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I will be returning to Ireland later in 2023 (Hooray!)  I am very interested to talk to anyone who had ancestors living in Ballydonnell North and South, Ballylow and/or Ballyward likely in the 1800-1850 time period.  My Carney/Kearney ancestors were definitely in Ballydonnell as early as 1768, but I have a gap in documentation between then and the 1833 Tithe Applotment books.  Then the information picks up again in early 1840's after the death of John Finnemor of Ballyward, who was apparently the middleman in Ballydonnell and Ballylow for the Marquis of Downshire.  Downshire then became the immediate lessor to those tenants after Finnemor died, and the Carney/Kearney families then appeared in the Downshire Estate records, rather than Finnemor. 

On November 8, 1848, Paul Carney was paid a gratuity by the Marquis of Downshire for relinquishing his holding in Ballydonnell, and to assist him to emigrate to America. 

On January 16, 1849, Paul and Ann Doyle Carney and their 8 children, the youngest an infant, arrived at the Port of New York after a 57-day voyage.  It is incredible to me that they all survived to settle immediately in Lake County, Illinois.

When I visited Co. Wicklow in October 2022, I was unable to locate anyone who is today connected with those townlands, and was unable to see any current resident without trespassing.  I would greatly appreciate being able to talk to anyone who has had ancestors connected with Ballydonnell, Ballylow, or Ballyward before my next visit later this year. 

Very best regards,

Patricia Brady Thomas, California, USA


Wednesday 4th Jan 2023, 09:39PM

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  • Patricia, Perhaps contact Wicklow Heritage: Hopefully someone there can be of assistance.


    Wednesday 4th Jan 2023, 10:21PM
  • Patricia: The subscription site Roots Ireland has baptismal records for five children of Paul Kearney/Carney and Ann Doyle. The RC parish was Valleymount which is the the parish south of Blessington. Michael 1827 Miles 1829 Mary 1835 Thomas 1840 Elizabeth 1843 Roger McDonnell

    Castlemore Roscommon, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 4th Jan 2023, 11:02PM
  • Great suggestions, thank you. I perhaps should have given a little more explanation. I have been working to locate this family in Ireland for 25 years. In 2020, DNA allowed me to take my research from Illinois to County Wicklow. I was then able to build a spreadsheet of all the Carney/Kearney baptisms and marriages in various parishes of Co. Wicklow. I quickly found several generations of them to the Valleymount parish and Lacken, and I was able to visit Valleymount church last October. I have been able to follow the generations after my Paul Carney and a brother emigrated in 1848, up to the 1930's, even after marriages obscured the Carney/Kearney surname. And Kathy Trant's "Blessington Estate" book provided a huge pointer toward additional unusual records which document the family's history. I spent a day in the library in Blessington, with the excellent and informative Local History resources, and in the Wicklow County Archives, where Catherine Wright, Archivist, was most helpful, and I've researched them at the NAI, the NLI, and the Valuation Office, with great results. And I would greatly appreciate being able to talk to anyone who has had ancestors connected with Ballydonnell, Ballylow, or Ballyward before my next visit later this year, or anyone else who might talk about the history of these townlands. Best regards, Patricia Brady Thomas California Email:


    Thursday 5th Jan 2023, 10:02PM

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