Just when I think I’ve made progress in tracking my great great grandfather Patrick Heenan in Ireland, I come up against another stumbling block.
I set myself a task earlier this year to find a record of his marriage to Ellen Brian (variations of Brien and O’Brien) and it seems I might have succeeded. I’d already drawn a blank in trying to find a marriage in Wales, England or Scotland so switched attention to Eire, thinking that they could have married shortly before leaving for mainland UK.
The only possible match is this one from 1867:
This might not fit the Genealogical Standard of Proof in its entirety but a few things make me confident that this is ‘my’ Patrick.
- Location of the marriage – Mitchelstown is the nearest location to Carrigeen mountains (home of the Heenans) where a ceremony could have been registered
- Patrick’s father is shown as Maurice – this name is also used by Patrick and Ellen for their second son
- Ellen’s father is shown as William – this was another name common in my family tree – my great grandfather was William as was his first son
- The marriage date is close to the time when I first pick him up in the records in UK – which is the baptism of a son called Patrick in March 1868
But then comes the question of linking Patrick with other records showing people with the surname of Heenan in the Kilbeheny parish in County Limerick. Some of these are land records, others are census returns but I also have received, via a Heenan descendant still living in Kilbeheny, a letter to one member of the family who emigrated to Australia.
Which is where it all gets a bit confusing as I try to connect them.
For example, Patrick’s father is a Maurice Heenan. I haven’t found anyone with that name in the Kilbeheny area but I did find a Marcus Heenan in the Tithe Applottment Books compiled between 1823 and 1837 who has 20 acres worth 5 shillings at Coolatin Glen.
There is a Maurice Heenan baptised Feb 1829 in Kilbeheny Parish, son of Denis Heenan and Ellen who are resident at Carigeen. It’s unlikely this Maurice is the same as Marcus (Maurice would be at most 8 years old at the time of the tithe records).
There is another Maurice Heenan baptised in Kilbehenny parish on Jan 1833, son of a John Heenan and Mary Mullan resident at Carigeen.
Could either of these be the father of ‘my’ Patrick? Possible but only if we ignore some of the info Patrick gave on census recors about his year of birth. The earliest date he gave is 1836 so impossible for him to be the son of either of these Maurice’s ( they would have been aged 7 or 3 at the time of his birth!). The latest date he gave in census returns is 1847 making his father 18 or 14 at the time. The latter is unlikely which rules out the Maurice Heenan baptised in 1833. But I still can’t prove that the Maurice baptised in 1829 is the right one.
I tried searching the Griffith’s Valuation Records which are later (they indicate who owned or rented land in Ireland between 1847 and 1864) but drew a blank on the name Maurice in the Knocknascrow townland.
I did find a Denis Heenan who was occupying land in Knocknascrow townland leased by Mary Heenan from the Earl of Kingston.
There are no records of any Maurice Heenan in Griffiths Valuation for the Kilbeheny Parish.
For now the trail seems to have gone cold….