Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tooa and Dooraa in County Monaghan

HUGE discovery for me and I'm excited.

A couple of years ago I uncovered the ship record for my great grandfather, Patrick Finnegan. I never even knew what county my maternal Finnegan's came from until this ship record. Listed on the record was County Monaghan and beside it was Castleblayney. I was thrilled. The other thrilling moment came when I noted that he was travelling from Ireland to the United States to meet his sister, Mary Finnegan. I never even knew he had siblings.

I have searched and searched Castleblayney to no avail. I did have Patrick's birthdate and the name of his parents, Peter Finnegan and Mary Boyle. There were no marriage/birth records in Castleblayney. I dropped this search then. I was so frustrated especially with the spelling switching back and forth from Finegan to Finnegan.

Within the past year, I started to explore this side of the family again but I have been busy and not really concentrating on genealogy. I did uncover that Patrick Finnegan's sister Mary married his Larkin brother-in-law. So, how did this side of the family go missing to my side of the family when we had two connections now??? So puzzling!

Thank you to the Irish Archives. They have completed their scan project and the 1901 and 1911 Census records are online now. I jumped on last night and within hours I had my answers and my family's townland, as well as more siblings and Boyle uncles.

Was my great grandfather incorrect when he put Castleblayney as his last residence on the ship record? No. He just happened to list the name of the Poor Law Union he resided in which was Castleblayney.

He actually lived in Tooa, Ballytrain, County Monaghan in the Aughnamullen Parish. Yahoo! I found Peter and Mary Boyle, his parents. His siblings: Peter, Catherine and John along with himself, Patrick. In the 1911 Census records, Catherine and John were still living on the family farm with their uncle, Francis Boyle. Now, when I went backwards for Francis into the 1901 Census records, I found another brother, Hugh Boyle.

Where was the Boyles family farm? It was in Dooraa, Ballytrain, County Monaghan within the same Aughnamullen Parish.

If you still had family living in Ireland during 1901 and 1911, the Irish Archives is a great resource. Check it out: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie

Colleen Degnan Johnson

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