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Hello to the wonderful Irish volunteers who help with ancestry questions ...

According to the 1857 Griffith's Valuation, my ancestors Patrick McGrath and Catherine Bourke appear to have lived in the Cloonboorhy townland in the Burriscarra civil parish.  The listed property holders were Terence McGrath and Patrick Burke, but my Patrick and Catherine were likely living with their parents in 1857 (he was issued a marriage certificate from the Burriscarra Parish on 9 Feb 1859; they were apparently married in St Crownan's Church on 10 February 1859).

Patrick died in 1869 (age 39) in the Castlebar registration area, leaving a widow Catherine and their 4 living children (baby Sabina, born 13 Dec 1859, appears to have died very young).  Catherine arrived in the US with her 4 living children and her widowed mother (Bridget O'Dea Bourke) aboard the Steamship Erin on 14 May 1878.  One of those children (Thomas Edward McGrath) is my great grandfather.  I have reliable information about Patrick and Catherine's children, but the information about their parents and grandparents is sketchy, at best.

I would truly love to visit the area where my "people" lived in hopes of expanding the information I have about my relatives.  I would also be honored (and thrilled beyond expression) to meet any relatives that may happen to still live in the area.  I think Patrick's parents were Terence McGrath and Sabina Flynn; Patrick may have had a brother Michael who was born in April 1841.  I think Catherine's parents were Richard Bourke and Bridget O'Dea, but I'm open to correction for both sets of parents.

Can you recommend a place to stay near where I might like to be doing research about my ancestors?  I found the Abbeyside B&B in an online search but don't know how close that might be to the churches and graveyards I would like to visit.  Thanks very much for your time and guidance.  The help provided by the Ireland XO volunteers is priceless!

Bill McGrath

Cleveland, Ohio USA

Bill McGrath

Tuesday 12th Jul 2022, 08:43PM

Message Board Replies

  • Bill,

    The town of Castlebar would be the most suitable place to stay.

    You will have access to the Civil Registration Office at New Antrim Street and

    the County Library in John Moore Road. 

    Visiting old graveyards and churches can be frustrating, as in many cases they will not have

    family headstones or records.

    Best Wishes with your trip.


    Sunday 17th Jul 2022, 06:07PM
  • Attached Files


    Attached map will give you he location of Castlebar town to Cloonboorhy. 

    Carnacon is close by.



    Sunday 17th Jul 2022, 06:27PM
  • McCoy,

    Many thanks for your suggestion and advice.  I've read that graveyards may not yield the information I hope to find, given that families often needed to feed the living instead of honoring their dead with a grave marker.  My online research has hit a dead end, however, and I hope to get lucky and find something about my McGrath/Bourke ancestors in the villages in which they lived and were buried.

    I've got a great friend in Indiana (midwest USA) who is Jeff McCoy ... wonder if you share an ancestor from way back?

    Thanks again for your help,


    Bill McGrath

    Monday 18th Jul 2022, 04:50PM

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