McGrath Genealogy Upperchurch Connections   What's New

Family Connections

           This page contains the results of efforts to discover and document connections among families from the central part of Co. Tipperary. The origins of the efforts that led to these papers are varied. Some began as a simple email question and others began as a systematic search of the Irish records.

The papers in the Thomas Maher Connections section began as several separate papers which had been revised several times over the years. In early 2018, while working on the Conan papers, I re-read an old email from researcher, Gay Young. It was about Thomas Maher and in the email she sketched out a partial version of Maher’s family tree. There were a couple modifications that needed to be made but the information was sufficient to establish connections among five families, including Thomas Maher.

            The descriptions of a number of the papers on this page contain the names of individuals with their contact information which is contained within the paper itself. These are the present day descendants of the persons discussed in the papers. Many of these papers are the result of years of collaboration and contain the most up to date information on the connections of the individuals described in the papers. It is hoped that readers will contact the individuals or myself if they think they have possible family connections to those described.

            In some cases family records have begun to be connected through the assistance of other researchers aided by the recent additional of DNA information. The papers below will continue to be updated as new information is discovered and more family connections are made.




This 2006 picture shows one of Con Ryan's barns, looking northeast, in the townland of Gleninchnaveigh (Glown) about 3 km west of the village of Upperchurch, Co. Tipperary.



Family Connections in Co. Tipperary

Upperchurch - Moyaliff - Clogher - Clonoulty - Holycross


"From the connection of little pieces are great puzzles solved."



The McGrath Families of Clogher and Clonoulty - NEW

The following papers have been researched, written, and revised over the past few years with two having been previously published on the site. All six papers have been revised and updated using parish and civil records combined with land and census records. The common thread among these papers is that all the families have a connection to Clogher and/or Clonoulty civil parishes.

One of the goals in writing these papers was to find any connections among the families described in the six papers, either familial or geographic. An effort was also made to extend the various family histories as far back into the past as possible. The papers below are listed roughly in the chronological order in which the papers were first conceived.


The Ryans and McGraths of Drumbane


Clonoulty - McGrath and Hayes


McGrath Clonoulty Curragh Descent


The McGraths of Turraheen


Descendants of Michael McGrath and Mary Ryan of Clonoulty


James McGrath of Coolacussane


The Thomas Maher Connections





The Connors and O’Brien Families

The Connors family had been living in the townland of Fantane, Glenkeen parish, Co. Tipperary, located about 8 km north of the village of Upperchurch. Thomas Connors came to the US with his mother Mary Ryan Connors Maher, his step-father Cornelius Maher and his half-sister Bridget Maher in 1851.


The Roger Ryan Family of Cuyler

The Roger Ryan family was from the townland of Ballyboy, Upperchurch parish, Co. Tipperary. Ballyboy is located about 2 km southeast of the village of Upperchurch along the north side of the Angelsey Road (R503). Roger Ryan and Mary Ryan were married at Upperchurch on February 23, 1832. According to various records they had at least 9 children all of whom were born in Ireland.


The O’Donnell Families

The Thomas and Mary Maher family came to the attention of the author from a family genealogy document titled “Descendants of Thomas Maher.” The trail of this family picks up in 1859 in Pompey, NY. The Thomas and Mary O’Donnell Maher family is one of 10 O’Donnell families in the document.


The Conan Family of Foilagoule, Moyaliff, Co. Tipperary

Jerry and Winifred Walsh Conan survived the Great Irish Famine on their small five acre farm in the townland of Foilagoule, in Moyaliff parish, Co. Tipperary, located 3 km southwest of the village of Upperchurch. As the famine came to an end various members of his family decided to emigrate from Ireland to America. Five of their six known children would leave Ireland in the next decade and they all settled in the Pompey area of Onondaga County in Central New York State.


The Descendants of Thomas Maher

Cornelius Maher married Mary Ryan Connors in Ireland in 1845 and they had two children in Ireland and a final child in Pompey in 1853. Mary had a history in Ireland and it was possible to find records of both of her marriages and the baptisms of her children. It was also possible to find the Connors/Maher land holding in the townland of Fantane, Glenkeen parish, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. Thomas Maher (b. 1824) found his future wife, Mary O’Donnell in Pompey, NY and left no trace in the Irish records. The children of Thomas Maher and Mary O’Donnell were found in the Pompey census records. John Maher married Mary Coonan in Ireland, all their children were born after they settled in Pompey, NY in 1850.  She was followed by her brothers James in 1852, John in 1855 and sister Honora by 1863. The children of John Maher and Mary Coonan were found in the US census records.


Upperchurch Ryan Cousins Connected   December 18, 2017

Well documented paper trails with an assist from DNA testing results succeed in sorting out and connecting five Ryan related cousins. They are descended from ancestors in the Upperchurch area in the heart of Ryan country in Co. Tipperary. Four persons are 3rd or 4th cousins relative to one Ryan ancestor and all five are 5th or 6th cousins relative to an even more distant common ancestor.


The link below leads to several documents, which describe the family connections of these newly connected cousins via well documented family trees. The last document describes all the descendants of the common ancestors: John Ryan and Ellen Kennedy. 




Michael McGraw - McGrath and Ryan


Roger Hoffman - Ryan and Kennedy


Clare McCarthy - Ryan and Lee


Eugene Ryan - Ryan and Kennedy


Descendants of John Ryan and Ellen Kennedy

The McGrath and Harty Families of Cooleen and Knockakelly 02-08-20 - NEW 02-08-20

This report was initiated during research for McGraths in the civil records when a cluster of McGrath families in Coleen and Knockakelly (Glenkeen parish, Co. Tipperary) was discovered. A descendant of a McGrath family of Cooleen, who is still occupying the family Cooleen land, provided the links which traced his Cooleen McGrath family down to the present day.

McGrath - Ryan of Upperchurch  June 22, 2017

Anne Merrick Coburg is the gg-granddaughter of Thomas McGrath and Mary Ryan of Upperchurch. Thomas McGrath was the son of Patrick McGrath and Johanna Ryan. Mary Ryan was the daughter of Michael Ryan and Nance Bourke. Her gg-grandparents and their children migrated to Australia in 1854 and settled in the Ballarat area. 

[Anne Merrick]

Upperchurch Cemetery Connections - August 3, 2017

Update: February 26, 2022 - UPDATED

             The task of finding Upperchurch area ancestors is complicated by the fact that the church records for that parish only go back to 1829. Researching earlier than that year requires some good luck in the form of gravestone inscriptions or finding an old genealogy at an estate sale. In the case of Upperchurch, it was the gravestone inscriptions that allowed ancestor searches to proceed back into the 18th century in some cases.

This section has been reformatted from the original single large paper into separate smaller papers, each based on one or more present day individuals with connections to ancestors buried in the Upperchurch cemetery. A while ago, a set of gravestone photos (almost entirely Ryan related) and inscriptions were combined into family tree structures. Since 2015, the readily available church records found in the Parish Registers has allowed some of those family trees to be expanded even further.

This has also provided opportunities for the creation of additional papers which make extensive use of the cemetery pictures, transcribed inscriptions and the expanded family trees. The Image numbers referenced in the papers below are all from the collection of Jeanie’s Upperchurch cemetery pictures.


Michael McGraw - Ryan and Hayes Connections in Glown

            This paper focuses on Jerry Ryan (brother of my gg-grandmother, Mary Ryan) and his wife, Anne Hayes, of Gortahoola. Jerry discovered coal on his property in Gleninchnaveigh and it was mined for a few years until it proved not to be economically feasible. It was the dispensation found in the church records for the 1878 marriage of Jerry and Anne Ryan’s son, Edmund, to Ellen Ryan, also of Glown, which demonstrated that Edmund and Ellen were 3rd cousins. After Jerry’s death on May 27, 1860, Anne married a second time, on June 22, 1860, to Ned Ryan of Gortnahalla. Anne’s connections from her 2nd marriage are found in the inscriptions on gravestone Image #303.


Tony Hayes Burke - Hayes Ancestors of Gortahoola

Two branches of the Hayes family are described in the gravestone inscriptions found in Image #309. In this paper one of those branches has been brought all the way down to the present day, in the person of Tony Hayes Burke. Much of the information presented in this paper was contributed by Tony himself. One of the branches took up residence in Coolbawn which is a sub-townland in Moyaliff parish. Tony’s branch took up residence in Gortahoola, also in Moyaliff parish. This Gortahoola branch of the Hayes family is also that of Anne Hayes Ryan, from the previous paper. However, Anne’s exact connection to this branch has not been determined.


 Graeme Reed - Ryan Ancestors of Commanealine - Revised March 3, 2022

Graeme Reed was trying to establish his connection with the Ryans of Glown. By combining his information with some additional research it was possible to sort out the connections of the individuals mentioned in the gravestone inscriptions in Images 316 and 317. It turned out that three generations of Cornelius Ryans from Commanealine, was the source of the Connie nickname used by the Ryans of Glown. In the end, two possible descents were proposed that would link Graeme to the Ryans of Glown. According to the Commanealine descent he would be the 3rd cousin, twice removed, of Con Ryan (Connie) of Glown, as he suspects. The 2nd descent (Upperchurch) would make Graeme the 5th cousin, twice removed, of Con Ryan.

 Patty Ryan Foley - Ryan Ancestors of Mogland

Patty was looking for other Ryan family members and she knew that her ancestors had come from the Upperchurch area. Her gg-grandparents were Denis and Honoria Ryan, which led to gravestone Image #326 in the Upperchurch cemetery. From there another branch of the family that was identified from the gravestone inscription. In addition to her grandfather, Thomas Ryan, who came to the US in 1870, Thomas’ parents had 7 additional children. In the Appendix of this paper there is an email from Patty which contains a wonderful description of her trip of discovery to Upperchurch back in about 2016.


McGrath-Ryan-Kennedy-Gleeson  May 1, 2017 - Revised Jan 23, 2019

Kennedys from Seskin, Upperchurch; McGraths from Clonoulty parish and Ballynamoney, Moyaliff parish; Gleeson from Drombane, Moyaliff parish and Ryan from Turraheen, Clogher parish. Some Kennedy, Gleeson and Ryan families wound up in Central NY. Michael McGrath of Ballynamoney was tentatively connected to parents and grandparents through the Parish Registers of Clonoulty.

[Jean Schelah; Paul Glaganski]

McGrath-Dwyer-Ryan Families  Jan 24, 2020 - UPDATED

Thomas Magrath and Julian Magrath had two children in the Upperchurch records and then disappeared. They were found in Borrisoleigh where they had eight more children while living in Knockakelly, Glenkeen parish. Their daughter Bridget immigrated to Syracuse, NY in 1877, where she married Matthew James Dwyer in 1889. Although born in Syracuse in 1860 Matthew's parents (Thomas Dwyer and Mary Ryan) were married on June 11, 1848 in Holycross. There are three Ryan families from the Clonoulty area who are connected with these families.

[Patricia Maurer]

The Trail of James McGrath   Apr 16, 2017

Update: March 29, 2018

From the Clonoulty area in about 1850, to Pompey, Onondaga County, NY. Married Bridget Ryan, a girl from back home in Ireland, In late 1858 moved to Maple Ridge, Lewis County, NY. This is the story of the search for his parents in Ireland where the possibilities have been narrowed to two families.

[Jane Ostrowidzki; Karen Kenealy]

McGrath-Hayes  Apr 14, 2017 - Revised August 10, 2022

From Clonoulty to Albany, NY and Australia. Connection made via DNA testing.

[John McGrath; Margaret-Mary Hayes; Clare Louden]

Clonoulty Family Data Oct 4, 2015 - Revised Nov 8, 2018

Mostly McGrath in Clonoulty Curragh merging cemetery data, family stories and church records.

[Con Ryan of Dublin]


















Copyright © 2006 - Michael F. McGraw

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