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Searching for info on Cunningham Bar in Boyle

My family has long been trying to discover if and how our ancestors were linked to the Cunningham bar that used to be on Bridge Street in Boyle.  I feel like I'm getting closer to figuring it out as I've done more research but I think I'm getting into that time period were records don't exist to help me with the final pieces.  I'm wondering if there are some people who know the town history or have some paths that I might look into for further research.  Listed below is the high level of the info I have - I do have a lot more details if it would help anyone.

Family 1 (my direct decendents):

James Cunningam (b. 1816 d.1860) + Bridget ? (b. 1817 d. 1864)

son Michael Cunningham (b.1842 d. 1920) + Bridget Brennan (b. 1845 d. 1917)

Children: Lizzie, Mary, James Joseph, William Joseph, Thomas, Myles, Ernest, Gertrude, Michael Brennan, and Roderick

Family 2 (with documented ties to the bar):

Bernard Cunningham (b. 1805) + Bridget Flanagan (b. 1811)

sons Michael, John, James, Maria, Edward (who married Bridget Devany), Thomas, Richard, Belinda

Edward and Bridget had children Bernard b. 1875, Frank b. 1879, Michael, Emmily, and Ann


When Bernard (Family 2) died, his will passed his belongings to his daughter Belinda - I know that many of the children immigrated to the U.S. and his son Edward had died leaving Briget Devany widowed.  There is an article in the Roscommon Constitutionalist passing the liquor license from Belinda to Bridget Cunningham around the time that she immigrated with her husband to the U.S. so I believe she left the operation of the bar to Edward's widow.  This family is listed in the 1901 census records as residing on Bridge Street.

Family 1 lived on Elphin Street where Michael is listed as a auctioneer and valuer, but I've found on some of the early civil birth and death registers for his children he is listed as a grocer.  I believe the bar was both a bar and grocery, so perhaps this suggests that there is a relationship between the family.  An obit for Lizzie also listed Frank and Bernard as having attended her services and listed them as cousins.  Based on the dates, I'm guessing that Bernard of 1805 and James of 1816 were brothers, but I cannot find evidence of that yet.  I know that Gertrude and some of the other children from family 1 in some family postcards that we have refer to an Aunt Mary and reference the Matron of the Boyle Union.  I know there was a Mary there who was the matron of the Poor House in Boyle who also seems to have some tie to Family 1.

I've learned a lot of interesting things about these families as I learn more, and it is interesting to see pictures of the Cunningham bar on the internet and see references to it on this site.  Many of my family members have had several discussions around this, and it really is just a curiosity at this point to learn how these pieces fit together.  If anyone has any thoughts of sources to uncover, or knows someone that has information around the history of Boyle, it seems like there may be additional references to these two families that may help to tie them together.



Thursday 18th January 2018, 12:55AM

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Boyle (Roscommon)

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    Dear Mike:  

    Thank you for your informative post on the Cunningham family and the pub in Boyle.  Hopefully there will be someone to assist and clarify the family connection for you.  I have copied this post to someone in the area who may be able to assist.  

    If you have any questions, please let me know.  You can email me directly at:  

    Thanks for your interest in Ireland Reaching Out.  Please be sure to create a profile of any of your Cunningham ancestors (+100 years old) for the XO Chronicles.  Kind regards,  



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 22nd January 2018, 11:49AM