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I am 100 percent Irish, four generations down. All eight of my mother's great-grandparents and all four of my father's grandparents were born in Ireland. All, as far as I know, were Roman Catholic. All came to the USA between the 1840s and 1869. They originated in different counties. Despite working on my genealogy for 25+ years, I still don't have all the answers. Think about it, I am tracing TWELVE PEOPLE, all Irish-born.

The most intriguing were JOHN CHINNERY and his wife JULIA LEHAN. Both were said to have been born in County Cork. Also, they were said to have married on Sept. 15, 1849, parish and county unknown. If the marriage date is correct, I estimate they were born about 1825. Here's the thing: in spite of their supposed Cork birth, there was SOME CONNECTION with Portumna, Galway. I have never been able to learn exactly what! After their marriage in 1849, John and Julia supposedly went to Portumna, then off they went to Wales, where their four children were born. John supposedly died in 1859, and Julia subsequently brought all four children o New York City (circa 1860-1865). John may possibly have been Church of Ireland (Anglican) but Julia was - I am pretty sure - RC. Lehan is an old Gaelic name.

But Chinnery is Anglo-Irish. They originated in Normandy, I believe, went to England (possibly in the 11th century), then came to Ireland in the 1600s. I have found lots of Chinnerys back there in several counties, I have read the pedigree, I have corresponded with numerous Chinnery descendants. None seem to be connected with "mine."

Unfortunately, I do not have the names of the parents for either JOHN CHINNERY or JULIA LEHAN - even after all this time. In the event that the connection with Portumna is accurate, how would I investigate further? Years ago, while visiting IReland I went to the Catholic church in Portumna but the parish priest there could find no records of either Chinnery or Lehan ever having been a parishioner. I hired a researcher over five years ago but he was unable to locate John or Julia.

All of my dozen wereCatholic (with the possible exception of John Chinnery, who MAY have been C of I), meaning no civil records in Ireland until 1864. Almost all of mine had emigrated by then. I only know a few parish names. Still, Julia Lehan and John Chinnery remain my most curious ?unknowns.?

What can I POSSIBLY do next? These two people are the most intriguing of my entire dozen Irish emigrant forebears.
Thank you for whatever help you can render!

Anne Brady



Wednesday 15th February 2012, 11:07AM

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