St. Macartans near Clogher, County Tyrone

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george mccusker
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:51 am

St. Macartans near Clogher, County Tyrone

Post by george mccusker » Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:56 am

My name is George J McCusker and I live in Overland Park, Kansas.

In 1996, I traveled to Clogher in Southern Tyrone and visited ST. Macartan's church near Clogher. There were several McCuskers buried in the cemetary around the church. Can anyone tell me anything about them; Was/is St. Macartan's a Roman Catholic church and is it still standing?

Thank you.

jj.mccarroll
Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:17 pm

Re: McCUSKERs from Augharonan, McCARROLL from Corkhill

Post by jj.mccarroll » Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:56 pm

I am Jim Carroll, and I live in Utah - but I was from the San Francisco area for most of my 72 years. I have visited the Eskra - Fintona area a few times, but will be unable to do so again. This is the most up-to-date biography of the McCarrolls and McCuskers, but I will hopefully be adding to it as information becomes available.

My great grandfather, OWEN (or Eugene) McCARROLL (around 1840 – 1895), came from the townland of Corkhill, (or Corkill as many of the recorded records indicate) in the civil parish of Clogher, County Tyrone. Of the Roman Catholic faith, he was baptised and buried in Eskragh R.C. graveyard (Eskra). He married CATHERINE McCUSKER in Fintona’s R.C. church which is in the civil parish of Donacavey. Owen went by that name and not Eugene - probably because that was his father’s name.

[NOTE: A new development has occurred that may shed some light on the McCarroll ancestry. Eskra is a district or village in the Parish of Eskra and it contains St. Patrick's and a cemetery. St. Patrick's was founded in the early 1800s as a chapel of Clogher Parish and in 1870 it became a separate parish. On October 25th 1840 the cemetery was dedicated and the lease for the property was made in January 1843. It was by conveyance of Francis Jervis to Bishop Kernan, and two parishoners: Hugh Nugent of Newtownsaville and Ownen McCarroll of Corkhill. It may be that Owen McCarroll may be the father of my great grandfather, but more work will have to be done in that area. We do know that Owen and Eugene are interchangeable, and have the same meaning.

OWEN McCARROLL was the son of Eugene and Catherine, who were farmers in Corkhill, and he was born about 1840 in Donacavey. When he married my great grandmother he was registered as Eugene, but he signed the register as Owen.

CATHERINE McCUSKER was my great grandmother and she came from the townland of Augharonan, also in Donacavey. They were wed on 25 June 1867 in my great grandmother’s church in Donacavey. Little is known of my great grandmother's family but we can make out a few facts about Catherine and how she existed.

Owen and Catherine had a number of children: Ellen, b. 1871 - 1917, married Andrew BOGAN; Patrick (also known as The Yank), b. 1873 - ? (He appears to have been buried in the family plot at Eskragh); Thomas, b. 1875 - ? married to Catherine (Kitty) DALY (DALEY?) and emigrated to USA, perhaps from Newtownsaville. They were to change their name to Carroll in the US. Owen, b. 1877 - ?, and he married Brigid CONROY in Beragh, and lived in Curr. My grandfather was next: Michael Joseph (Mickey), b. 1879 – d. 1924. Then there were: Jane, b. 1871; and Hugh, b. 1883, both of whom lived in Corkill with their mother Catherine until her death in 1916.

When Patrick was baptised on 7 March 1873, the family name given was Owen CARROLL, and Catherine’s maiden name was McKUSKAR. The baby went by Patrick Carroll. We have no other record that this was a common practice, but it seems that in the States those that immigrated were known as Carrolls.

The family farm house in Corkill was there when I visited, but was removed about November 1982. I understand that the property is possibly owned by DEVINE family, who are also cousins. The resting place is the family plot in the R.C. Church Graveyard in Eskragh (Eskra).

Catherine McCusker's father was Patrick and she was born circa 1846 – 1851; she married Owen at "full age." (McCOSKER and McKUSKER may be variants of the name.) But, as is the case with most old Irish records, there is a discrepancy for the 1911 census lists herself as a 60 yr old widow while the 1901 census listed Catherine as a 45 year old widow. That may be the result of the old age pensions that went into place in 1908. She had a possible sibling: John McCUSKER of Legmaghery, but little is known of him except he was a single farmer.

Descendants of Owen and Catherine include the children of Andrew BOGAN (Ellen) who still are in the Fintona area, while some have moved on to Dublin. The DONNELLY’s live in Curr, Beragh; and they are related to Owen McCarroll and Brigid Conroy. The COADY family, who also owe their lineage to Ellen and Andrew Bogan, still reside in the Dublin area, while Catherine “Kitty” Coady had a vegetable store in Irish Town before she passed away. She had three children: Mary, John and Patrick.

My grandmother Agnes Bridget, or “Aggie,” was born around 1888 in San Francisco, California, USA to John AMOS GAFFIGAN (see another posting dealing with the Gaffigans on this site) and Maggie CRENNAN. My grandmother was described in the San Francisco Call Index upon her death as being Mary Agnes (Aggie) Bridget Crennan Carroll. She remembered living though San Francisco’s great earthquake and fire of 1906.

She left for Ireland when she reached majority, but we do not know if she accompanied Mickey McCarroll on that journey. But instead of being married in the Fintona area, where he chose to settle as a publican/merchant after residing in Omagh at least until 1914, they were wed on 25 June 1912, at St. Patrick’s Church in Dundalk, County Louth. We don't even know if they traveled together, or where in Ireland they landed, or where they stayed before they left for County Tyrone.

Mickey, or Michael Joseph, became a publican/auctioneer/seller of shoes and coffins on Main Street in Fintona (the pub owned by the late Mr. Francis McAtee). Michael and Agnes had a number of children, including my father: Michael Joseph, b. 25 March 1914 in Omagh; Patrick Eugene, b. 1915 who passed away after three days; Mary Catherine (who became Maura when she migrated to the USA), 1917 and passed away in 2004; Thomas Leo, b. 1918; Bernadette Anthony, b. 1919; and, Kevin Barry, b. 1921.

Michael Joseph Carroll had migrated to California in 1887, aboard the Etruria, to join his brothers in San Francisco: Thomas and Patrick, who had become USA citizens. In 1904 he also gained US citizenship. After sometime in the Bay Area he then returned to Fintona to get married and begin a family in 1912. There is some speculation that he was ill in California and returned to Ireland because of that reason, and had recovered.

There was some gossip that he purchased the public house in Fintona from his mother's estate or from some relative of the McCuskers. And then there were stories that the family was to return to San Francisco when he became ill and passed away.

My great grandfather was John Amos Gaffigan and he married Maggie Crennan. Because of the Great Fire and Earthquake records are hard to find. In 1867 Mary Gaffigan left for America with her two children: Thomas and John. John's middle name was named after his mother – which was Amos. They sailed on the Steamship Iowa which left Glasgow, thence to Moville, and finally arrived in New York in July that year. The family then went by sea to San Francisco, California, where they settled. The ship's manifest indicated incorrectly that they were Goffigans.

By the 1861 census Patrick Gaffigan and Mary Amos were married and living in Kilmarnock, Scotland and he had changed occupations to "carter" (or possibly "carder”), and his wife was Mary, and her occupation was “hand sewer.” They had two children who were born in 1856 at Coatbridge (Thomas) and 1859 at Paisley (John). Six years later his wife took the children to America, but without Patrick, who it appears had died but there is no record of that in Scotland..

We cannot locate any marriage registration or the birth of either Patrick and Mary, or a death certification of Patrick, and wonder if some of the stories told by the relatives were partially true: they were from Co. Tyrone or Ulster and only visited Scotland; we now know that John was not raised in Co. Tyrone, Ireland; and, finally, they left from Glasgow (not Moville, where they stopped for coal and more passengers) for the States. It appears from the manifest that they did not leave from Ireland, but from Scotland so we assume that they did not live in Ireland after 1850.

Catherine CRENNAN, Margaret's mother, was originally from Queens (Laois) County but had left for Northern California in the 1830s. It is also known that Catherine was a Murphy and had married Michael Crennan, who was younger and a hack driver in San Francisco. We know that John did go back to Ireland in 1914, probably to see his daughter Agnes and grandson Michael Joseph who was born that year in Omagh. Mary was left at home in San Francisco.

My grandfather, Mickey McCarroll, was to pass away at age 44 in Omagh. After they had sold the pub in Fintona’s main street, my grandmother packed up the children and she returned to San Francisco. Their voyage was on the S.S. Cameronia, a Lloyd’s mail ship which left from the Clyde in Scotland and picked up passengers at Moville, near Derry.

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