So I heard back from Frank Thompson and he wanted to clarify a few points from the previous post. First, the Ballinoe I found was one of several in County Cork. The actual scene of my family drama was closer to the previous locations. If you look at the map in the previous post and find the Cork airport, this is the area just south and west.
"However, neither weddings nor baptisms
were normally held in the ‘chapel’ (as all Catholic churches were
called, no matter how big). For somewhat complicated reasons, they were
normally held on ‘private’ premises, that is, in people’s
houses, meeting halls, barns, or even pubs. This was because, officially,
weddings and baptisms were supposed to be held only in Church of Ireland
(Protestant) churches, the only Church recognized by the state until 1869.
Of course, this was a joke, because no one really
questioned the validity of a Catholic marriage, and it would not have been
practical to force parents to have their children baptized in the ‘parish
church’ (Protestant). To avoid conflict with the letter of the Protestant
law, therefore, the Catholic ‘chapel’ was used only for mass, not
for any event that might have official or legal significance. The parish
priest constantly rode about his parish on horseback, marrying and baptizing
along the way. For each service, he collected a fixed fee. And,
just as important, he expected to get his ‘dinner’ at the houses of
at least the better-off recipients of his services. "
I went back and reexamined the marriage record for Robert and Ellen and found this for the 7th April 1825.
Frank's suggestion is to next go after the valuation books at the National Archives of Ireland. Oh boy, more jurisdictions to navigate! As someone pointed out to me, it's like one of those giant jigsaws puzzled with pieces you almost have to pull from the ether. I enjoy the challenge.