Friday, November 25, 2016


Thomas L. Murphy
Father               Thomas N. Murphy                                                                                    
Grandparents                           Thomas J. Murphy          &             Florence McDonald                      
Great Grandparents     John Murphy & Honora Quinlan   Owen McDonald & MARY O’CALLAHAN

I have researched for a long time trying to find where in Ireland this side of the family originated. The O’CALLAHAN family is the family of my husband’s paternal Great Grandmother Mary O’CALLAHAN. Mary O’CALLAHAN was the youngest daughter of Callahan O’CALLAHAN and Julia O’BRIEN.  She had two brothers, Patrick and John and three sisters Joanne, Margaret and Ellen who were all born in Ireland. Mary was born in New York. I have not found her birth record but she probably was born between 1839 and 1853.  Her mother Julia O’BRIEN O’ CALLAHAN died in 1853 in New York.

Mary married Owen MCDONALD about 1866 in New York and I have her in census records and death records.  Owen MCDONALD and Mary O’CALLAHAN had 7 children, George, Oscar, Blanche, Ida, Ellen, Gertrude and Florence.  In some of the census records I have found Ellen O’CALLAHAN living with the MCDONALD family as sister-in-law to Owen MCDONALD.  This was how I found the maiden name of Mary MCDONALD.  The break through to finding the town the O’CALLAHAN family originated from in Ireland was from the obituary of Ellen O’CALLAHAN in 1921 in New York.

Brooklyn Eagle Page 22,  April 22, 1921 (

I searched the parish records for the town of Castletownroche, County Cork, Ireland on the web site for the National Library in Ireland ( and found the birth records for the 5 children born to Callahan O’CALLAHAN and Julia O’BRIEN and their marriage record.
Callahan O’CALLAHAN and Julia O’BRIEN were married 26 April 1826 in Castletownroche
All the brothers and sisters of Mary were born in Castletownroche

Joanne was born 4 June 1829
Patrick was born 25 April 1831
Ellen was born 24 August 1833
John was born 4 November 1835
Margaret was born 25 July 1838

More and more records are becoming available on-line that will help in the research of family histories.
Many of the Irish parish registers are now on-line and can be viewed for free.  You must have the parish that the family came from not just the county. Many newspapers are being put on-line now, some like the Brooklyn Eagle are free but there are fee paying web sites that have newspapers also such as,, and

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