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Hello -

I have hit a brick wall and I am hoping someone can assist me in finding the townland in Sligo where James O'Hara and Catherine Collery, my 2nd great-grandparents, resided after their marriage.  I think they should have married around the mid 1830s.  I have found a DNA 4th cousin match related to Catherine Collery and researching back through documents it appears she was originally from Ranaghan, Kilvarnet, Sligo.  However, I can't find any records tying James and Catherine to the parish of Kilvarnet.  Because there are no O'Hara households in Kilvarnet that make sense, I am assuming they resided in another neighboring townland/parish that I haven't been able to validate with my research.  Their son, Patrick O'Hara, my great-grandfather, emigrated from Ireland to New York/New Jersey, USA about 1865-1867.  Any documents related to him only show "Ireland" as his birthplace.  Any assistance in this search would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you. 



Tuesday 6th Dec 2022, 01:41AM

Message Board Replies

  • Mimi: Co. Sligo RC parishes are difficult to find records pre-1840. There about seven parishes which have records that go back to the early part of the 19th century or earlier. However, most of the parishes have records 1840 or later. Ballysodare/Kilvarnet parish has baptismal records starting in 1842. The neighboring parish of Killoran/Coolaney has baptismal record startin ing 1878. My search of the subscription site Roots Ireland showed no baptismal records in Co. Sligo for children of James O'Hara and a mother with the surname Collery. There are 15 James O'Hara records in Co. Sligo in the Griffiths Valuation. The closest to Kilvarnet parish is a James O'Hara in Creevaun townland in Killoran civil parish. Did Patrick have any siblings who stayed in Ireland? Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 6th Dec 2022, 08:07PM
  • Hi Roger - Thanks so much for your response. None of our family has any information on O’Haras that remained in Ireland. Going through the records you mentioned above, I came to the same assumption that we must be from Creevaun. However, I just found a Mark O’Hara on the Ancestry website whose family is from Creevaun per information I obtained from his mother. We have both taken a DNA test on Ancestry but we do not have a DNA match and we should as we are supposedly third cousins. That has caused me to doubt my assumption. I do know, that in addition to 2 Collery DNA 4th cousin matches that align with Ranaghan, I also have a Collery DNA 5th cousin match to the John Collery in Creevaun who shows up in the Griffith’s Valuation (his daughters married McGiuness brothers, with Peter McGuiness and Mary Collery remaining in Creevaun). That was the piece that originally finalized my Creevaun assumption, until now. Is it possible that there are any local histories/stories that might validate our Creevaun assumption? I do know that my Collery/Ranaghan DNA matches link me to Gerry Collery, who resides in Ranaghan/Baiinacarrow today, if that is of any help. I received that information from his cousin, Bridget Collery Creaven of California, USA. Thanks for all your help. Mimi O’Hara


    Wednesday 7th Dec 2022, 03:14AM
  • Mimi: Not all 3rd cousins show up as a DNA match. I live in the States so I don't have any local contacts. You could try the Tubbercurry branch library which would be the closest to Creevaun. I was searching on the Internet and found this site which has stories written by school children in the 1930s. Article on how Creevaun got its name. Roger

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 7th Dec 2022, 03:48PM
  • Thanks Roger. I’ll give your suggestions a try. Happy Holidays.


    Wednesday 7th Dec 2022, 10:21PM

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