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My great-great grandparents, James and Bridget Gillespie emigrated from Meenaneary in the late 1870s with their children and Bridget's sister.  We have ship records from 1877 showing Bridget Gillespie (born Cannon) left with Catherine Cannon (her sister) and Bridget's six sons.  The sons are John, James, Owen, Michael, Patrick and Cornelius.  The family settled in Centralia Pennsylvania.  It seems that James Gillespie might have left before the rest of his family.

James was born in Ireland around 1830-1832.  He dies in Philadelphia PA in 1891.  No birth records were found in Ireland.

Bridget (possibly Mary Bridget) Cannon was born in approximately 1834.  She died in Philadelphia in 1899.  No birth records were found.

Catherine Cannon, aka Kitty, married in the US.  Her married name was Catherine Doughtery.  She dies in 1923.  It is believed that her parents names were Owen and Catherine Cannon.

Griffith's Valuation in the mid 1800's lists Owen Cannon living in Meenaneary.

There are birth records in Ireland for Owen Gillespy and Michael Gillespy.  Birth records were not found for the other 4 brothers. 

Owen's birth record says he was born in October 7, 1866 in the Townland of Meenaneary, Parish of Carrick, County Donegal. James Gillespy is listed as a farmer.

Michael's birth record lists the family as living in the Townland of Meenaduff, Parish of Carrick, County Donegal.  James Gillespy is listed as a farmer on the Civil Birth Record.  Michael's birthday was July 29, 1869.

I will be visiting Donegal next month, May 2019.  It would lovely to find connections to any Gillespies, Cannons or Doughertys still living near Meenaneary and the surrounding areas.

Thanks for your help!




Dan Gillespie

Saturday 6th Apr 2019, 05:07PM

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    Hello, Dan.

    I am also looking for information on a Cannon/Gillespie husband and wife. My 2nd great grandfather was Patrick Cannon (photo below) born in Donegal in 1840. I believe his parents were Thomas Cannon and Bridget Gillespie both born about 1825. Patrick emigrated to New York and fought in our civil war. He married Bridget Reilly and had four children: Thomas Henry, Daniel, Margaret, and Mary.

    My aunt has a DNA match who lists her ancestors as James Cannon (1819-1868) married to Mary Josephine Gillespie (1821-1879) and they had Margaret, Frank, Daniel, Jennie, Caroline, and Ella. Their family settled in Philadelphia.

    Related or not, it seems the Cannons and the Gillespies had a thing going...

    I hope you had luck in finding more info. Please reply if you find info that they're all related.


    Marianne Burley


    Wednesday 10th Nov 2021, 06:49PM
  • Good morning.  Hope you are healthy and well.  First, I think we may be related.  Second, I am curious if you found any relatives during your trip to Ireland in 2019.

    Background.  We determined that my great grandfather...Eugene Owen Gillespie...was born in Meenaneary on October 17, 1866.  His father was James Gillespie and his mother was Bridget Gillespie nee Cannon.

    He married my great grandmother Mary Gillespie nee McGinley on August 15, 1894 in Philadelphia.  Officiating in the presence of their wedding was Michael Gillespie and Annie McGinley.

    They had four children.  James (born 1895), Eugene (born 1897), Anna (born 1899) and my grandmother Mary (born 1902).  When my grandmother was born, they lived at 313 West Penn Street in Philadelphia.

    The sponsors for their baptism at St. Vincent de Paul Church in Philadelphia were:  James Gillespi and Mary McGill (James), Daniel Moriarity and Mary Burns (Eugene), John McCue and Annie McCue (Anna) and Dennis McGlynn and Mary McGonagle (Mary).

    Please let me know if any of this information connects with you.  My gedmatch number is A374874 and my mother's gedmatch number is LK7308308.  My wife is much much better at ancestry research than me.  She has my family tree on  Her name is Jill Jacoby Brugger.

    I hope you have a great day.

    PS.  My Mom is 88 years old and we are still trying to find the birthplace of her grandmother (Mary Gillespie nee McGinley).  We think she was born in the Glencomcille area.  Her date of birth is estimated to be February 1, 1868 (DOB on her death certificate).  Her gravestone says she was born in 1870.  She died in Winter Park, Florida on February 17, 1960 and is buried in Philadelphia.  Thanking you in advance for any light you can shed...


    Wednesday 1st Dec 2021, 12:45PM

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