Way back on 29 Jul 2000 I happened to be driving through Quin and had heard that some of my O'Halloran relatives might be buried there. I didn't know which O'Hallorans I should be looking for, so I stopped and transcribed all the O'Halloran inscriptions I could find (and a few with other surnames), but I couldn't associate any of these inscriptions with my branch of the O'Hallorans.
Nearly seven years later, on 29 Mar 2007, I thought I knew enough about the O'Hallorans that I had the temerity to address the Clare Roots Society on the subject: seehttp://www.maths.tcd.ie/~pwaldron/ClareRoots/
Now, nearly another six years on, I am beginning to realise how much I still don't know about the O'Hallorans ...
My transcriptions in 2000 included the following one from a large railed plot on the left immediately inside the gate:
John & Patrick O'Halloran
to the memory of their families
wife of Patrick O'Halloran
died March 9th 1869
aged 24 years
son of John O'Halloran
died May 19th 1869 aged 17 years
also his beloved wife
died April 3rd 1871 aged 56 years
May they rest in peace Amen"
No relationship between John and Patrick is specified and no addresses are given, so it meant nothing to me.
I still have a printout dated 2 Apr 2000 of what I then knew about the O'Hallorans. I knew that John O'Halloran lived in Ieverstown House (Sixmilebridge, Kilfinaghta civil parish) and that his son Patrick O'Halloran lived in Mountallon House (O'Callaghan's Mills, Clonlea civil parish). I had no dates, no first names of wives, and no reason to suspect that a father and son might have jointly erected a tombstone, or that either might have buried his wife in Quin civil parish, although each had a son who later lived in Rine townland in that parish.
There was no overlap at all between the information which John & Patrick O'Halloran had inscribed on the tombstone in the late 19th century and the information known to me on the eve of the 21st century, so I filed the notebook with this inscription away and thought no more of it.
It's only taken another 12 years to accumulate enough additional evidence that I now realise that this was the grave I had heard about and was looking for! It didn't help that I originally misread the year of Hanora's death, but Anna Ryan got that right in her attempt, which is among her transcriptions athttp://www.igp-web.com/igparchives/ire/ ... s/quin.txt
The John & Patrick O'Halloran of the inscription were indeed father & son. John's sister was my GGGgrandmother.
I now wonder if it would have been normal in 1869 for a family living in two parishes neither of which even shares a land boundary (whatever about a lake boundary) with Quin parish to acquire a new plot in Quin Abbey grounds, or should I be trying to figure out whether earlier generations might have lived in Quin parish and also been buried in the same plot?
Not only was the inscription which was done some time between Mary's death in 1871 and John's death in 1884 lacking in the relevant details that any tombstone inscription should contain (addresses and relationships and maiden surnames - Hanora Ryan and Mary Nash), but I suspect that the family continued to use this plot for another 106 years without adding any further names to the inscription!
I presume that the following twelve descendants and spouses of descendants of John O'Halloran were also buried in this plot:
Francis Thomas O'Halloran, infant son of Patrick and Hanora, b. 3 Mar 1869, a week before his mother's death, and whose death was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1869.
John O'Halloran himself (d. 11 Aug 1884, Ieverstown)
Patrick O'Halloran himself (d. 31 Jul 1919, Mountallon)
Peter O'Halloran (unmarried son of John d. 13 Aug 1885, Ieverstown)
Lizzie O'Halloran née Hassett (second wife of Patrick d. 16 Jan 1888, Mountallon)
Sarah O'Halloran (daughter of Patrick and Lizzie d. 7 Feb 1896 Mountallon)
John R[yan?] O'Halloran (son of Patrick and Hanora d. after 1911 census)
Patrick Francis O'Halloran (son of Patrick and Lizzie d. 30 Dec 1959)
Mary O'Halloran née Culligan (wife of Patrick Francis, date unknown)
Josephine O'Halloran (daughter of Patrick and Lizzie, died after Patrick Francis in 1959 and before Teresa in 1969)
Teresa O'Halloran (daughter of Patrick and Lizzie d. 4 Oct 1969, bur. Quin Abbey)
Delia Mary O'Halloran (daughter of Patrick and Lizzie d.30 Apr 1977, bur. Quin Abbey)
Only in the last two cases have I found newspaper death notices confirming the place of burial; I would welcome confirmation of the missing death dates and burial places for any of the others above.
Seven others who are less likely to be in the plot include:
Margaret (death apparently unregistered), James (death registered Q2 1880), Letitia (death registered Q1 1884) and a second Josephine (death registered Q2 1884) (children of Patrick and Lizzie who died in infancy); there may be a cillín elsewhere where young children were buried, although these children were all baptised.
Matthew J. O'Halloran (married son of John, d. 20 Mar 1886, Ieverstown) - his widow remarried so she was probably buried with her second husband.
Thomas O'Halloran J.P. of Rine (son of John, date of death unknown) and his wife Bridget née Scanlan d. 17 Jan 1918, Rine. (They at least lived in Quin parish, and were succeeded in Rine by Thomas's nephew Patrick Francis above.)
Delia Mary O'Halloran who died in 1977 appears to have been the last of the surname descended from her grandfather John, and indeed from John's father, whose first name remains unknown to me. There are many living descendants of John O'Halloran with other surnames - mostly Dundons, Fitzgeralds, Macinerneys, Kellys and Robinses. I have recorded 289 descendants (living and deceased) to date.
I suspect for many reasons that Hanora above, née Ryan of Cappamore (co. Limerick), was a sister of her contemporary Kate Quinlivan of Ballyroughan in Quin parish, also née Ryan of Cappamore. Kate's husband James was also buried at Quin Abbey, on 24 Apr 1904, and presumably Kate also was, but Anna Ryan's transcriptions do not include the Quinlivans. (See Quinlivan of Ballyroughan thread at viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3873
for more on this family.)
Three important morals for genealogists can be drawn from this story:
1. Give full details on tombstone inscriptions.
2. Don't wait a hundred years to update tombstone inscriptions if a grave is re-used.
3. Re-read your old genealogy notebooks regularly, as something that did not register first time round may become highly significant in the light of new information.