From Glanmire, County Cork, Ireland to Glenmire, Gloucester County NB
Is there a Connection?
In 1967, as my centennial Project, I decided to research my family history. This led to an ongoing study that got my mother doing a lot of research in the old church registry. My brother Paul also got involved, so much so that he produced a book on The O’Connells of Nigadoo in 1985. In Paul’s book, he tells of “accounts handed down over the years in the O’Connell family telling of the family’s departure from Glanmire, Cork county and their arrival at the port of Saint Peters (now Bathurst) with sixteen other Irish families” in 1823.
On Friday May 13th, 1994, my wife Rolande and I leave Fredericton, NB and arrive at Shannon Airport in Ireland around noon the next day. We meet up with my brother Paul and his wife Kathy, who are already touring Ireland. On the 11th day of our visit to Ireland, we reach Cork, and the nearby port of Cobh, where our ancestors left in 1823 for the New World. Paul and I wanted to make the link between Ireland and New Brunswick. Paul & Kathy had previously visited Glanmire, a small village, 6 kilometers (4 miles) east of Cork. The name Glanmire is an English version of the Irish names Gleann Maghair, the valley of the fishes. The Glashaboy River, which runs through Glanmire, comes from the Irish name Glaise Buidhe, the yellow stream.
We make our way to the presbytery of St. Joseph’s parish in Glanmire. We are looking for the church records. The parish priest opens the safe and allows us to look at the registers while he goes on an errand. We do not find what we are looking for. The registers are from 1842 to 1919. We are looking for 1823 or earlier. The microfiches for that period are in the National Library in Dublin.
Paul then guides us through Glanmire. We go to a rowhouse structure that Paul indicates
‘Are old workers cottages which used to belong to a big English landlord. After the Irish Independence they turned them over to the county council. Eventually the county council sold it to the people living in them. So, they are very, very old. Finbar (McCarthy, whose mother was a Connell) who lives in the first cottage, the white one, says that they are a couple of hundred years old. The fourth cottage, with the brand new roof and the back part, was known as the old Connell cottage and there was an old Lizzie Connell who lived there at the end of it, an old spinster. So that possibly could be the home of the Connells when we (our ancestors) still lived here, I knew that this was the O’Connell cottage. I had written a letter to the Cork Examiner about twenty five years ago and a women from Wales answered the ad and she had sent me a picture of that cottage.’1
Although we did enjoy our visit to Glanmire, with a stop at the Booth House Pub (next to St. Michael’s Church – built in 1808) in Upper Glanmire, supper at the John Barleycorn Hotel Pub in Glenmore, we still have that burning question: Is this the actual place where our ancestors lived in Ireland?
Paul had done some research at the National Library in Dublin before our arrival and could not find the connection. On May 27, 1994, I also go to the National Library to do research. I take out microfiche P4789 of the church registry for St. Joseph’s Church in Glanmire. It covers the period from 1802 to 1821. I do find Connells but no connections to John Connell & Ellen Quinn. The records however are not complete, as pages covering Feb. 1816 to June 1816 are missing. The name Connell is also spelled in different ways and some names are either missing or I cannot make out the name. Although at the time I was not looking for other names that may be associated with Glenmire, Gloucester County, some of the family names found in the records (such as married to or witness to marriages or baptisms) are similar to names found on the land grants for Glenmire, Gloucester County such as: Connell, Cunningham & Walsh. Other names are similar to names in the Bathurst area, such as Hogan, Watling, Sullivan, Murphy, Cahil, Miller, Callahan, Mahoney and Riordon.
Where is this place identified as Glenmire, Gloucester County, NB?
GLENMIRE SETTLEMENT, GLOUCESTER COUNTY, NEW BRUNSWICK
At a Nepisiguit Genealogical Circle meeting at the Nepisiguit Centennial Library I was told by Hazel Pentland’s grand daughter (Hazel was 89 years old at the time) that Glenmire was the area along the Dunlop Road north of Hadley’s Mill. I mentioned this to Dad – Gerald O’Connell (89 years old on Dec. 5, 1998) and he said that he knew about the name and the area called Glenmire.
During the celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Holy Family Church in Bathurst I read in one of the NB Archives documents – “The Mercury 1826-1829” about a place called Glenmire. On page 161 of the document:
May 1, 1849 Gloucester County Bye Roads. Grants:
A survey submitted on August 12th, 1836 by Burton indicates the family names of the people living in this area. Directly north of the Clark Grant, we have Hugh Crane. Crane may have been without a family or close relatives. From the Bathurst Deeds Office Book 2, Page 446, #406 Hugh Crane’s Will in 1837 gives half of his land to Peter Cunningham and the other half to his son Patrick. At the time Patrick was only about 5 years old and the land to be held until his 21st birthday.2 Patrick Cunningham was born on March 17, 1831 and baptized at the Holy Family Church on the 15 of April 1831. (Sponsors: Thomas Doherty & Helen Connell). He was married to Mary Driscoll at the Petit Rocher Church on Oct 3, 1865, (Witness John & Helen Connell).3
Patrick Cunningham, his wife Mary Driscoll and family moved to Idaho, USA in the late 1870s. John Quinn and his wife Ellen Cunningham (Patrick’s sister) did likewise.4 Of course the other Cunningham sister, Mary, is of particular interest to our family as she married our great grandfather, John Connell, and remained on the homestead in “Glenmire” or Nigadoo or today’s Tremblay. The other family name on the next lot was that of John Lusk. This is also an Irish name. John Lusk did not get the grant, which was finally granted to a William Molloy. Molloy, however did not live on this lot. From Donat Robichaud’s book on Beresford, William Molloy lived near Grant’s Brook in Beresford.
“The farm of Mr. William Molloy, Esq. on which is a very fine residence, is of great extent, is well managed, and show what skill and energy can effect. Mr. Molloy is one of the few Irish settlers on this route. He is from the south of his native country, and is a Presbyterian. The farm is only surpassed in these parts by the Ferguson-Rankin farm.”5
Mr. Molloy was also involved with the river drive on the Nigadoo River since, in 1847, he is asking for a grant to pay for expenses that he incurred in the building of a dam or a sluice so that the logs could bypass the Nigadoo Falls. The Nigadoo Falls were located on the Connell lots along the Nigadoo River. Francis Connell had 200 acres on the south side of the river while John Connell was granted 70 acres on the North side.6 The other family name in the 1836 survey was that of Walsh. William Walsh was granted 200 acres, which was situated between the Lusk and the Connell lots.
Of the family names that were originally in Glenmire, Gloucester County, only two remain. The Walsh family still live on the original grant in what is now called Upper Nigadoo as well as John & Rod O’Connell, who live in what is now called Tremblay and on the original grant to John Connell.
Driscoll, Ann Nilsson, They Came to a Ridge, Moscow, Idaho, The News Review Publishing, 1970.
_______, Holy Family Parish Register, 1798-1920, Ezella O’Connell, Volume 1, A-H.
LeBlanc, Ernestine, Dunlop Book, 1989.
O’Connell, Paul M., The O’Connells of Nigadoo, Collection of the New Brunswick Legislative Library, 1985.
Robichaud, Donat, Beresford, Le Petit Nipisiguit, privately published, 1984.