Discovering our roots

 Altnadarrah, Cavan County Ireland

 Ireland trip notes 2009 Aug Katherine Kitty S Dunbar 

Our Grandmother Ann McGovern, was born in Altnadarragh Cavan County Ireland 

Her parents Patrick McGovern and Mary Mcguire McGovern


1st stop

 Researcher, Seamus Finnerty Centered in photo from Ballyeigh, Ballybunion, County Kerry Ireland.  Please see letters attached.  

In the 1600’s the English takeover forced a change in most Irish names.  MacGauran to MaGauran to McGovern, Maguire to McGuire, etc.


Photo: Center Seamus Finnerty left- Kat S Dunbar right-Susan Mixson friend from Charleston. 

Note: According to the Registrar Office in Ireland, in the 1800’s and before; Irish Birth dates, Baptism dates and Registrar dates are not always recorded with the correct date of birth.  Even today, in the waiting room at the Registrars Office (where I purchased the official birth records of our grandmother) we saw many parents with their children age 1 day to 2 years old getting their birth registered with the Irish Government.  Therefore the birthdates of our Irish ancestors may be a little off but are officially acceptable to the Irish government.  

In 1921 a fire in Dublin destroyed all records prior to 1860.   

It is reported in the Altnadarragh 1900 census that 4 of the 5 people listed could not read.  Only our Aunt Nora listed as able to read.  

Our Grandmother Anne McGovern was born May 1877; her birth was registered November 1877.  She moved to the US 1897 (Penn Yann, NY) with her sister Mary, to join their other sister Catherine (Kate) McGovern.  Kate died in January 1900, is buried in Penn Yann, NY.  Later that year Honora (Aunt Nora) McGovern came to the US.  Ann (Anna Belle) McGovern married Fredrick Moulton on January 31, 1917.  Had 3 children Mary Catherine, Frederick L and Jonathan F.


2nd stop, Town of Cavan, Ireland    Cavan Genealogy Society Helpful 

Genealogy staff in the town of Cavan, Ireland (photo on left).   Here is where we found the 1900 census of Aunt Nora living with her brother Terence.  At the same address in 1910 & 1920 the census registered Terence & family.   



Another place for genealogy would be the little building outside the hospital in Cavan.  Here you may find death certificate information.  We found this out at the end of our trip and did not have time to go there.  It would be nice to find the death record of our great grandmother.  


3rd stop Just below bottom of hill to grandmother Ann McGovern birth place.  Altnadarragh

We met Postman Brendan Baxter and Patrick McGovern.  Patrick was working on a ditch at the lower end of his property.  

This used to be the main road from Sligo to Dublin.  

East to West Ireland.  Mmm…


Patrick McGovern (see photo below) b 1932  Invited us in for tea.  He has a charming well kept house.  He has one sister  Rose Ann McGovern Curran

His father James McGovern b 1900 d 1933. Katherine wife? 

His grandfather Patrick McGovern (or great uncle)

His Great Grand father Patrick McGovern. (There could be a connection here).










                    Patrick McGovern    lives near road to Altnadarrah




4th stop South about 1 ½ miles. Meet Tom “Paddy” McGovern, b 1930’s.

Has one sister Mary Ann McGovern married Tully.

Parents Hugh and Anne McGovern  

Tom “Paddy” McGovern was “a hoot” to talk with.  We were told he was a character in his younger days.  When he was young he played Irish football in school.  He always swam in river before each game and played barefoot.  Paddy appears to be a fun loving character with lots of stories.  When we approached his house we heard music….Beach Music…”Under the board walk,....My Girl  etc”  lol.  

When Paddy goes to town in his tractor (his only vehicle), he dresses up with tie, vest and coat.   Here is a photo of him just coming back from doing business in Swanlinbar Templeport.  Templeport is/was the parish Catholic Church where Aunt Nora’s (Honora McGovern) birth was registered.  


5th stop We spent the night in Bawnboy at “The Keepers Arms Hotel”



See sheep in field across from Hotel.  


Sheila & Bryan McKiernan (owners). info@keepersarms.com  Bridge Street

Bawnboy Co Cavan, Ireland  phone 00353 49 9523318


Shelia was very helpful.  Her mother-in-law was a McGovern (see photo of her family history).  It is a lovely local Hotel, Bar and Restaurant.  Sheila suggested going to Swanlinbar Templeport to talk with Agnes the butcher.





Day 2 6th stop

Swanlinbar Templeport

The town Butcher, Agnes McGovern (very helpful)

She is married to John McGovern b 1956 has teenage son Sean they live on the road to and just before Altnadarragh. 

His father John McGovern His siblings Michael, Maggie Hugh, Anthony

His Grandfather Patrick McGovern

Agnes suggested to talk with Joe Fee (Fey) (his mother was a McGovern)


7th stop  Meet Joe Fee (Fey).  b1932 He lives across from “Tully Dermot Falls” falls.  He is sheep farmer and his vehicle is a tractor. 


Meet Joe Fee (Fey) b1932

across from “Tully Dermot Falls” falls



His mother was Mary McGovern b 1896.  Joe has one sister who lives in town.  John Patrick Anthony, 

Grandfather Hugh McGovern

Great grandfather Patrick McGovern

Joe Fee (Fey) took us to Killaduff Cemetery (Kil means church) Joe Fee (Fey) volunteers’ to maintain the Swanlinbar graveyard where Patrick McGovern is buried.  I think this is our Great-grandfather and great-great grandmother & great-great-grandfather


Front entrance 

pastedGraphic.pdf

old church in back   

McGovern family crest 


Old McGovern graves

Joe Fee (Fey) McGovern



pastedGraphic_1.pdf

See Old Ordnance Survey Map 1899

In back lot where the church once stood 

Is an old grave stone that lists:   

Patrick McGovern  d.1909 age 63 =b.1846*

Patrick  d.1878 age 78 =b.1800

& Bridget  d.1897 age 74 =b.1823

John  d.1802 age 46 =b.1752

Hugh d.1805 age 54 =b.1751

*This marker was shown to me by Joe Fee (Fey) 

I believe this is Patrick our ggfather  




Beautiful views from old section of Killaduff cemetery


Joe Fee (Fey) & Kitty



It appears my Great grandfather Patrick McGovern had 2 wives:

“Mary Anne" McGuire/McGovern had 8 children from 1860 to 1877 and 

"Mary" McGovern/McGovern  5 children from 1877 or 1881 to 1895   

Kitty S Dunbar Aug 2009         


8th stop Maguires’ chair Interesting family story, see article attached.

Photos forth coming....

 Ireland trip notes 2009 Aug Katherine Kitty S Dunbar Granddaughter of 

Ann McGovern, Altnadarragh Cavan County Ireland


1st stop

 Researcher, Seamus Finnerty Centered in photo from Ballyeigh, Ballybunion, County Kerry Ireland.  Please see letters attached.  

In the 1600’s the English takeover forced a change in most Irish names.  MacGauran to MaGauran to McGovern, Maguire to McGuire, etc.


Photo: Center Seamus Finnerty left- Kat S Dunbar right-Susan Mixson friend from Charleston. 

Note: According to the Registrar Office in Ireland, in the 1800’s and before; Irish Birth dates, Baptism dates and Registrar dates are not always recorded with the correct date of birth.  Even today, in the waiting room at the Registrars Office (where I purchased the official birth records of our grandmother) we saw many parents with their children age 1 day to 2 years old getting their birth registered with the Irish Government.  Therefore the birthdates of our Irish ancestors may be a little off but are officially acceptable to the Irish government.  

In 1921 a fire in Dublin destroyed all records prior to 1860.   

It is reported in the Altnadarragh 1900 census that 4 of the 5 people listed could not read.  Only our Aunt Nora listed as able to read.  

Our Grandmother Anne McGovern was born May 1877; her birth was registered November 1877.  She moved to the US 1897 (Penn Yann, NY) with her sister Mary, to join their other sister Catherine (Kate) McGovern.  Kate died in January 1900, is buried in Penn Yann, NY.  Later that year Honora (Aunt Nora) McGovern came to the US.  Ann (Anna Belle) McGovern married Fredrick Moulton on January 31, 1917.  Had 3 children Mary Catherine, Frederick L and Jonathan F.


2nd stop, Town of Cavan, Ireland    Cavan Genealogy Society Helpful 

Genealogy staff in the town of Cavan, Ireland (photo on left).   Here is where we found the 1900 census of Aunt Nora living with her brother Terence.  At the same address in 1910 & 1920 the census registered Terence & family.   



Another place for genealogy would be the little building outside the hospital in Cavan.  Here you may find death certificate information.  We found this out at the end of our trip and did not have time to go there.  It would be nice to find the death record of our great grandmother.  


3rd stop Just below bottom of hill to grandmother Ann McGovern birth place.  Altnadarragh

We met Postman Brendan Baxter and Patrick McGovern.  Patrick was working on a ditch at the lower end of his property.  

This used to be the main road from Sligo to Dublin.  

East to West Ireland.  Mmm…


Patrick McGovern (see photo below) b 1932  Invited us in for tea.  He has a charming well kept house.  He has one sister  Rose Ann McGovern Curran

His father James McGovern b 1900 d 1933. Katherine wife? 

His grandfather Patrick McGovern (or great uncle)

His Great Grand father Patrick McGovern. (There could be a connection here).










                    Patrick McGovern    lives near road to Altnadarrah




4th stop South about 1 ½ miles. Meet Tom “Paddy” McGovern, b 1930’s.

Has one sister Mary Ann McGovern married Tully.

Parents Hugh and Anne McGovern  

Tom “Paddy” McGovern was “a hoot” to talk with.  We were told he was a character in his younger days.  When he was young he played Irish football in school.  He always swam in river before each game and played barefoot.  Paddy appears to be a fun loving character with lots of stories.  When we approached his house we heard music….Beach Music…”Under the board walk,....My Girl  etc”  lol.  

When Paddy goes to town in his tractor (his only vehicle), he dresses up with tie, vest and coat.   Here is a photo of him just coming back from doing business in Swanlinbar Templeport.  Templeport is/was the parish Catholic Church where Aunt Nora’s (Honora McGovern) birth was registered.  


5th stop We spent the night in Bawnboy at “The Keepers Arms Hotel”



See sheep in field across from Hotel.  


Sheila & Bryan McKiernan (owners). info@keepersarms.com  Bridge Street

Bawnboy Co Cavan, Ireland  phone 00353 49 9523318


Shelia was very helpful.  Her mother-in-law was a McGovern (see photo of her family history).  It is a lovely local Hotel, Bar and Restaurant.  Sheila suggested going to Swanlinbar Templeport to talk with Agnes the butcher.





Day 2 6th stop

Swanlinbar Templeport

The town Butcher, Agnes McGovern (very helpful)

She is married to John McGovern b 1956 has teenage son Sean they live on the road to and just before Altnadarragh. 

His father John McGovern His siblings Michael, Maggie Hugh, Anthony

His Grandfather Patrick McGovern

Agnes suggested to talk with Joe Fee (Fey) (his mother was a McGovern)


7th stop  Meet Joe Fee (Fey).  b1932 He lives across from “Tully Dermot Falls” falls.  He is sheep farmer and his vehicle is a tractor. 


Meet Joe Fee (Fey) b1932

across from “Tully Dermot Falls” falls



His mother was Mary McGovern b 1896.  Joe has one sister who lives in town.  John Patrick Anthony, 

Grandfather Hugh McGovern

Great grandfather Patrick McGovern

Joe Fee (Fey) took us to Killaduff Cemetery (Kil means church) Joe Fee (Fey) volunteers’ to maintain the Swanlinbar graveyard where Patrick McGovern is buried.  I think this is our Great-grandfather and great-great grandmother & great-great-grandfather


Front entrance 

pastedGraphic.pdf

old church in back   

McGovern family crest 


Old McGovern graves

Joe Fee (Fey) McGovern



pastedGraphic_1.pdf

See Old Ordnance Survey Map 1899

In back lot where the church once stood 

Is an old grave stone that lists:   

Patrick McGovern d.1909 age 63 =b.1846*

Patrick d.1878 age 78 =b.1800

& Bridget d.1897 age 74 =b.1823

John d.1802 age 46 =b.1752

Hugh d.1805 age 54 =b.1751

*This marker was shown to me by Joe Fee (Fey) 

I believe this is Patrick our ggfather  




Beautiful views from old section of Killaduff cemetery


Joe Fee (Fey) & Kitty



It appears my Great grandfather Patrick McGovern had 2 wives:

“Mary Anne" McGuire/McGovern had 8 children from 1860 to 1877 and 

"Mary" McGovern/McGovern  5 children from 1877 or 1881 to 1895   

Kitty S Dunbar Aug 2009         


8th stop Maguires’ chair Interesting family story, see article attached.

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