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I fly into Dublin Airport on Tuesday 21 June and will stay with a relative in Shankill County Dublin till 25th June.

During my stay, I would like to visit Dunshaughlin and Culmullin to see where my ancestors lived.

It would also be really good if I could talk with local people who may have knowledge of the Culmullin Dowdalls.

My understanding is that they probably lived in the Bogganstown and Pelletstown areas.

Are there any local people who would be able to assist me by providing information on James Dowdall?

He was baptised in Culmullin in 1839 or 1840 and later migrated to England. He is my great-grandfather.

His father was William Dowdall (1799-1856) and his mother was Ellen Murtha, both [?] from Killeen County Meath.

If anyone locally can provide me with detailed historic information on the Dowdall family, I will be very grateful.

Thank you,

John Dowdle. 


John Dowdle

Friday 27th May 2022, 09:51PM

Message Board Replies

  • John,

    Please see attached records which may assist you.

    There are a number of "William Dowdall" in the parish.

    There is an Index to the Will of a William Dowdall, Culmullin in 1856 (1857). No. 25 and there is an Index for the Will of an Elizabeth Dowdall - No.92, but she appears as Paris?

    It is unlikely that the Will is available, due to the destruction of records in 1922.

    Did James have siblings?

    Credits: Subscription site - and /Griffith's - Free site



    Monday 30th May 2022, 08:11AM
  • This info from rootsireland...this may be one of James's siblings:

    John Dowdall baptized on 27-Jun-1851 in RC parish of DUNSHAUGHLIN in Co. Meath. Lived in Culmullin. Parents William, Eleanor Murtha. Witness: Mary Dowdall.

    I hope this is helpful.


    Monday 30th May 2022, 06:56PM
  • As per rootsireland, William Dowdall and Eleanor Murtha married 15-Dec-1832
    in the RC parish of DUNSHAUGHLIN, Co. Meath.


    Monday 30th May 2022, 06:59PM
  • Patricia,

    I am very pleased to see you are "back in action".  I hope that means you are fully recovered?

    I am scheduled to fly to Dublin Airport on Tuesday 21 June, with a return flight on Saturday 25 June.

    I hope to be able to visit Dunshaughlin on Wednesday 22 June.

    Is that a convenient date to meet with you or someone else locally who knows about the local Dowdall family?

    I will also try to visit Father Sean Henry to examine the baptismal parish records for the 1839-1840 period.

    A colleague - Denise Dowdall, working with - has sent me a copy of an article on page 4 of Saunders's News-Letter 03 February 1858 with details of a Chancery Court Decree referring to creditors of William Dowdall, whose widow is said to be Ellen Foy, otherwise Dowdall.  William Dowdall's widow, whose previous surname may have been Murtha, married James Foy in August 1857. This can be verified at Ref: 04177/04 applies.

    James Dowdall may have been aged around 17 or 18 years when his father died.  It may be that if his mother inherited William Dowdall's estate, this could have made James decide to leave Ireland and move to England, possibly with a young wife.  One problem about James's identity is that there are THREE baptismal records for him in under ONE year: on 9 July 1839; 10 September 1839; and 5 July 1840 - all at Culmullin (presumably St Martin of Tours RC church?).

    According to an ENGLISH 1871 Census return, James Doudall was aged 30 years and Elizabeth (Smith?) Doudall 25 years, living at 5 South Street, Brandon Colliery, Brandon & Byshottles, County Durham, England - with two young sons Christopher (3 years), Joseph (2 years) and a daughter Jane (under 1 year).

    Presumably, James and Elizabeth Dowdall/Doudall married around 1865 - in the Culmullin/Dunshaughlin area? - and then migrated to England.

    There is ANOTHER James Dowdall, son of Christopher (older brother of William?) Dowdall and Biddy Malady [married 20 July 1822], who was baptised at Dunshaughlin on 4 May 1823.

    It might be possible that one of the three James Dowdalls baptised between 1839 and 1840 could have been related to Christopher Dowdall's 1823 son James?

    If James (1823) Dowdall and a biological mother were aged around 16 to 17 years around 1840, then it could be their son James Dowdall who was baptised in 1840 and subsequently migrated to England in around 1865?

    The only way to clarify all these speculations is to find someone who has living knowldege of the Dowdall family in the Culmullin/Dunshaughlin area.

    It would be really helpful if you can find someone who knows about the Dowdall family locally.

    There was a Christopher Dowdall, Farmer, and his wife Mary Dowdall listed at Belshamstown, Dunshaughlin in the 1901 IRISH Census. 


    They were both recorded as aged 60 years in 1901, which means they were probably born around 1840. Christopher was baptised at Culmullin 25 February 1840.

    It is really difficult trying to thread together all these Dowdall names over long periods of time.

    I just hope someone locally in the Culmullin/Dunshaughl;in area can help me to make some sense of it all.

    With all best wishes,


    John Dowdle

    Tuesday 31st May 2022, 01:11AM
  • Hello John,

    I think I'm not the Patricia you were thinking of. I'm not in Ireland, but in New York.  I'd like to suggest that to make the most of your trip, you set up meetings with folks in advance.  For instance, perhaps the area you are visiting has a heritage society and/or a Facebook page, through which you can find locals who might have the knowledge you are seeking.  Even the priest you mentioned...try to set up a time to go through the register before you leave home. I hope this helps, John. Have a great trip.


    Tuesday 31st May 2022, 07:33PM
  • John,

    Attached a copy of Notice regarding the Will of William Dowdall.

    Column 3 - Publications - Decrees

    Mary Coffey is possibly the sister of the late William Dowdall.

    Credit: - Subscription site



    Thursday 2nd Jun 2022, 08:07AM
  • Dear McCoy,

    Thank you for posting a copy of the Decree Notice in Saunder's Newsletter, 3rd February 1858 edition.

    Denise Dowdall at has previously sent me this, which occasioned my response that if James Dowdall was a son of William Dowdall, why was he not mentioned in the notice?

    Assuming - as indicated by the Culmullen/Dunshaughlin parish records that James Dowdall was baptised THREE times in less than ONE year, with William Dowdle and Ellen Murtha being shown as his parents - why is he not shown in the Notice?

    James Dowdall would have been aged around 16 or 17 years at the time of William Dowdall's demise in 1856, which - at that time - meant he was still a legal minor (aged under 21 years).  So why is James Dowdall not mentioned in the Decree Notice?

    William  Dowdall's widow Ellen did marry James Foy in August 1857 [I think in Culmullin]. Whether or not James Dowdall found this objectionable [he was the oldest son of William Dowdall and should have been in line to inherit his estate] I do not know but might this have led James to leave Ireland to move to England?

    The only other possible explanation is that there was more than one James Dowdall in the area at the time and I need to find out about the other one...!!!

    This is why I am hoping I can find someone in Dunshaughlin or Culmullin with personal knowledge handed down from the 1840s/1850s on the Dowdall family.

    A tall order now - 140 years or so later, I know!

    Thank you - again - for your efforts to assist me in my quest.

    John L. Dowdle

    John Dowdle

    Thursday 2nd Jun 2022, 08:12PM

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