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My grandmother Mary Ellen Ward born 1870 emigrated to USA in 1895 and returned to England in 1900. Birth Certificate available, registerd in Newcastle, Galway.

Her father was Michael Ward  born approx 1848 her mother was Ellen Ward, ne. Ellen Hefferon/Heffeson b. 1842 both living in Galway. Research indicates could have been in Rahoon, Galway. Michael emigrated to England in 1870 recorded in 1871 census living alone in lodgings in Birkenhead, Cheshire, England. Again recorded in 1881 census living then with Ellen and his family including. 

Katherine Ward  age 12    b. 1868  born in Ireland

Adela Ward        age 8       b. 1873  born in England

John Ward         age 7       b. 1874  born in England

Christana Ward  age 4       b. 1876  born in England

Margaret Ward   age 2       b. 1878  Born in England

My grandmother Mary Ellen was not recorded as being in the home in this census.

Michael died in 1887 certificate available.

The 1891 census had Ellen living with three of her children 

Kate, John and Margaret. Again Mary Ellen was not recorded. neither where Christana nor Adela.

Mary Ellen emigrated in 1895 to USA and married my grandfather Geoge Gilbert Norman in Boston in August that year.

John and Margaret never married. Records for Catherine (Kate) not found. There are pictures of Aunt Delia and Aunt Christine taken together in America available.

Adella at some point changed her name to Delia and was recorded in a marriage registry in Brookline, USA in 1897 having married in Boston a Percy J Johnson also born in Ireland. At present there is no further information on Christana/Christine.

Mary Ellen returned with George to Birkenhead in 1900 and her mother Ellen died in 1901.

I would very much like to find further information on Mary Ellens parents Michael and Ellen and of course their forefathers.



Tuesday 27th March 2018, 01:31PM

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  • The marriage record is on but doesn't have parents' names!!

    Date of Marriage:06-Dec-1863
    Parish / District:RAHOON
    County:Co. Galway
    Husband MichaelWard Address:Dangan Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Wife EllenHeffernan Roman Catholic

    There are 23 Michael Wards in Griffiths Valuation in Galway but none in Rahoon

    The only Irish Census which has Galway records before 1901 is 1821; it has 148 Wards but once again none in Dangan or Rahoon!

    No luck in burial records on roots either - nothing in Rahoon & only Tuam C of I are there - no R C!

    Last try was Memorials of the Dead Galway & Mayo cd which has the following from ARDBEAR Cemetery:

    In loving memory of
    Thomas Ward
    who died 4th of November 1892
    aged 48 years
    also his beloved wife Mary
    who died 20th April 1898 aged 50 years
    their son Michael J Ward
    died 3rd June 1940

    Ardbear Cemetery  is situated about one mile south of Clifden and mostly served the Catholic community. The quantity of large ornate high cross memorials indicates the increasing wealth of the Catholic merchant class from c. 1880. The older part of the graveyard is overgrown with mature trees, which may obscure earlier memorials centred around what appears to be a holy well.

    The current Irish phone book has 38 Wards in Galway so perhaps a mail out to them might get a better result.



    ColCaff, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 28th March 2018, 11:16AM
  • Col,


    Thank you very much for your reply and the time spent on loking for information on my behalf its very much appreciated.

    I would not expect burial records for my grandparents to appear in Ireland as they both died in Birkenhead, England. Similarly both Ellen and Michael died in Birkenhead albeit 20 years apart. I have that information from english records.

    Unfortuately I can't see Michael being connected to the Thomas Ward family mentioned as he was born in 1848, and died in 1887 Ellen died in 1901,

    I have found a record of Ellen Hefferon born in 1842 which would make her 5 or 6 years older than Michael at 1848 and if daughter Catherines birth date is correct then she would have been born in 1867/8 but I have found a record of a Michael Ward/Ellen Hefferan married in 1863 which would be 4/5 years before their first child . Rather a long time to wait.

    I am just old enough to remember John and Margaret (nicknamed Maggie) living in Birkenhead. They say that she collapsed and died on the church steps when comming out of Mass. I have a photo of Ellen but the site wont accept the format so I cannot upload it.

    Thank you again



    Wednesday 28th March 2018, 04:11PM