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We will be in the Roscommon area in early August and would love to locate the origins of my husband's 2x great-grandfather, Michael Ford.

We believe Michael was born in 1814 in Parish Kiltrustan, Elphin, Roscommon. He made his way to the US, boarding the "Cremona" in Galway and arriving in New York City July 31, 1849. With him were Honora Ford, age 25, Bridget Ford, age 18, and John McDonough, age 36 - all possible family members and all described as Irish laborers.  By 1855 he was in Wisconsin where he died and is buried. Michael Ford died in 1878. He was buried at the cemetery of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Montello. His tombstone is a limestone and marble square crowned by a cross that reads: In memory of Michael Ford Who died October 2, 1878 Aged 64 years Native of the Parish of Killtruston of Co. Roscommon, Ireland Peaceful be thy silent slumber Peaceful in the grave so low You no more shall join our number You no more our sorrow know.

His wife, Catherine McDonogh, was reportedly born about 1817 in Strokestown. Husband Michael had already come to the U.S. After he got a job in a hat factory, he sent money for the rest of the family to come, and his wife and children boarded the "Scotland", arriving in New York city, 25 May 1850.

Other than the ship records and numerous US census, newspaper, and death records, the only confirmed Irish document located was the baptismal record of Michael and Catherine's son Michaelem Forde, baptised 9 Oct 1842 in Strokestown (sponsors Joannes McCormack and Maria Kenedy).

Undocumented (at this time) are their children, most born in Ireland:

  • Bernard - born about 1835
  • Mary - born about 1836
  • John - born about 1838
  • Elizabeth - born about 1840
  • Michael - born Sept/Oct 1843
  • [A Martin Ford, son of Michael Ford and Kitty McDonogh of Kiltruston was baptised 2 Mar 1845. No family records indicate this child as a family member, however]
  • Margaret - born about 1846
  • Patrick - born about 1848
  • Winifred - born 1851 in New Jersey
  • Thomas - born 1855 in Shields, Wisconson

An interesting record was uncovered in Boyle for the baptism of a Michael Forde, son of Bernard Forde and Catherine Forde (sponsors: Favian McNamara and Honora Coughy) on 25 Sep 1818. Given the name of Michael and Catherine's eldest son, I have this as a 'maybe' birth record for my Michael.

Does any of this ring a bell with any IrelandXOers out there? Thanks!

Kathleen Foley, Northfield, Minnesota

kathleen foley

Wednesday 20th Apr 2022, 01:25AM

Message Board Replies

  • Kathleen:

    The RC records for Strokestown parish start in 1830. There were at least three chapels but from what I can see the records for Kiltrustan chapel are spotty. There are a few records for some months in 1842 (including Michael Ford) but the majority of the records start in 1851.

    Is it possible that Martin Ford was a child of Michael and Catherine but died in infancy and that is why he was not mentioned. Here is the parish register entry   

    Some background on Kiltrustan parish from 1837…

    I agree that the Boyle record from 1818 that you located is a possibility for Michael Ford. However, Boyle, was a good distance from Strokestown and Michael would have been 17 when his oldest son Bernard was born, not impossible but not common.

    Roger McDonnell


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 20th Apr 2022, 03:10PM
  • Thanks, Roger. Yes, it is possible that Martin died in infancy and thus didn't make the passed down list of children. Martin and Michael's baptismal records are the only Irish documents I have found so far for a Michael Ford/Forde/Foart and Catherine/Kitty McDonogh/McDonough/McDonagh.  


    kathleen foley

    Wednesday 20th Apr 2022, 07:29PM
  • Just a quick addition to my information above:

    Based on naming patterns, Michael Ford's father may have been Bernard Ford. Checking Griffith's there is a Bernard Ford in Kilmore and another in Kilukin.

    It is likely that Catherine's McDonough lived nearby and may have been the daughter of a Michael McDonough and Margaret ?? - again, all just based on naming patterns.  There is a Michael McDonough in Kilbride and 2 Griffith's records in Kilkeevin. 

    Given these possible parents of Michael Ford and Catherine McDonough and that the families likely lived fairly near each other, any comments about the distance between Kilmore/Kilukin and Kilbridge/Kilkeevin?  

    Sure would love to just narrow down the area before we are in the area on August 2. Thanks!
    Kathleen Foley

    kathleen foley

    Thursday 2nd Jun 2022, 10:06PM
  • Kathleen:

    Likely the Ford and McDonoughs were from area around Strokestown in Kiltrustan civil parish. Killukin, Kilmore and Kilbride parishes would be 7-10 miles from Strokestown and Kilkeevin parish is too far away.

    I think you can use the naming pattern and the Griffiths for possible leads but there is no way to confirm the leads because of the absence of church records.


    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Saturday 4th Jun 2022, 03:00PM

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