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Hello! I am researching my ancestors who immigrated from the Carlingford South area of County Louth to Seneca County, New York, in the mid-1800s. My 2nd great-grandparents are Peter Toner and Mary Cassidy. I am fairly certain that Peter's parents were Thomas Toner and Ann Hanlon, and that Mary's parents were Dominic Cassidy and Rose McArdle. Each of them immigrated to the U.S. with numerous siblings. It seems that many families from this parish immigrated to Seneca County (Donnellys, Morgans, McGreehans, McNamees, McCanns, Finnegans, Loughrans, and on and on....). I am interested in learning more about these families' histories back in Ireland. They all intermarried, so it is difficult to figure out the relationships among the various Toners in Ireland. What were their lives like in Carlingford South at that time? Are there still Toners and Cassidys living there? Thanks for any insight or direction you can offer!

Peg McCarthy

Peg McCarthy

Friday 14th Feb 2020, 10:56PM

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  • Hello Peg , my Carlingford contact tells me all the names except Cassidy are familiar there. You might want to check the irish Census for 1901 and 1911 which are free online. The two most recognisable names are Toner who is a famous Irish International rugby player, family from Carlinford, search Devon Toner and you should see plenty and on YouTube. Also one "n" Finegan as your former Vice President Joe Biden traces his maternal line to the area.

    This site you should enjoy 

    There was a gentleman on here last year offering to check graves in Ovid, NY he was from Cooley too, also earlier a man from St. John New Brunswick whose ancestors and others left Cooley mainly Omeath area I think about 1830. 

    On Facebook there are two Private pages you might like, Cooley Photographs Old and New and possibly Dundalk Northend photos,  I will add a little later or ask if some thing occurs to you. 


    Good Luck


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Saturday 15th Feb 2020, 01:05PM
  • Thank you for this information! I have checked the censuses before, and posted once on the Carlinford People site, but didn't receive any responses. May try them again! I love the photos on there. I will also check out the Cooley Photographs. Can you clarify for me, when people refer to Cooley, is that the entire peninsula, including several parishes, or just a certain area? Some of my ancestors came specifically from Castleton Cooley.

    Griffiths Valuation is also interesting and seems to point to multiple Toner siblings/cousins living there and raising children together. I was wondering if there were any local accounts of the Famine era reporting on the exodus of various families. Thomas Toner and Ann Hanlon had a pack of kids and virtually all of them immigrated. The Toner boys married two Cassidy girls and a Loughren. The girls married two Morgan boys. There are a few Toners in Seneca County I haven't been able to connect directly yet. If you find that contact, let me know and I will reach out directly to him. The church records from there are available at Family History libraries, so I have been working my way through them.

    Are there any other Louth-specific records or journals you would recommend? I found some historical society journals online that have some interesting articles that have helped me learn a little more about what it was like there in the mid 19th century. 

    Thank you! Peg


    Peg McCarthy

    Monday 17th Feb 2020, 03:03PM
  • Attached Files
    Senecca County.pdf (328.22 KB)

    Hi Peg, there is an excellent site on Louth here there is a County Louth Archeology & History Society who now run this site, membership is about $20 annually and this includes the annual journal, this has been printed since 1903 and is available on the J Stor website (subscription) however membership of the CLAHS gives free access to the journals held there.

    I have emailed Tom with this link and suggested if he was ok to contact I would post my site email here and then email you both so your mail does not have to be posted online for privacy reasons. My site email is Tom has sent me some lists of the church there and I attach FYI. 

    Here is a site for looking at places in Ireland and where they are is the scheme of things, it is a civil record and may not always be the replica of religious divide but close. Castletowncooley is a townland in Carlingford civil parish,  there is a Castletown west of Dundalk too. My understanding is there the penisula is the Cooley Peninsula, the parish you want is Carlngford, however there is another church near your place called Boher Church, will revert on that. I think the Boher church serves Greenore and Grange while Carlingford has a church as has Omeath. The two churchs in Cooley parish are nearest to your area, Cooley parish appears to be a church division. you can see the old parish layouts here the old name appears to be Carlingford south. Check the maps bit.

    Not sure the famiine had a huge impact on Louth as it is mainly coastal, will look into it further for myself.


    Regards for now,


    St Peters Louth, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Tuesday 18th Feb 2020, 12:24AM
  • Hi, some of my ancestors also went from the Cooley Peninsula to Ovid, Seneca County, NY. My gg-grandparents Matthew Carroll and Anne Malone married in 1847 and, as far as I can tell, set off almost immediately from Newry on the ship Ayshire (yes it's spelled that way everywhere I've found a record) and arrived in New York in April of that year. Another Malone, perhaps Anne's younger brother, traveled on the same trip. I'm really curious about why they went to Ovid which was just a small town with no industry. They lived there for the rest of their lives and had 6 children, all of whom eventually left.

    I haven't been able to determine with any certainty who their parents were but I'm working on it. If you're on facebook there is a group called All Louth Drogheda DNA

    And if you or any member of your family has had their DNA tested you can join a closed group on GedMatch which might help you find relatives and ancestors.



    Monday 22nd May 2023, 10:22PM
  • Hi Maryal! I have done DNA testing, on FTDNA and Ancestry, and have posted to GedMatch. I visited Ovid last year and really enjoyed looking around, visiting graves, and getting a sense of the area. The local Seneca County historical group was also helpful. Have you accessed the Holy Cross Church records on Family Search yet? By scanning through these, I was able to learn the names of my 2nd great grandparents through the baptism listings. If your Carroll/Malone relatives had children baptized there, you might be able to learn more. I will check them when I next visit our local library. 


    Peg McCarthy

    Tuesday 23rd May 2023, 05:45PM
  • I live in Ithaca, thirty miles from Ovid, I didn't grow up around here it was sheer happenstance that I ended living near where these and other Famine refugee ancestors settled. It's a sweet little town. I'm a retired librarian and am happy to help any other Cooley to Seneca County descendants with cemetery photos, census records, etc. I am not a genealogist and would only do it for fun. Next time you come let's meet for coffee!

    I have all the names of their kids born in Ovid, what I'm stuck on are the names of Anne and Matthew's parents. For instance: I found baptismal records in Ireland for Anne Malone born around the right time in the right place but then I found a record of her death, she never married and stayed in Ireland. the only other one born around the right time would have been a couple of years older than her husband, that's who I'm picking for now. Maybe that's why the ages were always different in the census, lol, I've found Anne and Matthew in every census from 1850 to 1880 (they died in the early 1880s) and they give different ages every time. And of course there is always the possibility that neither of them was born on the Cooley Peninsula. The names are too common. 





    Wednesday 24th May 2023, 12:09PM

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