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John Kelly was a grocer and he married Mary Sheridan in about 1805 in Dublin City. We have found the St. Catherine's baptism record for their son John in 1818. We have also found their son Martin was baptized at Rathmines in 1825. The father John died about 1840 and the mother died about 1830. Their other children were Thomas born about 1812, Mary (1815), James, and  Jane. We are interested in learning more about any of these family members. Thomas went to Batley, Yorkshire for work and then for Canada/USA about 1843, and John left for Canada, also. Both of the girls immigrated to the U.S.A. Thank you for any information you might have! Cousin Deb


Tuesday 9th Apr 2019, 12:23AM

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  • Tracing further details on your John and Mary Kelly would be difficult due to the very common names, and also the early date - parish records for this timeframe are not very detailed, so often no addresses or occupations etc. Was the information regarding John's trade passed down through the family or did you locate a reference for this ?

    I checked for baptisms of other children and the parents marriage, but no sign of any matches that i could find in the available records.

    Catholic registers did not usually keep records of deaths at this time so would be difficult so tracing definite deaths for your John and/or Mary, but if an address was available for them it might be possible to trace a plot for them if they were buried in Glasnevin Cemetery (pay-website).

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 10th Apr 2019, 11:23AM
  • Dear Shane,

    Thank you for responding and for your helpful information, and for your search for further records! And for your patience about my tardy response.

    We would like your opinion: we are considering looking into newspaper death notices of the time; do you think that might be a good idea?

    With regard to your question about the story of John Kelly being a grocer, it is from family records and the information appears to be solid.

    Regarding a location for John Kelly the grocer: using the confirmed baptismal church records we have, we have looked at the 1820 and 1830 Wilson's Dublin Directory for people in trade and we have found a possible record for a grocer named John Kelly in a likely neighborhood. The same address is note on both these records; it is 153 Church St, which is a nearby street to where the church baptisms occurred; also, he does not appear at that address after his death in about 1837.

    I will ask, just on the off chance, do you have an knowledge about this Church St of the 1830's?

    We have been so grateful for the resources that the government  and people of Ireland are sharing with the world, including through IrelandXO.

    Thank you again for your time and interest.



    Thursday 30th May 2019, 10:39PM
  • If your John was a grocer then he might have appeared in a newspaper article at some point -  I've seen a few mentions of grocers in cases regarding weights & measures prosecution, of alcohol license issues. Most ordinary families back then would not have paid for birth/married/death notices in newspapers, and as far as I know only the larger more upmarket grocers placed adverts.

    Church Street is in Dublin's Northside (i.e. north of the river Liffey), so I would expect Catholic baptisms for that area to have taken place at either St. Michan's or possibly St. Paul's. St. Catherine's is on James' Street in the south of the city.

    I had a quick look at the listing in Pettigrew & Oulton's 1834 directory, just one John Kelly grocer that I could see at 15 Broadstone, which was located in the northern suburbs of Dublin city. There's no listing for 153 Church street - the numbers skip from 151 to 154. My copy of the Treble Almanac of 1829 (included Wilson's directory), shows several John Kelly Grocers, including the one you mentioned at 153 Church St., but also one at 53 Charlemont Street -  which would be a little closer to St. Catherine's...  bear in mind that not everyone would have been listed in directories at this time, only the larger businesses and certain trades were listed..

    I'll have a look at the baptisms you mentioned..

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 4th Jun 2019, 02:49PM
  • Dear Shane,

    Thank you! This is helpful and interesting!

    We will add that 1834 year with the Broadstone address to our searches, in addition to the two we had already  as possibles. Though, as you lay out,  it is unlikely to find any of our grocer John Kelly mentions in any newspapers, as the Family History Library has some free on-site access to them, I think we will still give it a try, next time when I am close to the one in Oakland, California. It will help to know of the possible name mentions in license and prosecution options when I conduct my searches; thank you.

    Regarding the burials, I have searched the Glasnevin records previously and, though there are John Kelly's in the time period that he died (1836-43), when I enter the filter term (Widower), none come up. Are you familiar with that resource and would all the records that exist always include the widower designation? We are wondering whether to pay to find out more. He was definitely a widower, as his wife Mary died between 1824 and 1836 (more likely closer to the 1824 date).

    Regarding the records for the St Catherine's church, I have noticed that both RC and COI records turn up as connected with that church: this is surprising to me. Have you seen that before? Both of these church records turn up on the Ireland IE website. Would you have a thought about how this could happen? 

    Thank you again for all your help!



    Thursday 20th Jun 2019, 10:43PM
  • PS Shane, I am curious why there are so few burial records, especially RC, available.


    Thursday 20th Jun 2019, 11:12PM
  • There were two seperate St. Catherine's churches and parishes in Dublin city - a Church of Ireland St. Catherine's on Thomas Street and the Roman Catholic St. Catherine's on nearby Meath Street. Many of the parishes named after saints were used by both RC and Cof - e.g. Andrew, Mary, Nicholas....

    Most Catholic parishes did not keep death/burial records in the 1800s, and many particularly those in the cities and towns, did not have their own attached graveyards. If you draw a line from Dublin city to Sligo, then Catholic Parishes north of this line are a little more likely to have death-burial records.

    The only other reason I've come across is that a burial service did not count as a sacrament, whereas baptisms and marriage do - and the registers were usually considered registers of sacraments. A few registers also recorded confirmations which is also a sacrament ..

    Historically many burials took place in old shared graveyards, dating from before the Reformation.  The old Established Church (CofI) graveyards were also used by other Christian Denomination - e.g. Prebyterian etc. The non-Church of Ireland burials were often not recorded in the register. Independent cemeteries like Glasnevin (aka Prospect) were different as they were not attached to a church or parish, and in Glasnevin's case it was non-denominational - "for the burial of those of all religions and none". The fact that someone is a widower might be recorded in Glasnevin's burial register, but as far as I now the search function only applies to the first name/surname/age and address. On the free Glasnevin search you can sometimes figure out addresses by guessing a letter at a time - like the 'hangman' word guessing game, which can help narrow down possible matches if you know where a person might have lived.

    Most Church of Ireland Burial registers do include records of burial, but of course not all these survive, and many of those that do are not currently available online.

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 21st Jun 2019, 01:17PM
  • Thank you Shane, my cousin and I appreciate the knowledge and expertise that you have shared with us.

    We are next going to search for family in the Westmeath area, so we may "see" you then!

    With gratitude,



    Wednesday 10th Jul 2019, 12:00AM
  • Hi Debbie,

    A key reason why it is difficult to find information on Catholic burials is because, under the Penl laws, Catholics weren't allowed to have their own cemeteries. They had to use Church of Ireland graveyards / cemeteries and pay the CoI pastor for the privilege of being buried there. That's why it was so important that Glasnevin cemetery opened in 1832, allowing Catholics to have their own burial place (open to all religions, as Shane said.) Consequently, records on Catholic burials can be hard to find.



    Thursday 11th Jul 2019, 09:23PM

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