In the 1911 Ireland Census, my grandfather Thomas Finn, aged 15, born 29th June 1896, was living at home with his parents Michael Finn, aged 57, and Bridget Finn, aged 53, born 14th November 1866, baptised at Castlebar. Also at home were three brothers, Patrick 19, Michael 17 and James 14, plus their grandmother Honoria, aged 84, who was a widow who had been married 62 years = 1849. Her maiden name was Honoria King, and her husband was William Robinson according to their daughter Bridget’s baptism record. The census revealed that Michael and Bridget had been married for 21 years and they had six children, of whom five were living. I have not been able to identify the sibling who died, but it is likely to have been between 1894 and 1895 or maybe later from 1899 onwards.
My Great Uncle John Finn, who was born on 6th November 1890 was the living sibling not present at the family home in the census. His parents were married on 4th February 1890 at Carracastle Roman Catholic church. Bridget was noted as coming from Rooskey and her father was identified as John Robinson and Michael’s father was noted as Michael Finn, who was born on 24th September 1864. Michael Finn junior, my Great Uncle, was born on 27th September 1893 and his older brother Patrick Finn was born 28th December 1891.
Great Uncle John married Kate Carney on 20th April 1933 at Ballaghaderreen Cathedral. The witnesses were James Finn and Mary Towey. Kate’s father was Martin Carney, known as Smiler, and they lived in Derryaraune village, part of the Townland of Dernabruck. This is mentioned in Tom Finn’s paper, using the link below, at the foot of page 9.
The paper states that Martin Carney married Mary Durcan and, in addition to Kate, they had Martin Carney junior (who died in England), Winnie Carney who married Jamed (James?) Tatum from Shraugh, near Rooskey and Mary Carney, who married Patrick (Brownie) Forkin. My Uncle Tommy, who lives near Ballaghaderreen, told me in January 2019 that he thinks old Tom Finn (no relation) who wrote this paper in 1999, is still alive and is now over 100 years old.
My youngest Great Uncle – James – was born 6th October 1898, lived in Tavanabeg all his life and did not marry. My Mum remembers him and my Great Uncle John, but she does not remember their older brothers Patrick or Michael. All of the births of my Great Uncles were registered in the Lowpark registration district that came under the Swineford, Mayo, Superintendent’s District and recorded their parents as Michael Finn and Bridget Finn, formerly Robinson.
I have not been able to find Great Uncle John in the 1911 census and, as he did not get married until 1933, he may have just been away at the time of the census and much harder to find. One of the key ways of finding people with common names is the location, because back in those days people did not generally travel far, but if they did, making any connections is much harder. For instance, I know nothing further about Great Uncles Patrick and Michael. I had a suspicion one or other may have emigrated to the USA, because I am picking up DNA matches to distant cousins. These are not close links, so we are probably looking a generation further back at least, than the Hanrahans, where there are strong DNA links in New Hampshire, USA – see the Long Lost Hanrahan blog page. Also, I have not been able to find any records that match immigration into the USA by any of my Great Uncles. Still more research to do!