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Reaching Across the Penal Times

Published: June 30, 2020


           The McGrath and Long families, who were neighbors in Central New York, have been traced back to Moyaliff and Holycross parishes of Co. Tipperary in a previous paper, The Long and McGrath Families. They were also found to be neighbors in Ireland where they were also neighbors to the Fanning and Tuohy families. A subsequent paper, The Neighbors in Ireland, studied these four families over a period of time that included the Great Famine. The ancestral homesteads of these families were located and in some cases  present day descendants of these families were identified.

          The present document is focused on the McGrath and Long family records which were successfully used to document connections among these families. The goal of this paper has been expanded from establishing connections among families in the early 19th century to also finding connections across the Penal Times into the 17th century.


The Long and McGrath Families

Published: October 27, 2011

       This document describes a search for family connections that literally began with just a couple pieces of paper. There was one McGrath family and three Long families that were the focus of the study. The connections and locations of those families were explored in Central New York from their arrivals down to the present day. It was subsequently discovered that these families had also been neighbors in Moyaliff and Holycross parishes back in Co. Tipperary, Ireland.


The Neighbors in Ireland

Published: December 5, 2011

       This document describes the follow on study after The Long and McGrath Families. In a search for the old homesteads of the McGrath and Long families an intensive study of the Irish land records was conducted. The primary source for land records of the post Famine period is the Griffith’s Valuation. Since several of the families of interest had left Ireland during the Famine they were not found in the published Griffith’s Valuation. The manuscript materials gathered during the famine capture the rapid change of the various occupants while recording the names of many individuals who left Ireland during the Famine. It was necessary to research the various manuscript materials that contained information on land, farm structures and valuations that were subsequently used to generate the Griffith’s Valuation. All of the families were found in these manuscript records along with the locations and descriptions of the structures on their farms. Additional families (Fanning and Tuohy) were found who were also connected to the McGrath and Long families. Family trees were constructed from church records, cemetery transcripts and valuation records known as the “Cancelled Books.”


        A research project presently underway is tracing the McGrath and Long families of the Moyaliff and Holycross area back further in time and possibly through the Penal Times of the 1700s. The documents below describe two previous research projects concerning these same families.

Additional information from the McGrath-Fanning papers (described in "The Neighbors in Ireland" below) has allowed significant progress extending an area McGrath family back into the 1700s. This has benefited the other local McGrath families by claiming several of the extra McGrath families that have not previously been assigned to a family branch. The information on the associated Family Church Records (see below) is an important resource for this project, enabling the achievement of its research goals. These family records were originally destined for the Appendix of the new document but they proved too numerous. Placing them on the web site not only reduced the size of the document it also improves their access and usability.




Family Connections in Co. Tipperary

The purpose here is to emphasize family connections, their residences and to determine whether or not they had emigrated from Ireland and to where, by reducing the amount of information. What has been done in the majority of the cases is to summarize a much larger and more detailed amount of information. The results of this approach usually consist of one or more family tree structures containing a large amount of condensed information and some descriptive explanations in between. In this format it is possible to show the connections over 4-5 generations on a single page.


The Families in Ireland

McGrath - Long - Fanning - Tuohy



















Family Records

The Family Record pages contain the distillation of over 3600 transcribed baptismal records from the microfilmed Parish Registers of Moyaliff, Holycross, and the surrounding parishes. These five Roman Catholic (RC) parishes are: Ballycahill_Holycross, Clonoulty, Drom_Inch, Thurles, Upperchurch_Drombane, and together contain ten civil parishes. These parishes were selected because they surround the areas of Moyaliff and Holycross which were the focus of the families described in The Neighbors in Ireland.

There is a separate page for each surname with sections for each of these RC parishes. There are two tables for each RC parish which contain records organized into families, one sorted by fathers of the surname and the other sorted by mothers of the surname. The ladies usually disappear into the records, hiding under their married names, but the Parish Register records have resurrected their maiden names in many cases.  For the larger families their information is also presented in the family tree format that provides additional information. If you find your ancestors among these families please contact the web site owner –

Introduction - The Civil Records


Registration Districts

McGrath Thurles Cashel
Long Thurles Cashel

The civil registration of Catholic births, marriages and deaths were required beginning in 1864. These records through about 1920 are available on line at  The birth and marriage records of the McGrath and Long families in the Thurles and Cashel registration districts were extracted from the civil records. The results are presented in a series of four papers: McGrath in Thurles and Cashel; Long in Thurles and Cashel. Each paper has its own table of contents so that it’s possible to easily navigate these data intense papers. The primary areas of interest are the civil parishes of Upperchurch, Moyaliff and Holycross but it was decided to use a larger net and to transcribe all the McGrath and Long birth and marriage records in both of the above registration districts.









Copyright © 2006 - Michael F. McGraw

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