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I'm looking to find confirmation of children of Denis Gallagher and Ellen/Helen Ferry. I found  a Census search by their daughter, Kate in 1920, seeking Old Age Pension,, which gives the date of their marriage as 1844 in Tullaghobegly. The 1841/1851 Census shows other children besides Kate were Denis, Anthony and Mary born between 1845 and 1850. Kate was the youngest. Kate was born in Lunniagh and living in Carrick Coyle in 1920.

My GG grandfather, James Gallagher, says on his wedding reg. in Hamilton, Scotland, that Denis and Helen were his parents.

He was born 1854c.

My mum has a good DNA connection with someone descended from Thomas Gallagher born 1859, possibly in Carrick Boyle. The match shows Mum and Thomas'es descendant as 3rd cousins, which matches Thomas also being a son of Denis and Ellen. On Thomas'es marriage reg. to Cecilia Diver 11 April 1888, his father is noted as Denis. They married in Gweedore at St Mary's chapel.

The records I have found so far place Denis and Helen and their family in Carrick Coyle and Lunniagh.

My GG grandfather, James Gallagher, was last heard of 'back in Ireland' according to a Poor application by his mother-in -law, submitted in Hamilton in 1888. . She was unaware that his marriage has broken up. We know from his eldest daughter's wedding registration in Kirkcaldy, Fife, that he had died pre 1896. But we never have been able to find where he was buried or what happened to him. He was coal mining in Scotland. I cannot find a record of his death there.

My grandfather and I were close, and I can remember walking on the beach with him once in New Zealand when I was little, and him telling me all about how people used to survive eating seaweed and it was a certain type. 

This rang a bell when reading of the terrible time in Gweedore, which fits the time our Gallagher family would have been there. 

I know Gallaghers are needles in a haystack searches, but I'm hoping the DNA will pinpoint where our family lived and are resting. 

Any help greatly appreciated.



Wednesday 27th Sep 2023, 01:52AM

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  • Kerrie:

    Unfortunately, the RC church records for Gweedore RC parish start in 1868 so we won't find any additional baptismal records for children of Denis and Ellen.

    I checked the 1857 Griffiths Valuation head of household records for Co. Donegal and there were 41 Denis Gallagher records but none in Tullaghobegly civil parish. 

    Possibly Denis had a very small holding and was subletting from another farmer and his name was not recorded in the Griffiths. Civil registration of deaths started in 1864.

    I located this lead for a very old Denis Gallagher who died in 1908 and he was from Carrick. See second record.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 27th Sep 2023, 04:24PM
  • Thanks so much Roger. That makes sense. Denis was on James' marriage registration as a general labourer. He didn't have his own farm. Much appreciated, Kerrie


    Wednesday 27th Sep 2023, 09:54PM
  • Hello Kerrie

    I came across your post today about Thomas Gallagher being a descendant of Dennis Gallagher and Ellen Ferry DOM 1844. 

    Thomas Gallagher is my maternal Great Grandfather who married Cecilia Diver on 11th April 1888.

    Let me know if you wish to establish contact and share information otherwise please accept my apologies for contacting you.

    Anne McPherson 


    Sunday 16th Jun 2024, 12:14PM

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