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I have traced my great-grandmother, Ellen Joyce, from her home in Pittsburgh in the U.S., back to the townland of Derryinver on the Renvyle peninsula.  Ellen was the 6th of 9 children whom I have identified, born around 1862-1863 (just before civil registration began). She and most of her siblings eventually emigrated to the Pittsburgh area, joining oldest brother Thomas, born about 1848 and emigrated about 1865-1868 (the U.S. records are not consistent about a single date).

Their parents are Patrick Joyce and Margaret Baker, corroborated by many documents in the U.S.  From the Valuation Office revision books, it is pretty clear that Patrick took occupancy of the home in Derryinver in 1864 and stayed there until 1883. He died in 1897 in Lettermore.  Knowing that there are a lot of people named Patrick Joyce, I have greater hope that there may be information about the Baker family. Having said that, I have been thoroughly unsuccessful in identifying parents for her in that area. Based on her 1901 death record (Dawrosmore), she was born in the early 1830s, but I don't know where.

Any insights or suggestions about how to identify the early lives or parents of Patrick and Margaret would be very welcome.

Jay Shock

Pittsburgh USA


Jay Shock

Friday 11th January 2019, 01:15PM

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  • Jay:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    I checked the 1855 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing for the parish. As you likely know there are four Ballynakill parishes in Co. Galway. I identified the following individuals in the Ballynakill parish out near Clifden.  Not sure which one might be the father (or mother) of Margaret Baker. what was the name of the second male child of Patrick Joyce and Margaret Baker?

    Roger McDonnell

    John Baker Ardnagreevagh

    Patrick Baker Ballynew

    John Baker Cashleen

    Bartholomew Baker Cloonlooaun

    John Baker Cloonlooaun

    Mary Baker Cloonlooaun

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 11th January 2019, 03:30PM
  • Thank you, Roger

    The children's names (assuming that my list is both complete and accurate) were Thomas, Mary, Michael, Margaret, Peter, Ellen, Honor, Catherine, Anne.

    So I have tentatively assumed that Patrick Joyce's parents were Thomas and Margaret, and that Margaret Baker's were Michael and Mary. Having said that, I have found no specific records that would take me to those names at a time and place that seem "right".  My particular hope has been to find a reference to a Michael Baker, since he is male and the Baker surname seems not to be very common in the area.

    Perhaps a next step for me is to re-visit the Tithe Applotment records and see if I might have missed anything there. One of my dilemmas there has been to decide on the geographic scope of what might be relevant.

    If you have other thoughts in this regard, I'd be very appreciative.

    Best wishes,



    Jay Shock

    Saturday 12th January 2019, 02:33PM