Share This:

Dear Ireland XO Community,

I have been searching on Ancestry, Family Search, Find My Past and the available Censuses of Ireland for almost four years trying to find any little scrap of information about the parents of and birthplaces of my 2xgreatgrandparents Peter Boyd and Marcella Davis.

One of the things I have managed to find in those 4 years is a passenger list showing them arriving in New York on 18 August 1849. A great grandson of theirs discovered this prior to websites but I have found that list on Family Search as well. Marcella is called Ellen on the list but the birth years and arrival years line up.

The only bit of information I have found pertaining to their time in their home country of Ireland is a record of their marriage on 26 Nov 1848. His surname is misspelled Boyle rather than Boyd but, again, my older relative was confident that it was correct. Here is the record:

Peter Boyle

Event Type:


Event Date:

26 Nov 1848

Spouse's Name:

Marcella Davis


Ballinabrackey, Ballyboggan and Castlejordan





First Witness:

Michael Braken

Second Witness:

Biddy Gafney

Ireland, Selections of Catholic Parish Marriages and Banns 1742-1884

It seems to me that one or both of them were likely born in Meath if they married there. But i've had no luck finding a record that says either of them were born anywhere. Some death certificates include information about the deceased person's parents names. But Peter and Marcella died in Rosendale, New York and their death certficates did not offer that information. Therefore, I don't have much to go on.

Does anyone think this research is possible from across the ocean? Are there any suggestions about parish records that may be in Meath but not digitized?  Or where and to whom I may write  to request any such records that include my great grandparents names? Or are there perhaps any Davises or Boyds currently living in Meath who may recall their names in family records?

I will be very grateful for any and all suggestions, ideas or help from the Ireland XO community in my search.

All the best,

Kelli Hart


Sunday 28th November 2021, 09:38PM

Message Board Replies

  • Kelli:

    The records for the RC parish of Castlejordan/Ballinabrackey/Ballyboggan start in November 1826. I searched the subscription site Roots Ireland and did not find a record for a Marcella Davis anywhere in Co. Meath in the 1820s. I also do not see a record for an Ellen Davis. Likely she was baptized in Castlejordan before November 1826. Earlier records were likely lost. I also did not find a baptismal record for a Peter Boyd or Peter Boyle.

    I did find the November 26 1848 marriage record in Castlejordan. Here is a link to the parish register which shows the record.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 29th November 2021, 12:04AM
  • Roger,

    Thank you very much. I've tried to estimate her birth year from her answers about her age on New York state and US Federal censuses but her death certificate says she was 61 years, 1 month and 4 days old when she died on 4 June 1889. So it's likely that 1828 was her birth year but I always search using a range of 1825-1830. The only child I've been able to find with search after search is M.Ann Davis who was baptized in Cork, Kinsale, Ireland on 8 May 1826. That child's parents were Thomas Davis and Anne Santry. My gggrandmother Marcella Davis (Boyd) named her first child Ann. But my DNA is from Leinster, East Connaught and Ulster so the Cork connection doesn't makes sense to me. I guess her parents could have been in Cork temporarily at the time of Marcella's birth and then went back to Meath where she came of age and married when she was 20. Or, as you pointed out, the record of her birth has been destroyed and is no longer findable. But I know I won't  give up looking for both of them until I find them.

    I really appreciate all the resources provided by Ireland XO, especially you and the other people who volunteer their time and knowledge helping others.




    Monday 29th November 2021, 04:20PM
  • Kelli:

    Thanks for your very kind comments.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 30th November 2021, 05:28PM