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I would love your help in breaking through the brick wall I find myself against concerning my 2nd great-grandparents, Thomas Murray & Bridget O'Donohue. Here is what I've been able to learn about them over my last 5 years of research. 
Thomas Murray was born about 1844. Last week I found his record of baptism, 13 April 1844 at the Armagh Diocese in Louth, Haggardstown, Ireland (living in Philipstown at the time). I also believe I found the baptism records of 4 of this siblings (Rose 1842, Patrick 1846, John 1848, Bernard 1850 and James 1853). I had been researching the possibility of a relative by the name of Patrick due to a witness by that name on his US marriage records. All five childrens' baptisms occurred in the same place with the same names. I'd love to find more records to confirm the relationship. I've been able to track him down after his arrival in the United States in about 1875 in the 1880 and 1900 census. He married Bridget O'Donohue/Donoghue (born 1856 in Dromgarriff, Cork, Ireland according to possible baptism record or January 1861 Mallow/Whitechurch, Cork, Ireland according to funeral record/headstone and immigrated to the US in the 1870s and died 4 June 1915 San Francisco, Californina) in Omaha, Nebraska on 15 January 1882. Together they had 7 children that I have researched extensively. 

According to their marriage records, Thomas was the son of James Murray and Mary McGinniss and Bridget was the daughter of Michael O'Donohue/Donoghue and Julia Crean. Since I originally posted I have had help finding baptism records for 5 siblings (Daniel 1847, Honora 1848, Patrick 1852, Mary, and John 1858). This is all I know of my 3rd great-grandparents. I would love help finding more records for this family. Thank you in advance for your time and talents on my behalf. 


Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 04:05AM

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  • I accidentally deleted the original post and the replies. Luckily I took screen shots so I'm republishing my original post and the comments.


    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 04:08AM
  • Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandX0 Volunteer 4


    Tuesday 20th July 2021, 03:14PM

    Hello, James Murray married Mary McGinnis in Louth Parish (Louth is also a county) on the 13th Jan. 1842, assume from this that Louth Parish is where Mary

    McGinnis is from as usuall married in the brides parish. Unfortunatley there are no parents names included, not unusual in the church records, you can see the

    entry on this site but must search by date only, the entry is a bit blotted on a fairly clear page otherwise, it appears there was a dispensation

    given, not sure why think it says in the 3rd and 4th degree often means cousins but could be from the banns as maybe she was pregnant, will ask on our FB page

    for more info there. Records for Louth parish only commence in 1833 so will will be unlikely to locate a baptism for Mary, the name is found in the area, sometimes

    McGuinness. The witnesses were Thomas McGinn could be McGinnis again and Bernard Hanratty, no female which might be odd or the transcription rick Mmay be

    incorrect, Hanratty is also found in the area.


    There is a site on Louth here and you may find some mention of the names, there were occassionally local census by the church etc, a lady by the name of Mairead

    McGuinness from the area (Ardee town or thereabouts) was recently appointed as an EU Commissioner, she had been a member of parliment here and in Europe

    in case you are interested.


    There is a Patrick Murray in Philipstown in the Flax Growers list of 1796 which may be your man, but that is a register only of those growing flax but see there are

    Murray's in the area in the late 1800s too. It is a tricky name to research as there are some everywhere, think it is the 8th most common name in Ireland which was

    a surprise to me, my Murray was not in Louth. You will also see the names of people whose deaths are recorded and there are some

    cemeteries transcribed if you see any of interest.


    I see a widower James Murray died in 1880 address Philipstown, age 80 Patrick Murray present at death, extract attached below. Civil records from 1864 are free to

    view online but deaths you can only see the name pre 1871 I think, that site is here https://civilrecords.irishgenealogyie/churchrecords/civil-search.jsp the church

    records for Cork are on this site also but not Louth. I also notice a lot of the witnesses are Dunn or Dunne so they were probably relations too.


    I will look at your Cork query later this evening but it live in Louth so my local knowledge will not be great for Cork. Feel free to follow up on your query and maybe

    look in the 1901 census for this Patrick, free online too.




    St Peters Louth



    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 04:11AM
  • Hello, in my pervious post I should say for death records you can only see the entry post 1871. I have been mooching around and see there is another birth in 1850 of a Bernard Murray to a Mary McGinnis and Jas Murray, address in this case is Chanonrock which is in Louth parish where she was from, if I am correct we now know where she was from, usually they go home for the first child so maybe she was visiting her mother or a sister etc 
    I checked Griffiths Valuation and in 1854 there was a Peter McGuinness and a James Murray owning land there. You can check the census here 
    The dispensation mentioned is for a 2nd and 3rd cousin marrying, 
    I have a book on the locat area of Knockbridge and there are grave inscriptions and there are a number of Murray entries including Murray This monoument was erected by Patrick Murray of Kilcroney in memory of his father James Murray who departed this life 15th January 1828 aged 75 years. 
    Philipstown Cemetery, Mills-of-Louth. Patrick Murray of Kilcroney and his son Patrick Murray aged 40 who died 16th November 1881. No idea where it fits in with your tree but probably a relation, there are a number of them in the area and I see some possibles in the census also.




    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 04:12AM
  • Hello Kathryn, the religious diocese of Armagh includes the counties of Armagh and Louth, since 1921 Louth is in the Republic of Ireland whille Armagh is in Northern Ireland which is in the United Kingdom, it is possible you might find some records at PRONI or the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, that is really only if you are looking for something specific. 
    The civil divisions down to townlands can be viewed here this will help you locate the various parishes and townlands, a heads up though there are 3 Phillipstowns in Louth but yours is the one between Dundalk and Ardee. 
    Between 1848 and 1864 there was a land registration done and this is Griffiths Valuation and you can see if for free here and there are plot numbers and maps, the maps can be brought from the old ones to modern ones too but it is tricky to find the area in the new piece, this site is here http://www.askaboutirelandie/griffith-valuation/ you can also search by place and see the list of occupants. You can view modern and old maps here this is really getting into exact Icoations now but the plot numbers from the Griffiths Valuation continued on so you can still find them, in the late 1800s circa 1900 I think there was a law brought in Land Act which allowed tenants to purchase the land from the landlord at market value and he had to sell, loans were made available to tenants from the government to do so and this is how the tenants came to own the land in many instances. These records may be online free in the next year I understand. 
    In looking at the townlands sometimes the religious ones had different names and also a religious parish may differ from a civil parish as the bishop could move townlands in and out of parishes to bolster one or weaken another that had too many people or was richer than its meighoburing parish to bolster income there. 
    Between 1824 and1838 there was a tax called a tithe and you can see those who had over an acre here, the spellings or names are not always consistent you can view them here again just head of house. http://titheapplotmentbooks.nationalarchivesie/search/tab/home.jsp there are a lot of Murrays and in Philipstown including Daniel and James and Patrick, if the name occurs twice it may be different plots rather than different people. Again this is to assist in locating where they are and possibly identify your exact ancestor, I imagine they are all related someway. 
    Now if you are into it there is a Louth Genealogy Facebook page, apply to join and I see a number of references to Murray around you time, 1850 including a James but not yours, looks like he married a Coyle and lived in Yonkers, NY and someone has gravestones on their page, there is also someone looking for McGinnis in the area. someone is also in New South Wales in Australia. 
    There are also Ardee and Mid Louth history pages, theses are mainly old photos and stories and do not do genealogy but it may ingterest you. 
    The time frame you are lookng at is the famine period so things would not have been easy, population dropped by about 4 million including 1 million dying, however I am not sure it was as bad on the east coast but there would be an economic shock. The period is from 1845 to 1852. 
    Roger notified the Cork volunteer for the rest of your query but you can try the Irish Genealogy site under Churches and see if you can find the marriage, if not let 
    me know and I will check it out. 
    By the way this occured in Philipstown in 1816 and is also a book and a film on Netflix, filmed about 5 years ago locally, the story is also on the Louth Genealogical Sources site previously sent. 
    A bit gruesome I am afraid but see no Murray or McGinnis mentioned as involved, it is something I like to do is see what history or what was happening where my ancestors lived so hope you find it interesting. 




    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 04:14AM
  • Dear Pat (Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandX0 Volunteer 4),

    In an attempt to "unlink" some inacurate parishes from my message board post I unintentionally deleted my whole post. I lost sleep over the fact last night. I had taken screen shots of all your replys so I was able to duplicate them, but I'm hoping I did not loose contact with you in the process. I greatly appreciate your help in trying to understand what areas/parish I should be focusing my searches in. I must be making this harder than it is. Your example of 3 Philipstowns in Louth (which is apparently a county, a barony, a civil parish, and an electoral division, but at least not a townland or a subtownland) is a good one to illistrate how confusing this is. The more I try to understand the more confused I feel. How did you know which Philipstown is the correct one? I'm assuming you are referring to the one with 9 townlands. Furthermore, why were my ancestors baptised in Louth (in this case a parish according to you), Haggardstown (parish, electorial division and townsland), Ireland rather than simply Philipstown which is also a civil parish and where they were living at the time? Louth is the smallest county in Ireland. I'm thinking Cork is going to even more challenging to pin down ancestors since it's the largest county in Ireland. Sorry, I'm now just venting my frustrations. I'll get this eventually. Thanks again for all your help. Your knowledge is priceless.


    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 03:23PM
  • Hello Kathryn, I was wondering why you were suddenly Page 1 news again. Don't be to concerned about the divisions, they are explained somewhere on this site. Also Baronies and Electoral Districts are not really relevent so not to worry, baronies are all over the place wandering over county boundaries etc, the basic unit is the townland (sub townlands are rare but sometimes you come across things or names and you will find them on Google or Google earth) recently had a man here working and I mentioned a place where he lived and was brought up and he never heard of it, it was so close to him he was amazed, someone had asked him about a business there and we had used it so knew, the name was on Google but not on any official record, a woman in the states whose ancestor left in the 1850s was still using it. 

    Sub townlands are not common but the same name on different places occurs alot, usuall because they are from the Gaelic and are a feature of the places. Phillipstown would appear to show Phillip owned it or some such, 

    Feel free to mail me at my site email here if you want further advice as you go.

    As regards the correct Philipstown if you look at the parish register and the map of parishes you will see where you are, the ones in Haggardstown you can view the record yourself and see it is there and if they say a townland within the parish you can find it, you at least are in the area, Haggardstown has different names as shown and their records go back to 1752 if we could isolate the parents etc. Surrounding parishes are not that well recorded.

    Give it a go and ask if you are unsure. Louth is smaller than Cork but the Church records are free to search on Irish Genealogy. Hope you are sitting down now Kathryn, there are 6 Drumgarriff in Cork, however there are only two in Blarney or civil name is Whitechurch. I can find 3 children to the marriage but Bridget was economical with the truth on her age, Bridgit born 4th February 1856 mothers name is transcribed as Judith (witnesses are John Lenahan & Margaret Sheenan, however the other two children have a mother Julia, John born 4th Sept 1858 sponsors John Connor and Mary Crean and Mary baptised 13th February 1854 Michael Donoghue and Mary Mulcahy (same name as father) I can see no marriage and records in Blarney go back far enough so she is from another parish probably nearby, the Crean name is associated with Kerry but he hardly went there at the time, railways arrived in the 1840s but it was much later before they spread out around the country. On the history thing you could search Tom Crean a famous explorer who was on many expeditions to the south pole. 

    Just tried for a birth of Julia Crean and there is a Blarney birth in 1823 and the mother is Mary Foley and Daniel Crean, also witness's are Mary Foley and Patrick Mahoney, is there are Foley mentioned in your certificate.

    Do you have the gift of talking with Blarney ancestors.

    Good Luck


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 09:38PM
  • Mary Foley was a witness on Thomas Murray and Bridget Donoghue's marriage record. So possibly her grandmother!?!


    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 10:18PM
  • I have baptism records for 7 children (Daniel Michael 28 Jan 1847, Honora 29 Jul 1848, James 25 Mar 1850, Patrick 8 Feb 1852, Mary 13 Feb 1854, *Bridget 4 Feb 1856, and John 4 Sep 1858. 


    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 10:27PM
  • HI Kathryn, yes there are 7 baptisms, two different townlands and the mothers name is spelled slightly differently so so the site did not include it, Creane rather than Crean, the tow townlands are Dromgarriff and Clogheenmilcon.


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 22nd Jul 2021, 11:58PM

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