Mary O’Neill

Patrick Kelliher (1834-1895)
Mary O’Neill (1835-)

This page has been created with the input of Meghan Hurlburt, one of whose ancestors was (almost certainly) Mary O’Neill.

Mary O’Neill was the fourth of seven children born to Cornelius O’Neill and Ellen O’Neill. She was born on 06 Sep 1835 in Sunhill, Killorglin, Co Kerry, and married Patrick Kelliher in the Catholic Church in Killorglin on 25 May 1872:

As can be seen, Patrick was described as a 47 year old widower farming at Glounagillagh, a couple of kilometers south west of Killorglin. We discussed the many Kellihers in this region of Co Kerry on Patrick O’Neill & Mary Kelliher‘s page. Another discussion is on Boombridge Genealogy’s page for Patrick’s assumed father. In particular, they claim this:

  1. Patrick Kelliher m Mary Neil was living at Muingaphuca at the time of Griffith’s Valuation, and he lived there until his death in 1895. He had 3 known children. Michael settled in Boston. Elizabeth apparently died as a child. Bridget disappeared, probably moving to the US. Perhaps she is the Bridget Kelliher, traveling with a Timothy Kelliher apparently a relative, to Boston in 1896.
  2. When Patrick Kelliher died, his holding in Muingaphuca went to Timothy Kelliher m Mary Hogan.

The Griffith’s evaluations were taken between 1847 and 1864 and Mary did not marry Patrick until 1872. There are several family researchers who attach an 1847 birth (in Co Cork) for Michael – indeed there is such a birth on 09 Jun 1847 to a Patrick Keleher and Mary Neile, but this is definitely a different family as our Mary O’Neill would have only been 11 years old. Boombridge Genealogy researchers appear to have attached Michael to this couple on the basis of (i) the naturalisation certificate of a Michael Kelliher on 25 Nov 1893 that stated his arrival in Boston on 10 May 1881 and birth in Co Kerry on 24 Jul 1860, and (ii) the marriage of a Michael Kelleher to a Catherine O’Brien in Boston on 06 Jan 1884, the marriage certificate stating his parents to be Patrick & Mary Kelliher. His mother is unlikely to have been Mary O’Neill as her wedding to Patrick did not occur until 1872. Indeed, until we find a document that includes Mary’s maiden name, we are reluctant to include Michael as their son; a search of Irish records shows more than one marriage of a Patrick Kelliher to a Mary between 1860 and 1880 in Co Kerry.

It is possible, however, that the Christian name of Patrick’s first wife was Mary and she passed away at some stage before 1872. Again, an inspection of Irish records shows many such marriages.

Patrick Kelliher died on 11 Apr 1895 at Glannagilliagh, Killorglin, the witness at his death being his daughter Bridget. He was described as a widower, aged 60, a cottier who died of dropsy, a condition he had suffered for 7 months.:

Assuming his age at death is as reported by his family, his year of birth would have been about 1835. Other researchers have stated his birth to be either “Before 1832” or simply around 1827. The only birth record for a Patrick Kelliher around that time whose father was Michael Kelliher is on 19 Feb 1834:

This record is very promising: Michael Murphy was a sponsor at his birth, Patrick Murphy is a witness at his marriage to Mary O’Neill; their daughter Bridget sailed on 24 Apr 1896 with a Timothy Kelliher to Boston to visit a Murphy cousin or friend (it is hard to discern which on that record); and in the 1901 census Bridget resides in Main Street, Killorglin, working for a John Murphy and his family.

A Patrick Keliher married a Mary Lynch on 02 Aug 1852 in the Killarney district. If this is our Patrick, then for him to be described as a widower in 1872 and (as we believe) for him to have had two children before 1872, we need to locate a death record for a Mary Kelliher of the right age who died in that period. We have found just one, a Mary Kelliher who died in the Killarney district aged 43 in 1868.

More on Patrick Kelliher’s first family to follow.

Mary O’Neill was aged 37 when she married Patrick and she had two children over the next 6 years:

01. Elizabeth (b. 28 Apr 1874, d. 04 May 1880)

02. Bridget (b. 19 Jan 1878, d. 10 Mar 1955)

Elizabeth’s birth and death records are as follows; her death at age 6 was a result of scarlatina (scarlet fever):

Bridget’s birth record is this:

When Patrick died in 1895 Bridget was just 17 and consequently was an orphan. On 24 Apr 1896 sailed on the S.S. Pavonia to Boston with a Timothy Kelliher (aged 22), their destination being a cousin (?) Murphy (click the following to view a larger image):

On the same ticket were a John O’Brien (aged 26) and a Minnie O’Brien (aged 28) from Brookhill, some 6km south-east of Killorglin. Bridget arrived back in Queenstown on the Saxonia in Jan 1901, returning (as mentioned above) by 31 Mar (the date of the 1901 census) to work for John Murphy’s family in Killorglin.

Bridget married Eugene Griffin, a farmer at Annascaul on the Dingle Peninsular, on 20 Apr 1902:

On 04 Nov 1910 she arrived in New York on her way to Boston to visit her sister Ellen Dowling; this is the first evidence we have of a sister, and the first evidence we have that she also went by the name Delia, a name she used within family circles: in fact Ellen had called her oldest daughter Delia as well. Ellen would have been Patrick’s daughter from his first marriage. as she gives her birth year as 1863 on her second marriage record.

Click to view a larger image of Delia’s arrival record:

page 2:


%d bloggers like this: