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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Limerick in Clare

Family tradition has been that James Madden was from Clare.  However, James' emigration and naturalization documents state he was from Limerick.  I always figured he must have been from the area near the Shannon River, but could not reconcile the difference in counties and no Irish records helped me out.

Well....I regret to say, I did not spend enough time with a map, for part of the city of Limerick lies in County Clare.  The documents in the US do not say County Limerick, just Limerick so perhaps a city not a county!!!!

Gortatogher - Griffiths
In fact in Griffith's valuations there is a James Madden in Gortatogher, which is in Parteen RC Parish and St. Patrick's Civil Parish.  Both cover areas on both sides of the Shannon, thus are in both Limerick and Clare.  Might this be a solution to our dilemma?

James' parents are named on his death certificate as James and Mary. This might be a mistake, however, the fact that there are James' in every generation gives some support to the notion that it might be correct.  Other names to look for would be Thomas and John.  There is also the possibility of William, remembering the Willie listed on James and Anna's tombstone.  Willie can also be a female (Wilhelmina), so far the only source is on the tombstone.

It is unfortunate that the Catholic marriage registers for Parteen, which begin in 1814 have a gap for the years 1836 to 1847.  It seems probable that James and Anna married during that time period.  This could well explain the inability to find a marriage record for them.


  1. Across the Field from Gortatogher ,is Kilquane graveyard , Mary Barry the wife of James Madden was buried there in 1839. The farm around the Graveyard was owned by a Michael Madden. Knockballynameath is the next town land to Gortatogher and a Michael Madden lived there. In Quinpool very near also another Michael Madden lived. I am sure the Father of the Michael Madden in Gortatogher was James, as he is identified as Michael (son of James ) in Milk contracts he had for the work House.

  2. That sounds so promising, I would love to know more about that family. In round them in Griffiths but hadn't found anything else. Perhaps you could send me an email at and we could compare notes.