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I hope this note finds those who come across it well.

Over the years I have attempted to conduct research regarding my Irish ancestors.  After finding a few bread crumbs every so often, the trail of breadcrumbs appears to have run out.

In addition to the information below, an aunt of mine had taken an Ancestry DNA test.  The results for Ireland noted Munster as the area our Irish ancestors came from in Ireland.  This would seem to correspond well with family stories.

As I believe my ancestors came from Galway and County Clare, I am posting this information in hope that someone will see if and be able to provide some leads for further research.

Thank you.

Mike Tierney

James and Johana King

Each was born ca 1820 in Ireland – presumably in Galway.  Believed to have been married in Ireland prior to emigration.  Family stories relay that they had a child(ren) who died at sea.

Emigrated prior to 1846 based on the birth of their son James who was born in US in 1846.  It is also believed they may have arrived in Canada and then crossed the border into the US – possibly New York state.

James Tierney and Mary Radigan

James was born ca 1825 in Ireland – Presumably in Galway.  His father’s name was presumed to be James but may have been Mark based upon information about James Tierney in a book about the history of Winona, Minnesota where he settled after emigrating.

Mary was born ca 1834 in Ireland – presumably in Galway.  We have no information regarding the names of her parents.

Census records indicate James emigrated in 1847 and Mary emigrated in 1848.

It is believed James and Mary married in New York or New Jersey ca 1855.

Mary Richardson and John Bell

John was born ca 1839 in Ireland – location unknown and the year varies wildly on various records.  We believe he may have had a brother William who he came to the US with in 1861 on the ship named William Tapscott.  We do not have the names of the parents of John and William.

As they settled in Newry, Minnesota (a community that was named after Newry, Ireland) and there were other Bells from Ireland that were among the original settlers of Newry, Minnesota – it is possible they may have been from the Newry area in Ireland.

Mary Richardson was born ca 1835 in Kilnamana Parish, Ireland.  Her father’s name was John Richardson. 

Mary married a man named Robert Graham and after marriage they moved to Liverpool.  They had a son named RH Graham.  Upon the death of Henry Graham, Mary and RH emigrated ca 1863 initially settling in New Jersey and then finding their way to Minnesota. 

John and Mary were wed in 1869 in Minnesota.


Wednesday 7th July 2021, 08:19PM

Message Board Replies

  • Robert Graham & Mary Richardson were married in Dublin in 1859:

    Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church so it looks as though she was Church of Ireland. There’s a parish called Kilnamanagh in Co. Wexford, another in Co. Roscommon and a third in Co. Cork.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 7th July 2021, 09:11PM
  • Elwyn,

    Thank you very much for the information.  I appreciate it very much.





    Friday 9th July 2021, 04:51PM
  • I have King ancestors from the area where Mayo and Galway adjoin, so I can provide a bit more information about the family, though I know of no specific connection to your branch of the Kings.  I've done DNA testing, though (as have a number of King-related cousins with roots in that area), in case you want to check for a match.

    In Galway and Mayo, the King surname (when it is not of English origin, which it usually isn't in that area) comes from one of two surnames which originated in Galway, Mac Conraoi (McConry) and Ó Conraoi (O’Conry).  Due to the similarity of their sound and meaning, those surnames eventually became indistinguishable from one another and, along with a similar name from County Roscommon (Ó Maolchonaire) and another similar name further south in Munster, were each susceptible of being anglicized in varous ways, such as Conry, Conroy, Conree, and even Conaree.  In Galway and neighboring parts of Mayo, another form of anglicization of the names was King, which was created due to confusion of the surname with the expression mac an rí (“son of the king”).

    It’s uncertain at what point in time the King mistranslation arose, but it may have been as late as the early 19th century.  Almost everyone in the area would still have been Irish-speaking then (as many still were even in the late 19th century), but they would usually no longer be familiar with how to write in Irish, since those who were literate would normally have been taught in schools where Irish was discouraged.  Varying anglicized forms arose in many cases because landlords, their agents, government officials, and even parish priests were often cavalier and inconsistent about how they handled Irish names, and in the early years it may not have been the family members who chose how to write their name.


    Friday 9th July 2021, 07:15PM
  • Thank you for the information.  If a person has taken a DNS test, are there sites that are geared toward Ireland where people can upload results to compare and check for a match?

    Thank you again.




    Monday 12th July 2021, 01:07PM