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Frances (Fanny) Stuart married Edward De Courcy 1854 Kiltoghart, Leitrim

I am looking for information on my Irish heritage.

My 3rd Great Grandparents (Fanny Stuart and Edward De Courcy) were married in Ireland and had 4 children before emigrating to Brooklyn, New York in 1863 (ship out of Liverpool):
  Olivia b. 1856 (2nd G-grandma)
  Grisella b. 1858
  William Stewart b. 1860
  Henrietta b. 1862

Is there anything in their names or marriage location which would provide some background information? I don't even know what religion they practiced.

I have been trying to determine where they lived in Ireland. The only Irish records I could find is for the marriage in Ancestry's 'Ireland Select Marriages' 1619-1898. Even this entry is a guess that the marriage reflects my ancestors since:
The date is 2 years before my best estimate of their first child's birth and the children have the fathers' names. 

Does anyone have thoughts on whether Kiltoghart was the location of their home? Where can I get more information? Where would they record the birth of their children.  

Olivia married a Kingsland (also of Irish heritage - but my Kingland ancestors moved to the U.S. in the 1600s). Olivia has made my search a bit difficult. Sometimes her name in the census was recorded as Ophelia.  As she got older, she gave herself a younger birthdate and she claimed she was born in the U.S. on some documents. She was quite a character.  I wonder what her parents were like. 


Friday 15th March 2019, 02:00AM

Message Board Replies

  • Alana:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    I located a transcription of the church marriage record on the subscription site Roots Ireland and the marriage was held in the Drumshanbo Church of Ireland church. Drumshanbo is the largest town in Kiltoghert civil parish. Unfortunately, baptismal records for that parish are not available until 1885 and civil registration for births did not start until 1864 so there would be no record for any of the children. There is a civil record for the marriage which would show the names of the fathers of the bride and groom. is a free site which has images of civil marriage records but right now images are only available from 1870-1941. GRO is working to add the earlier marriages but we don't have a date.

    You will note that Edward was from the town of Drumshanbo and Frances was from Mahanagh townland which was mistranscribed as Makanagh. 

    Date of Marriage:05-Jan-1854
    County:Co. Leitrim
    Husband  EdwardDecourcy  Address Drumshanbo
    Wife FrancesStuartAddress: Makanagh

    I also looked at the 1857 Griffiths Valuation head of household listing for Kiltoghert civil parish and there were no de Courcy records but I did see an Edward Stewart in Mahanagh townland and possibly he was the father of Frances.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon

    Friday 15th March 2019, 03:05PM
  • Thank you for the help.  This gives me an area to search in.  I think we are looking at the same marriage.  I would be more comfortable with identifying this couple as my ancestors. if I could find something in Ireland that ties them to the kids or to a trip to Liverpool for their embarkation. Edward De Courcy worked as a store clerk in New York and later had a Milliner store.

    On Ancestry I found these family members listed in the detail of the Civil Marriages.  Unfortunately there is no image. This looks like the bride and groom and their fathers:

    Household Members
    Frances Stuart
    Edward Stuart
    Edward Decourey
    William Decourey


    There is a seperate record in Ancestry from the Civil Registration of Marriages. It lists different Household members.  Other than the bride and groom, the last names are not from either family:

    Volume 3
    Page number 285
    FHL Film Number 101245

    William Finly
    James Talbot
    Frances Doyle
    Mary Anne Peyton
    Frances Stuart
    George Clifford
    Bridget Coan
    Edward Decourey

    My husband and I have been talking about traveling to Ireland.  I've been delaying until I could find an area tied to my more recent ancestors. I have ancestors (Kingsland) who were Norman invaders of Ireland and emigrated to North America (New Jersey) in the 1600s.  Their Irish ties are tenuous.




    Friday 15th March 2019, 10:40PM
  • The term Norman invaders of Ireland is interesting. The first Normans were actually invited into Ireland by Dermot MacMurragh, the ousted King of Leinster who had sought their help in regaining his kingdom (which he had lost in fights with other “lesser kings” in Ireland). A bit of a tactical mistake since obviously the Normans later decided to hand the territory they had recovered for him to King Henry II of England. But it probably wasn’t really an offensive invasion in the conventional sense. They were invited in. The support given to Dermot MacMurragh by the Anglo-Normans also had the Pope’s backing. Irish history is not always clear cut.


    Friday 15th March 2019, 11:58PM
  • Alana:

    That separate record you located is not representing a family household. Marriages were recorded on a page with usually one to five marriages on the page. What you located was an index record which shows the names of all the brides and grooms on the page. So for example, William Finly married either Frances Doyle, Mary Anne Peyton or Bridget Coan. The first record you located confirms that Edward Stuart was the father of Frances and William Decourey (sp) was the father of Edward.


    Castlemore Roscommon

    Saturday 16th March 2019, 01:11PM
  • Roger,

    Thank you for the clarification.  I was guessing that those were multiple weddings, but I wasn't sure.  

    Now I have the father's names.  I need to find the mother's names.

    For my future visit to Ireland, do you have any recommendations on where I should visit  in Ireland for researching my Stuart/De Courcy Irish heritage? 

    I am very curious about the De Courcy heritage.  I read that De Courcy’s were mostly in Northern Ireland.  Therefore I expected that Edward De Courcy might be Catholic.   Since Fanny and Edward were married in the Church of Ireland, I now assume he was Protestant. It appears that De Courcy’s were rare in Leitrim, but Stuart’s were not.  This leads me to believe that I have found my ancestors.  

    I wonder why Edward De Courcy was in Leitrim. They lived as a couple in Ireland for nine years, and had four children, before emigrating to New York. Edward was a store clerk in New York, then he had a Milliner’s store, before moving to San Francisco. Fanny was in millinery too. Olivia, their daughter, left Ireland with them at age 7. I wonder how much of her Irish heritage she brought with her.  I know she tried to hide it – but that is not unexpected for the times. Olivia was very unusual.  She was an artist, a poet, a writer, and taught art.  She was involved in the women’s political activism of the time.  She died of a heart attack giving a lecture in Santa Cruz, CA.  (Her husband died at age 37 and she supported her four chldren. )


    Saturday 16th March 2019, 08:09PM
  • Alana:

    I looked at the Griffiths Valuation head of hosuehold data from the mid-19th century and there were very few de Courcy names listed and they were not in Northern Ireland. Mainly in Cork and Kerry but small numbers. However, when I searched Roots Ireland, I located the record below which is likely his baptismal record. Got to go now. I will be back later.


    Name:Edward De CourcyDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:30-Sep-1829Address:StrokestownParish/District:BUMLIN CHURCH OF IRELANDGender:MaleCountyCo. Roscommon
    Denomination:Church Of Ireland
    Father:William De CourcyMother:Susan Not Recorded



    Castlemore Roscommon

    Sunday 17th March 2019, 12:34PM
  • Alana:

    I went back to Roots Ireland to see if Edward had siblings and one record came up for an Olivia (see below)so that name continued on.

    I did not find a marriage record for William de Courcy anywhere in Ireland. The Bumlin Church of Ireland records go back to 1811. 

    When you come to Ireland, you should visit Strokestown Park house and the Famine Museum


    Name:Olivia De CourcyDate of Birth:
    Date of Baptism:09-Nov-1831Address:StrokestownParish/District:BUMLIN CHURCH OF IRELANDGender:FemaleCountyCo. Roscommon
    Denomination:Church Of Ireland
    Father:William De CourcyMother:Susan Not RecordedOccupation:Not Recorded

    Castlemore Roscommon

    Sunday 17th March 2019, 05:58PM
  • Happy St. Patrick's Day - at least it is still daytime for me. Thank you so much for all this information.  I feel much more comfortable calling these folks my ancestors.  Susan, William, Edward and Olivia are family names that were passed down.  Other names I have seen in the descendants are Henrietta and Grisella (frequently mis-transcribed as Priscilla). To complete the record; Fanny and Edward's children born in the U.S. were named as follows:

    Edward Stewart b. 1865 d. 1918

    Charles George b. 1868 d. 1929

    Susan Isabelle b. 1869 d.1939

    Violet b. 1874 d. 1874

    Lavinia b. 1877 d. 1878

    I haven't found out how they made it to San Francisco - It was in 1873 or 1874. They could have traveled by transcontinental railroad or by ship. Wagon trains had faded out.  I haven't found a transportation record yet.

    I am so happy to have some locations to focus on when I go to Ireland -- beyond the traditional tourist areas.




    Sunday 17th March 2019, 10:08PM
  • Alana:

    Happy St. Patrick's Day! I live in Maryland. It is still the 17th here.

    Let us know if you finalize your plans to visit Ireland.


    Castlemore Roscommon

    Sunday 17th March 2019, 11:45PM
  • Roger,

    That is too funny.  I'm a California girl and I go to Maryland at least twice a year. My husband is from Maryland. You can reach me directly at .


    Monday 18th March 2019, 12:13AM