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Looking for information re these folks, who lived in the Ballymacrinan area. Interested in their parents, where they resided before married, and any possible descendants and locations. Griffiths and census have them in Ballymacrinan, but I'm stuck from there.




Wednesday 11th Apr 2018, 02:11AM

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  • Duplicate discussion:

    There were two Martin families in Ballymacrinan in 1901 and 1911, headed by Catherine (née McDermott, widow of Patrick) and Eliza (née Reidy, widow of James).

    You should check the Valuation Office records in Dublin (not available online) to see if they succeeded to the land occupied in Griffith's Valuation in 1855 by Michael Martin, the only one of the surname to occupy a house in the townland at that time.

    If so, that would be a clue that Patrick and/or James were sons of Michael.

    The fact that James already occupied land, but not a house, in Ballymacrinan in 1855, is another indicator that he may have been Michael's son and may have been still living with Michael.

    The fact that Patrick and James both named sons Michael, possibly after their father, is yet another clue.

    In the 1911 census at…
    Eliza said that she had been married for 52 years.  She probably married just before the start of the surviving Killimer parish registers in 1859.  If she was a native of Killimer parish where she subsequently lived, then her marriage record is probably lost.  In any case, few church marriage records of that period named the spouses' parents.

    She is also at…

    Her son John appears in the Calendar of Wills and Administrations:…

    I discovered recently that my grandmother's second cousin Bridget McMahon married into the other Martin farm in Ballymacrinan in 1923 and would love to find her descendants.


    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 12th Apr 2018, 03:54PM
  • Hello Paddy,

    Thank you for your response to my post.

    The searching I have done suggests that James and Eliza had kids: Patrick1856, Charles 1861,Thomas1862, John1866, Michael1867, James 1868, Sinon1876, Denis1878, and Jane1884.That seems a lot and very close together, so may be inaccuracies there. Could Michael you reference as land holder, be 1867 Michael (son of James and Eliza?) Or is Michael the father of James (Eliza)?  Or were both men named Michael? I tried to search James' father as possibly Michael but there are many Michael Martins with son James, with many possible wife/mother names. No location seems to be listed so I don't know how to refine further.

    I am GGG Grandson of James and Eliza. Thomas emmigrated to US, married Mary Hehir (O'Hare) and had seven kids. Our family lore has Sinon included; when he followed later is unclear.

    Any further thoughts would be appreciated. Do you suppose any descendants still reside in Clare?



    Friday 13th Apr 2018, 03:24PM
  • Hello Searcher

    I mentioned three Michael Martins of Ballymacrinan in my previous message:
    - the Michael listed as an occupier in 1855;
    - the Michael aged 34 in the 1901 census; and
    - the Michael aged 20 in the 1901 census.

    If the records for the relevant place and time have not survived, no amount of searching in records for other places and other times will find them.

    I presume you've found James's death:…
    Name    JAMES MARTIN
    Year of Death    1885
    Group Registration ID    6867542
    SR District/Reg Area    Kilrush
    Deceased Age at Death    72…

    While his implied birth year of Abt 1812/3 cannot be taken as gospel, there are no surviving birth records or Catholic baptismal records for anywhere in what became the Kilrush Poor Law Union from before 1827.

    The (offline) Valuation Office records in Dublin are your best guide to living descendants in Clare.  They will show you the occupiers of the Martin farm up to about 1970.  I read somewhere that the average Irish family farm changes hands about once every 300 years, or at least that only about 0.3% of Irish farmland is sold in a typical year.

    A Paddy Martin of Ballymacrinnan [sic] died as recently as 2010:


    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Saturday 14th Apr 2018, 10:31AM
  • A son of a Mich'l Martin baptised on 19 Mar 1828 just makes it into the surviving baptismal register for the then united parishes of Kilrush and Killimer:
    Unfortunately, the register at that stage did not include townland addresses.

    In the Tithe Applotment Book for Killimer parish, dated 1 Nov 1824, the only one of the surname in the parish was Thomas Kilmartin in Ballymacrennan [sic]:…

    In the Tithe Applotment Book for Kilrush parish, dated 23 Dec 1826, there was a Mich'l Martin in Moyadabegg, who may have been the father of the child baptised in 1828:…

    Check the area (in Irish acres) occupied by Thomas Kilmartin in 1824 and see if it matches the acreage (in statute acres) occupied by the Martins in Ballymacrinan in 1855.

    The question to consider now is whether the Thomas Kilmartin in occupation in 1824 could have been the grandfather, the father, the uncle, some other relative, or no relation at all of the James Martin born Abt 1812/3.

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Saturday 14th Apr 2018, 10:48AM
  • Wow! What a fund of leads! Thank you VERY much! I'll try to follow up as much as possible. 

    (I hadn't found James' death, and in fact have had no success finding anything about him till your information.)

    I am presuming I should access the sources which are not on line by mail; I will search for contact information for them.

    Thank you again Paddy!



    Saturday 14th Apr 2018, 01:50PM
  • Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Sunday 15th Apr 2018, 10:05AM
  • Thanks Paddy!


    Sunday 15th Apr 2018, 06:34PM
  • Hi Paddy;

    Thanks again for the leads!

    Looking at the dates, it appears that James was quite a bit older than Eliza-- if his birthdate is 1812/13, and hers seems to be around 1841. If they were married around 1859, James would have been 47, and Eliza about 18. I suspect this might have been a second marriage for James, as Patrick at least, was born before the marriage (1856) and would have been a toddler when they married. Or perhaps the baby came before the marriage? I don't have a sense of how do-able that might have been then, given the strength of the Church. Or how likely such an apparent May- December relationship may have been.

    Was marriage at an older age common? I noticed that Eliza's sons were living with her and listed as single in 1911. Presuming a shorter life expectancy, I would have thought marriage would be at a generally younger age.....

    I did find a marriage record in the Ireland Catholic Parish Registers 1655-1915 for Elizabetham Eliza Reidy and Jacobum Martin in 1859 in Kilmacduane Clare, Cooraclare Parish, Killaloe Diocese. If these figures are correct for them,it's impressive that they went on to have 12 children, (10 living by 1911)!

    Thanks again Paddy-


    Monday 16th Apr 2018, 06:53PM
  • Large age gaps between husbands and first wives were common.

    Age estimates in the era before old age pensions and Hallmark Cards were often very wrong, so estimated age gaps could be even larger than actual age gaps.

    Many mid 19th century marriages were economic transactions involving dowries, not romantic transactions as they are today.  Many people remained single until (if ever) the family could afford a dowry.

    Where did you find the 1856 baptism record for Patrick?  He was not with his mother in 1901 or 1911.  Or is this an estimated birth year based on a later estimated age, and to be read with a large margin of error?  It is more likely that your age estimate is wrong (or that the father was married twice) than that the child was born before the parents' marriage.

    I have no doubt that you have found the correct marriage in Kilmacduane at
    The black and white microfilming of the transcript of the Kilmacduane marriage register is very poor.  I suspect that the addresses are in a different colour ink.  Most entries give only one address, presumably that of the bride, but this one appears to have addresses for both bride and groom.  I think the bride's address is Drumellihy.  The groom's could be anything from Cranny to Killimy.

    In Griffith's Valuation in 1855, there were two Reidy occupiers in Drumellihy (Westby), which is about 16km from Ballymacrinan:
    This is a plausible distance for an arranged marriage, but less plausible for a child born out of wedlock.

    Have you joined any of the online DNA databases?

    I should also have referred you to the recently published (and quickly sold out) book "Living on the Wild Atlantic Way: The History of Killimer Parish" by Killimer Local History Group:…
    My own copy is out on loan at the moment to one of the many disappointed customers who did not manage to acquire their own copy.

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Tuesday 17th Apr 2018, 10:33AM
  • Hi Paddy;

    Thank you for the further leads. 

    I tried to find where I got Patrick from, but could not come up with his info. Someone else had assisted me earlier, so he may have come from there, but I of course can't find her data now either! It really is like trying to organize the leaves on a tree!! The closest I could find was a son Patrick, of Michael and Catherine McD. Perhaps Michael was James' brother. This is in addition to the son of James named Michael, who was identified in the 1901/11 census as still living with Eliza. The Griffith's valuation has Michael as having land seperate from Eliza; is that perhaps son Michael, or Catherine's husband Michael? It would help if they had been a little more flexible in their name choices!

    I was looking on Google maps for where the land holdings would be, based on the Griffith's ( I think) maps of lot boundries. But it's hard to see, given name etc changes. I did see the power plant and a Caravan park on two seperate coves along the coast, which appear to match the Griffith's renderings. Do you know if Ballymacrinan and the lands Eliza lived on were around there? How might I find out? At some point Iwould like to visit and see the places in person, but  don't want to just wander around....... 

    Thank you again for your assistance! If I ever do visit I'll for sure owe you a Guiness (or whatever).


    Tuesday 17th Apr 2018, 10:10PM
  • I'm confused again.  When you wrote "Michael and Catherine McD" did you mean to write "Patrick Martin and Catherine McDermott"?

    Patrick Martin and Catherine McDermott did have a son named Patrick, but he wasn't born until 5 Feb 1871.

    Griffith's Valuation is dated 1855, so the Michael listed there must be a generation older than James (who didn't marry until 1859) and Patrick (who didn't have his first child until 1870) and two generations older than the two Michaels in the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

    Unfortunately, the Griffith's Valuation website is so badly designed that I cannot give you a working link to the map that you need, and you have to go through several hoops.  See my guide to using map websites at

    In your case:
    - start at…
    - select the right hand icon under Map Views
    - select Map Version 2 of 3

    You will see that Michael Martin's main 1855 holding on the shore (no. 19C) was renumbered to plain no. 19.
    Further north, Michael's two smaller plots (no. 19A and no. 19B) were merged into the original no. 18C, which then became no. 18B.
    James Martin (or possibly his successor) appears to have done a land swap with the owners of no. 18, receiving no. 18B in exchange for a piece of land adjoining no. 18C.

    Note that when farmers occupied several nearby disjoint holdings like this, it is often an indication that in previous generations a larger farm was subdivided between members of a family, giving each family member equal quantities of good and bad land.  So there may be some distant relationships between the Quinlivan, Martin and Shannon families, so far back that DNA comparisons between their descendants may be the only way of confirming the relationships.

    Since it is clear from the maps that there were land swaps going on, we should not speculate on the post-1855 occupiers without seeing the matching Valuation Office records in Dublin.

    Michael Martin's residence is at,502026,652519,10,7

    The later residence on James Martin's (or his successor's) expanded holding is at,502515,652687,10,7
    where it is labelled Kellys Farm.  It appears that the original house is derelict and that there is a new house visible on the horizon a short distance to the south.

    Once you get your head around the Irish traditions of naming children after their grandparents, you will realise how helpful this system is for genealogy and will stop criticising your ancestors for inflexibility!  Remember that one cannot identify people by name alone, but must associate dates and places with the names in order to distinguish between the namesakes.

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Wednesday 18th Apr 2018, 10:19AM
  • Hello again Paddy-

    Your confusion is only a reflection of my own. I did indeed mean Patrick's son Michael. I have to try to find a better way to organize all this information. It is currently all on my computer and switching from one site to another does allow more confusion. My apologies.

    You have again provided a wealth of information for me to work with. I have more in the last 2 weeks with your assistance than in multiple prior years.The map sites and Google pictures are particularly helpful / valuable.

    You are very right to suggest that there are things which I must get my head around. This whole exercise is foreign to me, both literally and figuratively. (I did not realize that children were likely to be named after their grand parents. [Did this hold across siblings as well; might cousins have the same name?]) The assistance of persons like yourself has been extremely helpful in my search. I should clarify however that my "flexibility" comment was a tongue -in-cheek statement of my own frustration and confusion rather than any type of slur against my ancestors. I am only learning about their culture and ways, but I have great respect for what they have accomplished under the severest of conditions....(if not I wouldn't be going through all this to try and learn more about them....). 

    Thank you again for your assistance!




    Wednesday 18th Apr 2018, 10:51PM
  • There is lots of software that you can use to organise, analyse and store your information:

    I use Ancestral Quest myself.

    Here are a few pages that discuss common naming patterns in Irish families, and the advantages and disadvantages of bearing them in mind when researching your ancestry:………

    Obviously if children were called after their grandfathers, first cousins (brothers' children) frequently ended up with the same names as each other; and hence patronymics were required to distinguish them, so we might for example have two Michael McDermotts known as "Michael John" and "Michael Pat" to distinguish between them.

    I have contacted a local historian in Killimer who will be putting me in contact with a couple of people in the area who are related to one or other of the Martin families of Ballymacrinan.

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 19th Apr 2018, 09:11AM
  • Hi Paddy;

    Thanks for the links to websites--I have signed up with Legacy and am in the early learning / transfer of information stages. It does look like it holds promise for better organization. The references re Naming patterns are also interesting and helpful. Your suggestion of possible descendants in the Ballymacrinan area is particularly interesting and encouraging!

    Thank you again for your assistance!. I think you are getting closer to two Guinesses (or whatever!)


    Thursday 19th Apr 2018, 05:07PM
  • Hey Paddy-

    I got a notification of a new posting on this site, but no message came through. If this was you, might you try to resend it? If not ....who knows--


    Friday 20th Apr 2018, 12:23PM
  • Hey Paddy;

    Just checking in to see if you had any success with contacting possible descendants in Ballymacrinan area?




    Monday 7th May 2018, 11:10PM
  • Hello Paddy;

    Hope this finds you well!

    Just wondering whether you had any success with the historian in Kilimer, in finding people who might be related to this family?

    Thank you again for your past assistance!


    Sunday 24th Jun 2018, 10:35PM
  • I have heard nothing more from my Killimer contact, but I did just come across the marriage certificate of Jane Martyn of Ballymacrinan and thought you might be interested:…

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Sunday 28th Oct 2018, 12:41PM
  • Thank You Paddy! I have added them to my tree. Hoping to visit in 2019, so your continued assistance is greatly appreciated!




    Sunday 28th Oct 2018, 04:13PM
  • Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 4th Jun 2020, 08:02PM
  • I just stumbled across the marriage and death records of John Martin of Ballymacrinan, whose entry in the Calendar of Wills and Administrations I mentioned in one of my posts above on 12 Apr 2018.…

    Party 1 Name    JOHN MARTIN
    Party 2 Name    MARY KELLY
    Date of Event    17 February 1914
    Group Registration ID    1810946
    SR District/Reg Area    Kilrush…

    Mary's residence at the time of marriage is given as Killard, but appears to have been in the adjoining townland of Caherlean, where she can be found at…

    Her parents appear to have been Michael Kelly and Anne McInerney, who have several children in the Doonbeg baptismal register.

    It appears that James Kelly, the informant on the death certificate, had also transferred his residence from Caherlean to Ballymacrinan.

    Paddy Waldron, IrelandXO Volunteer

    Thursday 4th Jun 2020, 08:17PM

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