Sunday, 2 August 2020

Follow me down a rabbit hole: Hynes family of Broadford, Co. Clare

This is the fifth post in a series (starting here) concluding the investigation into a number of DNA cousins, all likely related to us on our 'Hynes' line. The origin of our matches' ancestors—Michael Rochford Hynes and his sister Anne Rochford Hynes, who emigrated to Queensland, Australia in the late 1860s—were traced back to the parish of Broadford, Co. Clare. Michael and Anne's father, Edmond Hynes, farmed there, in the townlands of Woodfield and Killaderry.

Church registers for the parish prior to 1844 have been lost, making the research more challenging. Yet, a number of probable siblings of Michael and Anne have been identified and traced forward, with a view to finding them named as associates in records pertaining to our own ancestors, or perhaps finding their descendants in our lists of DNA matches.

Patrick Hynes, the son of Edmond Hynes, was a farmer in Woodfield, when he married Mary Fennessy in Feakle parish, on 13 February 1866. They made their home in Woodfield, and had ten children, nine of whom survived infancy. His daughter Catherine said he was fifty-eight years old when he died on 28 March 1898, so born about 1839-40, or maybe earlier. None of his descendants appear among our DNA matches.

Edmond Hynes was a farmer in Broadford, the son of Edmond Hynes, according to the register of his marriage to Mary Kiely, in Killaloe parish, on 7 February 1869. The couple lived in Fahymore, near Bridgetown, not far from Broadford and also had a string of children. Records show Edmond was born between about 1839 and 1846, though he may have been born even earlier. None of his descendants were identified among our DNA matches.

Winifred (Winny) Hynes of Killaderry married Edmond Corcoran in Broadford on 12 February 1860, witnessed by Pat Hynes of Killaderry and Bridget Prendergast of O'Callaghans Mills. They lived in Springmount, in Fahymore, Co. Clare, where Edmond Corcoran was a farmer. They had six children. Two daughters, Bridget and Margaret, emigrated to Queensland, while the sons remained in Ireland. None of their descendants were found among our DNA matches.

Catherine Hynes and Edward Hickey from Killaderry/Woodfield baptised two children in Broadford—Mary on 27 April 1862 and Michael on 18 February 1865. Mary's Godparents were Michael and Anne Hynes of Killaderry, perhaps the same pair that emigrated to Queensland. Michael's Godparents were Pat Hynes of Woodfield and Bridget O'Grady of Feakle. All further record of this family currently escapes me.

Margaret Hynes of Woodfield married Denis Hayes in Broadford on 1 November 1859. They had one daughter Bridget born in Broadford village, and baptised in Broadford church on 26 August 1860. Bridget's Godparents were Patrick Hynes and Winny Hynes from Killaderry. Nothing further has been found relating to Margaret's family.

Bridget Hynes was probably an elder sibling too. She was living in Killaderry when she married John O'Brien, in Broadford parish, on 5 February 1854. She had one son, also John, baptised in Moynoe parish on 9 March 1856. Young John emigrated to Queensland, Australia, where his daughter Margaret Ann O'Brien was born in 1890. Margaret Ann had three sons, George Francis Williams, Margaret Edith Williams and Robert Arthur Williams.

Members of my extended 'Hynes' family are DNA cousins of Margaret Edith's grandson and Robert Arthur's son. The DNA segments they share are tiny, but they are probably further evidence of our distant connection with this family. They may perhaps be just noise.

Mary Hynes of Feakle was Godmother to Patrick Hynes' eldest son Michael, baptised in November 1866. The church records for Feakle don't start until 1860, which doesn't help, but members of my extended 'Hynes' family have DNA matches with her descendants—many of them in the 4th to 6th cousin bracket. Siblings J.B. and K.L. are the great-grandchildren of Edward Hynes Grady, the son of Mary Hynes that emigrated to New York. It's also apparent J.B. is related to W.M., a descendant of Michael Rochford Hynes.

(Click on image to enlarge)

There is no doubt we all family, but how far back?. If my third great-grandfather John Hynes was a brother of Edmond Hynes senior, that would make Edmond's descendants of the same generation my 5th cousins. Only about 30% of fifth cousin share any detectable DNA, and even less 6th cousins do. Our actual relationship is possibly more distant still.

None of 'the siblings' are apparent among my Hynes family's FAN club (Friends, Associates and Neighbours). And, given 'official' records have been lost, or never maintained in the first place, there's little chance evidence of our exact relationship exists today. Still, our origins and the origins of this family are the same, which may point to where my third-great-grandfather came from, before he ended up a carpenter in Limerick city.

1. Catholic parish registers, accessed on $ FindMyPast, $ RootsIreland, $ Ancestry, NLI, with the help of a transcript for Broadford Parish prepared by my cousin Aileen, and an online family tree prepared by my cousin Phyllis.
2. Civil records of births, marriages and deaths from 1864, on
3. Queensland Government, Family History Research Service.
4. 'New York, New York City Municipal Deaths, 1795-1949", database, FamilySearch, Edward H. Grady, 1931.


  1. This is all so fascinating, Dara.You inspire me to try to untangle the meaning of DNA relationships on my American/English family lines.Your care and knowledge are well beyond me, but perhaps I can learn something from studying your work .I feel so fortunate that you are skillfully researching our Irish family!


I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!