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I am searching for nformation about Richard Cunningham and Mary Burns. I have their marriage as occuring on 13 December 1825 in Upper Creggan, Co. Armagh and I have found a potential baprism for Mary Burns dated 1802, also from Upper Creggan ARmagh. Her parents are listed as Richard Burns and Margaret McEvoy. I know that the couple had at least 6 children but the only baptismal record I can find is for Patrick Cunningham 15 Oct 1826. I am trying to find Anne Cunningham, my great grandmother, who was supposedly born in Dec 1843, according to U.S. census records. The other children were: John, Mary, Bridget and Elizabeth, all of whom came to the U.S.  Any suggestions or knolwedge about how I can proceed would be most appreciated. If Richard Burns and Margaret McEvoy are their parents, it does seem strange that none of the children were named for them.


Tuesday 4th August 2020, 01:40PM

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  • Gafken,

    Unfortunately there are gaps in the baptism records for Upper Creggan. The records cover 1796 to 1803 and 1812 to 1829 then 1845 onwards.

    So the reason you cannot find Ann’s baptism in 1843 and that of any siblings born between 1829 and 1845 is because sadly the records don’t exist. (They have either been lost or were never kept in the first place).

    Here’s a link to Patrick’s baptism in October 1826:

    The records that do exist for the early 1800s are very limited as you will see. Basically the couples names, the date and the sponsors (or witnesses for a marriage). There’s usually no way of telling where they lived and who they were related to. Richard Burns & Mgt McEvoy could be a different family.  Your family may have been born in the years for which there are no records or in a different parish. (If they were labourers, they often moved around to follow available work).  

    Research in Ireland becomes very difficult around 1800 due to the general lack of records.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 4th August 2020, 02:38PM
  • Thank you for clearing up the mystery of why I can't find the siblings baptismal records.  I chose Richard Burns and Margaret McEvoy as possible parents for Mary Burns because in her marriage record of 1825, one of the witnesses is Patrick Burns. I was able to locate a baptismal record for Patrick Burns in 1797 that cites Richard Burns and Margaret McEvoy as his parents. I was hoping tthat they might be brother and sister. However, I know that is still a supposition on my part.  Do you think a review of Griffith's would be useful?  I plan on coming to Ireland next year (assuming travel is ok by then) and was hoping to visit where the family originated in Armagh.Is there a way to find out if any Cunninghams still live in the area?


    Wednesday 5th August 2020, 12:55PM
  • Probably worth mentioning that the parish of Creggan Upper is in 2 counties. Part is in Co Armagh and part in Co. Louth.

    I had a look in Griffiths Valuation for both counties (dated 1854 for Louth and 1864 for Armagh).   There was 1 Cunningham in Creggan in Co Louth and 14 in Armagh. None named Richard. There were 2 Mary Cunninghams both in Clonalig who had labourer’s houses (plots 4c & 72b).  If a woman was listed in Griffiths she was often a widow, though not always. The absence of a Richard suggests he may have died or moved away before 1864.

    One of the Mary’s died in 1879 aged 80. Her husband was still alive but is not named.

    There were 3 other Marys who died between 1864 and 1877 of the right sort of age (1864 aged 78, 1866 aged 54 & 1867 aged 69) but those death certificates are not on-line free yet. You have to order copies from GRO Roscommon to get the details. The registration district was Castleblaney.

    You ask if there are Cunninghams in the general Creggan area today. I searched on the postcode for Clonalig (BT35) and there are 195 listed in the Northern Ireland phone book for that broad area. I didn’t find any in the Creggan area in Co Louth in the Eircom directory. 

    Clonalig is on Concession Rd, BT35. Part of it borders Co. Louth.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 5th August 2020, 08:38PM
  • Thank you so much. Your replies have been very helpful


    Thursday 6th August 2020, 07:01PM