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We have had trouble finding the parish of my GGGrandparents. We were in Ireland and spent a lot of time in the Mayo area, but had no luck.

Their name changes from McWeeney, to Queeney.  his Christian name is Owen, he married Mary Rowan/Ruane in Wolverhampton UK. 1n1850 both say they are from Mayo,  both fathers named Patrick both still in Ireland. 

My DNA says I'm 48% North Connact. When we were in Ireland we were told to look in the Sligo Leitrim area, we had to return home to Australia so did not get the opportunity

Hope you can Help

Jenny J


Thursday 31st December 2020, 02:28AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Jenny:

    You can look at this site maintained by one of our volunteers  to see where surnames were found in the mid-19th century. Use mc weeny for  the McWeeney name.

    Owen very likely came from Co. Leitrim and Mary Ruane likely came from Mayo with Galway a second possibility. 

    Unfortunately, I searched the subscription site Roots Ireland and there are no early 1800s baptismal records for an Owen McWeeney anywhere in Ireland and there are no Mary Ruane records with father Patrick in the 1820s in Mayo.

    Many of the RC parishes in the West of Ireland do not have records prior to 1850 and likely both Owen and Mary were baptized in a parish that does not have early records.

    FYI. Civil registration of births started in 1864.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 31st December 2020, 02:26PM
  • As Roger said, the surname Ruane is mostly a Mayo name, although it may have originated a bit further south in what is now Galway.  One of my grandmothers grew up in Killasser parish in Mayo, which borders Sligo, and she had a number of Ruane relatives living in that parish.  The parish records for Killasser only go back to 1847, so they would not be of much use, but the neighboring parish of Swineford/Swinford (also called Kilconduff or Meelick) has some records available online for the 1820's, and I've found some relatives there, presumaby baptIzed or married there at a time whe there was not yet a church building in Killasser.  Those records are available at this link:

    I checked Griffith;s Valuation, which was a mid-1800's tax census, and there were 32 Patrick Ruane's listed as tenants or landowners in Mayo, almost all of them within a few parishes northwest or southeast of Killasser (though none actually in Killasser itself).  You can see the list here:

    If Mary was from Mayo and her father was alive at thhe time of Griffith's Valuation (and held a tenancy), then he's likely to be one of those 32.

    MacLysaght, in his Surnames of Ireland, says that Ruane is an anglicization of the Irish surname Ó Ruadháin, which is based on the word ruadh. meaning "red" or "red haired" (so "descendant of  the red-haired one").  It has also been anglicized as Rowaine, Raine, Rouine, Royan, and even Ryan in some cases (most Ryan's being of a different origin)..

    For McWeeny, he says that it is an anglicization of the Irish surnme Mac Mhaonaigh (which has an ambiguous meaning), and originated in what is now Roscommon, though (as Roger said) it is now more common in Leitrim.  I did a search in Griffith's Valuation, to see whether there might be any McWeeny's or McQueeny's in Mayo or nearby parts of Roscommon, and there were none shown. That may mean that the couple only met once in England.  After the Famine, many people in East Mayo went seasonally to England, Scotland, or Wales for work (and some stayed there, of course), and I assume that was true for people inn Roscommon and Leitrim as well, so they may have met that way.




    Thursday 31st December 2020, 11:09PM
  • The following Mary Ruane was born in Mayo in 1832, with parents John and Barbara. These names were the same as the names of two of Mary and Owen’s children. Possibly there's a connection here.

    Name:Mary Ruane
    Date of Birth:24-Oct-1832
    Date of Baptism:26-Oct-1832
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:John Ruane
    Mother:Barbara Gillespie
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Roger Leonard
    Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Mary Leonard


    Friday 1st January 2021, 01:45AM
  • Thank you so much for your replies,  We will spend the next few days going through all of the information.

    just wish we could get on aplane and come back for a visit.

    Happy New year to you all,  and good health in 2021

    Jenny J


    Friday 1st January 2021, 02:12PM