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Monday, October 06, 2003

Email from Mary Duffy nee Hunt

Just a few notes, as promised, to help you to connect to some of your ancestors,on your grandmother’s (my Aunt Nellie) side of the family tree.  As I do not have any experience or indeed know-how regarding such matters I’ll try to be as clear as possible and not confuse you too much with names that are entirely strange to you. Here goes, for what it is worth.

Patrick McCarthy met his future wife, Elizabeth Ward, —your great-great-grandmother and my great grandmother — while employed at the construction of Killeeven Catholic Church, in the parish of Newbliss, Co.Monaghan circa 1861.

The story goes that Elizabeth Ward, commonly known as Bessie,- the daughter of a well-to-do local farmer- was to marry a suitable match chosen for her by her family. She must have been a free spirit because she decided for herself who she would marry and eloped with the said Patrick McCarthy.  Legend has it that they moved to Dublin because it was always said that your great grandmother Ellen Treanor nee McCarthy (my grandmother) was born in Dublin.  There are no official records available as most of those documents were distroyed during the civil unrest between 1916 and 1921.  Eventually the McCarthy family made their way back to Monaghan where they reared a large family of 5 girls and 4 boys.

Patrick McCarthy starting working on the construction of St.Macartan’s Cathedral, Monaghan which commenced in 1866.  He  worked there as a stonemason for nigh on 25 years until he met his untimley death by falling through scafolding that had been erected around the High Altar.  He died in 1890 and Bessie was left alone to rear her large family.  I suspect that many were adult at this stage.

According to the 1901 census the McCarthy family lived in Market Street, where Bessie ran a restaurant.  Her son, John, would have been 14 years old at the time.  Ellen would have been 19 at the time and married to James Treanor, a master tailor, also resident at a separate house in Market Street.  We were always led to believe that she married James Treanor without the consent of her mother, so it would seem that the females of the clan were a feisty lot – what happened the present-day bunch!!?

All the Treanor and McCarty ladies were always a bit coy about their ages so it is difficult to get the math correct.  At times it is crazy and just does not add up.

James and Ellen Treanor had a large family with some of the children dying in infancy.

Your grandmother, my aunt Nellie Treanor was born c.1897. Her father, James Treanor, died 1916 and her grandmother, Elizabeth McCarthy nee Ward, died the same year. Your grandmother, Nellie Treanor, married Peter Kiernan, from the Granard area of Co. Longford c1930.  They lived in Dublin where both worked in the drapery trade.  They eventually ended up in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford where Peter Kiernan continued in the same line of business.  As you know, they had twin boys, Paid and Seamus, Lorcan – your father- and Dympna.

So the family tree looks like this,  with a lot of bare branches in between:-

Patrick McCarthy married Elizabeth Ward.  They had five girls, Elizabeth, Annie, Mary Catherine, Margaret and Ellen and four boys, namely Tommy, Patrick, Hughie and Johnny.

Ellen Treanor nee McCarthy married James Treanor and they had the following children:-  Mary, 1887, Margaret 1888, Annie 1891, Patrick (Patsy) 1896, your grandmother Nellie 1897, Winnie 1899, James 1900 – died young, Josie- my mother- 1902, Gertie (Mulhall) 1903 and Alice O’Reilly, 1905.

I hope you find this interesting and if ever I get around to doing more research I’ll get in touch with you and send you a more detailed and hopfully, a more accurate account.

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