Clare County Library
Visitor's Book
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Visitor's Book 2008

Date: 6th November 2008
To whom it may concern. I am just after visiting for the first time the new look Clare library site. It is absolutely excellent. Your focus on Clare heritage and history is simply excellent. Well done to all involved.
Margaret Franklin,
Limerick County Library

Date: 28th October 2008
Hi, I would like to know how to get a copy of an original photo on your website. File name: MJG_781_06 Kilshanny National School. Its from 1963, taken by Michael John Glynne. Can you help? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Congratulations on a fantastic website.
Catriona O'Brien,
[Hello Catríona,
All of the photos on the library’s website that the library holds copyright of can be downloaded free from the site. Instructions for doing this can be found by clicking on the “Download Images” button on the top right-hand corner of the Foto homepage, and I give them below as well. If you have any trouble downloading, get back to me. I’m glad you enjoy the site. If you can name any of the pupils in the Kilshanny school photo that haven’t been identified, I’d appreciate you emailing me their names.
On the library’s homepage ( click on “photos”.
On the Foto homepage ( click on the "Download Images" link at the top right-hand corner of the page to open the download page (
Type "download" in the Username and Password boxes.
Click the Login button.
The collections that can be downloaded will be displayed at the top of the page. (If the collection to which your photo belongs to doesn't appear, then the image can't be downloaded.)
Click on the collection to which your photo belongs (Michael John Glynne Collection).
Find the image you want to download either by browsing or using the search box.
Click on the magnifying glass underneath the photo you want to download.
This will open the image in a new window and the watermark will be removed. Right-click on the photo. Selecting "Save as" from the drop-down menu will offer you the option of saving it to your hard drive, CD, memory stick etc. You can then print it yourself, or take it to a digital photo booth for a professional print. You will also be offered the option of emailing or copying the image.
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 2nd October 2008
Compliments to all at Clare County Library for the fantastic website. The genealogy section is exceptional. It can be held up to the other county libraries as an example of what can be achieved and what they should be striving towards. I only wish all the rest of my family came from Clare!
Yours sincerely,
Orla Kuiper-Ryan

Date: 30th September 2008
Dear Librarian,
We would like to thank you most sincerely for the enjoyment we received from your Summer Reading Challenge. We spent some time in Ennistymon during the summer, and my two children - Aoife (10) and David (8) Cudmore - thoroughly enjoyed the reading challenge. As the weather was occassionally on the damp side a visit to Ennistymon Library was often the highlight of the day. As we have now returned to Brussels where we live, unfortunately we are not in a position to attend the presentation of certificates and are particularly disappointed to miss the opportunity to meet Tony Griffin. Hope you all have a lovely evening.
Keep up the good work.
Kate Cudmore

Date: 22nd September 2008
Hi, I am doing some research for a friend of mine who does not have access to the internet herself and wondered if you can send me in the right direction for her. One of her relatives (Annie CLARE) was born in Liscannor Co. Clare on the 18th October 1860 according to her marriage certificate here in Queensland Australia. Her parents are listed as Patrick CLARE (farmer) and Honora CONSIDINE. She was married in 1881 so assume that she had to have travelled to Australia in that time span. While I do realise that you are very busy, I was wondering if you could advise how to go about finding her birth certificate or any other details on her parents and back from there. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Your web site is fantastic.
Di Woodstock,
Queensland, Australia
[Dear Di,
Thank you for your e-mail to Clare County Library, asking about your friend's family history research, and the Clare family and the Considines of Liscannor, County Clare. The village of Liscannor (and Liscannor townland) falls within the parish of Kilmacrehy. You will find an outline map of county Clare and its constituent parishes at this link (with the parish of Kilmacrehy numbered 13):
Looking at the distribution of Patrick Clares in the Primary Valuation of Ireland (known as Griffith's Valuation, with the county Clare valuations published in 1855), we note a total of four Patrick Clares returned in Clare, three in the parish of Kilmacrehy and one Patrick Clare returned in the parish of Killaspuglonane. (Killaspuglonane is numbered 14 on the above map, a parish immediately adjoing the parish of Kilmacrehy.)
Within the parish of Kilmacrehy, there are entries for Patrick Clare in the following three townlands: Ballyvrislaun, Beaghy, and Derreen.
You will find an outline map of the parish of Kilmacrehy here, showing the location within the parish of Ballyvrislaun (numbered 13), Beaghy (numbered 14) and Derreen (numbered 18):
Looking at the detail of the entries in the printed valuation books, I think it likely that the three entries for Patrick Clare in the parish of Kilmacrehy (in Ballyvrislaun, Beaghy and Derreen) all refer to the one person. In Beaghy townland, Patrick Clare is listed as having a house, office (agricultural outbuildings) and land, in Ballyvrislaun he shares a holding with two others (John Carroll and Tom McMahon) where he has a herdsman's house and land, and in Derreen he has land only. It seems likely to conclude that the three entries refer to the one person (or may refer to the one person), and that he had holdings and interests in land in three different parts of the parish.
Note the Considine and Clare families returned in Ballyvrislaun townland in Kilmacrehy in 1855. It is likely that the James Considine of Ballyvrislaun in 1855 was Annie's father-in-law.
Going back further in time, the tithing records for the parish of Kilmacrehy date from 1826. See
There are certainly Clare families resident in Ballyvrislaun (spelled Ballyvrislane at this time) in 1826 as well as in Beaghy (spelled Behhy).
Moving forward in time (1826, 1855) to the 1901 census of Ireland, note the Ballyvrislaun census returns here, where there are Clares (variant spelling of the Clare surname) and Considines returned. Quite possibly, some of the Clares returned here (the males in their thirties and forties) are brothers or cousins of Annie Clare, born in 1860.
The Beaghy 1901 census returns are here,
As Annie Clare was born in 1860, it will unfortunately not be possible to get her birth certificate. The civil registration of births, deaths and marriages began in Ireland in 1864. In the absence of a civil record, your friend may like to see if she can get a copy of Annie Clare's baptismal record from the parish register. The baptismal register for Liscannor Roman Catholic parish (approximating to the civil parish of Kilmacrehy) begins in 1843. She should write to: Very Reverend Denis Crosby, Parish Priest, Church of Saint Brigid, Liscannor, County Clare.
There are general family history and historical resources for the parish of Kilmacrehy at this link on our website:
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library]

Date: 18th September 2008
Just visited your web page – fascinating! I am a PhD student in Trinity College Dublin in the process of researching the county gaols of Ireland in the nineteenth-century. Do you hold the original grand jury minutes books? I am interested in obtaining information re the building of the county gaol and also the grand jury map for the area. Looking forward to your reply.
Best wishes,
Catherine Mullan Byrne.
[Dear Catherine,
Thank you for your e-mail asking about grand jury maps of Clare, and other relevant materials to your PhD work in Trinity. Copies of the grand jury maps of 1787 are kept in the Local Studies Centre in Ennis,
Note that they are also digitised on our website,
The grand jury minute books are held by our sister service, Clare County Archives, whom you should contact directly.
There are presentment books in Local Studies with the earliest presentment book date being 1830. Local Studies also has a copy of building plans for Ennis Courthouse (1845) by H. Whitestone and J. B. Keane (if you are doing ancillary services such as police barracks and courthouses), as well as copies of the 'Report of the Inspector-General of Prisons on the Clare County Gaol, at Ennis' for the years 1871, 1872 and 1876. Tim Kelly's paper, "Ennis County Jail" would give a good introduction to the jail in Ennis. (North Munster Antiquarian Journal Vol. XVI (1973/4) pp. 66 - 69.)
The county jail (and its proximity to the police barracks and the former courthouse) is shown on the Ordnance Survey 1841 maps of Ennis, a copy of which can also be viewed here. Note also John Bradley's County Clare Urban Archaeology Survey (typescript, 1988) pp. 52/3. We have noted a couple of items relating to the gaol in 1871 in the Clare Champion newspaper of 31 March and 23 June 2006. We have some other items from the newspapers on the jail noted here, as well.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library]

Date: 15th September 2008
I’d like to locate information on Sir Hugh D. Massy, Bt. who was a land owner in County Clare during the 19th century. He owned acreage in the Parish of Kilseily near Broadford. Can you direct me to some references that I can consult? If there are published works, I might be able to obtain them at the Library of Congress here in Washington, DC. You have a wonderful website and have put a great deal of useful information on it which is valuable for those of us across the pond. Many thanks for your advice.
Eleanor Boyne,
Virginia, USA
[Dear Eleanor,
Thank you for your e-mail enquiring about materials on Sir Hugh D. Massy, Bt, and for your kind comments on the Clare library website. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot in published form on the life and times of Sir Hugh Dillon Massy (c. 1797 - 1870), the third Baron Massy. I note a few items below, and I will be happy to post out to you photocopies of same if you wish to email me your full postal address:
John Bourke. 'The tenants of Sir Hugh Dillon Massy near Clonlara, Co. Clare, in 1844' "The Irish Ancestor" XVII (2) 1985 pp. 72 - 4;
Freddie Bourke. 'The Massys of Doonass.' "Kiltenanlea Parish Church, Clonlara, Co. Clare 1782 - 1992" pp. 16/7;
'Death of Sir Hugh Dillon Massey, Bart.' "Clare Journal" 3 November 1870;
'Anglesborough / Massey Lodge.' "The Irish Times" 28 April 2003, page 2 (Feature on the Massy/ Massey family in general);
Index entries on the Massy family members in Hugh W. L. Weir's "Houses of Clare" (1986. 2 ed. 1999);
Massy entry in Burke's 'Peerage and baronetage' (1912 edition), pages 1297 - 1300.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library]

Date: 14th August 2008
Dear sir/madam,
We are inquiring as to whether or not Queen Victoria ever visited Killaloe. We heard she visited during her jubilee year (not sure if that is her golden 1887 or her diamond jubilee 1897). Perhaps it was another part of Clare she visited? We would be very grateful for any information you may have on the matter.
Kind regards,
Frank Daly & Denise Murphy
[Dear Denise and Frank,
Queen Victoria made four visits to Ireland during her sixty-four years on the throne, the first in August 1849 when the royal yacht docked in Cobh (subsequently re-named Queenstown in her honour), the second in August 1853 on the occasion of the Irish International Industrial Exhibition when the Queen and Prince Albert visited Dublin and its environs for a week. The third visit was from 21 to 30 August 1861 when Victoria and Prince Albert, the Prince Consort, visited Dublin and Killarney, and the fourth visit, when Queen Victoria was in somewhat feeble health and against the background of the second Boer War was from 3 to 26 April 1900 when the royal party stayed in the Vice Regal Lodge in Dublin. On the 1861 visit Prince Albert visited Curragh Camp as well as the Kildare Street Club, Trinity College and the National Agricultural Training College in Glasnevin. The itinerary on the royal train to Killarney included stops at Portarlington, Thurles ("the station was crowded to suffocation by the peasantry of the surrounding districts, who welcomed her Majesty with a cheer such as Tipperary boys only can give," according to a contemporary newspaper report), Limerick Junction, Kilmallock, Mallow and then Killarney. A local committee in Clare raised a subscription to present the queen with a "photograph album of Irish manufacture containing views of our beautiful Clare scenery" on the occasion of Queen Victoria's 1900 visit, when Victoria was accompanied by Princess Henry of Battenberg. This presentation volume, along with a loyal address from the people of Clare to her Majesty was accepted on the queen's behalf by her private secretary in Buckingham Palace in April 1900. As far as I am aware, Queen Victoria never visited Killaloe or any part of county Clare.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library.]

Date: 9th July 2008
I just wanted to say what a fantastic resource you have on your website for genealogy. I've been searching for information on my ancestors - Thynne's, Murphy's, Hehirs & O'Neil's - who came from County Clare to Australia in the 1800s and have found an amazing amount of information! I work in the Central Highlands Library Co. here in Victoria, Australia, so it's been great looking at your website, appreciating the hard work you have put into it!
Congratulations on a job well done!
Best wishes,
Kerryn Taylor

Date: 26th June 2008
Re: Access to Clooney, Bunratty Upper Records
I believe that my great grandmother, Mary Katherine, or Katherine Mary Costello was born to James and Bridget(Murphy) Costello 19 January, 1834 and was baptized in Clooney Parish. She married James Murphy approximately 1855 and they had my grandfather, James Murphy 27 October, 1861. I believe that the baptisms and marriage were performed in that church. How can I access those records? Also, I came across a photo in the Murphy Hynes Kilkee collection (undated) showing a group of people and stating that the child in the front row is "Costelloe who had a weak hand and drowned picking sluacán”. What is sluacán? I sure appreciate the help that you've given me in the past. I can only hope that I can eventually locate relatives in Ireland.
Thanks again.
James Murphy Ryan
[Dear James,
Thank you for your e-mail enquiring about accessing parish records for the parish of Clooney in the barony of Bunratty Upper for a wedding in 1855 and a baptism in 1861. For the civil parish of Clooney, Bunratty Upper, you are looking for the parish registers for the Roman Catholic parish of Quin in the diocese of Killaloe. The baptismal register for Quin begins in 1816 and its register of weddings in 1833. You will find a link to Quin parish, its clergy and their contact details at this link:
Sluacán is a form of shore food that was, and is to this day, popular in west Clare (along with periwinkles). A form of sea grass or dulse, it was eaten with potatoes and cabbage, and sometimes used as a cabbage-substitute. One elderly resident of the parish of Kilmurry Ibrickane commented in a 2001 interview: "We couldn't get enough of sea grass. We'd buy sleabhcán and eat it with potatoes. We cooked cabbage and sleabhcán together. It was boiled in a pot until it was soft. It was cooked in a cast-iron pot - a small little pot or skillet. You hung it over the fire with a pot hook. You let it cook until it is nice and soft. You can eat it hot or cold. Some people would eat it with potatoes. It is most beautiful. The liquid from it provided great nourishment. It is very healthy." Jet black in colour, sluacán along with the other west Clare shore foods (including carrageen moss and báirneachs, another form of shellfish) were also a source of income, with these natural products sold outside Sunday Masses in west Clare up to the 1940s.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library]

Date: 18th June 2008
Hello. I am doing some research on my great-great-grandmother, Mary Gavin. One record shows that she was baptized in the town of Cohira, County Clare, in 1848. I have been unable to locate a town by that name. Could you please tell me if the name of the town is correct, and if Cohira still exists?
Thank you very much.
Kevin Cullen
Indiana, USA
[Dear Kevin,
Thank you for your e-mail to Clare County Library asking about the location of the Clare placename, Cohira, circa 1848. Unfortunately, I know of no place in county Clare called Cohira. Possibly, Cohira is a transcription (a mis-transcription) of the townland Caherea in the parish of Clondagad.
You will find an outline map of county Clare with its constituent parishes at this link: The parish of Clondagad is numbered 46 on this map.
You will find an outline map of the parish of Clondagad at this link, with the townland of Caherea numbered 5:
Note that Caherea is a border townland within the parish of Clondagad and shares borders with the neighbouring parishes of Kilmaley to the north and Killone to the north-east. The name Caherea comes from the Irish, Cathair Aodh, and translates into English as 'Hugh's stone fort' or 'the residence or town of Hugh.' You will find a list of family history resources for the parish of Clondagad at this link:
Note the presence of Matthew Gavin and Patrick Gavin in Caherea in the 1855 Griffith's Valuations. Possibly, one of these might be the father of your great-great-grandmother. Matthew occupied some 32 acres in Caherea in 1855; and Patrick had a small holding attaching to the 22 acres held by his immediate neighbour Patrick Quinn. Both Matthew and Patrick (and Patrick Quinn) were tenants of Thomas Rice Henn. The Henn family were associated with Paradise House in Killadysert having come from England in 1685, and were the local landlords. There is a Honor Gavin returned in the tithing records of 1826 in Cahirea West /Beneden. You will see the area in which Caherea townland is situate on this 1922 map Look for the part of the map showing Clodagad House, Paradise House and the village of Ballynacally in the Shannon Estuary. Caherea is quite close to Liscasey and is situate on the N68 road between Ennis and Kilrush.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library]

Date: 27th May 2008
Query about 1901 and 1911 census
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am a post graduate student at Mary Immaculate College and am making an enquiry regarding the 1901 census of Co. Clare. Can you tell me where would an individual obtain access to the 1901 census records of Sallybank and Truagh, Co. Clare please? I know these locations are near Broadford, Co. Clare but I have searched rigoursly through the website with no luck. Can you also tell me when will the 1911 census records become availabe please? Whenever I can I love to participate in the area of genealogy and am currently researching the various records on the Phayer/Phayre/Phaire/Phair family.
Looking forward to your reply,
John Phayer

[Hello John,
There are two adjacent townlands in Killuran Parish known as ‘Drumsillagh, or Sallybank Merrit’ and ‘Drumsillagh, or Sallybank Parker’. In the 1901 census they are in the D.E.D. of Cloghera (, in Limerick Union. The 1901 census returns for Sallybank Merritt are at
and those for Sallybank Parker are at
. The Truagh you are looking for is probably Trough in O’Briensbridge Parish, also in Cloghera D.E.D. Its returns are at All the Phayers in Clare in 1901 can be seen in the surname index to the census on page
. Our combined list of surnames ( shows the incidence of the name in the Tithe Applotment Books and Griffith’s Valuation as well as the 1901 census.
It can be confusing when trying to correlate the various land division (townlands, parishes, D.E.D. Unions) of the different sources.

The online Ordnance Survey maps ( are a good place to start. In the ‘Open a search list’ box, select ‘Townlands/Towns’. By typing in the townland name you will be directed, not only to the map of the townland, but also to a webpage containing the census and Griffith’s Valuation for that townland. (The Tithes’ townlands are different, so are not included.) Although you had a different name for Truagh than the ‘official’ one, by typing in ‘T’ or ‘Tr’, all the townlands beginning with those letters would be shown on the list. By clicking on a name the location is indicated on the green map of Clare, helping you to decide whether it’s the relevant townland or not.
In the case of Sallybank, this wouldn’t work, though, as the townlands are listed under ‘D’ (for ‘Drumsillagh, or Sallybank Merrit’ and ‘Drumsillagh, or Sallybank Parker’) and not under ‘S’ (for Sallybank). (The structure of the software didn’t allow us to enter alternative names for townlands.) For that reason, if you fail to find a townland, but you know roughly where it is situated, it’s a good idea to search the maps by parish. You can do this by clicking the ‘Show only entries of’ option in the search window, and select the parish/es you want to view from the drop-down menu. The townlands in the parish will be listed, and shown on the map as well. By holding down the control key, you can enlarge the area of the map that contains the parish. A green dot indicates the centre of each townland and clicking on a dot will give you the option of viewing the map and webpage for each townland.
Clare County Library doesn’t have the resources to digitize the 1911 Census, but the National Archives is undertaking it. You can read about it on their website at Contact me if I can help you in the future and good luck with your research,
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 26th May 2008
you have the most amazing genealogy site. I really applaud you. I am looking for information on my grandfather, Edward Fennell - born about 1856 in Bridges of Ross, Kilballyowen, Kilrush, died about 1900 or 1899. He married Bridget Keane about 1875. I am looking for the names of his parents. I believe they died young- had three children – two children went to Australia - Kate and John (I think) leaving my grandfather in the house. My grandfather’s parents died young as I said, but his grandparents raised the children in the house in Ross. In Grifftiths Valuation 1855, I found a Patrick Fennell - I believe may be the father or grandfather. What is the point of the Valuation? Can you point me the right direction? In the Census of 1901, I found my father –also Edward - 3 years old, living in the house with his mother as head of the house - Bridget keane and other siblings.
Thank you.
Jeanne Stewart- Westport,

[Dear Jeanne,
Thank you for your e-mail to Clare County Library and for your kind comments on our website. There were many Fennells returned in the townland of Ross, parish of Kilballyowen, in the Primary Valuation of Ireland published in 1855 (known as Griffith's Valuation). You will find some general information on the background to Griffith's Valuation at this link on our website at:

You will find the Kilballyowen 1855 valuations here, showing the six Fennells returned in Ross (Thomas, Patrick, Michael (aka John), John, Michael (Senior), and Matthias):
All these Fennells as well as the other occupiers of land in Ross leased their lands from the landlord Nicholas Westby. The Westby landlords (Edmund and Nicholas) owned some 27,300 acres of land in the Kilrush Poor Law Union at this time (including 490 acres in Ross), returning an annual rent of some £6,000. The Westbys were only able to collect between £1,800 and £1,900 (about a third of the expected annual rental) in 1849, owing to the effects of the Great Famine which began in 1847. You can compare these Ross 1855 valuations with the census returns for Ross in 1901, where there are seven Fennell households returned (headed by John, Patt, Michael, Martin, Mathew, Bridget, and Tom). You have already noted your father Edward in 1901, then aged three living with his widowed mother Bridget on this page.

Looking at the 1911 census return for this family, not currently digitised, I note that Bridget is again returned as the head of family with her children Patrick (aged 35), John (aged 20), Eleanor (aged 16) and your father, returned as Edmond and aged 14. Bridget states on the 1911 census return that she has been married for 36 years in 1911 (notwithstanding her status as a widow) indicating a date of marriage of 1875, as you suggest. She also states that nine children were born to the marriage of whom seven were still living at the time of the 1911 census of Ireland. The Roman Catholic parish register for the Catholic parish of Cross begins in 1878 which is perhaps too late for the marriage of your grandfather Edward Fennell to Bridget Keane in 1875. There is a link to the Catholic parish via this website, In the absence of a parish record of Edward's and Bridget's marriage in 1875, it would be worth checking the register in the General Register's Office for births, deaths and marriages which commenced in 1864, see
Perhaps their marriage was civilly registered and you will be able to acquire a copy of the relevant certificate. Note generally the Fennells and Finnells listed in the 1850 - 51 Kilrush workhouse fatality returns, at the height of the Great Famine which badly affected west Clare. See These lists are contemporaneous with the Griffith's Valuation lists noted above. If you e-mail me your full postal address in Connecticut I will be happy to post out to you the 1911 census head of household form for Bridget Fennell and her family.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library.]

Date: 26th may 2008
Re:WILLIAM FARR born Clare county circa 1763
I am researching a WILLIAM FARR who inlisted in United States Marines at Albany New York in 1799. His enlistment paper indicates he was born in Clare County Ireland 1763. I see the name FARRELL in your county but not FARR. However you probably have many more resources than I have. Do you find the family name FARR in your county 1763-1790s?
Terry Schaub
[Dear Terry,
Thank you for your e-mail to Clare County Library enquiring about the Farr family and their Clare connections in the late eighteenth century. Unfortunately, I can trace no Farrs in county Clare at any period in time. The surname is not particularly prevalent in Ireland but seems to be found in the Ulster counties when it does occur (the counties of Armagh, Antrim - including Belfast - and Tyrone). There seem to have been some Farrs in Cork in the mid nineteenth century. There is a book called "Pharrs and Farrs with other descendants from five Scotch-Irish pioneers in America, also some other Farrs and miscellaneous data" written by Henry N. Pharr and published in New Orleans in 1955. This book might be useful for you; perhaps you can obtain it in a library in St Louis or through inter-library loan. There was an article published on Colonel Robert Phaire and his ancestry, history and descendants published serially in the "Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society" in 1924, 1925, 1926 and 1927. Perhaps someone in Cork City Library can supply you with a photocopy of this article (see Note the surname variants Phair; Phaire; and Phayer. I am sorry that I do not have further information for you.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library.

Date: 21st May 2008
To: Maureen Comber
Dear Maureen,
I am an archaeologist based in NUIG and I've been asked to give a lecture on Bunratty Castle to the British Archaeological Association in early July. In looking for early images of the castle, I came across three wonderful photographs (00000465.jpg; 00000466.jpg; 00000467.jpg) of the castle in the MacNamara Collection on your website. Would it be possible to get copies of these images for my work? They would initially be used in a PowerPoint presentation during the lecture, but I believe that the BAA publish their proceedings and so I may, in time, be seeking further permission to publish the images. Any advice which you could give me on how to proceed would be great.
Many thanks,
Rory Sherlock
[Hello Rory.
Yes, the MacNamara photos of Bunratty Castle are superb, and you are welcome to use them for your presentation. I can email the JPGs to you if that suits. I can send you high resolution images for the publication later on if necessary. We don’t charge for non-commercial/academic publications but ask that the photographer and the library are acknowledged.
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 20th May 2008
Hi, I am trying to find a place on my grandmother's marriage certificate called Ballynee. She was born in 1864 and married in Melbourne, Australia in 1889. There is reference to a Ballynee in a 1627 document drawn up at Sixmilebridge in that year so it would hopefully be a rural area somewhere near that town. When I come to Ireland next September I would like to find the record of her birth (Mary Josephine McMahon) because up until now we have been unable to find any record. I would need to find the parish church for Ballynee & hope that records exist back to 1864!! If you can help point me in the right direction, I would be most grateful.
Brian Scanlan,
Hampton Vic Australia
[[Dear Brian,
Thank you for your e-mail to Clare County Library asking about the location of Ballynee in county Clare, circa 1864. Unfortunately, I do not know of any place in County Clare called Ballynee (or indeed in Ireland; none is listed in the "General alphabetical index to the townlands and towns, parishes and baronies of Ireland" compiled in 1851). I wonder if it might be Ballynoe? Ballynoe names a townland in the parish of Inagh. In 1855, there were three households returned in this townland (Synge; Carty; Griffy) and you can see the 1901 census returns for this townland here:
Perhaps it might be the townland of Ballynew in the parish of Kilfarboy? You will find the 1855 returns for Ballynew here:; and the 1901 census returns for Ballynew are here:
You will find an outline map of county Clare showing its constituent parishes here, with the parish of Inagh (for Ballynoe) numbered 24 and the parish of Kilfarboy (for Ballynew) numbered 39. Inagh and Kilfarboy are neighbouring parishes.
These might be the two best parishes on which to concentrate your search, perhaps Kilfarboy (bearing in mind the places mentioned in 1627) being the more likely place.
Note also the Clare Past forum on our website, where you can post a query about Ballynee to forum members.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library.]

Date: 19th May 2008
[Re "Inhabitants of Scattery Island (from the earliest recorded times to the 1940s)"]
An amazing amount of research, I have spent hours reading. My ancestors (Melicans) were one of the first inhabitants of the island. Sincere thanks to Senan for giving us the chance to read about the families using the internet. Just amazing !
Carol Sanders
[This comment first appeared on the Library Blog]

Date: 16th May 2008
Can you tell me if it would it be possible to purchase some of the photos you have on your website? They are from the Murphy Hynes Kilkee Collection.
Eileen Gibbs
[Hello Eileen,
All the Murphy Hynes Collection can be downloaded free from the website - for personal, non-commercial use only. I give instructions below. If you have difficulty doing this please do get back to me.
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Photos of which the library holds copyright can be downloaded from the library website as follows: On the library’s homepage click on “photos” or the photograph in the middle of the page. On the Foto homepage click on the "Download Images" link at the top right-hand corner of the page to open the download page.
Type "download" in the Username and Password boxes. Click the Login button. The collections that can be downloaded will be displayed at the top of the page. (If the collection to which your photo belongs to doesn't appear, then the image can't be downloaded.) Click on the collection to which your photo belongs (Murphy Hynes Kilkee Collection). Find the image you want to download either by browsing or using the search box. Click on the magnifying glass underneath the photo you want to download. This will open the image in a new window and the watermark will be removed. Right-click on the photo. Selecting "Save as" from the drop-down menu will offer you the option of saving it to your hard drive, CD, memory stick etc. You can than print it yourself, or take it to a digital photo booth. You will also be offered the option of printing, emailing or copying the image.]

Date: 9th May 2008
Dear Sir/Madam,
I found your site while searching for my Great Grandparents, and cannot believe how much information I have gotten from it. My great grandparents were James Nolan and Helen (Ellen) Scanlan and are mentioned on your site as residing on Scattery Isle during the 1840s-50s.You have their marraige details listed and I would like to know can you direct me to the relevant people to obtain the marriage cert and birth details of the two of them and their son John born Ireland around 1855? They left Ireland completely around 1855 and ended up in Glasgow, Scotland. My grandfather, their son, came to Liverpool around 1920s and stayed. I would be most grateful if you have an email address for any of the Scanlans mentioned on your site, or anyone interested in the genealogy of the family.
Yours Sincerely,
Maureen Foy.
[Hello Maureen,
The information on James and Ellen’s marriage was found in the Catholic Church registers in Kilrush, as Scattery is in that parish. Civil (State) registration didn’t begin in Ireland until 1863, so you will not be able to get any Birth or Marriage certs for the family. Luckily, the church records of marriage and baptism cover the relevant years. The marriage registers for Kilrush date from January 1829 and baptism registers from August 1827, with December 1831 – January 1833 missing. If they were still on Scattery when John was born, his baptism should be recorded in the Kilrush baptismal registers. If you write to the Parish Priest, Kilrush, Co. Clare he will look up the registers for you for the 1853-55 period. I will forward your email to Senan Scanlan, the author of Inhabitants of Scattery Island. He should be able to help you research the Scanlans further.
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 29th January 2008
Below is my recent post to our Irish in Chicago genealogy group. Congratulations and sincere thanks to your staff for the remarkable results on your genealogy page. Your entire County Clare Library website is the most excellent online library site I have seen anywhere.
Well done!
Nan Brennan
Subject: Co Clare research-- a superior model for genealogy
Date: January 28, 2008 9:26:47 PM CST
The Co Clare Libary website is absolutely extraordinary. I have never seen such a organized, comprehensive, integrated genealogy site anywhere. And it's all free. They have nearly all---much more than the 1901 census. Hundreds upon Hundreds of databases from 1570-1922, and tens of thousands of records, or more. It's staggering.
The home page for genealogy is beautifully laid out. If you are researching Co Clare ancestors, you've just found genealogy heaven! If you are not, take a look at it anyway. It informs and guides you in all the the various resources that either are available or that you may want to explore in your own research, no matter what the county of origins for your Irish ancestors.

Date: 26th February 2008
I am a librarian working in Cambridge and in my spare time I am writing a book about the scientist Dionysius Lardner, whose family came from Clare. I have found your website very useful and interesting, thanks, and have written the attached draft chapter about William O'Brien Lardner's youth in Ennis. I am a bit unclear as to which O'Brien was the Earl of Inchiquin in 1780 cited in Liam de Paor's book and if it was the same Lucius O'Brien who was the MP. If you could clear me up on this point I would be grateful. Also, if you notice any other inaccuracies please let me know. I can probably clarify this point in one of our books on the O'Briens myself if it is hard for you to find out... I have never been to Ennis but having read your website would love to visit your town and Library one day in the future. In the mean time your website has saved me much time and expense in research.
Thanks again,
Best wishes,
Anna Martin
Essex, UK,
[Dear Anna,
further to your email of last week to Clare County Library and your query as to which O'Brien was the Earl of Inchiquin in 1780. Murrough O'Bryen was the fifth Earl of Inchiquin, succeeding to the title after the death of his uncle William in 1777. Murrough O'Bryen, the fifth earl, was the 1st Marquess of Thomond, a title created in December 1800. This Murrough O'Bryen died in February 1809. This information is gleaned from Burke's Peerage, 1912 edition, in the entry on Inchiquin (page 1040). I note the entry on Lardner by William J. Davis in the "Blackwell companion to modern Irish culture" (Oxford: Blackwell, 1999). I also note a piece in the "Clare Champion" on the death of William Lardner, circa 1872. If you wish, I will be happy to post these two items out to you.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library]

Date: 24th January 2008
Good Morning.
When complete, I will have a personal database of approximately 200 Clare surnames from both Roman Catholic and Civil records. I'd like to post this to the Clare Library website. Is this something you would accept? If so, would you be so kind as to advise how I proceed with submission?
Thank you for the wonderful website you have created for us US descendants of Clare born.
Judith Mason
Chicago IL USA
[Dear Judith,
We would be glad to receive your list of Clare people for the library's website. Could you attach the database to an email and send it to me?
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 21st January 2008
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am writing to you in connection with a photograph of the Mid Clare Brigade of the Irish Volunteers during the War of Independence which is reproduced on your website on page
I will be publishing an article on the Irish Catholic bishops' attitude towards republican violence during the War of Independence in the April 2008 edition of Leidschrift, a Dutch historical journal ( and would like to request your permission to use this photograph as an illustration in the article.
Thank your for your help in this matter.
Yours faithfully,
Brian Heffernan
PhD student in the Department of History, NUI Maynooth
[Dear Brian,
You are welcome to use the photo of the Mid Clare Brigade on our website for your article in Leidschrift. If you right-click on the image you will be able to save it.
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 9th January 2008
I am writing to ask for some advice. In April I am travelling to Cooraclare, Clare to begin a database of the school records of Cooraclare National School. I understand that some of these records may go back as far as the late 1800s, but I have not seen them yet, and I do not know what sort of condition they are in.
I have permission of the School Board to begin creating a database of the records, and I hope that when this is completed (this may take several trips to Clare) it could be put on the County Clare Library's web page as a genealogical resource. I am a librarian from Melbourne, and I made great use of the resources of your library when I visited in 2006.
The advice I am seeking is: can you tell me the best format to create the database in, so that it will be suitable to add to your records? I see that there are several sets of school records on your web site already and I would like the database I create to be similar to these...
Thank You for your assistance,
Meredith Reidy,
Melbourne, Australia
[Hello Meredith,
it is good news to hear that you will shortly begin digitising the Cooraclare National School Registers and even better that you intend to donate the results to Clare Library's website. There are many registers in schools around the county and it is important that these records are transcribed and made available to researchers. Regarding the database itself, I would favour Microsoft Access, or as a second choice, you could use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. I like to present the information as it appears in the registers and to arrange it alphabetically by surname as well. If you do not have either of the Microsoft packages, any database which allows this basic manipulation will suffice, as long as we can open them on our PCs here. If you have an alternative database in mind, let me know and I can check if we will be able to open it. We have a lot of experience at this stage of dealing with data in many formats. I'd be very glad to meet you in April when you come over, and don't hestiate to contact me in the meantime if I can help in any way.
Thank you, and Cooraclare NS Board of Management for your generosity,
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 4th January 2008
Dear Sir/Madam,
I am 5th Year student currently researching for my Leaving Cert research project in history. I have found a wealth of information with regards to the subject I am researching (family history) throughout the past year on your website and it has proved to be an invaluable resource for my study. I was just wondering if you would be able to tell me if school registers exist for all the primary schools in the county and where I would be able to view them if they do as I have a relative named Patrick Maher who was born in 1893 and attended Doolin National School in his younger years. I was also wondering if there were any local newspapers that I could view for about the year 1910/11 as I am interested in studying them for a certain section of my research. Any help would be much appreciated.
Yours sincerely,
Ailbhe Curran
[Hello Ailbhe,
Thank you for your email and for your encouraging comments on the library's website. While we have been able to acquire and transcribe some registers to date, in general, national school registers are held in their schools, so I would suggest you contact the principal of Doolin National School, James Shannon. Contact details are on our site at
The Local Studies Centre here in Ennis holds copies of the Clare Champion, Clare Journal and the Saturday Record for 1910/11. The 1911 census is also there, which might be useful to you for your genealogical research. The opening hours of the Centre are on The newspapers and census are on microfilm so it would be best for you to reserve a microfilm reader before you drop in. The phone number is 065 6846271 and the librarian there is Peter Beirne.
Best of luck with your project,
Maureen Comber,
Clare County Library]

Date: 4th January 2008
I am researching the O’Brien family that was located at Moyaddamore in the 1850’s. Many of the family were apparently buried at a place called “Molocha Graveyard” which was apparently five miles SE of Kilrush. Can you tell me whether the graveyard still exists and if so, how I might research its history of internment?
Thank you,
Wendy Ice,
Portland, Oregon US
P.S. Thank you for all of the wonderful geneaological resources on your site.
[Dear Wendy,
Thank you for your e-mail to asking about the Molocha graveyard near Kilrush. There is a graveyard in the townland of Molougha, which is situated due east of Kilrush town, and immediately south, south-east from the townland of Moyadda More. Here is an outline map of the parish of Kilrush which shows the relative positions of Kilrush town (Kilrush townland, numbered 20), Moyadda More (numbered 32), and Molougha (numbered 30):
Molougha (which is pronounced phonetically exactly as you rendered it, namely 'Molocha') derives its name from the Irish, 'Magh locha' which means the meadow by the lake, and the townland sits beside St Senan's Lake. St Senan, the patron saint of West Clare, was reputed by some authorities to be born at or near Molougha. See
The graveyard in Molougha is located in the grounds of St Senan's Church and beside a nineteenth century road. You will find a link to Molougha graveyard on our website at this page: If you have broadband access, you can see the church on the 1842 Ordnance Survey map by following the link to it on this page.
As regards persons buried there, you could contact the Kilrush Youth Centre and see if Molougha cemetery is included in their inventory of the graveyards of Kilrush parish. The Youth Centre did an extensive gravestone transcription project of the cemeteries in Kilrush parish some years ago, and now have an index of burials for the parish. I presume that Molougha graveyard is included in their files. Contact: Gravestone Transcriptions Project, Kilrush Youth Centre, Kilkee Road, Kilrush, Co. Clare. Telephone + 353 65 9052 009.
With best wishes,
Peter Beirne,
Clare County Library].

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