Place of migration
Migrated to /Born in Canada

Our inquiry is focused on finding our great great grandparents Ann Boylan Kelly and Edward Kelly emigrants from Donagh Parish County Monaghan to Canada in 1839/1840. 

We make this effort jointly between Ann and Edward with the following entry therefore covering both Kelly and Boylan information, in the event that the joint picture assists with locating Ann.

I have made a matching entry under Ann Boylan.

Ann Boylan Kelly (unknown d of b) and Edward Kelly (d of b 1806) emigrated to Prince Edward Island (PEI) Canada, with Edward's mother Mary Kelly, a widow (presumed), and at least 2 of Mary’s other sons, Arthur (b 1819) and John (b 1820). 

All resided and made a living in the Kelly’s Cross area of PEI in and after the 1840s.  We believe that there was only this one Kelly family ‘strand’ originating from the “Mrs. Mary Kelly” documented as being among “the first dozen settler families” in Kelly’s Cross”. Brendan O’Grady, Exiles and Islanders: The Irish Settlers of Prince Edward Island (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), 164. 

Further, from the same source, "The settlers who from 1840 to 1844 moved into the district, which they so fondly named Truagh, were nearly all from the parish of Donagh, in the barony of Truagh, then presided over by Fr. Moynagh."    

Several years of effort to find the townland of origin for Mary Kelly (and Edward) have yielded little success. Chiefly, we are told, this is because we do not know the name of Mary's (assumed late) husband.

However, Edward and Ann called their first son James, and if the naming conventions hold true, Edward's father's name would be James.

The Tithe Applotments for Donagh parish townlands 1826 show that there was a James Kelly in Glaslough, Derryleck, Enagh, and Tonyshandeny - where there was also a Boylan family listed in Tonyshandeny.

Similarly for Errigal Trough parish townlands in 1826, there was a James Kelly in Corclare and Corlattallan.

We do not know if Edward and wife Ann Boylan lived in the same townland as Mary prior to their emigration.

We have not been able to find Ann’s date of birth, nor her record of marriage to Edward Kelly, though the NLI records on micro film covering 2 May 1836 to 28 Feb 1878 for baptisms and marriages (Pos 5574)( film is very poor and illegible in many parts) did list the marriage of an Edward Kelly “of Tydavnet”  in September 1836.  The bride's name is not legible.

We have baptismal records for 2 children believed born to them in 1836 and 1837. 

For the Roman Catholic parish of Donagh, records exist from 1835/6, accessible in the National Library, through Monaghan Genealogy and PRONI.  The NLI records are on microfilm and cover 2 May 1836 to 28 Feb 1878 for baptisms and marriages (Pos 5574).  As noted above, the film is very poor and illegible in many parts. 

The MG records were also checked and two relevant entries were found:

Baptism of James Kelly, 14 June 1838, address Donagh, parish Donagh, sponsors Patrick Boylan** and Rose McMahon

Baptism of Bridget Kelly  28 September 1837, address Donagh, parish Donagh, sponsors Patrick and Margaret Boylan

The location, dates and especially the sponsors names suggest that these may be children of Edward and Ann. 

The parents’ names and townlands are not given. The dates are too close together, however we were told by a genealogy researcher that the MG records are transcripts and that there may be mistakes.

Kelly Records in Griffith's Valuation

Michael and James Kelly - Charles P Leslie, Donagh Parish, Drumnolan Townland

Census of 1901, for Drumnolan, record found for :

James Kelly, Head of family, RC, Read and Write, age 58, Farmer and Widower, born in County Tyrone

Children listed

Margaret, age 19, daughter, farmer, not married, born in Co. Monaghan

Sarah, age 13, daughter, farmer, not married, born in Co. Monaghan

Rose, age 11, daughter, scholar, not married, born in Co. Monaghan

James, age 9, son, scholar, not married, born in Co. Monaghan

Thomas, age 6, son, scholar, not married, born in Co. Monaghan

Jane, age 3, daughter, born in Co. Monaghan

Might this James be a son to the James on the Griffiths Valuation record?

By 1911, there was no record of this family in this area. They might have left altogether OR, in the interval one of the daughters could have married and the land was transferred to her and her husband? If father James still alive in 1911, he could have been residing with the daughter and husband.

Boylans appear to have been in Derryhoosh for some time. There is a Hearth Money Roll (1663 – 1665) for Bryan O’Boylan  (Link 323).

Boylan records in Griffith’s Valuation

Patrick Boylan - Lord Rossmore, Donagh Parish, Derryhoosh Townland

Frances – Marquis of Bath, Donaghmoyne, Rossdreenagh

John and Peter – T EGartlan, Killanny, Shanmullagh

Catherine – E P Shirley, Magheross, Raferagh, Corcreeghagh

Philip – E P Shirley, Magheross, Upper Cloghvally

Thomas - E P Shirley, Magheross, Derrylavan

Thomas - E P Shirley, Magheross, Drumgoan

Patrick - E P Shirley, Magheross, Tiragarvan

Philip – Marquis of Bath, Magheross, Drummond Carrcikmacross

Felix – A Timmins, Magheross, Kilmactrasna

Ellen - E P Shirley, Magheracloone, Derrynaglah

Alice- E P Shirley, Magheracloone, Derrynaglah

Patrick – Patrick Linchey, Barony Cremorne, Aghnamullen, Shankill

Boylans remained in Donagh Parish as there is an inscription in the old Donagh Cemetery referring to the family:

Stone “Erected by Patrick Boylan of Derryhoosh in memory of his beloved son James who departed this life on 28 May 1878 aged 19 years.” Could this be the Patrick Boylan** baptism sponsor of the 2 Kelly children in 1837 and 1838?

Present day DNA research has revealed a relationship between us and a Matthew Boylan, who may have been a brother (or half-brother?) to Ann. The 1841 PEI census for Mary Kelly notes that 2 males in the 16-45 age range emigrated with Mary and other members whom we believe we can account for. Might Matthew have emigrated with Mary, Ann and Edward? He would also settle in PEI and marry Ireland-born Mary McEntee in 1945. 

We would very much appreciate any help that we can get with our research.

In particular we wish to find out about Edward's townland of origin, date of birth, and family who remained in Ireland with living descendents.

We extend our sincere thanks in advance, should someone be able to assist.

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