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I am trying to locate the family origin of my great grandmother Margaret Melody.  She was born about 1840 in either Mayo or Sligo.  She and her elder sister Ellen (b. c1833) were daughters of Patrick Melody, a farmer, and emigrated to York in the early 1850s.  When Margaret married in 1859 Patrick was listed as decased.  Margaret and Ellen initially lived in buildings with other Irish who were mainly from Mayo and Sligo, and I believe people from the same counties tended to stay together.  This, in addition to my Ancestry DNA results, is what makes me think that she originated from those areas.   Any information or ideas gratefully received.


Thursday 26th March 2020, 12:55AM

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  • Dear Pam:

    Thank you for your query.


    I have had a look for Margaret Melody (with spelling variants) on the Roots Ireland database for the year of birth/baptism 1840 with a father named Patrick, and the only one that I have found is below:

    Margaret Malady

    baptised 4 March 1838  Newbridge, County Kildare.  Residence was Kilbelan.  

    Father:  Patrick Malady

    Mother:  Ann Flood

    Sponsors:  Michael Connelly and Bess Leeson.

    The original page in the Newbridge baptism register is here:  The entry is located at the left top of the page.

    There isn't any other child born to this couple named Ellen that I was able to find.  

    I did find a baptism record for an Ellen Melady born in 1832 in West Meath.  Here are her details:

    Ellen Malady baptised 8 February 1832  Tubberclair, County West Meath..  No residence given.

    Father:  Patrick Malady

    Mother:  Mary Shanly

    Sponsors:  Michael Malady and Ellen Gorwmly.  

    The original page in the Tubberclair baptism register is here:  This entry is located at the left bottom of the page,and it is much clearer to read than the entry for Margaret.  

    The parish of Tubberclair is also known as Kilkenny West and this parish is certainly closer to Counties Sligo and Mayo as you stated your Ancestry DNA indicates that your ancestors may have been from those areas.  

    Either place may be a starting point for your research.  If you have not done any research on Ellen, it might be worth trying to find further documentation on her which may give you at least a County.  Please get back to us if you have any questions.  

    The very best of luck.


    Kind regards,


    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Thursday 26th March 2020, 02:58PM
  • Hi Jane,

    Thank you so much for that information. I'll definately follow it up.  Unfortunately the only documentation I can find for Ellen is the various Census records.  She never married and the census was always content to put just Ireland as place of birth.  I did notice that one of Margaret's daughters was named Mary Ellen but also put as Mary Helen.  I wonder if the older Ellen was also known as Helen?  I'll have to chase that up.





    Friday 27th March 2020, 09:18AM
  • There is a Seamus Melody in Attymass, a small village near Ballina, County Mayo. This village may have been in County Sligo before 1898 as a result of border changes. A local historian who may be able to assist you is Padraig Meer whose email is  

    I also recommend you try the DNA test at "23 and Me". I am descended from people from that area and matched a woman named Patricia Melody of County Mayo. If you match her as well, you may have the link that will connect you with your ancestry. Good luck! 


    Saturday 28th March 2020, 02:31AM
  • Melody is a fairly common name in Co. Mayo so you might be in the right track.

    Peter D

    Saturday 28th March 2020, 11:19PM
  • Hello smb and Peter. 

    Here I was thinking that Melody couldn't be that common.  With forenames like Margaret and Patrick it could take me a while to sort them through.   I have now done some checking about the village of Attymass and found - 'The first deaths from hunger in Ireland were officially recorded in the parish of Attymass.'  That's a cheerful start. There are also a lot of Melodys in that area.

    Thanks to you both for the information.  





    Sunday 29th March 2020, 08:55AM
  • Pam, below is a link to Old Attymass which includes photos with the names of families who lived in Attymass in the early 1900s including members of the Melody family. Many of the families intermarried through the years and no doubt all are related. Attymass is a beautiful and historic village which includes the Ox Mountains and Ballymore Lake. All of Connaught suffered greatly through the 1845-1852 famine but County Mayo especially so. One of the older graveyards is Old Killeens.  Some surrounding villages include Currower, Bofield, Bonniconlon; the primary town is Ballina, County Mayo. My family is from Breaffy and I show dna connections to many of the Attymass families which no doubt occurred through marriages in the 1700s and 1800s. "Ancestry" and "23 and Me" plus Church records help to unravel the puzzle. See,


    Monday 30th March 2020, 03:43AM