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One of my most frustrating genealogical roadblocks is discovering who was the mother of my ancestor Margaret Adeline Louise O'Grady. Her father, James O'Grady, L.L.D. M.R.I.A, was a native of Ballyrea, in the County of Wexford, the son of William O'Grady and Elizabeth O'Keeffe, born in 1796. This is quite close to the Hill of Oulart, where that famous battle was won by the enraged populace, after the British Army marched out from Cork, and raided their pub.

He removed to Carlow about 1810-11, where he was educated, and became a Professor of Classical Languages. He most likely married a native of Carlow, as he remained there until after marrying and having three children ; Margaret, Patrick, and "Dr. O'Grady", whose name is escaping me, I believe Michael. They removed to Dublin about 1826 at the recommendation of the Right Rev. Dr. Doyle, where he was a Professor of Hebrew and later Principal at the Seminary of St. Patrick and then later opened his own Seminary of St. Aloysius.

I have never been able find any record of marriage or birth for her or any of her brothers, but have even minute descriptions of the inside of his house where he housed and educated the soms of Catholic gentlemen at Trinity. She may have died young, Margaret died at 42 years of age after marrying Charles Henry O'Neill, and having an only daughter Elizabeth, and he, though 55, only outlived her a year.

My grandfather had to have a pig's valve put into his heart, his father, the only son of Charles and Margaret's only daughter Elizabeth was rejected from the army for a heart murmur, so I believe Margaret to have been the source of a heart condition which has thankfully resolved itself since the admixture of my Granny Collins's blood.

The records for Carlow seem to be quite complete for the time of his marriage and kids. The handwriting unfortunately hard to read, but try as I might I have had no luck. Margaret was born about 1822 and the wedding would have been within about four years of that likely, so about 1818-19 likely for the wedding. She was educated in France, married Charles Henry O'Neill, Chieftain of the O'Neills, and died 1864 in Dublin ; her funeral cottage was described as "one of the biggest we've ever seen" before she was buried in Old O'Connell Circle at Glasnevin, joined a year later by her husband, who it seems died of grief.

Curious who her mother was ?

Maybe because James was attached to Carlow the records didn't make it into the public ones ? Or perhaps I have just missed them...


Saturday 7th Apr 2018, 11:33PM

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    Dear O’Malchonaire:

    Thanks for your post to the message board.  I’m assuming that you have tried the church records that are available on the Irish Genealogy website.  Have you checked through these?  In addition, where did James’s daughter Margaret marry?  That may give further information with witnesses.  I’m not sure how complete the Carlow records are for a marriage and/or baptism entry during the 1810-1825 period.  It is surprising that none of the death notices or articles that you note have mentioned the mother’s name.  Possible research into newspapers might mention a marriage?  

    Where was James buried?  That might give a further clue to his wife’s name.  

    Good luck with your search.  If I can think of anything else, I will let you know.    

    All the best,  



    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 16th Apr 2018, 11:32AM

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