Place of migration
Migrated to/Born in USA

Daniel McGeehin was my great grandfather. He was born in Ireland ca.1852 and emigrated to the United States ca.1872. I believe that he came over aboard the Europa (Moville - New York) on 29 Apr 1872. Likely, he had a job lined up in the anthracite coal mines in Ebervale, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. He was a coal miner there for nearly all his remaining life. He died at age 49 in 1901 and is buried in St. Gabriel’s cemetery, Hazleton, Pennsylvania.

Daniel married Mary Ann Boyle (B: 1858, Luzerne County, PA) about 1875. They had fifteen children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. 

My search for Daniel’s viral records has been fruitless. He lived in a window of time where records were either not kept or didn’t survive. He was almost certainly born in County Donegal, with Lettermacaward, Inishkeel, or Templecrone the most likely parishes. I base this on my DNA research. I have many DNA matches to McGeehins (the surname is more commonly spelled McGeehan) from these localities. 

Alas, I have no information about Daniel’s parents or his siblings.

I’m actively seeking to fill in the knowledge gaps surrounding my great grandfather. I would love to hear from you if you have something to share. 

Additional Information
Date of Birth 1st Jan 1852 (circa)
Date of Death 16th Nov 1901
Names of Children Daniel J (1876), John (1878), Bridget (1879), Hannah (1881), Fanny (1883), Mary Ellen (1885), Edward & Katherine (twins: 1887), Annie (1888), Bernard (1890), Andrew (1892), Peter (1894), Julia (1895), Frank (1899), Alice (1901)
Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname) Mary Anne Boyle
Place & Date of Marriage St. Gabriel's Church, Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, ca. 1875
Occupation Coal miner
Place of Death Hazleton, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania
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  • It is frustrating searching family prior to easily available public records, here are a few things I will usually try. Find a McGeehan sibling of Daniel by searching obituaries in his location (emigrants at that time period usually already had family here or some that joined them later) and the Baptismal sponsors of his children. Hopefully a younger sibling of Daniel's ( they had large families) will appear that was born after Civil Records commensed (1864).  It looks like Daniel was born right around the time of the Griffith's Valuation (1855-59 in area you are searching) and that record is often used as a Census substitute, most likely his father would appear in that record. For  example if that is the correct passenger list you cited it looks like he was traveling with two older brothers, John 23 & William 25 (they likely all resided close to each other here) and since William appears to be the oldest you can take a chance he is named after his father (however more commonly after their gfather). If that was the case the GV records lists 100 McGeehan households in Donegal but only one to a William (Lettermacward, townland  Commeen), I did not see any "William" McGeehans in the 1833 Tithe record but did not check all spelling variations.  Certainly no "smoking gun" but perhaps you can keep that townland in mind in case some future discovery points that direction as well.

    John Dougherty

    John Dougherty

    Thursday 5th August 2021 06:02PM
  • John -- thank you for your response. You raise excellent points. I have considered all of them. In addition to the challenges that the era presented in finding vital records, I am faced with another daunting challenge: there are numerous Daniels living in the vicinity of my great grandfather. Indeed, there were three Daniels living in the same town of Ebervale. None of them with middle initials. And there was a fourth living a few miles away. Three of the Daniels married Marys, two of them Mary Anne Boyles (which is my great grandmother’s maiden name). 

    Most of the McGeehans that came before Daniel have well-known family trees. I haven’t found any newspaper accounts that connect them. 

    Regarding the Europa manifest, I agree with your theory that the John that accompanied Daniel could be his brother. There were two distinctly possible Johns in Daniel’s community. I’m still working on that. The most likely John is problematic because his wife Ann’s obit stated that they were married and came over together ca. 1878. Which makes sense as their first born in the 1880 census is only one year old. However, there is an “Ann McGee” (with a squiggly line after the ee) just above John on the manifest. Who knows? That could be John’s wife. The newspaper account may have gotten the date wrong. Although that would mean that they didn’t start having children for 5-6 years after their arrival. 

    As for the William on the manifest, there is a “?” where the surname should be. I’m doubtful that he was a McGeehan. Or at least I have not found a William that fits the bill in the region. 

    I have all the baptisms for Daniel and Mary Anne’s children. John and Ann are godparents for child #10. That child is tied to another interesting McGeehan named Bernard. He died in a mining accident in 1890. The newspaper article stated that “his cousin Daniel McGeehan was standing next to him.” But one of the other Daniel McGeehans also worked in the mines (as a watchman), so if he was the Daniel in the gangway (near the entrance to the mine), then that frees up my Daniel to be Bernard’s brother, instead of his cousin. Bernard was clearly important to the family. He was the godfather for child #1. And a month after the accident, Mary Anne gave birth to #10. They named him Bernard. 

    Finally, I did look at Griffith’s Valuation records. In addition to the William you found, there is a John in Derryleconnel Near, Lettermacaward. 

    The search continues…

    Thanks again for the advice.


    Thursday 5th August 2021 07:13PM
  • I am assuming the Daniel McGeehan (wife Mary) appearing in the 1870 Hazle Twp Census and listed in Ancestry trees as from Boyoughter, Lettermacward is not your Daniel? Can you give me the URL for the ship's passenger record as I want to look at that again?


    John Dougherty

    Friday 6th August 2021 12:56PM
  • I believe that that Daniel is Daniel the mine watchman who by 1880 lived near my great grandfather in the small company town of Ebervale (also in Hazle Township). The others listed in the 1870 census were boarders, neither McGeehans nor Quinns (Mary's maiden name). Daniel and Mary also had boarders in the 1880 census along with an adopted daughter. His parents were Edward (John) and Mary (Ann) from Boyoughter. I have a dna connections to this family. Here is the link on Ancestry to Daniel's 1872 Europa manifest:…. Thanks for your help, John.



    Friday 6th August 2021 02:01PM
  • John, I should have noted that there is good reason to believe that the other Daniel's family came from Derryleconnell Near, not Boyougher as claimed on some Ancestry trees. Daniel's sister Susan McGeehan Lockman's 1904 obit specifically mentioned that she came from Derryleconnell. It also mentioned that she had siblings Patrick, Mary, and Bridget still alive in Ireland. Daniel and Susan's brother Hugh also had Patrick in his 1903 obit, but not Mary or Bridget. There is a Patrick aged 64 in the 1901 census in Derryleconnell Near. (Just to muddy the waters, though, there is also an 80 year old Patrick in Boyoughter.) I was not able to find Mary or Bridget in the census. 


    Friday 6th August 2021 02:33PM
  • Jack,

    The Tithe Applotment Record for Lettermacward lists 19 McGeehan households and I strongly suspect they were all related so various DNA hits would be expected. Here is a good refresher article on DNA cousins

    "Chain Emigration" to the coal fields was very common and I would not be surprised if all those McGeehan you are looking at were sibling/cousins. My gut feeling on the Europa Passenger list is that "Wm" is a family member (perhaps not a brother but definetely closely connected). In general, William is an uncommon forename in Donegal but seems to appear in certain families.  Take a look at this list of Lettermacward McGeehan deaths and see how William fits in with these families,       Deaths Registered in Dungloe, Templecrone, Donegal 1864-1870 (

    And if you have not seen this,       McGehhans & Bonners of Derryleconnel, Lettermacaward, Co Donegal (

    Are you on Ancestry?  My grandfather, Patrick Boyle was from Maas, Glenties which is very close to Lettermacward.


    John Dougherty

    Friday 6th August 2021 03:14PM
  • John,

    I agree about the chain migration. The Daniel (mine watchman) and his brother Hugh along with a third brother James were pioneer Mcgeehans in Luzerne County, PA. They emigrated upwards of a decade earlier than my Daniel. I have little doubt that they were cousins that helped facilitate my great grandfather's decision to come over. There are a few other families as well that I have my eye on. I'll do more digging in the directions that you recommend and get back to you with my findings. Thanks so much for your help!

    Yes, I am on ancestry. Was your grandfather Patrick Boyle (1841-1925) from Maas? I imagine if we dug around a bit, we would find a connection to my great grandmother Mary Anne Boyle. Her father was John D Boyle (B: 1838, Ireland; D: 1908, Luzerne Co, PA) and his father before him was John (B: 1815, D: 1889, Ireland). 



    Friday 6th August 2021 08:06PM
  • Jack,

    Can you give me the name your tree is under on Ancestry so I can take a look (mine dougherty177). Patrick Boyle (1841-1925) was my great grandfather and his son, Patrick Francis Boyle (1872-1953) was my grandfather.  Their property in Maas backed up to the Gweebarra Bay and it was just a short distance to Dooey, Letterwacward so I suspect it is possible our Boyle families connected somewhere in the past, they could not travel far for courting in those days.  There is a rather long story (The Patrick Francis Boyle History) on the Gallery pages of my Boyle grandparents you might find interesting when you have time. I did take another look at the Europa passenger list regarding the mysterious "Ann M'Gee" above your family and my reading is that it said Ann McCue (AKA McHugh).  Note the "C" on the Daniel M'Cole a few lines above, it is very similar to what you are reading as a "G".




    John Dougherty

    Saturday 7th August 2021 03:55AM


    You might be right about "Ann McGee" being "Ann McCue" on the manifest. The individual who transcribed the names had Gs that were indistinguishable from Cs. In many ways it would be better for me if this woman was not Ann McGee...and by extension Ann McGeehan, John's the timing doesn't make sense for their arrival. There is another John from Hazleton, PA that also fits the bill, and he could be Daniel's brother. John Joseph McGeehan. This John was also a miner. His parents were Edward McGeehan and Mary McKelvey from Meenderryherk Glebe, Boylagh, Tempecrone. The only problem with this theory is that his tree is pretty fleshed out on Ancestry and no one has Daniel as his brother. But there appears to be room for Daniel on the tree chronologically. I have my most dna connections through this clan. Seven at this time. 

    I am about to send you an invitation to view my private Ancestry tree. It's not as fleshed out as I would like yet. Sadly, Ancestry does not find dna between us. 



    Saturday 7th August 2021 12:38PM
  • My family tree includes

    • Patrick McGEEHAN 1853-1953 md Mary Anne Doherty 1864-1908
      Patick was born in Glenleehan near Fintown. He died at Drimnaha.
      they had 11 children - 3 of whom emigrated to Pennsylvania: 
    •        Patrick 1886-1961
    •        Connel  1889-1948
    •        Rose  1908-1976
    • Edward McGEEHAN 1864-  at Derryleconnel   His parents were Pat McGeehan & Mary Huston
      He married Catherine Brennan in Pennsylvania.
      Catherine's parents were amongst a large contingent of west Donegal folk who emigrated to Pennsylvania. Many settled in Luzerne county.


    Saturday 14th August 2021 08:36AM
  • Hello,

    I have dna connections to all the people you mention but no understanding as to how they fit on my tree. 

    I think that Patrick's parents were Connel and Mary Duffy. Connel may be "Condy" (66) in the 1901 census living with his sister Bridget (60) in Drumnaha. If so, there was also a Patrick and Mary living a couple of houses away. Do you know when the younger Patrick came over to Pennsylvania? I'm guessing after 1910. I haven't found him in a census.

    I believe that Pat McGeehan & Mary Huston in Derryleconnel had a daughter Hannah as well. Hannah emigrated to Ontario, Canada and married James McNulty. As for Edward, there is an Edward & Kate in the 1900 census in Luzerne County but the numbers are screwy. He said he was born in 1864 but that he is 56 years old. He also gives his immigration year as 1870. So, either the numbers are wrong or it isn't him. All the other Edwards in Luzerne County at that time are well documented.

    Do you have an Ancestry tree? You can message me there. I would love to continue this discussion. My Ancestry user name is mcgeehin751894.



    Saturday 14th August 2021 04:00PM
  • My husband's name is John Joseph McGeehan, born in the early 1960s and his father was Francis McGeehan born in 1925. We believe his father was also a John McGeehan. We have family that traced our family back to Glentries But don't have much more information.


    Friday 22nd July 2022 04:57PM
  • Hello McGeehanbymarriage,

    Thanks for reaching out. Can you tell me where your husband was born and where he grew up? That would help to narrow down which McGeehan clan he comes from. Also, do you know if your husband's grandfather John came over from Ireland or was it an even earlier generation?




    Friday 22nd July 2022 05:56PM

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