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My relation, Ellen (Nellie) Clifford was born about 1867 in Shanaknock, Ballymacelligott, Kerry. In the 1900 US census, there is a William Clifford listed as "cousin" born about 1862 also from Ireland. If anyone can comment on the following I would appreciate it:

1. when it says "cousin" in the US census record, I thought it meant a cousin to the "head" of the family...who is Jeremiah Dunleavy in this record. I believe William is a cousin to Nellie as they share the same surname. Can the cousin notation refer to either spouse?

2. The only William Clifford that I can locate who was born around 1862 in the church records on is one born in Banemore, Lixnaw, Kerry to parents Denis Clifford and Mary Kenna on 12 Jul 1862.

3. Is it possible that Nellie Clifford and William Clifford are cousins given that they are from two different areas not that close to each other?

I have attached the 1900 US census record.




Saturday 3rd Jun 2023, 07:42PM

Message Board Replies

  • Carolyn:

    Yes, normally the annotation cousin would apply to the head of household but I agree with you that William was a cousin to Nellie.

    The RC records for Ballymacelligott parish do not begin until the Fall of 1868   so there is no baptismal record for Nellie or William.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 3rd Jun 2023, 11:42PM
  • Attached Files


    I agree that William was probably from Ballymacelligott parish as well, but no record exists. A further question...why if it state baptisms began Oct 1868 do I have one for Nellie's sister, Mary from Feb 1868. (see attachment)? Their parents are Jeremiah Clifford and Johanna Reidy. Does the parish record date of Oct 1868 mean that earlier ones were lost? Mary's must be an exception. Lastly, if civil birth records started in 1864, why is there no civil record for Nellie's 1867 birth? Were some parishes just not up to speed on the rules?



    Sunday 4th Jun 2023, 01:52PM
  • Carolyn:

    The Mary Clifford document that you attached was her civil birth record not her baptismal record.

    By the way, I went on the free site and searched for all Clifford baptismal records in Ballymacelligott RC parish. The earliest Clifford record in the parish was for Nellie's sister Elizabeth baptized May 18 1870.

    The records prior to October 1868 were lost/destroyed/burned in a fire etc.

    Regarding a civil birth record for Nellie, there are two possibilities. First, I looked at all Clifford birth records from 1864-1867 in the Tralee registration district and there were no Nellie records but three Ellen records. None of the three had the correct parents. So either Nellie was born 1864 or later and the parents failed to register the birth or Nellie adjusted her age to make herself younger when she came to America which is very likely. Many emigrants made themselves younger in America when they arrived. 


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 4th Jun 2023, 08:22PM
  • Thanks for your help, Roger! That Elizabeth is my great grandmother. I too think her name was Ellen with Nellie as a nickname. Her birth might not have been registered as you suggest. There were 9 children in all, 6 emigrated to the US, one stayed in Ireland, one died, and the youngest one, Bridget (1879) is a big mystery! I've searched everywhere for other records on her other than her birth record, to no avail. I agree that Nellie's birth date could have been fudged some because there is a six year gap between the eldest Cornelius and the second child, Jeremiah which I think is odd. I don't have birth records for Cornelius (1860) and Jeremiah (1866), but there are many other records on my tree that estimate those dates.



    Sunday 4th Jun 2023, 09:24PM

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