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Looking for O'Learys. My 2nd great grandfather was Denis O'Leary, b. ~1833, 35?). He went to Hancock Mi to work in the copper mines. I think he could be from Coolroe (according to Valuation Books), with a possible church record in Portlaw R. C. parish. Just learning about Waterford's Copper Coast, where can I learn more about the local history? Was there a big push to go to America? There was a Timothy Leary, worked in the same mine as Dennis, he married and had 6 children in Ireland, which I found ( no townland address but R.C. parish of Newtown and Kill).  Denis (Dennis in U.S.) married and had 2 children in Michigan before dying. Was trying to connect the two without success. Timothy was born c. 1830. Both Timothy and my 2nd great grand had James as first born son (probably too good to be true to connect them as brothers, but hopefully/maybe related).


Thanks for any suggestions!


Tuesday 16th May 2023, 10:32PM

Message Board Replies

  • Dear Mbahu,

    Many thanks for your message.

    When the copper mines in Bonmahon began to wind down, many of the miners and their families emigrated to work in copper mines in Michigan and Butte MT. So your ancestors were probably following a similar path to many of their neighbours and possibly relatives. 

    The most extensive history of the Bonmahon mines is Des Cowman's book, The Making and Breaking of a Mining Community (2006). It's probably out of print but if you like I can ask locally to see if there's a copy available?

    Bonmahon is effectively two villages, separated by the River Mahon. Bonmahon, the part west of the river, is in the Catholic parish of (Stradbally and) Ballylaneen; Knockmahon, east of the river, is in the parish of Newtown and Kill. 

    If any of Timothy Leary's children were born post-1864, there should be a civil record of their birth, which would include the townland. See (registration district would be Kilmacthomas).

    Best wishes with your research,

    C Flaherty, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 17th May 2023, 03:16PM
  • mbahu:

    Timothy Leary and Mary Sullivan married February 6 1852 in Kill RC parish. Record found on the subscription site Roots Ireland.

    Timothy Leary and Mary Sullivan had six children baptized in Kill RC parish: Mary 1854 James 1856 Catherine 1858 Daniel 1859 Ellen 1861 John 1863. Unfortunately, civil registration of births started in 1864 so no civil birth records would be available.

    Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 17th May 2023, 05:39PM
  • You can see more info about Knockmahon at this link:…

    and you can see more info about Bonmahon at this link (the actual townland name is Templeyvrick):…

    Another name for the Catholic parish there is Rossmore, and you can access the parish registers online at this link (they go as far back as 1797):


    Friday 19th May 2023, 11:57PM
  • Thank you for these replies, I will have to follow up on these suggestions and will get back if I learn anything new. I also found Timothy and Mary Sullivan marriage and their children's baptisms, a possible passage record for Mary with the 3 younger children, one whom seems to have died because he is not in the U.S. census with the rest of the children in 1870.

    You've given me a lot to look at!


    Tuesday 30th May 2023, 06:33PM
  • I would appreciate if you could ask about the book by Des Cowman.

    Thank You!



    Tuesday 30th May 2023, 07:00PM
  • No problem Maureen, I'll put the word out and see if there's any response.

    C Flaherty, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Monday 5th Jun 2023, 06:47PM
  • Hello again Maureen,

    I'm told there's a copy available for €10. If you'd like to send me an email - - I'd be happy to arrange postage etc.

    Best wishes,

    C Flaherty, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 21st Jun 2023, 01:58PM

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