View Full Version : Fenton sisters from Cork to Galway
27-07-2005, 11:37 PM
I am trying to trace two Fenton sisters who moved from County Cork to Ballyconneely in County Galway.
One married a Thomas McWilliams, whose family still run a shop / Post Office in Ballyconneely.
Any help would be appreciated.
21-11-2007, 5:44 AM
I have information on the Fenton sisters whose parents lived in County Cork and who were in Ballyconnelly, assisting a Grandmother - One sister married a George McWilliam in 1899 in Clifden and it is their grandchildren who currently own the store and operate the post office in Ballyconnelly - These happen to be sisters of my Grandmother, who emigrated to the United States in 1913 and never returned to Ireland ------
26-11-2007, 7:17 PM
Hello Recroft G,
Thank you for your reply,
My great grandparent, Timothy McNiffe, lived in Ballyconneely in West Galway.
One of my mother's cousins recalls that "Mrs McWilliams was the widow of Tom McWilliams and was always addressed as Mrs Mac in the shop".
Her sister, Miss Fenton, "ruled" the Post Office within the shop... apparently two fairly frightening women!
Miss Fenton lived in the old Rectory across the road from where my McNiffe ancestors lived.
Do you have any information on either of these families in Ballyconneely ?
03-12-2007, 6:11 AM
Thanks for your reply - I will try to fill you in on what I know -I will use designations as to my relationship to these folk - Most of the information that I have is from my mother, who is 92, healthy and remembers a great deal of what her (grand)mother told her of the Fenton Family, (grandmother) being the ninth of ten children.
It is my understanding that the Fenton Family, (great grand)father from Lietrim County and (great grand)mother's family originally from Tipperary, met in Galway, where great grandfather was a clerk in a store and great grandmother was living due to her father (great-great grand) being involved in a business, which I think was wood working and cabinet making. Great grandfather and great grandmother were married in 1866 in Omey Methodist Church in Clifden. Over the next 19 years, they managed to have ten children who lived to adulthood, although one died in her early 20's.
Great grandmothers father, the business man in Galway, evidently died sometime between 1862 and 1866, and his partner in the business, took all of the business assets, leaving great great grandmother, with three almost fully grown children but no means of income.
Great great grandmother, sold all personal assets she had in Galway and moved to Ballyconneely where she bought the store and took over the post office. She evidently had some land also, and had cattle on the land. After some time, when she must have been in her late 60's, she looked to my great grandmother, with her growing family for help. It is my understanding that initially, the fifth child, a son Gilbert Recroft (born 1872) and the eighth child, Charlotte Elizabeth (born 1877) were sent to help. Charlotte, better known as "Sylvia", helped with the store and Gilbert worked with the cattle and the outside work.
Sylvia fell in love with George McWilliam Jr. and was married in 1899. Gilbert evidently decided that his work on the farm was completed in 1897, as he emigrated to the United States, entered the US Army duing the Spanish American War and after discharge, took a homestead in Northern Minnesota where he lived the rest of his life.
Anne Frances, the sixth child (born 1874) of the above family was trained as a nurse, but at sometime, during this period of Sylvia marrying, Gilbert leaving and Great great grandmother Anna Brady Lynham getting older or possibly dying, she moved to Ballyconneely to take over the post office. Anne Frances never married.
It was sometime between the birth of my Grandmother (1881 - ninth child) and the birth of her brother (1886 - last child) that their parents, great grandfather and great grandmother Fenton moved to Bantry, and then Bandon, County Cork. At the time of the 1901 census that I find, it is only the last two children who are living at home. Great grandmother became ill and died at home in 1919. Great grandfather, being a protestant and probably an outspoken Methodist, was shot in his bed in Bandon during the "troubles" and died in 1921 of the effects of the gunshot wound. It was Anne Frances who attested to the death of her mother, so Frances must have traveled back and forth to County Cork somewhat freely.
Meanwhile, back in Ballyconneely, Sylvia and George McWilliam had seven children, the oldest son George, who with his wife Una took over the store and the post office and who had five sons of their own. It is some of these boys who are operating the store and post office at this time.
We had the opportunity to visit Ballyconneely back a few years ago, when Una was alive and had the opportunity to meet the boys.
I hope that you can make sense of all of this and I trust that the information that I have is helpful to you. My information is primarily from my mother's memory and what little information I can find on the internet. I have been in communication with the McWilliam boys but as you are aware, unless this genealogy bug bites you, it is really a rather boring subject to most.
Please give me more information if you have it, or send me questions you might have. I will do my best.
14-12-2007, 5:36 PM
Hello Recroft G,
Thank you for your reply.
I hope that you do not mind, but I would like to send your reply to a cousin of my mother who was born in Clifden in 1931. Her maiden name was McNiffe and she lived opposite the old rectory in Ballyconneely where Miss Fenton lived.
If I get any further news which might prove interesting I shall pass it on.
Wishing you the Compliments of the Season
17-12-2007, 6:10 AM
Greetings and best of the season to you Leslie.
I would have no concerns about your forwarding this information on to your mother's cousin. Due to the fact that I never had an opportunity to meet many of these people, I too am interested in any and all information that might be generated about these people. Thanks so much for making the inquiry.
It is morsels such as these that keep my interest. As I have often said, facts and numbers are easy to develop but the facts and numbers say little about the life that some of these ancestors lived.
10-01-2008, 7:03 PM
I tried to send a message to you but it did not get through. Do you need to amend your profile ?
14-01-2008, 1:35 AM
Leslie - As far as I know, the profile is accurate - maybe it got hung up in Spam? - Try again -
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