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Looking for anybody with either Courtney or Donoghue roots in Kilgarvan. The children of Julia Donoghue/ Denis Courtney were born in Droumacouse, Coolouges and Keelgarriff. This area is abundant with Donoghue's but there are not too many Courtney's.

I have researched Daniel Courtney b. 8 MAY 1847, my 2x great grandfather, who settled in Worcester, MA with a group of Courtney families from greater Killarney. Many Donoghue's also settled there among them a large group from Glenflesk and Gortdromakierry. Daniel was born in Coolouges but was living in Glenflesk at the time of his marriage in 1870, the record in the "Casey Collection" stated his parents were from Killarney and Denis was a farmer.

Other than Daniel I have been unable to trace his siblings. Denis may have died young. I know Daniel is related to other Worcester area Courtney's as one was his pallbearer. I just can't seem to figure out how they relate.

Any help greatly appreciated.




Wednesday 27th June 2012, 04:13PM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Helen,

    There are Roman Catholic church records available for Kilgarvan. These date from 1818 for both baptismal and marriage records. You can find these at the National Library of Ireland, Pos. 4290, or the Killarney Genealogical Centre. If you have any difficulty, you could try writing to the parish priest for more assistance.

    There are Roman Catholic church records available for the Catholic parish of Glenflesk (where Killaha is). These date from 1821 for baptismal records and 1831 for marriage records. You can find these at the National Library of Ireland, Pos. 4266, or the Church of Latter Day Saints, film 0883747 item 2, 19.

    You could try checking the land records called the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38). Microfilm copies of the books for all of Ireland are available at the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) or the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS). The Tithe Applotment List might be of use to you, or at least interesting for you. These lists constitute the only nationwide survey for the period, and are valuable because the heaviest burden of the tithes to the Established Church, the Church of Ireland, fell on the poorest, for whom few other records survive. The information in the Tithes is quite basic, typically consisting of townland name, landholder's name, area of land and tithes payable. Many Books also record the landlord's name and an assessment of the economic productivity of the land. the tax payable was based on the average price of wheat and oats over the seven years up to 1823, and was levied at a different rate depending on the quality of land. For Parishes where the registers do not begin until after 1850, this information can be useful, as they are often the only surviving early records. They can provide valuable circumstantial evidence, especially where a holding passed from father to son in the period between the Tithe survey and Griffith's Valuation.

    You could try researching the two surnames using the Irish Times ancestor website. You can information about the frequency of the name in the mid-19th century and any other variant spellings of the name here: You might then be able to narrow down your search somewhat.

    Here are some books you could take a look at:

    Barrington, T.J., 'Discovering Kerr', 1976

    Denny, H.A., 'A Handbook of Co. Kerry Family History etc', 1923.

    Farrell, Noel, 'Killarney family roots book: exploring family origins in Killarney', 2000.

    O'Connor, Michael, 'A Guide to Tracing your Kerry Ancestors', 1994.

    Don't forget to consider checking estate records:

    Landlord: Richard Townsend Herbert: Account book 1709. National Archives of Ireland (NAI), M.1854. Includes Killaha.

    Landlord: Herbert: Rent rolls, 1760, 1761. NAI M.1864. Includes Killaha.

    Hopefully the names will be recognised by someone living in the local community who can then help you further.

    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.

    Kind regards,

    Sinead Cooney

    Genealogist (Ireland XO)

    Friday 29th June 2012, 10:21AM
  • Hi Helen,

    I have no idea if related, by my Grandmother, Frances Bridget Callaghan's brother, Daniel, married a Matilda Courtney in 1905. Matilda's father was listed as Denis on the marriage record and it looks like she was from "Domcahan" although it is hard to read.  Jeremiah Herlihy and Hannah Lyons were witnesses.  I find Daniel and Matilda in the 1911 census living in Cummeen Upper (where my Callaghan's are from) with children Cornelius, Katie, John, Hannah.  It looks like Matilda was born about 1886.    I am very interested in locating cousins who are still in Ireland.  If you have found out anything new or related, please let me know.  Thanks and good luck!



    Mary Glover

    Sunday 28th August 2016, 08:24PM
  • Hi Mary

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out

    If you would like me to pass your email address to the original poster so that you can swap information I would be happy to do so. You can email me to confirm at and add the family name Donoghue/Courtney so I'll be able to find the correct message. 

    Best wishes

    Clare Doyle

    Genealogy Support 

    Clare Doyle

    Monday 29th August 2016, 03:17PM