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Martin Kelly family of Rusheen

Searching for information regarding the Martin KELLEY family of Rusheen, Co Sligo. Martin was born sometime in the late 1700's and married Margaret GRAY/GREY.  Martin and Margaret's children (all born in Rusheen) were:  Anna b 1815, Patrick b 1817, Margaret b 1819, Martin b 1821, Elenor b 1825, James b 1827, Catherine b 1830 and Mary, unknown birth.

Most of the children of this family emigrated to Emmett, St. Clair Co, Michigan where they resided and died.  Eleanor Kelley was my 2nd great grandmother. She married Thomas DONAHUE in Emmett in 1854. She died in 1899 in Kenokee Township, Emmett, St. Clair Co, Michigan.

Margaret Kelley b 1819 married Patrick Somers (also of Rusheen?) and emigrated to Haverhill, Massachusettes. She died there in 1911.

When James Kelley died in 1907, he was an 77 year old bachelor and in his will he left money to many of his nieces and hephews. This will allowed the family to be traced back to Riverstown.

Thank you for any information that you may be able to add.

Patti Hacht

Leonard, MIchigan



Thursday 22nd March 2012, 06:10AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi Patti,

    Unfortunately, there are no baptismal records for that early date for that area. These are Roman Catholic records. Do you know what religion they were?

    There is an archive in the National Archives (UK) called the 'Reproductive Looan Funds records, Templehouse loan association.' (1822-48). These records might be worth looking into. The catalogue number is: T/91.

    You could also try checking the land records called the Tithe Applotment Books (1823-38) or the later Griffith's Valuation (1848-64). Griffith's is freely available here:

    Please make sure you link anyone else in your family who is interested in their Irish heritage to our site - and indeed anyone else you know of Irish heritage.

    Kind regards,

    Sinead Cooney

    Genealogist (Ireland XO)

    Tuesday 27th March 2012, 02:33PM
  • I was born in Riverstown in 1954 and moved to the USA in 2000., My dad Stephen Taheny  born 1920 was the oldest continous living resident of Riverstown and  died April 2012 , He was the local historian for years abd dealt with anyone who arrived there looking for family roots. I have some of his knowlwdge and may be able to help you a little.

    I remember a Martin Kelly of  Rusheen who was the local postmam( Mailman) and cycled on his bike delivering the  local mail in the late 1950's early 1960,   He was unmarried  liked his pint of Guiness daiily and is dead over 40 years now I guess.  There is a  buriel ground in Ballinakill so he is probaly burried there  You may be able to get some more information from  the local Postmistress Iris Barlow (Postmaster in US tems)_ who has been in that position for many years and suceeded her mother and father who were the previous she should  have over 100 years of postal  area knowledge

    Riverstown is a small village of 400 people with a larger sparcely populated rural agricultural  hinertland 


    Iris Barlow , Riverstown Post Office, Riverstown Co Sligo Ireland 


    Barlow Frank & IrisPost Offices telephone (353-71)9165101



    here is the 1901 census information with Martin"s  name together with other family members listed   and in a follow up 1911 census


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    Residents of a house 5 in Rusheen (Ballynakill, Sligo)Show all informationSurnameForenameAgeSexRelation to headReligionKellyJames55MaleHead of FamilyRoman CatholicKellyMaggie47FemaleWifeRoman CatholicKellyKatie16FemaleDaughterRoman CatholicKellyEddie14MaleSonRoman CatholicKellyMartin12MaleSonRoman CatholicKellyJohn9MaleSonRoman CatholicKellyJames6MaleSonRoman Catholic



    I hope thsi is helpful for you 



    Michael Taheny

    Michael Taheny

    Thursday 24th January 2013, 04:40AM
  • Michael Taheny,

    Thank you for your reply. Martin seems a bit of an "unusual" Irish name, especially compared to Michael, Patrick,etc. My Martin was born in the 1700's, but the name could certainly have been used in later generations, as seems to be the practice in Ireland.

    I will contact the postmistress to see if I can discover anything further. 

    Thank you so much for taking the time to send me all of this info.



    Thursday 24th January 2013, 04:47AM
  • Hi, please email me at I just spent time in the area near Riverstown, Co Sligo and met a man with the surname Kelly. He was very knowledgeable about his family and there may be a connection as Rusheen is very near to where he grew up......





    Tuesday 29th December 2015, 05:43AM