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I am researching my great-grandfather, Michael Thomas Murphy (born in Cork, abt 9 Mar 1863, died 2 Jul 1945 in Somerville, Massachusetts, USA).  Here's what I know about Michael:

He was born in County Cork - possibly on 9 Mar 1863, per US records, but that date and year could easily be wrong.

He was married 24 Nov 1887 at St Peter's in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Mary T Crowley (1864 - 1950).  The parish and civil marriage records list his parents as Thomas Murphy and Hannah.  Per other records I understand her name to be Joanna/Johannah Keefe (which could also be Keeffe, O'Keefe, etc.).  The witnesses to the marriage were a Michael Keefe and Joanna Sheehan.  Joanna Sheehan is most likely a relation of the bride, Mary Crowley.  Mary was born in 1864 in the townland of Ballindvragnosig, which is near Riverstick, Kinalea Parish - between Kinsale and Carrigaline.  Mary's parents were James Crowley and Catherine "Katie" Sheehan.  The other witness, Michael Keefe interests me as he could be a close relation of the groom, Michael, through Michael's mother, Hannah/Joanna Keefe, and he may be a lead.

The most likely Michael Keefe/O'Keefe living in or near Cambridge, Massachusetts, at the time of the marriage, that I have identified was born and baptize n Carrigaline Parish in June 1855, son of Cornelius Keefe and Mary Jeffords.  He was most likely born in the townland/vicinity of Ahaghamore Cottage, south of Carrigaline in Templebreedy.  Based on this I looked for a Thomas Murphy in Carrigaline in the Griffiths Valuation.  I found a Thomas Murphy living in Frenchfurze / French Furze - which is not distant from Ahaghamore Cottage.  Looking at 1901 and 1911 Census records I find a Patrick Murphy, born about 1831, and living in Frenchfurze in 1901 and Crosshaven town in 1911.  I cannot prove (yet) that Patrick is the son of Thomas Murphy of the Griffiths Valuation - but as there is only one Murphy in Frenchfurze in Griffiths and one Murphy household in Frenchfurze in 1901, it seems likely.  Patrick Murphy (1831 - Unknown) married Mary Long about 1860 and had, at least, these several children:  Kate 1861, Daniel 1863***, Timothy 1868, Margaret 1871, Ellen Josephine 1873, Bridget 1876.  As mentioned by 1911 Patrick was living in Crosshaven town in the household of his son Timothy, a water curator, and his wife Julia O'Sullivan (born 1878, daughter of Daniel O'Sullivan). 

(***Note that the name Daniel runs in my family, my grandfather was a Daniel Murphy.  Other names running in the family that may have Murphy/Keefe associations in Carrigaline include William, Francis, Henry, George, Paul.)

I am curious to prove/disprove that my Michael Thomas Murphy is from Carrigaline or environs and if he may be connected to the Murphy's of Frenchfurze.

Thank you,

Patrick Murphy, Chicago, Illinois - formerly of Massachusetts


Saturday 9th Dec 2017, 10:11PM

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  • Patrick:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    I did some searching in two data bases: which has the parish records for the Diocese of Cork and Ross including Carrigaline and Roots Ireland which has the records for the Diocese of Cloyne. I did not see any records for any children of Thomas Murphy and Johanna/Hannah Keefe. I know this info is not helpful but I would be glad to try to assist further.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 10th Dec 2017, 01:07AM
  • Roger,

    Thanks for getting back to me - I see that you also monitored the post I made to the other parish. Yes, I have looked and looked at both of those databases and gone back to them over the years in case of updates.  I have not been able to find any children born to a Thomas Murphy and Johanna/Hannah (various spellings) Keeffe/O'Keefe (various spellings) in either of those databases or on or  I have even gone page by page through the scans on the NLI collection of Catholc Parish Registers for the parish of Carrigaline for years before/after the reported birth of Michael.  I'm not giving up yet, however.  The thing is that Michael's marriage record and his death record are clear that his mother's name was Joannah/Johanna and Keefe/Keeffe.  The witness named Michael Keefe supports this also.  Michael and Mary named their first son Thomas - that reinforces the idea that his father was named Thomas - even if it were not for the fact that the marriage record and his death record both list his father as Thomas.  So, just a bit perplexed but I also know (or just assume?) that this family may just fall in the gap of a given parish record or were recorded illegibly.  It's just curious not to find any trace - the time frame is not so far back in the historical record as to be completely unrecorded.

    I have a cousin working on this wth me quite diligently at the moment.  He has access to several family members in their 80's and 90's who knew Michael personally.  Hopefully a good clue or two will shake loose soon.  

    One hope is to see if any descendants of the Frenchfurze Murphys could be found - to see if anything can be proven about them.  The Patrick Murphy I describe in my original post, as I said, appears to be a son of the Thomas Murphy in Griffiths Valuation.  I could not find Patrick's baptism either - so it could be that both Patrick and my Michael are sons of Thomas?


    Any ideas you may come up with are welcome!




    Monday 11th Dec 2017, 02:52AM

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