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I continue to research my 2xGreat Grandfather, Mathew Nihil/Nial, and his wife, Mary Mokely/Mockly. I have found baptismal record for four of their six children. The youngest daughter born 1849 in Killaloe and baptized at St. Flannan's is Sarah Nihil. The family is recorded as being from Fishlane. The other three children, John (1833), Margaret (1844), and Mary (1846), were also baptized in St. Flannan's and the family was recorded as being from Killaloe. Their second born son was my Great Grandfather, Mathew Nihil/Nial. I have not located any baptismal record for him, but his birth would have been around 1836. My 2xGreat Grandmother Mary emigrated in 1852 with Margaret and Mathew, joining her husband and eldest son John in Troy New York. A fourth daughter, also named Mary, was born in Troy in 1855. Because the first Mary and Sarah did not emigrate with their mother in 1852, I have surmised that they died before 1852. I know that there were many Nihil/Niall families in Killaloe and that some were doctors and lawyers. But in Troy the family worked as carpenters and masons. I hope to visit Killaloe on my next trip to Ireland which was planned for September 2020 but has been postponed due to Covid restrictions.


Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021, 07:29PM

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  • FYI Killaloe volunteer alerted.

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 23rd Feb 2021, 08:39PM
  • Hi KR Nial

    I am the the transcriber for the Killaloe register.…

    When preparing the comprehensive list I attempted to give some location where the families may reside. 

    After reading through Sean Kierse's Land and People of Killaloe Parish, the only place that mention Fish as a residence is on page 62, which indicates Fish Island, Fahy More South. 

    In respect to your family the Nihil/Nial Mathew with the first two children in the register Margaret (record 4376, year 1844) and Mary (record 4909, year 1846) the family is record as being at 'Killaloe'.  Killaloe town Knockyclovaun Towland, has some interest information. Have you viewed the Tithe books for 1824 and 1835?

    Landholder:  Matthew Nihill (fisherman) Acreage [A.2, R.1, P.0) Tithes $0, s1. d.10, also lists a widow Nihill [mother no name of Mathew?, she could be a Margaret based on the order of children's births?]  In appears that Mathew Nihill was working with a John Ryan (fisherman). There is also a Michael Nihill mention as well, see pages 301-302.  The Nihil's have a strong connection to the fishing/stone mason industries, also the historic names of the 1800s have carried forward to the 1900, it is possible that the 1901 family that remained in Killaloe were related to your family who migrated, distance cousins/aunts/uncles.

    Also see page 307, it lists the following information from the 1901 Census of Knockycolvaun 14. Matthew Niall 36, marble mason, mn; John, b.34, boatmaster, mn; James, b. 32; marble mason, mn;  Anne, s, 26. Dressmaker, mn; Elizabeth, 2, 21, assist, dressmaker, mn.

    On page 306, it indicates that the type of fish, '...salmon...'

    Because I dont have followed absolutely every fact with every family as that would quite a task, I dont believe the original assumption that Fishlane is related to Fish Island, doesnt seem likely since why would the family move from one area to another, the famine could possibly explain this, but I dont have any further evidence to suggest otherwise. Base on the baptism of Sarah (rec 5373, year 1849) where the record does indicate 'Fishlane', this was at the peak of the potato famine, it could have been a temp community in the Killaloe/Knockylovaun Townland.  The Killaloe/Knockylovaun Townland was where all the skilled people resided, teachers/schools, churches, publicans/pubs, stone masons, steelsmiths, etc.

    On your trip to County Clare, I recommend stopping in the Family Research Centre at Innis also the majority of resources for Killaloe are located at Limerick libaries.

    All the best with your research.

    Kind Regards

    Jeff Fitzsimmons

    Adelaide, South Australia



    Jeff Fitzsimmons, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 4th Mar 2021, 08:37AM
  • Jeff:



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 5th Mar 2021, 01:51PM
  • Jeff, Thank you so much for this through information. I will followup on the sources you recommend. The interest in fishing has continued down the generations and one of my grand nephews claims that his future career will be as a fisherman ( he is all of 8 years old now). I was in Australia in 2018 and spent a lovely afternoon in Port Adelaide. Kathy


    Friday 5th Mar 2021, 07:31PM
  • Hi Kathy

    I ommited to give you some other information which may add to your background knowledge.  If possibly whilst you are over at Killaloe in County Clare I highly recommend you get the following books: The Killaloe Anthology by Sean Kierse, although there is nothing specific about your Nihil/Nail families there is chapters like Chapt 8 River Works at Killaloe - which recounts the dredging and loss of breeding stock of the salmon, also Chat 12, The Old Killaloe Fisheries which recounts the impact on public works and the fishing industry.

    The other book is a must which I previously stated is Land and People of Killaloe Parish by Sean Kierse.

    Both books were availabe at the supermarket store Whelans which is adjacent to the Killaloe Catheral St Flanagan, in County Clare. If they are out of print you could get access to them at the local library.

    Did you know where to find the online Tithe Records of Ireland? Which gives you access to the original documents online?

    All the best in your research 

    Kind Regards

    Jeff Fitzsimmons

    Adelaide, South Australia

    Jeff Fitzsimmons, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 12th Mar 2021, 01:16AM
  • Jeff, Thank you for the additional information. I have accessed the tithe books. I will definitely look for the books you recommend when I get to Killaloe.


    Friday 12th Mar 2021, 11:10PM
  • Hi 

    Fish Lane is the modern day New St. in Killaloe.

    I found this out while doing research on the Scanlans of Garraunboy - Garraunboy is a townland above Killaloe.

    At the Clare Library they have a collection of old maps and Fish Lane is marked on the map of Killaloe - compare it to a modern map and you will see that it is New St.

    New St./Fish Lane. runs parallel to Lough Derg where the fishing works were located. 

    Best of luck with your research.

    Orla Kuiper Ryan(formely of Limerick but living in the Netherlands since 1996)


    Thursday 25th Mar 2021, 07:52AM
  • Orla, Thank you so much for this information. Combined with Jeff's leads, I think I found their locations in Griffith's. That the area was the location of skilled trades and fishing folk makes perfect sense. When my Nihill ancestors emigrated to USA, they worked as stonemasons and carpenters. The landscape of Troy New York USA is very much like Killaloe, on a river with hills. Fishing has been a passion for the men in the family down to our current generation, particularly one grand nephew who consistently claims his future career is fisherman. He is 9 now. Best regards, Kathy


    Thursday 25th Mar 2021, 06:17PM
  • Hi, Sorry to but in this conversation on a non- fish topic but I would like to know something about the Scanlons of Killaloe, particularly a Reverend Scanlon that married Tim Crowe my direct male line ancestor married in Jan 1830. The wedding was between cousins and a comment put underneath about misrepresentation, yet the Rev Scanlon was one of the witnesses! :) Fishy indeed? :)

    Apologies for the intrusion of topic but I don't know how to make contact otherwise?


    Seamus Crowe, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 12th Aug 2021, 01:55PM
  • Jeff, I recently returned from a trip to Ireland. I did get to Killaloe I visited St. Falnnan's RC church and New Street/Fishlane. The Cathedral of St. Flannan's was closed. I looked for Whelan's but it appears to have been closed/out of business. I will be doing a search for the books you mentioned. I did not have time to go to the library. But in a future trip I will do more research. Thank you again for your information and service to the Irish diaspora around the world.



    Thursday 14th Oct 2021, 01:40AM

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