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.

  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.


  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.

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