In this article Alice Finnigan traces her family from Turreendubh, Ballingeary to the United States. Her great-great-grandfather was James Walsh, son of Seamus Mór Walsh, famous for the part he played in The Battle Of Keimaneigh in January 1822. Seamus Mór moved from Carrigbawn, north of Ballingeary to Turreendubh around 1830.


James and his wife Mary Harrington had nine children, Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth, Catherine, James, Michael, Ellen, John F. and Richard, all born in the Parish of Inchigeela. By 1870 both parents and all their children were in the United States. This is their story and is typical of most Irish Americans


In 1967 I read an article on how to trace your family history. I decided to pursue it, as I didn’t know much about my ancestors. My mother’s side had more Irish lines and one of these started in the Ballingeary/Inchigeelagh area. Of course I did not know that when I began many years ago. All anyone in the Kelly family knew was that ‘Grandma’ O’Connor nee Walsh was from County Cork. No one in the immediate family remembered ever hearing of a town mentioned. One lady, Lillian Barry Long, a distant cousin of my grandma Kelly (a daughter of Margaret Walsh O’Connor) who I interviewed mentioned Ballyvourney. I wrote to the Catholic Church there, but there were no records for a Margaret Walsh born around 1850 to James Walsh and Mary Harrington.


I searched more of the records in America and talked to other cousins I turned up, but no one had a town or area they knew about, just Cork. In 1970, my parents went on a trip back east to New York, from Montana, to visit relatives, so I asked them to go to Corning, New York and see if they could find any records on Margaret. Corning is where she and her sister Mary migrated to from Ireland in 1865. Somewhere along the line we learned that the remainder of her family joined them in Corning in the early 1870’s. My parents found a lot of information on the family, but nothing with a town. I continued to search every one of Margaret Walsh’s siblings down to present day, but again, no town turned up.


In the meantime, I let that branch sit while I pursued others and when a Walsh cousin, I hadn’t found contacted me in the early 1990s I started working on it again. I wrote to the library in Corning, New York, and the lady who helped my parents in 1970 answered my letter, she had new information for me. Their genealogy group in Corning had catalogued the cemeteries and found the word "Iveleary" on James Walsh’s headstone. I finally had a parish! As the term goes "the rest is history." I wrote to the church in Inchigeelagh asking about my great-grandmother Margaret’s birth record – they didn’t have it, but they did have all her siblings’ baptismal records, as well as her father’s. However, no marriage for her parents either. After some thought I wondered if James Walsh had left Inchigeelagh during the ‘Potato Famine’ to eke out a living, met and married Mary Harrington and their first child, Margaret was born wherever he had ventured (somewhere in Kerry, as the article that was written about her in the Anaconda, Montana newspaper 5 July 1940 indicated)? Or, as was the custom in the early years, Margaret’s mother Mary Harrington went back to her home, to have her first child – I don’t have a birthplace for her. Her parents were John Harrington and Mary McCarthy.


I found the Albert Casey, M.D. volumes "O’Kief, Coshe Mange, Slieve Lougher and Upper Blackwater in Ireland", where the Catholic Church Records for the Inchigeelagh parish are listed in volumes 7 & 8. I extracted all the Luc(e)y, Walsh, Corcoran & Harrington names from the records for 1816 through 1900. I entered them into an Excel spreadsheet and then posted them on the Roots Web County Cork page in June 1999. From this listing I heard about the Ballingeary & Inchigeelagh Historical Society, so I began a correspondence with Sean O’Sullivan and Peter O’Leary. They were able to send me information concerning my Walsh family and the roles they played in this areas history.


In 1994 we made our first trip to Ireland. I attended an Irish Genealogical Congress at Trinity in Dublin and then the tour went through the south & west of Ireland. The tour guide took a side trip one day and brought us to Inchigeelagh to see if we could find any of the Walsh’s - The entire bus group scoured the cemetery’s there, but found only 1 Walsh headstone. The people in Creedon’s pub didn’t know of any Walsh family from Inchigeelagh so I went away disappointed. But happy to see the area my family came from. Then in 2002 when we returned and met with Sean O’Sullivan things were different. He was able to give us a tour of the Walsh land in Tooreenduff, Ballingeary and now I understand why the people in Creedon’s weren’t familiar with the Walsh name – they lived closer to Ballingeary. I hope I am able to return to the area someday and have the opportunity to stay awhile in Ballingeary and walk the roads of my ancestors. We did not have time this trip to stay and explore.


The following information is what I have been able to gather after many years of trying to find my ancestors. I have had the pleasure of finding & meeting many descendants of this Seamus Walsh family and the greatest joy was walking the land they lived on in the Ballingeary area, finding out the history he was part of and meeting so many cousins my family did not know existed until I started this search for ancestors many years ago.


My great-great-grandfather

James Walsh*, bapt. September 15, 1822, Carrigvane (Carrigbawn), Inchigeelagh (Eveleary), Ire - parents Seamus Walsh and Mary Lucey - God parents: Jeremiah Horgan & Mary Creedan


d. August 08, 1884, Hornby, New York (buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Corning, NY) *he was born 7 months after the Battle of Keimaneigh and during the time his father was on the run as a result of that battle.


Corning Journal, Corning, NY, Thursday, 4 Aug 1884

"James Welch, a farmer at Hornby, fell into a well which he was digging last Thursday night and received injuries from which he died the next morning. At the time of the accident, Mr. Welch was at the top of the well. The bucket used to haul up dirt had become unfastened and had fallen to the bottom of the well, where was his son. The latter was uninjured. The father, in his anxiety, leaned over the well to look down. He put his hand on the tackling block which turned over. Thus, he lost his balance and fell into the well, striking on his head. Death resulted from concussion of the brain. The deceased formerly lived here and his funeral was held from St. Mary's Church Sunday morning, being very largely attended. He is spoken of as an upright and industrious man".


A family tradition about the James Walsh family that moved to Corning New York @1872 (Madeline (James) Walsh's letter of 19 Sept. 1970 said the Senior Walsh's were well off and the children had music lessons. James Walsh Sr. was one of the few educated men in the Community (Ireland) and he read the newspapers and letters for everyone and wrote letters for everyone also. (Mrs. Lillian Long told me - the same story in the late 1960's). A.F.


My great-great-grandmother:

Mary Harrington b. March 1823, in Ireland to John Harrington and Mary McCarthy, d. 1 Mar 1905, in Corning NY.

The Evening Leader, Corning, N.Y. Wednesday, 1 March 1905


Mrs. Mary Walsh died at 2:30 o'clock this morning at the home of her daughter, Mrs. John D. Healey, of No. 222 West Second Street. She was about 81 years of age and highly respected. She leaves the following children to mourn her loss, besides the above-mentioned daughter: Mrs. Peter Hale of Gregson Springs, Mont., Mrs. Cornelius O'Connor of Anaconda, Mont., and Mrs. Thomas Henry of this city and Michael W. Walsh of Little Rock, Ark. The funeral will be held Friday morning from St. Mary's Church at 9 o'clock.


My great-grandmother:

Margaret Walsh b. April 26, 1851 – possibly Co. Kerry parents, James Walsh & Mary Harrington

d. December 05, 1941, Anaconda, MT

Following is an article published in the Anaconda, Montana newspaper

Anaconda Standard, Friday, 5 July 1940 p. 1



One of Anaconda's oldest residents, Mrs. Margaret O'Connor, 86-year-old great-grandmother, has returned from California to attend a reunion of four generations of her family. She is visiting at the home of her daughter Mrs. Mary A. Kelly, 412 Maple Street.

The kindly gray-haired woman, who saw Anaconda grow from a few scattered frame structures to the smelting metropolis of the west, came to this city in 1886, three years after Marcus Daly founded the city. (he was a native of Ballyjamesduff, Co. Cavan, Ireland).


Old-timers will remember Mrs. O'Connor as the operator of several of the largest boarding houses in the city in early days. At one time she operated the boarding and rooming house in Carroll known as the "Little Montana." Among her kindly attributes was that she never turned away a hungry person from her



Since her arrival in Anaconda 54 years ago, her life, except for the short period she visited in California for the benefit of her health has been synonymous with the history of the Smelter City. She knew Marcus Daly and many of the prominent early-day residents of this section of Montana.


As an Irish immigrant girl of 18 the then Miss Margaret Walsh, who was born in County Kerry, Ireland in 1854 and who moved to County Cork, Ireland, when only two weeks old, came to the United States. She accompanied by an older sister, arrived in New York on March 20, 1872.


She resided in Corning, NY for several years. During her residence in Corning she was nursemaid for Allen Houghton, who later became ambassador to England from the United States.


One of the epochs in her life was that she became the first bride to have the nuptial vows performed in St. Paul Catholic Church. The late Rev. Peter Desiere, one of the early-day Belgian priests in western Montana, married her and Cornelius O’Connor, a sergeant in the English army in the Boer war, and who later served with the U.S. army in the Philippine islands. The marriage ceremony was performed on Oct. 28, 1888. Mr. O'Connor died several years ago.


Since her marriage, two other generations of the family have exchanged martial vows in St. Paul‘s Church. They are her daughter, Mrs. Mary Kelly; her grandson, John T. Kelly, a member of the Anaconda police force; and a granddaughter, Mrs. Albert Clark, the former Miss Alice Kelly.


After retiring from the boarding house business Mrs. O'Connor for many years resided in the 400 block on East Commercial Avenue.

Yesterday the four generations met at a family reunion to honor the highly respected woman. Among those at a picnic were her daughter, grandsons, granddaughters and two great grandchildren, Miss Margaret Kelly and Albert Clark Jr. A son Cornelius O’Connor also resides in Anaconda."


Margaret & Cornelius’ children were: Mary Alice O’Connor (my grandmother) b. 9 Oct 1890, married John T. Kelly 15 June 1910 & died 25 Feb 1949; Ellen Margaret b. 7 June 1893 & died 13 Jan 1894; Frances Geraldine b.13 Nov 1894, mar. Roy Wilson Baker 28 Oct 1924 & died 19 Sept 1942; Kevin born & died @ 1896 (no record other than a small headstone with just his name); & Cornelius Emmet b. 23 Apr 1898 – never married & died in a tragic fire in the hotel he lived in 31 Oct 1954 in Anaconda, Montana.

The next generation of Margaret & Cornelius’ are: Mary Alice (Mayme) & John T. Kelly: John Thomas Kelly Jr. b. 17 July 1911 mar. Margaret B. Laughlin 21 June 1937 & died 31 Oct 1992, they had 3 children; Frances Margaret b. 12 Jan 1913 mar. 25 Nov 1942 Martin A. Sporn & died 1 Oct 1984 – no children; Robert Earl Kelly b.15 Dec 1914, mar. Mary Jean Vandaver 24 June 1943 & died 7 Apr 1995 they had 6 children – Bob was a prominent Navy pilot during WWII; Alice Laureen b. 20 Jan 1920, mar. Albert J. Clark 28 Sept. 1938 & died 19 Oct 2000 they had 14 children: Brendan Joseph b. 16 Apr 1924, never married & died 3 July 2002. There are 2 more generations of this family down to present day.


(I remember my mother, Alice Kelly Clark telling me at different times throughout the years how she remembered as a small child whenever her grandmother O’Connor – nee Margaret Walsh-- received her Irish newspapers and if she ever read anything about the English, her grandmother would swear – Mom said the air was blue with swear words coming out of her grandmother. After discovering the history of the Walsh family in the Inchigeelagh and Ballingeary area I now understand to a greater degree why she was so vehement in her feelings about the English. It affected my own mother to the extent that she never ‘liked to hear an English accent’, she wouldn’t watch any program on TV where English people we appearing.


Siblings of my great-grandmother Margaret Walsh

Mary Walsh, b. August 25, 1852, Inchigeelagh, Ire., parents James Walsh & Mary Harrington

d. December 04, 1937, Corning, NY

3 June 1875 Corning NY census lists Mary Walsh as domestic servant


The Evening Leader, Corning New York 6 Dec 1937




The funeral of Mrs. Mary Haley, who died Saturday at her home at 161 Washington Street, was held this morning. Services at 8:30 o'clock at the residence were followed by the mass of requiem celebrated at St. Mary's Church at 9 o'clock by the Rev. Ambrose Kavanagh, assistant pastor.


Bearers were Thomas Donahue, Floyd Mahoney, Clement Murphy, Sebastian Frey, John R. Osborne and Francis Lynch.

Burial was in St. Mary's cemetery where the Rev. Lawrence W. Gannon, assistant pastor, officiated.


Mary married John D. Healy 27 May 1886 in Corning, NY, they had 2 girls (neither married) & one son, he married but did not have any children – so this branch stops here.


Elizabeth (Betty) Walsh, b. April 13, 1856, Inchigeelagh parents, James Walsh & Mary Harrington d. April 17, 1919, Corning, NY

The Evening Leader, Corning, N.Y. 18 April 1919


Mrs. Elizabeth Henry of 146 West Fourth Street died at the Corning Hospital at 6 o'clock last night following a several months' illness. She was the wife of Thomas H. Henry of this city.


Mrs. Henry is survived by her husband, one brother, Michael Walsh of Ft. Worth, Texas, and three sisters, Mrs. Katherine Hale of Butte, Montana, Mrs. Mary O'Connor (name is Margaret & lives in Anaconda, MT. ed. A.F.), also of Butte, Montana and Mrs. Mary Haley of 222 West Second Street, this city.

The remains were taken to the home of Mrs. Mary Haley. The funeral will be held at St. Mary's church at 9 o'clock Monday morning and interment will take place in St. Mary's cemetery.

Betty married Thomas H. Henry Jr. 2 May 1898 in Corning – they did not have any children.


Catherine Walsh, b. June 03, 1858, Inchigeelagh, Ire. Parents, James Walsh & Mary Harrington

d. 21 Mar 1950, Butte, Silver Bow, Montana

Montana Standard - Wednesday - 22 Mar 1950 p. 7



Mrs. Catherine Hale, 94 years old, a well-known and highly respected resident of Butte and Anaconda for more than 60 years, died early Tuesday morning at a local hospital. She had been well and active up to the start of her last illness about two months ago.

Mrs. Hale was born in County Cork, Ireland, in 1856 and came to the United Stated about 1880. She arrived in Anaconda in 1886 and was married there to the late Peter Hale, one-time chief of police in the Smelter City.

They came to Butte about 1895 and operated the Hale House, later known as the Florence or "Big Ship," on East Broadway. The family went east to New York for a time and when they returned Mr. Hale took over the operation of Gregson Springs. He died there in 1905.

Mrs. Hale resided in Butte since that time. She made her home at 310 West Silver St.

She is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Mr. & Mrs. Emmet Hale, Butte; Navy Capt. and Mrs. Peter Hale, San Diego, Calif; Mr. & Mrs. Grattan Hale, Everett, Wash. granddaughters, Eleanor, Butte and Lucinda, San Diego; nieces and nephews, Frances & Genevieve Haley, Corning, NY, John Haley, Buffalo, NY; Cornelius O'Connor, Anaconda and other relatives.

The remains are at the Daly-Shea mortuary.


James Walsh, b. April 09, 1860, Inchigeelagh, Ire. parents James Walsh & Mary Harrington

d. September 06, 1886 – place unknown, buried St. Mary’s cemetery in Corning, NY


James Walsh (his enlistment into the U. S. Army)

Oath of Enlistment & Allegiance

Wyoming Territory "I James Walsh, Born in County Cork in Ireland and by occupation a farmer do hereby acknowledge to have voluntarily enlisted this 12th day of Dec. 1878 as a soldier in the Army of the United States of America for a period of five years, unless sooner discharged by proper authority : and do also agree to accept from the United States such bounty, pay, rations, and clothing as are or may be established by law. And I do solemnly swear, that I am twenty two (22) years and (blank) months of age, and know of no impediment to my serving honestly and faithfully as a soldier for five years under this enlistment contract with the United States. And I, James Walsh do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the United States of America, and that I will serve them honestly and faithfully against all their enemies or opposers whomsoever; and that I will observe and obey the orders of the President of the United States, and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to the Rules and Articles of War. Signed James Walsh seal

Subscribed and duly sworn to before me, this 24th day of January, A.D. 1879.

(a note written along the edge of the enlistment paper: Enlisted under authority contained in letter dated, A.G. O. Washington, D.C. January 6th 1879, to Commanding Officer, Company "A" 9th Infantry, through Commanding Officer, Fort McKinney, Wyoming Territory).

Declaration of Recruit: I James Walsh, desiring to Enlist in the Army of the United States, for the term of Five Years, DO DECLARE, that I have neither wife nor child; that I have never been discharged from the United States Services on account of disability, or by sentence of a court martial, or by order before the expiration of term of enlistment; and that I am of legal age to enlist of my own accord, and believe myself to be physically qualified to perform the duties of an able-bodied soldier.

Given at: Fort McKinny W.T. this 24th day of January, 1879. signed James Walsh

Enlisted at Fort McKinny, Wyoming Territory. 9th Regiment of Infantry

(He had gray eyes, black hair and was of fair complexion. Was 5 ft. 7 in.) "Discharged 11 Dec 1883 exp. of service at Fr. D. A. Russell, Wyoming Territory. Character: excellent & c."

RG 98. Records of United States Army Commands (Army Posts)

From Wyoming Archives

FORT McKINNEY, WYO (1876 - 94)

This post was established on October 12, 1876, by Company B, 4th Infantry, pursuant to Special Orders # 131, Department of the Platte, September 22, 1876, on the North Bank of the Powder River, three miles above the site of old Fort Reno. The new post was named Cantonment Reno. The post was moved to a location 50 miles north on July 17, 1877. The name of Cantonment Reno was changed to Fort McKinney on August 30, 1877, pursuant to General Orders No. 82, the Adjutant General's Office, August 30, 1877. The post was abandoned November 7, 1894 pursuant to General Orders No. 45. The Adjutant General's Office, September 15, 1894.



Michael James Walsh b. March 28, 1862, Inchigeelagh, Ire. parents James Walsh & Mary Harrington d. December 20, 1932, Ah-Gwah-ching, Cass C0, Montana

Michael J. Walsh said at one time he had been in every state in the United States during his lifetime.

No obituary for him.

He married Alfredia Marie Schultz, March 19, 1900 Lamar, Arkansas

They had four sons: James Michael b. 11 Jan 1900 mar. Madeline Thompson 18 Nov 1930 & died 18 May 1976 in Calif they had 5 children; Fred Richard Walsh b. 30 Sept 1902, mar. Mabel? 29 Dec 1926 & died 14 July 1980 – they had one son; Joseph Paul Walsh b. @1903, mar. Mildred Herspring April 06, 1930 & died 1986 – they had one son; John Walter Walsh b. October 03, 1907, mar. Arnold Roselee Bailey October 19, 1935 & died January 27, 1998 – they had a son & a daughter.


Death Certificate for Shingobee Township, Cass Co., Minnesota # 180

Michael J. Walsh, male, white, widower, age 70 granite cutter. Born. 3-27-1862, Died. 12-20-1932.

Cause of death: Pulmonary Tuberculosis, Coronary Sclerosis, and General Arteriosclerosis.

Parents, James Walsh and Mary Harrington.

Dr. H. C. Burns.

Undertaker, Earle M. Thomas, Registrar H.H. Burdick of Walker, filed 1-3-33.

He died as a TB patient in Ah Gwah Ching Sanatorium 3 miles from Walker, Cass Co. Minnesota.



Ellen Walsh, b. May 17, 1864, Coolmountain, Ire., parents James Walsh & Mary Harrington

d. August 22, 1885, Corning, NY

Ellen was my great grandmother's favorite sister (told to me by several family members)

No obituary found for her – she was 21 years old when she died.


John F. Walsh b. June 24, 1866, Coolmountain, Ire. Parents, James Walsh & Mary Harrington

d. after 1901 unknown

John F. Walsh: Family Tradition is that he taught children of Army men in Washington State. Mrs. Lillian Long and Madeline Walsh told the same story. (I have not been able to confirm that story nor find where he lived & died, A.F.)


Richard Walsh b. March 23, 1869, Tooreendw, Ballingeary, IRE, d. February 01, 1891, Ferenbaugh, Steuben Co, NY (buried St. Mary’s cemetery, Corning, NY)

The Corning Daily Democrat, Corning, N.Y. Monday, 1 Feb 1891


Richard Welch, a young farmer, residing about a mile and a half north of Ferenbaugh's Station, and formerly a resident of Corning, was killed yesterday afternoon, at Ferenbaughs, while attempting to board train 53 coming south.

Mr. Welch was evidently on his way to Corning, and in attempting to board the train, was thrown under the wheels. A brakeman saw him disappear, and the train was stopped, backed up, and the mangled remains brought to this city, where Smith & Sullivan took them in charge.

At least twenty five cars passed over the body. He was undoubtedly killed immediately, a big cut in the head showing that the first fall probably ended his misery very soon. -- The body was crushed across and both arms severed from the trunk.

Mr. Welch's father was killed several years ago, by the falling of a bucket, while digging a well. He leaves a widowed mother, whose main support he was, a brother, and a sister, Mrs. Jerry (John ed.) Healy of this city.

Coroner McNamara summoned a jury, view the remains and the inquest was held this morning.

(He was almost 22 yrs. old at time of death).


Its sad for me to discover the untimely deaths of so many of my great-grandmother’s family, however it was pretty normal for the time period they were living.



If anyone has any information on this family, I would love to hear from you. My address is: Alice Finnegan, 9716 S. Moonlight Dr., Sandy, UT 84070. Email is: