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My 2X great grandfather was born James Phelan in 1797 to John Phelan and Alice Murphy, the family migrated to Maryborough by around1815 and the spelling went from Phelan to Whelan.  Patrick had several siblings, Patrick, Michael, Joseph, Catherine, Anna. There was a gap in years from 1809-1819 with no records.  James immigrated to PA in 1834 along with brother patrick and his wife and four children.  Michael immigrated to the same place @1848  with wife Catherine nee Dowling and four children. I have followed the lines of all the Whelans that immigrated to Silver lake Susquehanna county PA. There were 5 Whelans in all in a small farmtown in PA. I am looking for some information on any Whelans that remained in Ireland.

If any of this sounds familiar please contact me at


Thank you


Katie Whalen

Tuesday 25th August 2020, 12:26AM

Message Board Replies

  • I have cousins called Whelan who still live in Laois. I have forwarded you message on to them. Good luck  Madeleine



    Tuesday 25th August 2020, 01:22PM
  •  Madeleine,

    My grandfather was Thomas Michael Whelan born in Maryborough, Queens County (Laois) around 1896.  His farther was also Thomas Whelan.

    I have no background on the family other than at some stage they lived at Pallas and he had a brother John (?).

    I believe my grandfather came to Australia around 1913-14.  He enlisted in the Australian Army and fought in France before being taken POW in March 1918. He survived

    and in early 1919 married my grandmother at Emo, her name was Julia Tynan.  I have connections to her family but they know nothing of my grandfather. He returned to Australia

    in 1919 with my grandmother. He died in Melbourne in the 1940's and he was aged in his forties.  My grandmother died in early 1960's aged 64.  Neither of them returned to Ireland.

    If you know of any connections I would love to hear from you. 

    regards, Anne Baker (


    Wednesday 14th October 2020, 04:43AM
  • Hi Madeline,

    Im sorry I just recently seen this, where did you forward me this information?  I am convinced we still have family in Portlaoise, we visited the area two years ago and the Whelan family is still very large there.  I am certain my 3x GGrandfather James had other siblings however the church records stopped in 1809 and did not pick up until 1820. Because of this I cannot contretely prove anything, I would appreciate your input


    My email is if you would not mind forwarding me the info on Whelans today living in Ireland I would greatly appreciate it.  Is there a possiblilty we are related?


    Hope to hear from you soon


    Katie Whalen

    Wednesday 14th October 2020, 03:25PM
  • Dear Katie and Anne

    My relations come from a different part of Laois and say that the are not related to any Whelans from Potrlaoise (Maryborough). MY relations are also relation by marriage (one of my first cousins married a Whelan) so not the branches of the family that I am researching! 

    There are a number of free resources you could look at.

    They also have an Ireland Genealogy Research group which has some really helpful folk. 

    For later records this site is useful:  I found the wedding certificate for Anne's grandfather easily there. Hopefully I have uploaded it . Thought I had done so yesterday and responded but can't see my response! 

    Later records from families can also be found in the Irish census: see   The records for 1901 and 1911 are searchable. 

    If you know the parish, you can also look through parish records: this is for Catholic parishes. There are resources available for protestant parishes as well. 

    Hope that this is helpful even if not the information you wanted!

    Best of luck


    Thursday 15th October 2020, 01:19PM

    Attached Files

  • Hi Madeleine and Katie,

    Thanks for your replies. 

    My grandfather 

    Thomas Michael Whelan states on his 1917 Australian Army papers that he was born in Maryborough, Queens County. (Laois) in 1896. His father was also Thomas. None of the records i have found mention his mother's name so it has been hard to verify the records I have looked at.  I know that he had a brother John (?). He also had a sister who i believe emigrated to USA and married somebody involved in the film industry. I don't know what her name was.

    I'm at a stalemate and this information probably doesn't help your research either.

    Thanks for your feedback,


    Saturday 17th October 2020, 02:58AM
  • Hi Anne

    I have just looked on Irish Civil records and there is a Thomas Whelan born in 1896 in Queen's County to a Thomas Whelan (see attached). He was born in Colt which is only 9 km from Portlaoise (Maryborough). He might well have told the army he was born in Maryborough as it is a bigger place. I was also told that my grandfather was born in Portlaoise but he wasn't - he was born in a small village! The Whelan family from Colt are also detailed in both the 1911 and 1901 census records ( and ( 

    I wonder if there are any records detailing Irish emigration to Australia - you might find him in a pssenger list?

    Not sure if this is any help

    All the best




    Saturday 17th October 2020, 02:03PM

    Attached Files

  • Thank you Madeleine, I had seen this record and am leaning towards it. Unfortunately I had no record of his mother's name and was also shocked at the number of siblings listed in the census records. I was only aware of a brother, John. Also a sister (name unknown) who apparently emigrated to the US. I have also tried looking at shipping records to Australia but they are very vague. I will persevere in the hope of finding a key link.

    Thanks again for your research.


    Monday 19th October 2020, 11:24PM