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They’re not always where you expect them to be!

View from the south-east.

St. Anne’s COI - Kilbarron

   I’ve been looking for my 3rd great grandparents graves for a number of years.  Mathew and Isabella Mackey/Mackay lived and died in the northern part of County Leitrim, Kinlough in Rossinver parish.  I have both their death certificates (from the 1870s), but had no idea where they were buried.  In 2012 I visited the Parish Church of Rossinver (where records don’t begin until 1878) and met the parish secretary who opened up the church for me.  She then took us to the Old Kinlough Cemetery where the stones in many cases were broken or overturned and even the ones standing were difficult to read.  No Mackeys to be found.  We also visited the New Kinlough Cemetery, but no luck there either.

   Well, now I know why!  They were buried in the Parish Church of Kilbarron in County Donegal.   And lo and behold, the parish records for Kilbarron were not at the Public Records Office and survive back to 1812.  My Mathew was born about 1783, so that doesn’t take me back far enough, but I was hoping that maybe their children were baptized there.  The only one I know is my 2nd great grandfather, James, born about 1830 and of course, he wasn’t there and although I found a number of Mackeys, none with parents of Mathew and Isabella.  I did find a death record for an Isabella Mackey, age 32 from Kinlough on 8 Feb 1859.  That would make her birth about 1827, making her the right age to be a sibling of James. Isabella was the mother of James, and James named one of his daughters Isabella.  I also found a number of identified family members buried in Kilbarron…my 2nd great grandparents, James and Rachel and their son Henry.  

   I frequently remind people to look at a map and to check the surrounding parishes for records.  Your families’ townland might have been closer to the church in the next parish.  That wasn’t the case with the Mackeys, as there were at least two Church of Ireland Churches between where they lived and Ballyshannon.  There must have been some connection between the family and Ballyshannon.  Now I just need to figure out what it was!

   One more day at PRONI, then down to Dublin.

   Happy Hunting!

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2018