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I'm trying to find more information about my 3rd Great Grandfather, Thomas Farrell. He was a soldier in the British Army, and according to the Regimental Nominal Roll for the 29th Regiment of Foot (his regiment), he was born in the town of Killinby, Co. Longford, Ireland, in 1795. I can't find a townland with this name. Perhaps the recruiters meant Killeenboy? Or maybe Killenbore? Regardless, he enlisted at Mullingar for unlimited service on March 10, 1811. He was 16 years old.

The Regimental Register shows Thomas as 5'5" tall and of fair complexion. He had grey eyes and brown hair. At age 24, his height was measured at 5'6.5" inches. When he enlisted, his stated occupation was "laborer." He married Anne Gorman at some point. I don't think it was before his enlistment. In 1826 while on garrison duty in Waterford City, they had a son Godfrey. Later that year, Thomas and the regiment shipped out to Mauritius, where he died in 1830, most likely of disease. He's buried somewhere on that island. I want to find his grave, if possible, someday.

Thomas's son Godfrey emigrated to Boston at the end of the Famine in 1852. I don't know what became of Thomas's wife, Annie. I think she may have come to Boston too.

Regarding Thomas's origin, I've looked at Killeenboy Townland on Griffiths Valuation, and there is a Matthew Farrell, but his plot is tiny. There are many more Farrells listed in Killenbore, including several named Thomas.

That's all I know. I realize "Thomas" and "Farrell" were very common first and last names at the time, but I'd like to learn more about my 3rd GG if possible. Do you have any suggestions? Anything would be much appreciated. I should be in Ireland this fall, so I can search physical records if necessary.

Thanks for your time.

Dave Farrell


Wednesday 26th Apr 2023, 09:15PM

Message Board Replies

  • Not sure if you have this record...

    Fromm RootsIreland ...


    Godfrey Farrell                

    Baptism:              04-Feb-1826

    RC Parish: Trinity Without, Co. Waterford

    Father:  Thomas Farrell  

    Mother:               Ann Gorman

    Sponsors: Thomas Gain,                Eleanor Brady


    Thursday 27th Apr 2023, 12:22AM
  • Thanks. Yes, I've seen this. The actual baptismal record from Waterford is how I figured out that Thomas was in the 29th regiment. From there, I contacted the regimental historian, who helped me figure out through UK military records that Thomas was from Killenby townland, which of course, doesn't exist.

    Funny coincidence. After I messaged you yesterday, I did a random check of and found Godfrey Farrell, his wife Bridget, and his son Thomas's gravesite in Dorchester, an old Irish neighborhood in Boston. I've been searching for several years. Maybe Thomas was listening and gave me a hand. He never saw his son again after he left for Mauritius. That must have made him sad.

    Thanks again, and have a great weekend.

    Dave Farrell


    Thursday 27th Apr 2023, 02:45PM
  • Dave,

    I've been to Ireland many times and noticed there are parts of the midlands where words like "toy" and "boy" are pronounced "ty" and "by."  So perhaps consider that the "by" in "Killenby" was a mispronunciation of "boy"?

    About the Mauritius grave...The Commonwealth War Graves Commission oversees British army graves for WWI and WW2.  Maybe if you contact them they could point you toward whatever group overseas the cemetery where your ancestor is buried.

    Good luck!  


    Friday 28th Apr 2023, 12:35PM



    I noticed that a lot of the addresses given for the soldiers on enlishment are Parish or Postal Town addresses rather than precise Townland addresses. Therefore, keep in mind that Killinby may be a mistranscription of Killashee RC Parish in County Longford - as it does not look too unlike Killisshy.


    You could consider contacting the 29th Regiment (Worcestershire) Regiment through their Forum Page to see if they have any information on Thomas Farrell (1796 - 1830):


    You might also be able to make contact through the websites mentioned in the following link:


    Hope this is of some help,


    David Leahy, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Saturday 15th Jul 2023, 08:19AM
  • Thanks David, and sorry for the late reply! I have contacted the Worcestershire Regimental Museum, and they were very helpful. All the information I have on Thomas is thanks to them and their archives. I'll follow up on the Mauritius lead. That may prove helpful. There is also a Farrell Y-DNA project that I'm going to participate in that my give me some answers.

    Thanks again,

    Dave Farrell


    Sunday 20th Aug 2023, 11:24PM



    Let me know how you get on with the Mauritius lead and if you have any links on Ancestry or find any links to other Farrells with the Farrell Y-DNA project.


    Persistence usually works,

    David Leahy, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Monday 21st Aug 2023, 12:19PM
  • Hi David,

    I just double checked Thomas Farrell's original enlistment record, and Killinby is indeed listed as his home parish, not his home townland. Thanks for the tip.

    Dave Farrell


    Thursday 24th Aug 2023, 03:29PM



    Killinby could be Killashee RC Parish in County Longford - as it does not look too unlike Killishy,



    David Leahy, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Friday 25th Aug 2023, 10:46PM

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