Saturday, May 4, 2013

Surname Saturday: Browne? From Ireland?

It's Surname Saturday, and time to use the blogging prompt from GeneaBloggers! What we do for this exercise if follow the generations back taking each surname in rotation, moving back throuigh the generations. This week we launch into the 5th generation back and the 3rd great grandmothers, because the 5th great grandfathers and their surname heritage has already been covered.

This week it's Bridget Browne's turn. She married John Kelly, father of John Kelly who was the first of our Kelly line to land in America and you can read about the Kellys in my first ever Surname Saturday post here. Honestly, I don't have too much to add to that post because any records about John Kelly and Bridget Browne are long gone. But let me tell you what we now know, and then list the things we'd like to know.

1. Diane K. Weintraub

2. Francis Patrick Kelly (1916 - 2007)
3. Virginia Williams Kelly, living and loving it!

4. John Lee "Lee" Kelly (1892 -1969)
5. Helen Gertrude Zeller (1894 - 1985)

8. Francis Patrick Kelly (1854 - 1923)
9. Christiana Eckhart (1861 - 1932)

16. John Kelly (1829 - 1891)
17. Bridget Corcoran (1830 - after 1910)

32. John Kelly (about 1800 - ????)
33. Bridget Browne (about 1800 - ????)
Mom had done her homework before she and Dad and I went to Ireland back in 1987, and you can read about that trip here. (It's one of my most popular posts!)
Mom already knew from the tombstone for John Kelly (Jr.) where he was born and on what dates. It was super hard to read on that old tombstone but Mom waited for just the right hour and time of year to read it more clearly. See that photo below.
We tracked down the parish records for this family in Ireland in the Clonmacnoise Parish, County Offlay (Kings), which included the little town of Shannonbridge. We first had to go to the parrish house and get permission from the parish priest, and that allowed us to see the original records. Then we went over to the building on the corner and climbed the long set of creaking wooden stair to the big room where people were entering the records in a database. Mom copied all that was available, chatted with the workers and found out that the oldest parish records were burned in a parish house fire, and those were the books containing the records for John Kelly and Bridget Browne. More's the pity. We still hold out hope that other records besides those of the church will eventually become known to us.
So, we don't know too much about this couple, except that they probably saw their young son and perhaps his brothers, leave for American, and most likely, just as other Irishemn, never come home again. (Guess that's why we all shed a little tear when we hear an Irish voice sing "Danny Boy".)
They had this child, known to us, but we guess there are more. They were Irish and Catholic, after all:)
16. John Kelly (1829 - 1891)

Next Steps:
Wow, what to say? I want those old chared records from the parish in Ireland. Guess I'm probably not going to get them.
1. Check other Irish records to see if any small item might be hiding. Frankly, in order to do this I must eventually start my steep learning curve about Irish records. Now I have three families to investigate: Farrell from posibly County Clare, Corcoran from we don't know where, and these Kelly people. Maybe I'll start this summer?
2. Find out more about the history of the town of Shannonbridge. Can anything be learned?
3. Check the Catholic cemetery there. Tomstones or remnants? Other Kellys?
4. History. I need to know more about the history of Shannonbridge and Ireland in general from the 1830s to the time of the Irish Famine. All of my people were here before the famine. Interesting. And all landed in Western Maryland or northern Virginia/West Virginia within about 10 years of each other. Very Interesting.

The historical site of Clonmacnoise, County Offlay (Kings), Ireland.
Photo, 1987.

Tombstone of John Kelly (1829 - 1891),
taken by Mom one late afternoon when the light was just right.
He was born in Shannonbridge and died in Eckhart, Allegany, Maryland.

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