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Hello! I am wondering if perhaps anyone can give me some guidance as to how to proceed in my search for my Fossa ancestors. I appreciate any advice on this. 

My ancestors are Stephen Driscoll and his wife Catherine Rahilly. One of their daughters, named Mary or Margaret married John Ford from County Cork (exact location unsure.) I got the names from my third great grandfathers (Jeremiah Ford) death certificate, which  I am leaning toward being correct as his oldest daughter was the informant.

I have been on IrishGenealogy.IE and found what I believe to be all of Stephen Driscoll and Catherine Rahilly's children. On the baptismal records I also found names of possible relatives, as sponsors, or witnesses to marriages for each other, etc. Their children were all born between about 1800 and 1825. 

I have not been able to get back any farther on either Catherine's parents, or Stephens. I have also been unable to find any kind of marriage documentation in either County Kerry or Cork. The family was Roman Catholic, so what I have been able to ascertain has been from church records.

How can I learn more about the areas of Fossa and Cools?  How can I learn more about where the families may have come from before coming there? I have found Stephen in the tithe applotment books. I would love to pin down birth and death dates or at least a good guesstimate. Also, there is a huge 7 year gap between all the children of Stephen and Catherine and the last two of their kids. Did something happen in Fossa during the late 18-teens to early 1820's? I just have so many questions. Is Fossa still a place, and if so, what is it like? Or what would it have been like back then?

Thank you so very much for your help, it is truly appreciated! Jacki Wilson in Ohio, USA



Jacki Kellar Wilson

Thursday 10th Mar 2022, 02:48PM

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  • Jackie:

    Fossa is a village in Aghadoe civil parish,_County_Kerry  and there is a RC parish called Fossa

    I was unable to find the marriage record. Marriages were held in the bride's parish and possibly Catherine was from a nearby parish that no longer has records back to pre-1806. Stephen and Catherine were likely born around 1785 and no parish in the area has records back to 1785 including Killarney.

    You asked about the birth gaps between 1814 and 1821 and also 1821 and 1828. There was a chapel in Fossa by 1837 (see the this Lewis Topographical Dictionary overview of the parish )…;  The information for the RC chapel is towards the end of the article. Likely the Fossa chapel went back to the early 1800s.

    Fossa RC records currently are only available starting 1857. Earlier records were lost. Possibly some children were baptized in Fossa if the priest came to the chapel. Other times the family went to Killarney for the baptism.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 10th Mar 2022, 06:40PM

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