Information is wanted of Thomas McNamara, of Glandree,

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

Post by Jimbo » Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:47 am

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Bermuda was very popular as a holiday destination for Americans in the 1920's. Daisy Walsh (1888 - 1950) read the above advertisement and booked a trip along with a friend to escape the Philadelphia heat. They returned on the Fort Victoria arriving in New York on 7 July 1921. Today, a popular tourist destination on Bermuda is the old Royal Navy Dockyard on Ireland Island, but this was not listed as an activity in 1921. But surely Ireland Island would have been on all the maps of Bermuda, so I wonder if Daisy Walsh learned how "Ireland Island" got its name. At the Villa Maria Academy in 1906, her junior year, Daisy received a "first premium" medal in ancient history (The Philadelphia Inquirer, 26 June 1906). So, I reckon, there is a good chance that Daisy was more interested in history than your average American tourist and learned how it was mostly Irish convicts that built the Royal Naval Dockyard. Daisy returned to Bermuda in 1922 as the last stop on the West Indies cruise she took with her parents, Michael P. and Daisy Walsh, on the Megantic.

In my last posting, I summarized the below article on the attack of Mrs. Finch of Kilcolman townland, and then added that the destination of the two Irish convicts was "presumably to Australia".
John Hogan and Joseph Spain for having, with a person unknown, at Salsboro, assaulted the carriage of Mrs. Finch, and served a threatening notice; also, firing a shot at her coachman and wounding him. John Hogan pleaded guilty. The jury found the other prisoner guilty.—To be transported for fourteen years each.

Belfast News-Letter, 26 March 1847
It took a bit of sleuthing but John Hogan and Joseph Spain were not sent to Australia but to Bermuda. And the newspaper was incorrect, their sentence was for 15 years. Mrs. Finch died one year after being attacked coming home from Nenagh church, and was older than I had anticipated. "On Monday last [27 December 1847], at Kilcoleman, county Tipperary, aged 77 years, Mrs. Finch relict of George Finch, Esq." (The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 30 December 1847). George Finch, of Kilcoleman, had married Amy "Amelia" Parker, second daughter of Anthony Parker, of Castlelough, in August 1793 (Walker's Hibernian Magazine).

On the day after Mrs. Finch of Kilcolman died, Joseph Spain would leave Dublin on a ship bound for Bermuda — but, unlike for Miss Daisy Walsh in the 1920's, this would be no holiday.

Joseph Spain and John Hogan were first incarcerated at Nenagh Prison on 2 November 1846. Joseph Spain was reported to be 23 years old, Catholic, labourer, five foot three, blue eyes, brown hair, fresh complexion. John Hogan was 30 years old, Catholic, labourer, five foot three, hazel eyes, dark hair, fresh complexion. The nature of their crime was quite specific, "being one of an armed party who attacked the carriage of Mrs. Finch and served her with a threatening notice." Both men could neither read or write. They were convicted on the 27th of March for "felonious assault and shooting with the intent to disable" and sentenced by Judge Jackson to 15 years transportation. They were transmitted to Mount Joy Prison in Dublin on 25 May 1847; this register provides the same information as Nenagh, but also states that both men were single. Their final prison register has "Smithfield Male Convict Depot" typed at the top of each page, but "Richmond" was handwritten in large letters at the top of the page. Richmond Prison was the final transport depot for convicts prior to boarding different convict ships.

Per the Smithfield (Richmond) Prison register, Joseph Spain was "shipped on board Medway" on 15 November 1847, but the H.M.S. Medway would not leave Kingstown harbour until 28 December 1847. The Medway prison ship with its 448 convicts arrived in Bermuda on 28 January 1848, where it would be converted into a prison hulk where the convicts would live.

DEPARTURE OF H.M.S. MEDWAY.—The Medway (an old 72-gun ship) sailed from Kingstown harbour yesterday afternoon, with convicts, for Bermuda, where she is to be stationed as a prison ship. Her departure has been delayed for some weeks, in consequences of some cases of fever amongst the prisoners.

The Morning Chronicle, London, 29 December 1847
Her Majesty's sloop Persian, 18 guns, Commander Henry Coryton, arrived at Plymouth on the evening of Thursday from Bermuda, which she left on the 8th instant. She reports the arrival of the convict ship Medway (72-gunship) at Bermuda, on the 24th ultimo [24 January 1848], having on board 448 prisoners from Dublin; two died on the passage. The Persian brought home the officers and crew who navigated the Medway to Bermuda, except Mr. Belam, the master (R.N.) of her, who was expected to retain the command of the hulk.

The Morning Chronicle, London, 28 February 1848
John Hogan was "shipped on Board Bangalore" at Kingstown harbor on 28 January 1848 per the Smithfield (Richmond) Prison register. Many County Clare convicts would be transported on the Bangalore to Bermuda.
ARRIVAL OF CONVICTS FROM THE COUNTY CLARE.—On Saturday, the following persons arrived at the Smithfield prison from Ennis, county Clare. They were convicted at the late special commission:—John Liddy, robbery of fire arms, transportation for fourteen years; Patrick Casey, like offence, same sentence; Michael Hickey, like offence same sentence; Michael Skean, like offence, same sentence; Michael Liddy, highway robbery, ten years' transportation Timothy O'Brien, like offence, same sentence; John Slattery, robbery of fire arms, fourteen years' transportation; Michael Murphy, like offence, seven years' transportation. These prisoners were brought from the Ballybrophy Station guarded by a large body of police. They were received by Mr. Lamb, the Governor of the Smithfield prison, and conducted to their proper departments of the prison. It was understood that these convicts, with several others sent from the same place (sentenced to transportation at quarter sessions.) will be shipped on board the large convict vessel, the Bangalore, now lying in Kingstown Harbour, and transmitted to Bermuda, from whence they will be shipped to New South Wales. There are about 250 convicts from all quarters of the country going out by the Bangalore.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 24 January 1848
Both men are included in National Archives of Ireland's "Ireland-Australia transportation database" which summarizes their crime, ages, location, outward bound ship, etc, with a document reference as TR6, p. 186. For Joseph Spain, there is the added comment "convict ordered to be discharged, 16 June 1855". This comment does not appear on the Smithfield Prison register (the source I used), so there must be other record sources that the Irish archives have used for their database. ... ch01.html
Many of the newspaper reports stated that the convicts would first go to Bermuda and then be shipped to New South Wales. I don't believe this was accurate, NSW was not taking new convicts in 1848. "Joseph Spain" is an unusual name, and does not appear on excellent Australian convict records. "John Hogan", a common name, does appear but none meet the same detailed description of the man or his crime. The website "Convict Voyages" provides a good description of life in the convict hulks in Bermuda: ... in-bermuda

Further evidence that Joseph Spain and John Hogan remained at Bermuda were two fellow passengers on the H.M.S. Medway that left Dublin on 28 December 1847. Per the Smithfield Prison register, James Cronin (age 21) and Thomas Cronin (age 23), from County Limerick, were sentenced to life and 15 years sentences, respectively. In July 1849, the two Cronin brothers were on the deck of the Medway convict hulk, and most likely Joseph Spain and John Hogan were among the 400 or 500 convicts assembled:

DISTRESSING OCCURRENCE AT IRELAND ISLAND.—The Bermuda Herald of Thursday, 5th July, contains the following account of a conflict attended with loss of life, between the military and the convicts aboard the Medway convict ship:—An inquest was held on Tuesday last, on board the Medway convict ship, by Charles C. Keane, Esq., coroner, on view of the bodies of Thomas Kerrigan and John Tobin, who had been shot. The following is the substance of what was elicited from the jury:—The four or five hundred convicts on board the Medway were assembled that morning on the spar deck (the forward part of the ship), to witness the punishment of one of their number, James Cronin, for mutinous conduct. The overseer, F.B. Black, Esq., and his officers, with the convict guards, fully armed, and their pistols being loaded with ball cartridge (the usual practice we believe), were drawn up on the quarter-deck—they numbered twenty in all. The medical officer was also present. The quarter-deck is divided from the spar deck by a railing about five feet high. The man to be flogged had a brother on board the ship, older than himself, who had permission from the overseer to absent himself from witnessing the punishment; but this kindly offer on the part of Mr. Black was refused, and he appeared with the other prisoners. When the proper officers were in the act of securing the man to the gratings or ladder, his brother rushed forward, and leaping on the barrier and waving his hat, called to him by name. He (the elder [Thomas] Cronin) then addressed some words in Irish to the convicts, which was answered by a wild cheer, and a rush of some 250 to the barrier, upon which they clustered like bees, preparatory to a descent upon the quarter-deck. The men were desperately excited. The overseer waved his hand, and called to the men to "fall back;" which order was quite disregarded. Mr. Black (plainly perceiving what must be the object of the prisoners—viz., the rescue of Cronin and the probable butchery of himself and his small party) gave orders to the guards to "fire," which was immediately followed by a volley from the front rank. This did not have any immediate effect, the desperate men entertaining the idea that only blank cartridges were fired. The rear rank of the guards, which had been kept in reserve, then moved to the front, and order from Mr. Black, fired. Two of the mutinous convicts fell dead, and 12 were wounded. This instantly quelled the mutiny; the men hurriedly retreating to hiding places about the forward part of the ship. The punishment was then administered to the younger Cronin. After a lengthy investigation the jury unanimously returned a verdict of "justifiable homicide." One of the wounded men died on Tuesday afternoon. An inquest on his body was held yesterday. The verdict has not yet transpired. The ringleader, Cronin, was wounded in two places. Two others are maimed for life, one having had his leg amputated at the knee, and the other having received a ball in the spine.

The convicts on board the Medway were all Irishmen.

The Freeman's Journal, Dublin, 24 July 1849

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

Post by Jimbo » Thu Mar 11, 2021 9:52 am

The Richmond Prison Register, which included Joseph Spain (#2305) and John Hogan (#2306) of Tipperary, was organized by county. Scrolling forward seven pages, there were 18 prisoners from County Clare listed. Was quite surprised to discover that prisoner #2704 was Andrew McNamara, alias Sheedy. Since nearly the start of the search for the missing Thomas McNamara of Glendree, Sheila has had a self described fixation on the name Andrew McNamara. Amazing, and perhaps even a little spooky, that Sheila's sharing the story of U.S. soldiers attending a Fenian picnic in Buffalo in 1867 would be the clue that provided a direct link to another Andrew Sheedy McNamara.

Per the Richmond Prison Register, Andrew McNamara and three others from County Clare were convicted at the Ennis Assizes on 13 July 1847 for "Burglary Robbery and beating the inmates by night disguised in women's clothes" and sentenced to transportation for life. Details of the trial from The Limerick Reporter of 16 July 1847:
Andy M'Namara (Sheedy), Mat Collins, Martin M'Evoy and Thos M'Mahon, were indicted for burglary and robbery of Margaret Linnane, of Glendree, on the 9th of June.

The Prosecutrix, Margaret Linnane deposed that about two hours after daylight, five men (of whom there was one she did not know) broke into her little cabin, and after beating her broke open her large box and then a smaller on inside of it, from which they took two half-crowns. They also took several articles of wearing apparel. Two of them were dressed in women's clothes. Witness here identified the four prisoners. There was a shovel against the door.

Cross-examined—Did not say one of the parties was Margaret Hogan, but a low stout stump of a woman like her (laughter); never said the other one was dressed in women's clothes was like Margaret Sheehy; her landlord's name is M'Dowel; he [M'Dowel] processed her for 5s 5d, that was due for the rent; one of the prisoners was slightly related to him; she did not pay the landlord for she wanted to take a turn out of the money for her poor orphans; she was ordered by the Court to pay it at the rate of 1s. per week.

John Linnane, son of the preceding witness, a lad of about 15 years of age, but who did not appear to be more than ten corroborated his mother in every particular. He identified Martin M'Evoy, and Andrew M'Namara.

Cross-examined—Was with the police ever since—would rather be in his own cabin if he were let alone, though we get bread and tea with the police, and only get stirabout and yellow meal at home; his mother was neither for or against the landlord or his friends; he never spoke on the subject of this attack to the police; he never spoke to his mother on the subject; he did not tell her he knew two of them;; she did not ask him; she sent him for the police and be then told her he knew two of them himself.

Dr. James Frazer was then examined and stated that he attended the prosecutrix for upwards of three weeks, and during ten days her life was in danger.

Sub Inspector Cummins deposed he saw the boxes broken up.

The case of the prosecution here closed.

Mr. O'Hea addressed the jury for the defence. He said it was not a satisfactory case. He would not bring witnesses to prove an alibi, for if there was any discrepancy in their testimony, it would only confirm in the eyes of the jury the evidence of the prosecution. Such was the prejudice against an alibi, that the moment that defence was set up juries raised in their minds a new issue—namely, whether the alibi was proved to their satisfaction or not, and not whether the evidence for the prosecution was sustained.

The prisoners were all found guilty.

The Limerick Reporter, 16 July 1847
The 18 men convicted at the Ennis assizes were sent from Ennis gaol to Dublin in October 1847. The below article reporting only 17 men is mistaken, as there were two men named Thomas McMahon.
ENNIS CONVICTS.—On Wednesday evening the following convicts, all under rule of transportation for life, in Ennis gaol, arrived her en route to the depot at Phoenix Park, under a strong escort of the Clare Constabulary, in charge of Sub-Inspector Kelly, and left this Thursday for Dublin, on outside jaunting cars: —Andrew M'Namara, Thomas M'Mahon, Matthew Collins, Martin M'Coy [McEvoy], John Grace, Timothy Rogers, Andrew Rogers, John Rogers [James Rogers per register], and John Kilden [Kildea per prison register], house-breaking and robbery; William Small, James Forward [James Irvine per register], and Patt Kennedy, shooting at the person; James Fahy [John Fahy per register], Thomas White, and Patrick Coonerty, robbery of arms Thomas Vaughan and Martin Doran [Michael Dolan per register], appearing in arms and robbery of the dwelling—Total, 17.

The Limerick Chronicle, 16 October 1847
All the men were transported for life and sent to Bermuda. Fifteen convicts, including the four from Glendree, were sent on the Medway in December 1847, and the three others on the Bangalore in January 1848.

#2704. Andrew McNamara, alias Sheedy, was age 22, five foot six, blue eyes, dark hair, sandy complexion, single, read & write, laborer, Catholic.

The Tulla parish baptism register has missing pages for the period March 1822 through August 1825, the period the 22 year old Andrew Sheedy McNamara would have been baptized. Who are the parents of "Andy McNamara"? On page 13, I listed out nine McNamara families from Glendree, who, with varying degrees of evidence, appeared to be a "Sheedy McNamara" family. Several McNamara families already had a son named Andrew and thus could not be the parents of Andy. For example, Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy had a son named Andrew, born in 1841. Andy was age 22 in July 1847, so born, I think, between August 1824 and July 1825. This still leaves four possibilities for who were the parents of Andy McNamara:

2.0 Thomas Sheedy McNamara (1800 ?? - ) and Margaret Hawkins (1801 ?? - ); possibly born between Thomas (1821) and Margaret (October 1825). Timing might be very tight.

5.0 Patrick Sheedy McNamara (?? - ??) and Margaret Doyle; possibly first born son, prior to Judy Sheedy (1828).

7.0 Michael McNamara (1807 ?? - Unknown) and Bridget McNamara (1807 ?? - Unknown); possibly first born son, prior to Pat McNamara (1827). I reckon this couple were the baptism sponsors reported as "Michael and Bridget Sheedy" in the Tulla register.

8.0 John McNamara (1800 ?? - ??) and Mary Kelly (1800 ?? - Unknown); possible first born son, prior to Mary McNamara (December 1825). Timing might be tight. This family was updated on page 25.

I reckon that the parents of Andy McNamara were most likely either (5.0) Patrick Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Doyle or else (7.0) Michael McNamara and Bridget McNamara. Not sure which. Having a son named "Andrew McNamara" is such a defining characteristic of the Sheedy McNamara's of Glendree, that it is entirely possible that there are other Andrew McNamara's born about 1825 still to be discovered.

Andrew McNamara was described as a laborer, not a farmer. The four McNamara families listed above have one thing in common, not one ancestor appears to have been living in Tulla parish in the 1901 census. In fact, there is no sign of these families with their numerous children past 1850. The one possible exception is the marriage of Johanna "Mary" McNamara to James Madigan in 1860; this family later moved to Yorkshire from where Mary initiated her search for her brother, the missing Civil War soldier Thomas McNamara.

Margaret Linnane in her testimony stated that her "landlord" was Mr. McDowel and that "one of the prisoners was slightly related" to McDowel. I reckon she was subleasing her small cabin from Michael McDole/McDowel married to Johanna McNamara, who I believe is a Sheedy McNamara and thus related to the prisoner Andy Sheedy McNamara. There is a "Michael McDool" reported in Glendree townland in the 1827 Tithe Applotment book for Tulla Parish; he was recorded in the baptism register as the father of at least seven children. The McDole family does not appear in any Tulla sacramental records after the baptism of their youngest child in 1844. In fact, the reference to Mr. McDole at the 1847 trial in Ennis might be their last record of residing in Glendree (a separate McDowel family is living in Feakle).

3.0 Johanna (Sheedy?) McNamara (1801 ?? - ) and Michael McDole ( - )
............ 3.1 John MacDole (1821)
............ 3.? missing baptism pages (1823 - 1825)
............ 3.2 Michael Dole (1829)
............ 3.3 Pat McDole (1831)
............ 3.4 Anne McDole (1833)
............ 3.5 Eliza McDole (1837)
............ 3.6 Margaret McDole (1840)
............ 3.? missing baptism page (1841)
............ 3.? missing baptism page (1843)
............ 3.7 James McDole (1844)

The other convicted prisoners from Glendree:

#2705. Matthew Collins, was age 21, five foot eight, yellow eyes, red hair, red complexion, single, read only, laborer, Catholic. He must be the Matthew Collins baptized on 3 November 1825, parents Michael Collins and Honour Molony of Glandree.

#2706. Martin McEvoy was age 17, four foot eleven, blue eyes, fair hair, fresh complexion, single, neither read or write, laborer, Catholic. He must be the Martin McAvoy baptized on 4 November 1830, parents James McAvoy and Kate Morony of Glandree.

#2707. Thomas McMahon is more complicated and interesting, will save for another day.

Mr. O'Hea, the defense attorney, didn't put up much of a fight for the innocence of the four men. But I did find his questioning of the prosecution witnesses very interesting. Did two of the men really dress up as women or was Margaret Linnane changing her story. The "Margaret Sheehy" mentioned was most likely Margaret Clanchy, married to Andrew Sheedy McNamara, and likely known as "Margaret Sheedy".

When thinking about evictions in Ireland, the most common images are of the Bodyke evictions where police and the military were involved in evicting the tenants at the behest of the landlord. A major scene. But I reckon that many evictions of the poor laboring class would be similar to what happened to Margaret Linnane. She was a very poor woman subleasing a small cabin from Michael McDowel who was leasing from the primary Glandree landlord, I believe Sir Robert Kane. If she refused to pay her rent, then Sir Robert Kane would not care as long as McDowel paid the total rent through his agent. Initially McDowel appears to have went the legal route and "processed her for 5s 5d, that was due for the rent", but she still refused to pay as she needed to feed her children. That's when things got violent. It is clear from the testimony of her son John Linnane ("a flippant young lad of 14" per Clare Journal of 15 July 1847), who had to be in police custody for his protection, that the Linnane family would never be able to return to living in Glandree. Especially after four local men were transported for life to the penal colonies.

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

Post by Sduddy » Fri Mar 12, 2021 4:24 pm

Hi Jimbo

Firstly, thank you for your second last posting (excellent piece) on the "distressing occurrence" at Ireland Island, Bermuda, and the background to the arrival of the convict prisoners at that hellish place. It is a pity that it is hidden, with so many other good pieces you have written, under the umbrella of the missing Civil War Soldier.

And thank you also for your last posting. I was very interested to see that you have found (another*) Andrew McNamara, alias Sheedy, who also ended up in Bermuda. I think you have done the best you possibly could with trying to decide which family he belonged to.

*Andrew McNamara Sheedy, referred to a few times in this thread. He is one of the tenants listed in Griffith's Valuation of Glendree, 1856.
Looking at the list of people who contributed to the Papal Army (see Subscribers to the Papal Army, 1869: ... y_1860.htm), I noticed Andrew Sheedy, Tulla, and thought it very likely that he was Andrew Sheedy McNamara from Glendree.

I feel sure that both Andrews were related - if very far apart.


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

Post by Jimbo » Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:20 am

Hi Sheila,

Thank you for pointing out the Andrew Sheedy of Tulla who contributed to the Papal Army in 1868. Andrew McNamara (Sheedy) was reported in Griffith Valuation as in Plots 47, 48, & 49 in Glendree. This was Andrew Sheedy McNamara (1802 - 1867) married to Margaret Clanchy (1798 - 1890), so the contributor to the Papal Army in 1868 must have been their son, Andrew Sheedy McNamara (born about 1841/1842; unknown death between 1901 and 1911) who was married to Margaret McEvoy (see page 13).

Below are historical Griffith Valuation and modern satellite maps showing a portion of Glendree townland (source, The Andrew Sheedy McNamara holding of Plot 48 is where the "Druid Cottage" is located on the modern satellite map. Using google maps, "Whitepark, Glendree, Feakle" is located at the red star, which I copied over to the two screenshots. Glendree is a very large townland; the Sheedy McNamara's appear to have lived close enough to Whitepark for its use in a church record. Not sure of the origin of the name "Whitepark", but the modern satellite maps does show some white snow or sleet.

Whitepark Glendree Feakle, GV & Satellite Maps.jpg
Whitepark Glendree Feakle, GV & Satellite Maps.jpg (136.82 KiB) Viewed 745 times

The Tulla marriage records (1819 - 1846) reflect that Andrew McNamara of Glandree married Margaret Clanchy of Laccarue on 1 March 1824; witnesses Tim Clanchy of Laccarue, Michael McNamara of Glandree, and Thomas Sexton of Laccarue. The Tulla baptism records (1819 - 1846) have their first child as Michael McNamara baptized on 16 April 1829; sponsors Michael McDole and Mary Mac. However, the Tulla baptism records have missing pages from March 1822 through August 1825, and also June 1826 through May 1827. Surely, Michael McNamara born in 1829 was not the first born child of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy, married in March 1824. But with the baptism pages missing from the Tulla register, how would it be possible to determine any younger children?

Getting back to the Glandree prisoners who were sent to Bermuda in December 1847 on the Medway, here is information on the fourth prisoner:

#2707. Thomas McMahon was age 27, five foot four, blue eyes, brown hair, fresh complexion, married, two children, neither read or write, farmer, Catholic.

Thomas McMahon was different from the other three prisoners from Glandree in that he was married with two children. Another difference was that Thomas McMahon was a farmer, and not a laborer. As a farmer he appears to have been of a higher social status, and thus at the trial received two character references from a parish priest and an esquire fellow, as reported in the Clare Journal and Ennis Advertiser:
Andy Sheedy M'Namara, Thomas M'Mahon, Matt Collins, and Martin M'Evoy were indicted for burglary and for assaulting Margaret Linnane, on the 8th June last at Tubbercore.

Margaret Linnane and her son, a flippant young lad of 14, proved to the details of the case.

Rev. Thomas M'Inerheny, and James Harris Martin, Esq., were examined relative to the character of M'Mahon, which they stated was unexceptionable.

Mr. O'Hea then addressed the jury, when his lordship gave his charge, and the jury, without leaving the box, found the prisoners guilty.

Clare Journal, and Ennis Advertiser, 15 July 1847
The Rev. Thomas McInerney was the parish priest for Feakle Parish. I suspect at the trial that Andy Sheedy McNamara would have wondered where was the parish priest from Tulla to show support for him and the two other laborers?

The Rev. McInerney and Mr. Martin, both character references for Thomas McMahon, appear to have had a prior connection. "The Rev. Thomas MacInerney, P.P. of Feakle, has received a letter from Lord Morpeth, notifying the appointment of James Harris Martin, of Gurthalossa, Esq. to the office of Chief Constable of Police, upon the above Rev. Gentleman's recommendation" (Limerick Chronicle, 20 June 1840). James Harris Martin was appointed County Clare coroner in 1842; an extremely dangerous occupation to have during the Great Famine. He died in March 1849, just 20 months after providing a character reference to Thomas McMahon.
DEATH OF MR. MARTIN.—On Saturday last, James Harris Martin, Esq., of Newmarket-on-Fergus, one of the Coroners for Clare, after holding an inquest at Killaloe, and whilst driving home from there was seized with cholera in his jaunting-car. Unwilling to go home to his family he drove to Limerick to place himself under Dr. Gore's care, to find whom he had to drive Barrington's hospital, where that gentleman was then engaged in the cholera wards. On his arrival there he was so exhausted from the long drive, that it was found impossible to move him, and he was in extreme collapse. A room was at once procured, and Dr. Gore had every available resource applied for his restoration. The Sisters of Mercy, who have the care of the sick, were unceasing in their kind attention to him. His wife and daughter were sent for, and after struggling until seven o'clock last night, he at last sunk a victim to this terrible disease, in the prime of life.

A district Coronership of the county of Clare is vacant by the death of Mr. Martin.

Limerick Chronicle, 28 March 1849
The reason why Mr. Martin provided a reference to Thomas McMahon was surely due to being a landlord to the McMahon family. His eldest son, Nicholas Henry Martin, was reported in the 1855 Griffith Valuation as the lessor, "Nicholas Martin (a minor)", of four townlands in Feakle Parish: Corbehagh, Derryfadda, Knockatunna, and Scalp. Nicholas Henry Martin would move to Brook Lodge in Tulla Parish in the 1870's as per the landed estates website: ... sp?id=1995

The only McMahon who had Nicholas Martin as their lessor was Michael McMahon, of Corbehagh townland, plot 13, which he shared with a Michael Cummane, over 54 acres in total, McMahon's valuation was £13. I reckon that Michael McMahon of Corbehagh was the father of Thomas McMahon who was sent to Bermuda in 1847 at the age 27, so born about 1820. The Caher Feakle baptism records don't start until 1842, however, a Nance McMahon, born in 1846, to Michael McMahon and Catherine McMahon of Corbehagh might possibly be the tail end of this family.

In the Tulla marriage records (1819-1846), Thomas McMahon, of Feakle, married Bridget McNamara, of Tulla on 1 September 1843; witnesses Dennis Hogan and Andrew McNamara.

Their first born son was named after his paternal grandfather. Michael McMahon, son of Thomas McMahon and Bid McNamara, of Glandree, was baptized on 17 August 1844; sponsor Jane Nixon. Thomas McMahon of Feakle had "married in" and moved to Glandree. The Richmond Prison Register stated that Thomas McMahon was married with two children. Their second child was baptized in 1846, but unfortunately the child's and father's first names are both illegible, see below:
Tulla Baptism Register, 1846 McMahon entry.jpg
Tulla Baptism Register, 1846 McMahon entry.jpg (73.51 KiB) Viewed 745 times

The McMahon child was baptized 1846 with a mother reported as Bid McNamara and the one sponsor was Peggy Clanchy of Whitepark. The home of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy was Whitepark as shown in the above map. I reckon that Andrew Sheedy McNamara was the witness at his daughter's marriage to Thomas McMahon in 1843. The witness was definitely not the other prisoner Andy Sheedy McNamara, a laborer. And Margaret Clanchy McNamara was the sponsor at the baptism of her grandchild in 1846. Bridget McNamara was likely baptized in the missing Tulla baptism page for the period March 1822 to August 1825. Prior to this research, Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy were the parents of seven children (see page 13), but had no daughter named Bridget — this was always a bit suspicious.

So at the trial at the Ennis assizes in 1847, when Margaret Linnane testified that "one of the prisoners was slightly related" to her "landlord", Mr. McDowel, I no longer believe that this was a reference to the prisoner Andy Sheedy McNamara. Margaret Linnane was more likely referring to the prisoner Thomas McMahon married to Bridget McNamara — as Bridget was very likely the niece of Thomas McDole and Johanna McNamara.

Thomas McMahon was arrested in June 1847, convicted in July 1847, and departed Dublin on the Medway for Bermuda in December 1847. His sentence was transportation for life, and according to newspaper accounts would end up in Australia. Bridget McNamara McMahon likely never expected to see her husband again. As the mother of two small children, how would she survive? I had come across a similar situation, one with less common surnames and from a much smaller townland, where it was obvious that the wife of the transported convict remarried soon after her husband was sent to Australia. Did Bridget McNamara of Tulla get remarried, say, to Matthew Lynch of Newmarket in February 1848? Difficult to say with the limited evidence.

The Ireland-Australia Transportation Database, by the Irish National Archives, includes the comment for Thomas McMahon, "Convict returned from Bermuda per "James" 12/01/1854 and discharged from Spike Ireland Gaol, County Cork." The Cork Institution newspaper had the following account of the return of the transport ship James in January 1854:
On Wednesday evening [11th of January] the transport brig James arrived in Queenstown, with 85 invalid convicts from Bermuda. The brig sailed from Bermuda on the 21st December, and made the passage from thence to Queenstown in 21 days. The convicts on board were from the hulks at Bermuda, and having been invalided, they were ordered to be transferred to Great Britain for change of air. Of the entire number (85) on board, 60 were destined for Spike Island Convict Depot.

. . .[a long discussion of the fears that the crew and passengers of the James transport were infected with yellow fever, which were not true]. . .

Cork Institution, Tuesday, January 17 1854, page 2
Thomas McMahon was transported for life. When released from Spike Island he would have been given a "ticket-of-leave", as I reckon Thomas could not remain in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Where did he go? Was he able to reunite with his wife Bridget McNamara? Or had she remarried? Did his two children, the grandchildren of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy of Glandree, ever see their father again?

(to be continued)

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

Post by Sduddy » Thu Mar 18, 2021 3:37 pm

Hi Jimbo

Thanks for another interesting posting. Yes, I agree, Andrew Sheedy who contributed to the Papal army must be the son of the Andrew who is in Griffith’s.

Jimbo, here I come again with a small quibble: since you say that you reckon (i.e. are not sure) that Michael McMahon of Corbehagh is the father of Thomas McMahon who married Bridget McNamara in 1843, I think you should put an “if” somewhere in the paragraph that begins “Their first born son was named after his paternal grandfather.”

About the name of the child who was born to ? McMahon and Bid Mac in 1846: the number 34 inserted in the record refers to the index made by a priest (in later years) and that index has survived and is available online at ... 1/mode/1up. Just scroll past all the baptisms. I should have drawn more attention to that index when I was posting on the topic of the Tulla baptisms. That index tells us that the child's name is Helena. Unfortunately the priest was interested in the names of the children, only, and not of their parents. I suppose he was getting requests for permission to marry from those people who had been born between 1846 and 1861 and wanted a quick way of finding them in the register.

Jimbo, I had thought that Andrew McNamara Sheedy and Margaret Clancy lived at lots 47,48 and 49, in the southern half of Glendree, and that it was their son, Andrew, who moved northwards to lot 31 when he married the daughter of Daniel McEvoy in 1861 ( Margaret McEvoy might have been Mr McEvoy’s niece, rather than his daughter). If I am right in all that, then Andrew senior was not living near White Park (which sounds to me like an anglicisation of Maherabawn) when Helena McMahon was baptised in 1846.
But, Jimbo, when I read those Tulla records, I take the placename to be the address of the parents, not the address of the sponsor, and I would have felt no onus on me to link Peggy Clancy to White Park.

I agree that it’s most likely that Andrew McNamara and Margaret Clancy had some children between 1824 and 1829, and that it is very likely that one of these was called Bridget.

The story of Thomas McMahon, including the story of Mr James Harris Martin, is very interesting. It’s going to be impossible to say if Thomas’s wife married again. In The Great Shame, by Thomas Keneally, Lawrence (sent to Australia as a convict, and released on a ticket-of-leave) marries in Australia, although he cannot know if his wife in Ireland is still alive or if she’s dead, but I’m doubting that the wives left in Ireland were given the same freedom.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.


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

Post by Jimbo » Fri Mar 19, 2021 8:45 am

Hi Sheila,

Thank you for that interesting feedback which led me to a much better understanding of the location of "White Park". I agree with you that "White Park" is most likely an anglicization of Magherabaun. The numbering of plots in Griffith Valuation was pretty hodge podge. Andrew McNamara's plot 47 was in fact much further north from his residence at Plot 48 and adjacent to Magherabaun townland. See below map (the red star is the location of "White Park" when using google maps):

1855 Griffith Valuation, Glendree, Plot 47, White Park.jpg
1855 Griffith Valuation, Glendree, Plot 47, White Park.jpg (105.75 KiB) Viewed 524 times

I reckon when Thomas McMahon of Feakle married Bridget McNamara in 1843 the couple would have had their own place, as was the custom, and lived in Plot 47, otherwise known as "White Park" as reported on the 1846 baptism. I agree with you that the locations reported on baptism records are associated with the parents and not the sponsors. Margaret Clanchy McNamara lived in Plot 48 (just below Plot 46 in above map) which would not be considered "White Park".

Thanks for the information about the index in the Tulla baptism records. I have serious doubts about "Helena" as the name behind the illegible baptism record in 1846. When the priest made the index, he appears to have some doubts himself as the bottom two baptisms on the far right have a giant question mark next to their indexed numbers, as per below:
1846 Tulla baptism entry with index column.jpg
1846 Tulla baptism entry with index column.jpg (88.16 KiB) Viewed 699 times

We are at somewhat of an advantage compared to the priest who made the index. We know that the father of the child was Thomas McMahon who married Bridget McNamara in 1843. In the black smudge mark it would be fairly difficult to fit a three syllable "Helena" for the child and "Thomas" (or more likely an abbreviation) for the father. We are also at an advantage as we can brighten the image as per my previous posting. For the 1846 entry, after a small smudge for the date, I can somewhat clearly make out a large "J", followed by an "o" and perhaps an "h". The rest is a blur.

I am still convinced that "Margaret Clanchy", the baptism sponsor in 1846, was the grandmother of the child, Margaret Clanchy McNamara. And their marriage witness in 1843, Andrew McNamara, was the father of Bridget McNamara. In the Kilrush marriage records, I've noticed that the priest wrote the relationship of the witnesses. Highlighting the witness column and doing a search for "father" led to over 100 marriages where the witness was either the father of the bride or the groom, and both fathers were reported a few times. I suspect that the Kilrush parish priest may have been ordained in France. In Catholic parish records in France as well as civil records after the French Revolution, the relationship of every baptism sponsor and marriage witness has always been reported in the records (at least in parishes I've viewed). Also, women in French records (birth, marriage and death) are always recorded using their maiden name, as I believe was Margaret Clanchy in 1846.

Sheila, perhaps in the quest to identify the "Andrew McNamara" listed as the witness at the marriage of James Madigan and Johanna McNamara in 1860, we should at least consider that Andrew might be the father of the bride?

Andrew Sheedy McNamara's plans for his son-in-law Thomas McMahon to farm Plot 47 fell through dramatically after Thomas was convicted and sent to Bermuda in 1847.

Plan B, was for his younger son Andrew (born about 1843) to marry Margaret McEvoy in 1861 and to combine neighboring Plot 47 and Plot 31. A perfect example of Irish matchmaking, "in Percy French's time it was used quite a lot and had its practical uses, an instance of it would be say where you two small neighboring farms and the owners of the farms would like to see them united into a larger unit; so what they tried to do was they tried to wangle to marry off the eldest son in one to the eldest daughter of the other, and about half the time the poor devils had no say in it all . . . . ". This was from the 50 minute documentary on the Irish song writer Percy French (1854 - 1920), narrated by the Irish tenor Brendan O'Dowda (1925 - 2002). I've mentioned this documentary before, but here it is again:

In the 1921 Rate Book for Glandree, the three plots owned by Andrew Sheedy McNamara have been passed down to his three grandsons (see page 13 for family tree), as follows:

Plot 31 & Plot 47 (22 acres): Daniel McNamara, son of Andrew McNamara and Margaret McEvoy.
Plot 48 (24 acres): Andrew McNamara, son of Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon.
Plot 49 (25 acres): Dennis Cooney, son Dennis Cooney and Johanna Sheedy McNamara. ... e_ded1.htm

In the 1901 census, Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon are in House 26 with eight of their children. When I next visit Ireland, I would like to stay at the "cosy Druid cottage" which is located on their lands and available to rent — a bargain at only £58 per night. From the "Druid cottage" it is only a 4 mile walk to Lough Ea. ... 1&adults=1

The selection of photos on airbnb includes an old stone two story house with an adjacent one story house, which is the "Druid cottage" available for rent. I'm fairly certain that at the time of the 1901 census, the Patrick McNamara family was living in the small cottage, and not the larger two story house. In the 1901 census, their dwelling was described as only having three windows at the front of the house. Same in 1911; for both census periods the roof was described as "made of thatch, wood, or other perishable material". The two story building must have been built after 1911, although it looked much older to me. I suppose after Irish independence there was a greater incentive to invest in your property when you actually owned the land and any improvements.

Andrew McNamara, son of Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon, who was baptized in April 1877, was not living with his family in the 1901 Irish census. On 9 March 1896, Andrew McNamara, born in Tulla, age 19 years and 0 months, enlisted at Ennis with the Clare Artillery as a gunner for a period of six years. His occupation had been "car driver" and he was working for "John Powell" of Tulla Town when he enlisted in 1896. Several promotions followed. In the 1901 Irish census, I reckon Andrew McNamara was reported with only the initials "A. M.", born in County Clare, "laborer", age 20 (census takers are less accurate than the military?), stationed at the Duncannon Fort in County Wexford: ... n/1797992/

edit: replacing "Water Park" with "White Park".
Last edited by Jimbo on Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Sduddy » Fri Mar 19, 2021 1:50 pm

Hi Jimbo,

Thanks for that. I confess I had forgotten that plot 47, one of Andrew McNamara Sheedy’s three plots (47,48,49), was a quite bit away from 48 and 49, and lay beside the McEvoy plot (31).
Jimbo, I see you’ve decided that Thomas McMahon is the son-in-law of Andrew Sheedy – no ifs or buts. Well, in my book that’s a bit of a liberty, but I acknowledge that there’s a very good chance that you are right.

I agree that fathers of the bride and groom were often the witnesses at marriages at that time (c. 1843). And so I did take into account that Andrew McNamara, the witness at the marriage of Mary McNamara in 1860 (the sister of our Civil War Soldier), might be her father. That was my motivation for sending away for the record of the marriage of Mary McNamara to Richard Nash (now available online: ... 255234.pdf) – I wanted to eliminate the possibility that Andrew McNamara of Glendree was the father of Mary (the sister of the Civil War Soldier).

Jimbo, I have a theory as to the identity of A. M. in Duncannon. While we were sifting through the McNamaras, looking for clues as to Mary’s identity, we came across a couple of other Andrew McNamaras, and one was Andrew who, though born before the Tulla register was open (1819), was not married until 4 March 1862 (though it’s quite possible that he’d been married previously, of course). He married Bridget Kerucan (I could never make out the name of the first witness). They lived in Tulla town, and the births of four of their children are recorded in the parish and in the civil records. Andrew died in 1884, aged 66: ... 810140.pdf. Well, I could never figure out what happened to his wife, Bridget, or to any of their children: Daniel b. 18 Apr 1864; Michael b. 14 June 1869; Bridget b. 8 June 1874; Andrew b. 31 July 1875. Jimbo, you showed, on a couple of occasions, that men who had spent some time in the army, and returned home, married at an age older than the norm. And this made me wonder if Andrew, who married Bridget Kerukan in 1862, had been in the army. And now I am wondering if his son Andrew also joined the army (enlisting in the army was often a family tradition). So is it possible that he is the A. M. in Duncannon, county Wexford? I admit that your Andrew is closer to the age stated in the military record. So my theory is probably wishful thinking - because I would like to find some trace of that family.

Last edited by Sduddy on Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by Jimbo » Mon Mar 22, 2021 6:26 am

Hi Sheila,

Thanks for that feedback. Just so we are on the same page, at least on the minor points, could you please edit your last posting to replace "three plots (46, 47, 48)" with "three plots (47, 48, 49).

I also made a mistake, it is possible to rent the old stone cottage of Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon of Plot 48, for only US$58, and not £58. I was stuck in the currency of the Griffith Valuation period. Perhaps from Ireland the airbnb website lists the price in Euro automatically. By the time you pay the airbnb commission and whatever taxes, the nightly rate would probably exceed £58 — still I reckon a very reasonable rate, especially given all the history of the cottage.

Absolutely, I have come to the conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt that the Bridget McNamara who married Thomas McMahon in 1843 in Tulla Parish was the daughter of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy of Glandree. Also, that Thomas McMahon of Feakle was the son of Michael McMahon reported as living in Plot 13 in Corbehagh townland in Griffith Valuation, where Nicholas Martin (a minor) was the lessor. The Martin family owned land in four townlands in Feakle, and Michael McMahon was the only McMahon reported there in GV. The first born son of Thomas McMahon was named Michael McMahon in 1844. The father of Nicholas Martin was James Harris Martin who testified at the trial on behalf of Thomas McMahon in 1847. If there is a better explanation why a gentleman would provide a character reference for a farmer, than having a lessor / lessee relationship, then I would perhaps alter this conclusion, but I cannot find a better explanation.

Frankly, Sheila, it might be unrealistic that we should entirely agree upon everything.

With regards to the identity of the Andrew McNamara who enlisted with the Clare Artillery in March 1896, I have found the British military records to be very accurate on ages. The age upon enlistment was very important as it impacted their pay and possibly amount of service years towards pension. I am reminded of the Thomas McNamara, Jr., who enlisted at Chatham with the Royal Engineers on 10 October 1873, only 1 month after turning 14 years old. Thomas McNamara, Jr., was born in 1859 in the Ionian Islands (Corfu), the son of Thomas McNamara, also a Royal Engineer from Tuamgraney — see full story on page 15. His rank upon enlistment was "Boy", and appointed "Bugler" on 1 January 1875. A separate line states "Attained 17 years of age". Like his father, Thomas McNamara, Jr. would spend time as a Royal Engineer in Bermuda; both after the convict period ended there in 1863. His 21 years of credited service included 2 years & 246 days in Bermuda, 136 days in Egypt, 26 days in Malta, and 225 days in Sierra Leone. An exciting career as a Royal Engineer with posts throughout the British Empire, but what I found most fascinating was that in the 1911 England census, Thomas McNamara was an attendant at the National Portrait Gallery in London telling visitors to please keep their distance from the paintings.

Andrew McNamara, the son of Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon was baptized in Tulla on the 9th of April 1877. At there is no civil birth record for an Andrew McNamara born in 1877. Did the McNamara's forget to register the birth of Andrew? An odd transcription of a name can lead to poor results using the irishgenealogy search engine, so I went to the Tulla baptism records by date (thank you Sheila), and found that Anne Molony of Uggoon was baptized on 11 April 1877. In the Tulla registration district, Anne Molony is at the top of page 02097591 (547). Andrew McNamara is not recorded on this page or on subsequent pages. However, going backwards by changing the url to 02097590, it states an error message. I skipped to page 02097589 (545), and there are more Tulla registration district civil baptisms, but not Andrew McNamara. Was the missing page 02097590 a blank page, and that is why it is missing? Or did the scanner person make a mistake and skip this page? Not sure. There would be less doubt if even blank pages had been scanned. Would be interesting to review the internal control process to ensure completeness of the civil records for this National Library of Ireland digitization project.

But let's say Andrew McNamara was born on 7th of April 1877, two days prior to his baptism. When Andrew enlisted with the Clare Artillery on 9th of March 1896, he would have been 18 years, 11 months, 2 days old. Very close to the 19 years and 0 months reported on his military enlistment papers.

Most importantly, as far as the accuracy of military records, was the bottom section of the enlistment record, "Certificate of Magistrate or a Commissioned Officer", under which stated that the recruit "was cautioned by me that if he made any false answer to any of the forgoing questions he would be liable to be punished."

Also, the Andrew McNamara born in 1877, son of Patrick McNamara and Ellen McMahon, went missing in the 1901 census, and reappears in 1911 — the timing fits perfect to be the Andrew who joined the Clare Artillery for six years in 1896.

Sheila, I anticipate that the children of Andrew McNamara (1818-1884) and Bridget Kerucan will show up elsewhere during the search for the missing Thomas McNamara of Glandree.

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

Post by Sduddy » Mon Mar 22, 2021 1:20 pm

Hi Jimbo

Thanks for your posting - I've done the editing you requested, and I agree with you that the military record must be for Andrew, son of Patrick McNamara.
I've just noticed that when you were agreeing with me that "Whitepark" might be an anglicisation of Magherabaun, you wrote "Water Park" by mistake, and I wonder if you could edit that please.
Jimbo, in the course of this long thread you did a lot of work on the Casey family who lived the townland of Magherabaun, Feakle parish. This notice of the death of a Patrick Casey was published in the Clare Freeman in 1873. But it may be that Patrick belonged to some other family of Caseys: Clare Freeman, Sat 8 Feb 1873:
Another death in the Snow. A repectable young man named Casey perished in the snow on Saturday night when on his way from the fair of Scariff to his father’s residence near Tulla. His sad end has caused general regret in the neighbourhood.
The civil record shows that Patrick died in the townland of Capparoe: On the night of 1st February or morning of 2nd February 1873, at Capparoe, Patrick Casey, aged 30, Farmer; cause of death: the upsetting of a car; information received from John Frost, Coroner for County Clare: ... 264464.pdf


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

Post by Jimbo » Tue Mar 23, 2021 8:30 pm

Hi Sheila,

Thanks for pointing out the "Water Park" mistake. I could have read that posting 100 times and not discovered this. "White Park" was used very rarely in the Tulla baptism records: by the McMahon's in 1846 as well as the baptisms of Martin Molony in August 1846 and Thomas Quinlivan in March 1850. However, when searching the civil records for McNamara's, the location "Water Park" shows up repeatedly. Fully 30% of all McNamara baptisms in the Scariff registers (1852 - 1881) are McNamara parents living in "Water Park". In the 1901 census, I believe "Water Park" was known as Fossamore in Scariff, where eight households out of 21 are a large McNamara family: ... Fossamore/

The Thomas McNamara (born ≈1832; died 1871 at Woolwich, London), who in the 1851 England Census was a 19 year old sapper living at the Royal Engineers barracks at Chatham, had a birthplace reported as "Tomgraney, Cork, Ireland" (see page 15). This was the father of the Thomas McNamara who was born in the Ionian Islands in 1859 and also became a Royal Engineer. Sheila, we both agreed that this location must be Tuamgraney, Clare which is the civil district that someone from "Water Park" would state they were from when enlisting in the British military.

Sheila, some sad news for you. When recently the Tulla civil death records (Galway reporting district) became available on-line for the period 1871 through 1877, I ended up doing a thorough search of every McNamara (something I have not done for later years) which I've just taken a second look at. Bridget McNamara, of Tulla, 14 days, labourer's child, died on 23 June 1874; informant Bridget McNamara. This was the Bridget Mack baptized on 8 June 1874, parents Andrew Mack and Bridget Kerukan of Tulla — and surely not the trace of this McNamara family that you were hoping for. This now leaves the three McNamara sons as well as their mother unaccounted for.

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

Post by Sduddy » Wed Mar 24, 2021 3:15 pm

Hi Jimbo,

Thanks for finding Bridget McNamara - your data-base is proving useful.
I am having second thoughts on the location of Whitepark following your mentioning that White park is the address given at the baptism of Thomas Quinlivan on 19 Mar 1850. I notice that the address at the baptisms of all of other children of Michael Quinlivan and Kate Sullivan is Tulla. And I am wondering now if Whitepark refers to a White/Whyte family who lived in the townland of Tulla. From what I can see, the Whites were a comfortably-off family. Thomas White is in Griffith’s valuation as holding lots 5 and 6 in Tulla townland. He was both farmer and publican. He sat on the board of Guardians for Tulla. According to this site (Ireland Reaching Out) he was married to Catherine Quinlivan and they had a large family: ... white-1801. And this gives the further information that they were the parents of Very Rev. Patrick White: A lot of middle-class people in Ireland, post-famine, gave an Engish name to their house (Irish was associated with poverty). Maybe the White’s house was called Whitepark?
Thomas White, a son of Thomas White and Catherine Quinlivan, married Anne McDonnell from Bodyke (Kilnoe parish) on 17 Nov 1876. One of their sons, Lt James Mathew White, is listed here: ... war_38.pdf. Another descendant is James White of the National Art Gallery of Ireland: ... d-1.361812.
Jimbo, feel free to dismiss all that about “Whitepark” if you wish – it’s just a guess by me.


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

Post by Jimbo » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:16 am

Hi Sheila,

From your last posting which considered whether Whitepark might be in Tulla townland, I realize that I didn't lay out my theory on the identity of Thomas McMahon, prisoner #2707, very well.

It will be impossible to move forward with what happened to Thomas McMahon after being transported to Bermuda without coming to a conclusion where Thomas was reflected in the Tulla marriage register and as a father in the Tulla baptism registers. From re-reading your prior posts, you've only expressed doubts and I may have assumed incorrectly that you agreed upon some of my conclusions. I was probably too quick to speculate on what happened to Bridget McNamara McMahon after her husband was transported to Bermuda, so here are the facts about the identity of Thomas McMahon, prisoner #2707:

1) Thomas McMahon in 1847 was 27 years old, married with two children. Catholic and a farmer. These facts were from the prison register and are all extremely important to determine his identity.

2) The crime took place in Glendree. Two of the four suspects have been traced back to the Tulla baptism register as residing in Glendree. The third, Andrew Sheady McNamara was born in 1825, a missing period of the Tulla baptism register, but was very likely from Glendree. Therefore, it is very likely that Thomas McMahon was also residing in Glendree in 1847.

3) Thomas McMahon was a very common name in the Tulla baptism register in the period 1819 to 1846. The baptism register reflects a Thomas McMahon having children with (a) a Joan Corry from Cloondana (b) a Catherine Donohue from Leitre (c) a Honor Jones from Clonlohan (d) a Mary Malone from Glandree (e) a Bridget McInerney from Cutteen (f) a child born out of wedlock child with Mary Grady of Tulla. None of these Thomas McMahon's could be prisoner #2707 who was born around 1820, because the children were born when he was a youngster, with the exception of the born out of wedlock child in 1838. The 27 year Thomas McMahon, prisoner #2707, was the father of two children, the only possible Tulla baptism that would fit from an age perspective (and a solid character reference from a parish priest perspective) was the Michael McMahon baptized in August 1844 with parents Thomas McMahon and Bridget McNamara.

4) The prison register only states that Thomas McMahon, #2707, was from County Clare. However, at the 1847 trial Thomas received two character references from the Feakle parish priest and a Feakle landlord. Thus, it would be fairly likely that we would be looking for Thomas McMahon, #2707, to have been originally from Feakle Parish.

5) In the Tulla marriage register, a Thomas McMahon from Feakle married a Bridget McNamara from Glandree in 1843. They are the parents of the Michael McMahon born in 1844 in Glandree.

6) Thomas McMahon, prisoner #2707, was the father of two children. A Bridget McNamara had a child in 1846 with a Mr. McMahon, where the father and child's first names are illegible.

7) The location of the 1846 baptism, noted above, was Whitepark. When you go to googlemaps and type a location of "Whitepark, County Clare", it takes you to "Whitepark, Glendree, Feakle, County Clare". The location of Whitepark is Plot #32 Glendree in Griffith Valuation. The fact that Whitepark is next to Magherabaun townland is interesting given its name, but the main point is that the location is in Glendree townland.

8 ) Thus, the 1844 and 1846 baptisms, with parents Mr. McMahon and Bridget McNamara, both have birth locations that are in Glandree townland. They are obviously the Thomas McMahon and Bridget McNamara who married in 1843. For some reason, this couple are not reflected in the Tulla baptism register for 1846 to 1862, and thus decided only upon two children, not the typical large Irish family.

Given the above facts and evidence, I can come to the conclusion with 100% certainty that Thomas McMahon, prisoner #2707, was from Feakle, and married Bridget McNamara of Glandree in 1843, and they had two children in 1844 and 1846 while residing in Glandree.

Sheila, I suspect that you may not have agreed with this conclusion and that is why you had doubts about the location of Whitepark as possibly being in Tulla townland? It is a very generic name. The fact that google maps puts Whitepark in Glendree townland is fairly convincing to me.

I've already discussed why I believe that Thomas McMahon would be the son of Michael McMahon of GV Plot 13 in Corbehagh townland in Feakland, and also why Bridget McNamara was the daughter of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy of Glandree.

But to determine what happened to Thomas McMahon after his prison sentence in Bermuda, the important facts are that he was from Feakle and married to Bridget McNamara of Glandree where they had two children, the first son named Michael and the second child not yet known with any certainty.

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

Post by Sduddy » Thu Mar 25, 2021 8:46 pm

Hi Jimbo

Yes, I agree - there must have been a Whitepark in Glendree. And sorry for getting distracted by the address given at Thomas Quinlivan's baptism - that could easily be another White park.


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

Post by Jimbo » Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:20 am

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyan's corn
So the young might see the morn.
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely ’round the Fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters Mary when you’re free,
Against the Famine and the Crown
I rebelled, they ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.

Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely ’round the Fields of Athenry.

By a lonely harbor wall
She watched the last star falling
As that prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she’ll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay.

It’s so lonely ’round the Fields of Athenry.

Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing we had dreams and songs to sing
It’s so lonely ’round the Fields of Athenry.

Fields of Athenry, 1979, Pete St. John
original lyrics:

After Thomas McMahon was sent away on the prison ship Medway, Bridget McNamara was lonely 'round the Hills of Sweet Glandree. In her memory's dream there long would dwell, sweet thoughts of other days, of the joys she knew with comrades true, in youth's bright happy ways, with hearts so light and free, and the days she spent in merriment on the Hills of Sweet Glandree. O'er those bonny hills, so fair and grand, the silent moonbeams play, the stars of night like diamonds bright, their sober light display, o'er glens and streams, and mountain view, so pleasant for to see. Oh! The fairest spot in Paddy's land, but now it's lonely 'round the Hills of Sweet Glandree *.

* The Hills of Sweet Glandree, circa 1903, by Michael Moloney (July 1845 - 7 May 1925), National School Teacher, of Glendree. See page six for unadulterated poem; see page ten for discovery of Michael Moloney as the author.

There are many versions of the Fields of Athenry and I searched for a version with lyrics closest to the original by Pete St. John written in 1979. Danny Doyle recorded the song in 1979, but I could not find his version on the internet (youtube). Barleycorn, an Irish band I had never heard of, had a hit in Ireland with the song in 1982, and this version is on youtube (only 36,000 views in 10 years):

I like their version of the song very much, but what was most interested that Barleycorn sang, "As the prison ship sailed out against the sky, but she’ll wait and hope and pray, for her love in Botany Bay", which is very close to the original lyrics. While the later and much more popular versions of the song, such as by Paddy Reilly and the Dubliners, sing: "As the prison ship sailed out against the sky, for she’ll live and hope and pray, for her love in Botany Bay." Why was "wait" changed to "live"? I feel that "for she'll live" is more ambiguous and perhaps accepting of the reality that Mary would not wait for Michael?

Most definitely Bridget McNamara would have been lonely 'round the Hills of Sweet Glandree and it would be difficult to raise two children on dignity alone. During the period of the Great Famine, can we be so sure she'd wait and hope and pray for Thomas McMahon in Bermuda? Or is it more likely that Bridget McNamara McMahon got remarried?

Bridget McNamara of Glandree had married Thomas McMahon, a farmer from Feakle, in 1843. One witness was Andrew McNamara, who I believe was also her father — perhaps quite pleased that he had arranged for his eldest daughter a good marriage partner from the McMahon clan. "Peggy Clancy", not the most common of names, was one of the sponsors at the birth of their second child in 1846, and most surely the maternal grandmother. The location provided at this baptism was "Whitepark", located between Andrew Sheedy McNamara's lands Plot 47 and Plots 48 & 49. Andrew Sheedy McNamara had married Margaret Clancy in 1824, but their first child reflected in the baptism records was a son named Michael in 1829. Most surely, Bridget McNamara was the first born daughter of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret Clanchy born in the early 1820's which has missing baptism pages.

As such, Bridget McNamara McMahon was a sister to Johanna McNamara Cooney.

Rebelling against the Crown often crossed generations in Ireland — history repeats itself. Thomas McMahon, transported to Bermuda in 1847, would have been the uncle to the two Cooney brothers charged in a 1890 moonlighting case, as previously noted on page ten, but only briefly. New access to Irish newspapers, including those supportive of the Irish Land League, provided more details of their case. And also lend support to the theory that, not just rebelling against the Crown, but being wrongly convicted by the Crown, often crossed generations in Ireland:
A Repetition of History
DEAR SIR — At a court held in Tulla, Co Clare, on Tuesday, the 2nd ult, by Captain Keogh, R M, the following young men—namely, James Cooney, Denis Cooney (brothers), Martin Molony, Cornelius Howard, and John Hirst [Herst], all of Tulla parish, were arraigned for a third time with firing into the house of a man named Donnellan, who resides at a place called Thome, and wounding his son on the night of the 5th of August last. The following dames of the Primrose League occupied seats on the bench—Miss E Gore, Tyredagh Castle; the Misses Molony, Kiltannon House; and Miss Keogh, who carried a nice looking English terrier dog. Head-Constable Maurice O'Halloran, of Ennis, was also present at court. The prisoners were ably represented by Mr. Thomas Lynch, Bindon-street, Ennis, and District-Inspector Higgins represented the Crown. The following is the history of this extraordinary case briefly told. As already stated, Donnellan's house was fired into and his son was wounded on the night of the 5th of last month [August 1890]. Donnellan, senior, reported the occurrence immediately to the police at Tulla, which is the nearest station to his residence, and, on being asked if he knew the party who fired into his house, he stated he did not know them. His son, the wounded man, who was the only other occupant in the house, also stated that he had no idea as to who the party was that wounded him. A fortnight passed over, and in the meantime old Donnellan had for a frequent visitor no less a personage than Head-Constable Maurice O'Halloran. I may here state that a most remarkable and curious coincidence in connection with the case. Old Donnellan is a brother to Donnellan, on whose evidence the brothers Delahunty, who the whole country-wide regard as innocent men, were sent into penal servitude for life a few years ago, and it is generally supposed that it was their conviction gained for Head-Constable Maurice O'Halloran the position he now occupies in the police force. After the lapse of a fortnight the prisoners, who are all, with the exception of Hirst, who is a weaver, small farmers sons of the most respectable standing, were arrested by a force of police under the command of District-Inspector Huggins and Head-Constable Maurice O'Halloran. The same day and investigation was held into the affair in the police barrack, Tulla, and I may here state that the prisoners were not give time to have their legal adviser present, and not one of their friends would get admittance to the barrack whilst the investigation was on. At this investigation the only evidence produced, or since produced, of any importance was the evidence of Maurice O'Halloran's protege, old Donnellan, who then swore that the prisoners were the men who fired into his house, and that he first recognised them through a dirty little window, afterwards through a shink in the door, and, finally, when he went to apprise his daughter, who lives next door. On the evening of the day of the investigation old Donnellan left his place, accompanied by Head-constable Maurice O'Halloran, and although Mr. Lynch, solicitor, pressed very hard to have him produced for cross-examination at the last two investigations the Crown would not produce him. At this third and last investigation also Mr. Lynch proved clearly to the mind of every intelligent man in court that his clients were legally entitled to be admitted to bail, as the old man's uncorroborated evidence was the only evidence against the prisoners, but Captain Keogh, who was evidently prejudiced against them from first to last, refused, and the prisoners were removed handcuffed to Limerick jail. Briefly told, sir, this is the history of this extraordinary case, and I cannot help asking myself is history about to repeat itself, and are those respectable young men, on the evidence of Maurice O'Halloran's protege, to follow in the sorrowful footsteps of the Brothers Delahunty?—Yours, &c.,

Tulla, Sept 8, 1890

Flag of Ireland, Dublin, Saturday, 13 September 1890
Of course, the "history about to repeat itself", mentioned above, was not related to Thomas McMahon being sent on the Medway to Bermuda in 1847, but to the conviction of the Delahunty brothers in 1882. The Delahunty case (completely separate, I think, from the shooting of John Delahunty and the Francie Hynes case) was discussed on page 22 with regards to the payment of the "blood money tax":
On Saturday the Court was occupied for the greater part of the day in hearing a trial in which Timothy and Luke Delahunty, brothers, were indicted for having fired at Michael Donnellan with the intent to murder him. The occurrence took place on the 11th of September [1882] last at a place called Kobarry [Kilbarron?], near Feakle, county Clare, a district which was one of the most disturbed in Ireland during the recent agitation. From the evidence it appeared that the parties held lands adjoining and intersecting one another, and differences arose between them. On the day in question Donnellan was returning home from an outside farm of his, and while parsing a clump of furze [another name for "gorse"] he was fired at. He stated that in a few minutes after the shot he saw the prisoners stand behind the bush from which he had seen the flash of the shot come. He only saw Luke's back, but Timothy was nearer and appeared to have discharged the shot. He did not see firearms with either. Another witness proved he heard a shot and saw the two prisoners come from its direction. Michael M'Namara deposed that he heard Timothy Delahunty swear he would shoot the "gauger", a name by which Donnellan was known. Delahunty produced a pistol at the time. Witness [McNamara] asked [Delahunty] what would be the use of shooting him [Donnellan] when it would only result in loading the neighbours with taxes.

HIS LORDSHIP.- So your objection to the murder was a financial one. (Laughter.)

The defence was an alibi, but the jury convicted the prisoners. Sentence was deferred.

The Times, London, 18 December 1882
The five Glandree prisoners appear to have been acquitted by the Tulla court, since they were then sent to the Connaught Winter Assizes in Sligo where they were found guilty and sentenced to 20 years penal servitude.

Dennis and James Cooney, and the three other Glendree prisoners, were not released from prison until 1900 after serving ten years. It was an unconditional release, so Denis (age 36) and James (age 34) were living in Glendree with their father Denis Cooney (age 65) and younger brother John Cooney (age 26) in the 1901 census. ... e/1087486/

Dennis Cooney married Catherine McNamara, the daughter of Michael McNamara and Margaret Halpin of Glandree, on 4 February 1902 at Drumcharley Chapel. Potentially they were second cousins, but I would need to see the Tulla marriage register to prove this. Catherine McNamara, I reckon, was a first cousin of Mary McNamara, daughter of Matthew McNamara and Joanne O'Dea, since I believe that their fathers, Michael and Matthew McNamara, were brothers. Mary McNamara was married to Michael Moloney, the National School teacher who wrote the poem "The Hills of Sweet Glandree".

The youngest Cooney sibling, Andrew Cooney, arrived in New York on the Cedric on 20 April 1903; his reported age was 26, from Feakle, going to his brother John Cooney at 40 Pacific Street in Brooklyn. In the 1905 NY state census, John Cooney (age 27) and Andrew Cooney (age 28) were employees at the Manhattan State Hospital, an insane asylum located on Ward Island — the largest mental hospital in the world at that time. Andrew was still working as a fireman at Manhattan State Hospital in the 1910 census:

Two more older Cooney siblings were in New York. In the 1905 NY state census, Michael Cooney (age 35) was living in the same household with his brother-in-law James Casey (age 40), his sister Bridget Casey (age 42), as well as his nephew John Maher (age 29). Daniel Mack (age 38) was reported as a boarder, but he must be Daniel McNamara, their first cousin, the son of Andrew Sheedy McNamara and Margaret McEvoy, who was missing in the 1901 Irish census. Bridget Cooney was first married to John Maher, who died, then she married James Casey with whom she had an additional four children.

The grandmother of all these Cooney children was Margaret Clanchy McNamara who died in Glandree on 1 February 1890 at the age of 92 years. The Cooney children, born between 1857 and 1876, would all have been old enough to have strong memories of their maternal grandmother. And living in GV Plot 49 they were next door neighbors in Glandree to their grandmother in GV Plot 48. I reckon Margaret Clanchy McNamara was a strong storyteller. And perhaps to scare her grandchildren would tell the sad story of her son-in-law Thomas McMahon, who was sent on a prison ship to Bermuda — and the same would happen to them if they misbehaved. But what was the ending to the story? What happened to her daughter Bridget and her two McMahon grandchildren? Were they ever able to reunite with Thomas after he was sent back from Bermuda and released from Spike Island?

(to be continued)

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

Post by Sduddy » Sat Mar 27, 2021 11:11 am

Hi Jimbo

Thank you for that continuation of the story of Thomas McMahon, set to the air of The Fields of Athenry, and I am looking forward to the next episode. In the meantime, I hope you don’t mind if I divert down an avenue which leads away from Glendree and off to West Clare – because this was where John Hurst got away from it all just a couple of years after his release.

On Page 10 of this thread you quoted from the Irish World, New York, 30 June 1900, page 9:
After ten long years in British dungeons the liberation of the Tulla prisoners became an accomplished fact. Their names are Denis and James Cooney (brothers), John Hurst, Martin Molony, and Cornelius Howard all from the Glandree district. Hurst, James Cooney, and Howard were detained at Mountjoy, while Denis Cooney and Martin Molony were at Maryborough prison. The five Glandree men were arrested in August of 1890 on a charge of having fired into the house of a farmer named Donnellan, at Thome, Tulla. The evidence was not conclusive, but they were sent for trial at the Winter Assizes, at Sligo. The presiding judge was the Lord Chief Justice O'Brien, and they were sentenced to twenty years' penal servitude. The first intimation the men had of their approaching liberation was on Sunday, June 3, when the governors of the two jails - Mountjoy and Maryborough - announced that the Lord Lieutenant had commuted their sentences. On the following day James Cooney, Howard and Hurst were discharged from Mountjoy, and on Tuesday D. Cooney and Martin Molony were liberated from Maryborough. The ex-prisoners all appear in excellent health, notwithstanding the rigors of their long imprisonment. Their discharge is an unconditional one. Howard worked continuously in the bakery department of the prison; James Cooney was in the shoe making shop; Denis Cooney was put to carpentering; John Hurst to tailoring; and Martin Molony was at outside work.
Jimbo, you went on to say,
John Hurst / Hearse: most likely John Herst the son of James Herst and Catherine Doyle baptized December 1858, residence Roslara. John would have been the oldest of the five men. Roslara appears to be only a 15 minute walk from Tome where the shooting took place. James Herst and Catherine Doyle only had 3 children; it appears that the widower James Herst married Bridget Cooney in 1864. In 1901, James Herst (age 80), Bridget Herst (age 76), and John Herst (age 42, widower) are living in House 5 in Rosslara.
As you say, James Hearst was a widower when he married Bridget Cooney in 1864: 8 Feb 1864: Marriage of James Hirst, Roslarra, widower, Weaver, son of Thomas Hirst, Weaver, to Bridget Cooney, Servant, Gurthcummer, daughter of Michael Cooney, Farmer, in Tulla chapel; witnesses: Michael Cooney, Margaret Doyle: ... 270932.pdf. And you note that James and his previous wife, Catherine Doyle, are the parents of John b. December 1858. The Tulla baptisms 1846-1862 show that James and Catherine had two more children and this is confirmed in this piece on ancestry message board: “James & Catherine (DOYLE) Hurst had 3 children - Margaret, John & Mary born 1850/1860's, probably in Tulla, Co Clare. Margaret & Mary emigrated to New Zealand in the 1880's. John married Margaret GALVIN (born Carrigaholt, Co Clare). Any info about the Irish connection welcome.” ... neral/7122

When John Herst married Margaret Galvin in 1903 he was a widower. He had previously married Julia McNamara in 1884: 25 Feb 1884: John Herst, Rosslara, Weaver, son of John Herst, Weaver, to Julia McNamara, Rosslara, daughter of Thomas McNamara, deceased, Farmer, in Drumcharley chapel; witnesses: Thomas Molony, Maria Scanlan.

Julia McNamara Hurst died soon after John was released from prison: 9th Aug. 1900: In Tulla Workhouse, Julia Hurst, from Rosslara, aged 55 married, wife of a weaver: ... 624099.pdf

John’s parents both died in 1905: 05 Jun 1905: In Tulla Workhouse, Bridget Hurst, in Tulla Workhouse, aged 86, married, wife of a Weaver.
15 Nov 1905: In Tulla Workhouse, James Hurst, Rosslara, widower, aged 84, Farmer.

By that time, John had already moved to West Clare, as the record of his second marriage shows: 22 Feb 1903: John Hurst, Moveen, Widower, Workman, son of James Hurst, Farmer, to Margaret Galvin, Servant, Moveen, daughter of Michael Galvin, Farmer, in Doonaha chapel; witnesses: John Hickey, Catherine Hickey. Reg. in Carrigaholt, Kilrush Union: ... 722863.pdf

John and Margaret’s first child, Mary, was born in Feb 1904, and they went on to have 7 more children (Hannah was born Jul 1916). In the later birth records, John’s occupation is Farmer.

Headstone in Moveen West: In Loving Memory of John Hurst, Moveen West, died 28 Dec 1940. Erected by his wife Mary Hurst [I think this “Mary” should be Margaret]


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