I’m not related to the Connell family, but found some information about Patrick and his family that you may or may not have. You didn’t mention who Patrick’s mother was in your submission to the XO Chronicles, but I found a copy of his original birth record at the free irishgenealogy.ie website, which shows his mother was Margaret O’Brien. His father, as you had noted, is Patrick Connell. The father’s occupation is recorded as, “Pensioner,” which is an indication that he had been in the British military. Patrick’s, place of birth is spelled either “Lesatunna,” or “Lisatunna” in the birth record. This is the townland which you had mentioned in the XO Chronicles. The IreAtlas Data Base spells the name of the townland as “Lissatunny.” See: https://tinyurl.com/u7z8ddm9
NOTE: Lissatunny is the English spelling for the Irish, “Lios an tSonnaigh,” which translates as “Fort of the Rampart.”
The person who reported Patrick’s birth to the registrar was the father Patrick Connell, of Lesatunna/Lisatunna. I could not make out the full name of the registrar who recorded the birth, but he recorded it in the Gort, County Galway Registration District on 16 April 1877. Patrick’s birth record is number 432 in the register, which you can access after following the prompts at: https://tinyurl.com/yychdx93
At this point I didn’t know if Patrick one of the older or younger children of Patrick and Margaret, and so I looked for Patrick and Margaret’s civil registration marriage record at irishgenealogy.ie. The year of their marriage would be a clue signifying if their son Patrick was an older or younger child.
I found the marriage record showing that Patrick Connell and Margaret “Bryan” were married in the Roman Catholic Chapel of Gort on 11 July 1868. It’s hard to determine Patrick’s age at the time of marriage. At first glance it looks like it could be 50, but also may be 40, or even 30. Margaret’s age looks like 30. At the time of marriage Patrick was a Bachelor and Margaret a Spinster. Patrick’s occupation is “Pensioner,” which is the same occupation recorded in his son Patrick’s 1877 birth record. His residence at the time of marriage was Lissatunny. His father is John Connell, a “Farmer.”
Margaret’s residence is also Lissatunny. Her father is Patrick Bryan. The first name of the priest who married Patrick and Margaret is Michael. I could not decipher his last name. After the priest’s name are the initials, “C.C,” which stand for “Catholic Curate.”
The witnesses to the marriage were Patrick Connell and Catherine O’Dea. Both Patrick and Catherine signed the marriage register with their “mark” in the form of the letter x, which means they could not write. The groom Patrick Connell singed the register with his signature. Catherine signed with “her x mark.” The priest may have signed the marriage record for Margaret and the witnesses. The marriage is the first one in the register at: https://tinyurl.com/fyc6f8wx
The witness named Patrick Connell may have been a cousin to the groom.
Because the marriage took place in 1868, the son Patrick would have been one of the younger Connell children, which means that Patrick and Margaret probably had several children before Patrick was born in 1877.
To find out, I continued the search at irishgenealogy.ie to look for their birth records. One aspect of the search that helped to narrow down finding the birth records was that the births of these children were likely recorded in the Gort Registration District. County Galway at this time had 13 different registration districts, including Gort. Having to search for births in all the registration districts would have made for time consuming work.
Even so, I had to go through several Connell birth records found in the Gort Registration District before uncovering the births of these children. I found that Patrick and Margaret had four older children, with Patrick making the 5th, and youngest child in the family, as far as I could determine.
Below are the first names and years of births of the children, including Patrick, so that you can see the full chronology of the five births:
BIRTH RECORD OF JOHN “CONNORS”
I initially didn’t find John’s birth at irishgenealogy.ie, as his last name is recorded as “Connors” in his birth record. John was born on 11 April 1869 in Lissatunna. His father is Patrick “Connors,” a Farmer residing in Lissatunna. His mother is Margaret, formerly O’Bryan. Patrick reported the birth to the registrar, whose name I could not determine because of the handwriting. The registrar recorded the birth in the Gort Registration District on 15 April 1869. John’s birth is number 238 in the register: https://tinyurl.com/4mxtytwx
BIRTH RECORD OF MARY CONNELL
Mary was born in Lissatunna on 12 May 1870. Her father is Patrick Connell a farmer of Lissatunna. Her mother is Margaret Connell, formerly O’Bryan. Patrick reported the birth to the registrar who recorded Mary’s birth in the Gort Registration District on 14 May 1870. Mary’s birth is number 26 in the register: https://tinyurl.com/2buus34a
BIRTH OF BRIDGET CONNELL
Bridget was born in Lissatunna on 15 August 1872. Her father is Patrick Connell, a farmer living in Lissatunna. Her mother is Margaret Connell, formerly O’Bryan. Margaret, of Lissatunna, reported the birth to the registrar, who recorded the birth in the Gort Registration District on 12 October 1872. Bridget’s birth is number 90 in the register: https://tinyurl.com/5cnyks38
BIRTH OF MICHAEL CONNELL
Michael was born in Lissatunna on 19 October 1874. His father is Patrick Connell, a farmer residing in Lissatunna. His mother is Margaret Connell, formerly O’Bryan. Margaret, of Lissatunna. reported the birth to the registrar who recorded the birth in the Gort Registration District on 17 November 1874. Michael’s birth is the last entry in the register at number 487: https://tinyurl.com/2dhtff4a
BIRTH OF PATRICK CONNELL
1877 as noted earlier.
At this point in the research I had only looked for civil registration records pertaining to the marriage of Patrick Connell and Margaret O’Bryan/Bryan, as well as the births of their children. I now wanted to see if I could find the Gort Catholic Parish marriage record for Patrick and Margaret and the baptism records for their children. To do this I went to the National Library of Ireland’s free website, which holds Catholic Parish registers for Ireland, most of which are for various decades of the 19th century, but some which also go back to 18th and even 17th centuries.
The National Library of Ireland shows that Gort baptisms are available from 30 June 1848 to 2 March 1881. There are likely gaps in the baptism registers however.
Gort marriage records are available from 6 December 1853 to 17 February 1863, which means I could not access the 1868 marriage for Patrick Connell and Margaret Bryan. The National Library of Ireland entry for Gort also shows the alternate name for the Catholic parish is Kilmacduagh and Kiltartan. Kiltartan is actually the Civil Parish in which Lissatunny was situated. For Gort Catholic Parish records availability and a map of the Gort Catholic Parish and surrounding Catholic parishes, go to: https://registers.nli.ie/parishes/0623
BAPTISM OF JOHN CONNELL
The civil registration birth record for John Connell shows he was born on 11 April 1869. With his date of birth I looked for his baptism record for the Gort Catholic Parish at the National Library of Ireland website, and found it. The Gort Catholic baptism registers span two pages for each baptism. On the left had page are the last name and first name of the child, the day and month of birth, the names of the parents, and the residence of the parents at the time of the baptism.
The right-hand baptism register page includes the date of the baptism, the name of the priest who baptized the child, and the names of child’s sponsors, or godparents.
John Connell’s combination birth and baptism is the first entry in the register at: https://registers.nli.ie//registers/vtls000634166#page/22/mode/1up
You can enlarge the register by means of round icons in the upper center/ right of the screen. The icons are white with green backgrounds. You can also access the full-screen function by clicking on the last icon on the right with the two arrows pointing northeast and southwest.
On the left page of the register it looks like John Connell’s birth is 12 April, rather than 11 April, as recorded in his civil registration birth record. To the right of the parents’ names is the residence of the family at the time of the baptism. I had a challenge figuring out what townland they were living in, because it isn’t Lissatunny. After looking at other baptism records where the same townland is recorded, I came to the conclusion that Patrick, Margaret, and John were living in Kilmacduagh, which is not only a Civil Parish, but also a townland and a Catholic Parish. The full name of this Catholic parish is Kilmacduagh and Kiltartan. The Kiltartan Catholic Parish is also known as Gort, as described earlier.
The right-hand page of the baptism register shows John Connell was baptized on April 15. The first name of the priest who baptized him is abbreviated as “Fr,” which in this case I believe does not stand for Francis, but for Father. The last name of the priest is Dwyer. John’s god parents are Edmund Barrett and Margret Connell. Margret may be Patrick Connell’s sister.
BAPTISM OF MARY CONNELL
Mary’s birth record shows she was born on 12 May 1870. A copy of her original Gort Catholic Parish baptism record shows she was born on 12 May, and that the residence of her family was “Lisatuna.” The right-hand page of the register shows she was baptized on 13 May, and that the priest who baptized her was Fr. Considine. Mary’s godparents are Patt Regan and Mary Connell.
Mary Connell’s baptism is number 1359 in the register, 5th entry up from the bottom of the register: https://registers.nli.ie/registers/vtls000634166#page/15/mode/1up
NO BAPTISM FOR BRIDGET CONNELL
Her birth record shows that Bridget Connell was born on 15 August 1872. I looked for but did not find a Gort Catholic Parish baptism record for her at the National Archives of Ireland website. It is possible I missed locating her baptism record.
NO BAPTISM FOR MICHAEL CONNELL
Michael was born October 1874. However, the National Library of Ireland website shows that only Gort baptisms for the months of January, February, March, April, May, and June of 1874, are available.
NO BAPTISM FOR PATRICK CONNELL
Patrick was born in 1877, but Gort Catholic Parish baptisms for the year 1877 are missing.
At the time the Connell children were born, the Gort Parish Church, was also known as the Kilmacduagh and Kiltartan Parish Church. I found that the parish included at least two R.C. Chapels in the 19th century, one in Gort, the other in Kiltartan. Patrick and Margaret Connell may have baptized their children in the R.C. Chapel closest to their home in Lissatunny. With this in mind I needed to see how far Lissatunny was from Gort and from Kiltartan.
A Google Map shows that Lissatunny is 6.1 miles north of Gort. But the road to Gort, which is the R458 road, passes by the Kiltartan Church, just below Lissatunny. See: https://tinyurl.com/bdd2j59z
The next Google Map shows that the Kiltartan Catholic Church, by the shortest modern day route, is 2 miles southwest of Lissatunny, where the Connell family had lived: https://tinyurl.com/3xdzrr6k
Here is a Google Satellite View: https://tinyurl.com/2p99dtw2
The following link will bring you to a Google Street View of the Kiltartan Catholic Church: https://tinyurl.com/3s5hzxbd
Another Google Street View shows the ruins of an old church and graveyard in the foreground on the left side of the road, and the present day Kiltartan Catholic Church in the background, on the right hand side of the road: https://tinyurl.com/ykczek6k
According to the National Inventory of Architectural heritage/Buildings of Ireland website, the Kiltartan Catholic Church dates to 1842, and so would have been in existence when Patrick Connell and Margaret Bryan married in 1868, and when their children were baptized. For more information about the architectural details of the church, and for a slide presentation of the exterior and interior of the church, go to the Buildings of Ireland link at: https://tinyurl.com/k2u9r3b5
Even though the Kiltartan Catholic Chapel was closer to Lissatunny than to Gort, there is always the possibility that Patrick and Margaret were married in the church in Gort, and that their children were baptized there as well.
According to the aforementioned Buildings of Ireland website, the church in Gort is called Saint Coleman’s, and is located in Market Square, in a section of Gort called Ballyhugh. Saint Colman’s was constructed in 1825, and so would have also been in existence when Patrick and Margaret married in 1868, and when their children were baptized. For more information about Saint Coleman’s Catholic Church, and a slide presentation, go to the Buildings of Ireland link at:
For a Google Map of Gort and Saint Coleman’s Church, see: https://tinyurl.com/mvrhmvhy
THE 1901 CENSUS
Following the birth of Patrick Connell in 1877, I next wanted to see if Patrick and Margaret Connell, and any of their children were recorded in the 1901 census of Ireland. The 1901 census counted persons in a household as of Sunday evening, 31 March of that year. I found 78 year old Patrick, his 60 year old wife Margaret, and two of their adult children in the 1901 census, which shows they were the, “Residents of a house 1 in Lisatunny (Kiltartan, Galway).” In this case house 1 does not refer to a house number. It refers to the first house visited by the enumerator to pick up the census form from the Connell household. The enumerator was usually a constable. Kiltartan, in this case, is the DED, that is, the District Electoral Division in which Lissatunny was located.
The 1901 census shows that Patrick was a, “Pensioner and Farmer,” who could not read and write but who could speak Irish and English. His wife Margaret is recorded as a, “Pensioners Wife,” who could read and speak Irish and English. The two children in the household are 24 year old Patrick and 28 year old Bridget. Patrick is shown to be a “Farmer and Pensioners Son,” who could read and write and speak Irish and English. Bridget is a “Pensioner’s Daughter,” who could read and write and speak Irish and English. Both Patrick and Bridget are shown to be single. All in the household were Roman Catholic and were born in County Galway. You can view a transcription of Connell household in the 1901 census at the National Archives of Ireland link at:
Once the census downloads, make sure to tick the box, “Show all information,” to view the full census page.
A copy of the original 1901 census for the Connell household can be accessed at: http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai000823870/
The 1901 census is yet another record showing that the elder Patrick Connell was a “Pensioner.” He is also recorded as a Pensioner in his 1868 marriage record, meaning that by 1901 he had been collecting a pension for 33 years. This is another indication that he was a British Army pensioner.
THE 1911 CENSUS
I was hoping that Patrick and Margaret Connell were still alive and recorded in the 1911 census, as the 1911 census not only shows how many years a couple had been married, but also how many children they had, and how many children were still living at the time the census was taken on Sunday evening, 2 April of that year.
The 1911 census however, shows that Margaret Connell is a 76 year old widow living in the household of her 42 year old son-in-law, John Cooney, and John’s 39 year old wife Bridget Cooney, and their five children. Bridget would be Margaret’s married daughter. The census shows the Cooneys and Margaret Connell were the, “Residents of a house 1 in Lissatunny (Kiltartan, Galway).”
The census also shows that Margaret could read and write and speak Irish and English.
John Cooney’s occupation is “Farmer.” He could read and write and speak Irish and English. His wife Bridget could also read and write and speak Irish and English. The census line for Bridget shows that she and John had been married for 8 years, and in the time had 5 children, with all five children still alive. The five children are in the household include 6 year old Mary; 5 year old Elizabeth; 2 year old Margaret; 1 year old Michael; and Catherine. No age for Catherine is recorded in the transcription which means she was under the age of 1. A copy of the original census however, will include her age. The oldest child Mary is the only one who was a “Scholar,” that is, a student.
The 1911 census further shows that everyone in the household was Roman Catholic and born in County Galway. See the 1911 census transcription from the National Archives of Ireland at the following:
Once again, tick the box, “Show all information,” to view the full census.
A copy of the original 1911 census reveals that Catherine Cooney is 6 months old:
Having ben married for 8 years in 1911 means that the marriage of John Cooney and Bridget Connell would have taken place in 1903. However, if they married in a day and month after 2 April, they may have been married in 1902, and thus married for 9 years in 1911.
I looked for their marriage record at the irishgenealogy.ie website, but didn’t find it recorded in the Gort Registration District or any other Galway Registration District.
It was customary for the priest who performed marriages, to send marriage records to the registrar in the Civil Registration District where the marriage took place, In this case, the priest may not have forwarded the marriage of John and Bridget to the district registrar.
PATRICK CONNELL’S DEATH RECORD
After finding that Margaret Connell was a widow by 1911, I looked for the death record of her husband Patrick at the irishgenealogy.ie website and found it. Patrick died in Lissatunna on 11 August 1908 at the age of 91 years. At the time of death he was an “Army Pensioner.” The cause of death was “gangrene of foot + leg 6 months.” The person who was present at the death and who reported the death to the registrar was Patrick’s daughter Bridget Cooney of Lissatunna. The registrar, J.P. Moran, recorded the death in the Gort Registration District on 15 September 1908. Patrick’s death is number 451 in the register: https://tinyurl.com/5t2dvm3c
If Patrick was 91 when he died in 1908, he would have been born in 1817. Ages in death records, like census records, were not always accurate, and so Patrick could have been born a few years before, or a few years after 1817.
Also, if Patrick was 91 years old when he died in 1908, he would have been 51 years old when he and Margaret Bryan were married in 1868.
At least four records show that the older Patrick Connell was a “Pensioner.” These include his 1868 marriage record; the younger Patrick Connell's 1877 birth record; the 1901 census; and Patrick’s 1908 death record. His death record was more specific in recording that he was an “Army Pensioner.”
When I see a 19th century record that shows a man was a “Pensioner,” there is the possibility he was a “Chelsea Pensioners,” so named after the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London.
If Patrick had been a Chelsea Pensioner, he would have been referred as an “Out Pensioner,” because he did not retire to the hospital in Chelsea, London. For more information about Chelsea Pensioners, see the Wikipedia article at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Pensioner
The National Archives in Kew, Surrey, located west of London, holds military records covering hundreds of years, including Chelsea Pensioner Records. Some of these pension records are online at the National Archives collection called, “Royal Hospital Chelsea: Soldiers Service Documents. These records can be searched for free at:
I looked for Patrick Connell in this collection and found one entry that may possibly refer to him, though he is recorded under the name of Patrick O’Connell, who was born in Galway, and who served in the 40th Regiment of Foot. He retired at the age of 34. See the transcription below:
PATRICK O'CONNELL Born GALWAY, Galway Served in 40th Foot
Reference: WO 97/564/125
Description: PATRICK O'CONNELL
Born GALWAY, Galway
Served in 40th Foot Regiment
Discharged aged 34
Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Closure status: Open Document, Open Description
This is available to download from Findmypast.
As you can see the notation above shows that Patrick O’Connell’s record is available from the Find My Past (FMP) website. This is a subscription website. You can search for Patrick O’Connell in the FMP collection known as, “British Army Service Records,” at:
Keep in mind however, that the National Archives entry and the FMP entry for Patrick O’Connell may not pertain to the Patrick Connell in your line. I also cannot be sure that Patrick Connell was a Chelsea Pensioner, as his death record just states he was an army pensioner.
On the chance Patrick was a Chelsea Pensioner, there are other website where you can search. One is the free FamilySearch website link at: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1952868
The subscription-based Ancestry.com also has a collection called “UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Soldier Service Records, 1760-1920,” which can be searched at: https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/61068/
Also at Ancestry.com: “All UK, Royal Hospital, Chelsea: Regimental Registers of Pensioners, 1713-1882:” https://www.ancestry.com/search/collections/3255/
Another subscription website for UK military service records is the Forces War Records website at:
For information about help finding ancestors who were in the British Army up to the year 1913, go to the National Archives link at:
There are also several fee-based independent researchers who can search for Patrick Connell’s military records at the National Archives in Kew. A list of these researchers can be found at: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/irlist/default.asp?action=1&slctcat…
MARGARET CONNELL’S DEATH RECORD
Margaret died in Lissatunna on 15 August 1913 at the age of 75 years. At the time of death she was a “widow,” and a “Farmer’s Wife.” The cause of death was “Debility 9 months. No medical attendant.” The person who was present at her death and who reported the death to the assistant registrar was her daughter, Bridget Cooney of Lissatunna. The assistant registrar, W.F. Russell, recorded Margaret’s death in the Gort Registration District on 5 September 1913. Margaret’s death is number 336 in the register at: https://tinyurl.com/4e7uck5c
Margaret Bryan/O’Bryan and Patrick Connell will not have Gort baptism records, as the Gort baptisms are available only to 1848. They would have both been born before 1848, based on their ages in the their marriage record, in the 1901 census; and their death records. There is also the possibility they were born and baptized in another Civil Parish and Catholic Parish, in which case you would need to know their Catholic parish of birth to see if any baptism records are available for them.
With Kind Regards,