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So 3 years ago to the day I posted this in a similar form here, and I am still looking:

I have been trying to find info on my gggrandmother's family. She was Elizabeth Fee. She had a brother Michael and sister Margaret. Michael and Elizabeth were born around 1816-1817, Margaret, unk. Their father was John Fee, born around 1791. I do not know the name of their mother.

Margaret married John Mills. He was a legendary drunk (hey, I still talk about him), and she lied about her marital status and went to New Zealand on one of those 'taking the ladies to civilise the men' schemes in the 1860s out of Manchester (Miss Rye, a well known social engineer of her day).

Elizabeth married Hugh Mills. They had children. There was Mary, William and John--I believe many more are possible. Mary was born, possibly in Ballybay, around 1838-39. William was born in Jan or Feb of 1835, John in October of 1833.

I have letters that put Michael's departure around 1837. Someone I ran across on the internet who had a bit of a family story said there was a problem with the law, some local agitation and they had to go, but the story was so vague. The whole family ended up in Manchester, John Fee, Hugh and Elizabeth Mills, John and Margaret Mills. Michael married a Cheshire girl called Ruth Hill in Manchester in 1839.

The patriarch, John Fee was in Manchester for the 1861 census. Michael wrote to Elizabeth about landmark and places around Manchester, so I imagine the entire family went from Monaghan to Manchester Lancs. Someone I ran across on the internet who had a bit of a family story said there was a problem with the law, some local labour agitation and they had to go.

Around 1847, Elizabeth Mills and her husband booked passage to Canada. They left Mary in Manchester, where she lived until her death in 1907. She married at 16 had 8 or so kids (actually, I found she had many many more) who worked in foundries and mills from very young ages and she never saw her mother again. Her descendants live around Salford.

Our family history has it that they crossed from Ireland on a coffin ship during the famine and that everyone got ill and when Elizabeth came to, only she and one son survived, that her husband and 6 children had died on the crossing. And then she met Mr Bateman (from Bandon) who was wealthy Protestant gentry who married this shanty Catholic Irish wreck, and my gggrandfather and 2 more children were born to her in Canada. Then they settled Kansas single-handedly!

The letters I have show that show that that's not very accurate. William survived. [*I think he was sold into indentured servitude in Canada at around the age of 14,* This did not happen] (2016) William was in Manchester for the 1851 census and was an apprentice to a tailor. I don't know if he came on the original passage now. Another family member says there were stories of friction between Mr Bateman and a son of hers.
Mary was in Manchester, begging ma for passage to come to the states. Those two were never mentioned in the family history.

I looked at the 1796 flax farmers and found some Fee names (too old for the John I'm looking for) tithe applotments and see a Hugh Mills growing flax in 1823, in Lissceeny, Muckno. Michael mentions Drumgrole in his letters, and in 1869, when he visited after 32 years, he knew Wm Taylor, the sexton of the church. I kind of figured that might be the church they attended before they emigrated. They were C of E in Manchester and ME over here. I'm guessing not Catholics.

In addition, over the last three years there were other children, half siblings to Michael, Elizabeth and Margaret Fee, at least one, Maria Fee born in the 1830s Married a Gordon from Newcastle. I think John Fee was an active man...

So for 3 years I have looked at everything I can from Seattle and now I just need someone there to be a 4th cousin or something with a stunning old Fee family bible :D


Friday 21st Oct 2016, 06:54PM

Message Board Replies

  • Kathy:

    Welcome back to Ireland Reaching Out!

    You get an A+ for your sense of humor.

    Unfortunately, I checked on Roots Ireland and could not find any good Fee records.

    Have you considered autosomal DNA testing?

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 21st Oct 2016, 07:43PM
  • Yes I have considered it. But not doing yet...
    I am still scratching for news of them.
    Here's a piece of communication with a 4th cousin in Newcastle..."My father told me a story when he was alive about how the Fees came to be in Manchester which may or may not be correct- something about having to flee Ireland because of trouble with a member of the family who was in the Royal Irish or Ulster Constabulary."

    John Mills was a drunk, a profligate spender of money and drove his wife, Margaret Fee, to flee to New Zealand. He got in an argument on the 12th of July one year (1860s?) with his 2nd wife (he never divorced the first), a (Scouse) widow woman named Welch, a Catholic, and she stabbed him in the arm over an Orange issue ("He was being verry loyal") and he scarpered back to Ireland to be with his ma, at Drumgrole. Possibly mid 1860s.

    In 1869 Michael Fee writes "I have to tell all about my father’s death, Uncle Tom & Uncle Wm & Aunt Margret McRees death. Aunt Bell & Betty is living, yet I did not see them. But I seen Aunt Nancy in Drumgrole. She has all the place herself. James Peery has Uncle Tom’s."
    His father's death happened in 1861. They had no mail during the Civil War, not the English Fees, anyway.
    The Fees were tied to the McClelland family who lived next to Cahan's meeting house somewhere near Ballybay on the Monaghan Road, one of Michael's daughter's married Robert McClelland in Manchester, and he went on to be a plain clothes detective for the old bill in Manchester.
    If there were Methodists in Ireland, then that is where they might be worshiping. Some of them were Methodists and Wesleyans in Manchester, the ones who made to the states were Methodist Episcopalians and really stroppy abolitionists.

    Could you find anything on the Mills family from Irish Roots? I am not related to them, but Hugh Mills and my GG Grandmother Elizabeth were married and had kids. I know that's a pretty common name, and all the kids get named after someone with the same last name. I don't know when Hugh was born, but I have her as being born in the late teens, 1817 or thereabouts...
    John Mills was born around 1828, he married Margaret Fee. It could have happened in Ireland, I have searched the Manchester/Lancs site of banns and weddings and found nothing there for them.
    The place names I have associated with the Mills and Fees are Corbyfin, Derevaley, Drumgrole and Newbliss. Tithe Applotment books show Alexander Mills and Michael Fee at Corbyfin in 1929. In 1870, Michael Fee (the son or grandson of the Applotment Fee?) thought George Mills might have Corbyfin, but he did not.

    Michael Fee writes in 1871: "I told you that Ruth and me was in Ireland in September in 69 the railway runs into Ballybay in the middle of the cow fair & across the street & through where the gate of Ned Poulston's yard was & over the river & a long the hollow to the meeting houses at Derevaley & on to Newbliss & where else I don't know. There was nobody in the town hardly that I knew & nobody knew me. Thirty two years made a great change. There was Wm Taylor, the sexton of the church that I knew & James Grey, Jimmy Grey's son that I knew and that was all I seen none of the Mills while I was there the country looks the same I knew every pad through it. I went through Corbyfin & Drumgrole. Aunt Nancy lives there yet. She has a son & daughter. The son is about 16 & the girl a bout 13 or the may be older.

    Uncle Wm is dead Eleven or twelve years he died of an abscess on the spine inwardly & not decline from consumption. Uncle Tom died between Christmas & New Years day in '64 of gastric fever."

    They were also friends or associates of Isaac Gault, who was in Ireland and Manchester--textile guy, I think.

    Thanks for looking like you did. If I didn't have the letters, I wouldn't know these people, Drumgrole or even Co Monaghan had ever existed. I still hold out hope for a family member, but the big rush of exiting new info and discoveries has waned here because of my great research :D, and all the people who have helped me make them. Drumgrole gets quite a few people wanting to look at it, I read on the internet. :D

    Thanks again. I'll think of the DNA thing...


    Saturday 22nd Oct 2016, 05:56PM
  • Hi, just joined today so need to get my notes together but I think we come from the same Fee/McClelland line....'my' McClelland, William from Drumlinny (Cahans), married Fanny Fee (father Michael) in Lancashire, UK.

    Sunday 10th May 2020, 03:20PM
  • Helen, that makes me very excited.  I really want to know more about these people.  Michael was my gran's great uncle, never met him, I don't even know if she knew about them.  Until now, with exception of some McKittricks in Manchester, who were more about the McKittrick side, I have not had much of a nibble...Oh and someone from the Gordon family of Newcastle, to whom Maria (Michael's younger sister) was married into--a big step up--the Gordon family owned a newspaper.  The person I spoke to said he believes they were thrown out of Monaghan because of some political agitation by one of the family members (probably one of the Mills, who a couple of the Fee daughters married).  Not confirmed.  Michael mentions William (from beside Cahan's meeting house) and Fanny in his letters to my 2x great gran Elizabeth, another sister.

    So yay!


    Monday 11th May 2020, 03:44PM
  • 11 May 10:25 am PDT

    Hi Kathy A . . .

    Please contact me via

    I have three comments of poss value to you in re FEE/MILLS Families.




    Oh Johnny Oh

    Monday 11th May 2020, 05:27PM
  • Hi Kathy A,

    In your 22 Oct 2016 reply in this thread, you wrote, "The place names I have associated with the Mills and Fees are Corbyfin, Derevaley, Drumgrole and Newbliss."  At  I see a townland named DERRYVALLY immediately to the west of Ballybay and very close to at least one of the Cahans Meeting House locations. [… ]  Derevaley and Derryvally could be one of the townlands you are looking for ... different spelling but phonetically virtually the same, while a lot of spelling in English in years past was not standardized.  Suggest you contact The Cahans Project online.  Could be helpful, in re your comment yesterday that "Michael mentions William (from beside Cahan's meeting house) and Fanny in his letters to my 2x great gran Elizabeth, another sister."

    Oh Johnny Oh

    Oh Johnny Oh

    Tuesday 12th May 2020, 07:01PM

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