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Thank you for visiting my blog!

This blog is used to share information that I find about the families that I am researching. To see these family names click on the tab above. Please feel free to contribute your stories or research and make comments, corrections, and ask questions.

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My posts can be accessed by the date posted from the column on the right. Blog posts containing specific surnames can be found by clicking on the names in the left column.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Irish Uprising: Michael Fahey

My husband, Bill, and I visited Michael Fahey at his home in Caheravoneen during a trip to Ireland in November 1981.  Bill was in Ireland in 1980 and had met Michael at that time. In 1981, Michael was 80 years old and lived in a stone cottage with a thatched roof on farmland about three miles from the town of Kinvara.  I remember a very large fireplace and wires that came through the ceiling leading directly to a television. There was a pair of Staffordshire dogs and some other antiques on the fireplace mantel. I recall that it was very cold inside the house and I am sure that it was not by choice that I was there.  At 26 years old, my preference would have been visiting shops in the quaint little towns or at least sitting in a restaurant or pub with heat.  However, as Michael started talking about the Quinn family, I remember thinking that the information should be recorded and wrote the information on a letter that was attached to our airline tickets.  This was more than ten years before my interest in family history and I am glad that I had the common sense to record and save the information.

Michael Fahey in his home at Caheravoneen – November 1981

The home of Michael Fahey in Caheravoneen – November 1981

I hoped that you enjoyed my Quinn family stories. Please contact me if you have questions or can add to the stories. 

Next – Pearl Harbor


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

The Irish Uprising: The Quinn Home

Two references to the burning of the Quinn home were found while researching old newspapers. The first is below.

Burning of Widow’s House
“I am having full inquiry made into it,” said the Attorney-General in the House of Commons yesterday, who asked whether the Chief Secretary would make inquires into the circumstances under which the house of a widow living at Caheroneen, Kinvara, was recently burnt to the ground by men alleged to be members of the forces of the Crown; whether seven men who were in the house at the time were stripped of their clothes, which were burned, and whether it was a fact that no attack had been made in that district on the forces of the Crown.
                          From the Freeman’s Journal - Thursday, March 3, 1921

On August 7, 1922, the Freeman’s Journal reported a brief list of those who applied for reconstruction loans “in respect of injury to property in pursuante of the Irish Provisional Government’s Public Notice No. 10. dated 14th May 1922” Bridget Quinn’s loan # 123 for £450 was for property described as “Dwelling-house and out-houses, Caheroroneen, Kinvara, County Galway.

I don’t know if Bridget Quinn received this loan or by what other means she obtained the funds to build a new home. Michael Fahey stated that the most of her children were in the United States. I am sure that some of them sent money. 
Michael Fahey said that when the house was burned, the women stayed with Andy Quinn’s family. Andy was Bridget Quinn’s brother-in-law; brother of her dead husband, William Joseph Quinn I.  He also stated that the Quinns lived in a barn for a few years and when their new home was built, it was the first two story home in Caheravoneen.

Below is a photograph of the Quinn home taken in 1981.  At the time, it appeared that the house was empty.  In 1989, the house was still standing, but was filled with hay as it was being used for storage.

The below photograph was taken in the 1950s by anthropologist, Robert Cresswell, and found in the Robert Cresswell Kinvara Archive at Look at the house behind the hayfield. It looks like it might be the Quinn home.  Spend some time looking at these interesting pictures of Kinvara and the surrounding area. 

According to information at Kinvara Online, Robert Cresswell waived his copyright to persons who wish to use the photographs for educational or heritage purposes.

Next - The Irish Uprising: Michael Fahey


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Irish Uprising: 1921

“Nov. 1920 was surrounded by Auxiliaries under command of Thomas McInerney. Was on the run for two months.”

William Quinn’s service with the Irish Volunteers/IRA appeared to have ended in 1920. What happened during that ambush in November 1920?  Why was he “on the run?”

In a 1939 narrative about his service in 1920, William Joseph Quinn II wrote, “My home was sacked and burned   the tans were looking for me   when I was not here they burned my house outhouses and all the hay corn and live stock   my brother was home so they beat him and fractured his scull with the result that he is now in an insane assilum in Ballinasloe. Was on the run latter part of year   took part in the burning of Kinvara RIC Barricks, Kileolgar house.  Took  part in several ambushes in Kinvara  Ballindereen  Adrdrahan and some in Co Clare. I am sorry I can not memorise any of the dates aft Jan 1921”

While William Quinn was vague about the date that his home was burned, Michael Fahey was not. Michael, a friend and neighbor of the Quinn family in Ireland, accurately reported that the original Quinn family home was burned by the “tan” on February 11, 1921.  The following accounts of the burning of the Quinn home were found in old Irish newspapers.

Galway Man’s Plight
Stripped and Clothes Burned
A number of disguised men on Friday night, a Gort report says, visited the house of Mrs. B. Quinn, Cahiraroneen, Kinvara, where 9 young men were card-playing. These were taken outside, put against a wall, and ordered to take off their clothes. Two made their escape, and as they did so shots were fired. The clothes of the remainder were put in a heap and burned, and they, meantime, were compelled to lie on the road face downward.
The dwelling house, some corn, and a barn containing oats, potatoes, machinery, etc., were also set on fire. The young men were after told to clear off, and as they did so, more shots were fired. Mrs. Quinn says the raiders stated they were looking for murderers of police, but no murder of Crown forces had taken place in that district. Mr. P. Glynn of the same district, it is also alleged, was taken from his bed on Friday night and ill treated.
From the Irish Independent - Monday, February 21, 1921

 (From Our Correspondent)
            On Friday night, the 11th inst. a party of men, numbering about fourteen, visited the house of Mrs. Bridget Quinn, widow, Caheraroneen, Kinvara. The party wore false moustaches and beards. On entering the house, where about nine young men were card-playing, they ordered’ “Hands up!” and questioned each man.  Then they searched the house, and put the men outside the door.  As each man passed the threshold he is alleged to have been ill treated. When the last man had come out, all were placed against a wall and ordered to take off their clothes. At this moment two of the men made good their escape by running away, seven or eight shots being discharged in their direction.
            The remaining seven men had to take off their clothes, which were then placed in a heap and burned to ashes.  Meanwhile the dwelling-house was set on fire, and when this was done the barn and two stacks of corn were burned. The barn contained oats, potatoes, machinery, etc. in the stable were two horses which had narrow escapes from the flames. 
            The owner, Mrs. Quinn, implored the raiders to allow her to free the animals while the buildings were burning, and they did so. Fowl fled to and fro in the yard, and were killed.  While the young men’s clothes were burning, they had to lie on the road, face downwards. After about an hour, when the second party of raiders came from another house {Patrick Glynn’s home}, the men were ordered to stand up, and, it is alleged, they were marched about one-and – a – half miles to where two lorries were situated, and compelled to sing “God Save the King,” the words being repeated after one of the men in charge. Ultimately they were told to “clear off,” several shots were fired after them. The flames from Mrs. Quinn’s house lighted up the village.  The young men were scarcely able to move after the terrible ordeal they had gone through. 
            Mrs. B. Quinn, in an interview stated: “When the raiders arrived my daughters and I were placed in a room, and instructed to stay there. The outer door was locked on us, and they began to set fire to the house. We were told to go out the back door.  There was no back door to the house; so I informed them of this.  We were then allowed to go out the front door.  Immediately the house was set on fire, and then the barn, stables, and two stacks of corn were burned. While all were burning the young men who were at my home were being badly treated on the road.  My two horses were badly burned, as it was with great difficulty I was able to loose them from their stalls.  The raiders stated they were looking for the murderers of police. No murder of Crown forces has taken place in this district.  I am now left with my house and everything inside it burned, and I did not get one moment to take out anything.”
From the Connacht Tribune - Saturday, February 19, 1921

Search At Mr. Patrick Glynn’s Caheraroneen 
            On Friday night the 11tin inst., the house of Mr. Patrick Glynn, Caheraroneen, Kinvara was searched. Mr. Glynn was in bed at the time the searchers arrived. He was told to get up and open the door. He did so, and on answering his name, it is alleged, he was ill-treated and brought outside, where a man with a hay-fork placed him against the wall, put a prong of the fork each side of his neck, and held him there with his hands up.  While he was in this position the house was searched.  The party then came out and closed the door.  Mr. Glynn was marched along the road from his house and it is alleged, beaten with rifles and the hay-fork.  A flash-lamp was turned on him, and he was ordered to “clear off” when several shots were fired after him.
                                    From the Connacht Tribune - Saturday, February 19, 1921

Michael Fahey might have been one of those nine young men. Although much younger than William Quinn, he served in the old IRA. Michael Fahey stated, “Willie {William Joseph Quinn II} was missing so they burned the house. Willie left in August or September 1920. He went to Dublin, then to Galway, and then to the USA.”

Peter Quinn, William’s brother was one of the seven young men abused by the disguised men. Michael said, “Peter was dragged to town by the tans.” This was three miles from the town of Kinvara.  William Quinn wrote, “my brother was home so they beat him and fractured his scull with the result that he is now in an insane assilum in Ballinasloe.” Michael Fahey said, “Peter was in good health for awhile. Peter had the land in the 1930s. 55acres. Put in a home.” Bill’s notes from his 1980 visit with Michael was “Peter- hospital and died.”  

As always, please contact me if you have heard stories about the burning, William Quinn’s service, or have any other Quinn/ Murray family information to share.  I have the following questions:

When and where did Peter Quinn die? Where is he buried?

When did Bridget Quinn die and where is she buried?

Which daughters were at home when the house was burned? All but Delia (Bridget) had moved to the United States. 

See my site for Quinn/Murray pictures. Does anyone have additional pictures to share? 


Next - The Irish Uprising:  The Quinn Home


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Irish Uprising: 1920

William Quinn served in the Kinvara Company IRA in 1920.  His commanding officers were Paddy Kilkelly and Thomas McInerney. His active service consisted of activities against the military and the Black and Tan. He was active with the company in drilling, burning of the Kinvara RIC Barricks, and burning of the Tyrone House* in Kilcolgan.  He took part in ambushes in Kinvara, Ardrahan, Ballindereen, and some in County Clare. William Quinn wrote that he participated in "various ambushes with no result. In Nov. 1920 was surrounded by Auxiliaries under command of Thomas McInerney. Was on the run for two months.”

Under absence from duty and cause, he wrote "None, except, through pressure from my sister. I left Ireland on Dec. 22 for USA."

This date of December 22, 1920 does not coincide with previous records found regarding William Quinn. The first record of his arrival in the United States was a ship manifest, for the S. S. Celtic, dated April 25, 1921. His naturalization record gives an arrival date of February 19, 1921; also on the S. S. Celtic.  However, his name is not listed on the February 19 manifest.

It has been said that William Quinn came to the United States under an assumed name. If he did indeed leave for the United States on December 22, 1920 or February 19, 1921, further investigation is warranted. Did he use a different name or arrive in a different port?  If so, he must have returned to Ireland for a short period as he was on the S. S. Celtic on April 25.

Michael Fahey stated that, in 1920, William left for Dublin.  He later spent time in Galway and then emigrated to the United States. William, himself, made the statement that he was on the run for two months.

Do any of his descendants know stories about his immigration to the United States? If so, please contact me (

*Information, from web sites, about the Tyrone House is conflicting in regard to the date of the actual burning.  However, the following article indicates that the house was burned August 12, 1920. 

Tyrone House Burned
Ancestral Home of the Famous St. Georges
Tyrone House, Ballindereen, about four miles from Kinvara, and five from Oranmore was burned to the ground on Monday. It was the ancestral home of the ancient family of St. Georges, and has been unoccupied for a number of years. It was one of the most palatial residences in County Galway. The magnificent ceilings in the different rooms were the work of famous Italian Masters. Early in the week it was rumoured it was to be occupied by Auxiliary.
                                                From The Connacht Tribune, Saturday, August 14, 1920.

Next – The Irish Uprising: 1921


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Irish Uprising: 1917 to 1919

In 1917 and 1918, William Quinn wrote that he served with Kinvara Company Irish Volunteers in Kinvara, Craughwell, Ballindereen, Ardrahan, and Gort.  His commanding officers were Padraic Kilkelly and John Burke.  He drilled with the company and participated in military training, collecting arms, and political organizing. 

From the period from April 1918 through all of 1919, William Quinn was active in canvassing and organizing for both the IRA and Sinn Fein.  He canvassed for Sinn Fein candidates during election periods and served as an escort for meeting speakers and Sinn Fein candidates.  On Election Day, he served as an official.  William Quinn continued military training and met released prisoners.  He served in Kinvara, Gort, Loughrea, Athenry, and Ardrahan; all in County Galway and in Ballyvaughen, County Clare.

William Quinn married Susan Murray in 1926 in New York City. Susan was from New Quay in County Clare; near the areas where William lived and served.  Michael Fahey, in a 1981 interview, stated that "Willie and Susie were friendly" before coming to the U.S.  Does anyone know how or when they met? Was William acquainted with Susan’s brothers Patrick or Tom or other family members? Did the Murray brothers serve in the old IRA or Irish Volunteers?

Helpful Links:

East Galway Roman Catholic Parishes - See the location of Kinvara and other Parishes that William Quinn wrote about in his pension record.

Clare Roman Catholic Parishes - Susan Murray's family lived in New Quay. William Quinn served in Ballyvaughen.

Next – The Irish Uprising: 1920


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Irish Uprising: 1916

“On Easter Monday, 24 April 1916, at a time when Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, seven Irishmen proclaimed the establishment of the Irish Republic, nominating themselves as its provisional government. Together with 1,600 poorly armed followers, they occupied a number of prominent buildings near the centre of Dublin, the General Post Office in Sackville Street (now O’Connell Street) being designated as headquarters. The government of Great Britain and Ireland regarded the insurrection as treason, all the more reprehensible as it came in a critical phase of the war then being waged with Germany and her allies.” From The 1916 Rising: Personalities & Perspectives, an online exhibition – National Library of  Ireland 2006

This event was known as the Easter Rising. The fighting continued throughout the week and resulted in more than 400 deaths, over 2,000 injuries, and the destruction of many parts of Dublin,.  The seven co-signers of the proclamation and eight other insurgents were tried and executed by firing squad.

During Easter week, fighting took place predominantly in Dublin, but lesser skirmishes were reported throughout Ireland. On April 25, Easter Tuesday, the Irish Volunteers in Galway destroyed the railway line between Galway and Oranmore, cut telegraph wires, and attacked the Police Barricks in Clarenbridge.  On the morning of April 26, one police constable was killed when the Irish Volunteers fought the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary) at the Carnmore crossroads.  The Volunteers retreated to Moyde Castle near Athenry and remained at the castle until April 29, when a large force of police and military arrived nearby. The volunteers, although strong in numbers, but poorly armed, realized their defeat and dispersed.

Most of the Volunteers were arrested the following week and eventually deported to Frongoch Internment Camp in South Wales. The rank-and-file were detained until August while the more prominent members of the Irish Volunteers were not released until December 1916.  Three hundred and twenty-two Irish Volunteers from County Galway were arrested for their part in the Easter week risings. 

William Joseph Quinn II wrote that he took part in the Easter week risings with Kinvara Company, County Galway; rendering service from April 24, 1916 to April 27, 1916.  His unit was listed as Kinvara Co. Galway Irish Volunteers and his commanding officers were Thomas McInerney and John “Jack” Burke. His service was rendered in Kinvara, Ballinderreen, and the Gort district in County Galway.  He was involved in seizure of arms, fired on the police patrol and was with the company on Ballindereen Road, on the way to Moyde, when the company was ordered disbanded. On the pension application, he stated that the following men could attest to his service during Easter week:

John Burke, Cahermore, Kinvara, County Galway
Thomas McInerney, Cahermore, Kinvara, County Galway
Padraic Fahey, Tullyra, Adrahan, County Galway

In 1953, William Quinn wrote, “was arrested on May 3rd and taken to Galway Jail from there I was removed to Richmond Barricks in Dublin from there I was removed to Wandsworth Jail in London and later was sent to Frongoch internment camp in North Wales.  Was released in September 1916. To verify this I think I was the only William Quinn in the camp if you see the first book of the Irish Rebellion you will find my name there with Kinvara Co. My address then was Caheravoneen Kinvara Co Galway.”

William Quinn was found on a list of prisoners arrested and taken to the Galway Jail on May 3, 1916. All other prisoners listed on ledger page with William Quinn were from Kinvara.  William was described as 22 years old, 5 feet 8 ¾ inches tall, and weighed 160 pounds.  He had black hair, hazel eyes, and a fresh complexion.  It was written that he was a farmer, was single, Roman Catholic, and could read and write. His offence was written as “Defence of the Realm Act* Sinn Feiner” and it was stated that he was handed over to the military on June 5, 1916.  No trial date was listed, but “3” (assuming 3 months) was written under the column titled “On Remand.”

According to his pension application, William Quinn was active with the Irish Volunteers, Kinvara Company in 1916 following his release from Frongoch Internment Camp.

In 1953, when awarded his pension, William Quinn was awarded the 1916 Medal for his active service during the week commencing April 23, 1919 with the Kinvara Company of the Irish Volunteers. 

*The Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) passed in 1914 gave the government extensive powers during the war period. It was used to requisition buildings or land, make regulations creating criminal offences, censor journalism, and even reduce the strength of beer and restrict pub hours in order to reduce drunkenness among war workers.  


Fergus Campbell, Land and revolution: nationalist politics in the west of Ireland, 1891–1921 (Oxford, 2005).

Timothy G. McMahon (Editor), Pádraig Ó Fathaigh's War of Independence: Recollections of a Galway Gaelic Leaguer, Irish Narrative Series (Cork University Press 2000)

Next – The Irish Uprising: 1917 to 1919


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Irish Uprising: 1914 and 1915

The Irish Uprising:  1914 and 1915

Due to the issue of Home Rule, southern Ireland formed the Irish Volunteers in 1914. I read that as many as 200,000 joined the Irish Volunteers, but only a few thousand were armed and received military training. William Quinn was one of those few.

William Quinn was born on May 30, 1894 in the townland of Caheravoneen,* Parish of Kinvara, County Galway, Ireland. His parents were William Quinn, a farmer who died in 1903, and Bridget Brannelly.

In 1914, William Joseph Quinn II lived on the family farm in Caheravoneen; just outside the town of Kinvara.  He lived with his widowed mother and younger siblings; Peter, Celia, and Bridget (Delia).  John, Mary Ann, and Margaret, three older siblings, lived in the United States. William joined the Irish Volunteers, Kinvara Company in 1914 and, according to his pension application, he was active in drilling, training, and organizing. 

In 1915, William Joseph Quinn II reported that his activities with the Irish Volunteers of Kinvara Company included drilling and training in manual of arms (instruction book for handling and using weapons in formation) and organizing other companies. He attended classes for making hand-grenades under instructions of Michael Trayers of Gort, County Galway.

* also seen spelled as Caheraroneen and Caherawoneen

Next – The Irish Uprising: 1916


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Irish Uprising: Obtaining the Records

No one in Ireland wears a watch. No places in Ireland have wall clocks. And no one seems overly concerned with the time. Once in Ireland, you're on "Irish Time."  From The life of {Kerin} Riley

I would sometimes see the expression “Irish Time” when researching my husband’s Irish ancestors. The term usually referred to the rather slow acquisition of records from Ireland.  I have only requested one set of records from Ireland and this is my story about “Irish Time” and one very thoughtful archivist.  

William Quinn II
William Joseph Quinn II, my husband’s grandfather, participated in the Irish Uprising.  His son and my father-in-law, William Joseph Quinn III, often said that his father spent time in the finest jails in England.  During a visit to County Galway in 1981, Michael Fahey, an old friend of William II, told of William II’s service in the old IRA, his arrest in 1916, and of the burning of the Quinn home in 1921.

In 1998, my father-in-law showed me some of his mother’s IRA pension statements and letters. He asked me to find out about his father’s service in the old IRA. I wrote a letter and a few months later I received a reply that the records would be sent to me as soon as they were found. During the next few years, I received similar letters.  

My father –in-law, William Joseph Quinn III passed away in 2005. A year later, soon after moving into our new home, I read that Irish military records had been moved to a new building in Ireland.  Knowing that letters would no longer be forwarded from the old address, I again requested the record; this time using my husband’s name, William IV, as the person requesting.  Bill soon received a letter acknowledging the request and stating that when the information was found, the records would be sent.  We found this amusing, but rather nice, for in the U.S., if the record was not found on the first attempt, we would have received a letter stating just that and there would have been no further correspondence.   

In February 2007, Bill received a copy of the pension record. Almost exactly one year later, in 2008, he received another copy accompanied by a letter referring to my original request in 1998 and stating that my address was no longer current. The sender assumed that we were related and requested that he give me the copy.  Thank you, M. Kilcommins.   

The records contain some very interesting stories and family information that I will post on this blog.

I obtained these records from the Irish Defence Forces Military Archives in Dublin, Ireland. The archive contains the Military Service Pensions Collection, records from the Bureau of Military History (1913 – 1921), and many other off-line resources.

Next - The Irish Uprising: 1914 to 1915


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Irish Uprising

The Irish Uprising is a term that I have seen to describe the years between the Easter Rising of 1916 and the end of the Irish War of Independence in 1921.  My husband’s grandfather, William Joseph Quinn II, participated in this uprising while serving in the Kinvara Company Irish Volunteers and the Kinvara Company IRA.

For the next few weeks, I will be sharing information found in William Joseph Quinn’s Application to the Minister for Defence for a Service Certificate. When approved, this allowed for a pension for service in the old IRA. I assume that the term “old IRA” is used so as not to confuse it with the current Provisional Irish Republican Army.

For family information about William Joseph Quinn II, go to my web page for William Joseph Quinn and Susanna Murray

For more information about the Easter Uprising, the Irish War of Independence, and related topics take a look at the links below.

Irish History Timeline

Irish History Live

Easter Rising 1916

The Easter Rising 1916 (real footage of aftermath on YouTube)

Who were the Black and Tans? (Actual footage of attacks on YouTube)

Easter Uprising 1916, the arrest of Mark Wickham.  Although from different areas of Ireland, Mark Wickham and William Quinn followed a similar path after their arrests in May of 1916. 


© 2011, copyright Diana Quinn