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Greetings!  I am looking for more information on the Gallagher and McCowley (or McCawley) families of Doobally and Knader.  My great-grandmother Susan Gallagher was born in Doobally in 1877 to Thomas Gallagher (son of James) b. 1845 and Mary McCowley (daughter of Owen) b. 1849.  I do not have the mothers names for Thomas Gallagher or Mary McCowley but I do have their civil marriage record and the witnesses are Mary Quinn and Ellen Quinn.  Thomas and Mary were married in Ballyshannon in 1867.  Mary's father Owen McCowley died in 1895 and was buried at Assaroe Abbey.  I have not been able to go further back than this yet.  

Thomas and Mary had 9 children:

Jane Gallagher McCann 1869-1937

Mary Gallagher Gray 1870-1906

James Gallagher 1872-?

Patrick Gallagher 1875-?

Susan Gallagher Daly 1877-1939

Rose Gallagher Keenan 1879-1953

Thomas Gallagher 1882-1915

Owen Gallagher 1884-1965

Annie Gallagher McGrimley 1887-1970

All of them but James (who I found in the 1901 Census living with his mother and some of the younger children) and Patrick (he does not appear in the 1901 Census) emigrated to Boston.   Family lore is that my great-grandmother Susan returned to Ireland when her oldest children were small and stayed for several months taking care of her mother and that several years after Mary's death, Owen Gallagher filed paperwork that the land should pass to him. After that, I do not know what became of the property.  I just determined that Mary died in 1913 in Boston.  Her mother's name on her death record is Susan McGrath.    

I would love to connect with anyone else researching this family.  Additionally, I will be in Ireland with my mother, my sister, two aunts and two cousins from April 15th-April 24th and we plan on spending a few days around Ballyshannon, most likely around the 19th-22nd.  We love to meet up with anyone local who could tell us about the area and/or connect with distant cousins.  

Looking forward to any replies!

Annette Donahue




Saturday 20th Feb 2016, 11:13PM

Message Board Replies

  • Annette:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    The RC records for Kilbarron parish do not begin until 1854. This is fairly consistent with all of the RC parishes for Donegal. For some reason, the records start later than most counties.   Consequently, you won't find a baptismal record for Thomas or Mary in Kilbarron. The only possibility would be if they had younger siblings who were baptized 1854 or later.

    You can search on our message board for all prior messages with Gallagher connections. Im sure there are many of them.

    We do not have a parish liasion in Kilbarron parish or a nearby parish, however, our will check with our HQ to see if we can find a local contact.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 21st Feb 2016, 12:06AM
  • Thank you so much Roger, I really appreciate it!  I thought I read somewhere that before civil registration of marriages that Roman Catholic ones would be registered with the Church of Ireland to make them official.  Do you know if that is something worth looking into for pre-1858 marriage records?



    Sunday 21st Feb 2016, 02:32AM
  • Annette:

    Civil registration for non-Catholic marriages started in 1845 and registration for all events for all people started in 1864. I have not heard of the practice of RC couples registering marriages with the C of I church but anything is possible. I just took a quick look at the indexes and did not see a record between 1845-1863 for Owen McCauley.



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 21st Feb 2016, 02:09PM
  • I have a picture of the headstone for Owen McCowley (d. 1895) at Assaroe Abbey in Ballyshannon.  But his wife Susan McGrath McCowley is not listed upon it.  I believe she died in 1907.  In the 1901 Census she is listed as Roman Catholic so I don't think it was because she was Protestant.  Would anyone have any other ideas why she might not be there?  If I send her her death certificate, will her burial place be listed?


    Tuesday 22nd Mar 2016, 06:37PM
  • What you get on an Irish death certificate is the date and place of death, the persons name, age, sex, marital status, occupation, cause of death and the informant’s details. So if the townland is where your family were living or if the informant was the husband or a daughter, you may be able to decide whether its your family or not. The place of burial is not recorded there or anywhere else.

    The wife could well be in the grave you have found, just that information has not been inscribed on the gravestone.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 22nd Mar 2016, 11:44PM
  • Okay, thank you very much!


    Wednesday 23rd Mar 2016, 10:40PM

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