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My Great-grandfather, John P McNicholas, b. 1859 co Mayo, d. 1919 Chicago USA. His father Thomas died in Mayo, prob. Sraheens. He was married in 1856 in Kiltimagh to Ellen. Any infomation about Thomas and Ellen, especially their parents or local cousins in Mayo woud be appreciated. 


Sunday 19th Jun 2022, 04:40PM

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  • Cathy:

    The subscription site Roots Ireland has a January 22 1857 marriage between Thomas McNicholas and Nelly Walsh. The RC parish was Kiltimagh which is the parish for Killedan.

    The baptismal records for Killedan/Kiltimagh parish start in February 1861 so a record for Thomas, Ellen and your great grandfather John would not be available. I did look for baptismal records or civil birth records for younger siblings but did not find any with a mother Ellen or Nelly. Most records I found had a mother Bridget. Do you know the names of any younger siblings?

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 19th Jun 2022, 05:39PM
  • In Griffith's Valuation of Mayo, 1856-57, the following entries appear for Thomas McNicholases in Killedan. For more info, go to

    McNicholas Thomas Cuillalea Killedan Co. Mayo
    McNicholas Thomas Carrownteeaun Killedan Co. Mayo
    McNicholas Thomas Cloondoolough Killedan Co. Mayo
    McNicholas Thomas Treannagleragh Killedan Co. Mayo


    Monday 20th Jun 2022, 09:09PM
  • The following Thomas McNicholases were in the tithe applotment books for Mayo:

    Mcnicholas Thos Kiltomough Killedan Mayo 1834
    Mcnicholas Thos Kiltomough Killedan Mayo 1834
    Mcnicholas Thos Kiltomough Killedan Mayo 1834


    Monday 20th Jun 2022, 09:12PM
  • These three McNicholases were in Mayo in 1796, as per the flax growers list:

    M'Nicholas Francis Aghamore Mayo
    M'Nicholas Thomas Meelick Mayo
    M'Nickolass Martin Bohola Mayo


    Monday 20th Jun 2022, 09:15PM
  • I think Patricia has found the right location for your family. The townlands of Cuillalea, Carrownteeaun, Cloondoolough, and Treannagleragh are all located adjoining one another to the west and northwest of the town of Kiltimagh in Killedan parish, and are also very close to the parish boundary with Bohola.  Meelick is also not far away just to the northeast of there.  The McNicholas's in those areas are almost certainly all related.  There were also a number of Kilgallons in the area, and several McNicholas-Kilgallon marriages which I've noted in the parish register.  I suspect that the marriage record which Patricia found is the right one as well.  The Irish given name Eibhlín/Eibhilín (which comes originally from the name of the Emperor Constantine's mother) was usually anglicized as Ellen (sometimes as Eileen or Evelyn), but Nelly was a common diminutive form.  

    My grandfather (a Gallagher - also a common name in the area) grew up in Carrownteeaun, and there were many marriages among Gallagher's & McNicholas's (plus some Kilgallon's) from those townlands, as well as in Bohola and the Meelick area.  My mother had several McNicholas aunts and great-aunts, and I may even have had a McNicholas great-great-grandmother, but the records don't go far enough back to be sure.  If you've done DNA testing, I'd be happy to compare results.  Mine are uploaded at the FTDNA, Ancestry, MyHeritage, and GEDmatch sites.

    In case you're interested, the McNicholas surname (Mac Nicoláis in Irish) is of Norman-Irish origin.  It was assumed by a thoroughly Gaelicized branch of the Burke (de Burgo) family, which was very prominent in Mayo (and some other places).  McNicholas as a surname is believed to have originated in Ulster (in County Tyrone), but many Ulster families took refuge in Mayo after the Plantation of Ulster in the 17th Century, so it may have come to Mayo then.


    Monday 20th Jun 2022, 10:22PM
  • All very helpful, thank you. The good news is 90 % of the McNicholas were within 20 miles of the Meelick tower. The bad news is most of men were named Thomas son of John or the reverse.

    My heritage: My grandfather Frank Charles McNicholas b. 1882 Chicago. His parents, John Patrick McNicholas b Mayo Ireland 1859 , d. Chicago 1919 and Mary Taaffe b 1855 d. Chicago 1929.

    Both have cemetery records that list their parents: John son of Thom. Mc Nicholas and Ella Gillgalla. I assume that information from Frank. I could not find any Gillgalla in Mayo census 1901 nor 1911, and assume my great-great grandmother was Ellen Kilgallon, (Extract from Census return of 1851 listed Thomas & Ellen (Kilgallon) McNicholas). For Mary Taaffe it lists daughter of Frank Taaffe and Catherine Mullrennan. Also found a 1851 census record that Briget Taaffe was daughter of Frank and Catherine married 1832.

    John McNicholas and Mary Taaffe arrived in USA in 1880 and 1873 respectively, and married on 11 February 1882 in Chicago.

    I am focused on Treannagleragh and Sraheens ( plenty of Kilgallons and McNicholas'). I noted that the immediate leaser in Sraheens was Philip Taaffe. I have not found any information abouy him but will keep looking. Recently found that the Catholic Parish Register for Bohola 1857-1881 lists baptism of Anthony son of Thos McNichilas and Ellen Kilgallan (or Kilgallon) maiden name, on 4 July 1862. residence Sraheens. 

    Many Family Trees list several siblings of John; the only one that I know came to USA ( I really knew his grandchildren) was Barney ( know as Uncle Barney abeit he died the year I was born). He founded a family business in South-Side Chiago after ( and probably before) the Prohibition, a brewery!

    I may never find who were my great-great-great grandparents, but I'm sure some of  their decendants are still living within 20 miles of Meelick Tower!



    Tuesday 21st Jun 2022, 05:00PM
  • A new find

    Catholic Parish Register Baptism Bohola,

    Thomas McNicholas and Ellen Kilgallon, residence Sraheens, son Barth w baptised on Aug 29, 1858. 

    Since bartholomew is rare name, I assume this is my great-great-uncle Barny.



    Thursday 23rd Jun 2022, 10:13AM

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