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My mother has been struggling with a brick wall in our Mansfield family history that has links back to Cork. 

Her 2G Grandfather was Francis Henry Mansfield, born in Cork abt 1844 to a Richard and Mary Mansfield. Francis Henry aged 18 resided in Putney, Surrey in 1861 along with his widowed mother Mary, and his brother Richard. Francis Henry Mansfield married Harriet Lamprell (from Essex) in 1865 and migrated to Brisbane, Australia on the Ocean Empress with their infant son, Richard, in 1866. His wife Harriet died in 1883, and Francis Henry passing away in 1925 in Brisbane, Australia.

While census records and death certificates note that Francis Henry was born in Cork, we have not been able to locate any birth records for Francis Henry or his brother Richard.

Richard Mansfield, born 1847, to Richard and Mary Mansfield is also first noted in the 1861 census at age 14 in Putney, Surrey along with his mother and brother. Richard married Sarah Zelpah Evans in Putney, Wandsworth on 23 May 1875. The couple had 2 children born in Rotherhithe, Richard Francis in 1876 and Mary Kingston Mansfield in 1878. Richard Mansfield worked as a police inspector at the time of his death in early 1878.

Their mother Mary Mansfield (maiden name unknown) was noted in census documents as being born in Cork around 1821. Marriage records for sons of Mary Mansfield indicate that their father, her husband was Richard Mansfield, whom was a shoemaker and also from Cork. Mary worked as a laundress and resided in Putney from at least 1861 to the time of her passing from cancer in April 1881. 

From review of census records containing Mary Mansfield, references were made to other familial connections from Ireland in both the 1861 and 1871 census. In 1861, a cousin named James Willis was noted as being at the residence along with his wife Susannah and daughter Eliza. In 1871, the census notes a Robert Whelan born Cork in 1853 as a nephew. No further references were found to any of these visitors that would assist in narrowing down a parish or family in Cork.

Richard Mansfield is noted in family records as being a shoemaker and from Cork. No birth, marriage or death records have been able to be located for him. Old stories from our great grandfather indicate that there may have been a family shoemaking business that was owned and operated by brothers in this family, continuing through to the 1970's or 80's.

We have recently been investigating a potential birth record match for a Richard Mansfield born 1821 at Chapel Cross, Dunmanway to Charles Mansfield and Mary Brien. Although the family group contains most of the names that have been passed down, we have not been able to definitively confirm that it is the right family. The recurring names across the next 3-4 generations are Richard, Francis, Charles, John and Henry. So far the only name unable to be linked is Henry.

A theory that we are working on for Mary Mansfield is that she may have been born a Kingston, or at least a close link to that family. The hint behind this one is that Richard Mansfield (jnr) daughter's name is Mary Kingston Mansfield. As Mary was not born in Kingston, and it was not her mother Sarah's maiden name (born of George Evans and Ruth Haynes), it is though that it may be Mary Mansfield's maiden name.

From DNA kit matches there have been a few leads back to Dunmanway, with links to the surnames Mansfield, Kingston, Thornton, Brien and potentially Daly, Ahern, Daunt, Sweetnam and Newman in more recent generations (4-6 cousin matches). For example, William Ahern (1831- ..) & Ellen Daunt (1840 - ..) from around Dunmanway appear in the family tree of distant DNA matches. 

Any help or leads for connections would be greatly appreciated. 

Kind Regards



Tuesday 12th Sep 2023, 07:09AM

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  • Hi Lea

    I am interested in your family tree, I know a tree which has a Henry Mansfield born in NSW c1876.... but the same tree has Daunt families in it, so its possible they are related.  Actually has a few of those surnames you listed.


    HENRY MANSFIELD... the naming traditions are usually kept, but the name Henry could come from the mothers side too.. The first son is named after the paternal grandfather, the second son after the maternal grandfather... so Richards wife may have a father, older brother or grandfather called Henry.  I have had a look for a Henry Mansfield... there are Henry Mansfields in Wicklow (near Dublin)

    KINGSTON... assuming Mary is born Mary Kingston, there are lots of them in in Cork too, 


    ah.... so I looked up some births and marriages for Mary Kingston... there IS a Mary Kingston who marries a John Brien in Drimoleage in 1822.... the Kingston family live in Dunny....both are in Cork.... but this could also be the dna match you have ..... because Chas Mansfield married a Brien too and its likely that Chas wife is the sister to Mary Kingstons husband.....they live in the same area of Cork and marry around the same time, roughly the same age.  so sibling or cousin is possible. Obviously this is not the same Mary that married your Mansfield but could be related to her... mother, aunt etc. It explains the dna match.  Looks like the witnesses to the marriage were Cornelius and Olivia O'Brien. (O'Brien/Brien).


    I am unsure when your Mary Kingston was born, but there are at least 7 baptisms which are in the 1820 or early 1830s that are possible... all in Cork or very close (Kerry, border of Limerick etc)

    There are LOTS of records for multiple Mary Kingstons in Cork, for generations.

    BUT... on the Mansfields... I have looked at the National Archives of Ireland for Mansfield families anywhere in Ireland....

    1821... there is one census for Mansfield in Ireland... it is for a Patt Mansfield with his family, the children all seem to be adult in their 20s... so its possible the this is the family of yours... but Richard is not mentioned, nor is CHarles, so its possible the whole family were in a different part of Ireland where the records have not survived.


    1831... there is only one census, but for Chas... Charles I am guessing.  This IS the one you mentioned above.... but this Chas is living at

    7 Drumgoony (Drung and Larah, Cavan)

    1841 and 1851 - 1841 has gone.  1851 there is another census which shows a Mansfield family living with a LOT of other families in Atrim, so still up near Dublin (in comparison to Cork)

    1851, there is a house... Residents of a house 93 in Larne (Larne, Upper Glenarm, Antrim) link below because the images are too large to upload.

    the census is multiple pages, but shows a LOT of people sharing the house, including a family of Mansfields.... and some shoe makers. Because of the number of people in the home, there are about 10 pages for the census, look at them all, because they have some with the family, then also ones which mention people passing since the 1841 census.…







    Thursday 21st Sep 2023, 12:42PM

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