Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Info on Grandpa Michael L. Boyle from Cousin Greg

An e-mail from Cousin Greg on May 4, 2010:

Dan, Peggy, Tim:

I recently completed a great, if volcano-extended visit to Ireland that was, in part, the culmination of a journey that I began several years ago when I started trying to learn about my Boyle origins.

My wife, daughter and I were able to visit the Campbell family in Meenatotan (2nd cousins on my grandfather, Patrick's side).

We also traveled to The Rosses where Michael Leo Boyle taught. The postman in Burtonport directed us to the site of the Roshine School. It's now a private but unoccupied residence.

A modern school was built a short distance away.

I don't remember how much I might have sent you about the "Boyle Masters" but from census records, I'd determined that almost every teacher in The Rosses was named Boyle and pretty much conclude it was a family profession. Either Michael's brother, John or brother Cornelius (father of Rev. Manus Boyle from Denver), taught in Annagry (they pronounce that Anna-ree and pronounce Gallaher, Galla-her so the G is silent when it's in the middle of a word). Annagry is a few miles north of Burtonport. I'm pretty certain that Cornelius taught there. The school is gone but an innkeeper had an 1898 photo of the school:

Too bad the teacher was not in the photo!

Cornelius definitely taught in Doochary where he retired. There is a school in Doochary but I can't be certain if it's been there for 100+ years. (Doochary is only a short distance from Meenatotan.)

Michael's widow, Mary Gallagher-Boyle, lived in Carrigart until she died sometime after 1937 with her daughter Grace who married Ed Griffin. Alas - I was unable to locate any traces of the Griffin family in Carrigart. They had 2 children, Mary Josie who married a Sweeney and Ed Griffin. (Months ago I sent an e-mail to a Niamh Sweeney in Carrigart but got no response.) The cemetery had no Griffins or Boyles nor does the phone directory. All I got were the following photos!

Today, I received additional information from Ireland.

For one thing - there were two Roshine Schools and the one mentioned in Paddy the Cope was not the school where Michael Leo taught, hence, he was not the "Mickey Neddy" in the Patrick Gallagher's book. Michael Leo's school was in Roshine Acres a KM from Burtonport, north of Dungloe. "Mickey Neddy's" School was "Roshine South", south of Dungloe, near Cleendra Brae. When we visited both locations, I could not figure out how he would have taught one place and lived miles away!

I also learned that Michael Leo seems to have died before 1900. The 1901 Census Leckenagh, Templecrone shows a widow Mary and 2 children living with her in Leckenagh (or Lackenagh) right next to Burtonport/Roshine Acres.


· Mary (Gallagher Boyle) - birth suggested on 1901 census 1856. We think it was 1847.

· Minny (Mary) - birth suggested on census was 1876. My guess was 1873 (Close enough!)

· Mick - birth suggested on census as 1881. We know it was 1878. (Close enough!) (It's safe to discount the ages on the censuses compared to when we believe or know people to be born. I've found many such errors. Also see my notes following the 1911 census, below.)

The 1911 Census Leckenagh, Templecrone shows her still living there.

Angela Kirk in Donegal who has compiled many of the Donegal censuses, led me to the Leckenagh record. (We probably drove right past where Mary had lived - a short distance from the correct Roshine School - on our way to Annagry.)

I believe that it's the same Mary (Gallagher) Boyle on both censuses. The records for Mary are listed between the Denis & Ann Boner (Bonner) households and the Donald & Sally Molloy family, suggesting the same physical household. Mary's age in 1911 suggests she was born in 1861! Somehow, she had aged only 5 years in the 10 years between censuses! Mary's neighbors likewise had aged differently than 10 years between censuses. (It may have been a 'family tradition' but Mary's daughter Cecelia did not age at the same rate as censuses were compiled! There were also age inconsistencies on other records, especially among the women!)

So the "Mick" in Leckenagh in 1901 is the Michael Leo Boyle of NJ bootlegging fame!
(Peggy says: That was my grandpa!)

The census records are at:

I have a question for all of you: Have you ever heard of a Deery family in Bayonne? The records for Cornelius (Corney) Boyle who emigrated on the 'Columbia' 2 Oct 1905 shows him going to "his cousin John Deery in Bayonne." Angela Kirk suggests that the Deery family was from in Roshine Acres.


I ran into several Boyles in The Rosses but can't be certain any are related to either side of my Boyle families. The Dungloe cemetery is loaded with Boyle headstones.

When discussing 'relatives' with the Irish folks, my impression is that unless a person is known to be an uncle, aunt or first cousin, they are not considered 'family'. There may be an acknowledgement that there was once a family connection, but no one seems to care! (I found the same thing in County Clare with my wife, Kathleen's family. I've been putting pieces of that family together and every time I do, it comes as a surprise to the locals!!))

My physical journey to Meenatotan and The Rosses may have concluded but the research continues.

That's all for now. Hope you are all well.


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