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My maternal great grandmother Elizabeth Carney (b.25 Dec. 1869 or 1870) immigrated to the U.S as an infant or young child in about 1872.  According to the family story she was alone with her mother, also called Elizabeth Carney.  Subsequent research indicates the elder Elizabeth's maiden name was McGlenn/McGlynn, implying that Carney was a married name, or at least that the younger Elizabeth was fathered by an unknown Mr. Carney, whose fate is unknown.  The elder Elizabeth then married James J. Murphy, probably in the U.S. and they together had 2 more daughters, Annie, b. 1875 in Pennsylvania and Nellie, b. 1880 in Michigan.  The family settled in Corktown in Detroit, Michigan, US.   The younger Elizabeth married in 1891 (under her stepfather's surname of Murphy) to Joseph Sharon, a fellow immigrant of Swiss-Italian heritage.  She always insisted to her children that she was born in Cork, but of course she was an infant when she immigrated and probably had no memory of Ireland. 

DNA Evidence more recently has also shown a connection to County Roscommon (Note: genealogical information is mainly from other trees, and I have not vetted the accuracy):

0. Both my maternal aunt and one of my sisters have localized to Roscommon in their ethnicity results.

All 5 of my sisters and I, my aunt, and numerous second cousins in that line variously have DNA matches to descendants of the following lines:

1. Richard McLuen (b. 1820 Scotland, d. 1868 Iowa, USA) & Susan Robertson (b. 1820 Scotland, d. 1855 Strokestown, Roscommon, Ireland.  When Susan died, the oldest son William, already in the U.S.,  brought most of his siblings (who were mostly born in Strokestown) and eventually his father to the U.S. Most settled in Iowa. But it appears they were only in Roscommon for a generation, and therefore less likely to be the source of the Roscommon DNA.  More likely to be a source of Scottish DNA, which we also have. But there are numerous DNA matches from the lines of William and his siblings.

We also have DNA matches descended from the following Carney families, although I do not know which, if any, is my direct line:

2. Thomas F. Carney (b. Dec 1865, Roscommon d. 16 Dec 1911, Baltimore Maryland, USA) married Jane Clancy (b. June 1865, Ireland, d. 17 Nov 1900, New York).  In 1900 Thomas's mother Nellie (Carney) (b. Mar 1805, Ireland, d. 28 June, 1909, New York) was living with his family.  I have three DNA matches from this line.

3. Michael Carney (b. May 1855, Roscommon, d. 14 May 1910, Manhattan, New York City) wife Catherine (Carney) (b.  Jul 1859 Ireland). This Michael may or may not be Thomas's brother. There are more than one Michael Carney in New York of about the same age and they are difficult to differentiate.

Separately, I have DNA matches in the lines of:

4. Ellen Jane Carney (b. 16 Feb 1865 in Aughrim, Roscommon, d. 30 May 1945 in Ireland.  She was married to Patrick O'Hara.  Her parents were Peter Carney & Eleanor "Nora" Dowd of Aughrim.  Her daughter Ellen T. O'Hara married William F. Nolan who was born 1897 in Skea Elphin.  They emigrated to New York, USA and their daughter is a 4th-5th DNA cousin to my maternal aunt.

5. Eugene Owen Carney (b. about 1860 in Ireland, d. before 1900, presumably in Manhattan, New York).  His widow Margaret M. Egan Carney (b. Dec 1862, Ireland, d. 11 Nov 1955, New Jersey, US) and children are listed in the 1900 US census. Several of his great grandchildren match myself and/or some of my sisters.

There is also an Owen Carney/Bridget McDermott line in the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, that I am trying to establish a DNA link to, so far unsuccessful.


My family of 5 adults plans to visit Ireland next month (mid-July).  It is mostly a tourist visit to the southwestern part of Ireland, from Galway to the Ring of Kerry, but partly a 70th birthday trip for me, so I am taking a day for genealogy.  From Galway I want to take a day trip to the Strokestown, Elphin, Aughrim area.  We are leery of driving ourselves on the left side of the road (and rental cars are expensive this summer!), and plan to take trains and local tour buses whenever possible.  Is there a way I can get a driver for a day from Galway and back?  Or any public transportation options?  I can do some walking, but no longer able to do long hikes.  Also, do you have any suggestions for interesting stops in the area (in addition to Strokestown Castle)?  

Of course, genealogical help is always appreciated, but I am just beginning my research in Ireland, and I obviously have not yet gotten a lot of data to work with for either myself or for you.  The unknown Mr. Carney has been my biggest brick wall, and seemed a hopeless task, until I put this new DNA data together recently.

Thank you very much for any help you can give me.

Barbara Hamming

P.S. I posted last year about the McLuen family.  I read and appreciated your reply.  I am so sorry I did not acknowledge it at the time, but some medical and other issues arose and the task got lost in the shuffle.  Thank you.



Thursday 23rd Jun 2022, 08:01PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Barbara

    Welcome to the IrelandXO Roscommon community!

    For your visit to Strokestown, we highly recommend the Strokestown Park House and Famine Museum and the County Roscommon Heritage & Genealogy Centre on Church Street, Strokestown (best to reserve a consultation in advance, they may also be able to tell you about car hire/ tour guides for the area). 

    In the case of your search for Elizabeth Carney (b. 1869/70) you could be looking for Carny, Caherny, Keherny, Kearney, Karney,  McKearney or even Kearns.  And for McGlynn, you could be looking for Maglinn, Maglynn, McGlinn, McGlyon, Glinn/Glin, or Glynn/Glyn.

    What's perplexing is that no record of birth appears for Elizabeth Carney (and spelling variants) for these dates in Co. Roscommon. 

    I ran a search on parishes in Co Roscommon where Carney + McGlynn households both appear on record circa 1857 at the time of Griffith's Valuation and thereafter. The best leads would be a townland (or neighbouring townlands) where both surnames occur.

    Based on your best DNA lead...

    Ellen Jane Carney (1865 –1945) daughter of Peter Carney & Honora Dowd of Corbally West ELPHIN (in the civil parish of Creeve. ("Aughrim" was the civil registration district, Corbally was on its boundary) adjoining Carrowreagh where a Thomas Carney held land (but probably lived with Peter). This family was still present in 1911 and there may still be Carney descendants farming in Corbally West today. SEE PETER CARNEY

    Meanwhile, just west of Corbally in the townland of Erriblagh, you had herd James McGlynn (1801–1887) whose son, Michael McGlynn & Sara Lavin married in 1872 (and moved next-door to Cartron, adjoining Corbally). By 1901 they living in Portobello ELPHIN. Michael and his son James were also shepherds. SEE JAMES MCGLYNN

    It just so happens that Peter Carney held 30 acres of land in Erriblagh as well.  Herds like James McGlynn  who were present on the land very often would not appear on record in Griffith's Valuation.  At a guess (to explain the lack of a marriage or birth record) one of Peter Carney's boys may have taken a shine to Elizabeth McGlynn who wouldn't have been able to afford a matching dowry. 

    So, it may be worth exploring the area north of Elphin around Corbally West. One could ask around at the Elphin post office or local pubs about the Carneys of Corbally. 

    Hope this helps!

    Rua, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Saturday 25th Jun 2022, 06:49AM

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