The Hayes Family History Site

Including Members Of The Hayes, Tierney, Lewis, Beattie, Sheehan, Yerks, Condos, Smith and Other Families

Late Thursday night I was doing some casual genealogy surfing at the pilot.familysearch.org web site when I came across a record that caught my eye.  It was an Irish Birth and Baptism Record for a Patrick Hanly in Bruree, Limerick, Ireland.   The spelling of the last name was different than what I had been accustomed to, but I investigated anyway.  It turns out that Patricks parents were listed as Daniel Hanly and Ellen Hayes.  WOW!  That is an exact match.  I don’t know why I hadn’t seen that before.  Maybe is was part of a new set of records recently added to the web site.  Whatever the case, I was excited.  I immediately searched the site for Patrick’s brother, William and sister, Ellen (my great grandmother) but did not have any success.  Unfortunately, the Family Search record offered me little information that I did not already know…  but it was proof… so I took it.  Thinking I might get lucky, I looked for any Hayes records in Bruree.  I found quite a few, but none that were related.

So working with the information I found at pilot.familysearch.org, I went over to a site I seldom use because it is so incredibly expensive to do research on it.  In fact, it is more of a site to go to when you know EXACTLY what you are looking for. The site is run by the Irish Family History Foundation and can be found at brsgenealogy.com.  The Irish Family History Foundation is the coordinating body for a network of county based genealogical research centers on the island of Ireland. These centers have computerized millions of Irish genealogical records, including church records, census returns and gravestone inscriptions.  But their search tools are pretty week.  It is very difficult to narrow down your searches using known information about an individual.  I think they are hoping you will pay the $7.50 US per record to look at a set of possible records.    Obviously, that can add up quickly.

I can’t afford to do a bunch of research here, so I started with a sure thing.  The first thing I did was find the matching civil birth record for Patrick Hanly and purchased the information for about $7.50 US.

CIVIL BIRTH RECORD
Patrick Hanly
DOB: 13-Sep-1865
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Daniel Hanly
Mother: Ellen Hayes
Sponsor 1: Edmd. Hayes
Sponsor 2: Hanora Fiitgerald

While I was looking for Patricks civil birth record, I came across a matching baptism record, with the last name being slightly different. But it was another match.

CHURCH BAPTISM RECORD
Patrick Hanley
DOB: 14-Sep-1865
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Daniel Hanley
Mother: Ellen Hayes
Sponsor 1: Edmd. Hayes
Sponsor 2: Hanora Fiitgerald

According to the Irish Family History Foundation web site, civil birth record recordings did not begin until 1865 in Ireland, so anybody born before than will not have a “Civil Birth Record”.  Patrick was one of the first Irishman to receive a Civil Birth Record.  If a persons birthday is before, you need to hope that you can find a Church Baptismal Record.  So since most of the people I have been looking for were most likely born before 1865, I switch focus and began looking for Irish Baptism Records in County Limerick.  While I did not find any matching records for Catherine Hanley (Hanly), I did find a matching record for William Hanley.

CHURCH BAPTISM RECORD
William Hanley
DOB: 26-Jul-1863
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Daniel Hanley
Mother: Hellen Hayes
Sponsor 1: Ptk. Riordan
Sponsor 2: Maria Hayes

At this point Thursday night, I composed a real quick blurry-eyed email to my Hayes cousins on my mothers side.  I was every excited to have made even this little bit of progress and wanted to share my findings with everybody

Feeling a little fresher the next morning, I decided to revisit the Irish Family History Foundation website to see what I could come up without breaking the bank.  This time, I tried a slightly different strategy.  I narrowed my search focus to include ONLY from the Rockhill / Bruree parish…..  BINGO!  The first thing I found was the marriage certificate for Ellen Hayes and Daniel Hanly.

CHURCH MARRIAGE RECORD
Daniel Hanly and Helen Hayes

Date of Marriage:  18-Feb-1860
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Husband: Daniel Hanley
Wife: Helen Hayes
Denomination Roman Catholic
Witness 1: Patrick Hayes
Witness 2: Joanna Fitgerald

The Hayes Family Of Bruree Found!

Then digging deeper and widening the possible range of birthdays, I was able to come up with a bunch of records the clearly establish the Hayes family of Bruree

CHURCH MARRIAGE RECORD
Patrick Hayes and Joanna Currey*

Date of Marriage:  27-Jan-1837
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Husband: Patrick Hayes
Wife: Joanna Currey *
Denomination Roman Catholic
Witness 1: James Naughton
Witness 2: Maria Currey
*THEY BELIEVE THAT “CURRY” SHOULD ACTUALLY BE READ “COWHEY”

CHURCH BAPTISM RECORD
Maria (Mary) Hayes
DOB: 24-Apr-1843
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Patrick Hayes
Mother: Joh. Cowhey
Sponsor 1: MI Russell
Sponsor 2: Mgt. Kennelly

CHURCH BAPTISM RECORD
Patrick Couhy Hayes
DOB: 08-Jul-1851
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Patrick Hayes
Mother: Joh. Couhy
Sponsor 1: Edmd. Calleghan
Sponsor 2: Maria Kennelly

CHURCH BAPTISM RECORD
Edmond Hayes
DOB: 09-May-1848
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Patrick Hayes
Mother: Joh. Couhy
Sponsor 1: Edmd. Hayes
Sponsor 2: Maria Hayes

CHURCH BAPTISM RECORD
John Hayes
DOB: 11-Jun-1854
Parish / District: ROCKHILL & BRUREE
County: County. Limerick
Father: Patrick Hayes
Mother: Joh. Cowhy
Sponsor 1: John Toohill
Sponsor 2: Ellen Nunan

For some reason, the only female baptism record I have been able to find is for Maria Hayes.  I am thinking it has something to do with the spelling of their names. For instance, the person I knew as Mary Hayes was actually recorded as Maria Hayes.  And I have seen Ellen Hayes listed as Helen Hayes

In Summary

Based on this information we can safely assume that the Hayes family inhabited the Bruree Parish between 1837 and roughly 1877 when Patrick, the father of Maria, Patrick, Edmond, John and Ellen, died.   Before that, Ellen (Helen) Hayes Hanley came to the United States in 1867 with her husband and three Irish born children.  Ellen’s husband, Daniel, died shortly after arriving and contracting TB from one of the worsted mills in Pennsylvania. According to information from Edward Hayes,

I had initially given up hope for finding any real records of the Hayes family in Limerick. Some time ago, cousin Jim Hayes had a genealogy report created by a “professional genealogist” in Ireland.   The genealogist had stated that at that time, the Parish Register for the Rockhill / Buree area started in 1842,  Based on what I have found, that is clearly incorrect.  I was able to find a marriage record from 1937.

I have learned several lessons form this wonderful find.

1.  Never give up.  New records and information appear every month on various web sites.  It is always good to revisit a troubled branch with a fresh brain after giving yourself some time off to contemplate new options.

2.  Further research will require us to look at numerous naming alternatives.  For instance, when researching for Johanna Coughy, we need to consider the following name variations:

  • Johanna
  • Joanna
  • Joh.
  • Coughy
  • Coughey
  • Cowhey
  • Couhy
  • Cowie

So while I have not positively linked my branch of the Hayes family to the Bruree Hayes family, there is enough circumstantial evidence to say they are all related.  Maybe the baptism record for Ellen Hayes will show up sometime in the future.


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