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Hello! My great great grandmother Bridget Caufield’s (~1854-1928) New York death certificate lists her parents as Michael Finley and Mary Birmingham. Her obituary lists sisters Catherine Gilhooley, Mary Ryan, and Margaret McManus. Bridget is also listed as "Mary" in a couple of census documents.


There is a New York death record of a Catherine Gilhooley (~1878-1940) with parents Michael Fennelly and Mary Bermingham (her obituary does not provide more information, so I haven't confirmed a relationship to my Bridget yet. . . still working on it).


A search of RootsIreland reveals baptism records for Mary (1858), Catherine (1861), John (1864), and Margaret (1866), children of Michael Fennelly and Mary Bermingham of Ballinalina, parish of St. Canice’s in County Kilkenny. Another baptism record exists for Catherine (1869), child of Michael Fennelly and Mary Bermingham of Reyewfield, parish of St. Patrick’s in County Kilkenny (likely Reviewfield, close to Ballinalina?). My first question:  Could this be the same set of parents, or is it more likely there are two Michael Fennelly/Mary Bermingham families, each with a daughter Catherine?


I have not found baptism records on RootsIreland for my Bridget, so I don't know where she was born.  I just know the names of her parents as reported on her death certificate. My second question is whether it's reasonable to consider that Finley was recorded as a variant of Fennelly.  My third question is therefore similar to the first one:  How likely is it that there might be multiple Michael Finley (Fennelly)/Mary Bermingham families with daughters with these names?  I haven't found any such overlap yet.   Any advice or thoughts would be much appreciated!



John Ripper

Monday 14th Mar 2022, 09:57PM

Message Board Replies

  • John:

    I located Michael and Mary Fennelly in the 1901 census in Ballynalina with unmarried daughter Margaret.…

    #1  Is it possible they had another daughter Catherine in 1869 while living in Reviewfields? Maybe. See answer to 3

    #2   I can see Finley as a variant of Fennelly.

    #3   There were very few Birmingham/Bermingham residents in the Co. Kilkenny in the 1901 census. I think there was only one Michael Fennelly/Mary Birmingham couple in Co. Kilkenny in the 1860s so the 1869 must be their daughter.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 15th Mar 2022, 12:15AM
  • Thank you so much for the reply and the census link/information, Roger!  I think I probably found the mother Mary Fennelly's death record (13 Aug 1904; address is Ballilina).  Are your thoughts on the single Michael Fennelly/Mary Birmingham couple in Co. Kilkenny in the 1860's based on searches in RootsIreland or are you using another source?  I continue to look for other records to determine if this family is connected to my Bridget, but I wonder how many Michael Fennelly/Mary Birmingham couples across all of Ireland had daughters named Mary, Margaret, and Catherine in the 1850's/1860's.

    John Ripper

    Tuesday 15th Mar 2022, 01:38PM

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