Tombstone Tuesday: Pat and Katie Kiernan

<br /> Gravestone of Pat and Katie Kiernan

Patrick Kiernan was my Great Uncle. (He went by “MacKiernan” which was our name before the British took over and anglicized everything.) “Big” Pat was born in Aughavas, Co. Leitrim on 3 Jun 1890 to John Kiernan(1855-1901) and Mary Lennon (1860-1940).

He married Catherine O’Neil in 1922. She was born about 1890 in Co. Leitrim, Ireland.

Patrick Kiernan died on 19 June 1956 in Leitrim, Ireland, and Katie Kiernan died in Sep. 1956 in Co. Leitrim, Ireland. They are buried in the Cavan Cemetery in Aughavas, Co. Leitrim, Ireland.

The Gravestone reads:

In loving Memory of

Patrick Kiernan,


Died June 19th 1956,

Aged 67 years.

His wife Katie

Died Sept 9th 1956,

Aged 66 years.

R. I. P.

Names, Places & Most Wanted Faces

Craig at Geneablogie started a surname meme. He says:

List the surnames you are researching and the general localities. Then tell the names of your “Most Wanted Ancestors,” that is, the ones you most want to find behind that brickwall.

Thomas at Destination: Austin Family suggested:

I have been particular with the formatting of the information below and use ________ Surname hoping this will allow more people using Google and other search engines to find my post. Also I am using _______ County for the same reasons.

My Surames and Places:

CONNOR Surname: Ireland (County Laois)

DUNNE Surname: Ireland (County Laois)

HORAN Surname: Ireland (County Laois)

KIERNAN Surname: Ireland (County Leitrim), New York (Bronx County), Oregon (Morrow County)

LENNON Surname: Ireland (County Leitrim), Oregon (Morrow County)

MacKIERNAN Surname: Ireland, (County Leitrim)

McNAMEE Surname: Ireland (Possibly County Leitrim or County Longford)

MOLLIHAN Surname or MOLAUGHAN Surname: Ireland (County Leitrim)

MULDOWNEY Surname: Ireland, (County Laois)

NOLAN Surname: Ireland (County Laois)

PHELAN Surname: Ireland (County Laois)

Most Wanted Faces:

Parents of John KIERNAN (b. abt 1821, Aughavas, Leitrim, Ireland); Parents of Ann McNAMEE (b. abt 1821, Somewhere in Ireland); Parents of Rose MOLLIHAN (b. abt 1831, Lugganomer, Leitrim, Ireland); Parents of Ann MULDOWNEY (b. bef 1841, Possibly in Durrow, Ireland); Parents of James PHELAN (b. abt 1822 – 1893).

Who are you looking for?

St. Patrick’s Well in Aughavas, Co. Leitrim.

Thanks for joining me for the St. Patrick’s Day Blog Parade hosted by Small-Leaved Shamrock.

In the townland of Cavan in Aughavas, Co. Leitrim there is an old St. Patrick’s Well. The well is adjacent to an old cemetary and it is also believed that there was a church there in ancient times.  The townland of Cavan borders the townland of Augharann, where my family is from.

Old Burial Ground in Cavan, Aughavas, Co. Leitrim

Cavan Graveyard.
Photo take from The Parish of Aughavas, Co. Leitrim by Michael Whelan, pg. 23.

My Great Uncle is buried in the Cavan Graveyard and when my Cousin took me there, she also showed me St. Patrick’s Well.

St. Patrick's Well

St. Patrick’s Well in Cavan, Aughavas, Co. Leitrim.

According to The Parish of Aughavas, Co. Leitrim by Michael Whelan, tradition says that

“St. Patrick rested here on his way to Moy Sleacht to destroy the pagan idol, Crom Cru, believed to be located on the hill of Darragh in the parish of Templeport, Co. Cavan.”

My Cousin told me that  St. Patrick  built the well and put 3 rocks, called “Stations of the Holy Well”, around it to help teach the people about the Holy Trinity.

Rock at St. Patrick's Well

Money under one of the “Stations of the Holy Well.”

On St. Patricks Day, people used to visit the well and do “Patterns” around the Well.  All I remember from what my Cousin explained is that people would walk around the Stations of the Holy Well, leave coins under the rocks and that it was all related to the Holy Trinity.

This year for St. Patricks Day I’ll be celebrating with my family. We’ll be having a traditional American St. Patricks Day meal of Corned Beef, cabbage, and boiled potatoes. I might make some Potato Buns too. I’m also going to force my Dad to tell me the “Tap, Tap Story” about a boy that catches a Leprechaun that he used to tell me when I was a little girl. Oh yeah, and I’ll definatly be wearing green!!

I hope everyone has a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day!

Thanks for stopping by!

This Post is listed at:

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture

Rose Lennon’s Civil Death Record

The record collection, Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958, is now available for free from the LDS Church at (There are also many other records available at this site!)

As soon as I saw that this record was available I started searching! To my great excitement I found the following death record for Rose Lennon right away!

Name: Rose Lennon
Registration district: Mohill
Record type: DEATHS
Registration date – quarter and year: Apr – Jun 1915
Estimated birth year: 1831
Age: 84
Mother surnames:
Film number: 0101606
Volume: 3
Page: 157
Digital GS number: 4201710
Image number: 00326
Collection: Ireland, Civil Registration Indexes 1845-1958

Rose Lennon is my Great Great Grandmother. She was born Rose Mollihan in Legganomer, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. (I have found her last name spelled many different ways including Molaughan and Molihan. The spelling “Mollihan” is how it was spelled when the records came to me from my Father so it is what I use.) She married John Lennon on 23 Feb 1857 in Aughavas, Co. Leitrim. Family tradition says that she died in 1915 but I have never been able to nail down a approxamate birth year for her. This record shows that she was born about 1831. Even though she was born before the Parish records began for her Parish, it is still very exciting! I hope that this will lead me to finding more information about her and her family!

My key to Ireland

Kiernan Family 1982

The Kiernan Family 1982 (I’m the baby in the front row.)

For this months edition if the Carnival of Irish Heritage and Culture the theme is “My Key to Ireland.”

This is the topic that applies to me: If you have always known the place or places where your family hailed from, tell us about them. What draws you there and what else have you learned throughout your search for family history?

John Kiernan abt 1933

John Kiernan (my Dad) abt 1933.

My Father was born and raised in Ireland and didn’t come to America until after I was born. Because of this I have always known where my family is from. My Grandma was able to give my Father information on her Grandparents and my Grandpa’s Grandparents.  When I began researching, I had names, dates and places for 4 generations. It wasn’t complete and I couldn’t be sure that it was accurate because they were verbal records. But it was a great place to start because in Irish Family History, you are extemely lucky (or your ancestors were extremely wealthy) if you can get as far back as the 1700’s.  And as it turns out, I have been extremely lucky.

Co. Leitrim

Map from Irish Times.
Co. Leitrim. Parishes highlighted: Aughavas & Cloone-Clonmaicne.

My Grandfather, Francis Kiernan’s family is from R. C. Parishes of Aughavas and Cloone in Co. Leitrim. Most of the research I have done there has been confirming names and dates. All the information I had on direct ancestors was accurate but by searching through Roman Catholic Parish Records, I have been able to find siblings and a few of their spouses. The Parish records in Aughavas go back to the 1840’s and the Parish Records in Cloone go back to the 1820’s. I have been able to search through them at the LDS Family History Library here in Anchorage. I was able to confirm all the information the my Dad had given me. I also found information on the Leitrim-Roscommon website. The 1901 Census for Co. Leitrim is completly indexed and online at their site. I’ve found several family memebers with this search.

Co. Laois

Map from Irish Times.
Co Laois.  Parishes highlighted: Abbeyleix, Aghaboe, Durrow, & Mountmellick.

My Grandmother, Maria Nolan’s family is from Co. Laois. Her 4 Grandparents are each from different Parishes. They are Abbyleix, Aghaboe, Durrow, and Mountmellick. Of those, I only have access to the Parish records of Aghaboe and Mountmellick.  The other two, Abbyleix and Durrow, were not filmed by the LDS Church but the records are available at the National Library of Ireland. The only problem with that is that I live 4,266 miles from Dublin (as the crow flies.) From the two parishes that I have access too, I have found a good deal of information. I found my Great Great Grandfather, Micheal Nolan’s, Christening records in 1829 in Aghaboe. That gave me the names of his parents. Then I was able to find several of his siblings. I also found out that the name I had for his wife, my Great Great Grandmother, was wrong. Her real name is Ann Muldowney and the names I had were Ann Dunphy or Delahanty.  In Mountmellick. I was able to find the names of my 3rd Great Grand parents, William Horan and Anne Connor. I found their Marriage records in 1816. This is the oldest record I have found so far and I am super excited to have it. I think it’s safe to say that William was born in the late 1700’s.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to go back much farther than that.

There are some other great resources that I have found. The Origins Network has indexed the complete Griffiths Valuation. You can view the original records and their corresponding maps. There is a small fee to view the records. It’s costs about $8 for 72  hours access to the site. Another great site is the Irish Family History Foundation. They have computerized the Parish records for more than half of the Counties in Ireland. It is free to search the records but it costs  €5.00 to view each record. It is well worth the money if you know that the record is relevant.

Another great source is local books and histories. In The Parish of Aughavas Co. Leitrim by Micael Whelan, I found out that the Black and Tans attempted to burn down my Grandpa’s house in 1921. He and his brother Big Pat were also pictured in a group of IRA prisoners in the Curragh in 1921. I did not know anything about his imprisonment prior to reading the book.  I knew that he had recieved the Irish War of Independence Medal and that he served in the IRA from 1916-1922 before joining the Garda in 1922.

I think finding new information about my family is one of the best and most exciting feelings in the world. Unfortunately, I think I have searched most of the information that I have access to at this current time. I can’t wait till more information becomes available online or until I am able to back to Ireland and do some of the research myself.

This post is listed at:

Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture

Francis Kiernan’s Garda Síochána Records

Last year I found the Garda website and as I was looking around I found the Museum and Archives section. I thought that since I wasn’t able to fly to Dublin for a visit, I could e-mail them and see what information they could provide me with. I quickly got a reply that they were searching for the information that I requested and that it would be sent along shortly. In about 4-6 weeks (normal postage time for Alaska), I had my Grandpa’s police records including his application to An Garda from 1922. Here are copies of what I was sent.

Francis Kiernan Garda Records-1Francis Kiernan Garda Records-2

Francis Kiernan Garda Records-3Francis Kiernan Garda Records-4Francis Kiernan Garda Records-5

I was so excited when this came. I already knew most of the information contained within, but it is always great to have something in you ancestors own handwriting. Comparatively, there are very few records still surviving in Ireland. It’s always exciting to find a piece your own family!

Tombstone Tuesday: James and Maria Nolan, Winifred Nolan, Michael and Catherine Nolan.

Nolan Tombstone 2

This is the tombstone of my great grandparents, James and Maria Nolan. My great uncle, Michael Nolan, and his wife, Catherine Power, are also buried at this site. Last Year, my Aunt Ann took my sister Rose round to the graveyards where we have family buried. This graveyard is in Ballycolla, Laois, Ireland.

The gravestone reads:

Maria Nolan Ballygarvan
in loving memeory of her Husband
James Nolan
Died 15th April 1940 Aged 81 Years.
Also her Daughter Winifred
who died young.
The above Maria Nolan
Died 22nd March 1955
Aged 86 years.
and Catherine Nolan nee Power
Died 12th Jan. 1989
Aged 77 yrs.
Her Husband Michael Nolan
Died 1st July 1992, aged 87 years.

Nolan Tombstone

My Dad says of James Nolan, ” I remember driving up to Ballycolla with Mum and Dad for his funeral. I remember seeing him laid out dead on the bed before they took him out in the casket.  I remember standing next to him [while he was on the bed] but I don’t remember anything about the funeral service or the burial.”


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.