Fermanagh Gold Introduction
Name: Janet Cassidy, New York, US
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I am researching Cassidy, McCaffrey, Flanagan, and Love, all from the area near Derrygonnelly, and in the parishes of Inishmacsaint, Devinish, and Boho.
My great-great-grandfather, Patrick Cassidy, was born in Co Fermanagh about 1804.
He married Mary McCaffrey
(b. about 1813). Their first four children  were born in Ireland: Mary E. (b 1833), Peter Joseph (b. 1838), Charles I. (b. 1840), Patrick Francis (b. Sept 1841). About 1842 the family emigrated to the US, eventually settling in Georgetown, District of Columbia.

Patrick and Mary McCaffrey Cassidy

Patrick and Mary McCaffrey Cassidy
click image to view

Mary McCaffrey Cassidy's cousin, Rev. Peter B.
O' Flanagan, S.J. (b. 1807) was pastor of Holy Trinity RC Church in Georgetown. He gave Patrick a job as sexton of the church, and caretaker of the cemetery. Patrick and Mary had  five more children, born in D.C.: Ann Virginia (Jennie) (b. 1845), Catherine (b. 1848), Elizabeth (b 1850), Mary Catherine (b 1852) , Edward Francis (b 1854).

Although he probably attended "hedge" schools, Patrick was well-educated for the time, and wrote poetry for Irish American newspapers. He often used the pen name Knockmore, the name of a prominent cliff about a mile from Derrygonnelly. He was also friends with Fermanagh schoolteacher and writer Peter Magennis, (1816--1910) "the Bard of Knockmore", who wrote a poem entitled "To Patrick Cassidy, Esq., of Washington DC, America." The poem mentions area landmarks, streams and rivers known to the two men. These clues lead me to believe that Patrick was from the Derrygonnelly area, most likely from the townland of Drumgormly. A Patt Cassidy, age 84, lived there in 1851 with his daughter Bridget McBrien. Griffith's Valuation (1862) for Drumgormly shows a Francis Cassidy Sr and a Francis Cassidy Jr living on farms next to each other, probably NOT father and son, but likely related. Present-day Cassidys are descended from Francis Cassidy who married his cousin Sarah Ann Love in 1880. Loves (aka Murvernagh) and Cassidys are also shown as living in Drumgormly in 1794.

McCaffrey families are shown in Griffith's Valuation as living in Lisdoodan and Dresternan townlands. Lisdoodan borders on both Drumgormly and Aghakeeran, and is very likely where Mary McCaffrey came from.

The records of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) for Rev Peter B. O Flanagan (Mary McCaffrey's cousin) show that he was born in Aghakeeran townland (not far from Drumgormly). Interestingly, the report of schools and schooteachers for 1824 shows a James Cassidy teaching school in Aghakeeran. Father O Gallachair's article on clergy of the Clogher diocese (Clogher Record, 1956) tells of a Rev. Eamonn (Edmond) Cassidy (b 1649) who was residing in Aghakeeran "where he doubtless lived with his relations." This Eamonn is of the same family as Rev Andrew Cassidy, Rev Maurice Cassidy, and Dr. Patrick Cassidy, all of whom are buried on Devenish island.

Since Devenish RC parish records start in 1853, well after Patrick and Mary emigrated, I am unable to establish Patrick's relationship to the Cassidys presently living in Drumgormly. A newspaper report of the early 1800s mentions a Michael Cassidy of Drumgormly. I would like to know whre he fits in and I would like to find out more about the Flanagans and Cassidys of this area in the late 1700s--early 1800s.

Contact by email: Caiside@aol.com
Date information added to site: 21 April 2002


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