The Clare Heritage Society Report
May 31, 1990

This report was conducted by the Clare Heritage Center in Ireland and pertains to our Irish families. The surnames found on this page are as follows. I will not be linking them to specific individuals. Please remember that the same surname(s) are used many times, and for different people. Use your edit menu 'find' feature if you would like to check specific surnames: Anglim: Boyle: Cosgrove: Cunneen: Donohue: Falsey: Fennell: Flannery: Foran: Hanrahan: Halloran: Hickey: Kelleher: Lyons: McInerney: McMahon: O'Keefe: Murray: Ryan: Wolf:


Our church records show that Thomas Fennell married Bridget Foran at Quilty (parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane) on July 30th. 1882. The witnesses were Thomas Hickey and Jane Falsey. Eight children are on record to union between 1884 and 1900 when our indexation ends. These were as follows:


1-Patrick Fennell, Feb. 2., 1884, sponsor Kate Foran:
2-John Fennell, Mar. 30, 1885, sponsor
Mary Kelleher:
3-Michael Fennell, Aug. 9, 1886, sponsor
Mary Halloran:
4-Michael Fennell, Sept. 14, 1889, sponsor Mary Falsey (related to Jane Falsey?):
5-Bridget Fennell, Mar. 30, 1892, sponsors Nicholas and
Ellen Boyle:
6-John Fennell, July 7, 1894, sponsor
Mary Murray:
7-Catherine Fennell, November 11, 1896, sponsors
Jas. Foran and Bridget McInerney:
8-Thomas Fennell, July 5, 1899, sponsor Bridget McInerney

Children not in the CHC report were:

9-John Fennell, July 1902, died April 11, 1983:
10-Pat Fennell, July 1903:
11-Joseph Fennell, February 1907:


It is obvious that John (1885) and Michael (1886) died as later children were also given these names. One also wonders about John (1894) as he was not shown residing with his parents in the census returns of 1901. On these returns however we see another child, Mary, who would have been born c.1887, but whose baptism was omitted from the church register. Patrick, the eldest, appears to have left home by 1901 as he is also missing from the census records.

Thomas Fennell gave his age in 1901 as 35 and his wife Bridget was said to be 30. It seems however that both must have been somewhat older than the ages declared. Thomas was shown on these records to be a 'fisherman/labourer' while Bridget's occupation was given as 'domestic servant'.


On the baptismal entry for your grandfather, Michael Fennell, a later note showed that he married Jane Cosgrove in Sept. 1911. Although we do not usually pass 1900 I consulted the civil (courthouse) records which showed that Michael and Jane married at Quilty on Oct. 5, 1911. Quilty was simply the address given for both parties. Michael was said to be a fisherman, aged 22. This age agrees with the date of 1889 which we know to have been his year of birth. Jane (a domestic) was said to be aged 21, making c.1890 her year of birth. Jane's father was said to be John Cosgrove, a dealer (trader). As there were no Cosgroves in our church records for Kilmurry parish, and no person by this name was shown there in the 1901 census, we must assume that John Cosgrove was a travelling trader and only arrived in Quilty sometime between 1901 and 1911.


The Cosgrove surname was relatively uncommon in this country and only one family, having a John as head, appears in our records at around that time. This was the family of John Cosgrove and Ellen (Helen) Lyons. Although they did not have a daughter named Jane baptized in Co. Clare, there is every reason to assume that this is indeed your correct family, and their movements during their period in this county would certainly be in keeping with the supposed occupation of 'travelling traders'. Four children appear on our records to John and Ellen between 1891 and 1896. These were baptized in four different parishes right around Co. Clare. These children were as follows:


1-Thomas Cosgrove, Nov. 15, 1891, sponsors Pat Wolf and Mary Ryan:
2-Mary Ellen Cosgrove, Dec. 19, 1892, sponsors
John Donohue and Bridget McMahon:
3-James Cosgrove, May 28, 1894, sponsors
Tom Anglim and ary E. O'Keefe.
4-John Cosgrove, Jan. 1, 1896, sponsor
Mrs. Hanrahan


The first thing to do is note the geographical movement of the Cosgrove family within Co. Clare. The accompanying parish map will help to illustrate this. The first child on your records was baptized in Killaloe in 1891. Killaloe is the only crossing point into Co. Clare when approaching from the east and the Cosgrove family likely recently arrived there. By 1892 we find them in the townland of Oatfield, in the southern end of the O'Callaghan's Mills parish (comprising the old civil parishes of Clonlea and Killuran). Their next port of call was our own parish of Corofin (Rath and Killnaboy) where we find them, presumably at Corofin Village in 1894. They were quickly on the move again, this time southwards to the parish of Clondegad-Kilchreest. No specific address is given for them in this parish in 1896. They possibly resided in other Clare parishes for short periods also prior to arriving in Kilmurry, where they possibly stayed for the longest period. The fact that the younger members of the Fennell family were born in Galway might indicate that the Cosgroves had again moved residence c.1920.


It appears therefore that Jane Cosgrove was born just prior to her family moving to Co. Clare. But where was she from? Fortunately the clergyman at Killaloe noted the arrival of this new family by entering the word Portumna on the baptismal entry in 1891. Portumna is a town in Co. Galway approx. 25 miles from Killaloe. Both towns are situated on the River Shannon, Portumna in the northern end of Lough Derg and Killaloe at the southern end. It seems likely therefore that the Cosgrove family had resided there prior to moving to Co. Clare and perhaps Jane was born there. Perhaps the parish priest there could examine his records for 1889-90 to see if she was. It is difficult to know, however, if the Cosgroves were from Portumna or if it was simply another stop on their travels.


One other piece of interesting information to appear next to the Killaloe baptismal entry showed that Thomas Cosgrove later married Frances Flannery at Ennis on Feb. 8, 1933.

The family of John Cosgrove and Ellen (Helen) Lyons, at least at this point in time, does not correspond with what we know about our own Cosgrove ancestors. This, however, is not to say that there isn't some relationship between our own family and this one. It is important to include this family though as it might be helpful to other researchers. View our Cosgrove Family by following the links.

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