Share This:

Hello everyone,

Would appreciate any information on members of the McDermott family of Parish of Athleague, Co Roscommon, especially those of the pre-famine period.  

Pre-famine Parish records appear to indicate the McDermott name centered in the Araghty area (with a scattering in Corra Beg, Churchpark, and Mount Talbot). The Tithe Applotment Books have three McDermott entries: one for Carrickerbra/Corra More, one for Liscoffy Madden, and another for Liscoffy Kelly. The 1854 Griffith's Valuation falls in line with the TABs, but by 1901, the census enumerates a single, elderly, McDermott within the Parish.

There are strong indications that my g3 grandfather Michael McDermott (~1804-1864) is tied to two people confirmed to have originated from the parish. Also, he seems to have been friends with another confirmed member, Michael Brehany (1816-1859). All would have left the area in the 1830s.

Some associated names:

  • James McDermott (~1810-1881). 1831 Jan, married Ellen (nee Murray) McDermott (1811-1878) in Parish of Athleague, Co Roscommon, Ireland. 1831, son Thomas born in Ireland. 1831-1835, immigrates to America, first residing in Massachusetts, before moving on to Iowa in around 1839.
  • Catherine McDermott (~1817-1857), probable sister. From Parish of Athleague. Before 1839, may have resided in Massachusetts. 1839, married Thomas Morrison (of Mayo) in Galena, IL., and then moves to Richland Township, Jackson County, Iowa. Her family eventually relocates to Jones County next to James (above).
  • Michael McDermott (~1804-1864), probable brother. 1840, already married to Mary Kelly (1812-1854) of Glin, Co Limerick, Ireland - they give birth to son Thomas Lloyd McDermott in White Oak Springs, WI Territory, in May of that year. The family soon settles in Galena, Illinois. That middle name Lloyd is an interesting choice for the son of Irish Catholic immigrants. 
  • Michael Brehany (2 Feb 1816 - 10 July 1859), friend of Michael.  From Parish of Athleague. Residing in Galena, IL by at least 1845. Maintains connection with Michael McDermott.
  • Patrick McDermott (~1805 - 1860s), probable brother. In Galena, IL by at least 1845, just down the street from Michael. There he marries and also names his first-born Thomas. Patrick and Michael's respective first-born sons work together.
  • John McDermott (? - ?), possible brother. In Galena, IL by at least 1850, not far from Patrick and Michael, with whom he appears together in various store ledgers. Wife is Catherine. No known children. 



Wednesday 11th Jan 2017, 11:45AM

Message Board Replies

  • T. L. McDermott:

    Welcome to Ireland Reaching Out!

    You may be aware that the RC parish records for Athleague start 1808 for baptisms and marriages  I can't tell if you have accessed those records or not as part of your family history. I went on Roots Ireland and found the record for a Catherine McDermott in 1816 in Athleague. Not sure if this your Catherine. Let me know what additional records you need confirmed.

    Roger McDonnell

    Name:Catherine McDermotDate of Birth:23-Oct-1816
    Date of Baptism:1-Jan-0Address:NgParish/District:ATHLEAGUE RCGender:FemaleCountyCo. Roscommon
    Denomination:Roman Catholic
    Father:Bartholomew McDermotMother:Anne McDermotOccupation:
    Sponsor 1 /
    Informant 1:Pat McDermot Sponsor 2 /
    Informant 2:Catherine Kelly 

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 11th Jan 2017, 04:32PM
  • Hello Roger,


    Thank you for your reply and help. I had accessed the parish records and located the 23 Jan 1830 marriage record of James (Jacobus) McDermot and Ellen (Eleanora) Murray. And as you noted, the 1816 Baptism record of Catherine seems about right, but without additional information, it's hard to say,


    Ultimately, I'm interested in locating the origins of my g3 grandfather Michael McDermott (~1804-1864), which may not be verifiable through existing church and civil records. My post is more of shout in the wind. Perhaps someday someone will find a diary or letter that matches the information above.


    From what I can gather, my grandfather seemed to be surrounded by a network of Roscommon emigrants who hailed from not only Athleague, but west to the parishes of Kilteevan and Rathcline (Co Longford), and south to the parishes of Kiltomb, Athlone and Moore. I'm not spun up on 19th century Irish mobility, so I'm unsure if there's a possibility that these people all knew one another in Ireland, or banded together for support once in America. 


    And not to overcomplicate matters, but I'll add a few more names and additional facts, just in case. Something to note is that my g3 grandfather and many of his possible brothers gave their respective first-born sons the name of Thomas, so I imagine that name was important to them. 


    • Patrick McDermott (~1805 - early 1860s), possible brother. Appears  down the road from Michael McDermott in Galena, IL about 1845, where he marries Mary Flynn. They soon give birth to son Thomas Francis McDermott, who will eventually begin work with his (possible) cousin Thomas Lloyd McDermott at the railroad depot in Galena. 
    • John McDermott (? - ?). Moves nearby both Michael and Patrick McDermott in Galena by at least 1850. He is married to Catherine, not known to have children, and vanishes from the record after the 1850 census. 
    • Charles McDermott (~1810-1888), possible brother/cousin. The son of James McDermott (of the previous post), upon the death of his father, moved next door to the Cuming County, Nebraska farm of this Charles McDermott. Not sure if Charles was originally from Athleague, but he's all over the map before leaving Ireland. He met Mary Egan of Parish of Rathcline/Lanesboro (Co Longford); in April 1834, they were married in Parish of Killinvoy. Then in May 1835, their daughter Mary McDermott was baptized in the Parish of Kilteevan. (All information on Charles gleaned from unverified accounts from his decedents.)

    Thank you again for your interest and consideration.



    Thursday 12th Jan 2017, 07:49AM
  • Additional note:

    Realized that, in my haste, I repeated much of the information that I originally provided. Also, please note that Patrick McDermott (~1805 - early1860s) married Mary Byrne (not Flynn) in Galena, Illinois. Sorry for the confusion. 


    Thursday 12th Jan 2017, 07:58AM
  • One other suggestion. If you have not done so already, you may want to do DNA testing. You can take a Y-DNA test which would track your paternal line. I also recommend the autosomal or Family Finder test which identifies both maernal and paternal line matches,


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Friday 13th Jan 2017, 05:35PM
  • I will definitely put that on my list.


    I have an small update. In a moment of serendipity, the Archdiocese of Boston and the New England Historic Genealogic Society just last week began uploading sacramental records to this site:


    Only four of several parishes have been uploaded thus far (1/14/2017), but already I was able to locate the records for two of James and Ellen McDermott's children: Michael McDermott (baptized in Jan 1834) and Ann McDermott (baptized in Aug 1835) at the Cathedral of Holy Cross in Boston. Perhaps that link will help others, and may eventually help link other pre-famine Athleague emigrants.


    Thank you for the suggestion, Roger. All the best! 



    Sunday 15th Jan 2017, 01:38AM
  • Hi - I'm the gg granddaughter of Michael Brehany, born Athleague, died Galena. I'm not really sure if I can shed any light but feel free to contact me. 


    Tuesday 7th Mar 2017, 11:35PM
  • Sent you an email, Janet. Thanks!


    Friday 10th Mar 2017, 01:19AM

Post Reply