Date: 24 August 2023
Pamela Guye Holland
Cathy Abraham, Boston, USA – on behalf of The Green Room.
Timothy and Ellen Richardson – Great-Grandparents of Cathy Abraham.
- Where was Timothy Callaghan born and baptized in County Cork?
- Where was Ellen Richardson born and baptized in County Cork?
- Where did Timothy and Ellen’s parents live and where were they buried?
- Where is the farm where the Richardson family lived?
- Are there any relatives still in the area?
Background Information (provided by client):
- Timothy Callaghan was born about 1849 to 1853, in County Cork, Ireland. According to his marriage record, he was the son of Timothy and Mary Callaghan. According to his death record, his mother’s maiden name may have been Murphy. However, his death record contains numerous errors as it was filled out by the nursing home where he died.
- Timothy immigrated to the U.S. about 1870 and married Ellen Richardson on 29 April 1871 in Boston, Massachusetts.
- Ellen Richardson, daughter of George and Ellen Richardson (according to her marriage record), was born about 1850.
- The family story is that Timothy worked on the Richardson farm in Carrigrohane where he may have been the stable boy. He met Ellen and they emigrated to the U.S. to marry.
- Timothy and Ellen had eleven children between 1872 and 1893 while living in Boston and East Boston.
- Timothy became a U.S. citizen on 18 November 1897 and his naturalization papers stated he was born in County Cork.
- Timothy died on 10 June 1922 in Somerville, Massachusetts.
- Ellen died on 22 January 1926 in Medford, Massachusetts.
Please note that this is an abbreviated version of the genealogy report. The full report, as presented to the client with additional source-cited explanations, is available for Green Room members to download at this location.
- Ellen Richardson, daughter of George Richardson and Alice Richardson, was born on or shortly before she was baptized on 24 July 1850 in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cork City.
- George and Alice were likely married about 1829 or 1830 or possibly earlier, but no marriage record has been found.
- They likely lived in or near the St. Mary’s Catholic parish between 1830 and 1850.
- About 1851 the Richardson family moved to Carrigrohane and lived on a farm along the western side of what is now known as Clash Road.
- Alice (Richardson) Richardson died on 31 May 1872. She was born about 1804. George Richardson died on 26 March 1889. He was born about 1799.
- The farm along Clash Road was taken over by their son Michael.
- About 1906 Michael Richardson purchased the property through the Land Act Purchase.
- After his death in 1916 the property appears to have left the hands of the Richardson family. Later names associated with the land were Margaret Kenefick between about 1917 and 1938, Eugene Murphy between about 1939 and 1955 and then Thomas Murphy between about 1955 and the 1970s.
- Timothy Callaghan is most likely the son of Timothy Callaghan and Mary Murphy who was born on or shortly before he was baptized on 28 January 1849 in Ovens, County Cork.
- The Callaghan family lived in the townland of Lisheens just to the west of Ballincollig. They occupied a house on about a quarter of an acre of land.
- It is unclear when Timothy Callaghan and Mary (Murphy) Callaghan died but Timothy may have died as early as 1855.
- The Callaghan house in Lisheens was later occupied by Timothy and Mary’s son Patrick. After Patrick’s death in 1885 his wife Eliza Murphy) Callaghan was named as the tenant. After Eliza’s death in 1921 the property was occupied by an Edward Callaghan and then a Jeremiah Callaghan.
According to family stories Ellen Richardson was born about 1850 in Carrigrohane, County Cork. Griffith’s Valuation, which was printed in 1852 for Carrigrohane, likely was surveyed in 1851. This means Ellen’s father was probably named as a land occupier. On Griffith’s there were three Richardson families living in Carrigrohane. The locations of these three farms can be seen on the following annotated map.
- William Richardson at lots 23, 24, and 25 where he had his house and about 9 acres of land in total. His land is highlighted in the purple box.
- William George Richardson at lot 29 where he had 17 acres of land and at lot 36 where he had his house and 45 acres of land. His house land is outlined in blue.
- George Richardson at lot 39 where he had his house and 89 acres of land. His land is outlined in green.
AskAboutIreland map of Carrigrohane townland showing locations of three Richardson farms.
Previous family research suggested that William George Richardson and his wife Mary Deasy were Ellen’s parents. William George and Mary (Deasy) Richardson did have a daughter named Ellen who was baptized on 29 March 1844 in the local Ballincollig church.4 However, this research has discovered that this couple were not Ellen (Richardson) Callaghan’s parents.
Ellen (Richardson) Callaghan’s parents.
Ellen’s parents were George Richardson and his wife Alice Richardson. Ellen was born on or shortly before she was baptized on 24 July 1850 in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cork City. This baptism record was erroneously transcribed in the Ancestry and FindMyPast Catholic Parish Register indexes as George, her father’s name. As a result it could only be found by looking carefully at each of the baptism records for George and Alice’s children. A correction to the indexes has been submitted to both Ancestry and FindMyPast.
Ellen (Richardson) Callaghan’s relationship as George and Alice’s daughter can be substantiated through information found on Ellen’s marriage record, the naming pattern used for her children, and by evaluation of your DNA matches.
Ellen’s father was recorded as George when she married Timothy Callaghan in 1871. However, the marriage record also contains conflicting information as her mother was recorded as Ellen. This inconsistency can be explained. The information, found on her civil marriage record, was provided to the Boston town clerk by the Catholic priest who performed the marriage. In the Catholic marriage register no parent names were recorded. It is possible the priest made a mistake in his notes that he used when relaying the information to the town clerk. Ellen’s mother also had the nickname of Ally. The priest may have heard this as Elly which is a nickname for both Ellen and Alice.
Naming pattern of children:
Parents in Ireland often used a traditional naming pattern for their children. The traditional pattern was:
- First son named after the father’s father.
- Second son named after the mother’s father.
- Third son named after the father.
- Fourth son named after the father’s eldest brother.
- Fifth son named after the mother’s eldest brother.
- First daughter named after the mother’s mother.
- Second daughter named after the father’s mother.
- Third daughter named after the mother.
- Fourth daughter named after the mother’s eldest sister.
- Fifth daughter named after the father’s eldest sister.
Timothy and Ellen (Richardson) Callaghan appeared to follow this naming pattern for the names of at least their first three children born in Massachusetts. However, the names of their remaining children did not follow the naming pattern as closely. It is possible that once in America, the Irish traditions were beginning to fade. Their children were:
- Timothy born in 1872. First son named after Timothy’s father, also named Timothy.
- Alice born in 1874. First daughter named after Ellen’s mother, Alice.
- Mary born in 1875. Second daughter named after Timothy’s mother, Mary.
- Margaret born in 1876. Likely named after Ellen’s sister Margaret.
- Joseph born in 1879 (twin). Likely named after Ellen’s brother Joseph.
- Catherine born in 1879 (twin). Timothy and Ellen both had a sister named Catherine.
- John born in 1882. Timothy and Ellen both had a brother named John.
- George born in 1885. Likely named after Ellen’s father or her brother named George.
- Helen born in 1886. Neither Timothy nor Ellen had a sister named Helen.
- Anna born in 1890. Neither Timothy nor Ellen had a sister named Anna.
- Rose born in 1893. Neither Timothy nor Ellen had a sister named Rose.
Analysis of your Ancestry DNA matches discovered multiple matches to descendants of George and Alice (Richardson) Richardson’s children. You had no matches to descendants of William George and Mary (Deasy) Richardson’s children. The matches to George and Alice’s descendants support your relationship to them through their daughter Ellen. To understand the DNA matches, we first need to look at their children.
George and Alice (Richardson) Richardson had the following children, all baptized in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cork City:
- William Richardson was baptized on 24 February 1831.
- George Richardson was baptized on 31 August 1834.
- Michael Richardson was baptized on 9 July 1838.
- Catherine Richardson was baptized on 20 April 1840.
- Joseph Richardson was baptized on 3 May 1842.
- Joanna Richardson was baptized on 4 March 1844.
- Margaret Richardson was baptized on 22 June 1847.
- Ellen Richardson was baptized on 24 July 1850.
Three of the DNA matches to George and Alice’s descendants are (their names have been changed to protect their privacy):
- Match 1. This match is the great-grandson of George Richardson born in 1834. The match’s Ancestry tree names his great-grandparents as George Richardson and Mary Murphy. George Richardson, son of George Richardson, married Mary Murphy on 8 October 1865 in Ballincollig. You and Match1 are 3rd cousins (3C) and share 98 centiMorgans (cM) of DNA in common. This shared amount of DNA is consistent with a 3rd cousin match.
- Match 2. This match is the great-grandson of Catherine Richardson born in 1840. The match’s Ancestry tree names his grandparents as Catherine Kate Richardson and James Richard Walsh. Kate Richardson, daughter of George Richardson, married James Walsh on 9 February 1867 in Ballincollig. You and Match2 are 3rd cousins and share 133 cM of DNA in common. This shared amount of DNA is consistent with a 3C match.
- Match 3. This match is the granddaughter of Joseph Richardson born in 1844. The match’s unlinked tree on Ancestry names her grandparents as Joseph Richardson and Bridget Deasy. Joseph Richardson, son of George Richardson, married Bridget Deasy on 27 July 1886 in Bridget’s house near Ballyfeard. You and Match3 are 2nd cousins once removed (2C1R) and share 73 cM of DNA in common. This shared amount of DNA is consistent with a 2C1R match.
Taken together, Ellen’s marriage record, the naming pattern for her children, and the DNA matches provide enough information to confirm that Ellen was the daughter of George and Alice (Richardson) Richardson.
George Richardson and Alice Richardson.
George and Alice were likely married about 1829 or 1830 or possibly earlier. Unfortunately, no marriage record has been found in any of the Cork City or surrounding Catholic parishes. It is possible they married in a nearby parish that has incomplete marriage records from that time.
- Peter and Paul’s parish, Cork City, which is missing marriage registers between 1817 and 1835.
- Blackrock parish, Cork City, which is missing marriage registers between 1811 and 1832.
- Blarney parish, which is missing marriage registers between 1825 and 1827.
- Ballincollig parish, which have marriages only beginning in 1825.
It is unclear if George and Alice were related to each other without a marriage dispensation or more extensive documentation on their lineage.
George and Alice (Richardson) Richardson likely did not live in Carrigrohane while their children were being born. Their use of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cork City suggests they may have lived in that parish from about 1830 through 1850.
It appears they moved to Carrigrohane about 1851. This is supported by George’s name not appearing at lot 39 in the House Books and manuscript notes created in 1849 for Carrigrohane as a precursor to Griffith’s Valuation.25 But when Griffith’s Valuation occurred there in 1851 or 1852 he was named at lot 39. Then in May 1854, George was mentioned as a tenant on an Encumbered Estate sale. The sale stated that George was a “tenant from year to year” on lands called Aher’s Farm. The “lot is very advantageously situated, within about three miles of the city of Cork, and one mile of the village of Ballincollig. It was let to the present tenant much under the value, a sale having been expected within a year from the time of the letting.” The map on the following page of the sales brochure depicts George’s land. This corresponds to the outline of lot 39 on Griffith’s Valuation.
Encumbered Estates Sale map of George Richardson’s leased land called Aher’s Farm and Griffith’s Valuation map of George Richardson’s lot 39 land.
Lot 39 with superimposed modern map and corresponding satellite image.
Looking at this land today it is situated along the western side of what is now known as Clash Road. The N22 Ballincollig Bypass crosses the northwest corner of the historic property. When George Richardson lived there, his house was in the southeast corner at the letter “a”. A farmhouse also occupies this area today. In some historic records this area was referred to as Clash.
Alice (Richardson) Richardson died on 31 May 1872 in Carrigrohane from Rheumatic pains. She was described as a 68-year-old farmers wife. Her age at death gives her a birthdate of about 1804.
George Richardson died on 26 March 1889 in “Clash” from debilities of old age. Clash almost certainly refers to the area of Carrigrohane where his farm was located. He was described as a 90-year-old widowed farmer. His age a death gives him a birthdate of about 1799.
Tracing the land forward:
Before George died his son Michael Richardson took over the farm about 1882. This can be seen where Michael’s name was inserted in the Valuation Office’s revision land books for lot 39a in Carrigrohane. He was later referred to in these records as Michael George Richardson to distinguish him form another Michael Richardson living in Carrigrohane:
Michael Richardson married Julia Sullivan on 22 February 1881 in Aghabulloge Catholic Church near Macroom, County Cork. This was Julia’s home parish. Michael and Julia did not appear to have any children as no birth registration records for their children were found.
About 1906 Michael Richardson purchased the property the family had been leasing through the Land Act Purchase.
Julia (Sullivan) Richardson died on 13 November 1909 in Clash. She was 62 or born about 1847. Michael Richardson died on 28 February 1916 in Clash. He was 77.
After Michael’s death, the property appears to have left the family. About 1917 Margaret Kenefick’s name replaced Michael Richardsons as the owner of lot 39a in Carrigrohane. No relationship between Margaret Kenefick and the Richardson family has been found. Then about 1938 Eugene Murphy took over the property and about 1955 Eugene’s name was replace by Thomas Murphy. Thomas Murphy held the property for at least the next twenty years or so as his name continues as the owner of Lot 39a.
According to U.S. records Timothy Callaghan, son of Timothy Callaghan and Mary Murphy, was born about 1849 to 1853, in County Cork. However, there is some uncertainty that his mother’s maiden name was Murphy. According to family stories he worked on the Richardson farm in Carrigrohane.
A search of Catholic parish registers in County Cork for a Timothy born between 1845 and 1855, with parents named Timothy and Mary, found only two possibilities near Carrigrohane.
- Timothy Callaghan, son of Timothy Callaghan and Mary Lynch, baptized on 18 February 1849 in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cork City.
- Timothy Callaghan, son of Timothy Callaghan and Mary Murphy, baptized on 28 January 1849 in Ovens.
Analysis of your DNA results found some matches to Callaghan descendants. However, these were all descendants of your Timothy and Ellen (Richardson) Callaghan’s children. Unfortunately, you currently have no Ancestry DNA matches to identifiable descendants of Timothy’s siblings or members from later generations of his family. Since Callaghan and Murphy are common surnames in County Cork, it is also challenging to identify reliable DNA matches to any of these possible descendants.
The Callaghan family from Ovens lived in the townland of Lisheens, just to the west of Ballincollig. This was about a three mile walk to the Richardson farm. It is unclear where the Callaghan family from St. Mary’s parish lived. But it was about a 5 mile walk from the Richardson farm to the cathedral which included crossing the River Lee at some point.
Based on the proximity of Lisheens to the Richardson farm and the possibility that his mother’s maiden name was Murphy, it seems logical that your Timothy was most likely the Timothy born on or soon after he was baptized on 28 January 1849 in Ovens.
Timothy Callaghan and Mary Murphy are likely the couple of that name that married on 9 May 1835 in Ovens. They had the following children all baptized in Ovens:
- Patrick Callaghan was baptized on 18 March 1836.
- Ellen Callaghan was baptized on 11 January 1840.
- John Callaghan was baptized on 9 November 1844.
- Catherine Callaghan was baptized on 12 November 1846.
- Timothy Callaghan was baptized on 28 January 1849.
- Dennis Callaghan was baptized on 7 September 1851.
- Johanna Callaghan was baptized on 5 December 1852.
On Griffith’s Valuation in 1852 Timothy Callaghan lived in Lisheens on lot 1 at house l. He occupied a house with offices (out buildings) and a garden on only 39 perches of land. This was about a quarter of an acre in size. Unfortunately house l was not marked on any of the Griffith’s Valuation maps so the location of the Callaghan house is unknown.
Lisheens today is bisected by the Ballincollig Bypass.
Lisheens with superimposed modern map.
It is unclear when Timothy Callaghan and Mary (Murphy) Callaghan died. But it is possible that Timothy died as early as 1855 as he is not named in the Valuation Office’s revision land books for the house in Lisheens at 1l. Instead by about 1855 his son Patrick was named as the tenant.
Patrick Callaghan married Eliza Murphy about 1860. Unfortunately, they did not marry in Ovens and their common names did not allow identifying their marriage record. Patrick and Eliza (Murphy) Callaghan had at least seven children:
- Timothy Callaghan was baptized in Ovens on 20 January 1861.
- John Callaghan was baptized in Ovens on 10 October 1863.
- Mary Callaghan was born in Lisheens on 10 November 1865.
- Anna Callaghan was born in Lisheens on 7 December 1867.51
- Jermiah Callaghan was born in Lisheens on 7 December 1870.
- Patrick Callaghan was born in Lisheens on 18 January 1873.
- Catherine Callaghan was born in Lisheens on 8 August 1875.
Patrick Callaghan died on 14 September 1885 in Lisheens. Eliza (Murphy) Callaghan died on 6 September 1921 in Lisheens. Because of the common occurrence of Callaghan names in the area it was not feasible to trace the children forward in time.
After Patrick’s death Eliza continued to live in the house in Lisheens at 1l. About 1910 the house was renumbered as 1d. Soon after Eliza’s death in 1921 the property transferred to an Edward Callaghan and then about 1927 it transferred to a Jeremiah Callaghan. While it is possible Jeremiah was Patrick and Eliza’s son, it is unclear who Edward Callaghan was.
Please note that this is an abbreviated version of the genealogy report. The full report, as presented to the client with additional references and screen shots is available for Green Room members to download here.