Saturday, 16 January 2010

Fitzhenrys from Clonbur Galway and Pittsburgh

Nancy Nolan wrote to us about her forebears from Galway.
She wrote:
My great grandfather was Myles Fitzhenry. He was born in Clonbur in 1856 and was baptized at St. Patrick’s Church. He was married to my great grandmother Mary Laffey. Myles was a fisherman and perished at sea some time after 1880. My grandmother, Catherine was born in 1880 and came to the United States between 1895 and 1900 and married Patrick J. Thomas in Pittsburgh, PA in 1905.
Another possible link to your Fitzhenry search is Stephen Fitzhenry. My uncle, the son of Catherine Fitzhenry Thomas, was born in 1929. His Godfather was Stephen Fitzhenry.
Myles does not appear in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) - the information about his birth came directly from Nancy's enquiry to the parish records of Clonbur. He was the son of Patrick Fitzhenry and Mary Kyne (an alternative spelling of Coyne) and was born on 2 February 1856. Patrick and Mary had two other sons who do appear on the IGI. These are:
John Fitzhenry born 19 December 1865
William Fitzhenry born 29 September 1873

Luckily for us, Mary Kyne was a long lived woman, as we found her and her extended family in the 1911 Census of Ireland. They were a farming family now living in the village of Cornamona, in the district of Cong in Galway. The family was Roman Catholic and all had been born in Galway.

Mary was an 80 year old widow, a farmer, who was illiterate and spoke only Irish.

Her 50 year old son John was also a farmer who spoke both Irish and English.
He had been married to Mary (aged 38) for 16 years. Mary was literate and was also bilingual. She had borne 8 children of whom seven were still living.
All seven children were still living in the family household, and all those of school age were literate and also bilingual. They were:
Patrick (Pat) born 1895
Mary born 1899
Michael born 1901
Kathleen born 1904
Thomas born 1906
Maggie born 1908
Annie born November 1910

Do these people feature in your tree? If So Nancy would be delighted to hear from you and can be contacted via the Blog

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  1. A Laffey family grew up next to my mother's childhood home in Glentrague (where my Uncle Brendan Varley still resides). Biddy (Bridget) Laffey was best friends with my grandmother (Annie Varley, nee Comer)(they have both since passed, sadly). My Aunt Josephine married one Michael Coyne, both of whom now live in Upper Cloughbrack. Michael's mother's name was Jane. Not sure if any of this would be of use to you, but I do have relatives still living in those parts if you would like to contact them. My cousin, Patricia Coyne (daughter of Michael and Josephine), now lives in Cornamona as well. My mother knows many who lived there up until the time she came to NYC as a teenager in 1964. Feel free to contact me if interested! Take care! -Arlene

  2. Dear Arlene
    Yes we would love to hear more about your Laffey and Coyne families! Please drop us an email at
    so we can email you directly!
    Jo Fitz-Henry

  3. Dear Arlene, By chance would anyone in your family know of a Mary Laffey who married Myles Fitzhenry? I have found a Myles Fitzhenry from Clonbur, but I am not sure if it is the right one. The Clonbur Myles was born to Patrick Fitzhenry and Mary Coyne. My grandmother was Catherine Fitzhenry. Thanks very much!

  4. I just found baptism records for Margaret Laffey,, Patrick Laffey/Bridget Burke M?F

    and Thomas Fitzhenry and Sarah Burke were her sponsors.

    MY family John Jennings/Mary Varilly and Patrick laffey/Bridget Burke.

    The Jennings lived in Glantreague

    The Laffey's came from Dooras.

    Thanks JIM