Message Board Replies
Could you please post your message on the Ennis parish page here: http://www.irelandxo.com/group/ennis-clare
There is an excellent website you should check for County Clare: http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/genealogy/genealog.htm
You say that Nancy worked in a shop (what sort of shop?) and Stephen also worked for a utilities company. You should check the trade directories for information. There are some listed in the Clare Library site mentioned above. There are also a few listed on the Failte Romhat site here: www.failteromhat.com
You could also try checking the land records called the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38) or the later Griffith's Valuation (1848-64). Griffith's is freely available here: www.askaboutireland.com or here: www.failteromhat.com Failte Romhat has lots of other useful links you could try looking at. Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38). Microfilm copies of the books for all of Ireland are available at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) http://www.nationalarchives.ie/genealogy1/genealogy-records/tithe-applotment-books-and-the-primary-griffith-valuation/ or the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS).
You can check for information about the frequency of the name in the mid-19th century and any other variant spellings of the name here: http://www.irishtimes.com/ancestor/surname/
Part of the 1821 census exists for a part of Ennis.
There is a book by Brian O Dalaigh called 'Corporation Book of Ennis 1660-1810', 1990.
Also a book by Sean Spellisy, 'The merchants of Ennis', 1996.
Please make sure you link anyone else in your family who is interested in their Irish heritage to our site - and indeed anyone else you know of Irish heritage.
Genealogist (Ireland XO)
I would just like to emphasis Sinead Cooney's reply that your best bet would be to start at the Clare County Library website. It is extremely helpful and you might be able to track down your ancestors through the Griffith's Valuation.
All the names that you have mentioned were all in Ennis. There were McMahons that ran a bike shop at one stage, and Liddys and Spellisys were all well known. Sean Spellisy is a well-known historian and author, now living in Gort. His books are very informative and you would be able to make contact with him through the County Library.
The very best of luck with your research.
Thank you both for your kind words of encouragement.
In making my request for information, I guess I was not clear about my background or efforts to find them. I have been working on this stone wall for over 15 years and am familiar with many of the references you provided.
In 2004 we spent 2 weeks in Ireland at the NLI and then Ennis. I had the opportunity to speak with Sean before he closed his shop in Ennis and he offered a few clues but nothing direct. He did give me a copy of his book, Merchants of Ennis, which was very interesting but no direct leads. I only discovered the letter my Aunt had written after she passed away so was not able to question her for details. I have the documentation of their marriage from the records at St Peter’s and Paul’s and the births of their children and also have the documentation for their separate immigrations to the United States, Nancy Anne coming with the two children after he got settled.
I have been trying to keep track of all the Stephen McMahon’s I have found as Stephen does not appear to be a commonly used name and I am hopeful Stephen is used in one or two family lines.
I found 3 in the Griffith’s valuations (1848-1864), two of whom were in Co. Clare a)Clondagad Parish, Townland- Cloondrinagh; and Kifearagh Parish, Townland - Garraun. The 3rd was in Co. Dublin.
Then there was a Stephen McMahon who was Vice President of the Land League in 1881 in Co. Clare. Also, the emmigration of a Stephen, born 1885, who immigrated to the US in 1885 at age 24. He lists his father as John and a brother, Michael. The New York Emigrant Savings Bank is not fully digitized but has one record of a Stephen born about 1846 and arriving in 1864 whose parents are listed as Michael and Margaret.
It would be nice to be able to tie these Stephen’s together.
Michael was Stephen and Nancy’s second child, the first being my great grandmother, Mary Theresa McMahon. This seems to show that Michael was also a common family name in this branch.
It has been helpful to put these pieces together as I think I will concentrate next on the Tithe Applotments for Clondagad.