A tribute to the life and work of Brian Torode
Coleman of Killererin, County Galway
Researched by Richard Barton
Walter (alias Edmond) Coleman (1837-1900) of Killererin and Honora (alias Norah) Elwood (1840-1915)
Michael Coleman of Coolreagh (1866-1937) and Honor Walsh of Newtown, Abbeyknockmoy (1868-1950)
John Coleman (1908-1991) and Julia Geary (1912-1969)
This branch of the Coleman Family seems to have lived in the townlands of Togher(more) and Coolrevagh in the Civil Parish of Killererin, County Galway, which is situated just south of the City of Tuam.
In the mid nineteenth century we find Colemans in the Land Valuation overseen by Richard Griffiths for Pollbaun, Coolrevagh and Toghermore in Killererin Parish:
Coleman Edmund Coolrevagh Killererin Galway
Coleman Edmund Pollbaun Killererin Galway
Coleman Edmund Toghermore Killererin Galway
Coleman Michael Coolrevagh Killererin
Walter (alias Edmond) and Honor ((alias Norah) Coleman
The marriage registers for Killererin record that on 4th September 1856 a Walter Coleman married Honora Elwood. The witnesses to the marriage were John Nolan and Sabina (Selina?) Delany and the couple made an offering of one guinea to the priest.
At the time of the birth of his son, Michael Coleman, in 1866 The father’s name was given as Edmond but this seems to be a mistake as he is recorded as Walter when his son was married in 1894.
Walter Coleman died on 6th April 1900, aged sixty-three-years at Adragool, in Tuam Registration District. He was described as sixty-three-years-old, a landholder and married. His death certificate records that he probably died as a result of influenza which he had suffered for thirteen days during which time he had received no medical attention. His widow was present at the death which she reported on 30th April when she made her mark.
Norah Coleman died on 17th May 1915 at Coolreagh aged seventy-five-years. She was described as the widow of a farmer and she died of ‘old age’, again, having received no medical attention. The informant was her daughter-in-law, Honor Coleman of Coolreagh who was present at the death.
The Son of Walter and Norah Coleman:
Michael and Honor Coleman
Michael Coleman was born at Tobermore (sic) in Killererin, Galway, on 6th January 1866. His father was recorded as Edmond Coleman of Tobermore and his mother as Honor Coleman, formerly Elwood. Honor informed the registrar of the birth and she made her mark.
Michael Colman (sic) married Honor Walsh at the Catholic Chapel at Abbey, in the Registration District of Tuam, on 16th September 1894. Michael was described as aged twenty six, a bachelor farmer, of Coolrea (sic), son of Walter Colman, a farmer. Honor Walsh was aged twenty-four, a spinster daughter of Laurence Walsh, a farmer. Pat Monaghan and Bridget Browne witnessed the ceremony and signed the register by making their marks. The wedding was registered on 21st September. Michael and Honor Coleman had six children.
In 1901 Michael and Honor Coleman were living with their family at Coolreagh. The older name for this townland of Killererin is Coolrevagh. The head of the family was Michael’s mother, Honor, aged sixty (sic) who was unable to read and write and only spoke Irish. She was described as a widowed farmer and was listed as born in Galway. Michael was recorded as a farmer’s son, aged thirty-six, married, and able to read and write and he was able to speak both Irish and English. His wife, Honor, was listed as thirty, able to read and write and she also spoke both Irish and English.
Of their children, Mary, aged five, was able to read and was described as a scholar. Bridget was aged two years and Walter was aged three months. All three were born in Galway.
The family lived in a private dwelling with three rooms and they had three windows at the front. Their home, one of only twelve in Coolreagh Townland, was probably constructed of stone with a thatch roof.
On 2nd April 1911 the family was still living at Coolreagh, Killererin. The head of the household was listed, once again, as Michael’s widowed mother, Honor Coleman, now aged ninety-three (sic) but more likely 73! She was a Roman Catholic, a native of Galway, unable to read, and she spoke only Irish. Michael, a forty-five-year-old farmer and a Roman Catholic; was able to read and write and he spoke both Irish and English. His wife, Honor, a native of Galway, also a Roman Catholic, and aged thirty-six, was able to read and write and she spoke both Irish and English. Honor and Michael had been married for sixteen years at the time of the census and they had had six children of whom five had survived.
Their surviving children were at home on the night of the census and their details were recorded by the enumerator. They were born in Galway, Roman Catholic, able to read and write and they spoke both Irish and English. The names of the children were listed as Mary, aged fourteen, Bridget, aged twelve, Walter, aged ten, and Peter, aged eight. John, the youngest, who was aged three years, was unable to read and write.
According to the census return the family lived in three rooms and they had three windows at the front of their dwelling. The house was probably constructed of stone with a thatch roof. They also had a stable, a piggery, a shed and a cow house.
Seventy-year-old Michael Coleman, a farmer, died at Coolreagh on 5th May 1937. The cause of death was given as mitral regurgitation (six months) and myocardial failure, certified, and the death was registered on 11th May by Walter Coleman of Coolreagh, son of the deceased.
Eighty-year-old Nora Coleman, a farmer’s widow, died at Coolreagh on 13th May 1950. The cause was given as old age, without dementia, and myocardial failure, was certified and the death was registered on 15th May by Walter Coleman of Togher, her son.
The children of Michael and Honor Coleman:
Mary was born at Togher on 1st December 1896. Her birth was registered on 12th January 1897 by her mother and her father was described as a landholder of Togher. Mary emigrated to the U.S.A., married and was living in Manhattan, New York in 1930.
Bridget was born at Togher on 20th March 1899. Her birth was not registered by her mother until 2nd May and her father was described as a landholder of Togher.
Walter Coleman was born on 20th February 1901 at Coolreagh. When his mother registered his birth on the 25th March she made her mark. Walter’s parents were given as Michael Coleman, a landholder of Coolreagh, and Honor Coleman, formerly Walsh.
Walter married Annie Carroll on 15th September 1934 at St. Coleman’s, Cummer, Kilmoylan. Walter was described on the marriage certificate as a labourer of full age, from Toher, son of Michael Coleman a farmer. Annie was a maid of full age, from Brickagh, daughter of John Carroll, a farmer. The witnesses were John Carroll and Mary Corcoran.
The couple had two sons and four daughters. Walter died in Tuam and his widow, Annie, died in 1970, aged seventy-four.
Their children were:
Peter Coleman was born on 21st July 1904 at Coolreagh. When his birth was registered by his mother on 28th September she made her mark. His father was described as a farmer of Coolreagh.
Peter died on 15 March 1977 in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, USA, at the age of 73, and was buried in Huntington, New York, USA.
John (Francis) Coleman
John Coleman was born on 27th August 1908 at Coolreagh (sic) in Killererin Parish in Galway, the son of Michael Coleman, Farmer, and his wife Honora, formerly Walsh. His mother registered his birth on 30th October 1908.
According to the 1911 census, on 2nd April of that year the family was living at Coolrevagh, Killererin. John was described as three-years-old and unable to read and write. He had been born in Galway and was listed as being a Roman Catholic.
In later years he received an education from the Christian Brothers.
John married Julia Geary on 22nd April 1934 at the Church in Killererin but the certificate was not received by the Registrar until 29th September 1936 and duly registered on the following day. John Coleman was described as a twenty-seven-year-old bachelor, a labourer of Ballinahinch, son of Michael Coleman, a farmer. Julia was described as twenty-one-year-old spinster, of Toghermore, daughter of Michael Geary, a farmer. The celebrant was the Parish Priest, Peter Curran, and the witnesses were Luke Murphy and Mary A. Farrell. This seems to be an error and one wonders whether Toghermore and Ballinahinch should be swapped over?
In 1937 they were living at Togher, in Tuam Registration District, and John was described at that time as being a Poultry Assistant.
John and Julia, who had four children – three girls and a boy, later moved to Swindon, Wiltshire, where John was employed at the Railway Workshops in that town.
Julia died in 1969 and John died in 1991 at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. He was buried on 16th October in Swindon.
(?) Michael Walsh and Mary Reynolds (?)
Laurence Walsh (1822c-1900) and Biddy or Bridget Warren (1835-1910)
Honor Walsh (1868-1950) and Michael Coleman
Honor Walsh was born on 25th August 1868 at Newtown, Abbeyknockmoy, in Abbey Registration District, Tuam. Her parents were given as Laurence Walsh and Biddy Walsh, formerly Warren. Biddy registered the birth on 14th September when she made her mark. Laurence was described as a Cottier – the term for a tenant in Ireland, formerly renting a small farm under the rack-rent system, the land being let to the highest bidder.
Griffith’s Valuation for 1847-1864 mentions Laurence Walsh as an occupier of 5 acres and having a share in a further 17 acres in Liss townland within Abbeyknockmoy Parish. The lessor of this land was Charles Kelly. Other tenants included Patrick Walsh, senior and junior, and Michael Warren.
Honor’s parents, Laurence and Biddy or Bridget, as sometimes written by the Registrar, had at least four other children, namely, Michael, Patt born on 30th March 1871 at Newtown, John born on 1st May 1873 at Newtown and Thomas born on 3rd April 1876 at Abbey. The eldest of Honor’s brothers, Michael Walsh, married Maria Warren of Paddock on 17th March 1895 at Abbey Church. He was then thirty-two-years-old and a Farmer of Abbey. They had three children, Mary, Lawrence and John Walsh.
Honor’s father, Laurence Walsh, died on 15th February 1900 at Newtown in Abbey Registration District. He was described as a married Cottier, aged seventy-eight years, who had suffered with bronchitis for some time but had received no medical attention. His death was registered on 23rd February by his son, Michael Walsh, of Newtown.
Honor’s mother, Bridget Walsh, died on 31st December 1910 at Abbey. She was described as a seventy-five-year-old Farmer’s widow and the cause of her death was given as senile decay and she had received no medical attendance. When the death was registered on 13th January 1911 the informant was her son, Michael Walsh, of Abbey, who was present at the death.
I have found a reference online to the baptism at Abbey of a Laurence Walsh, son of Michael Walsh and his wife Mary nee Reynolds, of Liss dated 8th January 1825 and I would like to be able to confirm this.
If this baptism is correct case (and another online researcher speak of DNA confirmation too) then we can piece together details of Mary Reynolds’s family. Mary possibly had a younger sibling, namely, Malachy or Lacky Reynolds (1810-1868).
Malachy Reynolds was a farmer of Liss, Newtown, County Galway and he died on 27th June 1868. He and his wife Ann Killeen (1812-1897), whom he married on 21st April 1844 at Menlough, had at least fifteen children.
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