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Posted: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:04 pm
by Anya
Anyone who has a link to my family please get in touch..I'd love to hear from you.

I'm the great great grand daughter of Edward and Jane Thornton (nee Flood) and John and Catherine McGahern (nee Grey) from Pullabawn/Pollabane County Cavan, Ireland.

-Edward and Jane Thornton (nee Flood) had 7 children. The children are : Thomas b.2nd July 1870, John b.25th August 1872, Patrick b.10th December 1873, Mary Jane b.23rd May 1876, Edward b.11th September 1878, Catherine b.28th August 1881 (my ggm) and Peter b.29th June 1884.
Of these children, my ggm Catherine married John McGahern. Her brother Thomas Thornton married a woman called Bridget Lynch on November 18th 1904 in the Roman Catholic Chapel of Cavan town. The witnesses were her father, Patrick Lynch, and Edward Thornton (my gggf). 6 days later Catherine Thornton married John McGahern at the same church on 24th November 1904. Witnesses were Edward Thornton and John Mcgahern senior.

-Edward and Jane Thornton lived at River Street, Cavan Town, Ireland. River Street is still there, some houses are derelict though. I don't know number of house. I think they might have had shop at one point?
Edward Thornton is later listed in the Census of Ireland 2nd April 1911. He is now living with his daughter Catherine called kate, and son-in-law John McGahern and their children.
He is 86 years old. The address is House No.17. Pollabane. Cavan. It is in the parish of Kilmore, Moynehall.
Pollabane and Pullabawn appear to be the same place. Pollabane is about 3 miles from Cavan town. They lived on a farm.

-John and Catherine McGahern (nee Grey) from Pullabawn. Records for the parish of Kilmore include entries between 1873 and 1881 with a John McGahern named as father to all 4 children. The mother is recorded as Catherine Grey on two of the entries? The children are : John b.31st May 1873, Anne b.13th February 1875, John 2nd July 1879, and Catherine 1st January 1881. I assume the first John may have died? Why name two children John? I think John b.2nd July 1879 is my ggd.
According to the 1901 Census for Pollabane Moynehall, John McGahern is 55 years old and is listed as a Cotter by occupation. He is living with his wife Catherine (nee Grey) who is 50 years old and their son John McGahern (junior) who is 21 years old. The address is no.3 Pollabane. County Cavan.
John McGahern (junior) later met and married Edward Thornton's daughter Catherine (Kate) Thornton. They married on the above date, 24th November 1904.

John McGahern (junior) and Catherine (Kate) nee Thornton had 8 children. I only have information for 3 of them on the Census 1911 because the others hadn't been born. Those on the Census are : Peter McGahern 5 years old, John 3 years (might have got called Jack), and Edward who was 1. Peter McGahern is my grand dad and the reason my search began. The baptismal record for Peter is shown as Peter McGaughran from Pullabawn/pollabane County Cavan. He was baptised in the parish of Kilmore on 15th November 1905 of parents John McGaughran and Kate Thornton.
The name McGaughran and McGahern are used interchangeably.

Peter left Ireland for work and went to Fort William. He then moved to Penrith in England where he met and married my grand mother, Margaret Stainsby (from Dormanstown) who was in service there. Together they moved to Lancaster, Lancashire.
All his siblings are : John/Jack, Edward, Thomas, Michael, Catherine, Mary and Ann. I understand John or Jack moved to Australia. Edward, Thomas, and Ann moved to Stockton on Tees or Middlesbrough. Sadly, his mother Kate McGahern nee Thornton also left Ireland as she was alone there, and went to live in Stockton with her daughter Ann. I understand his sister Catherine moved to Dublin and his sister Mary moved to Worthington.

There wasn't a 1921 Census because of the War of Independence - I think there was a Census in 1926 when Ireland became a Free State. Does anyone have any information on this? My Grand dad would have been 21 in 1926. Is he on the 1926 Census? I guess he would have already left Ireland for work?

If anyone has any information that might help fill gaps, any information at all, and/or any relatives living please feel free to make contact with me. Thank you.

Re: Thornton/Grey/McGaughran/McGahern/McGahran/McGahren

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 11:17 am
by Elwyn 1
Regarding naming 2 children with the same name, it was the custom to try and keep a family name alive and so if a child died the name was often used again for the next one.

In rural areas, the properties have no house numbers (even today in many areas). The house numbers in the censuses were the enumerators private numbering system, and varied from census to census. So they don’t normally relate to any number the house might have today. With farms and rural properties you can often locate where they were using Griffiths Valuation, and the later Valuation Revision records which go up to the late 1920s.

The idea of a single or correct spelling for a surname or a place name is very much a recent phenomenon and before that, especially in Ireland, there was no consistency. Names were spelled phonetically and each variation was down to the whim of the particular person recording the information. You will often see the spelling change as the records go back. This rarely indicates a particular deliberate decision to alter the name nor even a mistake. Not everyone was literate, but even when they were, exact spelling simply wasn’t something they bothered about. In addition to varying the actual spelling, O’ or Mac prefixes were optional and were often omitted.

In Irish (gaelic) the spelling and prefixes vary depending firstly on what case is used (eg genitive usually requires the insertion of an extra “i”), and secondly with a woman’s name, it changed according to her marital status. It is a further factor in explaining why no-one in Ireland worried about the “correct” spelling. There wasn’t one. Expect the spelling to vary.

There was indeed a census in 1926 in Ireland but it remains closed until 2026.

Re: Thornton/Grey/McGaughran/McGahern/McGahran/McGahren

Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:18 pm
by Anya

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for helpful information.