Tracing Your Roots in North-West Connemara

This resource is intended to serve as a repository of sources, and a guide to those who wish to trace their family history in the region. Sources vary from easily accessible online records, to more specialized local sources and national archival resources.

Genealogical research is becoming easier and more popular because of the range of resources available to the researcher. The central aim of this booklet is to provide guidance to the researcher as to which of these sources have records relating to the region and are best fit for purpose. The localized sources listed within will help the researcher in finding a tangible link to their ancestor.

View it online here:

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Or download the PDF here:

Tracing Your Roots in North-West Connemara (1.55 MB)


  1. .Walter A. Jordan says:

    I am interested in information about the Gorham Family. In particular about the family of an Anne Gorham born in Clifden about 1849. She went to Yorkshire,
    England and married a William Bagnall in 1871. She returned to Clifden in Oct.
    1871 for the birth of daughter Sarah. William died about 1876 and Anne married Daniel Jordan ( my Great Grandfather ) in Consett, County Durham, England in 1877.

    Thank You, Walter Jordan, Roscommon Michigan, USA

  2. Michael Coyne says:

    Two great aunts were married in a ‘RC chapel’,so described, by Fr.McAndrew;Bridget Coyne to Patrick McEvilly (1884) and Honor Coyne to Patrick Gavin (1888).This ‘chapel’ according to records was located in the Ballynakill district.The parents of the two girls,Peter and Anne Coyne were long term residents of the Cloon townland near Cleggan.Parish boundaries fo Catholics were moved in the 1860s;Cloon moving from Clifden to Omey Ballindoon and then to Ballynakill/Letterfrack.. Does anyone know the location of this chapel and whether it still exists?I am seeking some pictorial representation-if such exists-or a map reference or written representation..
    Fr.McAndrew was a long serving priest in the Clifden district.
    Michael Coyne
    Auckland NZ.

    • Robert Steingraber says:

      Hi we might have connected before thru another site but i visited this chapel last summer. is located in the village of Tully cross in Ballynakill, renvyle area. it’s the same chapel (Catholics weren’t allowed to use the term “church”l) where my 2nd great grandmother’s sister Jane Lyden married Thomas Thornton before coming to Americain 1868. i was told it was added to in 1927 but i have photos of it i’ll honestl gladly send you if you want to write me at

  3. Hello this is my first time on here and I am looking up my family history and am particularly interested in the EARLEY family and Mary Mullen who married Michael Joyce also a man named Dottle who I am led to believe was a relative of my late great father who always mentioned him as granddad Dottle all help will be greatly welcomed many thanks.

  4. Deborah Mylott McKinnon says:

    My Gr. Granmother Mary Morrin, daughter of Patrick and Bridget (Flanagan) of Rusheen, was born in Ardane East 1869. She arrived in the U.S in 1889 and married Martin Mylott (IRE) in 1894. Her brother Patrick (1871) lived with them for a while in the states. She also had a sister
    Anne (1874) and Bridget (1877). The 1901 census listed Patrick and Bridget alive in the same House in Ardaun East. I am looking for any geneological connections or information. I would be most grateful for any assistance.Thank you kindly.

  5. Steven Dale says:

    I am looking for information on Clifden family…Daniel Conneely born about 1800, married Mary Conery …children Bridget born 1828, Peter Dan, and Margaret. Most migrated to Dixon Illinois…..Any suggestions appreciated.
    Steve Dale

    • Scott Rippe says:

      Hi Steve,

      I also have Coneely/Connelly in early Clifden. My 4th great grandparents were Martin Coneely and Eleanor Mulkerran. The earliest I can place them in Clifden is 1838, with the birth of their first son, Martin. The family emigrated to Scotland (perhaps during the famine), and then to Clinton, Iowa in 1869 — just west of Dixon.


      • Hi Scott,

        My Great Grandfather’s brother Thomas Joyce married Bridget Conneely in Roudstone in 1896. Bridget’s Parents were Thomas Conneely (born 1835) & Anne Mulkerrin (born) 1841. We have there marriage record, which gives us the ability to approximate their year of birth. The marriage record, which took place in Carna in 1865, states their father’s names. Stephen Conneely and Martin Mulkerrin. I have a known cousin that descends from Thomas Joyce/Bridget Conneely. If you have or ever upload your DNA to GEDmatch, let me know so we can compare.


  6. Celia Conneely says:

    I’m interested in finding out about Bridget Gorham who married John Conneely and lived in ballyconneely which are my grandparents parents

  7. I am interested in establishing the connection between my great great grandfather Michael Joseph D’Arcy, born about 1852 either in Dublin or Clifden, and the D’Arcys of Clifden.
    Family lore has it that John D’Arcy the town founder was a great, great uncle to my grandmother, Margaret D’Arcy of Leeds. Having trouble finding documents earlier than the 1881 England census.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated ,

  8. john fitzgerald mannion says:

    would like some help in tracing my grandparents place of birth in Connemara area, my Grandad
    name is Patrick john Mannion born February 1915 and my nan is Nora Christine Mannion, they came to oxford England in the 1960″s with my dad who was Patrick Mannion and his sister connie mannion, lost contact with my dad when I was ten years old and since this all my family have passed away, can anyone help me please
    kind regards
    j f mannion

  9. Does anyone have information about the Jones family.

    My great grandfather John Wesley Jones was post master I think in 1863 when he married Sarah Jane Lynham in Clifden.

    Their daughter Clara Matilda married my Grandfather W T Cairns, Methodist Minister in 1902 in Clifden

    Did they live in the post office itself or in what is now the hotel next door?

    Thank for any info at all!


  10. R. John Van Marter says:

    I’m looking for information about my Mother’s family. The 1911 Census showed that my mothers Father John Lally 42 and Mother Bridget Lally 35 lived in house 3 in Coolacloy.

  11. Colleen Schinkel says:

    looking for Lydon’s, Patrick and Mary, with daughter Margaret. Their son’s were sea captains. They came to Canada in the 1850-1860’s, Margaret married my great grandfather, Martin McCormack. Would anyone have any information

  12. Christine Austin says:

    Hi guys I hope someone out their could help me ?I’m from NZ trying to trace my 3 x great grand father Peter Joyce all I know is that he is from Ireland went to England married a Mary Moore and lived in Cheshire England.
    Any info would be great

  13. I am a descendant of Bridget D’Arcy born 1836 in Clifden to Nicholas D’Arcy and Mary or May. M. Bridget married William J. Dalton. They moved to Nee York where their children were born. I would appreciate any info. Bridget was baptized in Roman. Catholic Church in Clifden.

  14. Pat Brassey Davies says:

    My Great Grandfather was a deep sea Captain from Connemara who was the first man to sail his ship under a world famous bridge. He was then presented with a gold watch to mark the occasion. He gave the watch to my Great Grandmother but it went astray during WW11.
    Apparently he was unable to marry my Great Grandmother when her son was born in 1898, and due to the birth being outside marriage, the subject became taboo within the family. All I have is a note from my Father (now deceased) giving the above information.
    Having just found this website I wondered if you may be able to guide me as to where I can search next as the internet hasn’t come up with any clues so far.
    Kind regards,
    Pat Brassey Davies nee O’Hara.

  15. Hi my dads mum was named eskin, may bee wrongly spelt, they escaped the famine and cme to uk, love to find family ty tracy

  16. steve clay says:

    Has anyone have any information about the Mannion deserted village,consisting of about 3 cottage ruins somewhere beside the old Galway to Clifden railway line,which my wifes mothers family the Mannions used to live in the early 1920 s.They lived at the side of the railway cutting as they helped build the line,I believe the area is Tomboola as my mother in law used to walk to school there.We did find the ruins near to Ballynahinch castle 10 year ago but a few years on return could not find them as they were so overgrown.and no information.

  17. Mellissa Freeman says:

    Hi I’m researching my paternal grandfathers family they lived in clifden,they had a farm or so I’m told.My grandad was joseph Mcdonagh and his parents were Micheal and Catherine (maiden name was geary)and his siblings were Patrick,john,shamus (or James),Rita ,Annie,Thomas and grandad was born in 1935 and left home when he was very young he lived in Liverpool with his wife and 7 children untill he died in 2008.I have been told that Annie married into a family named Mitchell and had quite a few children I believe that she is the only sibling left.I would love to know more about my familys past as its something i have always been proud of plus I’m supposed to look a lot like Catherine so i hope to see some photos.anyone with any information at all i would love to here from you.thank you in advance.

  18. Mary Lynn Edwards says:

    Looking for information regarding the Curran family Patrick and Sarah Curran lived at house 4 in Ardmore (Skannive) Clifden Parish, Galay around1891. They had 7 children. One son Mark Curran was 7 in 1891.

  19. Anthony Lydon says:

    Hi , I am trying to find information about my grandfather PATRICK JOESEPH LYDON born 1891 in Derrinver and my grandmother ELLEN HOPE (helen lydon) born 1889 in Cashleen. They emigrated to USA and returned in 1919, and had children Helen,William, Patrick, Mae,Joeseph and John.
    Any info gratefully received in particular as I need to get hold of their marriage and death certificates to apply for Irish ancestry!
    Thank you in advance

  20. May Tindal says:

    Hi, I live in Adelaide, South Australia and I am trying to get information of my grandfathers family who lived in Clifden .
    My Great Great Grandfather Samuel Connis or Coneys was born in Clifden and from there moved to Glasgow, Scotland.
    Any information on the family of Coneys, Connis, or Conniss would be greatly appreciated.

  21. sarah laing says:

    Hi, my great grandfather was Sam coneys. Moved to Glasgow but.. there were two of them I believe. I am in Perth WA. Lots of stuff to tell you. How do we get in touch

    • Ann Crawford says:

      Hi. I’m trying to find out about the Coneys family too and it’s possible that your Samuel Coneys is the younger brother of my Great, great grandmother Eliza Coneys. Her parents were Walter Coneys and Julia/ Judith Acton. They all moved from Clifden to Scotland around the 1850’s some to Glasgow and others to the Stirling area. Hope we have the same Samuel Coneys.

  22. Maria Tocker says:

    OK I know very little but I’m trying to find out about the Forde family who I believe may descend from Clifden. My great grandfather who would have moved from there as a young gent became a station master and worked in Carbury. I know little more. I’m hoping to visit the Epic Emigration Museum in Dublin to find out a bit more detail but as a Station master was quite a highly regarded position, I thought it may ring a bell with someone. I believe he later settled there and married. Need a bit of help please.

  23. Robert Steingraber says:

    i visited parish of Ballynakill last summer looking for family info.
    My 2nd great grandparents were Taghd (called Tady in US) Coyne and Catherine Lyden.
    Tady has brothers Rodger (married Ann Gannon) and Patrick (married Mary Coyne,) and a sister Sarah who married Philip Gannon (brother to Ann) all in ballynakill.
    Taghd’s parents were John Coyne and Ellen “Nellie” z Welch. Catherine’s parents were Patrick Lyden and Bridget Coyne. Catherine’s sister Jane married Thomas Thornton in Renvyle chapel before joining the combined family in Marcellus in upstate NY.
    Most of the family left in late 1840s to mid 1850s following the famine but my Taghd student leave into 1862 and my great grandfather, John and his sister Bridget were born there before they left.
    any hints would be appreciated.

  24. Caitlin Larbalestier says:

    I am seeking information on the family of John and Catherine (nee Collins) who I believe came from the Clifden area, possibly Shana Keela. They had a son Patrick born in 1801, who was baptised in Tuam that year. Michael & Bridget Kelly were the sponsors at his baptism. Patrick married a Sarah King b 1816 and they had 3 children, Mary b 1841, George b 1845 and Martin born b 1848 in Ireland before they moved to Lancashire England in around 1849. Patrick may have had a brother Peter b abt 1803.

    • Caitlin Larbalestier says:

      John Joyce and Catherine (nee Collins) Joyce were my 3 x great grandparents. this information I have from the Church records in Tuam where he was baptised on 25/04/1801.

  25. Caitlin Larbalestier says:

    I am seeking information on the family of John Joyce and his wife Catherine (nee Collins) Joyce born about 1780, who I believe came from the Clifden area, possibly Shanakeeva. They had a son Patrick Joyce born about1801, who was baptised in Tuam in the Cathedral of the Assumption. A Michael & Bridget Kelly were the sponsors at his baptism.

    Patrick married a Sarah King born abt 1816 and they while living in Ireland had 3 children, Mary b 1841, George b 1845 and Martin born b 1848 before they moved to Lancashire.

    I know nothing about Mary or George, but know that Martin married Cecilla in 1878 and died in 1819 in Atherton, UK

    Sometime before 1861 they moved to Durham, North Shields in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where they had 3 more children –

    Sarah b 1856 in Hull, Yorkshire (my great grandmother who married a William Gordon).

    Thomas b 1859 in North Shields and married a Matilda Davis and they lived in Cardiff, Wales; and

    Martin b 1864 in North Shields. and married Margaret in 1893 and they lived in Jarrow.

    Patrick Joyce died in North Shields in 1864 and Sarah (nee King) Joyce died in North Shields in 1886.

    I believe Patrick may have had brothers called Peter b abt 1803 and Martin.

    And Sarah King I believe came from Galway and may have had a sister Bridget.

  26. Alice Kovacs says:

    I am looking for information on William Stuffle and Patrick Conry, both of whom were apparently farmers in Omey Island. Also interested in Andrew Conley and Michael Conley (spelling?). I know looking for a Conley in Clifden is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

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