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I am researching a RYAN family member that I recently discovered was "native of Baliyadam, County Limerick" or, rather, Ballyadam, County Limerick.

1916 Obituary [Chicago, Cook, Illinois, USA] for John RYAN [aka John W. RYAN b.c. 1865-1870] states he is "brother of Mrs. Thomas RYAN of Longhgur castle: native of Baliyadam, County Limerick."

I take this to mean he is a native of Ballyadam, Caherconlish Parish, County Limerick. His sister, Mrs. Thomas RYAN [first name Unknown] lives in Loughgur, Knockainy Parish, County Limerick in 1916.

From the 1901 & 1911 Irish Census there is a Mary b.c. 1850-1851 married to Thomas RYAN in Loughgur, Knockainy Parish, County Limerick. This is the only Thomas RYAN family there at those dates so I assume this Mary is the right sister of my John RYAN. My only question is that Mary is b.c. 1850-1851 so she would be about 15-20 years OLDER than my John?

This John RYAN married a woman named Bessie RYAN from Old Pallas, Pallas Townland, Grean Parish, County Limerick, in Chicago. These locations are within few miles of each other so they make sense.

Wife Bessie RYAN was the Informant on his 1916 Illinois Death Certificate and states his parents are John RYAN & Mary COFFEY. Their daughter's 1904 Illinois Birth Record states her parents are John Conway RYAN & Bessie MCGOWAN [I am fairly certain the mother's maiden name is wrong here which makes me wonder if the Conway middle name for father is wrong?].

I am just wondering if anyone is familiar with this RYAN family!


Kim Curlin Wettroth



Tuesday 16th November 2021, 01:03PM

Message Board Replies

  • Kim:

    There are many John Ryan and Mary Ryan baptismal records in Caherconlish RC parish (and likely every parish in Co. Limerick and Co. Tipperary.)  I did some searching on the subscription site RootsIreland and came up with a Ryan family in Caherconlish with father William and mother Ellen Conway. They had at least seven children including a Mary baptized November 23 1848 and a John baptized April 16 1865. There may be other families in Caherconlish with a Mary much older than a John but this family fits your information.

    Roger McDonnell


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 16th November 2021, 03:22PM
  • Thank you, Roger.

    I am aware of the father William Ryan & mother Ellen Conway family. I will look into that family further to see if anything else pops up. The common names and repetition of names is pretty standard but makes tracing things confusing sometimes!

    But I have a problem with the only names of the parents for "my" John Ryan that I have seen - John Ryan & Mary Coffey? 

    That information given on John Ryan's Death Certificate by his wife of 24 years, who was from Old Pallas. But to be clear, they married in Chicago, lived together off and on over those years with John moving back into the family home near the end of his life. Maybe she wasn't telling the truth? Though I don't know why that would be.

    I am a flexible thinker when it comes to names but these parents' names are really off! Is there something about Irish naming or telling that I am missing?

    Thanks, again.



    Wednesday 17th November 2021, 12:18PM
  • Kim:

    I think it is likely that Bessie Ryan provided the wrong maiden name for the mother. There are no records for children of John Ryan and Mary Coffey in Co. Limerick on Roots Ireland.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 18th November 2021, 01:12PM