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My Grandfather Patrick McNicholas and Grandmother Anna Kane (Keane) were from Kiltimagh. Her father's name was James Keane and her mother's name was Celia McManus. My Grandmother was born March 10, 1887. I will be visiting Ireland in August and would enjoy connecting with someone in Kiltimagh. Please advise. Thanks so much, Terry McNicholas

Terry 1

Tuesday 5th June 2018, 01:00PM

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  • Like you, Terry, my ancestors came from Kiltimagh. When my mother and I visited in 1983, no one from our family had been back in almost 100 years. I thought the chances of my being able to meet relations was almost impossible, but I was determined to try. I strolled into a local pub on Kiltimagh's main street (Aiden) and told the customers that I was the g-granddaughter of Luke Walsh who had emigrated from Kiltimagh to New York in the 1870s. Believe it or not, someone at the bar knew of him and the family. Within half an hour, I was sitting in my cousin's home (Andrew Walsh - Luke's nephew) drinking tea and looking at family photos. There is no question that my trip to Kiltimagh was the most meaningful trip I've ever taken. The people there are warm, gracious, and happy to help strangers who come to town looking for their roots. Even if no one who currently lives in Kiltimagh responds to this, don't worry even a little about being welcomed there. The people there are just wonderful.  Have a wonderful trip! (By the way, I also have the McNicholas name in my tree - they married Ruanes and my g-g-grandmother was Mary Ruane.) Kate Nelson from Philadelphia.



    Tuesday 5th June 2018, 05:54PM
  • Hi Terry,

    There are 15 McNicholases in the Irish phone book ( People Search in Kiltimagh but no Keanes; you could lways drop them a line before your trip

    This looks like it might be Patrick's birth record from

    Name:Patrick McnicholasDate of Birth:24-Jan-1884
    Registration Date:
    Address:GowlboyParish/District:Kiltimagh districtGender:MaleCountyCo. Mayo
    Denomination:Civil Parish
    Father:James McnicholasMother:Mary Coleman

    Looks like Ann was one of 8 (2 have both birth & baptism):

    Civil BirthKeaneBridget1881Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeanPatrick1882Co. Mayo
    Church BaptismKeanPatrick1882Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeanMary1885Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeaneAnne1887Co. Mayo
    Church BaptismKeaneAnne1887Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeaneCelia1890Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeaneMargaret1892Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeaneJohn1894Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthKeaneCatherine1898Co. Mayo

    Patrick was one of 5:

    Church BaptismMcNicholasBridget1871Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthMcnicholasBridget1871Co. Mayo
    Church BaptismMcNicholasJohn1873Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthMcnicholasJohn1873Co. Mayo
    Church BaptismMcNicholasMichael1876Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthMcnicholasMichael1876Co. Mayo
    Church BaptismMcNicholasMary1879Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthMcnicholasMaria1879Co. Mayo
    Church BaptismMcNicholasPatrick1883Co. Mayo
    Civil BirthMcnicholasPatrick1884Co. Mayo

    James & Mary's marriage which has both fathers' names:

    Date of Marriage:15-Feb-1871
    Parish / District:Kiltimagh district
    County:Co. Mayo
    Husband James McNicholas Address:Goolboy Full Age (Over 21)Status:Bachelor (Previously unmarried)
    Wife MaryColeman RosslevinDenomination Age:Full Age (Over 21) Spinster (Previously unmarried)
    Husband's Father JohnMcNicholas
    Wife's Father JohnColeman

    James & Celia's but no fathers:

    Date of Marriage:01-Apr-1880
    Parish / District:Kilcolman RC parish
    County:Co. Mayo

    Unfortunately the earliest birth/baptism for a James with father John in Mayo is 1852; Kiltimagh B,D & M records on roots all start in 1864

    Mayo records start in the earliest Irish census - 1821 but I couldn't find any McNicholas or Keane records in 21, 41 or 51 (no Mayo in 31)

    The Tithe Applotments (free at have 35 McNicholas records in Mayo in 1826-34 including some in Kiltomough -  I'm wondering if that's an earlier version of Kiltimagh? There are also 31 Keanes but not in Kiltomough.

    Griffiths Valuation (also free at has 215 McNicholas & 219 Keanes but Kiltimagh is not in the list of parishes!

    I checked my cd Memorials of the Dead Galway & Mayo to try to find some old deat records for both names but only found Keanes in Mayo & none near Kiltimagh

    Enjoy your visit!



    Wednesday 6th June 2018, 01:42AM
  • Hi Kate in PA, Thank you so much for your lovely response to my post. I pray God that I am as fortunate as you on my visit to Kiltamagh. Thanks again for sharing your wonderful memory of your visit. Thanks, Terry



    Wednesday 6th June 2018, 10:30AM
  • Hi Col, Thank you so very much for taking the time to provide me with this valuable information. How amazingly kind of you! I simply cannot thank you enough! Best Regards, Terry


    Wednesday 6th June 2018, 10:34AM
  • I have McNicholas relatives from Killedan parish as well (that's the parish where Kiltimagh is located), and I had a similar experience when going into a pub in Kiltimagh in the late 1970's for directions.  I met very friendly people who knew where my Gallagher/King grandparents had lived, and gave me directions to their townland (Carrownteeaun or Carrantiane), and there I met a first cousin of my mother.  There were a number of McNicholas's in that townland, and also just across the parish boundary in Bohola parish, and the Gallagher's and McNicholas's have intermarried for several generations, maybe much longer (I've located more than a dozen Gallagher-McNicholas marriages from the 1820's to the 1870's).  I've done DNA testing, by the way, and so have several Gallagher second cousins of mine, in case you're interested in comparing results.

    Killedan and Bohola both border the parish of Swin(e)ford.  The town of Swinford is the administratve center for the area, so in later civil records you will often see people recited as being born or married there, when they actually lived in another parish.  The parish registers in Swinford also go further back than those in Bohola and Killedan, and people from neighboring parishes were sometimes baptized or married in Swinford earlier iin the 19th century, because it already had a church.  I've found records there for people who I know were actually living in Killedan or Bohola, so you may want to check there.

    I've searched the local parish registers (in their online form) pretty thoroughly over time, and I don't recall seeing anyone named Keane or a Kane.  There are a number of King's, to whom I am also related, though more of them lived in Kilcolman parish, which is also nearby.  According to MacLysaght's "Surnames of Ireland", Kane/Keane (which are interchangeable variants of the same name) comes from the Irish Ó Catháin in Ulster, and can also come come from the Irish Ó Céin in Waterford, but is not originally a Connacht name.  However, there were various Ulster families who moved to Connacht at the time of the Plantation of Ulster (such as my McNulty and O'Neill relatives in Mayo), so some Keane's or Kane's may have comme to Mayo back then.

    In case you're interested, the surname McNicholas (Mac Niocláis in Irish) was taken as a surname by some members of the Norman Burke (de Burgo) family, which once ruled much of what is now County Mayo.   The parish church in Killedan is the Church of the Holy Family in Kiltimagh, and the parish name comes from the Irish Cill Liadáin (“Liadán’s church”).   The town of Kiltimagh (older spelling Kiltamagh, and other variants such as the one you mentioned) is Coillte Mach in Irish. The meaning of the name is disputed, with “milking woods” now believed to be most likely, with less likely meanings being “outer woods” or “woods of the plain”, based on the Irish form Coillte Amach, which modern scholars now believe was not the original form of the name.

    Hope some of this was of interest!

    Wednesday 6th June 2018, 10:19PM
  • Dear Terry:


    Thanks for your post to the Ireland Reaching Out message board and I can assure you that you will not resort to phoning McNicholas relations out of a phonebook in Mayo in order to reconnect!!


    We have a volunteer who has connections very close by and I have forwarded this thread to him.  He may be able to assist you with some guidance for your trip.  Please give him a week or two to reply, and in the meantime, if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us here.


    Kind regards,



    Thursday 7th June 2018, 01:21PM

    TerryHi Kevin, Thank you so very much for sharing with me your wealth of knowledge! You have provided me with some very interesting and helpful information. Thank you so much for taking so much time and care in reaching out to me. Best regards,


    Thursday 7th June 2018, 03:06PM

    Dear Jane, I am so very grateful for all of the generous knowledge and care I have already received from you wonderful people! I am so excited about the possibility of connecting with my relations! Again, thank you all so very much! Warm regards, T



    Thursday 7th June 2018, 03:12PM
  • Hi Terry,

    My name is Tom Moran and I am an IrelandXO volunteer.  I am an American who has been living and working in Dublin for five years.  I am very close to cousins in Knock, County Mayo, just a few minutes from Kiltimagh.  They are lifelong residents (except for a stint when they lived in NYC) and very knowledgeable about the local community, history and the Church.  These are John Nolan and his wife Bernadette McNulty, and they own St. Martha's B&B adjacent to the church property in Knock.  I spoke to John and Bernie yesterday and they would be happy to converse or meet you, by phone, email or in-person when you are in Mayo.

    John's telephone number is +353 (0)87 948 7483 and Bernie's email address is  Please mention my name when you contact them and they will pick up the thread right away.  Best of luck with your continued investigation!  I am myself living the dream in Ireland.

    All the best,

    Tom Moran

    Friday 8th June 2018, 02:45PM
  • Hi Tom,  Thank you so very much! I shall contact John and Bernie straight away. I truly appreciate you taking the time to help me. I am so very happy that you are living your dream! Wonderful!  Warm regards, Terry




    Friday 8th June 2018, 06:16PM