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My wife's great grandmother, Maria (or Mary) Gallagher, when providing her details at the time of her marriage to Charles Smith in 1856 at Port Albert, Victoria, OZ, stated that she had been born in 'Gillin, Kings County'. Her parents were named as John Gallagher and Bridget, nee Rigney. She gave her age as 19 although we believe it was only 17. This was to avoid conflict with the legal age provisions at the time. However, after many attempts we have been unable to verify her details and would love to hear from anyone else who may be connected to her. An internet se brings up a result that it is a variant of Gallen, near Birr. Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Peter Robinson (


Thursday 11th Aug 2022, 02:28AM

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  • Hi Peter, Gillan........I would say it's Gallen.

    gallen offaly - Bing Maps

    If Catholic this is where to look.
    Gallen and Reynagh, Ardagh - Catholic Parish Registers at the NLI

    I have searched other sites very few results, sorry.



    Thursday 11th Aug 2022, 09:51AM
  • Peter:

    Like Margot, I was unable to find any records searching subscription sites and I expanded the search to all of Ireland.

    I tried looking for baptismal records just using John and Bridget for the given name of the parents and dropping Rigney from the search.

    I found some records in Tubber RC parish where the parents were John Gallagher and Bridget Gallagher. The records I located were Mary 1834 William 1838 Anne 1840 Denis 1843 Bridget 1848. None of the sponsors had a surname of Rigney.

    Tubber RC parish is at the top of Co. Offaly and is northeast of Gallen/Reynagh/Banagher parish. Do you know the names of any siblings to Mary?

    Have you considered DNA testing?

    Roger McDonnell



    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Thursday 11th Aug 2022, 05:04PM
  • Peter,

    In Griffith’s Valuation of Offaly, in 1854, the following Rigneys were heads of household in Gallen. Your ancestor likely was related to these Rigneys and probably lived in one of these townlands.

           (Name, Townland, Parish, County)

    • Rigney           Denis Cloghan/t/cloghan (Part Of)          Gallen  Co. Offaly
    • Rigney           John    Clononybeg  Gallen            Co. Offaly
    • Rigney           Keiran Park   Gallen            Co. Offaly    
    • Rigney           Keran Minus Island           Gallen            Co. Offaly
    • Rigney           Mary  Clononybeg Gallen            Co. Offaly
    • Rigney           Michael          Clononybeg  Gallen            Co. Offaly


    Friday 12th Aug 2022, 04:34PM
  • Peter,

    An interesting thing happened when I searched Griffiths Valuation for Gallaghers in Offaly...Every name that came up was Callaghan, not Gallagher. I have seen these names used interchangeably before.  At the time of Griffith's in 1854, I could find no Gallaghers listed in Offaly.  There were two Callaghans in Gallen:


    Callaghan        Peter    Clononymore  Gallen Co. Offaly      

    Callaghan        Peter    Lumcloon        Gallen Co. Offaly


    Peter Callaghan lived in Clononymore townland, which was adjacent to Clononybeg townland, where John, Mary, and Michael Rigney lived.  It is very possible that your John Gallagher and Bridget Rigney were neighbors.


    Friday 12th Aug 2022, 04:47PM

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