A small Irish family begins in County Limerick

My father and I have worked for decades to locate the roots of the HANNIGAN family as they came from Ireland and settled in the greater New York City area during the late 1860’s.

These efforts were greatly enhanced in 2016 when the National Library of Ireland released the Ireland Catholic Parish Registers, a collection made up of baptism, marriage and death records from over 1,000 Catholic parishes across the whole island of Ireland to the general public.

Findmypast has called the Ireland Catholic Parish Registers “the single most important collection needed to trace your Roman Catholic ancestors” in Ireland in the 1800’s. With the release of these records, we have found the Parish Marriage record for Cornelius Hannigan and Mary Riordan. The key to finding your ancestors in these records was to remember that the Parish Registers were written in Latin, the official language of the Vatican.  Instead of looking for Cornelius in the register, you would need to look for the Latin equivalent, Cornelium.

Ireland, Catholic Parish Register for Mariam RiordanIn the 1835 marriage registry for the Dromin parish in the Diocese of Limerick from County Limerick, Ireland there is a record of the marriage of Cornelius Hannigan and Mary Riordan on January 25, 1835. In the 18th Century, the parishes of Dromin and Athlacca joined together to form a single parish, with both parishes serving small villages located south of Limerick City and each maintain separate churches in the combined parish even today.

In this same group of Parish Records, we found an entry for Patrick Hannigan being baptized on March 6, 1838, as the son of Cornelius Hannigan and Mary Riordan in County Limerick, Ireland in the parish of Bulgaden. Parish baptismal records also show at least two brothers were part of the family of Cornelius and Mary; Michael was baptized in August 1842 and John was baptized in June 1845.

When Patrick made his declaration for US Citizenship in October 1878, there is a Michael Hannigan who served as his witness.  Michael Hannigan was naturalized in August 1876 in the Superior Court of New York County. And it might have been Michael who encouraged his older brother to travel to the United States.