Friday, June 14, 2013

Tubbercurry or Tobercurry - the Cooke and Feely clans

Working on the Irish side of my tree was something I'd always hoped I could do while my dad was still alive. Sadly that was not to be. He wasn't able to be very helpful with information about his family-from what he said they could be close-mouthed and secretive. As a young boy in a working-class household where the adults had other worries,  I'm sure he was more interested in swimming at the Boy's Club and playing kick-the-can. I pried as much as I could get from him while he was alive and he surprised me by showing a bit of curiousity about my searches for his extended family.

 I found some American census records and a few death records. Focusing on Boston, there were a few more hints. Dad said there were some Feely cousins he remembered from his childhood. He thought the Feelys had a car dealership in Roslindale. So far, that search hasn't yielded much.  I also found a Maurice Feely living with the family on an early census. If anyone out there thinks this rings a bell, I'd love to hear from you.

Experienced genealogists tell you to "go with what you know" and re-examine every document. Now it was time to try to "jump the pond". So I went back to my grandmother's Irish birth certificate. Sure enough, right across the top was the first piece of the puzzle.

Someone, maybe my dad, had mentioned Roscommon in connection with the family. Clearly I was looking in the wrong county. So now I had county of SligoAclare district, town of Tobercurry. Exceeepppt..well look at the photo and then look at the it Tobercurry or Tubbercurry? Apparently, even the Irish don't agree as a Google search will tell you. And the Irish changed and simplified a lot of names at one point.  But I had a place to start.

Irish records are challenging. Many weren't kept, some were burned and some have been destroyed by time. The Catholic church has some parish records and in those the names are often in Latin. Yet another challenge. Luckily both Ancestry and FamilySearch had this record:

Comparing the two, you can see my great grandmother Mary Feehily (Americanized to Feely) and Michael Cooke (Cook) marrying in Tobercurry just before the birth of their oldest child. At some point soon I will go off the the local Family History Center and order this record. Hopefully, it will have a little more information to help me along the way. Further searches in the Irish records have shown me that there are and were a LOT of Cooks, Cookes, Feehilys and Feelys in and around Tobercurry. I'll need a few more clues.


  1. My GGM was Bridget Feehily from Sligo she was married to a John Feehily. Her daughter Bridget Feehily married James Phillips and they lived in a Townland called Cully. My GM Bridget Feehily Phillips was born 21 Sept 1874. Her Birth Certificate is exactly as yours above "Aclare/Tobercurry/Sligo". My GM came to Brookline MA and married Thomas Kane. She had a cousin Katherine Kitty Feehily that married a Thomas Moran in Brooline and also a sister Mary Feehily Phillips that married a Cahill in Brookline. If any of this looks familiar let me know I am trying to find out more about the Feehily family.

  2. The townland my family lived in was Curry. (or Curry village) This is located right where there counties come together, one of which is Roscommon. I mention this because I had originally heard that the family was from Roscommon and there are tons of Feelys and Feehilys there. I don't know enough about my Feely tree to know if we are related, but given the Feely and Cahill connection I'd bet we are. A Maurice Feely showed up in the household of my great grandmother on the 1900 census. Beyond my great grandmother Mary Ann Feehily, that's all I know. BUT there were a group of Feelys who owned a car dealership in Roslindale. My dad remembered that, but didn't know any names. Does THAT sound familiar to you?

    1. I have asked my older brother and cousin if they ever heard anything about a relative in the car business in Roslindale. Have you ever had your DNA tested? I had mine tested by 23andMe and through them I have found a Phillips cousin that lives in the UK. Her father had done a family tree on the Phillips side and my GGF James Phillips and GGM Bridget Feehily Phillips were listed on the tree. I will post again once I hear back from my brother and cousin.

    2. My DNA profile is on Ancestry. You don't need a membership or tree to contribute so you might consider it. Another thing to think about is Bridget Feehily's baptismal record on the Irish National Library site. My ggm's parents were Patrick Feehily and Mary Cahill. If we can connect them to your Bridget we've found it.
      Also don't take Roslindale as gospel. He said Roslindale, but I know they had family get togethers in Dedham and they also lived in Dorchester.

    3. My cousin got back to me regarding the car dealer. He asked around Roslindale to see if anyone had heard of a Feehily car dealer and didn't find anyone that remembered one. He grew up in Brookline and went to HS with a Kathy Feehily, her dad was John Feehily and now it get interesting. My cousin Jim Cahill told me that his dad and this John Feehily were related. Are any of your relatives from Brookline? If this John Feehily is related to you he worked for the Town of Brookline and also had a side job. Let me know if I found the Cahill Feehily connection.

      How do I find you on Ancestry?

    4. I don't remember any mention of Brookline, but that doesn't mean anything. My dad's information on that part of the family was very thin. I'm thinking I need a look at YOUR tree. Maybe I can puzzle it out.
      If you have a Feehily family member and Cahill as well, I feel certain there is a connection. My tree on Ancestry is public. Look for theailurophile.