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McGoughs, McGeoughs and McGeoghs
Our family tradition is that my great-grandfather, John McGough, was born in county Monaghan in 1824. The 1860 federal census of Eau Claire, Wisconsin shows his age as 29, so he may actually have been born in 1830 or 1831.
Counties Monaghan and Louth are the parts of Ireland in which the McGoughs were concentrated in the 1800s, with a significant number of additional families in adjoining areas of Armagh and Tyrone. Monaghan is the county in which I first concentrated my research of the McGoughs in Ireland, and I have summarized the results of this research on the several pages listed below.
A table that lists all the McGoughs in Ireland found in the Tithe Applotment Books (T) of the 1820s and Griffith's Valuation (G) of the 1850s will be found on my page McGoughs, McGeoughs, and McGeoghs in Ireland in the 182030s and 185060s: By County, Parish, and Townland
Here are the opening two paragraphs of Father Peadar Livingstone's book The Monaghan Story (Clogher Historical Society 1980):
"Only after the English conquest was Ireland divided into counties. The process, begun after 1200 A.D., was not completed until after 1600. In 1585, Queen Elizabeth I's lord deputy, Sir John Perrot (1584–'88), appointed a commission to divide the 'unreformed' part of Ulster, that is, it had still to be conquered. The division was carried out on paper but it was over twenty years before the English had sufficient control over the area to organise it as a county. The first problem was to determine boundaries for the territory of the MacMahons and the McKennas of Truagh which, together, were to make up the new county of Monaghan. The projected boundary with County Armagh caused particular difficulty. The fact that the Muckno district near Castleblayney and the Clerran district near Clontibret are in County Monaghan today rather than in County Armagh is due to chance as much as to any other factor.
"Monaghan, the main stronghold of the ruling MacMahon family of the time, became the county town. It was also the site of a Franciscan monastery and, in addition, the English saw it as a strategic fortification between Newry and Enniskillen. Though not the most convenient centre of administration, the choice of Monaghan was never questioned. If not appropriate in location, the town of Monaghan had an appropriate name to give to the county whose capital it became. Muineachán means 'a little hill' and Monaghan is aptly titled the 'county of the little hills'." (page 9)
The great Irish famine of 1846 to 1850 resulted in a decline in the population of county Monaghan, and is doubtless a cause of the emigration of my great-grandfather to the United States, probably in 1850 or 1851.
"Monaghan was a highly densely populated area of Ireland in the mid 1800, but population declined significantly during the famine. The population dropped by almost a third between 1841 and 1851, and continued to fall as emigrants left the country over the following decades. However other family names which have survived to date include, McGowan, Smith, Finnegan, Duffy, Hughes, Markey, McGough and Mulligan." Monaghan Tourism
For a synopsis of the history of Monaghan to 1861, go to Monaghan. See also County Monaghan and the Kingdom of Oriel, a short essay by Brian MacDonald, on the website of The Clan McMahon of the Kingdom of Oriel, which contains several related links.
The civil parishes of county Monaghan are discussed in more detail on the pages of this website that are listed below, and sources of information specific to those parishes are cited on those pages. This page is intended primarily to provide an outline of general information that should be helpful in interpreting those pages.
These pages are built around the 1:50 000 Ordnance Survey Maps of Ireland (Discovery Series) and Northern Ireland (Discoverer Series). References to a map are based on the Irish National Grid, which divide the maps into one kilometer squares. Because this series of maps is based on kilometers, in my web pages I usually give distances between points in Ireland in kilometers, even though the standard Irish distance measurement is the mile. One kilometer is equal to 0.62 miles. One mile is equal to 1.609 kilometers. Monaghan is the only county in Ireland substantially covered by both the Discovery Series of maps compiled and published by Ordnance Survey Ireland (sheets 28A and 28B) and the Discoverer Series published by the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland (sheet 28, which does not include the southern part of county Monaghan.) I found the Discovery Series more useful because it identifies and locates more of the townlands of each parish and because it gives both the English and Irish spelling of the towns and villages.
Good maps that superimpose the boundaries of the townlands and Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Clogher upon the Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland 1:50 000 topographical map (sheet 28) can be found in Landscapes of South Ulster: A Parish Atlas of the Diocese of Clogher, by Patrick J. Duffy, published in 1993 by The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queens University of Belfast, in association with the Clogher Historical Society. All of county Monaghan is part of the diocese of Clogher. I have found the book an invaluable resource in putting together my web pages that deal with parishes within the diocese of Clogher. The last time I checked, this book was still available from the publisher.
Many less detailed maps of county Monaghan have been published on the Internet:
Road Map of County Monaghan (with links to town maps of Ballybay, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones and Monaghan). For a travel map showing the relationship of Monaghan and surrounding counties, go to County Monaghan—Where to Stay.
McGeough—What's in a Name by Ann McGeough Harney includes a map of most of county Monaghan.
Map of the Old Irish Provinces and Counties
Map Center of Ancestry.com
Regional map of Ireland and Northern Ireland, showing the four provinces and regional clan associations about 1500.
Here is a map of the civil parishes of county Monaghan published by the Ulster Historical Society.
Here is a map of the Catholic parishes in the diocese of Clogher.
References are given to additional Internet maps on my pages dealing with particular parishes. See also the next section of this page.
The parishes of Monaghan and a wee bit of their history.
Civil Parishes in Ireland by PRONI (alphabetical list).
Map of the baronies of county Monaghan.
Map of the civil parishes of county Monaghan by the Ulster Historical Society.
Map of the Catholic parishes in the diocese of Clogher.
Map of the townlands of Aghnamullen parish in county Monaghan.
Townland boundaries in Roman Catholic parish of Inishkeen, county Monaghan.
Microsoft Expedia Map on Monaghan GenWeb. This is a detailed map from about the 1890s. Click on county Monaghan or the area in which you are interested. The time it takes to download is worth it.
IreAtlas Townland Database. To create an alphabetical list of all the townlands in a county, or parts of a barony, civil parish, or poor law union, within the county, enter the name of the county and sub-unit in the dialogue box. The resulting list is searchable by segments of a name. Some alternate names for townlands are given.
AINM—Journal of the Ulster Place-name Society (Monaghan) by Liam Ó Paircín.
Here is a primer on PDF: How To Trace Your Ancestors in County Monaghan published by Monaghan County Libraries.
Flax Growers of Ireland, 1796—County Monaghan
Monaghan, the County by Ann McGeough Harney.
Monaghan Ireland GenWeb.
County Monaghan—Muineacháin, "Place of thickets" on rootsweb.
Monaghan Tourism—lists McGough as a family name that has survived.
Al Beagan's "Genealogy Notes" of County Monaghan.
County Monaghan Records at LDS FHC
Clogher Historical Society
IRL-Monaghan-L Archives: January 2001 on Rootsweb (several McGough/McGeough entries).
Cromwellian Grants in Monaghan.
Church Records of County Monaghan by Local Ireland
The Shirley Papers in PRONI.
McMahons of Oriel
Clan McMahon of the Kingdom of Oriel—Counties Monaghan, Armagh, Fermanagh, Louth, Ireland and Beyond
Culture/ Heritage Working Group—Contextual Document—March 2001
Analysis of Economic, Social and Cultural Position of County Monaghan (PDF format) by Office of Director of Community and Enterprise/Monaghan County Development Board. (119 pages).
Monaghan Ecclesiastical Remains
More often than not a birth listed in the IGI will name a townland, or a nearby place of registration, of the birth. Some IGI listings, however, give no more definite place of birth than "Ireland" or "Monaghan, Ireland." Sometimes, an IGI entry of another birth of a child to the same parents will be more specific as to place of birth. If so, I have assumed that births of all the children of those parents are in that place, and combined the listings under the appropriate civil parish. Below are listings with a description of place of birth no more specific than "Monaghan, Ireland" as to which I have found no basis for connecting with a particular parish. The IGI reference refers to any place in county Monaghan. I list them here because I have no more logical place for them.
Bernard McGough and Rose Daly are listed by the IGI as parents of Ellen McGough born on February 15, 1869, in Monaghan, Ireland.
Bernard McGough and Margaret McCarroll are listed by the IGI as the parents of Elizabeth McGough born on July 23, 1868, in Monaghan.
Henry McGeough and Maria McKenna are listed by the IGI as the parents of Mary Ann McGeough born in "Monaghan, Ireland" on May 9, 1873. See the civil parish of Errigal Trough—McKenna Country on my page McGough, McGeoughs and McGeoghs in the Barony of Trough, County Monaghan.
James McGeough and Anne McGovern are listed by the IGI as the parents of Mary McGeough born in "Monaghan, Ireland" on March 3, 1872.
John McGough and Catherine Higgins are listed by the IGI as parents of Eliza Jane McGough born on September 27, 1867, in Monaghan, Ireland; Patrick McGough (mother's name is spelled Higgans) born on May 15, 1872, in Ireland; and Margaret McGough born in Monaghan, Ireland, on February 19, 1877.
John McGeough and Annie McGeough McKenna are listed by the IGI as parents of John McGeough born in "Monaghan, Ireland" on August 24, 1876. See the civil parish of Errigal Trough—McKenna Country on my page McGough, McGeoughs and McGeoghs in the Barony of Trough, County Monaghan.
John M'Geough and Mary Moyna are listed by the IGI as the parents of Alice M'Geough born in "Monaghan, Ireland" on August 19, 1873.
Michael McGough and Anne Kerr are listed by the IGI as parents of Mary McGough born on December 10, 1868, in Monaghan.
Patrick McGeough and Mary Russell are listed by the IGI as the parents of Mary McGeough born in "Monaghan, Ireland" on December 28, 1873; and Owen McGeough born in Ireland on February 5, 1872. The last entry spells the mother's maiden name "Russel."
Peter McGeough and Catherine McKenna are listed by the IGI as the parents of Mary McGeough born in "Monaghan, Ireland" on February 3, 1870. See the civil parish of Errigal Trough—McKenna Country on my page McGough, McGeoughs and McGeoghs in the Barony of Trough, County Monaghan.
Peter McGeough and Anne McEneany are listed by the IGI as the parents of Michael McGough born in Monaghan, Ireland on March 18, 1874. [There was an Anne McEneany listed by Griffith's Valuation in the townland of Corlealackagh in the civil parish of Muckno.]
Thomas McGeough and Eliza Daley are listed by the IGI as the parents of Owen McGeough born in Monaghan, Ireland, on August 30, 1873.
Thomas McGough and Catherine Corland are listed by the IGI as parents of Catherine McGough born on September 27, 1868, in Monaghan, Ireland. Thomas McGeough and Catherine Carland are listed by the IGI as parents of Rose McGeough born in Monaghan, Ireland, on March 3, 1871.
Here are enlistments of McGoughs and McGeoughs in the Royal Irish Constabulary as published on Ancestry.com. All of the men were from county Monaghan with one exception—who was from county Louth. There are also several Goughs on the list. The most common "mac" surnames of enlistees from county Monaghan were McCabe and McKenna, with a good number of McGuinesses and McMahons (with a greater number of McMahons from county Clare). Others with "Monaghan" surnames were McArdle, McAree, McCarvill (or McCarville), McCaul, McEnaney, McEntee, McGinity, McGinn, and McPhillips. Non "mac" names included Duffy, Finegan, Hughes, and Traynor/Treanor.
Bernard McGeough, age 19 in 1882, born in Monaghan (film 6069 page 199).
John McGeough, age 22 in 1869, born in Monaghan (film 6066 page 20).
Lawrence McGeough, age 22 in 1882, born in Monaghan (film 6069 page 152).
Michael McGeough, age 18 in 1865, born in Monaghan (film 6065 page 9). [Probably a brother of Peter McGeough, below.]
Patt McGough, age 19 in 1849, born in Monaghan (film 6060 page 1232).
Terence McGough (married), age 21 in 1850, born in Louth (film 6060 page 184).
Peter McGeough, age 19 in 1865, born in county Monaghan (film 6065, page 9). [Probably a brother of Michael McGeough, above.]
and McGeoghs in County Monaghan—Introduction
Updated January 19, 2008
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