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3 Nov 1844 a Thomas McHugh married Marie Henaghan with testor(?) Thomas McHugh and Bridget Henaghan.  I believe this is the marriage of my great great grandparents.  However, my gg grandmother was Bridget Henaghan not Marie. The location is Ruchane.  Thomas McHugh was previously married Abigail Manx and had one child Bridget McHugh born about 1840.  I found my great grandfather's birth in Seefin, Crossboyne and Tagheen 17 Mar 1855.  His name was Patrick McHugh.  Patrick had an older brother Edward born about 1845 that I can't find any record.  He had the next brother Michael McHugh born about 5 Sep 1852 in Curraghadoo, Crossboyne and Tagheen.  He had a younger sister Margaret born about 1864, no record found.  Thomas McHugh reportedly died around 1864, so his wife and children left for America.  Are all these places closely related?  Is there are reason why some records are available but others are not?  I'm going to Ireland in April 2022 and would love to find out where they lived or are buried or if there is a Catholic Church I can get more information from?  Can I find Bridget Henaghan's family.  I've seen Henaghan spelled Hanrahan, or Henihen or various versions of that name.  Any help or hints would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Saturday 19th Feb 2022, 05:21AM

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  • Chick:

    Many of the RC parishes in Co. Mayo have relatively late starting records which complicates researching ancestors.

    Possibly the priest who officiated the 1844 marriage switched the names of Marie and Bridget when he entered the info on the register. FYI-Testor (sp) means witness.   It is also possible that this is a different couple but I did not see any baptismal records in the 1840s or early 1850s for Thomas McHugh and Marie Henaghan. Ruchane is likely the townland of Rooghaun in the civil parish of Burriscarra.

    The parish of Crossboyne/Tagheen is to the east and southeast from Burriscarra so not unreasonable for Thomas and Bridget to live there and possibly Thomas was from that parish.

    Civil registraton of births, deaths and all marriages started in 1864. I looked from 1864-1867 for a birth record for Margaret or a death record for the father Thomas and did not find a record.

    The 1855 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing for Burriscarra civil parish has six Henihan records including a Patrick Henihan in Rooghaun townland. Possibly Patrick was Bridget's father or brother.

    Let me know what questions you have.

    Roger McDonnell


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 19th Feb 2022, 02:04PM
  • Thank you so much, Roger!  That was so quick and so informative.  I am surprised that the RC church didn't keep records before the mid 1860's.   Is it mostly County Mayo that is like that or Ireland as a whole?  I was hoping by visiting, there would be records there that just were never copied by the LDS or other record keepers.  Is it possible that Thomas McHugh's death was not recorded either?  Are there too many cemeteries to explore to possibly find a family grave?  I have a map I bought from an Irish Genealogy Society in California that has Irish names imprinted on it showing where the names originated.  McHugh is on that map in this same general area.  I thought from that information there would be more history available.  Are there emigration records from Ireland?  I've never found Bridget and her children on any ships to America.  My great aunt wrote a story that after Thomas died, Bridget took the children all together to come to New York.  The earliest I could find Bridget and children is 1875 in New York.  US census records don't ask immigration dates until 1900.  Bridget died in 1892.  Her son Edward used 1862 and 1865.  Son Patrick used 1869 and 1874.  Michael died 1881, so that leaves Margaret who changed her age and immigration with every census but possibly 1874.  She said she was 38 in 1900 but crossed that off and changed to 31.  In 1905 she was 42, in 1910 she was 48, 1925 was 53, 1920 was 56.  Her death record in 1928 showed 1 May 1864 as her birth, age 64. If they didn't leave Ireland until 1874, would there be a record of the family there?  Sorry for so many questions but this brick wall has eluded me forever.

    If I am asking too much or too many questions, please let me know.  I have another Irish family that involved the parish of Kilcommon and don't want to take advantage of your generosity on this site.  Thank you again.

    Chick Shepard


    Saturday 19th Feb 2022, 06:49PM
  • Chick:

    Generally, the west of Ireland has later starting records than other counties. Co. Donegal is the most difficult but Mayo and Galway are right behind. Ironically, the RC parish of Crossboyne and Tagheen does have records starting fairly early. However, it appears that Thomas McHugh and his family moved around a lot since we can't find a record for Edward or Margaret.

    Seefin and Curraghadooey are townlands and both are located in the civl parish of Crosboyne. They are 3.3 miles apart.

    Civil registration of deaths started in 1864 and initially maybe 80% of the deaths were recorded as the rural population became aware of the requirements for BMD records and registration. Maybe Thomas died 1864 or later and his death was not recorded or he died pre-1864. Most RC parishes did not keep records of deaths.

    It is unlikely that there are records locally that are not available online either on free sites or subscription sites (which I use).

    There are very few records available of ships leaving Ireland and their passengers. Your best bet is too use a site like  (free). They likely came into Castle Garden in NYC.

    Yes, McHugh is a strong Co. Mayo surname. Also, very common in Donegal and Galway.

    There would be no record of the family from 1864-1874. The records for the 1871 census were destroyed by the British goverment.

    Keep in mind that Thomas and his family were likely poor. He was likely a labourer. It is very unlikely that there would be a headstone for someone who died in the 1860s unless they were from a well to do family.

    More questions are welcome.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 20th Feb 2022, 06:50PM
  • Thanks again, Roger.  I wish I had known about this site before.  I'm trying to read through the posts that relate to my ancestral names but there are so many.  I'm plugging away.  If I can shift gears.  Patrick McHugh married Bridget Maloney in the USA.  Bridget, her sister Mary and her father Peter also came from Mayo, I believe.  On Peter Maloney's headstone in New York State it reads "Born in the parish of Kilcommon Co Mayo Ireland in 1811".  I first find them in New York in 1865.  Peter is a widow.  According to my great Aunt, Peter was marriet to Bridget Hogan who died in 1851.  Their daughter Mary was born about 1841 and in 1865 she was already married to Patrick Hanrahan.  I don't know if she married in Ireland or the US.  Bridget Maloney is my great grandmother born about 1 May 1850 depending on the records.  She was older than Patrick McHugh.  It would seem there would be other children born between Mary and Bridget.  I researched the parish of Kilcommon and it looks like the records are possibly part of Belmullet 1836-1880.  The records of Kilmore-Ellis and Kiltane don't begin until 1860.  Belmullet is not indexed yet.  Given these dates and information is it possible that there might be any records relating to the Maloneys?  I subscribe to and use and other subscription sites.  I have had temporary subscriptions to RootsIreland but have found so little on County Mayo that it is not practical to keep it.  I've checked Castle Garden records but haven't gotten lucky with all the name variants.

    Anything you can offer would be appreciated.  If I can help with anything in the US that I have access to, please don't hesitate to ask.  I'll try not to double post this time.  :)



    Monday 21st Feb 2022, 06:50PM
  • Chick:

    I'm not finding any good baptismal or marriage leads. Very difficult area of Mayo to research.

    I looked at the 1855 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing for Mayo and Maloney or Malowney was not a common surname. There were only 13 head of households listed for the entire county and only two in Kilcommon civil parish which is a huge land mass. The two that I located were: William Maloney in Derrycorrib townland and Owen Malowney in Rosdoagh townland.

    Possibly Peter left brothers behind in Mayo so that is why I focused on the Griffiths. Derrycorrib is southeast of Belmullet town. Rosdoagh is northeast of Belmullet and south of Portacloy. The RC parish is Kilcommon Erris where baptismal records start around 1860.

    I live in the States. I grew up in Philadelphia but have lived in Maryland for many years.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 22nd Feb 2022, 10:00PM
  • Nice to meet you Roger!  I've been waiting for 4 years for a cousin to fill me in on her trip to Mayo in 2018.  She finally gave me some information yesterday.  She found some McHugh burials in Seefin where our Patrick McHugh was baptised.  I'm still waiting for photos though.  I don't know if the headstones she found are for direct relatives.  The names happen to be Patrick McHugh, his wife Bridget and a daughter Delia.  We have the exact same relationship with our McHughs but they defintely were in the US when her discoveries were buried.  Her discovered Patrick might be an uncle.  More work needed on that one.  She also gave me some names of people she contacted who might be helpful.  I'll be in Ireland for 8 days, doing the tourist thing as well as family research.  Hopefully I'll make some progress.  

    I was born in Troy, New York but have lived in California for more years than I care to say.  There were a lot of Irish in Troy and north of Troy in Cambridge/Jackson, Washington County.  They all seemed to have found each other after likely arriving through Castle Gardens.  So many with the same names.  

    Thank you for your efforts.  I truly appreciate the help, especially the background informaton on the area and record keeping.



    Wednesday 23rd Feb 2022, 05:46PM
  • Chick:

    Have a great trip. Let me know if your have further questions.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 24th Feb 2022, 08:58PM

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