I'm trying to gather information on a Feeney couple, Bernard (born around 1809) and Elizabeth (born around 1811, maiden name McElvira or some such variant), from Ballyness, Dungiven parish, in Derry. They emigrated to the U.S.with their six children between 1847 and 1849, thought I don't have any immigration records -- this timing is an approximation based on the fact that these six children (George, Catherine, Bernard Jr., Mary, Anna, and Elizabeth) were all born in Ireland, and their next child, John, born 1849, was born in the U.S. They may not have all emigrated at the same time, but by 1850, all were residing in the U.S. Thank you so much for reading, and for any guidance!
Michele PellegriniThursday 2nd Apr 2020, 10:14PM
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The 1831 census has 6 Feeney households in Ballyness, all fairly close together, judging by the enumerator’s numbering system, so probably all related. Some willbe farms and some probably labourer's cottages:
Tithe applotment records for Dungiven 1834:
They list George Feeny, George jr and Paddy Feeny all farming in Ballyness at that time. By the time of Griffiths Valuation in 1858, there were still 3 farms, this time occupied by James jnr, James snr and Patrick (who might be the Paddy in 1834).
Statutory birth, death and marriage registration (in some jurisdictions called Vital Records) only started in Ireland in 1864, save for non RC marriages which were recorded from 1845 onwards. So you probably won’t find statutory birth, death or marriage certificates in Ireland for this family. For earlier years you usually need to rely on church records, where they exist. You obviously need to know the precise denomination in order to search the correct records. Not all churches have records for that period and not all are on-line.
RC records are mostly on-line on the nli site:
The records for Dungiven start in 1825. There’s a gap in the baptisms from 1834 to 1847 and in the marriages from 1834 to 1864. It seems possible that Bernard and Elizabeth’s marriage and their childrens baptisms all fall in the periods when records are missing. I can’t see any of them anyway.
One family in Ballyness in 1901:
The above couple are James Feeny son of James Feeney, and Martha Mullan. They married 25th May 1874 in Dungiven chapel.
Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘
Hi Elwyn, thank you so very much for this informatio! It's much appreciated, and I will take a look at these records. I'm so grateful to have found this site; I'm trying to confirm where my grandparents' families came from in Ireland during the time of the famine, and I've reached a brick wall on Ancestry. Thank you again,
Michele, The Feeney couple mentioned (James and Martha) were my great grand parents. The Feeneys came from Ballyness which is between Dungiven and Garvagh in County Derry. As mentioned , there were 6 families of Feeneys living in Ballyness in 1831 so your ancestor may have been the son of one of them. I was born and brought up in Glenullin which is the name of the district which includes Ballyness and l am guessing the other name could be Mc Ilvar.