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Bridget Towey 1876 - c.1925

I am trying to research my grandmother, Bridget who married my grandfather, also John McDonagh and the marriage took place in 1903 in Ballaghaderreen. They lived in Hawksford or maybe Bohalis and had six children. I would be especially interested in finding out about Bridget's siblings and forebears, her birth and her death details but have so far drawn a blank. 

John McDonagh


Monday 31st December 2018, 07:36AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi John, Attached is copy of 1911 Census. This might be your family. This shows them in Hawksford/Ballaghadareen. John and Bridget with children Michael, James, Maria abd Patrick. 

    Robert Blanford

    Monday 31st December 2018, 03:16PM

    Attached Files

  • Robert

    Thankyou for your response, I do appreciate it.

    However, I have seen the 1911 census and also Bridget and John's marriage record from 1903 already.

    It is before 1903 and after 1911 that I have so far drawn a blank on researching my grandmother.

    Kind regards,

    Jihn McDonagh


    Tuesday 1st January 2019, 02:06AM
  • John:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    Bridget was born in 1876. See baptismal record below from the subscription site Roots Ireland. Did not find a civil birth record. Siblings were James 1871 Catherine 1874 Thomas 1877 Margaret 1879 Winifred 1883.

    Here is a link to the parent's civil marriage record which shows the names of their fathers.

    There is a 1941 death record which may be for Bridget. The one concern is that her age is shown as 87 when should was 65?

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Name:Brigid ToweyDate of Birth:19-Mar-1876
    Date of Baptism:
    Address:RedridgeParish/District:BALLAGHADREENGender:FemaleCountyCo. Roscommon
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:John ToweyMother:Margaret GallagherOccupation:Ng
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Jas Gallagher Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Winey Gallagher 

    Castlemore Roscommon

    Tuesday 1st January 2019, 04:32PM
  • Hi Roger, 

    Thanks for your most helpful input here.

    The details of John Towey and Margaret Gallagher's marriage in 1872 are fascinating and the witness was Michael McDonagh and there's a good chance he was my grandfather, I'd say.

    And, Bridget born in 1876, not 1878 as has been assumed. It all fits, and the information about her siblings will be something to look into and research.

    I think we can rule out Bridget dying in 1941. Not that I'm not openminded about these things because recieved wisdom can sometimes be open to question especially if we don't know the whole story, but my grandfather John didn't die until 1953 so Bridget couldn't have been a widow in 1941.

    Could you comment on how to interpret the term Landholder on John and Margaret's marriage document please? Does it mean Landowner or does it impy a leasehold arrangement or something?

    Nice to meet up with you again Roger, and thankyou again for your help.




    Friday 4th January 2019, 03:20AM
  • Hi John!

    I think the term Landholder was the same as a Leaseholder in 1872. Irish farmers with modest farms didn't start "Owning" their farms until 1900 or later. See   for background.

    The more I look at the 1941 death record and look back at the 1911 census, it is clear that the record is for a different Bridget. See this family in Hawksford. This Bridget would have been around 87 in 1941 and also had a son Patrick. Likely related to your McDonaghs.

    FYI. My McDonnells come from Derrynanaff townland which is very close to Hawksford.

    Have you tested your DNA? Might identify 2nd thru 4th cousins.


    Castlemore Roscommon

    Friday 4th January 2019, 05:20PM
  • Hi Roger, 

    My apologies for the late response. Yes, I had assumed Landholder would likely mean Leaseholder but thankyou for clarifying the matter because assumptions are not always reliable, as we all know.

    It's fascinating to think your forebears were neighbours to my family less than a hundred years ago, isn't it? And, as I recall didn't your remaining ancestor at Derrynanaff marry a Towey who eventually took owbership of the farm?

    As regards DNA, well it's a bit of a mixed bag really. I am reliably informed by genealogists that I can be traced back to the west of Ireland (Connacht) a minimum of a thousand years, probably 1500 years. However, the more recent and relevant stuff like close relatives depends entirely upon those being tested and, so far, the recent past still remains shrouded in mystery, I'm afraid.



    Thursday 14th February 2019, 01:15PM
  • Hi John!

    Good to hear from you. Yes, my grandfather's youngest sister Anne married a local farmer Michael Towey and they took over the farm when my great-grandfather Rodger McDonnell died in 1937. His oldest three sons (including my grandfather) were not interested in the farm and emigrated to Philadelphia.

    The farm passed down to the sons of Anne and Michael but was sold about ten years ago when the remaining bachelor son was hit and killed by a lorry in England.

    Sounds like you took the Y-DNA test which tracks your pure paternal line. The autosomal test will give you matches on all your lines and more recent then the Y test.

    All the best!


    Castlemore Roscommon

    Friday 15th February 2019, 05:04PM