Share This:

I’m trying to locate my Duffy ancestors in Offaly. Genealogy tells me two different names for parish. First one says Cashel but another says kings county. The site here says no results for parish Cashel in Offaly. I apologize for my ignorance but I’m from Canada and not familiar with areas in Ireland. 


Sunday 30th Aug 2020, 01:04AM

Message Board Replies

  • Hi,
    What year were the family in Offaly? 
    Is Rahan where they lived?
    What site did you search to get your information?


    Sunday 30th Aug 2020, 07:50AM
  • Hey SunnyDuff,

    Do not apologise for not knowing places in Ireland, I'm sure not many Irish would know much about Canada. As for Duffy in Kings County, what I can tell you is I have done an extensive trawl through many towns and townlands in search of my paternal grandmother's family and I have not come across many Duffys. I have concentrated my search on the western and northern parts of the county. What I find helpful is Griffiths Valuation, a survey of every part of Ireland taken in the mid 19th century. Kings County survey was completed in 1854. You will find it on What you must remember is in rural Ireland just after the famine, many men moved to find work and security for their families. If you have any idea as to what part of Kings County your family came from, you can enter the name and/or the area and the results pop up. Do not focus on the name only, many times the place comes up trumps. It may take a little time to get used to it but it is a very valuable resource especially if you live on this side of the great duck pond as you and I do. I was able to pinpoint my 2XG Grandfather and follow him to the 1901 census so go for it.

    Good luck with the hunt.


    Monday 31st Aug 2020, 01:43AM
  • Hi SunnyDuff,
    I believe Cashel is in County Tipperary. I am actually from Australia but have links to County Offaly, or King's County as it was when my great grandmother came from there. If you know what town your Duffy's came from you should be able to do an internet search to find what Parish the town belonged to.


    Monday 31st Aug 2020, 07:34AM
  • Hi SunnyDuff:

    I would recommend that you check out Griffith's Valuation on Ask About Ireland and input the Duffy surname .

    I have done a quick search for you and I'm wondering if the civil parish that the Duffy family was from is Geashill in County Offaly.  This name is phonetically not too far off Cashel.  

    Cashel is a common townland name throughout Ireland.  The only civil parish with Cashel is County Longford.  The town of Cashel in County Tipperary is in the civil parish of St John baptist.  

    If you need any further assistance, please let me know.

    All the best,




    Jane Halloran Ryan

    Monday 31st Aug 2020, 10:48AM
  • The suggestion of Geashill (Géisill in Irish) sounds like a good one to me, given the way Irish place names are sometimes reproduced years later by descendants of emigrants who don't know the original spelling.  Geashill would be pronounced roughly as "GAYSH-ull" and Cashel as "CASH-ull".

    In Offaly, Geashill is the name of an electoral district, a civil parish, and a townland within that civil parish.  You can see more info about the townland at this link:

    There are links at the top of that page to get to more info about the civil parish and the electoral district.

    The Catholic parishes in the area often have different names from those of the civil parishes, and the boundaries are not always the same as those of the civil parishes, but I think the townland of Geashill is in the Catholic parish of Killeigh.  You can find the online parish registers for Killeigh (going back to 1844) at this link:

    The Duffy surname, as you may already have learned, is found all over Ireland, but there were definitely Duffy's in that area.  My great-grandfather grew up in the next parish to the north (Philipstown/Daingean), about 4-5 miles from the townland of Geashill, and I've noted at least two Duffy sponsors at baptisms of people in my family, which may mean that I have Duffy relatives myself.  DNA testing might help you get to the right location, based on matches you find.  I've got my results posted at GEDMATCH, if you want to compare results.


    Monday 31st Aug 2020, 09:34PM
  • Kevin45sfl

    I recently came across a baptismal record for my gggrandfather, Bernard Dunne.  His mother is listed as Maria Duffy.  From a war pension record I found out that Bernard was from Philipstown.  I would be interested is comparing your gedmatch results.  




    Tuesday 1st Sep 2020, 01:17AM
  • My kit number at GEDMATCH is T780556.  There was a Denis Dunn who was a sponsor at the baptism of my ggg-grandfather, John Cullen, in 1796 (the parish records in Philipstown go pretty far back).  There were also some other Dunn/Dunne sponsors at baptisms in the family.  In fact, I've got half a dozen Dunn DNA matches thus far, with several of whom I share a pretty significant longest segment match, but we haven't been able to establish any specific connection yet.


    Tuesday 1st Sep 2020, 05:17PM
  • Attached Files

    Hi, I have been reading these posts about the Dunne/Dunn family in Co Offaly.  My great-great-grandfather was James Dunn who was born in 1800 in Philipstown.  He emigrated to America, settling in Livingston County, Michigan.  James is buried at St Mary's Cemetery in Pinckney, Livingston County (attached is a photo of his tombstone).  He married a widow in Pinckney after having been widowed himself in Ireland.  I don't know anything about his family like siblings or parents.  I am on GEDmatch also, kit # T247966.  I'd be interested to hear if any of you think my great-great-grandfather was related to your families.

    Mary Ellen Hanson


    Wednesday 2nd Sep 2020, 03:14AM
  • Kevin45sfl  I looked at our matches.  My kit number is HB5456478 (*ED) which is my aunt's on my father's side of the family.  One of the names that I recognize in our shared  match list is Angela Shirt. She has shown up in a couple groups I am in.  I have a Denis Dunne in my hypothetical tree that I am using to try to figure out the next generation back.  I am not on Ancestry right now because of my seasonal work but will be renewing my membership soon when I have more time.  Could we discuss this further by e-mai?  I could send an invitation to see that tree.  This sounds hopeful.  Karen


    Wednesday 2nd Sep 2020, 12:53PM
  • Mary:  I compared our results at GEDMATCH, and we share a total of about 31 cM of match (with the minimum threshhold lowered), though it's all in smaller segments.  We have a very large number of common matches, however, which does point to a connection, presumably in Philipstown.  I was going to look for a baptismal record for your James, but there's a gap in the online parish records for Philipstown from 1789-1819.  There are cases where a physical copy of the register exists, even though the copy sent to Dublin was not digitized, so you might try contacting the parish priest in Philpstown to see whether that might be the case.  I was just lucky that my ggg-grandfather was baptized before that gap.  I also checked the Family Search site, where I keep most of my records, and found a fair number of James Dunn's born around the rght time, including several in Offaly, but I didn't have any way to correlate them with your James, or to establish any connection to my Cullen family.  If I learn more, I will let you know.

    KDunne:  The results for your aunt and me at GEDMATCH show us sharing a total of about 32 cM of match (with the minimum threshhold lowered), though it's again all in smaller segments.  However, the common match with Angela Shirt is interesting.  I ran my results directly against hers, and while I have a smaller total match with her than I do with you, I have a statistically significant 12.9 cM segment match with her at a place on chromosome 9 which I had already tentatively identified as pointing to Offaly.  I hadn't even noticed her in my match list, but plan to try contacting her to see whether she can shed any light on things. I will also send you a direct email, so that we can discusss it further "offline" if you like.

    It may be of interest to both of youu that what is now Daingean was originally named Philipstown in 1556, when it was established as the county town in the land that was planted by Queen Mary I (the "Marian Plantation") in the newly created King’s County.  The town and the county were both named after her husband and co-monarch, King Philip (from Spain).  The current name, Daingean, comes from the Irish Daingean Ua bhFáilghe, which means “fortress of the Uí Fáilghe [Offaly] clan”, a name that is derived from the medieval island fortress of O'Connor Faly.   It was in 1922, with the foundation of the Free State, that the town was renamed Daingean, at the same time that County Offaly replaced the old King's County.  The Catholic parishes in Ireland were largely recreated in the early 1800's, and many of them retain their old names, so the Catholic parish in that area is still called Philipstown (which includes parts of several civil parishes).


    Wednesday 2nd Sep 2020, 06:33PM
  • Attached Files

    Hello to both of you, thank you for the information about your families, who may be my family also.  I had no information about James Dunn from my mother about his parents or if he had any siblings.  Did find a picture of him which I'm attaching.  Does he resemble any of your ancestors or living family members?

    Mary Ellen


    Thursday 3rd Sep 2020, 02:43AM
  • It may be my imagination, but he does seem to resemble my grandmother, Frances Magdalen Cullen (whose father was born in Philpstown), as well as her brother, John Cullen, the two people on the right in the attached photo.  The person on the left is their nephew, Tim Caulfield, the son of one of their (Cullen) sisters. They all have the same square chin, for one thing.


    Thursday 3rd Sep 2020, 05:21PM
  • Kevin - I emailed Karen that I couldn't find her as a shared match with you and me.  I see that you and I share 31.4 cMs with the threshhold lowered.  Did you find me and Karen as shared matches with you?  Also, did you see the photo of my gggrandfather James Dunn that I attached last night?

    Mary Ellen Hanson


    Thursday 3rd Sep 2020, 06:04PM
  • Kevin, I agree with your thoughts on a possible resemblance between my James Dunn and your relatives (especially your grandmother's brother).  I'm attaching a chart from a friend which estimates relationships based on shared DNA.  It would seem that you and I, also Karen and I, could be 3rd cousins once removed.  Thank you for posting the photo!  Are you in Ireland?  I'm in Michigan, U.S.


    Mary Ellen


    Thursday 3rd Sep 2020, 08:33PM
  • I am very interested in the Dunne family from Philipstown, Co. Offaly. My great grandmother, Bridget Susannah Brumbaugh Dunne was born in Philipstown on 20 March 1842. Her father was Charles Dunne, a farmer, and her mother was Bridget, nee Finlay. We know that she had an older brother, Henry.

    On 15 January 1865 she married Jeremiah Darby Grehan from Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath in the Chapel at Kilclonfert  and  on 22 February 1865 they sailed from Queenstown, now Cobh, on the ship "Sunda" on the final voyage of the Queensland Immigration Society. (Refer to Chronicles Insight).

    Her brother and his family had sailed on the first voyage of the Society in 1862 aboard the"Erin-go-Bragh.

    One of the organisers of those voyages was Father Patrick Dunne who was born in Philipstown in 1818. He was the son of Patrick Dunne, a farmer, and his wife, Mary, nee Rigney. Father Dunne had first gone to Australia in 1850 and had been the first priest on the Ballarat goldfields. He returned to Ireland and was instrumental in the success of the Queensland Immigration Society.

    I would like to know how closely related were these Dunnes.

    j tolhurst

    Friday 4th Sep 2020, 04:28AM
  • Attached Files

    Mary Ellen:  I live in San Francisco,California.  Most of my Cullen-descended relatives live in New York State, which is where my great-grandfather emigrated, just before the US Civil War.  He enlisted in the Union Army shortly after arrriving, and his discharge papers actually state that he was born in (then-) King's County in Ireland.  Mentioning the county was rare, and that helped me to locate his family there.  One of his sons moved to California in the 1870's.  I'm not from that branch, though I've met them since coming here.  I agree that we could be as close as third cousins, once removed (I have a similar chart of relationships based on DNA match).

    J Tolhurst:  In doing my genealogical research, I downloaded all of the pages from the Philipstown/Daingean parish registers which are available online, and I just located your Bridget Dunn's baptismal record.  She was baptized on the date you gave, so she was probably born a bit earlier.  I'm attaching the page from the register here, in case you don't have it (look on the right-hand side of the image).  Interestingly, that same day a Patrick Dunn was baptized, whose parents were Dennis Dunn and Bridget Dempsey.  That entry comes right after the one for Bridget Dunn's baptism. so there's a good chance that Patrick was a cousin of hers, and the two families may have gone to town the same day for baptisms.  Charles Dunn and Dennis Dunn might have been brothers or cousins of one another.  I can't read the name of the townland in which Bridget Dunn lived (K- something), and I can't identify the one for Patrick either (Mount- something), but in serching the townland list for the parish I noticed that some of the townlands are in the Geashill civil parish, which ties in with the discussion above about Geashill.



    Friday 4th Sep 2020, 04:34PM
  • Kevin

    Thanks for the copy of the parish register. I had looked at these online but found them too difficult to read. Thanks for pointing out Bridget's entry. As to the townland beginning with K, I wonder if it is Killoran. Bridget's house in Brisbane, built about 1900, was called "Killoran" and she told my mother, who stayed with her for extended periods, that it was named after a place near where she grew up.

    j tolhurst

    Saturday 5th Sep 2020, 03:44AM
  • Kevin - I found the death certificate for my great-grandmother Maria Dunn Harris.  Her mother's first name was Elizabeth, no maiden name listed.  Could you tell me how to access the Philipstown church records online?  Is Elizabeth married to James Dunn anyone you've run across?  Thanks again, Mary Ellen


    Saturday 5th Sep 2020, 05:04PM
  • I think you may be right about the townland!  There is a townland called Killurin which is just a bit southwest of Tullamore (which is west of Philipstown/Daingean).  I think it's probably in Tullamore parish now, but the boundaries of some parishes changed over time, so it may have been in Philipstown catholic parish back then.  Alternatively, if the Dunn's were originally from Philipstown, they may have gone there by choice, especially if they were meeting up with cousins bringing their child in as well (as noted  below, Patrick Dunn's family was from Philpstown parish).

    There may also have been local civil rivalry involved.  Philipstown was originally the administrative center in that part of Offaly, but Tullamore replaced it in that role sometime in the 19th century.

    Once you suggested it, I saw that the name could have been abbreviated as "Kill" in the register entry.  That sort of abbreviation was reasonably common when the priest assumed that it couldn't be confused with any other name.. Alternatively, the "Kill" could refer to Killeigh parish, which is just to the south of Philipstown, and it's possible that Killurin is/was in that parish (the townland of Killurin is located near where the three parishes come together).

    In Irish, Killurin is Cill Iúirín, which may mean "Iurin's church" (if there was a saint of that name), or else "church of the little yew tree".(iúr is one of the words for a yew tree).  Many people in the area would still have been Irish speaking, and many would also have been illiterate, and may not have known exactly how to spell the name of the townland, especially since they may never have seen it written down, so Killoren is a perfectly understable way in which they may have written it later on..

    You can see more info about Killurin at this link:

    While looking for Killurin, I figured out the name of the other townland as well, the one where Patrick Dunn was born.  It's Mount Lucas, which is also called Drumcraw of Mount Lucas (in Irish, Drumcraw is Droim Caithe, which I think means "winnowing ridge").  Mount Lucas is the name of a hill in the area, and that townland, lying southeast of Daingean (formerly  Philiupstown) is less than a mile from where my great-grandfather was born.



    Saturday 5th Sep 2020, 05:35PM
  • Sorry, maryehanson, your latest message must have posted while I was typing up my other response above.  This thread is getting very long and active, but that's good.

    Here's a link to the online Catholic parish records for Philipstown:

    You just click on the microfilm number you want once you're there, based on the time period which you're searching, and the rest of the insrtructions are pretty easy to follow, though it may take some experimentation at first.  You can download each relevant page, rather than trying to read it on the screen (the downloaded pages should be easier to zoom in on, depending on what picture software you have).  The little map you'll see is interactive, and allows you to move on the neighboring parishes if you like.


    Saturday 5th Sep 2020, 06:10PM
  • Thanks, Kevin, for all the information.  But, as you pointed out, 1800 records from Philipstown are not available online. I was just looking at a register from 1796 and see a couple of baptisms where one of the sponsors was Jacobus (Latin for James) Dunn.  Did you see that?  Have you asked a local volunteer in the Philipstown area for help?  I got tremendous help from a volunteer in Co Laois, who drove to my family's church and got marriage and baptism records for me.  It's obvious you've done a lot of research and I'm glad to be on the receiving end of your knowledge.    

    Mary Ellen


    Sunday 6th Sep 2020, 03:27AM
  • Hi again Kevin, it just dawned on me that my gggrandfather James Dunn may not have been married in Co Offaly (King's) because their daughter Maria, my great-grandmother, was born in Co Longford.  The practice here is that the marriage takes place in the bride's home church.  I bet James' wife Elizabeth could have been from Co Longford as I'm not finding a marriage record for them in late 1828 or any in 1829.  Maria was born June 1, 1830.  I'll see if I can find a link to County Longford's online records.

    Mary Ellen


    Sunday 6th Sep 2020, 05:03AM
  • Re: the surname Duffy,  Here's what I have, but I don't know if it will help you.  

    Judith Ferrelly married Patrick Duffy.  Their daughter Searea (Sarah) Duffywas baptized in 1828 in Kelmore, County Cavan, Ireland.  She emigrated to Canada in 1846.  She married John McAdam who was born in 1808 on Prince Edward Island, Canada, but was living in Grand Falls, Victoria, New Brunswick, Canada.  They had a daughter, Mary Ellen, born in 1851.  Mary Ellen McAdam married William Henry Carroll, the son of Ann Carney and Thomas Carroll.  William Henry Carroll was a blacksmith in Fort Fairfield, working for the army.  Taking care of wagons and making horseshoes.  As far as I know they had 3 children Elizabeth Ann, William, and David Carroll, who is my great-grandfather.  As I said, this may not be of help to you.


    Jane Carrol Peckholdt

    Thursday 24th Dec 2020, 09:00PM
  • Hello Kevin

    Geraldine Buckley-Smith here and you have a small match with my mother Mary Duffy (now Buckley) on Chr 1, its only 5.1cM.

    Her Duffy family are from Cooldorougha, which is in the Parish of Lemanaghan, Co Offaly.


    K Dunne

    you also match with my mother on 2 Chr 10 and 12.  

    Mary Duffy-Buckley kit number is H128318

    Her family names are Duffy, Dooley, Keenaghan/Keenahan, Egan, Condron and Devery, all from Co Offaly in the Parish of Lemanaghan and the Registration District of Birr.




    Geraldine Buckley-Smith, Ireland XO Volunteer

    Sunday 3rd Jan 2021, 09:13PM
  • You also match my brother Gerry Buckley, but not me

    His kit number is A674041 and mine is A054058


    Geraldine Buckley-Smith, Ireland XO Volunteer

    Sunday 3rd Jan 2021, 09:21PM
  • I see what you mean, Geraldine.  I do share a great many matches with you, your brother, and your mother, including several dozen with whom we each share significant longest segments (though usually different segments from the ones which we share with one another).  Also, I double-checked and you and I do actually share that same chromosome 1 segment with me that I share with your mother.

    There's obviously a connection, although it's presumably far enough back that it isn't one for which we're likely ever to find a paper trail. Lemanaghan Civil Parish, which is in the Catholic parish of Ballinahown, is some miles to the west of Philipstown and Tullamore, but not too far for there to have been movement bewteen the two areas (in another branch of my family, I have sveral ancestors who married some from several parishes away).

    In case you want to check out the parish records for Ballinahown, they can be accessed online at this link:




    nts with them, but there are s


    Tuesday 5th Jan 2021, 11:31PM

Post Reply