Finding records of the Moynahans in Ireland has been difficult for two reasons:
- Record keeping: My Moynahan ancestor's arrival in America classifies them as "early immigrants" or "Pre Great Famine" (before 1845) and these records are more difficult to locate. The Catholic records in Ireland prior to the mid 1800s are equally hard to locate.
- Literacy and language: When my Moynahan ancestors arrived in Ontario and Michigan, they were unable to read or write and they spoke gaelic with a strong irish brogue. They were reporting to largely french speaking record keepers. There were obviously going to be communication misunderstandings.
The French Churches of Detroit
In the handwritten french marriage record (below) for Denis Moynahan and Catherine Roach (Roche) (29 April 1833) it says "de Matthew Moynahan & de Mary Lery ne dans la parisse de Himiguaney conte de Cary en Irelande"
|Written record #1|
29 April 1833 Marriage record, Ste. Annes, Detroit, Michigan
Denis Moynahan & Catherine Roach
Translation: "Parish of Himigueney, County Kerry, Ireland"
|Written record #2|
In the translated record below, it becomes "parish of Kilcrohane Kerry, Ireland"?
|Transcribed parish records|
Ste. Annes, Detroit, Michigan
Ireland's Catholic Parish Records
I left a comment on the Blog 'Kerry Catholic Parish Registers' and the blog owner wrote to me "I am not sure that the Moynihans are from Kerry. You mention 'Kilcrohane' and that is County Cork. However some of the Cork parishes are located in the Diocese of Kerry."
This was helpful. I thought I should start with Kilcrohane records. I started with Kilcrohane (though not in County Kerry) which I learned was a variant of Muintervarra and was happy to find some Moynahans there!
RC Parish Kilcrohane, Cork
- Marriage: 14 February 1829: Jeremiah Monahan to Margaret Cochlan; Daniel Harrington, Jeremiah Cochlan
RC Parish Kilquane, Kerry
|Kilquane, Kerry at NLI|
Civil Parish: Kilcrohane, Kerry
There is also a civil parish called Kilcrohane in Kerry that is the RC parish of Ballybog
My instincts tell me that County Kerry is where I need to be looking. The "looking" part is a "bit of a slog" but worth it. I will keep going!
- Written Record #1:Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.
- Written Record #2: Source Information Ancestry.com. U.S., French Catholic Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1695-1954 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.
- A rose by any other name : a guide to Irish christian names
- Latin Genealogical Word List
- Griffith's Valuation
- To locate the correct Catholic parish: SWilson.Info