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I am looking for any information on James Phelan, born abt. 1829, in Dublin (?).  Family History has that he was a teacher at a Catholic School.  His wife name was Marianne Deely Doly born about 1834, also in Dublin.

He had a son John Phelan 1848-1901, and his wife was Jane Sterritt, 1841-?

It was his son, William John Phelan, 1879-1954, who came to Boston, MA, and married a woman Susan Taylor, from Aberdeenshire, Wales.

I would appreciate any information if anyone has anything on my Ancestors!


Thank You Kindly,

Ed Lawrence

Aberdeen, Maryland, USA




Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 02:36AM

Message Board Replies

  • The marriage of James and Maryanne is on the IrishGenealogy website, and took place in St. Andrew's RC (Westland Row), Dublin city on the 23rd February 1854. There's also a possible match for the family on the 1901 census in Aughrim Co. Wicklow, with James wife Mary Anne and a son Thomas. James is shown as a Hotel Proprietor and Farmer, and whilst the parents are both shown as born 'Dublin City' their son is entered as born Co. Wicklow.

    An extracted civil birth is listed in 1871 on FamilySearch for a Thomas Francis Phelan which fits, see : here  (mother's surname is shown as Daly on this).

    Do you have any other details on your John Phelan's place of birth or his marriage to Jane ? If the date you have for him is correct then he would appear to have been from a previous marriage... or a different couple..

    p.s. there are also some possible siblings to the Thomas mentioned above in  - i.e. same area and parents names match - see : here (Familysearch extracted civil birth records). These include several in Wicklow, but also two, Anastasia and Bridget, in Waterford in the early 1870s, who might just be a coincidence re names, or possibly the family moved for a time to that county... might be explained by the possible teaching connection mentioned...



    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 10:25AM
  • Here's a link to the extracted birth for William John Phelan in 1879, the placenames referenced in these extracted records are often sub-districts.

    A civil cert would provide a few more details on this birth - probably a more detailed location, e.g. a townland name, and Father's occupation. The index references appear on the the last line of the record - v3 p509. If you are wish to order a research cert let me know and I'll post further details..

    There are also a few additional older children noted in these records , with a few variations, possibly transcription or recording errors, in Jane's surname - e.g. Slirret.  Anora Catherine (10 June 1865), Martin James (9 November 1869), Mary Jane (13 August 1875)

    I dont see a likely marriage for this John Phelan and Jane Sterritt, although given the date for Anora/Hanora any marriage is likely to have taken place before the start of full civil marriage records in 1864.

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 01:38PM
  • Thank You so much for your help, and yes, I would like information to order a research cert.

    I have his Grandparents Name, and from the look of everything, that is how the family ended up in Parsonstown, Kinnetty, Kings Co. (Birr Co.).

    His name was James Phelan: abt 1829 Dublin, Ireland, Dec 1886 Parsonstown, Ireland

    Her name was Mary Deely Doly:  abt 1834 Dublin,  Sept 1887 Parsonstown, Ireland

    James from what I've understood, was the Teacher at a Catholic School!  His wife was a homemaker.  I did find that Williams Sister, Anora, did immigrate to the USA, and ended up in Pennsylvania.  My Mother can never remember her Grandfather speaking of his Sister, so she doubts that he knew she was in this Country also.

    I did find all of those Children's names also.  Though, I didn't have their Birthdates, only that of my Great Grandfather.  Nor, I have never found a Marriage Certificate for John Phelan and Jane Sterritt myself.  I do plan on visiting Parsonstown sometime next year, and I was wondering, is there a Genealogical Society located there.


    I've recently learned through DNA testing, that my Father was over 60% of Irish Decent, and I ended up being between 40-55% Irish myself!  My Father passed away over 25 years ago, and never knew any of this!  I'm stuck on the one side on his Mother's tree with the Name Feeley, and I did find that he was from Co. Sligo.


    Again, Thank You for all of your help!


    Ed Lawrence

    Aberdeen, Maryland, USA



    Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 03:11PM
  • Hi, I did find two additional Children for James and MaryAnne Phelan, they are:

    Michael Boland Phelan:  1844-1933 Kinnitty, Parsonstown, Co. King

    John Phelan: 1848-1901 Kinnitty. Parsonstown, Co. King

    Thomas Francis Phelan 1871-? Wicklow, Ireland


    That is all I can find on the Family at this time.  From what I understand from Ancestry.Com, more Catholic Records are going to be released sometime in 2015!  I hope that something comes up!


    Thank You for helping me!  I appreciate the information that you've found for me!


    Ed Lawrence

    Aberdeen, Maryland


    Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 03:34PM
  • I have some concerns with these details - as I dont think the timeline fits. For example James Phelan and Maryanne Daly married in Dublin city in 1854, and yet their presumed son John appears to have married in a different part of Ireland well before 1864 and less than 10 years after his parents married ?

    How was the link established between John and Jane in Co. Offaly with the other Phelan couple in Dublin without a marriage cert ?

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 04:48PM
  • I found a 1880 Census, that showed James and Maryanne, being in Parsonstown, Kinnitty, Ireland, and apparently, he passed shortly after that.  It did state that he was a retired Teacher, and his wife a homemaker, which matched with what my G-Grandfather told my Mother, as she was growing up.  I did find it strange, that I can not find a marriage certificate either, for John and Jane.  James was 19 when John was born, and then I read about the fire in 1922, that destroyed all the records, and for years, Ireland has been working to restore them.  I'm hoping that's when it will show up!  I was wondering, does Kinnitty, have a Genealogical Society?  I was wondering if the James and Maryanne, are the same couple who had two of their Children in Kinnetty, Parsonstown, are the same who had Thomas in Co. Wicklow, only to go back to Parsonstown.

    With James and his wife, coming from Dublin, and moving further in land, I think I find that plausible, for the fact of the Protestant's and Catholic's.  A unique side note on my Family, is that my Mother was a Catholic, and I, along with my brother's were raised Catholic, though my Father was Protestant!

    Every record pertaining to my G-Grandfather, does show Kinnitty, Parsonstown, Co. Kings, Ireland, for I have a copy of his WWI Draft Card Registration, with all the exact information, along with a few other items.  His Death Certificate shows that John Phelan, and Jane Sterritt, has being listed as his parents.  Now going back, the only Ancestry Hints that have come up, where for John Phelan, and it listed his Parents as James and Mary Deely Doly, along with his siblings, as you listed.

    I just can't even begin to phatom the things that happened to the Irish people in their own Country, and then to come to the USA, and being treated even worse!!!  The determination and perserverance of my Ancestors, and to the people of Ireland overall, is just amazing, and a testament to surving to make a life for themselves and their families, and finally to their Country, Ireland!

    Again, I truly appreciate all of your help, and your insight into the Phelan's!  I can not begin to Thank You enough!  I would certainly buy you a beer, when I come to Ireland!!!


    Ed Lawrence





    Sunday 21st Dec 2014, 05:35PM
  • Be carefull of that 'everything was destroyed' in 1922 story ...  it's often told with major ommisions and inaccuracies...  yes some census returns were lost, but other years had already been recycled after the statistics were processed, civil BMD records were not kept in the PRO so survive complete, Catholic registers were retained in the parishes and never sent to the PRO etc...

    Based on your details established from US records I'm sure the link your back to John Phelan, and Jane Sterritt is pretty iron-clad, it's the part before that I dont think can fit...  I'm not sure what that 1880 census you mentioned might be (there was a census in 1881 but all the documents were pulped for recyled during WW1), but I would think a different couple to the one in Dublin.

    Placenames are often reused for different types of land division, and the Kinnitty reference could be to the town, sub-district, civil parish etc, but the research birth cert I mentioned should a more detailed location for the family - hopefully a townland name, and show father's occupation. Having the townland name narrows down the location considerably to one of the 65,000 of these in Ireland. Once you have the name of this it should be possible to give you directions...

    The full index references for William's birth registration are as follows :

    Name : William John Phelan
    Event Type : Birth
    Registration Quarter and Year : Oct-Dec 1879
    Registration District : Parsonstown
    Volume : 3 / Page : 509

    To order GRO research certs - download the order form from this link (MSWord document, Dept.of Social Protection or Welfare),

    Print out a copy and enter your details in section 1, and your credit card details in section 3. Put the index references for the record you wish to order (name, record type, reg. district, record type, year/quarter, page & volume) in section 2. If you have several certs to order, you can print the references for these on a separate page and attach to the order form.

    Ignore the irrelevant sections on the form such as exact date of birth etc, PPS number etc, the forms are more geared to modern official certs for legal purposes. In section 3 tick the 'photocopy' option to select the cheaper research certs. Post (or fax) the completed form to the GRO, the head office address is at the top of the form.

    Certs are normally delivered by post, but you can opt for delivery by email by ticking the option in section 1 and including an email address.

    Catholic records for much of Co. Offaly are on Rootsireland pay-website, but nothing that I've been able to find on their system for your Phelen/Sterrit family so far... once you have a detailed location for the family the search could be narrowed further  - likely parishes are Roscumroe, Seirkieran. These are on the border with Co. Laois (formerly Queens county), so parishes in that county might be relevant also

    Shane Wilson, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 22nd Dec 2014, 11:34AM
  • Dear Shane,

    Thank You very much for providing me with the link, so that I can further delve into my Ancestors.  I think that (Hopefullly) this will give me the break that I've been searching for!


    Again, Thank You for all of your help!!  You've truly have been a God Send, and I wish you nothing but the best!  Happy Holidays!


    Ed Lawrence


    Monday 22nd Dec 2014, 02:57PM
  • Attached Files

    Hi Ed. I just found your post. I am researching Michael Boland Phelan, who appears to be James and Marianne Deely Phelan's son, born in Aughrim, Co. Wicklow in 1859. I'd love to know more about James and Marianne. Michael Boland Phelan was the father of Dr. James J. Phelan, who lived in London and his son married my cousin. We are American, so I had no idea that some of the Phelan's came to the US that early. How many children did James and Marianne have, do you know? I do know that Michael stayed in Aughrim his entire life. They had four children. Would love to hear from you.

    Thanks, Gina

    Gina Sammis

    Sunday 20th Sep 2015, 12:13AM
  • When I was young I remember Phelans living in Kinnitty back in the 60's. At the time there was an old man called Dick (Richard) Phelan . He could have been in his 80's (But then again I was very young at the time!!) His daughter Julia married a man called Jim Carroll and they had 2 children. One of them lives in the US (NY)and the other one lives in Dublin Ireland. They often told the story of their grandfather having fought in one of the World Wars. Hopefully this will be of some help and If I find out any more information I will let you know.


    Monday 21st Dec 2015, 08:58PM
  • Dear Gina Sammis,

    If you contact me by E-Mail:  EdMACSC@Comcast.Net, I will be more than happy to share any information that I have on the Phelans with you!  I am terribly sorry that it has taken me this long to reply, but my 80 year old Mother, had back surgery in September, and it's been a very slow and long recovery!!!  I love to help people out with information, like I do on Ancestry!  I keep my Tree Private, and will only answer questions sent to me, I will check the information that they are asking for, before I open my Tree up for them to see.

    Also, a Thank You to SdeC, I will have to see if my Great-Grandfather, had any brothers, or cousins of that name!!!!   It amazes me that everyone on here, has been so kind, and generous with their time, and information!!!  I honestly, and truly appreciate that very, very much!

    I am having one heck of a time with my Father's Irish Ancestors, as most of them came from Co. Sligo.  I will be trying to dig into that side of my tree next!!!  It's amazing how the Americans Changed the Names of People, probably because they couldn't understand them, or they wrote what was close.  That's the only thing that I can come up with!  LOL!!!  I did the DNA for my Father, and he came back 60% Irish Decent!!!  He never knew that!  I wish that Ancestry didn't include the Wales in with their English information.  That seems to be another road block!  All said and done, I did come back 48%-52% Irish Decent, the rest was English, Germany, Norway, France, etc... I am 98% Northen European, with 2% Other, which is the Italian/Jewish Great Great Grandfather on my Dad's side!  His last name was Di Lorenzo, and while in England as a Stable Boy at the Age of 11, his name was changed to Lawrence!  It's funny to think that my last name could be Di Lorenzo right now, while being most Northern European!

    If you are on Ancestry, and do need help, my Screen Name is: EdMACSC, and if you contact me, I will be more than glad to help!!!


    Ed Lawrence

    Aberdeen, Maryland




    Tuesday 22nd Dec 2015, 04:38PM
  • Dear Gina Sammis,

    Please contact me at the Above Email Address, I do have brothers listed, and dates!!!  I look forward to sharing this information with you!

    Warmest Regards,

    Ed Lawrence



    Tuesday 22nd Dec 2015, 04:45PM

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