My Adventure Through Our Family Tree Branches

For over 50 years my Dad researched both his and my Mom's family tree branches - and loved every minute of it! Trying to fulfill the promise I made him the last month of his life, I have spent the past four years continuing where he left off - finding out about all the many family members who came before us, from the many branches of our family trees. The histories will still be published as my Dad always wanted. But what he wanted most was to share the stories of the people who came before us - the places they lived, the cultures of the times, the families they created, and the circumstances - good and bad - that would one day lead to us, their descendants. These are the stories of my Mom's families. . . .

Surnames in this Blog


Saturday, January 30, 2016

SATURDAY'S STRUCTURES - St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Lisronagh, County Tipperary, Ireland

Before coming to America in the late 1840's my O'Donnell ancestors lived in the village of Lisronagh in County Tipperary, Ireland. Recently I found online the parish records, which begin in 1808, of the Powerstown Lisronagh Parish, including the Marriage Record of my great-great-great-grandparents Richard O'Donnell (1787-unk) and Margaret Phelan:
Translation from Latin: "1809 - Day 14 February - F.C. (priest) joined in marriage Richard Donnell (sic) and Margaret Whelan (sic) of the Parish of Lisronagh. Present (unk) Weldon & Catherine Dunphy"
 I also found the Baptismal Records which include the baptisms of my great-great-grandfather Patrick O'Donnell (1823-1911) and his six brothers, as well as for three sisters who were previously unknown. This of course confirms what I had earlier discovered that our O'Donnells came from Lisronagh. It also confirms that Margaret's family name is Phelan - spelled Whelan above.

Lisronagh Church is part of the Powerstown Lisronagh Parish, in the diocese of Waterford and Lismore. It is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The church is located at the R689 regional road, 7 km north of Clonmel, and 6 km south of Fethard in South Tipperary.

Below is the history of the Lisronagh Roman Catholic Church, taken directly from the parish website: .
St. John the Baptist Church in Lisronagh

"The origins of Lisronagh Church are not recorded anywhere and as such the early history is surrounded with doubt. This period in history was a time of Catholic oppression in Ireland, with the Penal Laws in place. For this reason the original church was built secretly as part of the local underground religion.
The original church in Lisronagh was built sometime in the late 18th century. It was built by local craftsmen and took the form of the simple "Barn" style church. This building faced north-south and the church, like others in the same style, was "T" -shaped, with two doors (one at either end), and contained two galleries.
Village of Lisronagh - Church at Bottom
The earliest records available make reference to a Father McGrath. According to these sources, he was the Parish Priest in the original church before his death in 1798. We can also put a lower boundary on the date of the church. The Rev. J. Welsh received two chalices in the early 1780`s - one for Powerstown and one for Quarryhole - Lisronagh`s predecessor. Despite the lack of any Parish records until 1808, it is safe to assume that between this date and Fr. McGrath`s death, the Parish and Church of Lisronagh were well and truly established.
The next stage in the church`s history took place under the pastorate of Rev. John Power (1852-66). Under his guidance, the church was enlarged to give its approximate present shape. As well as this, the roof was raised and replaced. The mid-19th century also saw the addition of a new porch to give better access and also the belfry was added around this time. However, exact dates are not known.
Interior of Lisronagh Church
After the changes in the 19th century, no more major changes occurred. Nevertheless, one generous patron deserves to be mentioned. In the 1930`s, Miss Marie Kennedy funded the two side altars, which remain part of the church to the present day. As a matter of interest, the Kennedy family played another role in Lisronagh`s history. The chalice being used in today`s celebration was donated in 1893 by Bridget Kennedy - a prior generation of the same family.
The church since then saw no significant change until 2004. This renovation has now become part of the church's history." []


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  2. What a wonderful treasure for your family to have. Thank you for sharing.
    Susan Ferry