|Map of County Limerick from|
The Families of County Limerick by Michael C O'Laughlin
It was going to be a simple project, check the Catholic Parish Registers for my Grandfather’s baptismal records. Found him: Michael, son of Patrick Connery and Mary Leahy on 16 June 1861. He was baptized in Kilfinane, County Limerick, Ireland and his Godparents were Michael Leahy and Helen Leahy. They are most likely the brother and sister of Mary Leahy. The custom of the day was that godparents were either a relative or a very close friend of the family.
After finding Michael’s record I realized that I needed to do the same for his siblings. All ten of them!
While I was recording all of their information, it became apparent how “surname spread” happens. Each has two godparents. In recording the baptismal entries for Michael’s siblings I actually added 3 new surnames and found several siblings for eachof the parents. The new names are Brigid Barrett, Joanna Howard, and Marie O’Donnell. While I have no evidence, I strongly suspect that these women later married the man she was paired with for the Baptism.
Individuals I suspect are the siblings of Patrick Connery are Dionysius and Michael Connery. Those I think may be siblings of Mary Leahy are Thomas, Johanna, Patrick, Michael, and Helen.
Helen was a sponsor on two occasions. Thomas Hennessy does appear to be unrelated to the Connerys and Leahys but I am sure there is a connection. Later Michael would marry Alice Fleming, a granddaughter of John Hennessy. Sister Ellen married Michael Hayes and sister Catherine married Patrick Walsh. Brides of the brothers add more surnames to the count.
Kilfinane, County Limerick; Diocese of Limerick
Baptisms and Marriages 1832 to Jul 1856, microfilm 02429/03
Baptisms ans Marriages Aug 1856 to Mar 1859 microfilm 02429/04
Baptisms Mar 1859 to Mar 1880 microfilm 02429/05