Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday: The Search for an Irish Family Tombstone

A Tombstone Tale

From an Old Family Home Movie

The Daniel Mullane family lived in Clonmel. Co. Tipperary for many years. Our branch of
the family left Ireland for the United States in 1885 but most of the others stayed in the town by the River Suir. The New York Mullanes and the Irish Mullanes kept in touch over the years with cards, letters and visits.

A home movie documents a visit by the Coyle sisters, granddaughters of Daniel Mullane, back to Clonmel. The black and white movie shows the streets of the city, an outing to Saint Patrick’s Well, people smiling into the camera and the family tombstone.

I have tried to find that tombstone for several years. I wrote letters to the churches in Clonmel and searched websites. I was told, more than once, that many people at that time did not have tombstones because of the expense. But I knew it existed because of the blurred images on the movie reel.

I knew that Daniel & Bridget (English) Mullane had been married in Saint Mary’s Church 25 August 1866. Their oldest children, including my great grandmother, were baptized there. Beginning c 1872 they were members of Saints Pater and Paul Church. Therefore I assumed the tombstone was near of one of those two churches.

In April 2012 our oldest daughter and I spent a few days in Ireland. I was excited to visit Clonmel, walk the streets my family had walked and to find and photograph the tombstone. We walked carefully through the church yards examining each faded tombstone but found no Mullane stones. Both churches were locked and we saw no offices to make enquiries. I was very disappointed. Could the stone have been knocked over or destroyed? I was to later discover that it was in a cemetery just a few miles down the road from Clonmel.

Home again I reread my Irish resources for a suggestion on how I could find this tombstone. I contacted the South Tipperary County Archives. They had been helpful to me in the past and they emailed to me the death notice & obituary for Daniel Mullane. His funeral service had been held at Saints Peter & Paul Church but he was buried in Newcastle. I wrote to the parish priest and he kindly confirmed that the tombstone is there!

Obtaining a clear digital photograph of this tombstone is a priority on my Genealogy To Do List. I did not want to put it off. Recently, I decided to ask members of the Tipperary County Facebook group if anyone lived near the cemetery & would be willing to photograph the tombstone for me. I quickly had a response that directed me to HistoricGraves.com. Amazingly, they have the stones in Middlequarter, Newcastle, County Tipperary and they have the family tombstone photographed & transcribed! That put a big smile on my face!

From Historic Graves

The clear digital photograph shows the entire tombstone with a Celtic cross on top, the original engravings as shown in the home movie and engravings made since that time. Basically, it details Daniel & Bridget (English) Mullane and most of their children. The following is a transcription with the colored portions showing information that is new to me:

Pray for the Souls of
Daniel Mullane
Who Died 25th March 1930
Also his Wife
Bridget Mullane
Who Died 30th Nov  1920
And Their Daughters
Julia Horgan
Who Died 31th Oct 1918
Bridget Keeton
Who Died in USA 28th April 1946
Ellen Mullane
Who Died 17th June 1965
Aged 91 Years
Also Their Son
Timothy Mullane
Who Died 29th Aug 1963
Aged 92 Years
Daniel Mullane
Who Died 4th February 1969
Aged 86 Years

 Although Daniel had 11 children, only two had children. There were 9 grandchildren & 6 of those had no children. My mother was the only great grandchild I know of. Therefore, I feel an added responsibility to gather & share this information. If not me, who else?


Marian B. Wood said...

Colleen, it's amazing that you were able, after so many years, to obtain both the obit and the photo of the stone. Your efforts will keep the memory of these ancestors alive for generations to come!

Jana Iverson Last said...

Colleen, this is fantastic! Congratulations on acquiring the obituary and the photo of the tombstone.

I've found genealogy Facebook groups to be so helpful. And your experience with the Tipperary County Facebook group only reinforces my view that genealogy Facebook groups are wonderful!

Wendy said...

What a fantastic story. I don't know what is more amazing -- having that old home movie or the connection that led you to the photo. I bet that Happy Dance was something to see!!

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Thanks, Marian. That's just what I'd like to do.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Thanks, Jana. I am new to the Facebook & Genealogy connection and very happy with the results.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Oh yes, Wendy, you must have been peeking in my windows when I did my dance. ha! The way it all came together, I think it was meant to be.

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Dara said...

That is one detailed headstone. Most of our early ones only have the first occupant listed. You're also lucky to have a death notice from the 1930s. Fantastic finds, Colleen!

Jana Iverson Last said...


I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2015/05/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-may-29-2015.html

Have a great weekend!

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Dara, you are right. It is one very detailed stone. I am very happy to have a photo at long last.

Colleen G. Brown Pasquale said...

Thanks, Jana! I am very happy to be included.

Patricia R. Cole said...

I am happy to visit this article!