The Family of John Walsh

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John Walsh
Possible Relatives of John Walsh

Thomas Walsh a Possible Brother of John Walsh

Thomas Walsh was the only male with the surname, Walsh, who was a sponsor to a child of John Walsh and Fanny Feeney. He was not a sponsor until 1881, at least twenty years after John and Fanny had their first known child. This seems to signify something, but I am not sure what it means. Perhaps Thomas was not old enough to be a sponsor until 1881.

John Walsh had a son named, Thomas. There was a tendency to name children after other family members.

Ellen Walsh a Probable Sister of John Walsh

Ellen Walsh married Richard O'Donnell in Ballinrobe parish on May 12, 1862. The witnesses were Pat Devine and Ellen Coleman.

There are some interesting associations between Ellen Walsh and John Walsh:

  1. Devine was a very uncommon surname in Ballinrobe. In fact, there are only three records for the name in the parish:
    1. Pat Devine as the witness to the marriage of Ellen Walsh and Richard O'Donnell
    2. The 1857 Griffith lists John Devine at number 8 Church Lane, Ballinrobe
    3. John Devine was the sponsor to Patrick of James Bremmen (?) and Cath Prage (?), April 22, 1874. The other sponsor was Mary Hen--Y (?). There is a word that may be "pauper" following this record. No fee was paid.
    As uncommon as it was, the name came up in another connection to John Walsh, Elizabeth Devine was a witness at the marriage of John Walsh and Fanny Feeny in 1856 in Castlebar.

  2. O'Donnell was also a rather uncommon surname in Ballinrobe parish. Although not as rare as Devine, the name was limited. It too has connections to John Walsh. Several of his children who immigrated to the United States, gave the name "O'Donnell" as their mother's maiden name. Note: Their mother's name was Fanny Feeney. I believe, however, that there is the possibility that her mother was an O'Donnell.

  3. Ellen, on the other hand, was a relatively common given name in the west of Ireland. Never-the-less, given names did run in families and John Walsh had a daughter named Ellen. At least two of his sons, Thomas and Joseph, named daughters Ellen or Eleanor (basically the same name).

  4. Two of the sponsors of the children of Ellen Walsh and Richard O'Donnell had the same names as two of the sponsors of the children of John Walsh and Fanny Feeney. One of them, Pat Lardner, was definitely the same person:
    1. John Murphy was the sponsor of John and Fanny's son, John, in 1861. John Murphy was the sponsor to Ellen and Richard's son, Pat in 1867. However, there was more than one John Murphy in Ballinrobe at the time. So this was not necessarily the same person.
    2. Patrick Lardner was the sponsor for John and Fanny's daughter, Fanny, in 1873, and for Ellen and Richard's daughter, Julia, in 1876. The Lardners were a small clan in Ballinrobe. Pat Lardner, who appears to have been one of the relatively common single males who were the godparents to a lot of children, is the key to connecting John Walsh to several Walsh women in Ballinrobe. In addition to being the sponsor for the children of John and Fanny and Ellen and Richard, Pat Lardner was the sponsor for:
      1. William of John Lardner and Biddy Walsh in 1870. The other sponsor was Bridget Flanagan. Bridget Flanagan was a sponsor for John and Fanny's daughter Mary in 1865.
      2. John Larner and Bridget Walsh's daughter, Jane, in 1871. Note: The other sponsor had the uncommon name, "Julia" Walsh.
      3. John Lardner and Bridget Walsh's daughter, Mary in 1873.

  5. Ellen Walsh O'Donnell was of the same generation as John Walsh.

  6. Ellen Walsh named two of her daughter's Julia. Julia was not a common given name in Ballinrobe parish. John Walsh and Fanny Feeney had a daughter Julia who immigrated to New York City.

Birth of Ellen Walsh: Ellen was probably born in the 1840s.

Occupation of Richard O'Donnell: Richard O'Donnell was a chimney sweep.


  1. Michael, of "Richard O'Donnell, alias Sweep", and Ellen Walsh, July 16, 1863, sponsors Tom O'Rielly and Catherine Coleman.
  2. Mary, of Rich "O'Donel", sweep, and Ellen do a Walsh, sponsors, Bridget Murphy and ----- (no male sponsor listed). May 22, 1865.
    According to the civil registration, Richard O'Donnell, sweep, and Ellen Walsh, Ballinrobe, had Mary, born May 16, 1865.
  3. Pat, of Richard O'Donnell and Ellen Walsh of New Road, Ballinrobe, was baptized on April 13, 1867, sponsors John Murphy and Mary Murphy.
    According to the civil birth registration, Richard O'Donnell, of New Street, Ballinrobe, was a sweep.
  4. Bridget, of Richard O'Donnell and Ellen Walsh of Ballinrobe, was baptized on August 13, 1869. Sponsors: Jane Ganly and Thomas Keyly.
    According to the civil birth registration, Richard O'Donnell, of New Street, Ballinrobe, was a "sweep".
  5. Ellen, of Richard O'Donnell and Ellen "Do", on April , can't read day, 1871, sponsors, Pat Ga-ley and Ellen Murphy.
  6. Julia, the daughter of Richard O'Donnell and Ellen Walsh, was baptized October (? torn edge, the month is on the page before December) 1873, sponsors, Thomas Reilly and Bridget Walsh.
    Death: She must have died as another Julia was baptized in 1876.
    Note: There were several Bridget Walshs in the parish at the time, however, one of the Bridget Walshs was the wife of John Lardner. John Lardner had connections to John Walsh, see Lardners.
  7. Julia, the daughter of Richard O' Donnell and Ellen Walsh, was baptized on May 1, 1876. The sponsors were Pat Lardner and Bridget Branagan. Note: Patrick Lardner as mentioned above is a key to tying Ellen Walsh to John Walsh.

Ellen Walsh O'Donnell as a Sponsor

Ellen McDonnell (this is the same name as O'Donnell) was the sponsor along with Pat Langan for Margaret, the daughter of Pat Haveran and Peggy Thornton of Ballinrobe, on Aug 11, 1866.

This is where it gets interesting, Pat Langan, was the brother of Mathias Langan, and the uncle of Maggie Langan who married Joseph Walsh.

Richard O'Donnell as a sponsor

  1. Richard O'Donnell was the sponsor along with Mary Conner of John of Michael Ganly and Jane McGlocklin of Ballinrobe on May 25, 1869

  2. Bridget of Martin Walsh and Bridget Branagan, Sp. Richard O'Donnell and Bridget Lally April 15, 1875

    Note: Bridget Branagan was the sponsor to Julia the daughter of Richard and Ellen baptized in 1876.

Death of Ellen Walsh O'Donnell

Unknown. After May 1876. Before 1901.

Richard O'Donnell in the 1901 Census

Richard O'Donnell, chimney sweep, was listed in 1901 as follows:

  • Richard O'Donnell, head of family, RC, cannot read or write, age 55, chimney sweep, widower, born County Mayo, Irish/English speaker
  • Thomas O'Donnell, son, cannot read or write, age 6, scholar, single, bron County Mayo, Ireish/English speaker


  • The age is off, however, given the limited number of people in Ballinrobe in the 1901 census, the name and occupation, this must be Richard the widower of Ellen Walsh.
  • Who was Thomas O'Donnell?

Death of Richard O'Donnell


Bridget Walsh Lardner a Possible Sister of John Walsh

Bridget Walsh married John Larner. There are several conncetions between Bridget Walsh Larner and John Walsh. See The Lardners for a discussion of the possible relationship between Bridget Walsh and John Walsh

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