We know that Bridget Heneghan O’Malley (1842-1907) came to America in 1855 with her mother Bridget Parsons Heneghan (1815-1887) to join her father Thomas (1813-1900) who had immigrated in 1850. Thomas was a laborer in the textile mills. Bridget’s 1887 death certificate shows her parents as Walter Parsons and Mary Ball; and Thomas’s 1900 death certificate show his parents as Thomas Heneghan and Mary Kerrigan. We don’t know if Thomas, Jr. had other children, and in Ireland we find no trace of either Thomas Heneghan or Bridget Parsons or their parents. The fact is that Thomas, Jr. and his wife Bridget were born before the period of known church or civil records.
Known reports: A Marquis of Sligo rent roll from the Old Head estate in 1802 showed one tenant was John Heneghan of Millville Mill. A September 1813 list of Louisburgh tenants shows a John Henaghane in Louisburgh. Griffith’s General Valuation in the 1850’s shows two Heneghan’s: Bridget Heenaghan living at 3 Long Street, Louisburgh and Walter Henihan living in Moneen. In the Old Kilgeever cemetery, there is a monument for a Walter Henaghan who died in 1887 at 80; his wife was Mary Gibbons and she died in 1885 at 76. This monument was given by his sons Walter and John. Walter died in 1913 at 65; I believe he was the carpenter/church builder at both Croagh Patrick and Killadoon. His brother John of Moneen died in 1887.
Analysis: It is quite possible that the Bridget shown as a householder is Louisburgh is our ancestor but there is no proof. And there is no simple way to relate my Heneghan’s to the current families in Co. Mayo. I have worked with Gerald Delany of the So. Mayo Family Research Center, and have talked with Fr. John F. Heneghan, his brother Louis (descendants of Walter Heneghan, the carpenter), and Brendan Heneghan of Castlebar (descendent of John Heneghan of Moneen) without new results. The picture below shows me at the Heneghan monuments at the Old Kilgeever cemetery in 2001.



There is a long line of Heneghan priests: John Heneghan, the most recent priest just celebrated his 50th anniversary and worked in the diocese of Yakima, Washington where he was involved in organizing migrant farm workers with Caesar Chavez. His uncle, Rev. John Heneghan (1882-1945) was a Columban missionary and was killed by the Japanese in the Philippines. Another Msgr. John J. Henegan, born in Brooklyn, was Chancellor of the Brooklyn diocese. Incidently, Fr. Heneghan’s youngest brother Louis is married to Una O’Malley’s doctor and they live at Old Head on Clew Bay.
In New Hampshire, there are Hanagan, Ball, and Parsons families but I do not know if any of them are related to the Thomas Heneghan family.

In New Hampshire, there are Hanagan, Ball, and Parsons families but I do not know if any of them are related to the Thomas Heneghan family.

Return to Essays