USA Vice President)
Irish Finnegan Ancestors.
January 2009 a new President and Vice President were
inaugurated in the United States of America. In the case of
Vice President Joe Biden two counties in Ireland have been
pinpointed as the home county of the Finnegan Family - one
of his ancestral lines. Ms Megan Smolenyak, a USA based genealogist, believed County
Louth was the county of origin. However in an online article,
dated 28 August 2008,
Niall O’Dowd of the
stated that the then Senator Biden
“gave his most extensive review of his roots and his Irish
heritage to Irish America magazine, our sister publication,
in 1985”. In an extract from that interview he stated.
“Biden hails from a Famine era family, the Finnegans, who
fled Co. Mayo to avoid the Great Hunger. His great
grandmother Finnegan was the only one who could read Gaelic,
and she used to read letters in Gaelic for those who could
not read the letters from home and she’s write back in
Gaelic for them.”
So how does the County
Louth connection arise?
From the following military and US census records Vice
President Biden’s ancestry back to a James Finnegan born in
Ireland about 1840 is fairly certain. Actual proof would
require obtaining church or vital records.
Vice President Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the
son of Joseph Robinette Biden and Catherine Eugenia
"Jean" Finnegan. As his mother was born about 1917 she
appears both in the 1920 and 1930 US censuses. Her father
was Ambrose J. Finnegan.
According to a World War II record, dated 27 April 1942,
Ambrose Joseph Finnegan was born on 11 July 1884 in
Olyphant, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, USA. At
that time he listed his employer as a Mr. M. L. Goodman of
the Scrantonian-Tribune. He was 5ft 11½ins in height,
weighed 170 lbs, with blue eyes, blonde hair and a ruddy
On 4 April 1930 he was living in Scranton, Lackawanna
County, Pennsylvania, with his wife Geraldine Blewitt, his
children Gerald J., Blewitt E., Ambrose J., Catherine E.
(i.e. mother of Vice President Biden), John A. and his
sister-in-law Gertrude M. Blewitt. He was an advertising
manager in a newspaper office. He stated he was born in
Pennsylvania and his parents in New York. In the same
building, but enumerated as a separate family, was a William
O’Boyle born about 1901 in Pennsylvania but with parents
born in the Irish Free State. William worked as a butcher in
a meat market. Who this William was may be of significance
as his parents, if from Ireland as stated, are lively to
have emigrated long after the Famine years.
On 2 January 1920 Ambrose was residing in Scranton with his
wife Geraldine, his children Gerald, Edward, Ambrose J. and
Eugenia, his father-in-law Edward Blewitt who was born about
1859 in Louisianna but of Irish parents, and his
sister-in-law Gertrude Blewitt. This Edward Blewitt was a
civil and mining engineer for a coal mining business while
Ambrose was working for a newspaper business. The latter
stated that he was born in Pennsylvania, his father in
Ireland and his mother in New York. It is well known that in
these later censuses that inaccurate places of birth of
parents were given to the enumerator but in this district
the enumerator is an ‘Ambrose J. Finnegan’!.
By his World War I registration record Ambrose Joseph
Finnegan, born on 11 July 1884, lived in Scranton and was
employed as an advertising solicitor with the Scrantonian
In the previous census, taken 19 April 1910, Ambrose was
residing in the house of his father-in-law, Edward Blewitt,
a civil engineer, in Scranton and was married to Geraldine
with only one child Gerald. Also in the house were Gertrude,
Patrick and Arthur the children of Edward Blewitt.
Ten years earlier, on 8 June 1900, Ambrose was working as an
errand boy, was single and residing still in Scranton City,
Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, but with his uncle Peter
Roche, a switchman. Peter was born about October 1855 in New
York of Irish parents. He is married to Bridget and has
children: Thomas, Mary, Annie, Peter J., Nellie and
Margaret, all born in Pennsylvania.
Unfortunately the 1890 Federal census is not available but
it can be concluded from above that Ambrose Finnegan was
born in Olyphant, Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania on 11 July
1884 and his mother’s maiden name was ‘Roche’.
On the 1880 census for Olyphant, Lackawanna County, was a
James Finnigan, a musician, blind, born about 1842 in
Ireland, with his wife Catherine, born about 1847 in
Ireland, and children Eugene, Jennie, Stephen, John and
Louis. The first three children were born in New York and
the rest in Pennsylvania. James could not read or write but
However since the oldest children of James were born in New
York it was likely his marriage to Catherine took place
there also. Ms Megan Smolenyak located a marriage of 1866 of
a James Finnegan and a Catherine Roche, at the Holy Cross
Roman Catholic Church in Ovid, Seneca County, New York. The
marriage entry gave the names of the parents of James as
Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle.
County was situated south of Lake Ontario, one of the Great
Lakes, and between two smaller lakes called Seneca and
Source: History of Seneca Co., New York, With
iIlustrations, descriptive of its scenery,
Palatial Residences, Public Buldings, Fine Blocks and
Important Manufactories, Philadelphia, Everts,
Ensign & Everts, 1876, republished by W.E. Morrison &
Co., Ovid, New York, following p.100, Allen County
Library Genealogy Center.
In the 1870 census, in the village of Ovid, was an Owen
Finnegan, born about 1819 in Ireland, with his wife
Jane, born about 1824 in Ireland, and children: Maggie
age 18 years, Thomas age 11 years and Michie age 4
years, all born in New York. He was a shoemaker and had
property (real estate) valued at $1500
(Click HERE to see part image of census).
James was not listed with this household as he was
married in 1866 and living elsewhere. So far only one
possible entry for James and his wife Catherine has been
found in the 1870 census – a hotel keeper in Rochester
which is still doubtful as James was supposedly ‘blind’.
But locating births of his children will verify where he
resided at that time.
However, ten years earlier, on 1 August 1860 in the
Village of Ovid, County of Seneca, New York, was above
Owen, a shoemaker, his wife Jane and sons James age 19
years and so born about 1841 (stated ‘blind’) and
Patrick age 12 all born in Ireland, and daughter
Margaret age 8 years and sons John and Thomas born in
Seneca County, New York. Also in the house was a
domestic servant named Bridget McGregan age 16 years and
born in Ireland. By 1860 Owen already owned property
(real estate) valued at $1000 so he was not poor (Click HERE to see part image
History of Seneca Co., ibid, after page 164.
Since Owen’s son Patrick was stated to be born in
Ireland, about 1848, and daughter Margaret was born in
New York, about 1852, one can concluded that the parents
had possibly emigrated between 1848 and 1852.
This date of emigration can be shortened further. In the
1850 census, taken for Covert, Seneca County, New York, on
20 August 1850, was an Owen born about 1820, his wife Jane
born about 1822, and sons James age 10 years, Stephen age 7
years and Michael age 5 years all born in Ireland
(Click HERE to see part image of census).
Since none of the family were listed as born in New York it
would appear that this family arrived within the previous
few years. Owen gave his occupation as ‘labourer’ and he did
not own any property. However his neighbours were nearly all
native New Yorkers with real estate valued from $1000 to
Covert was south of Ovid and situated near Lake Cayuga.
Source: History of Seneca Co., ibid, after page 164.
Between above censuses of 1850 to 1870 it is noted that some
of the children had left home. In 1860 Stephen possibly
worked as a farm labourer in Romulus County nearby. On 12
April 1861 the Civil War had broken out and continued until
1865. It appears that by 1863 three Finnegan boys, stated to
be born in Ireland on the 1850 census, are mentioned on
Civil War Records for the Union Army.
- In the
History of Seneca County, page 103, a Michael Finnegan
from Ovid is stated to have enlisted on 24 August 1862, in
Company I, New York 164th Infantry Regiment, and killed the
same day at the battle of Cold Harbour. However there seems
to be some mix up on the military records (i.e. Military
Muster Rolls and Record of Soldiers and officers) between
this Michael and another Michael Finnigan of same age from
Lockport (Click to see Record of
Soldiers and officers).
USA - SOURCES
It is possible that, by the outbreak of the Civil War,
Michael from Ovid had moved to Lockport where other Finnigan
families lived. But there still is a Michael Finnegan in the
1880 US census residing in Lockport. On the Military Muster
Rolls this maybe the Michael who enlisted 23 August 1862 at
Newfane, mustered 19 November 1862, into Company B, 164
Infantry and reported missing in action at Cold Harbor. On
the Roll it stated he was from Ireland, age 18 years, a
labourer, black eyes, black hair, and 5ft 5inches tall (Click to see part of
his Military Muster Roll Abstract).
It is noted above, in the 1870 Census for Ovid, that another
child was born to Owen and Jane, about 1866, and named
Michael shortened to 'Michie'. This renaming of children
after a child that had died was not unusual in Irish
Finnigan of Ovid, the musician, age 21 years, appeared on the
Civil War Draft Registration records, 1863-1865, on 1 July
1863 (Click to see part of Draft Registration Record).
- Stephen enlisted, in Company I, New York 164th Infantry
Regiment, in Ovid on 26 December 1863, was promoted to
Sergeant and mustered out on 15 July 1865 at Washington, DC.
It was stated, in 1863, that he was born in Ireland, age 20
years, occupation a 'shoemaker', blue eyes, brown hair and
5ft 6 inches tall (Click to see part of
Military Muster Roll Abstract).
To summarize, from the main US records available, the
persons stated to be born in Ireland are:- Owen Finnegan
about 1820, his wife Jane about 1822, children James about
1840, Stephen about 1842, Michael about 1845 and Patrick
about 1848. The year of emigration was possibly between 1848
and 20 August 1850 presuming that the family residing in
Covert, Seneca County, in 1850 was the same family who
settled in nearby Ovid Village by 1860.
In the case of County Mayo there were Finnegans in
Pennsylvania, where Vice President Biden’s ancestors later
settled, who came from that county. However on searching the
index to available Roman Catholic Registers for the county
there is no family of an Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle. But
only about quarter of the nineteenth century parish
registers for County Mayo date pre 1840. In addition the
surname ‘Finnegan’ has various spellings and ‘Boyle’ can
also be ‘O’Boyle’. So such a search is inconclusive.
On checking passenger lists the most likely entry so far
located is for a Jane born about 1823 emigrating on the
Marchioness of Bute, from Newry, and arriving in New York on
15 May 1850. With her were children James age 7, Stephen age
5, and Patrick an infant. On the transcribed index to the
passenger lists, available online, the child Patrick was
stated to be 'born at sea'. But as it is always advisable to
look at the original records the correct detail should be
that Patrick was 'an infant' (Click HERE to see difference). If this is
the correct Jane then Owen emigrated in late 1848 to early
1850 to prepare the way for his family. The child Michael
possibly emigrated with him or with a close neighbour or
relative. This would not be unusual as there existed at the
time a fear that a whole family could be lost by the
outbreak of fever on board ship or of it sinking. The fact
that Jane and her family emigrated from Newry would suggest
she came from that region.
In the case of the Roman Catholic Registers for County Louth
there was the marriage of an Owen Finegan and Jane Boyle in
Cooley Parish on 8 December 1839. (the witnesses were
Michael Woods and James Donnelly) and in neighbouring
Lordship Parish the baptism entries of James in 1840,
Michael in 1845 and a Patrick in 1848 to the family. So far
the baptism of Stephen has not been located.
Unfortunately no exact address was given for the family on
the parish registers but it would appear that they may have
come from the part of north County Louth bounded by the sea
and a line from Bellurgan to Carlingford.
To go back to the Biden family folklore that Vice President
Joe Biden’s great grandmother knew Gaelic. This great
grandmother was the Catherine Roche who married, in New
York, the James Finnegan stated to be born in Ireland about
1840. While emigrants from County Louth for the period are
not known as being Gaelic speakers it is quite likely the
child James and his parents Owen and Jane had some knowledge
of the language as, up until more recent times, there was an
Irish speaking community further north around the Omeath
area. It is also likely that a priest in Cooley parish had
some interest in the language as the parish register of the
time period, while written in English, used the old Gaelic
form of lettering.
So the evidence, so far uncovered, is quite strong that the
Finnegans were from north County Louth. But there is one
noticeable similarity between the inhabitants of Ovid, where
Owen Finnegan settled, and this part of the Cooley peninsula
and that is in the surnames. Besides a number of Finnegan
families in Ovid, by 1860, were residents, stated to be born
in Ireland, with surnames White, Quinn, Hanlon, Morgan,
Toner, Donnelly, McBride, Rooney, Woods, Rogan and by 1870
Census also Feehan, along with other more common surnames
like Murphy, Carroll, Reilly, Malone, and Clarke etc.. So it
may not be just one family that settled in that part of New
York but many from north County Louth.
On hearing that US Vice President Joe Biden may pay a visit
to the Cooley area later this month (June 2016) I looked
again at the research last updated in 2012. Local rumour
seems to suggest that, according to United States of America
[USA] sources, the relevant Finnegan Family came from the
Templetown area of the Cooley Peninsula.
But first I will look briefly at some main USA sources that
maybe of help in locating emigrants from both that
north-east area and elsewhere in County Louth.
Cross Cemetery, Ovid, Seneca County, New York State.
It is in this cemetery that Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle,
who emigrated from County Louth with their older children in
the mid nineteenth century, were buried. But from a brief
perusal of some photographs of some of the headstones
available online at www.findagrave.com it can be seen that
other emigrants, not only from the Cooley area, but also
from elsewhere in County Louth, settled in the Ovid area of
Seneca County. It also appears that even into the twentieth
century emigration to this area continued. But for the
purposes of this brief research I will only deal with a few
of the emigrants.
The inscriptions on the headstone(s),
available online, read:-
JUNE 15, 1875.
56 YRS. 10MO.
DEC. 23, 1874.
AGED 54 YRS 7 DS.'
18 YRS,. 3 MO. 3 DS.
MARCH 14, 1884.
36 YRS. 13
www.census.nationalarchives.ie) the family was living in
Rathcor Townland. In 1911 Mary Anne was the eldest of seven
children:- Francis; Ellen; James; Patrick Joseph (who
emigrated to Ovid with her); Thomas and Teresa Josephine.
The head of house was a cousin Mary Malone, single, and age
81 years so would be born about 1840 when Owen and Jane
Finnegan were still living in this general area.
Mary Anne White wife of Frank G Kuryla died 6 June 1956 in
Ovid, Seneca County and was buried in Ovid Cemetery.
Mary Anne was listed on the Massachusetts, Passenger and
Crew Lists, 1820-1963, on www.ancestry.com. She was 25 years
old and departed from Liverpool on the ship Celtic with her
brother Patrick age 17 years. They arrived in Boston 2
September 1923. Their father was Patrick White of Rathcor,
Carlingford, and they were emigrating to their cousin Thos
McCarriagher in Ovid, New York.
There is a baptism in Cooley Parish of a Mary Anne White on
17 October 1898 the daughter of Patrick White and Annie
McCarraher. While no specific address is given on the
baptism register from the 1901 and 1911 census (available at
Rathcor Townland is also along Dundalk Bay and a short
distance to the west of Templetown Townland. It contains
about 654 statute acres. The Malone families of the area
seemed to have lived, in the mid nineteenth century, around
the village of Rathcor Upper.
Missing Friends advertisements
These advertisements can make interesting reading.
One notice published 18 September 1875 is:-
(Source: Boston Pilot newspaper and available online
on www.ancestry.com etc.).
From the parish register
for Cooley there was a baptism of a Sarah Carroll baptised 31
July 1839 of Castlecarragh Townland, the daughter of Patt
Carroll and Catharine White.
Part of the village of Riverstown is in Castlecarragh
Townland. The latter townland adjoins to the west Rathcor
Townland. It contains nearly 367 statute acres.
Censuses of Population
It has already been stated that a number of surnames found
in Seneca County, New York, in the various mid-nineteenth
century censuses also appear in the north-east area of
County Louth. Following are some Finnegan families living in
Ovid, Senaca County, in the 1860 US census:-
Owen & Jane Finnegan (already given above).
The Village of Ovid
Richard and Mary Finnagan
The town of Ovid.
Both Richard and Mary were stated to be from
Ireland and the children born in Seneca County, New
Joseph (aka George?) and Rosa Finnagan
The village of Ovid.
In the 1850 US census, taken 18 October 1850,
in Town of Seneca Falls, County of Seneca, State of New
York, was a George Finnegan, age 25 years, a shoemaker, born
in Ireland, with his wife Rose, age 23 years and also born
in Ireland and daughter Mary, age 3 years, born in New York.
From a Stauff Finnegan Family Tree on www.ancestry.com it is
stated above Joseph, was this George Finnegan and came from
Templetown, County Louth. He was born about 1820 but the
names of the parents are not listed on the Family Tree. His
wife was stated to be Rose Murphy.
An image of the Headstone given lists 'George Finnegan died
Mar. 13, 1894 aged 74 years'.
This Family Tree also has Owen Finnegan as a brother of
George. It includes a copy of a notice in the local Ovid
newspaper, dated 11 May 1863, stating that George Finnegan
'dissolved his partnership with Owen" and was moving to
other premises with his Boot and Shoe Making Business.
Another notice dated 1 April 1868 had a sale notice for his
house in Ovid Village.
A further public notice dated 17 June 1874 by Owen Finnegan
stated that, due to ill health, he was closing his business
(Boots and Shoes) and putting his stock up for auction. As
can be seen above on Owen's headstone his wife Jane died in
December 1874 and he died about six months later.
The children of George & Rose Murphy. as given on Family
1846 Mary Ellen
1850 Rose Ann
1858 Richard B
All the children were stated to be born in
Templetown is in Cooley Roman Catholic parish and situated
along a narrow road off the R175 (Dundalk to Greenore) that
leads south-east in the direction of Cooley Point along
Templetown Townland contains about 437 statute acres.
Mary Finnagan born about 1832.
The Village of Ovid
Mary Finnagan was stated to be born in Ireland.
Family of a Hugh Finnegan
Town of Waterloo, Seneca
Patrick, his wife Ann and
father Hugh were stated to be born in Ireland and the
children in New York. By the 1870 US census this Patrick, a
farmer, and Ann and his family (but not Hugh) appear to be
residing in the town of Ovid.
See later under Parish Registers. Could this be Hugh
Finnegan (who was married to Ann Murphy) and son Patrick who
lived in Templetown?. Further research would be required to
As a matter of interest, in the 1850 US
census, in the town of Ovid there seems to be a Thomas
Finegan, born Ireland, and age 27 years who worked as a
'Lawyer'. Could this Thomas be the son of Simon and Mary
Mills?. Again further research would be needed to verify
(Sources of US Censuses: www.ancestry.com but also available
on other online databases)
IRELAND - SOURCES
Owen Finegan's Family
Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle were married
in Cooley Roman Catholic Parish, County Louth. on 8 December
1839. Following is a copy of the marriage entry now
available online on the National Library of Ireland website.
Previous to this service permission was required of the
local parish to upload a copy or part of a page.
Normally the marriage
took place in the bride's
parish. The parish registers of Cooley
Parish commenced in 1811 and baptism entries included the
local, usually townland, address. So if Owen had remained,
after marriage, in this parish his address would be given.
The baptism entries found of the children of Owen Finnegan
and Jane Boyle, born in Ireland, were on the registers of
Lordship Parish. It adjoins to the west Cooley Parish.
The registers of the former parish only commenced in 1833
and no specific addresses were given on it. So it is
difficult to determine, from Irish parish registers, if Owen
was also born in Lordship Parish.
The names of Owen Finnegan and Jane Boyle's children,
including born in USA, so far known would appear to be:-
18 December 1840
James (Math Finegan &
Connor & Mary Boyle)
Stephen (baptism entry not located)
5 September 1845
5 March 1848
(Michl Boyle & Margt Finigan)
Margaret (born USA)
Thomas? (born USA)
(Source: Ovid Bee dated 15 Aug 1855,
John (born USA),
dated 23 February 1850, had the following
Thomas (born USA)
Michael (born USA)
From above, it would appear, by repeating again forenames
'Thomas' and 'Michael' that those names were important to
the family. There was also a trend, among Irish Roman
Catholic families although not always followed, of naming
the first son and daughter after the paternal grandparents,
the second son and daughter after the maternal grandparents
and the next boy and girl would be named after the father
and mother. A slight variation on it would be to name the
second son after the father with the next children after the
maternal grandparents etc..
As already stated, on earlier research, the family had left
the Cooley area before May 1850 (approx.). As a matter of
interest it is quite possible Jane and the children had seen
the Marchioness of Bute ship, in February 1850, before they
sailed. The local newspaper of the time
and an advertisement on same date:-
(Source: The Dundalk Democrat and Peoples Journal dated the
23 February 1850,
For the journey taken by Jane and her
children it stated:-
(Source: Dundalk Democrat dated 8 June 1850,
were found on the Cooley Parish Registers. However Roman
Catholic Parish boundaries followed natural features and
means of travel such as roads etc..
The boundary of the parish of Cooley with that of Lordship
would appear to be around Castlecarragh Townland. But
baptism entries of children with address of Castlecarragh
From the main land record of the mid nineteenth century
known as Richard Griffith's General Valuation of Rateable
Property in Ireland, surveyed in County Louth around 1852,
it would appear the combination of names found on the
baptism entries of the children of Owen and Jane etc.
were in Castlecarragh Townland.
Travelling east to Carlingford the plots 1 and 2 would be
along and to the south of road R173 (the Dundalk to
Carlingford Road), after crossing Riverstown bridge and on
entering Castlecarragh townland. So it could be that Owen
and Jane, before emigrating, lived near the Riverstown area.
This is a copy of the published survey for Castlecarragh
County Louth, Civil Parish of Carlingford, page 185.
(source: www.ancestry.com but is widely available)
A previous land record to above was the Tithe Applotment
Books. Tithes were assessed on land holders to determine the
amount of tithes payable to the Established Church. This
survey for Castlecarra [Castlecarragh] Townland was taken in
1833 and in it a George Finegan was listed with a James and
Michael Finegan for 12 acres of land. This
assessment was based on Irish acres while Griffith's
Valuation used statute acres.
Below is a copy of this survey for part of Castlecarra.
County Louth, Civil Parish of Carlingford, page
Owen Finnegan, since the baptism entries
of his children were found in Lordship Parish, would likely
have lived in that parish in the 1840 to 1848 period. At
that time families sometimes moved around a rural district
depending on work etc.. He may, if working as a shoemaker or
learning the trade, have lived along or near a main road
route such as near Riverstown Bridge.
The family possibly intended staying in Ireland since they
remained here during the worst of the Great Famine years. It
is quite possible for his family there was both the 'pull'
and 'push' influence. That is news arrived from former
neighbours, who had already emigrated, of the opportunities
in the USA and also by remaining at home the uncertainty for
the future resulting from the effects of the Famine years.
for persons looking for business from local road travellers
to the ports, may have been the proposal
to extend the railway line from Dundalk to Carlingford via
While the railway line was not opened
until the early 1870s the proposal possibly to obtain the
land for the route, south of the now R173 road, would have
been known. In Rockmarshal Townland the
line crossed the now R173 and passed just north of
Riverstown bridge towards the junction of the R173 with the
now R175. A station was built at Bush and the line went on
to Greenore. So the locally used lanes and passes, found in
rural areas, to the southern part of the peninsula
would be closed off.
Many years ago research on another family, from the
Bellurgan area which was to the west of Riverstown, revealed
that they emigrated to New York, in 1848, on the Sea Bird
from Galway. They were among other emigrants on what were
termed an assisted emigration scheme from that county.
Their small plot in Bellurgan was later severed by the
railway line. Their ages were about the same as Owen and
Jane Finnegan and they could have been known to the latter
while living in this area. So there maybe
some connection with the west of Ireland and families from
the Cooley peninsula. Research of railway archives may
reveal further information.
As stated, in genealogy, there is always some grain of truth
in family lore.
When in Lordship Parish, Owen, Jane, and the young James
would likely have known a place, along Dundalk Bay, called
'White House Point' near Giles (aka Gyles) Quay.
www.ancestry.com. 'White House Point' is to south
(Source: Ordnance Survey map, County Louth, surveyed 1823,
Sheet 8, Mountbagnall
Below is a recent road map of the area, along Dundalk Bay,
showing, Riverstown bridge, and the Castlecarragh,
Rathcor & Templetown area.
(Source: OS Discovery Series, Louth no.36).
Finnegan Families in
Finnegan Families of Templetown Townland
listed, approximately pre 1850, on the Cooley Roman Catholic
Parish Registers are given below. They are listed by
forename of father. The list does not include non Finnegan
families with a Finnegan mother. )
Some entries on the register are faded and difficult to
read. In addition, especially in the early part of the
baptism register, it can be a problem to determine the year
on some pages.
Bryan Finnegan & Anne
Finnegan (of Templetown).
(married 25 June 1834,
witnesses: Pat Feegan & Cathr Finnegan)
08 September 1834
Mary Finnegan (sponsors: Owen
Finnegan & Cather Finnegan
Hugh Finigan & Anne Murphy (of Templetown).
(married 21 December 1813, witnesses: Nicholas Carroll &
15 January 1815
Thomas? Finigan (sponsors: Tom? [?] & Mary
(sponsors: Henry Murphy & Biddy Christy)
09 March 1823
Patt Finigan (sponsors:
William Quin & [Elen?] Murphy)
24 January 1825
James Finegan (sponsors:
Richd Quinn & Rose Hanraty)
23 April 1827
(sponsors: James Murphy & Betty Killin)
30 September 1829
(sponsors: [Pet]er Murphy & Bid? Hanratty)
1831 Jas Finnegan
(sponsors: Hugh Roarke & Anne Roarke)
30 November 1834
(sponsors: Patk Rice & Bridget Finigan)
James Finegan & Mary White.
(marriage entry not
located so could be older children)
25 October 1812
(sponsors: John Finigan & Peggy Finigan)
181[4?] ---- Finigan
(sponsors: Edwd Finigan & [Jane?] Finigan)
(page torn at
23 March 1817
George Finigan (sponsors:
Bernard Smyth & Mary Carrel)
21 October 1819
Richard Finigan (sponsors:
Patt Callely & Mary Finigan)
19 July 1822
Edward Finegan (sponsors: William
Quin & Cathy Roarke?)
18 April 1825
(sponsors: Patt Connel & Betty Quinn)
07 February 1828
Mary Finigan (sponsors: Pat Cristy & Mary Killen)
James Finigan & Mary Mills.
(no marriage entry located so could be other children)
(sponsors: John McGee & Rose Kelledy).
John Finnegan & Mary Kearney.
(married 14 December 1813, witnesses: Owen O'Callaghan &
24 October 1814
(sponsors: Artr Magee & Margt Finegan)
16 October 1816
Ro[ber]t? Finigan (sponsors: Lau? Quin &
27 December 1817 Richd
Finegan (sponsors: Pat White & Cate Kearney)
30 April 1820
(sponsors: Mary Connel & Pat Rallety?)
09 February 1823
Ann Finegan (sponsors: Thomas Ke[l]aly & Judy Murphy)
03 March 1826
Mary Finegan (sponsors: Richard Quinn? & Rose Kellely?)
03 March 1826
Biddy Finegan (sponsors: Patt Finegan? & Betty Killen?)
John Finnigan & Biddy Carroll
(no marriage entry
located so could be other children)
05 September 1835
(sponsors: John Finnegan & Mary Conor).
Laurence Finnegan & Anne McDonald (Mary Anne?).
(no marriage entry located so could be other children)
(sponsors: Peter Killin & Mary Hughes)
(mother : Mary
21 May 1835
(sponsors: Laurence Murphy & Mary Hughes)
See later for
possible other information on Laurence.
Patrick Finegan & Catherine Connell.
(Married 18 February 1833, witnesses: Jas Connell & Cathrn
16 November 1835
(sponsors: Owen Finnegan & Margt Lyons)
16 November 1835
(sponsors: Pat Fagan? & Cathrn Finnegan)
[03 October 1838
(sponsors: Patt Christy & Rose McCann)
18 February 1847
Bernard Finegan (sponsors:
William Karny & Mary Connell)
24 June 1850
(sponsors: Thomas Connell & Bridget Magee).
Peter Finigan & Mary Cristy.
(Marred 28 August 1811, witnesses: James Kearney & Wilm
08 June 1812
(sponsors: John Finigan & Mary Finigan)
15 February 1816
(sponsors: James Maguigan & Bid Cristy)
Simon Finegan & Mary Mills
(no marriage entry
located so could be other children)
11 February 1816
(sponsors: Owen Smyth & Anne Rourke)
(sponsors: Bernard Murphy & Biddy Calely)
(sponsors: James Christy & Catty Roarke)
01 May 1829
(sponsors: Hugh Roarke & Betty Murphy)
Tom/Thos Finigan & Mary Markey
(No marriage entry
located so could be other children)
05 December 1817
(sponsors: Patt McCahy & John McCahy ?)
30 October 1820
(sponsors: Owen Carroll & Betty Mc[Cooye]?).
US Vice President Biden
did visit Cooley on Saturday 25 June 2016. He travelled
along the R173 to Carlingford town, situated along the Lough
through which the Marchioness of Bute sailed in 1850, and
visited the old Kilwirra Cemetery in Templetown Townland and
Lily Finegan's Pub in Whitestown Village.
The following will be revised, under the
headings used below, as new information comes to light.
As will be seen genealogical research involves searching for
records, clues etc., analysing results, revising, reviewing,
digging further, and repeating the process sometimes many
IRELAND - SOURCES
Finnegan Families, Castlecarragh
The standard spellings of the surnames
are used below.
The Boundary of the two Roman Catholic Parishes of Lordship
and Cooley would appear to be the Castletown River that
flows under Riverstown Bridge on the now R173 road.
Immediately crossing this bridge the road today appears to
have been straightened from that existing in the mid
In 1855 the now R173 road was termed the High Road from
Dundalk to Carlingford. After crossing the Riverstown Bridge
was the village of Riverstown, in Castletown-Cooley
Townland, and after the junction (beside the present
Riverstown Inn) with what was termed the 'road to Newry'
was Castletown-Cooley Townland on the north side and
Castlecarragh Townland on the south side. On the
latter side the land occupiers were Peter Donnelly and
Elizabeth Hanlon occupying 19 acres and 1 rood; Matthew and
James Finnegan occupying 22 acres and 2 roods; James Ward
and Patrick Malone occupying 22 acres and 2 roods and last
John Boyle occupying 10 acres and 3 roods.
As seen, above, in the Tithe Applotments Books, 1833, for
Castlecarra [Castlecarragh] Townland a George Finnegan was
listed with a James and Michael Finnegan for 12 Irish acres
By the time of Griffith's Valuation survey, completed around
1852, a Matthew, Michael and James Finnegan each occupied a
house and offices (that is out offices such as sheds) and
jointly 21 statute acres and 38 perches of land. See above
copy of this record. The land was stated to be in tillage
and giving very good crops. In addition it was stated that
the occupiers of Castlecarragh Townland claimed the sea
weed, along the townland's seashore, in proportion to their
For the good land the Finnegan's seemed to pay £1-6-0 an
acre per annum. It was stated that some occupiers of land,
in the townland, gave up their holdings because they did not
receive enough rebate of rent. The rebate was likely sought
due to the uncertainty, generally, with the potato crops. A
Pat Carroll did leave as occupier of his house and garden in
this townland, at Plot 6c, in 1853. Could he be the Patrick
Carroll living in Lodi in 1875? (see Missing Friends'
Also on this Finnegan holding was a house occupied by a
James Donnelly, free, and held at will from Michael Finnegan
and another house occupied by an Arthur Magee and held at
will, from James Finnegan, for which he paid £1-0-0 a year.
From the various records, so far searched, this would appear
to be the position with the named occupiers above:-
He maybe the George who was married to a Catherine Finnegan
and children included Ann (1830); Laurence (1832) and Mary
(1833) all born in Riverstown. Since the marriage entry was
not located it is possible there were other children. He
maybe one of the George Finnegans that died in Cooley parish
around 1849-50 as he is not listed on Griffith's Valuation.
It would appear that a Matthew Finnegan followed on his
Matthew is listed in Griffith's Valuation. He was born about
1804 and married a Judith McBride, in Lordship Parish, but
his children were baptised in Cooley Parish. Their family
Mary (1859); Catherine (1861); Bridget (1863); Michael
(1865) and Rose (1868).
When Mathew and Judith died their son Michael and family
followed as occupiers on the property. Michael married a
Bridget Murphy of Benagh Townland and died in 1924 in
He was born about 1785 and was possibly the person who
married a Judith Finnegan. It is probable that either James
or Judith came from Mucklagh Townland (further to the
north-east of Castlecarragh) as some of their children were
born there. The family may have included:-
Mary (1815); Mic/Michael (1818); John (1819) and Thomas
(1821) who was born in Castlecarragh.
A Thomas (likely his son) followed on his property. Thomas
Finnegan was married to a Margaret Finnegan in 1858, in
Lordship Parish, and family, all born in Castlecarragh and
baptised in Cooley Parish, included:-
John (1859); Bridget? (1861); Peter (1863); James (1865);
Michael (1867); Pat (1870); Mary? (1873) and Catherine
(1876). Michael followed as main occupier of the property
and afterwards Catherine's family. Catherine was married to
a John J Hughes from Killin Townland, in Lordship Parish.
He was born about 1797 and died unmarried. James Donnelly
followed on his property.
Sally Finnegan - James Donnelly.
A Sally (Sarah) Finnegan was born about 1788 and married a
James Donnelly, a weaver. The weaving trade was
already in decline by the 1830s. This maybe the James
Donnelly who occupied a free house from Michael Finnegan.
Their family included:-
Mary Donnelly (1813) and James Donnelly (1815) born in
This latter James Donnelly married, in 1840, his cousin a
Bridget Finnegan. This Bridget was present at the death of
Michael Finnegan above, born 1797, so maybe she was a near
relative?. These Donnellys followed on Michael Finnegan's
property. Their family included:-
Elizabeth (1847); James (1849); John (1851) and maybe
others. The property passed to John Donnelly and afterwards
to a Feehan family.
Could this James Donnelly, born 1815, be the witness to the
marriage of Owen Finnegan & Jane Boyle?.
In the early 1850s Arthur Magee paid £1-0-0 a year for the
house to James Finnegan but it was down before 1860.
So far nothing was found to suggest the Magees were
related to the Finnegans. However in Griffith's Valuation
there was no Arthur Magee listed as the main occupier of a
house in Templetown Townland. Yet there was an Artr Magee a
sponsor in 1814 to the baptism of Owen Finnegan the son of
John and Mary Kearney of Templetown. The latter maybe the
Arthur Magee, born about 1788, who may have been married to
a Rourke girl and died in Templetown in 1871. His occupation
was a 'labourer' which could mean an 'agricultural
labourer'. But again no record has, so far, been found to
verify that he was the same person that lived in
Castlecarragh in the 1850s.
Finnegan Families, Templetown Townland.
In the Tithe Applotment Books, 1833, for
Templetown Townland (see copy below) were:-
County Louth, Civil Parish of Carlingford, pages
22 and 28.
Simon and Co [possibly other family
members] was in occupation of 9
Irish acres and 1 rood. See later.
and Co occupied 6 Irish acres
and 2 roods.
This may be the Laurence Finnegan who
married, 26 September 1829,
an Ann McDonnell (aka Mary Anne?) and their children
may have included:-
born 1830, but no specific address
born 1834 in Templetown,
with mother 'Mary McDonald'
1835 in Templetown, with
mother 'Anne McDonald'.
Their marriage was listed in the Marriage
column of the Belfast Newsletter.
The Belfast Newsletter dated 20 October 1829, British
He was not
the Laurence Finnegan
of Templetown that died in 1865.
That Laurence Finnegan died 16 May 1865 in Templetown, a
bachelor age about 59 years old and a farmer.
A Daniel Finegan, possibly residing in same house as
Laurence but relationship not stated, was the informant of
the latter's death.
While no Laurence Finnegan
was listed in Griffith's Valuation
as the main occupier of a premises there
was a Sarah Finnegan occupying
a house where Simon Finnegan
was the immediate
Bryan Finnegan, deceased.
The Representatives of Bryan
Finnegan occupied two parcels of
land amounting to 13 Irish acres, 2 roods and 24
Following is a copy Griffith's Valuation,
published in 1854, for Templetown Townland
where Finnegans were listed as main occupiers.
(source: www.ancestry.com but is widely available).
Again from various records, so far searched, this would
appear to be the position with the named occupiers above:-
At Plot 12ABa a Hugh Finnegan
occupied a house, offices and jointly with
Simon Finnegan 12 statute acres,
2 roods and 30 perches of land. The land was in good
condition and in tillage.
This Hugh Finnegan could
be the person that was married to Anne Murphy from
Templetown on 21 Dec 1813. Hugh and Anne were residing in
Templetown when the children were born. Their family
included: Thomas (1815); Mary (1819); Patt (1823); James
(1825); John? (1827); Anne (1829); James (1831) and
resided in a house at Plot
12ABb. He also was the occupier of a
number of neighbouring parcels of land
including at the Kilwirra (Cill Mhuire) old cemetery;
some of the strand (which gave rights to the sea
weed but seemingly only with the
consent of the landlord's agent) and some vacant houses in
the townland. Again the land was described as been of good
quality and in tillage. There was also a house occupied by a
free, and held at will from Simon.
As Simon Finnegan was probably the person who was listed in
1833 in the Tithe Applotment Books he was likely
the person that was married to Mary Mills and had family
including Biddy (1816); Mary (1820); Thomas (1822) and
This Simon may have died in
At Plot 13c a Catherine Finnegan
occupied a house where the immediate lessor was a Patrick
At Plot 30AB a Thomas Finnegan
occupied 12 statute acres and 29 perches
of land as well as three houses (two vacant and one occupied
by a Mary McArdle). This land was at the eastern end of the
townland near the seashore. It was stated that it was
excellent land, the best in Templetown, and the best of
tillage. He would also have a claim to some of the sea
weed along the seashore which was used as manure and
any excess could be sold. This seemingly differed
from the occupiers further north in
the townland, such as Simon Finnegan,
who could only obtain the sea weed with
the consent of the landlord's agent. The
land was held at will, at a rent of £1-9s-0d per acre per
annum from the Representatives of Ross Moore.
This Thomas Finnegan, or his son Thomas,
was stated to be living in the adjoining townland of
Thomas born about 1827, likely son of Thomas,
by the time of his death in 1887 occupied more land as well
as a public house (known today as Lily Finnegan's Pub) in
Whitestown Village. He also occupied some land to the
north-west, in Willville Upper and Lower
in the adjoining Willville Townland.
In the early 1850s it was said that the
land in Whitestown was continually being
improved by the occupiers and without much cost. This
was due to the rents being low
and limestone and sea weed
obtainable from the shore where the
occupiers had also two or
three good lime kilns built.
As a result they were said to be 'considerably
well off'. However it was also stated that if their leases
expired the rent would be raised from £1-6-0 to about £2-0-0
per acre per annum.
Thomas Finnegan, born about 1827, was married to a Margaret
Kearney and had at least eight children. When he died he
left a will but besides some confusing wording some of his
children were under age at the time of his death
and so an Administration was taken out by his
widow Margaret. However she died,
within a few years, and before its
completion and so
Administration was granted to their eldest daughter.
From Thomas Finnegan's will his 8 acres and 3 houses and
garden in Templetown Townland was to go to his son John as
well as £300 and two horses?; his son William, when he
became of age, was to inherit the farm in Upper Willville,
Halpenny's house and the house in Whitestown known as the
'potatoe house'', £150 and two horses; his son James was to
inherit 7 acres in Lower Willville and the 6 acres of land
and house where family resided with pub in Whitestown
Village. Provision was made for his widow and it was
intended the family would continue to reside in Whitestown
and James would manage the business until his youngest son,
likely John, came of age.
However, when Thomas died and also
his wife Margaret a few years later, the
son James was under age to obtain the licence for the pub.
The older sister Kate had to
agree to provide a manager until James came of age. James
died in 1901 and his brother William took
over managing the pub. The sister Kate was married to a
Bernard Sloan, a widower and a butcher
in Newry, County Down, and they had about seven
children. By the 1911 census, and after her husband's death,
she and two of her children went to live and work with her
brother William in the pub. William died, in 1928, and was
buried in Kilwirra cemetery in nearby
The above Thomas Finegan was stated to be born about 1827
and if the old headstone in
the above graveyard was erected by him then his
parents, based on details stated to be on headstone,
were Thomas and Catherine and brothers included
James and Patrick who were also mentioned
on the headstone. His mother could
be a Catherine Murphy.
From the Cooley
Registers the children
baptised with parents
Tom [Thomas] Finigan and
baptised March 1813?,
James? Finigan, baptised 18? December 1815,
Mary Finigan, baptised 6 May 1818,
baptised 3 January 1821,
baptised 3 January 1821,
(twin of above);
baptised 23 July 1824, Whitestown and
Tho? Finegan, baptised 30 December 1829?,
In an 1841 census for tenants in
Whitestown, found among
the private papers
of a landlord, this would appear
to be the above family:-
Thomas age 60 (so born about 1781);
Cath (age 54);
James (age 22);
Mary (age 21);
Pat (age 20);
Cath (age 18)
Thos (age 14).
As stated, above, some details in
the Gaelic language appeared on the Cooley Parish registers.
Cooley Parish Registers - Gaelic.
The original registers,
that have been scanned and available on the National Library
of Ireland [NLI] website (registers.nli.ie), are in some
parts difficult if not impossible to read.
For the period 1841 to 1844 the
original entries of baptisms, marriages and burials were all
mixed together at the back of the first register beginning
in 1811. The number of entries also seem small compared to
previous years. In 1909 they were copied, according to the
note below in the Irish language, to the part of the
register where they should have been originally written. At
present (August 2016) these old entries are not among the
scanned images on the NLI website. However they are on the
scanned images of the parish register on
were transcribed in eight pages as another note stated:-
However, the names etc. as
transcribed were incorrectly spelt and the contributions
paid were not listed. See the following. The first are two
of the original baptism entries mixed in with marriage and
burial entries and the next is the transcription of the same
entries inserted in the Baptism Register after 11 December
So if a baptism entry is located, in the index, in the 1841
to 1843 period it would be best to look at the original old
The Baptism Register for
the rest of 1844 to 1846 is mixed up in places and it
appears as though there could be missing entries.
USA - SOURCES.
US Civil War etc. Records.
There were a number of emigrants who left the small
Riverstown Village area of Cooley Parish in County Louth,
settled around Ovid in Seneca County, New York, and fought
in the Civil War. Among them were members of the following
Michael Woods and Anne Malone.
The village of Ovid.
In the 1860 US Census,
above, in the Village of Ovid were Michael Woods, his wife
Anne and some of their children stated to be born in
On the Cooley Parish Register Michael Woods and Anne Malone
married 5 February 1839. The baptism entries of
children found were:-
Peter baptised 28 December 1839,
Arthur (not located around 3 June 1844
- but, as stated above, part of the register appears to be
Anne baptised 24 February 1847,
Mary baptised 13 May 1849, Riverstown.
Since the next son John was stated to be born about 1853 in
Seneca County then the family emigrated sometime between
1849 and 1853.
In the 1870 US Census Michael Woods, age 57 years, a tailor and
labourer, his wife Ann, age 54 years, and son John, age 16
years, were still residing in Ovid. But in November 1879
Michael Woods, a tailor of Ovid, died of consumption.
Could above Michael Woods be the witness to the marriage, in
1839, of Owen Finnegan?.
From a US Record of Soldiers and Officers, in the Military
Service Peter and Arthur Woods joined the Union army (148th
Infantry Regiment) during the US Civil War. Both lived in
Ovid, Seneca County, New York.
Peter was listed as born 29 December 1839, in Ireland, and
parents as Michael Woods, a tailor, and Ann Malone. He
joined the 29 August 1862 and later was promoted to 1st.
In the 1915 census Peter Woods was still
residing in Ovid Village. He may have died about 1920.
Arthur joined the same day, 26 December 1863, as Stephen
Finnegan although in a different regiment. The former's date
of birth was listed as 3 June 1844, in Ireland, and parents
Michael Woods, a tailor, and Ann Malone and the latter as
born 22? May 1843, in Ireland, and parents as Owen Finnegan,
a shoe maker, and Jane Boyle.
The daughter Mary Woods had married a James Donley about
June 1868, and lived in Covert, Seneca County, but died
about 6 months later.
The other daughter Anne/Annie
Woods married a Thomas O'Hanlon, a boiler maker and had
family. They lived in Bristol St., Utica, New
York and maybe the same family that was listed in a trade
directories as manufacturers of steam boilers.
There is an Family Tree on
www.ancestry.com for this family which shows
her husband Thomas
O'Hanlon was also born about 1844 in Ireland the
son of Thomas O'Hanlon and Catherine Malone.
The baptism entries of children of a
Thomas Hanlon/O'Hanlon and Catherine Malone found, in Cooley
Felix Hanlon, 14
November 1823, Castlecarragh;
Rose Hanlon, 3 April 1825, Riverstown;
Mary Hanlon, 1 May 1829, Riverstown;
John Hanlon, 21 October 1831, Riverstown;
Margt O'Hanlon, 8 July 1834, Riverstown;
Loughlin O'Hanlon, baptised 16 March 1837, Riverstown
Thomas O'Hanlon stated born about 1844 (but this part of
Baptism Register is missing).
Again it is likely some of the above Hanlon/O'Hanlon boys
fought in the US Civil War. Mustered out were a Felix Hanlon
born in Ireland about 1821 and also a John Hanlon born in
Ireland that enlisted in Ovid and Romulus. Felix maybe the
farmer listed, in the 1900 Census, as
residing in Ovid.
William McCann and Mary Finnegan.
From the same military
record, as above, was listed 25 December 1863 in the 164th
Infantry Regiment, John McCann of Ovid, born 1838 in
Ireland, the son of William McCann, a labourer, and
Mary Finnegan. He enlisted the day before Arthur Woods and
Stephen Finnegan who also joined the same regiment.
John was stated to be killed instantly at Cole Harbor on 3
June 1864. This was the same day as Michael Finnegan of Ovid
died (see headstone inscription above in Ovid Cemetery).
There was a family of a William McCann and Mary Finnegan in
Cooley and Lordship Parishes. William McCann and Mary
Finnegan, of Riverfoot married 2 July 1835 in Cooley Parish.
Only baptism entry of one child found born in the 1830s. But
other children were born later:-
James McCann baptised 25 April 1839 in
Bridget McCann baptised 21 January 1844 in Lordship Parish
Thos McCann baptised 13 June 1848 in Lordship Parish;
Michl McCann baptised 4 September 1850 in Lordship Parish
Elizabeth McCann baptised 17 March 1853 in Lordship Parish
However, as already stated, the
Lordship Parish Registers only commenced in 1838 so maybe
John McCann was born in late 1837.
In Griffith's Valuation, published in 1854, there was a
William McCann occupying a house and a small garden in
Mountbagnal Townland. Riverfoot was at the south east of
that townland along Dundalk Bay and with the Castletown
River, that separated the townlands of Mountbagnal and
Castlecarragh, on the east. By the first Valuation
Office Revision Book, about 1860, William McCann was no
longer listed for this area.
In the 1870 US Census for
the Town of Ovid there was a William McCanne, a farmer, born
about 1806 in Ireland, his wife Mary born about 1816 in
Ireland and a son Michael McCanne stated to be born about 1851
Mathew Donnelly (Donley) and Ellen Toner.
of Covert, Seneca County, enlisted 31 August 1864 in the
148th Infantry Regiment. He was married, born about 1844 in
Ireland, the son of Mathew Donley, a labourer, and Ellen
There was a Mathew
Donnelly and Ellen Toner, in Castletown Cooley Townland, who
married 27 April 1836 in Cooley Parish.
Only one baptism entry of a child found in that parish:-
Margaret baptised 17 September 1840, Castletown, Cooley.
But, as stated, part of the register, around the mid 1840s,
appears to be missing.
Bernard Feehan and
of Ovid, enlisted 25 August 1864 in the 148th Infantry
Regiment. He was stated to be born 15 April 1846 in Ireland,
the son of Bernhard Feighan, a farmer, and Margaret Caroll.
A Bernard Feehan and Margaret Carroll married in Cooley
Parish on 6 September 1839.
The baptism entries of children of above found, in Cooley
James baptised 16 July 1840, Rathcor;
Elener baptised 5 March 1843, Rathcor.
The Baptism entry of John around 15 April 1846 was not
Andrew McArdle and
of Ovid, enlisted, 20 January 1864 in the 164th Infantry
Regiment. He was married and stated to be born 23 January
1824, in Ireland, the son of Andrew McArdle, a labourer, and
was an Andrew McArdle and Mary Donnelly in Cooley Parish.
Children listed on the Baptism Register included:-
Margaret baptised 12 January 1813, Riverstown;
Ann, baptised 15 April 1819, Castlecarragh;
? baptised 15 December 1821, Castlecarragh (per digital
index, page torn);
Peter baptised 31 January 1824, [Riverstown?];
Sally? baptised 6? May 1826, Ballug?.
James McGee and Margaret McKeown.
A James McGee of Ovid enlisted in the 160th
Infantry Regiment on 31 August 1862. He was the head of the
family, a labourer, and his wife? was Margaret McKone. He
was born in Ireland on 29 September 1820. The military
record stated he was wounded at the Battle of Cedar Creek on
19 October 1864 and died in Newtown Hospital, on 20 October
1864, of his wounds.
Cooley Parish there was a James Magee and Margaret McKeown
residing in the Riverstown area. Baptism entries of children
Bridget baptised 2 August 1842, Riverstown (one of sponsors
was a George Finegan);
Patrick? baptised 7 February 1847, Castlecarragh (mother
listed as 'Mary McKeown).
Michael Toner, a
mason, and Mary Donnely.
John Toner of Ovid
enlisted 31 August 1864 in the 9th New York Artillery
Regiment. He was stated to be born 25 January 1845 in Seneca
Falls the son of Michael Toner, a mason, and Mary Donley.
was a Michael Toner and Mary Donnelly in Castletown-Cooley
A child, to above, baptised, there, was:-
Margaret baptised 29 July 1839, Castletown.
So family emigrated between 1839 and 1845.
A Michael Toner of Ovid,
the above?, enlisted 18 December 1863 in the 148th Infantry
Regiment, born 29 September 1802 in Ireland, the son of Hugh
Toner, a labourer, and Ellen Donely.
The Parish registers for
Cooley Parish only commenced in 1811 but after that date
there are two baptism entries of children to a Hugh Toner
and Ellen Donnelly:-
Patt baptised 24 December 1813?, Castletown, Cooley;
Jane baptised 3 July 1821, Castletown, Cooley.
As seen from above, on
Michael Toner, these US records may provide information on
an Irish person's date of birth and names of parents that
may not be available in Ireland. In addition the occupation
of the father of the soldier can be listed. Again this
latter information, in a number of instances prior to 1864
when civil birth registration began, may not be found in
records in Ireland.
It would seem from the death notice, in the Ovid Bee
newspaper, of the child Thomas Finnegan that Owen was
residing in Ovid by 1855. By 1867, after George Finnegan
left Ovid, Owen was listed, below, in the Child's
Gazetteer and Business Directory of Seneca
County, NY, 1867-8, p.149. (Source: www.ancestry.com).
In the same
Directory he would have seen some advice, for young men, on
'How To Succeed in Business'. (Click to see
Page 91 &
Page 92). I wonder
did it bring to mind his time in Ireland and recall, besides
the natural disaster with the potato crop, the failure of
the public authorities to adequately deal with the problem;
the inability to have any real say in local never mind
national affairs and no matter how hard he worked benefit
would likely accrue to others - the 'enemies to freedom'. It
is small wonder he and his neighbours allowed their young
sons to fight in the Civil War.
I hope the above will be
of some help to descendants researching their family
As well as emigration from along the coast of Lordship and
Cooley Roman Catholic Parishes there was also migration.
Some looked across the bay and saw the "greener pastures"
around Castlebellingham and settled here. By the mid
twentieth century persons of the surname Boyle, Feehan,
Finnegan, McBride and White had settled here.
back to Emigrant page
County Louth page