Dooraa Townland, Donaghmoyne Parish, County Monaghan, Ireland

Owen Callen 1805-1873 and family history

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Line of Descent
The Three Collas – 332 A.D.
McMahons of Monaghan – mid 12
th Century to 1650 A.D.
Callen – mid 1650's to 1850's
Courtney – mid 1850's to present - County Monaghan, Ireland to the US.

Sources for line of descent.

DNA of the Three Collas
Peter Biggins, with Josiah McGuire, Patrick McMahon, and Tom Roderick

McMahons of Monaghan
by James Patrick McMahon

McMahons of Trohanny
by Patrick McMahon & Eugene McMahon

Courtney Family Tree at

After searching for 52 years, (since 1962) I finally discovered the home farm for my immigrant ancestor, Owen Callen / Courtney in the Townland of Doora, Donaghmoyne Parish, County Monaghan, Ireland. What is strange is that the surname kept bouncing back and forth between Callen and Courtney, both in Ireland and after they immigrated to New York State in 1847.

Most Courtneys in Ireland are genetically Irish, meaning that their name Courtney (which is English) is an anglicized version of a Gaelic name. Some Irish names that have made this change are Cournane of County Kerry, Callan/Callen of County Monaghan, and McCourt of County Louth.


The Cottiers of the Shirley Estate in the Civil Parishes of Donaghmoyne, Killanny, Magheracloone and Magheross 1840-1847

by Theo McMahon and Maire O Neil

Clogher Record Vol. 20, No. 2 (2010), pp. 243-286

DOORAGH [Dooraa]

Callen, Owen – house and garden; rent £ 1.7.0; family 4 males & 2 females; renting from Pat Marron with 12a 1r 28p. Owen Callen was under notice to quit. p. 251

[click for larger map]

Dooraa Townland, Donaghmoyne Parish, County Monaghan, Ireland

54.052318, -6.767612

+54°3’8.34″, -6°46’3.40″

From personal correspondence with Hugh MacMahon, author of the book A Fist to the Black-Blooded: The MacMahons of Coas, comes the additional informational about Dooraa:

Dooraa Townland -
'Dubh Ráth is between the Carrick/Blayney road and the Carrick/Lough Egish road, near Laragh village.'

Cottier – In Ireland, a peasant farming a smallholding under cottier tenure.

12a 1r 28p – indicates an acreage of 12 acreas 1 rood, 28 perches. One acre consisted of four roods and a rood contained 30 perches. So Owen Callen (Courtney’s) holdings were somewhat larger than 12 acres.

Under notice to quit – the notice given by a landlord (owner) to a tenant to leave the premises (quit). At this time during the Great Famine in Ireland many of the large landowners cut the number of renters drastically. In many of these cases those evicted were given money for passage to the United States. Perhaps this is how the Courtney family had the money to immigrate.

There is a different townland by the name of Dooraa in Aghnamullen, Castleblayney, Cremore Barony, also in County Monaghan.

Name changes: Thirty years ago when I first saw the 1850 U.S. Census for North Hudson, Essex County, New York it was assumed that it was a simple clerical error on the part of the census taker. Callen and Courtney do not seem to be that close of spelling to become confused. With the finding of this record of Owen Callen (Courtney) in Dooraa, County Monaghan County, Ireland it would appear that the family’s name was spelled both ways. As to the reason why, that will probably never be known.

When Mary Ellen Courtney visited Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland in 1999 she was told by the local priest that the “Courtney’s were from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. As there was not a Catholic Church in Carrickmacross at that early date families would bring their children to Dundalk to have them baptized.”


Family listed as Courtney

The Roman Catholic Register for Dundalk, County Louth, Ireland

Parents: Owen Courtney & Catherine Connolly residence Barrack St.
Bridget Courtney baptized 20 Jan 1833
George Courtney baptized 6 Apr 1840
Michael Courtney baptized 19 Jun 1842

The Garrick

The Garrick was built at New York in 1836 under Edward Knight Collins, and was one of three vessels of the "Dramatic Line" of American packet ships to Liverpool. She weighed just over 895 tons. The GARRICK itself was a 3-masted, square-rigged ship, built in New York in 1836 by the firm of Brown & Bell. 895 tons, 157' 6" x 35' 4" x 21' (length x beam x depth of hold). She served in the Liverpool Dramatic Line from 1837 to 1853, then in James Foster, Jr's Liverpool The GARRICK was the fast packet of her generation, and during her packet line career her average westbound passage was 32 days, her shortest being 18 days, her longest 54 days. [Robert Greenhalgh Albion, Square-Riggers on Schedule; The New York Sailing Packets to England, France, and the Cotton Ports (Princeton: Princeton University, pp. 280-281].

Irish Immigrants: New York Port Arrival Records, 1846-1851
– embarked Liverpool – Ship Garrick – Arrival Date 13 Sep 1847

Owen Courtney – 42 Male Ireland
Catherin Courtney – 42 Female Ireland
Judith Courtney – 21 Female Ireland
Bridget Courtney – 13 Female Ireland
Edward Courtney – 11 Male Ireland
Catharin Courtney – 9 Female Ireland
George Courtney – 7 Male Ireland
Michael Courtney – 4 Male Ireland

1855 – New York State Census – North Hudson, Essex County, New York

Catharin Courtney – 48
Edward Courtney – 18
Catherin Courtney – 17
George Courtney – 15
Michael Courtney – 12
Bridget (Courtney) Dempsy – 21
Mary Ellen Dempsy – 3
Edward J Dempsy – 1

All census and records 1855 and later listed family as Courtney

Family listed as Callen

Cottiers of the Shirley Estate in the Civil Parishes of Donaghmoyne, Killanny, Magheracloone and Magheross 1840-1847 (County Monaghan, Ireland)

Owen Callen – 4 males & 2 females

1850 United States Census – North Hudson, Essex County, New York

Owen Callen – male 46 Ireland
Catherin Callen – female 46 Ireland
Bridget Callen – female 18 Ireland
Edward Callen – male 14 Ireland
George Callen – male 3 Ireland