Share This:

Owen Byrne. Margaret Fairfield.

I am trying to see if anybody can throw any light on some aspects of the above Owen Byrne and Margaret Fairfield. They were married in Arklow in 1821. I am presuming that Margaret was from Arklow as there are records of some Fairfields in Arklow at that time and were in the Arklow to Aughrim areas untill the mid to late 1800s. In the 1901 census the only family of Fairfields in County Wicklow are listed as living in Bray. I have a fair handle on Owen and Margarets family as I am descended from their son James. Another little mystery there as James was married to an Anne Shorthall daughter of Nicholas Shorthall but wherever they were from is hard to pin down. Owen was noted in James and Annes marriage cert as being a farmer. that was in 1854b but whether he was dead or alive is not clear. I think that Margaret Fairfield Byrne may have emigrated to Canada as part of the Coolatin " assisted" passage,  but Owen seems to have disappeared without trace. Possibly he did not survive the famine ??


Monday 6th April 2020, 04:48PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Jaybee:

    You might looking at the Civil registration records which date back to 1864 to find out if Owen died in Aughrim.  As to the marriage record that you mentioned, I did not find an 1854 marriage record, but rather an 1856 record in the Baltinglass parish register for a Dominick Byrne and Ann Shorthall of 14 January.  This is a Catholic parish register.  

    I see the transcription of the 1821 marriage record that you refer to for Margaret Fairfield and Owen Byrne's marriage.  Aughrim was most likely Margaret's home parish as a bride traditionally married from her parish church.  I also noted that their witnesses were:  Mary Byrne (possibly a relative of Owen's) and William Doyle.  

    You are probably aware that there were 5 children born to this couple who were baptised between 1822 - 1835.  Those records are on Roots Ireland but they can also be accessed digitally through the National Library of Ireland parish register site.  The parish where they were residing was Killaveney,and Margaret Fairfield's name was noted as Madge Fairfield.  

    Patrick Byrne's baptism record:  (left side of the page)  1 March 1822

    Sarah Byrne's baptism record:  11 October 1825

    James Byrne's baptism record: 29 July 1829

    Bridget Byrne's baptism record: 17 June 1832

    Edward Byrne's baptism record:  10 May 1835.

    The Killaveney register is the parish where this family resided and the writing is very legible on all of the above baptism entries.  Killaveney would be the parish that I would recommend you focus your research with Owen Byrne.  Killaclorin townland is a residence noted in the baptism records and it would appear that this is where they resided.  Just a few things to note:  Killaveny is located within the civil parish of Kilpipe which straddles both counties Wexford and Wicklow.

    The townland where the Byrnes family resided is Killacloran:

    The Griffith's Valuation link for this townland shows that a number of Byrnes families resided there as well as a Fairfield family:

    I also noted from a quick look at the 1901 Census that the Byrnes family name was still associated with the townland.  You can use the link for the townland of Killacloran above to access the 1901 & 1911 Censuses.  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the links there.  

    If Margaret Fairfield Byrnes emigrated to Canada without Owen Byrne, it may indicate that he died in Ireland, or that he left earlier.  You can check graveyards for any possible headstone (many famillies could not afford these) through the following websites:  You can search using the surname of Byrnes and narrow it down by using  County Wicklow.  St Bridget's Cemetery in Annacurragh, County Wicklow is listed and there are a number of Byrne headstones there.  

    Here is a link to some photographs for Annacurra graveyard (close to the area where the Byrnes family lived).


    I hope that I have not thrown too much information at you, but I wasn;t sure how much information you had.  If you have any questions, please email me at: 

    Have a wonderul Easter.


    All the best,




    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Friday 10th April 2020, 12:42PM
  • Hi Jane.

    Thank you for getting back to me. I am afraid that Owen aand what became of him might remain a mystery due to the scarcity of records in the early 1800s.There is no record of his death in the civil records. I think that Margaret may have emigrated to Canada in 1852. That might indicate that Owen was already dead or maybe as you say, already emigrated. I am attaching a copy of the marriage cert of my great great grandparents dated 1854 showing Jame's father Owen occupation as farmer. But I have noted from other marriage certs which I have been researching that the father's name of both parties were included whether they be dead or alive. I once came across records somewhere that an Owen byrne was farming 36 acres in Killacloran in the early 1800s, and some time later he was gone but there were three Byrnes including a James farming 12 acres each. I have not been able to find that particular information again. I see from James' marriage cert that his occupation was "labourer".  As this was shortly after the Coolatin Purge its possible that they were dispossed of their holding. My Grandfather also James, once told me that his father and uncles were journeymen ploughmen and stone masons. Thank you again. JAYBEE


    Saturday 11th April 2020, 10:00AM

    Attached Files