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Catherine (Kitty) O'Conor, Mother of Andrew Myles McDermot

In preparation for a visit to Ireland this June, 2019, I have been researching relatives from Bellanagare.  I would very much like to acquire more information related to Catherine (Kitty) O'Conor (circa 1750-1792), mother of Andrew Myles McDermot (circa 1790-1881).  Catherine is my 4th great grandmother.

Catherine's son Andrew, my 3rd great grandfather, was a founding father of the Canadian province of Manitoba (see  He was the son of Myles MacDermot (1720-1793), sometimes referenced as the "Prince of Coolavin," from County Sligo.  Catherine was Myles' "natural wife" (see the second paragraph of, the daughter of Charles O'Conor (referred to elsewhere as "The Historian").  Myles was first married to Charles' daughter Brigid, taking Catherine as his natural wife after Brigid's death in 1777; this is documented in the MacDermot family tree from the MacDermot Clan website (see attached photo, grainy but discernable) as well as in the preceding weblink.

This following weblink also provides similar and additional details:

This weblink, in the fifth paragraph, refers to Catherine as "Fair Kitty" ("Kitty Bhan" in the attached photo from the MacDermot family tree):

I have the following questions:

  • Where is Catherine (Kitty) O'Conor buried?  With her father Charles O'Conor?  Or with Myles McDermot?
  • Who raised Andrew, born in 1789 or 1790?  His mother Catherine apparently died in 1792, his grandfather Charles died in 1791, and his father Myles died in 1793. 
  • Was Andrew born/raised at Bellanagare Castle (House) or at Hermatige House in Bellanagare (built by grandfather Charles O'Conor some 30 years before Andrew's birth)?  Myles, Catherine and Andrew perhaps initially lived with Charles at Hermitage House?
  • Is archaeologist Kieran O'Conor indeed the current owner of the Bellanagare House site?  If so, would I contact him directly for permission to visit the former home(s) of Andrew, Catherine and Charles?
  • What sights and sites would be best to explore ... to provide context and meaning to our trip to County Roscommon?  We are staying two nights at a cottage near Ballintober and one night at Clonalis House.  Unfortunately we will not have a car.  We will have to rely on buses or taxis, and we are considering hiring a local driver/guide for a day.

Many thanks in advance to all who can provide information and guidance for our upcoming genealogical journey!


Tuesday 8th January 2019, 02:33AM

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Message Board Replies

  • Welcome to the IrelandXO Roscommon Community!

    As your questions are rather particular (and pre-19th century) the Roscommon Historical and Archaelogical Society would probably be your best bet for tracking down detailed information on this historical family. 

    The County Roscommon Heritage and Genealogy Centre in Strokestown would also be able to advise on recommended tour guides / car hire when planning your visit. (Public transport is limited and won't facilitate your needs I imagine). ​

    Here you can also find a list of sites/buildings that belonged to the O'Connor Don as well as archival and printed sources which you may wish to peruse at the National Library of Ireland / National Archives should you be arriving via Dublin. 

    Also Bellanagare Castle and Coolavin.

    Certainly, any visit to County Roscommon should take in the Strokestown Famine Museum. You might also like to check out some other generally interesting Roscommon destinations here in our Local Guide. ​


    Tuesday 15th January 2019, 07:34AM
  • I visited Bellanagare last September searching for my Gormley and Costello ancestors.  I walked three cemeteries (finding one grave from 1777).  The genealogist at the County Roscommon Heritage and Genealogy Centre was not there when I visited so you may wish to enquire before your visit if you plan to go there.  I had also hoped to visit the library in Roscommon but that was also closed when I stopped.  The National Library in Dublin has newspapers from Roscommon if you have time to visit.  We did get to the Strokestown Famine Museum, which was very worthwhile.  I couldn't find anyone in Bellanagare itself who could tell me much about local history but perhaps you will have better luck. For what it's worth, in Griffith's Valuation Thomas Gormley (possibly my ancestor) leased property from Charles Owen O'Conor.  Enjoy your visit.

    H. Shimek

    Tuesday 15th January 2019, 10:54PM
  • Hello Rua and H. Shimek: 

    Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to my message!

    If I was going to have access to a car, I would definitely visit the Heritage and Genealogy Centre in Strokestown.  However, since we will only be staying in the Ballintober and Castlerea areas, we will make the best of the few buses available, taxis, and perhaps a private guide.  We can walk to Ballintober Castle from where we are staying, and I am also interested in seeing the old graveyard there and the O'Conor tombs.  Apparently, a new book, BALLINTOBER OLD GRAVEYARD AND THE GRAVE MEMORIALS OF CO. ROSCOMMON - MARY B. TIMONEY, is available at the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, and so I hope to visit Tulsk via taxi.  A bus is available from Ballintober to Roscommon, so also we hope to visit the Castle, Abbey, Museum and Library there.  The day we move from Ballintober to Clonalis House in Castlerea is the day I hope to be able to hire a private guide to transport us as far north as Boyle and then Monasteraden (to see Coolavin House), Lough Key Forest Park (MacDermott Castle), before moving east and, if possible, driving through the towns of Ballyfarnan and Keadue before heading south to Bellanagare.  I hope to walk through Kilcorkey Graveyard near Bellanagare, as I am assuming it is most likely that Catherine (Kitty) O'Conor is buried there.

    We will be in Dublin for two days before our time in the Ballintober/Castlerea area and then for a day before leaving Ireland.  I plan to track down a few references at the NLI, including the "MacDermot of Coolavin Papers" and the following article: "Charles O'Conor of Belanagare: Antiquary and Irish Scholar" by Diarmaid Ó Catháin in The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 136-163, 1989.  There are a number of other O'Conor-related and McDermot-related books I will looking for in bookstores in Dublin.

    I know all of the above sounds VERY ambitious, but I'll see what we can accomplish while still enjoying a Guinness or two along the way!

    Thanks once again for "reaching out" to me ... and feel free to keep the conversation going!!



    Thursday 24th January 2019, 04:37AM
  • Kilcorkey cemetery inscriptions and photos are on

    I will try to post some photos.


    H. Shimek

    Saturday 26th January 2019, 02:31AM

    Attached Files

  • Hello H. Shimek:

    Thanks for the photos!  I’m glad to see there is signage in Bellanagare showing the way to the Kilcorkey Cemetery.  And the photo of cemetery itself illustrates that it will be a challenge to read the tombstones, that’s for sure.  I’m pretty sure that’s where Catherine (Kitty) O’Conor would have been buried ... if not in Ballintober with her father, Charles.  Even if we don’t locate her burial place, it will be interesting to engage in the search at these historic locations!!



    Sunday 27th January 2019, 10:02PM