Finding a father for Patrick

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:

Patrick - ellen marriage

This might not fit the Genealogical Standard of Proof in its entirety but a few things make me confident that this is ‘my’ Patrick.

  1. Location of the marriage – Mitchelstown is the nearest location to Carrigeen mountains (home of the Heenans) where a ceremony could have been registered
  2. Patrick’s father is shown as Maurice – this name is also used by Patrick and Ellen for their second son
  3. 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
  4. 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.

Griffiths Valuation 1852 - Denis Heenan - Mary Heenan

 

Griffith valuation 1852 - Mary Heenan - Knocknascrow

There are no records of any Maurice Heenan in Griffiths Valuation for the Kilbeheny Parish.

For now the trail seems to have gone cold….

 

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Heenan footprints in land records

In the absence of census records in Eire for the period between 1821 and 1851, I started to look at some of the records relating to land use and property.

The Tithe Applottment Books available on line at the National Archives of Ireland are a useful source of information though not as comprehensive as census information.  Occupiers of agricultural land above one acre in size were required to pay a tithe to the Church of Ireland (the established church). The applotment books were compiled between 1823 and 1837  to determine the amount of the tithes payable by each occupier in each parish. They record name of the occupier,  the amount of land held and the sums to be paid in tithes.

patrick heenan tithe recordLooking at the books for the parish of Kibeheny in County Limerick (the area where ‘my’ Heenan ancestors seem to have originated, shows some interesting information.

There is a Mickl Heenan recorded as an occupier of a plot of what s described as 15 acres of ‘good mountainside’ in the township of the Carrigeen Mountain. At 15shillings per acre, the total value of the property is £11 and 5 shillings., giving a tithe composition of just over 9pence per acre to be paid to the Reverend John Preston.

Further records show occupiers with the surname of Heenan at Coolatin Glen and also at Blackrock.

Surname First Name Townland Parish County Number of acres value of land Condition
Heenan Patk Coolatin Glen Kilbeheny Limerick  15  £15 Good mountain Tillage
Heenan Marcus Coolatin Glen Kilbeheny Limerick  20  5 shillings  Mountain
Heenan John Coolatin Glen Kilbeheny Limerick  15 £15  Good mountain Tillage
Heenan Dens Coolatin Glen Kilbeheny Limerick  15  £15  Good mountain tillage
Heenan Michl Blackrock Kilbeheny Limerick  20  5 shillings  Mountain

Unfortunately there is no information in these records about other members of the household or where the plots of land are in relation to each other. But it may be possible to cross reference them with Griffiths Valuation records.

Further Ireland research Burials, Marriages

Burials and Marriages 

Using the Roots Ireland search options, I found

Church Burial record for Ellen Heenan in 1850. However this is for a church in Limerick city so is unlikely to have a connection

1904 Death of a Denis Heenan, in Coolathin. Father is Patrick Heenan. This is more of a match with ‘my’ Heenans. Coolathin is a townland within the parish of Mitchelstown. The barony is Coshlea and the civil parish is Kibehenny. Poor law parish is Mitchelstown

The other death record is for Patrick Heenan, also of Coolathin.

Civil Death Record – Denis Heenan

Batchelor (previously unmarried) Age 37

Date of Death 25 Jan 1904

Address Coolathin

Parish/district Mitchelstown, county Limerick

Occupation: Farmer’s son

Informant: Patrick Heenan (father) of same address

cause of death: blood poisoning

Civil Death Record – Patrick Heenan

Age 77

Date of death 10 Jan 1911

Address Coolathin

Parish/district Mitchelstown, county Limerick

Status: widower

occupation: farmer

Informant: Nora Heenan – daughter of same address

************************

Marriage Records – using Roots Ireland

Church Marriage  4-Feb-1825 in Parish of Kilbehenny; Jane Heenan of Carrigeen to Thomas Hanlon . Witness is Catherine Heenan

Church Marriage: Dennis Heeneen (sic) 1828

Church Marriage:  15-Feb-1829 in parish of KILBEHENNY Michael Heenan to Catherine Walsh of Carrigeen

Church Marriage: 06-Mar-1832 parish of Kilbehenny John Heenan of Coolattin to Mary Mullane

Church Marriage: Catherine 1839

Church Marriage: Mary 28-Feb-1843 KILBEHENNY to Richard Lewis. No father’s name given other than Heenan. Witness is Dennis Heenan

Church Marriage: Mary  Heenan 19 – Jul 1855 to John Cronekan in Parish of Kilbehenny. Father’s name given only as Heenan. Witnessed by Thomas Heenan

Church Marriage: Margaret 1857 ST Michael’s  John Kennedy.

Church Marraige 19-Feb-1859 parish of Kilbehenny. Maurice Heenan to Johanna Fox

Heenan family: The Irish Connection

On UK census records, Patrick Heenan and his wife Ellen give their birth place as Limerick Ireland. Research I commissioned from Limerick Regional Archives showed that the surname Heenan is unusual in the county and largely converges on the parish of Kilbeheny and in particular the townland of Knockascrow.

1901 Census

1910 ireland census HeenanThere are eight people with surname Heenan living in house number 3 in Knocknascrow – ranging in age from 10 to 50.Head of the family is Patrick Heenan, living with three sons and four daughters. He is shown as a farmer and a widower. There are nine houses in the township, a total of 54 people.

Heenan Patrick 50 Male Head of Family Roman Catholic
Heenan Denis 27 Male Son Roman Catholic
Heenan Mary 26 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Heenan Patrick 24 Male Son Roman Catholic
Heenan Kate 18 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Heenan John 15 Male Son Roman Catholic
Heenan Hanora 12 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Heenan Ellen 10 Female Daughter Roman Catholic

The house has one wall, a roof of either thatch, wood or another perishable material (only two of the properties have a tile, iron or stone roof), The eight people occupy two rooms in the house. Patrick Heenan is shown as the landowner.

The farm has:

stable

cow house

diary

piggery

References

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001006786/

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001006782/

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai001006783/

1911 Census

1911 census Ireland HeenanThe 1911 census shows that there was a family by the surname of Heenan living as farmers in house number 5 in Knockascrow . Farmers are designated in the enumerators instructors as ‘people who occupy the land’ – not to be considered the same as farm servants.

Patrick Heenan, aged 52

His wife Hannah aged 31

John Heenan, brother aged 23.

John may be the same John recorded in the 1901 census where he is aged 15. But the age of Patrick in 1911 doesn’t correlate to the Patrick who is head of household in 1901. Is this therefore a different Patrick?

None of the other individuals from 1901 are now visible – the children could have married and moved away and therefore have different surnames which would make them difficult to track. The male children could have moved to a different area of the county, or of Ireland or even out of the country.

The record shows that Hannah has no children living from the marriage. In the column headed Particulars as to Marriage – number of years of marriage, against her name is recorded the figure 1.

They are all Roman Catholic in faith and all can read/write

At the time there were 8 properties in the townland of Knockascrow, one of which is unoccupied, 37 inhabitants in total. All were Roman Catholic except for 7 people who were recorded as members of the Established Church of Scotland.

The house and building return shows that property number 5, occupied by the Heenans had one wall, a roof of either tile, slate or iron,  3 rooms and three windows in the front. There is no landlord’s name indicated – the supposition is therefore that the land was owned by the family rather than rented.

The farm had the following out buildings:

1 stable

1 coach house

1 cow house

1 piggery

1 fowl house

but no barn

References

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002771993/

w.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002771995/

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002772007/

http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/reels/nai002771997/