McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

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Jim
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McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:04 pm

I have been researching the McMahon family who were large landowners in Moyarta Barony in the 17th & 18th centuries.They seem to have been one of the senior branches of this the McMahon clan. Mortagh McMahon was at Cloneenagh/Clonina & Ballynagun in Kilmacduane parish in the mid to late 1600s & the family were there until the late 1700s or early 1800s when the O'Kelly family succeeded them there. A branch of this McMahon family was established at Clonmore Lodge in Kilmurry Ibrickane in the late 1700s, the last of this branch died out in the late 1800s. Another branch was established in the Carrigaholt area in the early 1700s. I have come across a deed dated 1749 in which Mortough McMahon of Clonena (sic) demised to his kinsman Dennis McMahon of Killbehagh (Kilbaha) the lands of Clouncunneen & Rinemacdirrig & Rahona "excepting all that part of the edifice that Thomas McMahon late of Clonena ... erected adjoining the said castle on said premises". Thomas McMahon had acquired these lands totalling 1170 (Irish Plantation) acres from Edward Burton in 1734. Does anyone know what castle is referred to here. Thomas McMahon (Mortough's father) obviously built a house immediately adjoining an old castle, probably soon after 1734. Can anyone identify this house or its location?. Mortagh died at Clonmore Lodge in 1789 having lost the large landholdings which the family had held for upwards of 150 years or more

pwaldron
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by pwaldron » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:12 am

The reference is surely to Carrigaholt Castle, which is in Rinemackaderrig townland.

What is your source?

Jim
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:47 pm

Yes Paddy, Carrigaholt Castle is the obvious one but I have found no record of an 18th c house adjoining the castle but of course that doesn't mean that there wasn't one. It also struck me that there might have been another old castle, now demolished, in one of the named townlands. I must pay a visit to Carrigaholt when I am back in Ireland to have a look for myself. A good excuse to visit the Long Dock for some of their excellent seafood. Did Breen & UaCroinín publish a survey of Carrigaholt Castle in the Other Clare?.
I have traced these McMahons from 1641 to the end of the 19th c when the last of them died out when they were living at Clonmore Lodge. Judging by their large landholding in the 18th c running to several thousands of acres they seem to have been a senior branch of the McMahon clan, most likely descendants of Tadgh Caoch. They left a great paper trail of leases right through the 18th c. I was able to access many of these in the Registry of Deeds Index Project. However there were some for which I couldn't find the microfilm copy as they were not in numerical sequence. One very interesting item which I turned up was the fact that Michael Comyn/Micheál Coimín the Gaelic poet from near Miltown Malbay bought the lands of Cloninagh etc in trust for Thomas McMahon, then a minor, in 1712. It seems that Coimín who was a Jacobite and was sympathetic to the Catholics, was able to buy these lands from the Earl of Thomond as he himself was a Protestant.

Jim
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:03 pm

Had a look at the 1787 Grand Jury Map which doesn't show any other building in the immediate vicinity of Carrigaholt Castle. However the 1842 OS Map shows a house named as Carrickaholt Cottage south west of and close to the castle. It is the only building that matches the description "adjoyning the sd castle" in the 1749 Deed McMahon to McMahon, Memorial No 100689. Does anyone know anything about Carrigaholt Cottage eg is it still extant, by whom was it built, by whom was it occupied etc.

pwaldron
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by pwaldron » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:05 pm

I don't think that Breen & UaCroinín have gotten around to publishing on Carrigaholt Castle in the Other Clare yet - there is nothing to indicate that they have done so in the table of contents at
https://tbreen.home.xs4all.nl/Journals/Clare.html

Hugh Weir does cover Carrigaholt Castle and Cottage on p. 61 of Houses of Clare.

There appear to have been four houses on the site over the centuries:

1. The original 15th or 16th century tower house.

2. The afore-mentioned "edifice that Thomas McMahon late of Clonena ... erected adjoining the said castle on said premises" before 1749. There is a clear indication on one of the walls of Carrigaholt Castle that there was once a lower building with a steeply sloped roof attached to the Castle. The clearest photograph of this that Google can find is at
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... a_wall.jpg

3. The Cottage, probably built for the Burton family, who succeeded the McMahons, and pictured at
http://landedestates.nuigalway.ie/Lande ... m/1438.jpg
The first of the Burton family to live at Carrigaholt appears to have been Sir Francis Nathaniel Pierpoint Burton (1766-1832) and the last William Conyngham Vandeleur Burton (1846-1919).

4. The present house, probably built for the local National School Teacher Thomas McGrath, who succeeded the Burton family, probably around the time of his marriage in 1919. I think that at least one of the McGrath family is still in residence.

There may also still be descendants of the McMahons in the vicinity.

There are several McMahons from Y-DNA haplogroup R-Z16435 in the Clare Roots project at
https://www.familytreedna.com/public/Cl ... ycolorized

One descends from Denis McMahon of Carrigaholt, who published this advertisement in 1857:
https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/18648939
The Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser (NSW : 1843 - 1893)
Sat 14 Mar 1857
Page 1
Advertising
DENIS M'MAHON, of Phoenix Park, Mor-
peth, otherwise Donat. O. B. Macmahon,
son to Denis M'Mahon and Hannah M'Mahon,
alias H. O'Brien, of Carrigaholt, County Clare,
Ireland, and grandson to Michael O'Brien, Esq.,
and nephew to Capt. Donat. H. O'Brien, of the
R.N., hopes that if this advertisement should
meet with any of that family, at either side,
they will write or come in person, as he has re-
ceived no account from the family these fifteen
years, after writing to them different letters.

Another descends from Nicholas McMahon, the only M'Mahon in Cloonconeen in Griffith's Valuation in 1855.

The DNA evidence suggests that Denis of Morpeth and Nicholas of Cloonconeen were very closely related, perhaps even brothers.

Could they be from the McMahon family mentioned in the deeds?

miriam scahill
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by miriam scahill » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:14 pm

Hi Jim and Paddy - unfortunately the photo 'foto' web of Clare Libary is not working - to see photos of the area. - however on http://www.clarelibrary.ie - open Genealogy page - Research Support - Civil Parish Index - MOYARTA - and then click on 'map showing townlands in the parish; - Rinemackaderrig - Census of 1901 has William Butler - and you will see a map of 1842 showing the castle and nearby Carrigaholt Cottage.
Miriam.

Jim
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:16 pm

Thanks for that Paddy, it is exactly the type of info which I was looking for. I am at somewhat of a disadvantage by being abroad as I don't have access to my copy of Weir's book or copies of the Other Clare etc. It is interesting that the Burtons seem not to have lived in Carrigaholt Castle until later in the 18th c. It would thus appear that the castle itself was unoccupied when Thomas McMahon built a house onto it earlier in that century. Thomas McMahon was a minor in 1712 & appears to have been over 21 in 1720, the date of the first deed which he executed in his own name. It appears that he married Elizabeth Meade in 1725. Administration of the will of Thos McMahon of Clonina, Co Clare Esq was granted on 19 Jan 1741. It is almost certain therefore that he built the house adjoining Carrigaholt Castle between 1725 & 1740.

The Maitland Mercury advertisement is most interesting. Betham's Abstracts tells us that Dennis McMahon was named as the brother in law of Terence O'Brien of Cragg (?), Co Clare, Gent, in the will of the latter proved on 19 Nov 1761. I must look further into this as i agree that it is likely that it is indeed likely that Denis was a descendant of the Dennis of Carrigaholt (obit c1772), younger brother of Thomas of Cloninagh. As an aside it is interesting to note that Denis McMahon settled in the same area of Australia as did many of the Healy family of Ballynagun in the mid 19th c whose story was chronicled by the recently deceased historian David Fitzpatrick in his book 'Oceans of Consolation'.

I have downloaded all the Memorials relating to the McMahons which I have been able to access online & have transcribed summaries of some & full transcripts of the most important ones. I haven't quite finished this but will forward you all the info which I have on these McMahons by email when I have finished.

Jim
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:15 pm

Donat Henchy O'Brien was an officer in the Royal Navy during & after the Napoleonic Wars. He was captured & imprisoned in France & later escaped. He was promoted Captain in 1821 & later became an Admiral. He wrote a book 'Adventures during the late War' which reads like something out of a Patrick O'Brian novel about the exploits of O'Brian's heroes Capt Aubrey & Stephen Maturin. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if O'Brian didn't base some of his books on Donat O'Brien's experiences. Donat Henchy O'Brien was born in 1785 & died in 1857.
I haven't bee able to trace his father Michael O'Brien. He may be the Michael O'Brien who was in Kilmurry McMahon in the late 1700s. Presumably Michael the father was married to a Henchy & his daughter was Hannah who married Denis McMahon of Carrigaholt, father of Denis the advertiser in the Maitland Mercury in 1857. i think I may have come across the name Henchy in one of the McMahon deeds, possibly as a witness, I must check back on this.

Mortogh & Dennis, sons of Thomas McMahon of Cloneenagh, had a sister Margaret who married Joseph England of Cahercalla, High Sheriff 1752, will dated 1792. Margaret died 1807.

Murtagh McMahon of Cloneenagh married in 1750 Mary Ellen, daughter of Charles James McDonnell of Kilkee & his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Christopher O'Brien of Ennistymon.

Jim
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:58 pm

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says that Donat Henchy O'Brien was the second son of Michael O'Brien of Ennistymon. Amazon has a biographical note re his books which says that his mother was a Miss Henchy, sister of Counsellor Fitzgibbon Henchy, a Dublin lawyer with Clare roots who was of some note in the 19th c.

The Terence O'Brien of Cragg (?) d 1761 who I mentioned previously was actually of Cross (later called Elm Vale), ancestor of the O'Briens of Ballinalacken Castle. It seems likely that the Dennis McMahon who was mentioned as his brother in law was actually Dennis of Carrigaholt. I don't know if Michael O'Brien, grandfather of Denis McMahon of Morpeth, was a member of, or related to, the O'Brien family of Cross/Elmvale/Ballinalacken, but it is possible.

Jim
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by Jim » Mon Mar 18, 2019 10:18 pm

Further research indicates that these McMahons were descended from the McMahons who had held Knockalough Castle near Kilmihil. I have traced this family from about the mid 1500s to the late 1800s. If anyone is interested in this topic I would be glad to share this information.

pwaldron
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Re: McMahon house & castle in Moyarta parish

Post by pwaldron » Sat Feb 29, 2020 12:29 pm

I was reminded of this thread by a post at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/countyc ... 449482787/
by an American claiming "McMahan [sic] ancestry" whose "ancestors built Carrigaholt Castle in County Clare".

This got me looking for a published pedigree of the MacMahons of Carrigaholt Castle, generally referred to as the MacMahons of Western Corcavaskin.

All recent sources seem to rely on:

Westropp, T. J., Carrigaholt (Co. Clare) and its Neighbourhood. Part II, Journal of the North Munster Archaeological Society, 1911, Vol. II(1), pp. 29-42.

Westropp writes:

"in 1488 ... two lines of chiefs were established, and Corcavaskin divided between them ... both lines suffered, and the Western lost all influence, and sank into nearly complete obscurity till an ill-judged seizure of a ship sufficed to bring about its final ruin ... There is even less to be told of the Western chiefs ... nor have I (any more than my predecessors) been able to attach their line to the main stem of MacMahon ... in 1602 ... O'Sullivan ... took his visitor [Teige MacMahon] with him in a boat, probably as a hostage, and rowed out to the ship. Suspecting a plot to seize his only possession, Teige, as they neared the ship, shouted to his son, Torlough, to shoot at O'Sullivan. The unhappy young man fired, and shot his father. In the confusion the innocent parricide was able to sail away. He fled to Spain, and vanished from history in agony and remorse."

It would be great to find living descendants with a documented line of descent from the MacMahons of West Corcavaskin.

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