1st January 1860
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Stories from my 2nd great grandfather

My 2nd Great Grandfather, Tadgh “Tady” Coyne and family came from Ballynakill Parish in western Galway. His parents were John and Ellen “Nellie” (Walsh) Coyne.. He had 3 siblings that I know of as they all came to live in Marcellus, NY. Patrick is the oldest I know of born about 1813. HE and his wife, Mary (also Coyne) had two children before they let Ireland in about 1850 Sarah Coyne married Philip Gannon in Ballynakill and came to Marcellus in 1854. Rodger Coyne married Ann Gannon (sister to Philip) and came over in mid 1850’s.

The Gannons and Coynes were neighbors in Ross and Tievegarriff townlands. Tady arrived here in March of 1862 with his wife, Catherine Lydon and my great grandfather, John Francis and his younger sister Bridget. Catherine’s parents were Patrick and Bridget (Coyne) Lydon in the same area around Moyard. Catherine’s sister Jane Lydon married Thomas Thornton in 1869 in Ballinakill Chapel and then left right after with her parents and came to Marcellus. Several siblings of the Lydons also came here.

My grandfather, John Francis II, was raised by Tady and Catherine as both of his parents died before he was 4 years old. He often talked about Tady and my favorite story Tady talked about was from the time when Catholics were not allowed to practice and the churches were closed. Tady said the people used to hide in the bushes along a back road and the priest would pretend to be taking a leisurely walk along the road and he would hear confessions as he passed the bushes and absolve them. He said Tady also used to say they were so far west in Galway that the next parish over was America! He and Catherine also used to speak Gaelic around the house when they didn’t want the kids to know what they were talking about.


  • Hi 

    My name is Bill Breheny and my grandfather was Patrick Breheny who was born in Rushestown in 1879. His parents were Martin and Margaret (Kenny). I am planning a trip to Galway in June are there 

    Any Brehenys or Kenny’s still in the area?



    Thursday 19th April 2018 05:04PM
  • Rushstown is in the east of county Galway in parish of Killian.
    I'd suggest looking for the Ireland in line phone book. a kind visitor posted the link on reply to a post of mine in the civil parishb of Ballynakill in west Galway but i can't find it now. if you can find it, you can search for you family names and see where they live.
    have you joined Killian parish on this site? you can post your family questions and they're are many people who check around and post replies.
    i visited Ballynakill last June and found almost everyone i met wss named either Coyne or Lydon (my 2nd great grandparents names who lived there) but found not a lot is remembered around the famine times (or not talked about) so if your family left around than, you might not find a lot of info. we did find a local radio station in letterfrack that will announced your search requests when visiting that parish. there might be a similar one in Killian. also ask at the place your staying as they often have good ideas.
    you should also check Griffith valuations (free sites on line) and look for your Kenny and Brehenny names in Killian parish to get an idea of where they lived. then look for a Townland map of Killian so you can see where they likely lived. i did that and was able to walk on the land where nny families lived. nothing much there anymore but beautiful countryside!
    knowing where they were helped me tailor my visit and accommodations in the area and using my GPS helped me locate the places easily.


    Thursday 19th April 2018 06:59PM
  • Yes I have joined. My grandfather was still there in the 1901 Census but not on the 1911 one, his family was still there but he had gone to America. 


    Thursday 19th April 2018 07:21PM
  • oh with those dates there should be a lot available! sadly my family mostly all left before Catholics were allowed to keep records again. only one marriage record of my 2nd great grandmothers sisters wedding in 1869 in chapel inn Renvyle which i found was maybe 300 feet from the hotel where i stayed.
    post the specifics of your family on the message board for rushestown and I'm sure you'll get replies!


    Thursday 19th April 2018 08:12PM


    I admin the Ballygar DNA and Genealogy FB group - have you joined ? https://www.facebook.com/groups/159052454609634/

    The person whose story is above is from a different Ballynakill parish - should be attributed to Ballynakill Ballynahinch which is in western Galway, Connemara


    MartinCurley, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 25th June 2019 09:08AM
  • Hi Bill,

    I'm not sure whether you made the trip to Rushestown back in 2018 but I just wanted to let you know that there are Kenny's still in the area (my dads family).  There were good neighbours and friends the Brehony's (Mary, Mattie and Bridie) next to my fathers home house but unfortunately they passed away in the last 10 years.  The families always seemed to know they were distantly related but we never found the source of that connection.


    Claire Kenny

    Claire K

    Tuesday 18th August 2020 09:25AM
  • Just to note that Ballinakill parish in west County Galway includes the villages of Moyard,Letterfrack,Tullycross,Tully Renvyle and Kylemore and does not include Ballynahinch which is the other side of Clifden town on the way to Recess as the map point suggests. The Catholic churches in the area,are Ballinakill, Letterfrack,Tullycross and Creeragh Kylemore. There is also Church of Ireland in Moyard and Salruc and the church at Kylemore Abbey

    coircog, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 2nd December 2020 09:13PM

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