Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:00 pm

Hi Jimbo

Stephen McNamara is listed in Griffith’s Valuation of Ayle, Upper, as leasing Lot 13c jointly with two others – all three have equal shares of 54 acres (i.e about 18 acres each). The 1926 Rate Book for Ayle shows Lot 13c owned by Michael McNamara, who I believe is the son of Lawrence, and the husband of Stephen’s daughter, Bridget. I noticed that another share of Lot 13 is owned by a Martin McNamara, and I wonder who this Martin can be – can he be Michael’s brother Martin who was born to Lawrence McNamara and Honora Molony on 21 Apr. 1862? Well, Martin is not living at home in 1901 or 1911, so I doubt if it is he. I spent some time looking at the Ayle McNamaras, but found no Martin among them. Then I wondered if he could be Martin, the son of Patrick McNamara and Kate McMahon (b 1888), who remained at home and married in 1920, – though I can't think of any reason for him owning a share of Lot 13 in Ayle. I was looking at this family of McNamaras (you have done a lot of work on them) and I was looking at the inscription on their headstone in Feakle graveyard: ... ptions.htm and noticed that Patrick died in 1943. But when I found the record of his death, for which Martin supplied the information, I saw that he was described as being 81 years of age, when he was actually much older - he was baptised in 1847, so must have been 95, or 96 in 1943. As you have found previously, Jimbo, the ages given at deaths are often seriously underestimated.

As I was saying in my last posting, I’ve been going through this thread in recent days, and I can see that I’ve been very fixated on the name Andrew. And I’ve been imagining that Mary McNamara’s family must have been still living in Glendree when she married James Madigan in 1860. Well, I’m now taking a fresh look at Mary, and think it is quite possible that her family had already emigrated while she remained with relatives, or even in the workhouse. I think that Mary was working as a servant in Liscullane, or nearby, when she met and married James. I think it’s possible that the Andrew McNamara, who is a witness at the marriage, is another servant, or neighbour, and may not be related to Mary, or at least not closely related.

Just lately I was reading again an article by Ciarán Ó Murchadha, “The Bad Times in Clare – Emigration and Aftermath”, in The Other Clare, Vol. 27 (2003), in which he distinguishes between the emigrants, who were not so very poor, and the poorer emigrants. Having described emigrants who were not so very poor, he goes on to write of the poorer emigrants and remarks on how rarely they figure in the emigration literature. He says
Wherever one searches for traces of those few among them who must have succeeded in emigrating – among the transported criminal element for example, or among the sponsored emigrants from workhouses – they prove impossible to distinguish clearly among those pauperised by famine from a more elevated social position. All we can say is that the poorer emigrants break down into several distinguishable categories, those who paid for their passage, those transported for criminal activities and those sponsored partially or wholly from workhouses. Perhaps the only clearly defined group among the first category were numbers of fathers of near-destitute families, who used the family’s resources to purchase passage to America, there to find work and wages with which to pay for the subsequent emigration of the entire family.
Boards of Guardians of Workhouses complained very much about this foisting of families upon them – which is how we have come to know of the practice. Here is group arriving in New York in 1853, aboard the Typhoon: Johanna McNamara aged 41, Eliza aged 18, Ellen aged ?, Thomas aged 8 and Joseph aged 3. A note beside Johanna’s name says “to Husband.” I should say at once that Eliza aged 18 is not Eliza Hornbeck, who in 1853 must have been already married to John Hornbeck if she was to give birth to Clarissa in 1854 (Clarissa Hornbeck is aged 1 in the 1855 census). No, the group is just an example of a family going to a father who was already in America: ... 3A2758-G76. The relationships are not given in this ships manifest, but if Eliza is a daughter of Johanna, the gap between her and the younger children suggests that not all of the family have made the journey.

So I am thinking that if our Mary McNamara had a found work in Tulla, she may have been content to remain there while the other members of her family went one by one, or as a group, to America.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Fri Jul 10, 2020 7:09 pm

Hi Meredith (again)

In my reply to you on page 25, I forgot to say that I would be interested in the snippet on Sr. Mary McNamara. Certainly, I would.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Gerkin » Fri Jul 10, 2020 8:05 pm

Hi Sheila,

Thank you for that summary. That clears up a lot for me!

Here is the link to an obituary for Sister Mary McNamara. She died 11/09/1934 (11 Sep 1934). ... icle/1934/

I'm having a problem with my computer. So, you'll have to do Ctrl-F for "Glendree" and that will bring you to it. I just realized that there are two different obituaries associated with that link. One calls her Rita and the other Mary Ita. Not Rita. I came upon a newspaper article from 2019 about musician Mary McNamara from Tulla, who received the MÓRglór Award. It mentioned her mother's name was Ita. I have no idea if there's a connection. (I've never heard the name, Ita. But maybe it's common in Ireland). Now I can't find that particular article!


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:35 am

Hi Meredith

Thank you for sending that notice of the death of Sr. Ita McNamara. So often newspaper notices only give the name in religion, which can be frustrating, but in this case we are also given her age (36) and home address, which is so helpful. I thought at first that she must be Mary McNamara who is aged 2 in 1901, in House no. 30, in the townland of Glendree. But when I looked at her death* on the civil registration site:, I saw that her name was Margaret McNamara. So she is Mary’s slightly older sister, Margaret, who is aged 3 in 1901. The parents are John McNamara and Honorah [Corry]. The newspaper notice says Glendree is in Lower Feakle, but it is in Tulla parish, which is adjacent to Feakle parish.
*the death was registered in January 1935 (in Limerick)

Margaret’s name in religion, Ita, is in honour of St. Ita (which is Naomh Íde in Irish), a holy woman who lived in the 6th century:Íte_of_Killeedy. The Gaelic Revival at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century brought this name into use, and some girls were named Ita or Íde, but it was never a very common name. Sometimes Ita is used as short for Margaret (Margarita).


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Sat Jul 11, 2020 11:30 am

Hi Jimbo

Michael McNamara, son of Lawrence, and Bridget McNamara, d. of Stephen, who married in 1903, had five children by 1911 and went on to have more children, including Michael born 1912 and Martin born 1916. Their headstone is in Tulla graveyard: (go to page 17, No. 0411). Michael’s age (89) upon his death in 1953 accords with his baptism on 26 Sep 1864. In 1901 his age is given as 27, which is way too young, and in 1911 it is given as 49, which a little too old.
Beside this grave is the grave of James McNamara, Kilmore (No. 0412). Sometimes branches of the same family were buried near each other - that was before graves became confined to one plot. I don’t know if we should attach any significance to it on this occasion – on its own it would hardly be enough evidence to decide a relationship.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Jimbo » Wed Jul 29, 2020 6:12 am

Hi Sheila and Meredith,

In reviewing prior research, especially research that had been completed years ago, I always find new clues that I missed the first time around. At the start of the search for the missing Thomas McNamara of Glandree, I didn't appreciate the importance of social class in Ireland as reflected in an individual's occupation in Ireland: farmer vs. laborer vs. tradesmen (blacksmith, carpenter etc.). In America, I reckon, occupations are a bit more fluid compared to Ireland. So after reading through this thread in its entirety, I may have, and not for the first time, come to an incorrect conclusion due to not understanding the significant differences between the two countries.

Sheila, thank you for the excellent summary that you provided Meredith, well done.

Meredith, thank you for sharing the obituary for Sister Mary Ita McNamara. I had previously commented on this thread, that it was peculiar that there were no McNamara priests discovered during the long search. A James McNamara of Magherabaun married Margaret Bowles and lived at Glandree House #5. The Bowles family was certainly a priestly family since Margaret Bowles (≈1850 - 1937) was a niece of the Reverend James Bowles (1811-1881), who was a nephew of the Reverend Ambrose Bowles (drowned at Lahinch in 1846), who was a nephew of the Reverend Ambrose O'Connor (≈1769 - 1849). But Sister Mary Ita McNamara was the very first McNamara from Glandree that has been found to have joined a religious order. One small correction, your initial posting stated that Sister Mary was buried in Glandree, which I believe would be unusual for a nun to be buried at the family cemetery. The obituary that you attached states that Sister Mary Ita was indeed buried at the convent cemetery at St. Mary's Convent in Limerick.

Sheila, good job finding that Sister Mary Ita McNamara was Margaret McNamara, the daughter of John McNamara and Honorah Corry of Glandree House #28 in the 1911 census (family tree on page 13). I had searched unsuccessfully for the death record as assumed that her September 1933 death would be recorded in 1933, and not 1934. Like you, at first, I thought that Sister Mary Ita was most likely to have been Mary McNamara, the younger sister of Margaret, but then remembered that for many religious orders that all the nuns were named "Sister Mary" followed by another saint's name. I counted four likely candidates living in Glandree in 1911: the two sisters Mary and Margaret of House #28; along with Kate McNamara, the daughter of Michael McNamara and Mary Nash of House #41; and Delia McNamara, the daughter of Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon of House #15 in 1911.

Of these four candidates, I thought that one of the daughters of John McNamara and Honorah Corry was the most likely. Sheila, you noted that their grandfather Michael McNamara in Griffiths Valuation had Plot #60 consisting of 60 acres with a total annual valuation of £22. Michael McNamara appears to have been one of the most prosperous farmers in Glandree. And thus, I reckon, most likely to have a granddaughter to become a nun. This is the direct opposite of what might be a common belief in America that the Irish nuns as well as Irish priests joined out of poverty. I recall when doing a family history project being told that so many Irish men joined the priesthood in order to escape dire poverty and even starvation during the Irish famine. I've read on-line only recently that the Irish nuns who came to America were not only poor but poorly educated. None of these were authoritative sources, of course. The priests that we have come across while searching for the missing Thomas McNamara, appear to have been quite wealthy from the probate records. And from the various funeral reports in newspapers, the priests hobnobbed with the landlords and wealthy classes. I would say that the number of young Irish men of a poor laborer or poor farming class who joined the priesthood to escape the Great Famine was precisely zero. The best indicator of whether someone would join the priesthood in Ireland in the 19th century appears to have been whether or not they had an uncle or great uncle who was a priest.

Sheila, I know you are in the midst of researching the Irish women who joined religious orders and specifically the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Kansas: ... 59fa9f9362
In 1895, Sister Mary Anacleta returned to Kansas from her Irish recruiting drive with 44 candidates for the novitiate. If we could determine the background of these 44 candidates this would make a good sample size, I reckon, and hopefully put to rest any myth that the Irish nuns who came to America were from the poorer classes, and certainly not poorly educated.

Sister Mary Ita McNamara was the granddaughter of Michael McNamara and Margaret Halpin. I reckon it was the Halpin family connection that would have encouraged Margaret McNamara to join the Sisters of Mercy. Although not like totally for sure, I reckon that her grandmother Margaret Halpin was a relative, likely a cousin, of the Reverend James Halpin of Scariff Parish. The parish priest James Halpin was age 51 in House 118 on Scariff Street in the 1901 census; and age 60 in House 14 in Ballyminogue, Scariff in the 1911 census. In both census years, Father Halpin reported his birthplace, not just as in County Clare, but as "Tulla". ... t/1086104/ ... ue/369604/

James Halpin, 76 years, "Canon R.C. Church", died on 10 February 1925 at Tulla; informant John O'Donohue, C.C., present at death at Tulla [Scariff registration district]. So based upon his age reported on the census reports and death record, James Halpin was born sometime around 1847 to 1850. I could not locate his baptism record in the baptism register for Tulla Parish.

This might be the Reverend James Halpin's first promotion in 1872; he appears low on the totem pole of promotions, which would be expected for a young priest born about 1849:
DIOCESE OF KILLALOE — The following promotions have been just made in the diocese of Killaloe by the Most Rev Dr Ryan, Lord Bishop of the diocese. The Rev P White, to the curacy of Ennis; Rev E Moloney, to the curacy of New-Market-on-Fergus; Rev P Brennan, to the curacy of Mountshannon; Rev J M'Cormack, the curacy of Templederry; Rev M M'Grath, to the curacy of Clonlara; Rev J Walker and Rev M Lenihan, to the curacy of Montsea; Rev J M'Kenna, to the curacy of Shinrone; Rev J M'Grath, to the chaplaincy of Sacre Coeur, Convent, Roscrea; Rev J Furniss, to the curacy of Bonveen; Rev J O'Marlbey, to the curacy of Broadford, and the Rev J Halpin to the curacy of Upper Feacle.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 4 August 1872
At some point, the Rev. James Halpin was transferred to Newmarket-on-Fergus. And in 1884 he was transferred to Roscrea, County Tipperary:
The Bishop of Killaloe has made the following changes in his diocese:—Rev. Charles Stuart, C.C., Roscrea, to be C.C., of Birr, King's County (1); Rev. James Halpin, C.C., Newmarket-on-Fergus, to be C.C. Roscrea; Rev. James Loughnane, C.C., Clare Castle, to be C.C., Newmarket-on-Fergus (2).

Catholic Union and Times, Buffalo, New York, 3 July 1884

(1) This was the Rev. Charles Stuart who was ordained in 1870, the son of Dominic Stuart and Anne Scanlon, of Ballybrohan at Ogonnelloe Parish baptized on 11 February 1844. He was transferred from Milton Malbay to Roscrea in 1882 (see page 23).
(2) The Reverend James Loughnane administered the last rights for John Doloughty near Knockaneane School, and testified at the murder trial of Francis Hynes in 1882 (see page 22).
In Roscrea, the Reverend James Halpin was known as a "patriotic priest" and very politically active:
At a meeting of the Roscrea branch of the I N L [Irish National League] held on Sunday—Rev J Halpin, C C, in the chair—the following resolution was unanimously adopted—

That we sympathize with Rev Father Fahy in his suffering in the cause of the people; that we believe the country is prepared to follow the example of Woodford and its faithful priesthood, and that if the Government are determined to back Irish landlordism in the extermination of the Irish people during this winter we warn them that the struggle will be against the united priests and people of Ireland, who are prepared to fight and suffer, and if need be to die to asset the right of Irishmen to live in their native land.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 29 September 1886
The Reverend James Halpin of Roscrea was also a frequent contributor to Donahoe's Monthly Magazine, an American Catholic magazine, writing articles about Irish affairs. From 1892 to 1893 (volumes 27 to 30), he penned about 8 articles entitled "Points About the Irish Crisis". I think the "Irish Crisis" Father Halpin was referring to was the "Parnell Split", but not sure, and his articles were quite difficult for me to follow. Available online here:

In 1897, the Reverend James Halpin was promoted to Parish Priest and transferred to Scariff.
His Lordship Most Rev Dr M'Redmond has made the following promotions and changes in his diocese—
Very Rev Dr Culligan, P P, V G, Killaloe, to be P P, V G, Roscrea; Very Rev Dr Brosnahan, P P, Scariff, to be P P, V G, Killaloe; Very Rev Peter Bourke to be President, Rev R O'Connell [to be] Vice-President, and Rev A Moloney and Rev J Enright (Liverpool) third and fourth Professors of the Diocesan College, Ennis; Rev C Stuart, Chaplain, Sacred Heart Convent, Roscrea, to be P P, Clare Abbey; Rev M Vaughan, C C, Castletown Arra (Portroe); Rev James Halpin, C C, Roscrea, to be P P, Scariff; . . .

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 2 August 1897
Father Halpin would remain at Scariff Parish until his death in 1925 at the age of 76 years. When Sister Mary Ita McNamara died in 1936, she had been a nun for 18 years, so took her vows about 1918 — the Reverend James Halpin would have been about 68 years old then.

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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:50 am

Hi Jimbo

Thanks for that interesting posting on Fr. Halpin. When I was re-reading this thread recently I realised that I had been a bit dismissive of your exploration of a possible McNamara-McInerney-Halpin connection (see third posting on page 19). Your interest had stemmed from the names and addresses of the witnesses at the marriage of Michael McNamara to Margaret Halpin, on 30 Jan 1853, i.e. James McGrath, Lisofin, Margaret McInerny, Lisofin.

Jimbo, I’ve noticed that the celebrant at marriages is not always the Parish Priest, and that sometimes it is a priest who is related to either the bride or the groom. A priest in the family was a real feather in the cap (worth at least 3 nuns, if not more) and it would have added greatly to the occasion if he was there to perform the ceremony. I looked at the Halpin marriages (under Galway) and found one such marriage:
15 Feb 1905: Marriage of Michael Clune, Toonagh, Quin, Farmer, son of Timothy Clune (dead), to Maggie Halpin, Kilduff, Tulla, daughter of William Halpin, Farmer, in Tulla chapel; witnesses: John Whyte, Fanny Halpin; celebrant: James Halpin, P.P., Scariff: ... 695594.pdf

I noticed that Maggie’s sister, Kate had married the previous year (10 Feb 1904), but she had been married by Fr. John J. McCready, who was the curate in Tulla parish at that time, so maybe the connection with Fr. Halpin was not very close, but I consider Maggie’s marriage to be enough evidence that there was some connection between Fr. Halpin and the Halpins of Kilduff.

The 1901 census shows a William Halpin in Kilduff Middle (Kiltannon D.E.D.) and his wife Margaret. Among their children are a Catherine aged 28 and a Margaret aged 20.
The 1921 Rate Book for Kiltannon D.E.D. lists two William Halpins in Kilduff Middle. One William Halpin has Baloughtragh in brackets after his name and the other has Cloonaleary in brackets after his name, in order to distinguish one from the other. The "Baloughtragh" William has a house and land in Kilduff Middle, whereas the "Cloonaleary" William has just land in Kilduff Middle. So it seems that the William with the house was originally from Baloughtragh.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Thu Jul 30, 2020 1:42 pm

Hi Jimbo

I was looking at William Halpin in Kilduff Middle, aged 66 in 1901, and aged 77 in 1911, and saw that his son William, who was single in 1901, had married by 1911. He married Catherine Vaughan from Kilbane (Killokennedy parish) in 1908, and the record shows that the celebrant was James Halpin, P.P. Scariff: ... 655314.pdf. So Fr. James Halpin was definitely related to William (Sen.) and I reckon they were brothers. William is almost certainly the William Halpin of James Halpin and Anne McInerney, who was baptised in 1834, but, as you say, there is no record of James’s baptism (about 1849). The index made by the priest at the end of the 1846-1862 baptism register confirms this. Another child of that couple is Anne who was baptised in Oct 1845, and the address on that occasion is Kilduff. Nevertheless, I think she might well be the Anne Halpin of Baloughtera who married Mathew McNamara in 1867: ... 223955.pdf
Jimbo, I note that another child of James Halpin and Anne McInerney is Margaret who was baptised on 29 Mar 1832, and you have on a couple of occasions expressed a belief that she is the Margaret Halpin of Baluthera who married Michael McNamara (of Lot 60) in 1853: witnesses: James McGrath, Lisofin, Margaret McInerny, Lisofin. I see that a James Halpin was sponsor at the baptism of Margaret’s son John on 17 Oct 1863. So, Jimbo, I think you were right in believing that Margaret was also a daughter of James and that she and Anne were sisters.

If Fr. James Halpin is a brother of Ann McNamara (nee Halpin) and of Margaret McNamara (nee Halpin), then he is an uncle of their children. And did they not have an equal right to be married by him? But when Margaret’s daughter, Kate McNamara, marries Denis Cooney in 1902, it is the Tulla curate, Fr. Lynch, who performs the ceremony: ... 736255.pdf
Maybe Fr. Halpin did not approve of Denis Cooney’s politics – but of course we don’t know what Denis Cooney’s stance on anything was by the time he was released in 1900, having served 10 years in jail. Kate’s brother, John McNamara, had married Honora Corry in 1897, and the celebrant is the M. Courtney, P.P.: ... 804318.pdf. And Kate’s sister, Mary McNamara, had married James Morony 20 years previously on 17 Feb 1878, and again the celebrant was the Tulla curate (Fr. Denis Sheehan): ... 060658.pdf. Kate, John and Maria are just three of the many children of Michael McNamara and Margaret Halpin – I haven’t even looked for marriage records for any of the others. Instead I’ve looked again at the marriage of Matthew McNamara, son of Matthew McNamara and Anne Halpin – He married Catherine McCarthy in 1913, and the celebrant is M. Considine, C.C., Tulla: ... 597542.pdf

However, I’m not at all sure that the absence of Fr. James Halpin from the above sample of marriages of the children of Margaret McNamara née Halpin and of Anne McNamara née Halpin, are evidence that he was not related to Margaret and Anne. It’s possible that he just had a closer relationship with William in Kilduff. Also, I feel sure that priests at that time took into consideration that, if they officiated at marriages in parishes other than their own, they would taking from the marriage offerings (payment) to the priests of that parish, which would not have been looked on very kindly, I’m sure.

Jimbo, I’ve only read the first article by Fr. Halpin (published in Donahoe’s Monthly Magazine in 1892), so far. The “Clanricard” mentioned was a County Galway landlord notorious for his treatment of tenants. The “Crisis” was the still very fresh wound caused by the split in the support for Parnell. It was Gladstone who was the first to ditch Parnell, but the Catholic clergy followed very quickly - with some exceptions it should be said. Fr. Halpin was anti-Parnell, but support for Parnell (and for the Parnellites after the death of Parnell) continued in Co. Clare to the extent that William Redmond and Rochford Maguire, both Parnellites, were elected MPs for Clare in 1892.

A handy source of information on Parnell is the piece available on ... arnell.htm, but it ends with Parnell and doesn’t extend into “Parnellites” and “Anti-Parnellites.” In his book, Ireland’s Banner County: Clare from the fall of Parnell to the Great War 1890-1918, Daniel McCarthy says,
On 17 November 1890, a decree nisi was given to O’Shea and this was uncontested by Parnell (who was privately hoping for a divorce). Yet, one week later, in spite of Parnell’s insouciance at the verdict and his subsequent inaction, the Ennis Branch of the IPP [Irish Parliamentary Party] passed a resolution promising unfaltering allegiance to Parnell. It was from this juncture on, however, that events began to take what was ultimately a tragic turn. On 24 November, Gladstone delivered an ultimatum to the IPP, which was a clear warning to eject Parnell or jeopardise their allegiance with the Liberals. Anti-Parnellites would argue that Parnell should now have done the politically correct thing and fallen on his sword so as to save the Liberal Alliance. Defiantly, Parnell lashed out at Gladstone and claimed he was compromising Irish independence (p 36).
At an acrimonius meeting of the IPP, which followed, the two Clare MPs, Jordan for West Clare and Cox for East Clare, walked out as did 41 other members – only 27 members stayed with Parnell. The Catholic Church had remained silent until now, but could not allow itself be bettered by Gladstone in matters of morals (my words), so threw its weight behind the move to depose Parnell. Daniel McCarthy quotes Fr. Murphy, PP of Tuamgraney, as telling his congregation, “Parnell is a debased wretch and a low scoundrel." Fr. White, PP of Miltown Malbay, warned against people who glorified a man “steeped to the ears in sin”. Fr. Molony, CC, Ennis, described Parnell as an “anti-Christ.” Daniel McCarthy says that at an April 1891 meeting of the Killaloe Deanery of Catholic Priests in Broadford, 25 members of clergy signed a statement repudiating Parnell. So Fr. James Halpin was far from being alone. But not everyone obeyed the clergy. McCarthy goes on to say,
The 1892 national election resulted in a landslide seventy-one Federation seats [anti-Parnellites] against nine Parnellite seats. Yet Clare returned two Parnellite candidates, Rochford Maguire, MP for West Clare, with 65% of the vote, and Willie Redmond, MP for East Clare with 53.5% of the vote (p 39).
By the way, when Fr. Halpin refers to the “Premier County”, he means Tipperary. Clare is called the Banner County and Tipperary is called the Premier County.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Jimbo » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:14 am

Hi Sheila,

Thank you for discovering the 1905 and 1908 marriage records with the Rev. James Halpin officiating. Yes, I agree, that the Halpins of Kilduff appear to be related to the Rev. James Halpin. And most likely to Margaret Halpin who married Michael McNamara in 1853 as well as Anne Halpin who married Matthew McNamara in 1867.

Margaret McNamara, the daughter of Michael McNamara and Margaret Halpin of Glandree, appears to have had direct family connections to the Sisters of Mercy. These connections were probably a greater influence than the Rev. James Halpin, parish priest of Scariff, to join the Sisters of Mercy about 1918.

In the townland of Miltown in Tulla, Margaret Flynn was 15 years old living with her family in House 12 in the Irish 1901 census. ... n/1087933/
In 1911, Margaret Flynn, age 25, born in "Tulla, County Clare" was living at 2 Tavistock Square in London, reported in the England census as a "Scholar" at the Sisters of Mercy convent. Margaret Flynn was the daughter of Patrick Flynn and Ellen Halpin of Kiltannon who married in Tulla Parish in 1858.

Reported as a "Teacher" at Tavistock Square was Bridget Halpin, age 59, born "Tulla, County Clare". In the 1914 Trades Directory for the Convent of Mercy, at 2 Tavistock, was "Sister M.C. Halpin, lady superior". In religion, Bridget Halpin was Sister Mary Catherine Halpin.
1914 London Trades Directory, Convent of Mercy.jpg
1914 London Trades Directory, Convent of Mercy.jpg (41.39 KiB) Viewed 2736 times

The earliest, and only, Irish record for Bridget Halpin was her Tulla baptism record. Bridget Halpin was baptized on 27 April 1851, parents William Halpin and Bridget Clune of Tulla; sponsors John Pepper and Maria Pepper. Ellen Halpin, the mother of Margaret Flynn, was baptized on 12 May 1839, father reported as William Halpin, mother left blank, location Kilduff; sponsors Michael Mack and Teresa Halpin. If I had to bet on the Rev. James Halpin, I would say that he was a brother of Mother Superior Mary Catherine Halpin as well as Ellen Halpin Flynn, and not a brother of the two Halpin sisters Margaret and Anne who married McNamara's.

The first record I could find for Bridget Halpin in England was the 1891 census where she was reported as age 30 (off by 10 years), birthplace "Tulla, Ireland" at the Sisters of Mercy convent in Croydon, Surrey.

Starting 1892, Bridget Halpin was made Mother Superior at the Macklin Street convent (source: I jotted this down from I believe a website for the Sisters of Mercy in Great Britain or perhaps a newspaper article, which I now cannot find). In the 1901 England census, Bridget Halpin, age 40 (off by 10 years), was the Mother Superior of the Macklin Street Convent of Mercy, Bloomsbury Civil Parish in London.

In both 1901 and 1911, Bridget Halpin was at the same convent as Bridget "Delia" O'Connor, born in Kilrush, Clare (age 30 in 1901; age 45 in 1911). In religion, her name was Sister Mary Theresa O'Connor.

From a website for Tilbury parish in the east East End of London, "The Parish Priest of Tilbury, Canon van Meenan, asked the Superior of the Convent in Macklin Street, London, for Sisters to teach in the schools and undertake visitation of Catholic families — negotiations with Mother M. Catherine Halpin were completed in 1904 and part of the property known as Trevor Villas was rented to accommodate the Community. In January 1905, Sister M. Teresa O'Connor, M. Camillus Ryan, and M. Ethelburga Dwyer arrived in Tilbury and soon took on responsibility of the schools. . ."

Macklin Street Catholic School which is in Covent Garden appears to have been the center of a large Irish community in London who used the school as a meeting place for political activities, which, I reckon, would have required the blessing of Mother Superior M. Catherine Halpin of Tulla.
A remarkable assembly of Irishmen met in the Macklin street Catholic Schools, London, yesterday evening. The occasion of the meeting was the departure of the Rev. William Purcell, a distinguished Irish priest, who has for the past ten years been connected with the Mission of Corpus Christi Church, Maiden lane, and who has just been recalled by his Grace the Archbishop of Cathel to Bansha, Co Tipperary. Some of Father Purcell's personal friends and admirers, who include the most prominent men in the Irish Party, determined to make his return to Ireland the opportunity of expressing their deep appreciation of his priestly zeal among the London poor, and his splendid services to the cause of nationality in the English metropolis. The chair was taken by the Rev. Father Skimshire. . .

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 16 December 1892

Father William Purcell in 1901 as a curate in Tipperary (age 42): ... t/1714796/

At the Catholic schools, Macklin street, Drury lane, this evening, a meeting of delegates from the various London branches of the Irish National League of Great Britain was held for the purpose of appointing a committee and transacting other business in connection with the annual convention to be held in the metropolis on the Saturday preceding Whit Sunday. . . .

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 11 January 1893
A concert was held last evening, under the auspices of the Father Purcell Branch of the National League of Great Britain, in the schoolrooms, Macklin street, Drury lane. There was a large attendance, and the proceedings were very enthusiastic. A notable feature of the evening's entertainment was the unfurling of a very handsome silk banner of the branch. The banner bore the inscription, "God Save Ireland," and the foreground was a representation of the Irish wolf dog, the harp, and the figure of Erin. The interesting ceremony of unfurling the banner was performed by Mr. E F Vesey Knox, M P. The appearance of the hon gentleman on the platform was greeted with hearty applause. The banner, which is an extremely pretty one, will probably make its first appearance in public on Sunday next on the occasion of the Home Rule demonstration in Hyde Park.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 18 May 1893
The school still operates on Macklin Street as St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School. Their website has this brief blurb, "For many years St Joseph’s, which is part of the Diocese of Westminster, came under the jurisdiction of the Sisters of Mercy who taught in the school, setting high academic standards and much for the cultural and social side of the school."

The UCL Bloombury Project provides the earliest history of the school starting in the 1850's when it was known as the "London Catholic Ragged School": ... chools.htm

The source for their information was an article by Dr. J. Matthew Feheney, ‘The London Catholic Ragged School: An Experiment in Education for Irish Destitute Children’, Archivium Hibernicum, vol. 39, 1984.

This article is available on the website, using the below link. To get beyond the first page, you need to register and create a password. For 2020, has expanded their free access from 6 to 100 articles per month.

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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Fri Jul 31, 2020 11:18 am

Hi Jimbo

Thank you for another interesting posting.
Yes, I think you are right when you say that Fr. James Halpin was not a brother of Margaret Halpin who married Michael McNamara (1853), nor a brother of Anne Halpin who married Mathew McNamara (1867).
I see now that Fr. James Halpin was celebrant at the marriages of at least three of the children of William Halpin and Mary Clune of Clonleary*. William Halpin (who is aged 50 in 1901) had married Mary Clune on 15 Feb 1871. The record shows that he is from Kiltannon, son of William Halpin, and that Mary is from Toonagh (Clooney-Quin parish), daughter of Timothy Clune: ... 161325.pdf
This is a bit confusing because the Tulla baptisms show an earlier William Halpin and Bridget Clune whose children were born about 1851 – 1856, one of whom was Bridget b. 1851 (who later entered the Sisters of Mercy as you show in your posting above). I think William, who is in Clonleary in 1901, aged 50, must be a brother of Bridget. He gives he age in 1911 as 67, which accords with the baptism of a William Halpin in Aug 1843, son of William Halpin and Peggy Clune. I think “Peggy” might be a mistake, and if so there’s a gap between that baptism and the baptism of Bridget that allows space for a couple of more baptisms.
I’ve failed to find the death of William Halpin, the husband of Bridget Clune, but I found the death, on 27 Oct 1893, of Bridget Halpin, Kiltanon, aged 73, widow of Farmer; informant: William Halpin, son of deceased, Kiltanon. I think William Senior must have died in the 1860s – I found this marriage record: 9 Feb 1869: Margaret Halpin, Kiltannon, daughter of William Halpin (deceased), to Michael Fitzgerald, Belvoir, son of James Fitzgerald, Farmer (deceased) in Tulla chapel; witnesses: Michael Liddane, Margaret Flynn: ... 192081.pdf

The name William was much loved by the Halpins, so that along with William who married Bridget Clune sometime in the 1840s, we have his son William who married Mary Clune in 1871, and his son William who married Margaret O’Halloran in 1921. And we also have the William Halpin in Kilduff who was married to Margaret Russell, and their son William who married Catherine Vaughan in 1908. Fr. James Halpin was celebrant at the marriage of Kilduff William in 1908, and also at the marriage of Clonleary/Kiltannon William in 1921. He can’t have been brother to both their fathers – most likely he was brother of Clonleary William, and a cousin of Kilduff William. Clonleary William died in 1914, aged 70, and Kilduff William died in 1912, aged 78. The informant upon the death of the latter was Mary Ann Murphy, Grand daughter, Lahardan. Her mother was Ellen Halpin who had married Michael Murphy in 1889: 23 Feb 1889: Marriage of Michael Murphy, Laharden, son of Michael Murphy, Farmer, to Ellen Halpin, Baluthera, daughter of William Halpin, Farmer, in Knockjames chapel; witnesses: Thomas Marinon, Anne Halpin; celebrant: J. Hayes, P.P.: ... 911335.pdf. Fr. James Halpin was not the celebrant on that occasion.

*Jimbo, As you may have noticed, I haven’t transcribed those sideways notes re marriages in the Tulla register of baptisms 1862-1880 and just mentioned them in the notes, but I just now applied myself to the notes re two Halpin marriages. The first is re the marriage of William Halpin, son of William Halpin and Mary Clune, who was baptised on 1 Jul 1872, and who, according to the priest’s note, married Margaret O’Halloran on 2 Feb 1921. The record of that marriage shows that the celebrant was James Halpin: ... 323177.pdf. The second is re the marriage of Timothy Halpin, also a son of William Halpin and Mary Clune, baptised 19 Aug 1874, and who, according to the priest’s note, married Miss [Jane] Clune on 1 Feb 1921. The record of that marriage shows that the celebrant was, again, James Canon Halpin: ... 335562.pdf
Then I looked for the marriage of Fanny who is aged 21 in 1901 and found that Fr. James Halpin was celebrant on that occasion as well (23 Feb 1909: Marriage of Frances Halpin, Tulla, d. of Wm. Halpin, Farmer, to Patrick Mescall, Merchant, Kilrush, son of Michael Mescall, in Church of St. Michael, Limerick; witnesses: Thomas Mahony, The Square, Kilrush, Mary Hogan, Willow Bank, Ennis): ... 641827.pdf


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Jimbo » Sat Aug 01, 2020 8:18 am

Hi Sheila,

Thanks again for the information on the Halpin marriages from the 20th century, that was all new information for me. Over a year ago I had researched this Halpin family and came to the same conclusion that the wife of William Halpin was recorded in the Tulla baptism records as both Bridget and Margaret Clune. I had a second look for the source of my scribbled note that Sister Mary Catherine Halpin was made Mother Superior in 1892 of the Sisters of Mercy convent at Macklin Street in London. I recall that it may have been reported on a timeline or else a Mercy diary, neither of which was searchable on google. No luck, but in searching files I had saved, I did come across an obituary for the Rev. James Halpin from 1925. This was from the Australian trove website that I had searched for using Glandree, Uggoon, and Tulla back in 2019:
Very Rev. Canon Halpin, P.P., V.F., who has died at Tulla, County Clare, was the well-known temperance advocate, and the author of the Temperance Catechism which is in use in Irish schools. He was born in Tulla 75 years ago, and was educated in Paris. He was P.P. of Scariff up to six years ago, when he was transferred to Tulla. R.I.P.

Southern Cross Australia, South Australia, 10 April 1925
My prior posting that "Father Halpin would remain at Scariff Parish until his death in 1925 at the age of 76 years" was incorrect as he transferred to Tulla about 1919.

The Rev. James Halpin was the author of "Temperance and the Working Man" (c. 1901), Catholic Truth Society of Ireland (Dublin). And also "The Father Meehan Reader on Temperance and Hygiene" (1907) M.H. Gill & Son (Dublin). Sadly, I could not find a copy on-line, but the National Library of Ireland has a copy: The Irish Educational Review gave a positive review:
The Father Meehan Reader on Temperance and Hygiene, by Rev. J. Halpin, P.P. Dublin, M.H. Gill & Son. Price 4½d, net:

This abridged Temperance Reader, simplified and altered in some respects, is a very valuable addition to our stock of literature for use in primary schools. Father Halpin has a knack of infusing his own missionary spirit into the lessons, so that, while from the literary point of view, they are altogether admirable, they are not less so from the standpoint of the moral effect they are intended and eminently calculated to produce. We note with satisfaction that the book is sanctioned for use in National Schools, and we most heartily commend it to the Managers and Teachers.

Irish Educational Review, Volume 1 (1907/1908)
The fact that the Halpin family had a son that was a priest, and that he was educated in Paris, does indicate their wealth. When Bridget Clune Halpin died in 1893 her funeral report was published in the Irish World newspaper of New York. Pity that the Irish funeral report only includes the many priests who attended and not family members:
Mrs. Halpin, Kiltannon, died Oct. 22. On the following day her remains were conveyed to Tulla Church, where a solemn office and high mass were offered. The celebrant was Father Slattery, Tulla; deacon, Rev. Father Hayes, Tulla; sub-deacon, Rev. Father McKenna, Feakle. In the choir were Rev. P. Murphy, Quin; Rev. Father Kelly, Quin; Rev. Father Cleary, O'Callaghan Mills; Rev. Father Garry, O'Callaghan Mills; Rev. Father McNamara, Bodyke; Rev. Father Breen, Bodyke; Rev. Father Courtney, Upper Feakle; Rev. Father Kennedy, Quin; Rev. Father Little, Sixmile Bridge; Rev. Father Garry, Feakle; Rev. Father Howard, Crusheen; Rev. Father Lynch, Tulla, etc. On Sunday her remains were interred at Finloe, the family burial place, the funeral cortege being large.

Irish World, New York, 2 December 1893
Finloe/Fenloe is located on Finn Lough in Newmarket on Fergus Parish. The gravestone inscriptions for Fenloe Graveyard are included on the Clare Library website here: ... urname.htm

Bridget Clune Halpin would have been buried at the same plot as her husband William Halpin, whose gravestone has been transcribed as "This tomb is sacred to the memory of William Halpin of ? who departed this life on 23 December 1850 aged 52 years. This tomb was erected by his wife Bridget Halpin perpetuate his memory for her and family."

A headstone from the 1850's would be difficult to read, and I believe the year 1850 transcription for William Halpin is incorrect. Bridget Halpin (Sister Mary Catherine) was baptized on 27 April 1851, which, of course, it would be possible that her father died prior to her birth. However, William Halpin and Bridget Clune went on to have a son Michael baptized in 1854 and a son John in 1856, both recorded in the Tulla baptism register. The 1851 baptism gave a residence of Tulla, in 1854 no residence, and the 1856 baptism gave a residence of Kiltannon. Bridget Halpin could possibly be the "widow named Halpin" that an "unhappy man" in 1857 paid the hefty price for taking some of her land:
The Clare Journal says: 'As a man named Peppard was returning to his residence near Tyreda, he was waylaid in the neighborhood of Kiltannon by a party of men, who beat him in a most violent manner, and left him in a senseless and dangerous state. The unhappy man lies in a very precarious condition, and little hopes are entertained of his recovery. The cause assigned for this atrocious outrage is that Peppard took some land formerly occupied by a widow named Halpin.'

Irish News, New York, 2 January 1858

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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:23 pm

Hi Jimbo

As we are on the subject of the Halpins in the townlands of Kilduff and Clonleary in Tulla parish, I am reminded of the work you did on the connection between the Meehans in Derryulk and the Halpins in Affick – there are two families of Halpins in Affick, both descended from the John Halpin who is in Affick in Griffith’s Valuation (1855). One family is that of Patrick Halpin and Mary Meehan, and the other family is that of John Halpin and Margaret Meagher. While both families are living in the townland of Affick in the 1901 census, the Tulla baptism register shows that Patrick and Mary were living in the sub-division called Derrygorriv, and John and Margaret were living in the sub-division called Derrynacleha. Jimbo, here is what you wrote on page 20:
I revisited the McNamara's of Derryulk and provide their updated family tree below; the information on pages 7 through 8 was disorganized. I was also looking for further evidence that John McNamara and Mary Kelly were two separate families in Glandree and Derryulk. Some new information discovered:

Anne McNamara of Derryulk married John Meehan in 1877, but we could never find her Tulla baptism record. I reckon she is the "Anne" born to "John McMahon" and "Mary Kelly" of Derryulk on 20 September 1841 and the priest made a mistake in the baptism register, which, take another look, is really just a scribble.

Honora Meehan, the daughter of John Meehan and Anne McNamara, arrived in New York in 1906 and she was traveling with her first cousin, Mary Halpin, of Tulla; their American contact was Mary's sister Lizzie Halpin living in Brooklyn. The sisters were the daughters of Patrick Halpin and Mary Meehan. Another interesting Halpin connection, but I don't believe these Halpins are related to Margaret Halpin of Ballyoughtra who married Michael McNamara, nor Anne Halpin of Ballyoughtra who married Matthew McNamara (see family tree on page 13).

I searched again for any clues to solve the mystery of what happened to John Meehan, the WWI soldier, who was last reported on the 1920 census living with his sister Nora Meehan Carroll. I mentioned previously that John Meehan arrived in NY in 1910 and appeared to be traveling with Thomas Halpin of Tulla who was going to his brother John Halpin. Actually, Thomas Halpin was crossed out on the passenger listing and would take another ship to New York. John Meehan (son of John Meehan and Anne McNamara of Derryulk) and Thomas Halpin (son of John Halpin and Margaret Meagher of Afflick) were not related to each other, but shared first cousins (the children of Patrick Halpin and Mary Meehan). I'm not sure if there is a name for this relationship in Ireland other than "not related". Thomas Halpin would end up working as the chauffeur for President Taft (I'll link to the Clare Past thread on this topic when the search feature is back up and running).

Jimbo, I think the topic you were referring to is the one entitled “Halpin of Knockjames”: ... f=1&t=4588, but you haven’t returned to it, and maybe you have forgotten about it. So I’m going to mention this article, “Tulla and the Great War” by Ger Browne: ... war_38.pdf where, on page 33, Browne writes about James Halpin who died in 1918 as a result of wounds received in WWI. James was a son of John Halpin and Margaret Meagher, and the person who provides the information on James Halpin is his grandnephew, Seán Halpin. It seems that it was James Halpin who first worked as driver for President Taft, and then the job went to his brother, Thomas Halpin. Sean Halpin refers to his grandfather, Pat Halpin*, and to his two granduncles, Tom (the “Pope”) Halpin and Bill Halpin (Crusheen)**. Thomas, it seems, returned from the U.S. at some stage “having saved enough money to buy Kiltannon”. The inscription on his headstone (no. 0454) in Tulla graveyard says: “Thomas Halpin, Kiltannon, died 1972 aged 85” – see page 19 of the transcriptions for Tulla graveyard: The next headstone (No. 0455) is that of James Halpin who died in 1918: And the next headstone (No. 0456) is that of Jane Halpin née Horan who had married William (Bill) Halpin in 1924.
*5 Mar 1916: Marriage of Patrick Halpin, Farmer, Affick, Tulla, son of John Halpin, Farmer, to Maggie McNamara, Flagmount, daughter of John McNamara, Farmer and Postman, in Flagmount church; witnesses: Dan McMahon, Annie M. O’Meara : ... 547161.pdf.
** 30 Jan 1924: Marriage of William Halpin, Farmer, Cappafean, Crusheen, son of John Halpin, Farmer, to Jane Horan, Castletown, Quin, daughter of Martin Horan, Farmer, in Doora Church; witnesses: Dan McMahon, Kathleen Garvey: ... 311744.pdf

As I was looking at that group of Halpin headstones, I noticed another Halpin headstone which I think is for Patrick Halpin and Mary [Meehan] of Derrygoriff (Affick): No. 0163 (page 7):, inscribed, “Lizzie Halpin who died 14th Feb. 1955 and her parents Pat and Mary Halpin.” Jimbo, you mention that Lizzie Halpin, in Brooklyn, was the contact for Honora Meehan and Anne McNamara when they went to New York in 1906. It appears that Lizzie returned to Ireland soon afterwards, as the 1911 census shows Lizzie living at home with her mother, Mary, and her sister Mary: Mary (Jun.) was married the following year to James Daffy: 19 Feb 1912: James Daffy, Spancilhill, Farmer, son of Richard Daffy (dead), Farmer, to Mary Halpin, Derrygorive, Tulla, daughter of Patrick Halpin, alive, Farmer, in Knockjames chapel; witnesses: John W Considine, Lizzie Halpin. Although Patrick Halpin is described as alive in that marriage record, he had been dead some 20 years. In 1911, Mary (Sen.) describes herself as a widow, but in 1901 she had described herself as married (she may have misunderstood the question asked by the census enumerator). Patrick died in 1891, aged 45; informant: Lizzie Halpin, daughter of deceased, Knockjames: ... 733485.pdf. Lizzie was born Jan 1878, so would have been only 13 when she reported her father’s death - here is Lizzie's birth record: ... 089339.pdf

Jimbo, in writing the above I have drifted away from any connection with the McNamaras in Tulla, but now I will redeem myself by mentioning a possible sister for Margaret Halpin*, Baluthera who married Michael McNamara in 1853, and/or Anne Halpin, Baluthera, who married Mathew McNamara in 1867: she is Mary Halpin, Ballyoughter, who married Patrick Moloney on 13 Sep 1859; witnesses: James McGrath, Maria McInerny. In 1901 Patrick and Mary are living in Cloghaun (Tulla DED); Patrick, a House Carpenter, is aged 66; Mary is aged 64 and their daughter Anne is 33. They are not living in Cloghaun in 1911, but I hesitate to pronounce them dead.. Their daughter Anne had married (in 1904) James Cooney, Carpenter, a widower, who was living in Kilvagoon at the time, but who was originally from Garruragh.
Patrick Molony and Mary Halpin were living in Liscullane when they had a son William baptised on 13 Jul 1860; witnesses: William Halpin, Ellen Halpin. Parick and Mary remained in Liscullane for some years and were still there were when their son James was baptised on 4 Aug 1865. The baptisms show that they then moved to Knockadoon and to Loughane (which must be a mistranscription of Cloughaun, I reckon).

*Griffith’s Valuation shows James Halpin in Baluthera, and he is the only Halpin leasing land there, so I am leaning very much towards accepting that Margaret, who married Michael McNamara in 1853, is his daughter and that she is a sister of Anne, and that they are both sisters of Mary and all three are sisters of William who is in Kilduff in 1901 but who was originally from Baloughtra. However, the Tulla baptisms 1819-1846 show a James Halpin (married to Anne McInerney) in Clon??, and another James Halpin (married to Margaret McNamara) in Derragariff and no Halpin living in Baloughtera (for the duration of that period), So we can’t be really sure that Margaret is the daughter of James Halpin and Anne McInerny, but, if she is their daughter, that might explain why one of the witnesses at her marriage to Michael McNamara in 1853 is Margaret McInerney, Lisofin.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Jimbo » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:59 am

Hi Sheila,

Thanks for another posting that has required me to again revisit my scribbled notes that make little sense one or two years later.

The forum link you provided was not very informative and referred to "some old post". Perhaps there was another discussion on a different genealogy forum that I had read? Anyways, the Ger Brown biography on James Halpin on page 30 appears to have the most detailed information reflecting the latest research by Sean Halpin.

I agree that you have drifted away as still see no evidence that the Halpins of Affick (Derragarrif) are related to the Halpins of Ballyoughtra who married McNamara's from Glandree. Your last sentence was especially confusing since James Halpin and Margaret McNamara of Derragarrif did not have a daughter named Margaret — unlike James Halpin and Anne McInerney in 1832. Also, did you notice that a Kitty Halpin was the baptism sponsor for Margaret Halpin in 1832? I wonder who this could be?

But previously, the connection to President Taft had piqued my interest and there was also a McNamara connection to follow up on. Sheila, you might recall in your Michael Considine thread that when providing the true meaning of his nickname "Dirty Mick" (see page 3 of MC thread), I quoted an LA Times letter to the editor that complained "President Wilson has a 'Mick' as a private secretary. Mrs. Wilson while on a trip to France had 'Micks' exclusively as her ladies in waiting." Former President Taft, who preceded President Wilson, in addition to Thomas Halpin as a chauffeur had two Irish born "Macks" as a cook and servant.

The will of William H. Taft, former President of the United States and Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, who was buried yesterday, was filed today for probate. No valuation of the estate has yet been disclosed.

The will was executed June 3, 1925, and is modified by two codicils of April 27, 1927, and of June 1, 1927.

Under the original will, Yale University is given $10,000, to be added to the principal of alumni university fund and credited to the class of 1878. Wendell W. Mischler, his secretary, is given $5,000 and specific bequests are made to Margaret McNamara, $1,000; Annie McNamara, $750; Thomas Halpin, $750.

All the remaining estate. . . is given to "my dear wife, Helen H. Taft," absolutely. . .

Evening Star, Washington DC, 12 March 1930
Thomas Halpin being mentioned in Taft's will for $750 was included in the WWI biography of James Halpin. It would not be unusual for the Irish to recommend friends from back home for a job, surely Margaret and Anne McNamara also had a Tulla connection. All three were live-in hired help with former President and First Lady Taft in New Haven in 1920; and former First Lady Helen Taft, a widow, in Washington DC in 1930.

1920 census:
1930 census:

In 1920, Margaret McNamara reported that she was born in Ireland, 40 years old, arrived in 1895, and became a naturalized citizen in 1902. I reckon Margaret likely arrived when she was at least 18 years old, and thus was born prior to 1880. Annie McNamara stated that she was born in Ireland, age 27, arrived in 1900, and became a U.S. citizen in 1904. Annie would have been 11 years old in 1904. Possible, perhaps if her Irish born father became a citizen, and as a child she would automatically become one? But given her response to the 1930 census question, most likely she was not a U.S. citizen.

In 1930, Margaret B. MacNamara reported that she was 46 years old, and arrived in 1899, and was a naturalized citizen. Anna H. MacNamara was 36 years old, also arrived in 1899, and was an alien (non US citizen). Both stated that they were born in Northern Ireland, as were their father and mother, at which point I recall losing interest since no Tulla connection. I suspect that Margaret and Anne were sisters.

The Tafts in Washington DC lived at 2215 Wyoming Avenue NW, a beautiful mansion not too far from Embassy Row in Washington. It is still there and you can check it out on google maps. The two McNamara women who worked for the Tafts lived a very different life than the numerous McNamara's from Tulla who worked, and often boarded, at St Elizabeths Insane Asylum in Washington DC.

First Lady Helen Taft had only been a widow for less than one month at the time of the 1930 census. Did she continue to employ Thomas Halpin as a chauffeur and the McNamara's as servants? In the Washington DC city directories, Thomas Halpin was reported living at 2215 Wyoming Avenue until 1937. Margaret McNamara and Anne McNamara were not reported in the city directory, but I don't believe as domestic servants this would have been the norm.

Sheila, I do remember seeing the photo of the WWI headstone for James Halpin as was interesting that it was put on a cement pedestal. In America, the bottom foot or so of the headstone would have been buried in the ground. And thus require realignment every decade or so. One "missing piece" of the WWI biography is how the headstone came to Tulla graveyard after James Halpin was buried there in 1922. Unless a fallen soldier was buried in a national military cemetery, either in America or overseas, a family member has to apply for the classic military headstone. Thomas Halpin, of 18 Maltby Street, New Haven, completed the "Application for Headstone or Marker" and signed it on 29 February 1948 ( The military details for James Halpin are the same as his biography (birth, death, military unit etc). Thomas requested an "Upright Marble Marker" for his brother as opposed to flat granite or marble markers. The consignee was Patrick Halpin of Affick, Tulla, County Clare. The Tulla cemetery caretaker, John Sweeney, had to sign to certify that the type of headstone would be permitted at the grave. The headstone would be sent to the train station at Limerick, County Limerick. E. McDonnell, of Limerick station, signed that the "applicant had made arrangements with me to transport the stone from the freight station to the cemetery" which was meant to be signed by the consignee, Patrick Halpin — who had to sign the back instead. I'd say this application crossed the Atlantic a fair few times prior to being submitted to the U.S. government. In the "Do Not Write Here" sections are dates stamped "19 Oct 1948" and "16 Mar 1949".

Thomas Halpin, of 355 Poplar Street, New Haven, CT, age 61, born in Ireland, departed New York on the SS Washington on 25 May 1949 bound for the port of Cobh; his plans were to stay in Ireland one year.

Interesting story, but again I do not believe the Halpins from Derragarrif were connected to the recently discussed Rev. James Halpin and Mother Superior Mary Catherine Halpin. Nor to Margaret Halpin who married Michael McNamara, and Anne Halpin who married Mathew McNamara.

The Mary Halpin who married Patrick Moloney would be the daughter Mary of James Halpin and Anne McInerney baptized in 1836. So agree, that she was a sister of Margaret Halpin and Anne Halpin.

They also had a son named John Halpin born in 1830. Could he be the John Halpin who married Eliza Maley, lived in Quingardens, and had a first born son named James?

Finally, I am surprised that in your latest research you haven't discovered another Halpin descendant with a McNamara connection. As a clue, when Miles McNamara returned to Clare after serving 18 years in India with the Royal Horse Artillery who did he marry? And why was Margaret Halpin a witness at the marriage? And in 1901, why was Anne Halpin McNamara living in Miles McNamara's house?

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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Sduddy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:43 pm

Hi Jimbo

Well, it took me a while to solve that riddle, but finally I saw that Cath Halpin, Kiltannon, married James Fitzgerald on 19 Feb 1833 (Tulla marriages 1819-1846). The Quin-Clooney baptisms show that James and Catherine raised a family in Feaghmore, which is spelled Feymore in Tithes and was an area situated between Maghera* and Carahan in the parish of Clooney **. In the making of the 1842 map, Feymore became part of the townland of Carrahan, and that is where James Fitzgerald had his farm at the time of Griffith’s Valuation (1855). I saw that one his daughters was called Margaret (b. 8 Oct 1836) and this must be the Margaret Fitzgerald, daughter of James Fitzgerald, who married Miles McNamara, Pensioner, on 19 Feb 1868: ... 207448.pdf . One of the witnesses is Margaret Halpin. But is not Margaret more likely to be one of the Kiltannon Halpins than one of the Baloughtera Halpins? Maybe she is the Margaret Halpin who was married the following year on 9 Feb 1869 to a Michael Fitzgerald of Belvoir (9 Feb 1869: Marriage of Margaret Halpin, Kiltannon, daughter of William Halpin (deceased), to Michael Fitzgerald, Belvoir, son of James Fitzgerald, Farmer (deceased) in Tulla chapel; witnesses: Michael Liddane, Margaret Flynn: ... 192081.pdf). Belvoir is in the civil parish of Clonlea, and the baptisms of the children of Michael Fitzgerald and Margaret Halpin, Belvoir, are in the O’Callaghan’s Mills baptisms. I looked at Sharon Carberry’s transcription thinking I might see James Halpin (later Fr. Halpin) among the sponsors, but saw only a Bridget Halpin, Ellen Halpin and Michael Halpin. In 1901, Michael Fitzgerald and Margaret [Halpin] are still in Belvoir (Castlecrine DED), aged 70 and 50, plus six of their children, but I don’t see them there in 1911.
Going back to the Margaret McNamara née Fitzgerald who married Miles McNamara in 1868, we know that she died sometime before Miles’s second marriage in 1877, and I think she must be the Margaret McNamara whose death was registered in 1871 (she was aged 34).
*Maghera: This is Maghera in Clooney - there’s another Maghera in Feakle.
** Clooney: This is Clooney in the barony of Bunratty – there’s another Clooney in the barony of Corcomroe.

Jimbo, I have already done some work regarding the John Halpin who married Eliza Maley and lived in Quingardens, as Eliza is a sister of the Patrick Mealy/Malley whose daughters you found for me in Lowell, Massachusetts. Eliza was born to Cornelius Mealy and Anne Mungaven and was baptised in Doora-Kilraghtis parish on 10 Apr 1831. Patrick’s baptism is not recorded but we know that he was also a son of Cornelius as the record of his marriage to Sarah Mealy in 1874 gives his father as Cornelius Mealy (the Mealys moved from Kilraghtis to Kilmaley). So, Jimbo, the children of John Halpin and Eliza Maley are first cousins of Catherine and Delia in Lowell. John Halpin and Eliza Maley were married in 1862 (Drumcliff parish marriages) so there is no civil record of the marriage, but I think that John was a son of Patrick Halpin who is in Quingardens in Griffith’s Valuation (Patrick Halpin of Quingardens died in 1879 aged 100: ... 879669.pdf). I don’t think John is related to any of the Halpins in Tulla parish - at least not closely related. John and Eliza had 8 children and their baptisms are in the Quin-Clooney parish baptisms. On a couple of occasions the priest wrote Margaret Maly but that was a mistake – the civil records show that she was Eliza. The farm transferred to ther son John (b. 1866). Their son Martin had died in infancy, and their other sons, James (b. 1864) and Patrick (b. 1868) had emigrated to South Africa. Their four daughters remained in Ireland: Kate died in 1913 aged 44; Eliza died in 1917 aged 36; Mary married Martin Dillon in 1912 (Martin had a grocery shop in Market St. Ennis), and after his death in 1914 she married Michael Howe (1918); Anne married Michael Healy, Ballaghboy, Ruan parish, in 1914. This notice in the Clare Champion of Aug 14 1937 helped me find the marriages of Mary and Anne, and also explained the absence of James and Patrick: “ The death has taken place in South Africa of Mr. Patrick Halpin, son of the late Mr John Halpin, Quin Gardens, Quin. Mr Halpin emigrated 26 years ago and had been engaged in business at the time of his death, which was preceded by a short illness. The deceased is survived by two brothers and two sisters. His brother, James, resided with him in South Africa; his brother John resides in Quin Gardens, while his two sisters are Mrs Michael Howe, Ennis, and Mrs Michael Healy, Ruan”. Patrick, who died in South Africa in 1937, was still living in Quingardens in 1901 - he seems have emigrated sometime about 1910. I imagine that James was already in South Africa – it’s possible that he had emigrated to England first and then to South Africa.

Jimbo, thanks for your account of all the work entailed in bringing the headstone for James Halpin. I agree that the Derragarriff Halpins and the Derrynacleha Halpins, Affick, are probably not related, or only distantly related to the Clonleary/Kiltanon and the Kilduff/Baloughtera Halpins. Another Halpin I am interested in is James Halpin (1843 – 1909) who was MP for West Clare 1906-1909: There’s a bit more on him on But I don’t think he should be added in here – I’ve done enough drifting already. I saw somewhere that he was born in Ballycar which is in the civil parish of Tomfinlough and the Catholic parish of Newmarket-on-Fergus, but I don’t see his baptism in the transcription of that baptism register and that has piqued my curiosity.

Thank you, Jimbo, for the interesting material on the Tafts and their Irish servants.


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Re: Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

Post by Jimbo » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:00 am

Hi Sheila,

Thank you for sharing your research on John Halpin and Eliza Mealy of Quingardens. Their eldest son, James Halpin (1864) was the informant on the death record for mother Eliza (Mealey) Halpin in 1891. He was gone by the 1901 census. Never in a million of years would I have thought to look for him in South Africa.

I still thought that perhaps Patrick Halpin died with no children, and a possible nephew John Halpin, son of James Halpin and Anne McInerney could have taken the farm, hence, naming their first born son James. However, the evidence was overwhelming that John Halpin was the son of Patrick Halpin living in Quingardens at Griffiths Valuation. First of all they had other children. Pat Halpin and Catherine Callinan of Ballyhannan West had a daughter Mary in 1836. Mary Halpin of Quingardens, daughter of Patrick Halpin, married John O'Connor, of Tubber (per church record), of Moyhree (per civil), son of Edmond O'Connor, on 10 April 1864 at Quin chapel (Galway registration). "Moyhree means the plain of the Kings. It is fairly thickly populated and the greater number of the houses are thatched. There are not many houses in it now for a lot of them were knocked down and the people are dead and buried, but long ago all those were occupied with people. O'Conner is the usual name in this locality. . ." according to Patrick Considine of the School's Collection.

Parish of Tubber (Kilkeedy) baptism records are missing 1866 through 1868, but later years had three records of the children of John O'Connor(s) and Mary Halpin: Eliza (1873); Denis (1875); Edmond John (1879) per transcriptions by Paddy Casey and Diane Culhane. The civil records of Corofin included Michael (1868) and Mary (1870, location Shanballa, Kilkeedy). The widower John O'Connors (age 73) was living with four of his children in Shanballysallagh, Muckannagh in 1901. And was retired (age 84) with his eldest son Michael (age 40) having married and taken over the farm along with Edmond (age 31), Annie "Eliza" (age 34) and a "2nd cousin" Bridget O'Grady born in Galway: ... h/1068107/ ... gh/351881/

Sheila, the family dynamic of the John O'Connor family of Shanballysallagh has reminded me that I wanted to respond to your earlier posting about Martin McNamara of Lot 13 of Ayle. Sister Mary Ita McNamara, a granddaughter of Margaret Halpin, has gotten us off track a bit. Will get back to this Martin McNamara another day.

Sheila, I am sorry if the riddle was difficult. You must have missed the clue referring to Kitty Halpin, "I wonder who this could be?" Yes, the marriage witness at the marriage of Miles McNamara and Margaret Fitzgerald in 1868 was definitely Margaret Halpin, the daughter of William Halpin. My point in bringing this up was that Catherine Halpin was a sister of William Halpin and James Halpin. You tend to refer to James Halpin as the "Baloughtera Halpins", but at his 1828 marriage he was referred to as "James Halpin of Kiltannon", as was "Catherine Halpin of Kiltannon" at her 1833 marriage to James Fitzgerald. William Halpin, Catherine Halpin, and James Halpin, all of Kitannon, were most certainly siblings.

When the wife of William Halpin of Kiltannon died in 1893 she was "interred at Finloe, the family burial place" which is why I believe you have brought up James Halpin, the MP from West Clare. I had previously come across this James Halpin as he very frequently got his name in the newspaper. He was the son of William Halpin (1809 - 1898) and Mary Keane (1811 - 1892), both of whom died at Knocknagun, Newmarket on Fergus. Their descendants are well documented on a family tree on ancestry.

The above entry for James Halpin that you provided included an interesting newspaper article from a NZ newspaper. I have found similar articles in the London and New York newspapers. But I disagree with the findagrave contributor who stated that James Halpin was buried at Fenloe cemetery. What evidence is there for this? He died at a hospital in Covent Garden in London. The graveyard inscriptions at the Clare library have no record of a headstone for James Halpin who died in 1909. He was very famous in County Clare. Surely, if his body was brought back to County Clare, there would have been a large funeral with dignitaries and every priest from miles around in attendance. But I could find nothing in the newspaper archives. James Halpin may well have been buried at Fenloe cemetery but have seen no evidence of this. ... urname.htm

In having a second look at the Fenloe graveyard inscriptions, there was another Halpin headstone (X14) which memorialized three individuals. It was nearby the William Halpin headstone (X16) put up by his wife Bridget Halpin of Kiltannon that I mentioned a few postings ago. Headstone (X14) has three names:

1) "John J. Halpin died Good Friday 1865 aged 70 years. May he Rest in Peace."

The civil record on irishgenealogy is not yet available, but the index states that a 19 year old John Halpin died in 1865. Family Search states that John Halpin at "Phamoh Island, Ennis, Clare", age 19, died on "14 April 1865". Sheila, I don't even need to look up this date to know it was Good Friday since it is so famous in American history. Good Friday, 14th of April 1865 is when Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC, he died the next day.

John Halpin was baptized on 20 March 1845, the second son of William Halpin (1808 - 1898) and Mary Keane. So when he died he would have just turned 20 years old; and not 19 years as per the civil registration. It would be easy to confuse "20" and "70" on the inscriptions of an old headstone.

2) "James Halpin died Good Friday 1831 aged 56 years"

Since on the same headstone, I reckon James Halpin (≈1775 - 1831) must be the father of William Halpin (1808 -1898), who named his first born son James Halpin (1843 - 1909). The Halpin family tree on ancestry states that the father of William Halpin (1808 - 1898) was another William Halpin, but with no documentation. They don't appear to have seen the headstone inscriptions at the Clare libary.

3) "John Halpin died 11 May 1843 aged 14 years."

Not sure . Would want to see a photo of the headstone. James Halpin (≈1775 - 1831) could have had a younger son John Halpin (≈1829 - 1843)? The Newmarket on Fergus records start in 1828, and have no such record of a birth of John Halpin. Very inconclusive, but this John Halpin must surely be related to the other two Halpins on the same headstone.

I estimate that William Halpin, Catherine Halpin, and James Halpin of Kiltannon were born between 1795 and 1815. A good chance that their father was named "William" given how often this name was used for their descendants. Quite possibly this William Halpin was a brother of James Halpin (≈1775 - 1831), but difficult to say. An Irish couple could have two sons who were 20 years apart, and these two sons could have children who were 20 years apart. So first cousins could possibly be even 40 years apart in age which makes it difficult determine how individuals are related.

However, the location of the two Halpin headstones at Fenloe graveyard does point to a close relationship. If my theory is correct, then James Halpin (1843 - 1909) and Mother Superior Mary Catherine Halpin (1851 - after 1911) would be second cousins. James Halpin died at St. Peter's Hospital on Henrietta Street in Covent Garden which was a 10 minute walk from the Macklin Street convent in Covent Garden where Sister Mary Catherine was Mother Superior. The obituary for James Halpin stated that his brother-in-law, the Rev. Father Scanlan, had visited him at hospital. Although not mentioned, I reckon his second cousin Mother Superior Mary Catherine Halpin was also there.

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