey Map is attached to this reply, and shows the T-shaped Town Hall situated in the upper center-left of the map to the west of Thomas Street, while the Catholic Church, along with St. Fanahan’s Catholic Cemetery, and a school, are toward the lower right of the map, below the label for Mitchelstown. The church in 1905 was the Church of the Immaculate conception, since demolished and replaced by the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin.

    This T-shaped building may be the former Catholic Chapel in Thomas Street where your Mitchelstown ancestors worshipped, were baptized and married before the Church of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1834.

    A Google Street View from Thomas Street of the former R.C. Chapel-National School-Town Hall, etc. in Mitchelstown, can be viewed at:

    For another Google Street View of the building from Edward Street, see:

    As noted above, the Catholic Church in Mitchelstown today is called “Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin,” off Church Hill. A Google Street View shows the tower and steeple of the former Church of the Immaculate Conception, with the new church in the background, and the cemetery in the right-foreground:

    For an elevated vantage point of the church, cemetery, and spire from Church Hill, see the Google Street View at:

    For a wider image of the cemetery across the road from the church, access the Google Street View at:

    You can also see the cemetery on both sides of Church Hill as well as the Our Lady Conceived Without Sin Catholic Church from a Google Satellite Image at:

    Some of your ancestors may have also been buried in the graveyard adjacent to the former Church of the Immaculate Conception, now the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin,” off Church Hill.

    This cemetery does not appear to have been surveyed yet in the Ballyhoura Development Historic Graves Project, mentioned by David Whyte. The cemetery that is part of the survey is off the Brigown Road, south of the Catholic Church.

    For Google Street Views of the Brigown Cemetery that is part of the Ballyhoura project mentioned by David Whyte, go to: and

    An Historicgraves map attached to this reply, shows you the location of the Brigown Cemetery (highlighted with blue teardrop markers) in relationship to the Mitchelstown Catholic Churchyard to the north.

    Brigown is the cemetery that David Whyte mentions in his reply, where he found the graves of two Donovans. See the two Donovan grave entries in the Brigown Cemetery at:

    I next went to the Find A Grave website to see if anyone had submitted burial information concerning the surnames Donovan, Halloran, and Neely, in the “Mitchelstown Parish Church Cemetery,” which is the cemetery just outside the Church of Our Lady Conceived Without Sin, formerly the Church of the Immaculate Conception. I didn’t find any submissions for the three surnames at the Find A Grave site for the cemetery at:

    The Find A Grave website also shows there are 131 burial submissions in the aforementioned Brigown Cemetery, Brigown Road:

    Find A Grave lists three other graveyards in the Mitchelstown area. These are the Kilgullane Cemetery, the Labbamolaga Cemetery, and the New Cemetery.

    I looked but did not find 19th century memorial submissions for deaths of any Donovans, Hallorans, or Neelys in these cemeteries.

    For the Kilgullane Cemetery see:

    For the Labbamolaga Cemetery go to:

    The New Cemetery can be found at:

    In the future, if you learn that an ancestor or ancestors were buried in the cemeteries in, or surrounding Mitchelstown, you can submit their names and information about when they may have been born and had died to the Find A Grave website.

    If you can’t find burials of any of your ancestors in Mitchelstown, it may be that their relatives could not afford gravestones for them. Or, if they died during the famine and were buried in mass graves by the old R.C. Chapel in Thomas Street, or in the Church of the Immaculate Conception Cemetery, there likely wouldn’t be individual gravestones for them.

    Then too, there is always the possibility that your 18th century and early 19th century Irish Catholic ancestors were interred in a Church of Ireland cemetery in Mitchelstown/Brigown. The Church of Ireland in Mitchelstown was called Saint George’s, which is now Saint George’s Arts and Heritage Centre, as described by David Whyte in his reply of 3 November 2021.

    The Irish Genealogy Toolkit website explains why some Catholics may have been buried in Church of Ireland Cemeteries. See the quote below from

    “Why were your Catholic ancestors buried in a Church of Ireland (Protestant) graveyard?

    The first Catholic cemetery opened in the 1820s. Prior to this date, all burials were in Church of Ireland land. From then until 1871, the Church of Ireland, as the established church, continued to have certain state responsibilities including the decent burial of the poor, or those with no family.

    So when you start to trace family history in Ireland, don't forget to search Anglican churchyards, even if your family was of another religion.

    Poverty was not the only reason why a non-Protestant might have been laid to rest in a Church of Ireland graveyard after the 1820s.

    In parishes where the graveyards of local Catholic, Methodist or other churches quickly filled up, all burials might have transferred to the Church of Ireland grounds. However, in these cases the funeral service would have been conducted (and recorded) in the church of the deceased's faith and the coffin transferred to the final resting place.

    While there would also be a record of the grave in Church of Ireland's papers, it would not usually be in the official registers.

    These 'anomalies' became fewer with the creation of municipal cemetaries on the outskirts of towns in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They usually have seperate sections for different faiths. Responsibility for these cemeteries lies with county or local councils.”

    Almost half of Ireland’s Church of Ireland parish registers of baptisms, marriages and deaths were destroyed in the Four Courts Fire in Dublin during the Irish Civil War in 1922. But not all were destroyed, as many Church of Ireland parishes kept copies of their baptism, marriage, and burial records. The registers for the Saint George Church of Ireland survived the fire. Saint George’s was also known as the Brigown Church of Ireland, and as mentioned at the beginning of this reply, was located in the Civil Parish of Brigown, as was Mitchelstown itself.

    According to the online, “The List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers” from the website, the Brigown parish registers of baptisms are available for the years 1775 to 1839; marriages from 1775 to 1948, and burials from 1775 to 1839. See:

    Information about the Brigown (Saint George) parish registers is highlighted in yellow, which means copies of the original registers are held by the Representative Church Body Library (RCB), Churchtown, Dublin. If you have questions about genealogical enquiries concerning the Brigown/Saint George Church of Ireland burial registers, see the RCB link at:

    The 1842 Ordnance Survey Map of Saint George’s Church and surrounding area is attached to this reply. On the map you’ll see that George’s Street runs just north of the church. The map also shows that James Street T-junctions into George’s Street.

    In the upper right section of the map you’ll see what was the Church of the Immaculate Conception and Grave Yard, just east of New Market Square.

    The Buildings of Ireland website has a very good description of Saint George’s Church of Ireland. This description appears to have been written when the church was still open for worship, and before it became the Saint George’s Arts and Heritage Centre.

    For information and a slide presentation of Saint George’s Church of Ireland, go to the Buildings of Ireland link at:

    For Buildings of Ireland map of Saint George’s Church and surrounding area, see:


    As you saw earlier, the Mitchelstown Catholic Parish does not have burial records from the late 1700s to the late 1800s, but if there are any baptism or marriage records you are interested in, I’ll see if I can find them. Along with the name of the child and year of birth, or approximate year of birth, I would also need the first name of the father, and the first and maiden name of the child’s mother.

    I can also look for Mitchelstown Catholic Parish marriages with a year of marriage or approximate year of marriage.

    Kind Regards,

    Dave Boylan


    National Library of Ireland
    David Whyte Reply from IrelandXO l Ballyhoura Development
    Ordnance Survey Maps from GeoHive
    National Inventory of Architectural Heritage/Buildings of Ireland
    Samuel Lewis: “A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland”
    Google Street Views
    Google Satellite Image
    Find A Grave
    Irish Genealogy Toolkit
    The List of Church of Ireland Parish Registers
    Representative Church Body Library (RCB)


    Tuesday 9th November 2021, 12:29PM

    Attached Files

  • WOW, David !    Thank you for all this detailed info.   I will check it all out. 




    Wednesday 10th November 2021, 12:58PM
  • You're welcome Nancy, and thank you for your reply.



    Thursday 11th November 2021, 10:55AM