Ballyglass Stanley

Sometimes I feel that my research into the Irish side of the family is like joining the dots on a puzzle. I can join a few dots here. I can join a few dots there. What I cannot do is create a bigger picture. DNA evidence has already shown (see post “DNA: the magic bullet?” that there are, at least, two distinct Stanley clans in Roscommon. This means that there are two pictures to be drawn.

The Griffiths Valuations ( documentation provides yet more tantalising clues. (Click on the images for a clearer view.)

Oliver Stanley occupies plot 1e in Ballyglass Lower. James Stanley is in plot 1h. The map shows that they are less than 100 metres apart. In all probability they are related. What I do not know is the nature of the relationship. Were they brothers, cousins, father and son?

The aerial view from Google maps shows no evidence of any of these dwellings. The line of houses is now largely occupied by a farm road. With a vivid imagination it is possible to see some vague patterns in the vegetation that might once have been the location of a house.

Oliver has already appeared in an earlier post (McCormack and Stanley – which referred to the marriage of his son John, aged 40, to Ellen McCormack/McCormick on November 1882. (Making him John S, b 1842) Ellen’s father Martin occupied Plot 1n, a few yards from Oliver). ( He died in April 1881. His age was given as 80. This would probably have been rounded to the nearest five years. The death was reported by Catherine Broderick. Peter Broderick occupied Plot 1g. All of these people lived within yards of each other. The photos show how poor the land is in that vicinity.

(Smaghraan River – Shot taken from the road (L6656) that heads north towards Ballyglass Lower from Clooneenbaun)

James died in 1880. His age was also given as 80. He had a son called John. (Go to the back of the class if that choice of name came as a surprise!) John, son of James, married Mary Grehan in January 1882. He was 26. This places his date of birth as 1855/56. (Making him John S, b 1855) One of the witnesses was another member of the McCormack family.

Supposition: James and Oliver were brothers. Making educated guesses is quite easy. Proving a connection to my family is the difficult bit. (2021 update: DNA has proved that there is no connection to my family.)

 Lough Creevin (the lake appears to be about 30% smaller than it was 150 years ago.)