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My great great grandfather Michael Canning married Jane Nixon in 1831 in St John’s Church of Ireland - now the genealogy centre in Strokestown. They lived in the townland of Clonfinlough. They both worked as servants in the Big House. In the late 1830s Michael and Jane moved with their family to the linked Fruithill Estate - now called Drenagh in Limavady County Derry. Michael worked as a groom and Jane as a helper. They had some more children including my great grandfather Edward. Edward married Catherine Cushney in 1864 in the Catholic chapel in Bellaghy and moved to Scotland in 1868.

I cannot find birth details of Michael Canning in Roscommon but a Michael Cannon was born in Athleague in 1810 and I wonder if this is the same person. Any information on this would be very helpful.

John Canning 


John Canning

Wednesday 19th Oct 2022, 01:13PM

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  • John:

    No way to know if the 1810 record is for your Michael Canning/Cannon. Strokestown is about 18 miles northeast of Athleague. It is possible that Michael migrated northeast for an employment opportunity but more likely the record is for another Michael Canning/Cannon. I checked and there were no baptismal records for possible siblings for the Michael in Athleague.

    You may want to consider a DNA test. Although you qualify for the Y-DNA test which tracks the pure paternal line, I found that a general test which looks at all paternal and maternal lines is more helpful.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 19th Oct 2022, 03:38PM


    In the tithe applotments for 1824, there is a Patrick Cannon in the index, living in Roscommon in the townland of Clooncagh Cruce in Cloonfinlough. But looking at the actual page, it seems the name might be Connor:…


    Wednesday 19th Oct 2022, 09:29PM
  • Just looking now at Michael and Jane's marriage record on rootsireland, it notes they lived in the townland of Bumlin, not Clonfinlough.  Do you have a document saying otherwise? Just wondering.


    Wednesday 19th Oct 2022, 09:34PM
  • Roger and Patricia 

    Thanks for your replies. The link between Michael Canning and Michael Cannon would have helped me  in my search for my ancestors - the age would have been right - but no connection there. Strokestown Estate would have been the main employer in the area and Michael and Jane would no doubt have met there. I can’t find any other Cannings at that time in the area  - but there were Nixons in Bumlin. Although they married in Bumlin - the home address for the two daughters born in Roscommon was Clonfinlough.

    Michael and Jane then moved to the sister Estate of Fruithill (Drenagh), Derry in 1839 and went on to enlarge their family. Michael’s occupation is given as “groom”. - maybe this was a promotion -  for it was quite a distance to move from Roscommon to Derry. I don’t have any other info on Michael and Jane after their move. They lived in an area called “The Broagh”. Seumus Heeney wrote a poem on the area - it lies between Bellaghy and Castledawson in Derry. They had a daughter Anna Maria who died when she was 5 or 6 round about Christmas time - how sad for them - and in 1842 my great grandfather Edward was born. Thomas was born in 1847. There was also a Michael. Both Edward and Michael were received into the church at Bellaghy in 1858.

    Edward married Catherine Cushney (Cushilly) in Bellaghy in 1864. - had 2 children and then moved to Scotland in 1868.

    Thanks again for your replies.

    John Canning 

    I often wonder if Michael - my great great grandfather - ever heard of the Great Hunger in Strokestown in the mid 1840s.

    John Canning

    Thursday 20th Oct 2022, 10:38AM

    Just in case you haven't considered this, there is an archive at Strokestown.  Perhaps they have a record of you ancestors.



    I hope this is helpful.


    Thursday 20th Oct 2022, 03:28PM
  • Thanks Patricia for your note about the archives at Strokestown - very informative.

    John Canning

    John Canning

    Friday 21st Oct 2022, 09:34AM
  • Hope they can help you!


    Sunday 23rd Oct 2022, 05:46PM
  • How do you access info on the Strokestown Park estates. Are there lists of employees, their families etc

    John Canning 

    John Canning

    Monday 12th Jun 2023, 04:12PM

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