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Looking for where Thomas McCaffrey (1813-1873) and his wife Dorcas Ann Willoughby (1817-1872) came...

Looking for where Thomas McCaffrey (1813-1873) and his wife Dorcas Ann...

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Great Britain
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Thomas and Dorcas are my great great grandparents who arrived in Melbourne, Australia on 13 January 1852 on the "Bride" from Plymouth. They were accompanied by their then 7 children. My great grandfather, James, was born in Melbourne in 1855. Thomas was a cooper or carpenter and obviously was reasonably prosperous as he has a double grave at the Melbourne General Cemetery.
My father always said that the McCaffreys came from Northern Ireland but I know nothing more than that as Thomas' death certificate only says Ireland for his birth place, and Dorcas' death certificate gives MONA as her birth place. Daughter Matilda has a birthplace of CAVA, and son Hugh may have been baptised in 1839 in Kinnally, Fermanagh and Cavan, Ireland.
I cannot find marriage records for Thomas and Dorcas on ancestry.com, but as their first child was born in 1834 I assume it was around 1833.
As I plan to be in Ireland for 2 weeks in September I would love to know more about where they came from so I can include their home place in my itinerary.
Any assistance will be much appreciated!
Posted Fri 28 Dec 2018 7:05 AM
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Island of Ireland
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Hi Annette,

McCaffrey was indeed a popular name in and around County Fermanagh and the other provinces of Ulster generally, especially back in the day that your family moved to Australia.

The places Mona and Cava could just be shortened versions of Monaghan and Cavan as there are no known townlands with those specific names.

Before 1864 records were kept in the form of church and parish records; while some of these have regrettably been lost over the years, all the surviving records have been sorted into county-based genealogical centres. For County Fermanagh, it would be the Irish World Family History Services, and for Cavan, it would be Cavan Genealogy.

We also have some Irish Family tips on the community already that may be of some help with extra tips and links provided by Brian Mitchell.

I'm sure our Industry partners and fellow members will have some advice also.

We hope this helps get you started, and that you are able to find some more information on the old family home place for your visit in September.

Martin
Posted Fri 28 Dec 2018 10:27 AM
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Dear Martin
Thank you for your quick and detailed reply - I am very grateful. I will follow the leads that you suggest and hope to come up with something. 1851 and earlier seems a long time ago though, and the names are so common it may be a needle in a haystack!
kind regards
Annette



Posted Sat 29 Dec 2018 6:25 AM
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Hello Annette, 

We hope that Martin's suggestions will lead to more information about your ancestors! If you ever have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us again. 

I wish you the best of luck on your search, and keep us posted on your findings! 

Warm regards, 

Melin
Posted Sat 29 Dec 2018 9:46 AM
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Thanks, Melin. 
No luck so far - not knowing exactly where my Thomas McCaffrey came from doesn't help as it is such a common name in Fermanagh, and there seems to be no Dorcas Willoughby listed around Monaghan either. 
best wishes
Annette
Posted Sun 30 Dec 2018 1:09 AM
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Derry~Londonderry
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Hi Annette

The surname McCaffrey is almost exclusive to the province of Ulster; it is the sixth most numerous name in its homeland, County Fermanagh, and is common too in County Tyrone and, to a lesser extent, in County Monaghan.

If sources/contacts at your end can't identify the townland/parish origin of your ancestors your best bet is to examine the 'big' Irish family history databases of www.irishgenealogy.ie and www.rootsireland.ie for potential entries of interest. For example, a neat feature of RootsIreland (and a free feature once you sign up) is to examine surname locations of heads of household  in census substitutes such as mid-19th century Griffitth's Valuation and early-19th century tithe books to identify County/parish/townland locations of households of interest. These sources may suggest parishes/townlands to concentrate your research in.
Posted Thu 3 Jan 2019 12:43 PM
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Derry~Londonderry
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Hi Annette

The surname McCaffrey is almost exclusive to the province of Ulster; it is the sixth most numerous name in its homeland, County Fermanagh, and is common too in County Tyrone and, to a lesser extent, in County Monaghan.

If sources/contacts at your end can't identify the townland/parish origin of your ancestors your best bet is to examine the 'big' Irish family history databases of www.irishgenealogy.ie and www.rootsireland.ie for potential entries of interest. For example, a neat feature of RootsIreland (and a free feature once you sign up) is to examine surname locations of heads of household  in census substitutes such as mid-19th century Griffitth's Valuation and early-19th century tithe books to identify County/parish/townland locations of households of interest. These sources may suggest parishes/townlands to concentrate your research in.
Posted Thu 3 Jan 2019 12:44 PM
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Hi Annette, as Brian and Martin have said, McCaffrey is a common surname in County Fermanagh however Willoughby is not as common so it may be helpful to search that surname. I had a look at the Willoughby entries in the tithe books from the 1820s and 1830s and found that there were farmers of that surname living in the parishes of:
  • Larrah, Co. Cavan
  • Rossorry, Co. Fermanagh 
  • Currin, Co. Monaghan 
  • Donagh, Co. Monaghan 
  • Inishkeen, Co. Monaghan
I would recommend you search the records on www.rootsireland.ie. Alternatively we would be delighted to look into your family for you - we offer a range of research services, you can find out more here: www.ancestryireland.com/research-services/. 

Best wishes, Gillian

Gillian Hunt
Research Officer
Ulster Historical Foundation

Posted Thu 3 Jan 2019 3:13 PM
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Dear Brian and Gillian
Thank you for all of your hints. I too was thinking that Willoughby might be easier to search - and evidence seems to indicate that Dorcas was born in Monaghan. Dorcas seems an unusual name so that might help too, but a search on www.rootsireland.ie and www.irishgenealogy.ie for both Monaghan and Fermanagh between 1813 and 1852 turns up nothing for her.
I also get no result for "Baptism, Marriage and Burial results for thomas mccaffrey of fermanagh from 1813 to 1852" as a church records search on www.irishgenealogy.ie which seems odd given he has a common name and they are buried in the catholic section of the Melbourne General Cemetery. Similarly a civil records search for "Birth results for thomas mccaffrey from 1813 to 1852 ; Marriage results for thomas mccaffrey from 1813 to 1852" in Fermanagh or Monahan gets no results.
I guess I may have to think about commissioning a search, but it does seem odd!
best wishes
Annette 


Posted Fri 4 Jan 2019 12:57 AM
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Hi Annette, 

Have you had the chance to reach out to the Genealogy centres in County Fermanagh, Cavan and Monaghan? Before 1864 records were kept in the form of church and parish records, and all of the surviving records can now be found in county based genealogy centres.

I hope you'll receive more tips from our expert so you can uncover more about your ancestors. In the meantime, we're always here if there is anything you need.

Warm regards,

Melin
 
Posted Fri 4 Jan 2019 3:22 PM
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