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My parents will be making their first trip to Ireland in Sept.  They would like to find their way to some of the sites and areas from which my mom's family hailed. I have posted queries here previously and was so glad for helpful info given. So quick family run down is the following: 

John H O'Connor dob 1847 near Cahermoyle per his obituary in Chicago Irish Families 12/10/1892. His brother was Daniel dob 1852. The write up in Chgo Irish Families states John H O'Connor came to Chicago after participating in the Fenian Uprising of 1867 attack on the Ardagh Constabulary led by his uncle Patrick O'Connor. We know from burial records in Chicago he is related (possible first cousin) to the Chicago gangster, Tommy O'Connor who escaped hanging sentence in Chicago and is believed to have fled back to his home area in the Cahermoyle area of Limerick.

Daniel P Murphy dob Dec 1831 in Loghill Limerick per his obit in the Chicago papers. With the help of Col and others on this site, I believe he was baptized in Newcastle West 12/12/1831. I know his father was Denis Murphy and he had brothers Patrick dob 1825 and Michael dob 1844.  The bap certs for them all indicate their mom was Maria Cronin. Michael married Margaret Enright in Ireland. Daniel P Murphy's oldest daughter married John H O'Connor in Chicago. So I think the families were from the same area in Limerick.

When my parents come in Sept, they want to stop in the Rathkeale and Loghill area to see if there are any churches or cemeteries where some family could be. Would there be any church with possible records? Also, is the Ardagh constabulary still standing? Could they see anything about the Fenian Uprising John H O'Connor was part of?

I am going to post this on the boards for Loghill, Rathkeale and Rathronan also in case others who might have ideas are only monitoring those parishes.

Hoping someone can give us guidance for my parents. They have waited for so long to get to Ireland! Much MUCH thanks for any help!

Jeanie Lewis 



Saturday 27th May 2017, 05:00AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hello again Jeanie!

    I will check with our HQ to see if we have any parish liaisons in the West Limerick area. I don't see anyone for the parishes that you list. I do know someone in Ardagh and will if there is any info about the RIC barrack. I also found an article on the 1867 uprising in Ardagh.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 30th May 2017, 09:14PM
  • Thanks so much Roger!  Let me know if there is any contacts they can connect up with for West Limerick.  Hopefully there is something to go on with the barrack incident....I believe this is an anniversary year for that uprising.

    Much thanks and my best wishes to you!



    Wednesday 31st May 2017, 04:02AM
  • Hello Jeanie, my name is Jennifer Jean and I live in the Newcastle West area, IRoger has advised you that there is someone that he knows in Ardagh, however I also know of a couple of people who may be able to throw some light on the details given. I note that your parents are here in Sept although you didn't give any dates: I will also try to contact someone who will meet and greet your parents to show them around if they have the time. I will come back to you after the weekend.


    Jennifer Jean


    Killeedy1 Limerick, Volunteer Ireland Reaching Out ☘️

    Thursday 1st Jun 2017, 12:04AM
  • Hi Jennifer!

    Thanks for responding and helping out. One of our parish liaisons for a Co. Donegal parish actually lives in Ardagh and when he gets a break from his work and coaching duties, he will be responding to Jeanie.



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 1st Jun 2017, 03:14PM
  • Hello Roger and Jennifer Jean

    Thanks....These are the dates for this leg of their trip.

    Coming from Killarney and arriving in Charleville (base camp) in the morning of Sept 20th.  Leaving Charleville for Dublin and flight to Chicago in afternoon of Sept 21st.  So the afternoon and evening of Sept 20th and the morning of Sept 21st are slotted for exploring the Charleville/Rahtkeale/Cahermoyle/Loghill/ and Ardagh area.  I think it is about a half hour drive from the Charlesville area up to the Rathkeale/Ardagh area?  I think that is what it seems to be.

    REALLY excited for my parents to have this contact in Limerick.  Took us 20+ years to nail down these locations! SOOOO long of a wait to come to Ireland!



    Thursday 1st Jun 2017, 04:16PM
  • Jeanie:

    I'm sure they will have a wonderful trip. September is usually a good weather month.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 2nd Jun 2017, 06:04PM
  • Hi Jeanie, my sincere apologies for the delay, and welcome again to Ireland Reaching Out,

    Thank you for letting us know what your travel plan would be in September, Jennifer and myself would be glad to meet and great you and your family when you happen to travel here in September. Jennifer’s friends would be very knowledgeable on the events of the 1867 Fenian Rising and organised the re-enactment of 150th Anniversary of Fenian Rising in Ardagh and other Towns within Limerick earlier this year, a truly talented group of people. It was a fantastic success, so fingers crossed they will be able to attend and help out also.

    We will be sure to research some more into your O’Connor and Murphy families in preparation. I am nearly sure that I read before this that you would have already seen the posted videos up on youtube earlier this year, however I thought it would be a good time to share them here for any interested parties looking at this post that may not be aware of this event hosted by St. Kieran’s Heritage Association.

    St Kierans Heritage Association – Facebook Page

    150th Anniversary of Fenian Rising - Ardagh Barracks

    Ardagh Fenian Rising Commemoration - 2017





    Ardagh Fenian Uprising 5th March 1867 - Names Participating

    150th Anniversary of Fenian Rising in Co. Limerick

    150th Anniversary of Fenian Rising in Ireland


    Seamus Callaghan and Jennifer Jean

    Clondavaddog Donegal, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 4th Jun 2017, 07:16PM
  • Hello! O wow! thanks so much for all this effort.  We greatly appreciate all this help.  YES!!! They will very much love to meet with anyone at all and maybe see where all the Fenian activity happened.  I did indeed check out all the anniversary activity that happened this last spring. I just sort of happened upon it all by doing a random routine search.  I was so glad to watch these was amazing.  Even my 13 yr old niece watched the video...she was very glad to see that dancing was part of the memorial. She dances with Trinity here in Chicago.

    So I first learned of the Ardagh Fenian connection with my ancestor John H O'Connor when researching at the Irish AMerican Heritage Center here on the NW side of Chicago. I was a little taken aback...but the genealogist at IAHC was so excited for me! A Fenian in the family, he said! That's great!  So my parents will absolutely love to meet anyone with info on this when they come in Sept.

    So as always I must thank you all for your offers and work! Let me know if I need to do anything else????



    Tuesday 6th Jun 2017, 05:45PM
  • Hi Seamus and Jeniifer Jean!

    See the new comment from Jeanie Lewis which was posted on the message board as a new message. All the best!


    John H O'Connor edits needed

    Hello--I am the great great granddaughter of John H O'Connor and Mary Murphy.  Thank you to the researcher who has found John's baptism record and names of his parents.  Much thanks!  There are two changes which need to be made on his record and I am not allowed to delete incorrect info.  His wife, Mary O'Connor was NOT born in Ireland.  She was born Aug 21 1855 in CHICAGO IL.  We have the vital records for citation on this.  So that will need to be altered.  Second, I am not sure whose marriage date is listed on his record as taking place in Philadelphia in 1894.  That is a wrong record for anyone involved in this family.  So that should be deleted.  So if the researcher who posted all this great info on John H O'Connor can make those alterations, the record is then correct.

    Again....BIG thank you to the researcher on this!

    Jeanie Lewis

    Chicago IL


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 20th Jul 2017, 03:37PM
  • John O'Connor 1847

    John O'Connor was born in the year of 1847 near Cahermoyne in Co.Limerick. He was baptised on the 16 May 1847 in St. Molua's Church, in the village of Ardagh, by his parents Thomas O’Connor and Maria Colman. 

    His father Thomas O’Connor was a successful farmer of the land, who's is recorded in the 1848 Griffith Valuation as having a large house and over 130 acres of land in the townland of Kilscannell. 

    On March 5th 1867, as part of the ill-fated Rising, John O’Connor at a young age of 20 years, participated as part of a medium sized group of Limerick Fenians involved in an attack on the Ardagh Police barracks. As many as 70 people were involved in one way or another in the attack on the RIC Barracks in Ardagh in March, 1867, which coincided with otherMilitary Manoeuvres in Kilmallock, Kilteely, Cork, Dublin and Canada, but the best local estimate for the actual sortie itself is about 40 men, armed with muskets, guns and locally made pikes.

    Reports on the night state that the group were assembled at a prearranged location and were directed to a place called Massy's Grove, where an officer named Captain John Murray, assembled them into line, shotguns in front, pikemen behind, and outlined his plans for the attack.  They then marched to the barracks, the time being close to midnight.

    Earlier that day a "tipsy" man had told one of the local constables of the planned attack, and so the Sergeant just armed his men, bolted the only door, and shuttered the barred windows.

    A sledge hammer and a ladder were used with a cartwheel as a battering ram to break in the door when the police refused to surrender. On rushing in the police opened fire and a local man Stephen Ambrose was wounded in the arm, this caused the attack to falter some, and though Ambrose urged them to press the attack, the majority felt they could not succeed and eventually dispersed, still firing at the barracks. The next morning, several pikes, a scythe and a pitch fork were found by the police outside the barracks.

    Many of the men went home, however over the duration of days and weeks there were 24 individual’s from the locality arrested and charged, but amongst those who took part in the attack there was also group who succeeded in avoiding arrest, and John Connors of Kilscannell was luckily enough to be one among this group, he went into to hiding west of Ardagh and eventually made it to America, unfortunately never to return to the Island of Ireland.

    When John emigrated to the USA he travelled soon after to Chicago, Illinois, where he was successful in gaining employment and within a few years got married to Mary Murphy, and as a couple they went on to have a family of four children between the years of 1872 and 1880.

    In 1880 the US Census was taken in the City of Chicago, and John O’Connor can be seen employed as a City Policeman (age 33), alongside his wife Mary, and his children Daniel (1872), John (1876), Mary (1877) and Frank (1880)

    John O’Connor died on December 10, 1892, in Chicago, Illinois, at the age of 45.

    His obituary was displayed in the Chicago Irish Families on the 12/10/1892, and it reads:

    Officer O'Connor

    O'Connor, Officer John, of the Chicago Police, died at his residence, 461 W. Taylor St, Chicago. He was born near Cahermoyle, Co. Limerick 42 yrs ago and came to the U.S after the Fenian uprising of 1867 in which he bravely participated, distinguishing himself in a bold attack on Ardagh Constabulary Barracks

    Clondavaddog Donegal, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 21st Jul 2017, 12:26PM
  • Hi Jeanie,

    Thanks for getting back to me on this, and sorry about the delay, there was a lot of work I had to before this. 

    My plan was always to research it first and try and put it together on Ancestor Chronicles for the Parish of Ardagh and then

    - Be able to contact you here directly to see what changes you would might like to make or add to it

    - Be able to show it locally with the hope of connecting with a possible descendant of an O’Connors family that may be living near or around this location.

    When I submitted it to be put on the page I may have done something wrong to it and unfortunatly there was issue with the post regarding veiwing or edited and I know that IT are still working on correcting this and that is why you could not see it via the Ardagh Pages. I am confident it will get sorted eventually, given it a bit of time. I will be back to you soon after that to chat alot more about this on the run up to you trip here in September. I am glad you like it.

    Regards Seamus

    Clondavaddog Donegal, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 21st Jul 2017, 04:01PM
  • Hi Seamus

    This is SO exciting!!! to think there might be some one of our family still in the area is awesome.  I have researched the church you found out--St Molua--and I hope that can be seen.  Actually, St Molua himself is quite interesting! And thanks to your research, there is another name in the tree to watch out for...Colman--John H O'Connor's mom.  Thank you!!!

    Enjoy your vacation and please check back in with me. I can give you another email address if that will facilitate things on your end.



    Friday 21st Jul 2017, 08:32PM
  • If you send it on to that would be great. I have loads of questions about other O'Connor family living nearby John and Mary in the 1880 Census Chicago. An Edward and a Maurice O'Connor, I was wondering if you ever reached out to these families. Thanks Seamus

    Clondavaddog Donegal, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 21st Jul 2017, 09:42PM
  • Jennie

    St Kierans Heritage Association

    Mary Kury published a book for the 150th Anniversary of the Fenian Uprising in Ardagh Copies still available at €5 and a medal was also minted €5 to mark the occasion

    A plague was unveiled on Sunday the 5th of March 2017 on the wall of the former Ardagh RIC Barracks to mark the 150th anniversary

    For more info please Email us at


    John O'Sullivan


    Sunday 23rd Jul 2017, 12:53AM
  • Hi Jeanie, Let me know how you get on with instruction below.

    I put together a few slides and attached it (below) showing the location of where Thomas Connors would have lived back in the mid 1800's using the information recorded the 1849 Griffith Valuation Record for Kilscannell. It is basically manipulating the 1850’s map and converted it to present day Google Maps. This should make it easy for you to go into your own Google Maps and navigate about the Kilscannell area and check out all the Plots of land marked for Thomas Connors. 

    There is a few building across from the old Church in Kilscannell I would be interested in finding out from the locals who would be living there in that location nowadays.

    1849 Griffith Valuation Maps - Thomas Connors Plots# 5A & 5Ba Land 6, 7, 8 in Kilscannell (Near Cahermoyle)

    (askaboutireland search)

    Google Maps - Location of Old Church Graveyard in Kilscannell

    Google Maps - Thomas Connor Family Homestead locations back in 1849 Kilscannell

    (directly across from Graveyard)


    How to use site:

    1) Visit the link (above)

    2) Change Map to Satellite (top left of screen)

    3) Keep Zooming in to find townland you are interested in

    4) Find the Plot of land recorded in the Griffith Valluation Record (numbers and letters on left of page)

    5) Use Slider to help slide between Historical Map and Modern Map (upper right corner)


    Other locations nerby of interest:

    Google Maps - Location of St Molua's Chapel in Ardagh Village

    Google Maps - Location of the Old RIC Barracks in Ardagh Village

    Regards Seamus

    Clondavaddog Donegal, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 3rd Aug 2017, 06:18AM
  • A big THANK YOU to Seamus Callaghan, to Mary Kury, to John Dillane, to the Power Family, and to the St Kieran's Heritage Association for a wonderful visit to Ardagh! My parents just returned and they are so amazed! My mother, Eileen O'Connor, was able to actually see the home of her great grandfather, John H O'Connor. Seamus and his research skills made all this possible. He also connected my mom with Mary who has researched the Fenian Uprising in Ardagh in 1867 in which John H O'Connor participated (and then fled to Chicago!) She and Seamus greeted my parents at Ardagh and then showed them the O'Connor home and the barracks and buildings inportant in that Uprising. My parents were just amazed and the knowledge and generosity of Seamus, Mary and the others...they brought alive an amazing part of our family history. Before coming to Ardagh and seeing all that Seamus and Mary showed her, my mom only knew her great grandfather as a name in the US census records and in an obituary from Chicago Irish Families! The St Kieran's Heritage Association was also a wonderful part of the visit. Mary presented my mom with the book she wrote for the Association about the Uprising and accepted the photos my mom brought of the O'Connors in Chicago for the archives of the Association. Thank you also to the St Kieran's Heritage Association for making a piece of family history come alive! The rest of the Chicago O'Connor clan hope to come to Ardagh soon!

    I will attach photos of my parents with Mary Kury of St Kieran's Heritage Association!

    With our deepest appreciation and affection for our Ardagh friends.....Jeanie Hoffmann Lewis, Chicago


    Monday 25th Sep 2017, 04:29AM
  • Thank you Jeanie for getting back with us regarding your mother and fathers visit to Ardagh and Kilscannell. They were an absolute pleasure to show around, and we are very glad to hear that your parents enjoyed the whole experience, especially your mother Eileen, as it would always have been our intension to try our best to help her to connect back to the Parish where her great grandfather John O'Connor would have come from all those many years ago.

    Take care and thanks again, Seamus Callaghan

    St Kierans Heritage Association.

    Clondavaddog Donegal, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 29th Sep 2017, 03:10AM

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