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I am seeking information on a woman named Catherine, surname not known, born around 1790 in County Longford, married a man named Whelan (or Wheelan) and died in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1860. I believe she left Ireland after the birth of her children. This transcribed information is found in a Find-a-Grave listing for her:

From the New York Herald, Feb. 17, 1860: "WHEELEN -- In Jersey City, On Wednesday, Feb. 15, of consumption, CATHARINE WHEELEN, in the 70th year of her age, a native of the parish of Cloumbrony, [Clonbrony?] county Longford, Ireland. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral this (Friday) afternoon, at half past two o'clock, for the residence of her son, 106 Bergen street, corner of Warren."

The son mentioned in this item is very likely William Whelan, born around 1825, died 1888 in New Jersey. I think it is possible that Catherine was also the mother of these children, born in County Longford. The father's name is not known, and facts that I have are limited, including exact years of birth. I believe they left Ireland between 1830 and 1840:

James Whelan, born around 1820, d. 1860 in Illinois (married Margaret Moore)

Francis (Frank), born around 1820, died 1882 in Davenport, IA (married Bridget Fitzgerald)

Edward, 1830-1887, died in New Jersey (married Julia Reynolds)

Thomas, 1831-1893, died in Iowa (married Mary Ann McManus)

Catherine, 1832-1899, died in Iowa (married Thomas Jones; no issue)

Elizabeth, 1835-1890, died in New Jersey (did not marry)

I would like to identify both parents of these children and determine, if possible, the date and place of their births. In most cases, their obituaries state that they were born in County Longford, but nothing more specific than this with regard to their birthplace.

I realize that these names are all from a very early period and that finding records to match them is a long shot. I appreciate your help.

best regards,
Molly Daniel
Urbana, Illinois



Friday 26th May 2023, 02:29AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hello Molly,

    The RootsIreland subscription website has Clonbroney, Longford Catholic Parish registers of baptisms and marriages that go back to the year 1828. From the information you provided, four of Catherine Wheelen’s children, Edward, Thomas, Catherine, and Elizabeth, were born after the year 1828. Their birth years in U.S. census records or obituaries may not be accurate, but it may be worth the expense to see if you can find their individual baptisms at RootsIreland.

    See the RootsIreland availability for the Clonbroney Catholic registers at the following link:

    If your Wheelen ancestors belonged to the Church of Ireland, RootsIreland has Clonbroney Church of Ireland parish registers of baptisms from 1821, marriages from 1823, and deaths from 1822. See:

    Church records at RootsIreland are transcriptions, not copies of originals.

    There are four subscription packages available at RootsIreland, including a one day subscription for $18. For more information, go to:

    Neither the Catholic Church, or Church of Ireland parish registers of marriages, go back far enough in time to have recorded Catherine’s marriage if she had married before 1820.

    Church of Ireland baptism traditionally do not record the maiden name of the child’s mother, though I’ve seen exceptions to this in some Church of Ireland baptisms.


    An Irish agricultural land record known as the Tithe Applotment Books shows that an Edward “Wheelan” was a farmer in the townland of Glenoughill, Civil Parish of Clonbroney, County Longford. The date of the tithe record is 1825. See the Tithe Applotment Book index for Edward Wheelan at:

    Another spelling for the name of the townland where Edward Wheelan farmed is “Glenoghill,” according to the IreAtlas Townland Data Base:

    Under the Tithe Applotment Books famers in the 32 counties of Ireland were required to pay a portion of their income toward the upkeep of the established Church of Ireland. Needless to say, Catholic famers, who made up the majority of farmers in Ireland, were not happy to pay hard-earned money to a religious denomination that had persecuted Catholics in the past, especially under the infamous Penal Laws. See the Wikipedia article at:

    I accessed the Tithe Applotment Books search engine for free at the National Archives of Ireland website link at:

    I don’t know if Edward Wheelan was Catherine’s husband, but your information shows that Catherine had a son named Edward born in 1830, five years after the Tithe Applotment Books recorded farmers in the townland of Glenoghill, Civil Parish of Clonbroney.

    If your Wheelens were Catholic, baptism records for Catherine’s children (if found at RootsIreland), may possibly tell you what her maiden name was. With her maiden name we could then look for farmers in the Clonbroney Civil Parish recorded in the Tithe Applotment Books with the same last name as Catherine.

    If you decide to tie into one of the RootsIreland subscriptions and think you’ve uncovered any information about your Wheelen/Wheelan ancestors, please send a reply with the records you discovered.

    With Best Wishes,

    Dave Boylan


    Monday 29th May 2023, 02:27AM



    Catherine Wheelan's son at 106 Bergen Street was Edward Wheelan. See attached 1861 Directory of Bergan Street, Jersey City. I also note a William Wheelan recorded at 103 Bergen, probably his brother.


    I see the following recorded in the 7th September 1850 Census of Jersey City, Hudson, New Jersey, U.S.:


    William Welan, aged 28, born in Ireland

    Catherine Welan, aged 25, born in Ireland

    William Welan, aged 10 months, born in New Jersey

    Edward Welan, aged 22, born in Ireland

    Thomas Welan, aged 19, Born in Ireland


    As Dave Boylan says, the Edward Wheelan recorded at Glenoghil Townland, Clonbroney Civil Parish, County Longford in the 1825 Tithe Applotment Books certainly looks interesting, particularly as he was the only Whelan recorded in Clonbroney Civil Parish at that time.


    However, we do not know Catherine Wheelan's maiden name. It might be helpful if you could find the marriage certificates and death certificates of all of her children to see if any of them may contain her surname.


    Hoping this helps,


    Image removed.

    David Leahy, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Sunday 16th Jul 2023, 06:57AM

    Attachment (which did not go with my last post)::


    David Leahy, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘︎

    Sunday 16th Jul 2023, 07:00AM

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