Saturday, 5 July 2014

Untangling the roots of Margaret McGrane

As discussed in last week's post, 'Untangling the roots of Frank Byrne', only one 'potential' record for the marriage of my great-great-grandparents, Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane, has been found. This marriage occurred on 17 September 1871, in St Laurence O’Toole’s church, Seville Place, Dublin, when Margaret Magrane was recorded as having married a Francis ‘Bird’. The post concluded that the groom was probably my great-great-grandfather, Francis Byrne, with his surname incorrectly recorded and as the officiating priest was responsible for reporting the marriage to the civil authorities, the 'Bird' surname was mirrored there too. 

This week, I'm looking at the bride Margaret Magrane, to ensure that she really was my great-great-grandmother. According to baptismal and birth records for my great-grandfather James Byrne and his siblings, their mother was indeed called Margaret McGrane (often spelt Magrane). 

First, the bridesmaid in 1871 was a woman called Catharina Ray, spelt Kate Reigh on the civil register of the marriage. It seems that many people of this era were truly indifferent to the spelling of their surnames. Catharina's relationship to our family is unclear, but a Catharina Rae, presumably the same person, was god-mother to Myles Byrne, the eldest son of Francis Byrne and Margaret McGrane, baptised in 1873. 

More significantly, it is well-remembered in our family that Frank Teeling, a sniper in the Second Battalion, Dublin Brigade of the Old Irish Republican Army, known for his involvement on Bloody Sunday and subsequent escape from Kilmainham Gaol, was a first cousin of my great-grandfather. Margaret Byrne registered Frank's birth in 1899 and recorded his mother as being Sarah Teeling, formerly McGrane, confirming their connection to our family. Baptismal records for Francis and Margaret Byrne's children show that Sarah McGrane was godmother to Francis Byrne in 1876 and in 1879 Margaret Mary Byrne was born at 18 Jane Place Upper, the home of Sarah's first husband, Richard Daly. Sarah (McGrane, Daly) Teeling was undoubtedly my great-great-grandaunt.

Sarah married Richard Daly in St Laurence O’Toole's church in July 1879. Their marriage register confirmed Sarah’s parents as Miles McGrane and Margaret Doyle. The Margaret Magrane who married Francis ‘Bird’ in 1871 was also the daughter of Miles Magrane and Margaret Doyle and thus was undoubtedly Sarah’s sister. Therefore, my great-great-grandmother was undoubtedly the bride in this 1871 marriage, albeit with the groom’s surname incorrectly stated. 

Thus, my great-great-great-grandparents were Miles Magrane and Margaret Doyle. 

Sources: Church records on IrishGenealogy; Copy birth and marriage registers, General Register Office.


© 2014 Black Raven Genealogy


  1. Exciting to be able to use those corollary lines to push back the record one more generation!

  2. So exciting, Jacqi! Sibling research is often the most successful strategy, given the limited records available.

  3. Great work Dara! And wonderful to be related to a patriot.

  4. Thank you. We’re nearly all related to ‘patriots’ in this country. It’s not yet 100 years ago, so the memory remains strong.

  5. Are you really? I think I'm related to a United Irishman, Patrick Hore of near Rathvilly Carlow. He was hung around the time of the 1798 rising.

  6. Wow Ellie, few can trace a relative to the 1798 Rebellion! What fun! Even basic eighteenth-century records are a rarity for most of us - I can count those relating to my family on the fingers of one hand.


I look forward to reading your comments, even more especially if you're related to someone mentioned in this post.

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