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Connaghans of Carrowtrasna, Gartan

 

This information was compiled by Bernadette and forms part of the Donegal Genealogy Resources Website

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JOHN CONAGHAN (c.1850- 1918)

 

Circa 1850 He was born in Carrowtrasna.  His parents were Catherine  (?) TREARTY and Patrick(? ) CONAGHAN . This is unconfirmed as there are no existing records. ( Many records-for example,  all Census records prior to 1901  were lost when the Records Office was burnt in the troubles of 1922 and  birth certificates only came into existence in 1864). Patrick was a farmer in Carrowtrasna in  1857 ( source Griffiths Valuation) .

31st March 1901 - Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland. John says he is 51 He can't read & write and is a farmer. He speaks Irish & English. His house has some walls,  a perishable roof ( so a thatched or wooden roof), two windows and 3 outhouses- a stable, a piggery and cowhouse.  There were 7 people living in two rooms.    

After June 1901 he lost his house.  Margaret Nelis( John J.Connaghan's daughter ) said that John Conaghan had stood bail for someone- as a sort of property guarantee and lost property this way. He borrowed money and couldn't pay it back. Other sources said he lost the house through playing cards. This is why his older daughters, still living at home had to leave for the USA ( Ann & Grace) and his sons had to go to Scotland to work to help pay back the bondsman.  The story seems to hold up as they moved home at that time and there are subtle differences between their houses in 1901 and 1911

2nd April 1911 - Census Night House no. 12. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.

House no 12.  The name is now written as CONNAGHAN ( the spelling adopted by all the children) .  John states age as 70 ( compared to 51 in 1901 Census) perhaps to obtain the State Pension that was introduced in 1908 for which you had to be 70- he was, in fact, probably only 62!). He is now a widower. He cannot read or write. He speaks Irish & English. His daughter Bridget witnesses his mark...

He lives in a stone house with a perishable roof ( thatch, or wood) it has 2 windows at front , 2 rooms 7 occupants, 2 outbuildings(1 cowhouse & 1 shed) ( so compare to 1901 Census)  3rd class house ( lowest class).( FormsA,  B1 & B2)

 Again there were 7 people living in two rooms , though one was his grandson, Joseph Callaghan and a boarder 80-year-old Fergle Bradley. Apparently there was a story about Mary Connaghan ( a distant relative) being his alibi for an IRA  murder.  This man & his family were linked to the Derryveagh Evictions (this was when Catholic Tenants in the Derryveagh/Gartan area were evicted  to put Protestants in their place. – The Conaghans are related to Knocker Kelly one of the Derryveagh Evictees through the marriage of a cousin. )

21st March 1918 he died at Carrowtrasna, Present at death: Bridget Connaghan his daughter

Occupation: farmer,  aged 64 (His age is most certainly incorrect. He would have been around the age of 68- I’m pretty sure it didn’t matter what age you were- and that the children didn’t know the real age of their parents ( see Grace’s death)) It is stated that he is a widower. Reg 9 Pg.21 Ent: 102 Registered 28th March 1918

 

  

GRACE DOHERTY  c.1855- 1901

 

Circa 1855 she was born in Carrickatimpan. This is unconfirmed as there are no existing records. She was the daughter of Mary(?) McGINLEY and William(?) DOHERTY the (first names are not certain, but gleaned from Helen Doherty’s notes and through James McMonagle )

Married after 12th March 1870 as she registers the birth of her brother in Carrickatimpan, and she is still called by her maiden name,  Grace Doherty ( source Lindel- Gartan Website), the marriage with John must have been after this date.

 

Married by 20th March 1871 for the birth of her first child, Catherine. There is no official trace of John Conaghan and Grace Doherty marrying.

 

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.  She states her age as 45 and describes herself as a farmer's wife. She speaks Irish & English and cannot read or write.. She had 12 children with John.

 

5th June 1901 She died at Carrowtrasna.  The witness was Bridget Connaghan, her daughter who was present at death. She states that  Grace was aged 40 but maybe she didn't know her mother's true age ( see notes on John-) this would have made her 12 at the time of Catherine’s birth!... The death register says Grace was married at the time of her death. (. Death reg. 7 Pg.21 Ent: 101.) This was registered  on 10th June 1901 Apparently she died of ‘pneumonia’.

Sarah Ellen Conaghan( her 8-year-old daughter) said she was screaming as they took the body out- she wasn’t allowed to go to the funeral, but remembers beating on the window as they took her away. ( source Teresa McCluskey)

 

  

Catherine (Kate) 1871-1956

 

20th March 1871.  The birth register No. 2 Page 80 entry 396 registered, Glendone,(Glendowan) Letterkenny, Co Donegal . The dwelling of father & mother is CHURCHTOWN

Notes from Margo Connaghan *(I spoke to my grandmother Maggie (Margaret McConnellogue who married Willie Connaghan) about the notes I had made approximately 4 years ago.  Granny explained that the landlord moved John and Grace from their holding in Churchtown and the bailiff replaced them with a Protestant tenant as it was felt that John and Grace were prospering too well in their tenancy!)

Marriage 13th May 1891 to Patrick Callahan (1870-1956) of Whitehill

Father’s name : John CUNAGHAN. Townland Gartan Priest: Rev. Sheridan . Witness Catherine Gallagher.

Prior to 1895 She went to Scotland before her sister Mary. ( source Teresa McCluskey)

“Granny said that they lived in Derrora, then in Churchill, and that Kate kept a spotless house, and I think they went to Clydebank, Glasgow and then on to the US” ( Margo’s Notes).

Left Liverpool 14th February and arrived at Ellis Island New York, USA, 22nd February 1925

Arrived aboard the 'Cedric' , White Star Lines, 3rd Class ( Steerage passengers). She had a passport. ( not everyone did) and boarded the ship in Liverpool. Her last residence  had been in Uddingston, Scotland. Her ticket, however, had been purchased in Glasgow.

The immigration documents state Catherine's maiden name as 'Connaghan' ( source- James Callahan's naturalisation papers)

She prayed in Irish and spoke it, having been raised in a gaelic-speaking household. She liked snuff  and a wee drink. She was a lively friendly lady. ( source Grace Manuel)

She & Patrick had 10 children.

16th July 1956 She died in Philadelphia, USA.

 

 

Patrick 1874-1875

 

8th January 1874 , he was born at Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

Birth register no 3 page 55 entry: 274 registered 23rd February 1874

 

6th July 1875 He died at Carrowtrasna. He drowned 'in the bog' aged 16months... A coroner's inquest  was ordered.

His father  is cited as 'lower class of farmer' . The Coronors report states that he died of 'accidental drowning' at Carrowtrasna- “information received from the coronor from the county”. registered 12th August 1875 ( entry 217) Churchill, District of Letterkenny.

Apparently Grace was busy ( with her new baby Bridget?) and Patrick wandered off. ( source Margaret Nelis)

 

 

Bridget 1875-58

 

1875 Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.

Aged 24- farmer's daughter.  Speaks Irish & English and can read & write.

2nd  April  1911- Census Night House no. 12. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.

House no 12. Aged 30 (so she trimmed a few years off her age!) and profession is stated as trhat of a knitter.

The family had moved house after Grace died in 1901 – this was proved by the description of the house.

Apparently, as a child, she was kicked by a cow and walked with a limp. Like her sister Kate she also used snuff, apparently she used to keep it in her apron. . She was living with her father when he died and then kept house for her brothers until they married.

After their respective marriages,  she cooked for a neighbour Barney McKew and was a particularly  good baker ( source Margaret Nelis)

22nd November 1958- Died in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

She died aged 83 years. Her profession is stated as that of a housekeeper, her brother John Connaghan  was present at death . Reg 12, pg. 137. Ent: 182, Registered 27th November 1958.

She never married and had no children.

 

 

Mary 1878-1956

 

14th June 1878 Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

Birth register no. 5 Page 28 entry no. 136. She was registered on 4th July 1878 ( John, her father, registered her birth. He couldn’t sign the register – it says-‘his mark”)

 

Circa 1893 Went to Scotland Left Gartan to go to work in Glasgow in Service, the family she worked for never paid her,  so she joined her sister Kate in Uddingston. She ‘waited all day on the window-ledge for her sister to return home’. ( source Teresa McCluskey) Great friend of Jessie Killop ( who married her husband’s brother, Patrick Murphy).  She met her in Uddingston  where they both worked in service, and Sarah Conaghan knew her as well.

 

10th November 1895 Married Peter Murphy of Oghill, Longford, Ireland at St. John Baptist's Church, Uddingston, Scotland. Witnesses James Mailey and Sarah Kelly.

 

31st March 1901- Census Night aged 22 and married. She was living at Old Mill Road, Uddingston, Lanarkshire,Scotland with her 3-year-old son John, one-year old daughter, Grace and a lodger, Frank O’Neill.

4th May 1928 Peter died in a mining accident- the family was planning to go to the USA to join Kate. Peter had applied for his birth certificate in 1924 in readiness for this. Two girls (Margaret and Mary-Ann) had already left for the USA. After the accident Mary preferred to stay in Scotland. After a long fight with the owners of the Bothwell Park Quarry and Brickworks she received £200 compensation for Peter’s life and with this took a lease out on a sweet ( candy) store in Old Mill Road ( now the Bellshill Road) which didn’t make any profit as the children used to eat all the sweets!

She had 13 children of which only 9 survived into adulthood.

She went to the USA twice to see her sisters and her daughters who had moved there.. “ she went an old woman and came back young” , according to Sarah, her sister.

13th January 1956 at 2.35 pm, She died of Pneumonia at 11, Crofthead Street, Uddingston, Lanarkshire, Scotland

 

 

 

Ann 1880-1947

 

28th October 1880, Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

Birth register 5 page 90 entry: 448 Mother Grace Doherty ( her mark) informed registrar.. Registered 11th November 1880

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.

aged 20, speaks Irish & English and can read.

Circa 1903 Went to the USA between 1901- 1904 according to Dolan relatives.  Her sister Grace was on a ship in 1903 so she probably went to the USA on same trip

26th April 1905 Married John Dolan (born in England) at St. Vincent de Paul Church, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Her name is written as Annie CUNNINGHAM. She had 11 children.

1924 Her husband died.

She was a warm welcoming woman who was often the first port of call for people coming from Ireland to the New World. To earn a little extra cash she kept chickens-  in the kitchen! ( source Mrs Mary Dolan)

February 1947 she died and is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham PA. USA

 

 

 

Margaret 1882-1918

 

10th December 1882  Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

Birth : Reg no 6 p. 36 Entry: 177, Registered 28th December 1882

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.  It states that she is aged 18, speaks Irish & English and can read & write. ..

2nd  April  1911- Census Night House no. 12. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland. She is called Maggie, aged 28 can read & write but doesn't work...(She could have been ill by this time) . She never married and had no children

26th September 1918-  Death in Carrowtrasna. Witness: Bridget CONNAGHAN ( sister?)  present: Death Reg; 9 page 25 entry22  'died of pneumonia'- according to relatives (perhaps the Spanish influenza that raged through Europe after World War 1?.) However, as she didn’t work it would imply she was ill for some time, though she had schooling. . Registered 3rd October 1918

 

 

Grace 1885-1970

 

23rd February 1885, Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland ,

26th February 1885,  Baptism- NAME:  CUNAHAN, Sponsors : James Doherty & Margaret Doherty  ( uncle& aunt). Priest: Rev. P Dunlevy, Parish Register: Termon & Gartan Roman Catholic  Parish Church

 

1st April 1885,  Official Birth Reg no 6, page 84 Entry: 417Registered: 16th April 1885 . The difference in the two dates can be explained. Catholic families would always baptize the child shortly after birth ( usually 3 days). However, the law insisted that children were registered within 2 weeks of birth. Her mother may have not been able to do so, and would have been fined if it were known she was late in registering. ( source Registrars Office, Dublin) 

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland. Grace was not at home on census night- perhaps working or staying with relatives?

 

1903 Ellis Island NY USA, Grace Conaghan from Donegal aged 17 on Passenger list.

1907 She married William Minor . She married and had 3 children and the family moved to Massachusetts.

Thanksgiving Day, so, November 1970, She died in the USA

 

 

John Joseph 1887-1969

 

31st March 1887-Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

 

Baptised on 3rd April 1887. Name spelt: CUNNAGHAN. Sponsors: Joseph Doherty, Anne Doherty, ( uncle& aunt?)  , Priest: Rev. P Dunlevy

15th April 1887 Official Birth  Reg ; 7 page 21 entry: 104 Registered 5th May 1887. ( see note re. Grace, about late registering)

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland. Aged 14 can read & write speaks Irish & English and is at school.

2nd  April  1911- Census Night House no. 12. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.House no 12. He is aged 25, and he states his profession as a farmer's son- He worked on the family farm.  

Early  1900s-Went to Scotland to work in the mines in Uddingston, with his brother Willie.

19th February 1924 Marriage to Margaret Anne Rodden at Glendowan Chapel , Churchill, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, Ireland Witnesses: William Connaghan & Rosey Boyle

 They had 6 children. He worked the farm and later moved the stones from the old house ‘The Bottoms’ in Carrowtrasna, up the hill to build his own home ( now that of Willie Connaghan)

11th April 1969  Died at Carrowtrasna

 

 

William 1889-1990

 

7th June 1889 Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland

9th June 1889 Baptism  at Gartan Name Spelt: CUNNAGHAN Sponsors: Michael Doherty (uncle)& Catherine Cunnahan ( Sister) Priest: Rev. Dunlevy

29th June 1889 Official Birth  - a different date from baptismal registers Reg 7 page 63 and entry: 312 Registered 15th July 1889 . ( see note re. Grace, about late registering)

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland he was not living at home, but a servant for Bernard Connaghan aged 50-farmer's bailiff and his sister Annie.  Bernard Connaghan is aged 40- neither person can read. However, William aged 14 can read.

He was working away from home when his mother died...he’d been to a ‘hiring or rabble fair’ which took place twice a year in Letterkenny, in May and November. Children were sent away to work on farms . and were only paid at the end of their stint. The fact that the family didn’t tell Willie his mother was dead was certainly because they feared that he would leave his job without being paid. He learnt about her death crossing the main square in Letterkenny, from someone who told him. ( source Obituary- Charlie Doherty). Grace died on 1st  June 1901

2nd  April  1911- Census Night House no. 12. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland. House no 12.  He was not at home on Census night, probably working away from home or perhaps already in Scotland

Early 1900s-Went to Scotland to work in the mines in Uddingston, with his brother John.

He had a fine singing voice and would often entertain his family this way.

5th June 1930 He married Margaret McConologue. She was aboput to leave for the USA, and at a party given the night or so before she left, Willie asked her not to go. He was in his early 40s when they married. They had 7 children.

30th September 1990 ( aged 101) he died at Rathdonnell farm, Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

 

 

James 1891-1891

 

7th June 1891 Birth at Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland Reg 7 page 99 entry: 492

Registered 2nd July 1891

15th June 1891 Died at Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland Died at 8 days

Death reg: 5 Pg. 88 Entry 437. Registered 2nd July 1891. Both the birth and death were registered the same day by Grace, his mother.

 

 

Sarah Ellen 1892- 1968

 

5th July 1892 Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland Margaret Doherty  ( wife of James Doherty, Grace's sister-in-law ) was present at birth- she was the witness. Reg: 8 Page 17 Entry: 84 registered 18th July 1892

31st March 1901- Census Night House no. 1. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland. Aged 8, can read and she is at school.

2nd  April  1911- Census Night House no. 12. Carrowtrasna, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal Ireland.

House no 12. aged 20. Profession Knitter , she can read & write  and also speaks Irish & English

Circa 1915 Married John Heggarty of Ballymena, a Protestant . He apparently met Sarah in Letterkenny at the market, while selling farm implements. They went to live in Ballymena, County Antrim ( a Protestant stronghold)  where Sarah had to keep quiet the fact that she was a Catholic. Apparently she was ‘drummed out’ of town-( the Orange Order beat drums “until the china fell off the walls”) when it was discovered she was Catholic.  Her mother-in-law warned her to flee and she saw the house burning as she fled. ( Source Teresa McCluskey).

They placed the children in Gartan with her brothers and sister and left for Scotland, picking up the children again in the early 1920s.

October 26th 1916 Birth of first son, John.

14th May 1917 Baptism of John Heggarty . Sponsors were William & Bridget Conaghan ( aunt & uncle)

Apparently, Willie and Bridget had to go to Ballymena to get John and have him baptized. He was baptized in Gartan. The extract from the Parish register indicates this as well as the lapse in time from the birth to the baptism.

Sarah & John  had 7 children. John converted to Catholicism in the late 1920s early 1930s ( source Teresa McCluskey)

7th June 1968 Died in Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

 

 

 

Michael 1894-96

 

17th November 1894 Birth in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co Donegal. Ireland Reg 8 Pg.  59 entry: 291.Registered 10th December 1894

25th November 1894, Baptized in Gartan. Name Spelt: CONNEGHAN . Sponsors: James Kelly and Susan Kelly Priest: Rev. J Sheridan

1st March 1896 Died in Carrowtrasna, Churchill, Co. Donegal, Died at 15 months.- ( ‘pneumonia’ according to Margaret Nelis- ‘measles’ according to Margo's notes) . Witness: Bridget Conaghan - sister ( cited as farmer's son)

Death Reg: 6 Pg. 50 Entry 246   Registered 23rd March 1896

 

 

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