Share This:

Hi, Everyone.  I am looking for any information about this couple or their parents, siblings, etc.

William Colligan married Ann Hale in 1843  in Aghaderg RC Church.  Both of their fathers were named Francis.

William and Ann had a daughter named Mary ann Colligan in 1844.  Ann already had a daughter of her own before marrying William, named Esther Shannon, she was born abt 1835 and christened or baptised at Killinchy Prebyterian Church.  I dont know if Ann had been Married before William,  but on Esther's death cert from Scotland, it names her father as George Shannon.

William and Ann were in Scotland by the 1851 census and remained in Scotland, they had Esther with them, and boys, Francis, William and Meredeth, (all boys born Scotland).  Daughter Mary ann is not with them.

From William's death cert, his father is named as Francis Collighan, soldier in her majestys royal horse artillary,dec at time of William's death in 1872.  On Williams marriage his father 's occupation is a farmer.

From Ann's death cert,  Her parents were Francis Hale and Mary Marshall.

I found a brother of Ann's who also died in Scotland, he was Meredeth Hale with same parents as Ann.  Ann was born about 1815, Meredeth was Born about 1823 (Scarva?) area, i think.

William was born about 1820 from what we can gather from census records, i cant find any births for William or Ann and i cannot find a death for their daughter Mary ann.               Ann has also been referred to as Agnes on census records, and the surname Colligan, has been Cooligan, Callagan and Collighan until later census's where it settled to Colligan.......The surname Hale, also has been recorded as Hail and Hailes.........Ann was a Hale, her brother Meredeth was a Hailes........

I can not  find any information at all on either of this couples parents or siblings.

Any help or advice about any of the above family members will be greatly received and appreciated.

Kind regards from Heather (from Australia


Friday 18th Feb 2022, 09:59AM

Message Board Replies

  • Heather,

    The forenames Ann, Agnes & Nancy are all interchangeable in Ireland (and in Scotland in my experience). So finding Ann mentioned as Agnes is not uncommon.

    Death registration didn’t start in Ireland till 1864 so if Mary Ann Colligan/Cooligan died between 1844 and 1851 as seems likely, then there won’t be a statutory record of it.  Assuming she was brought up RC, few parishes kept burial records, so there is often no record of deaths in those records either.  Unusually Aghaderg did keep burial records but she doesn’t appear to be in them. Nor does either Francis.  Of course death registration didn’t start in Scotland till 1855 so if she died in Scotland in say 1850 you face the same problem, a lack of RC records.  Unless there’s a gravestone somewhere there are probably no records or memorial for her death.

    Aghaderg RC only has baptism & marriage records starting in 1816 so if Ann was born there before that there will be no record of it. Many RC parishes records don’t start till the 1820s, so there’s a strong chance there’s no record of it. 

    I suspect that both Francis Colligan and Francis Hale/Hall died before 1864 and that’s largely why there is no record of them.

    I looked at the surname Shannon in Co Down in the 1901 census. There were 288. Only a handful were RC. Most were Presbyterian or some other Protestant denomination. So statistically if she married a Shannon then he’d likely have been protestant, and that would account for Esther being baptised in Killinchy Presbyterian church, assuming it’s the correct Esther Shannon.   The problem with many protestant records is that they are not on-line, so you need to go to PRONI to look them up. You also need some idea of where they lived, though it sounds as though you know that. 

    So was Ann born RC, but c 1834 she married a Presbyterian who had died by August 1843 when she married again to William? RosDavies has the 1843 marriage on her site (it’s Cooligan in the Aghaderg register):

    An RC marrying a Presbyterian around 1834 would have married in the Church of Ireland.  Aghaderg Church of Ireland marriage records start in 1814. Copy in PRONI. There was also a church in Scarva but unfortunately its records for that period were lost in the 1922 fire in Dublin.

    Possibly DNA testing may be a way of matching with others who have additional information about where the family originate. Family Tree DNA reportedly has more people with Ulster roots than any other company. That obviously increases the chances of finding a match. You might want to try them or, if you have already tested, you can transfer your results to them for no fee.

    The North of Ireland Family History Society is running an Ulster DNA project in conjunction with FTDNA and can offer testing kits at a reduced price. (Go to DNA project on the website).

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 18th Feb 2022, 06:35PM
  • Wow,  Thank you so much for all of the information, very much appreciated.......kind regards from Heather


    Saturday 19th Feb 2022, 09:57AM

Post Reply