Our Hanlon Family Tree

Our Hanlon Family

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O'Hanlon boar facing right Andrew Hanlon, c. 1775 - c. 1850 O'Hanlon boar facing left

Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland

Andrew Hanlon was born around 1775 in the Parish of Templecrone near the town of Dungloe on the western coast of County Donegal, Ireland. He is recorded in the 1799 Protestant Survey of Templecrone living on Rutland Island with one William Hanlon (presumed to be his father or brother). The survey recorded every Protestant adult male in Dungloe and the surrounding villages: of the 81 men listed, 16 were Hanlons. They were found in Dungloe town (1), Lacbeg (1), Rutland Island (2), Tarmon(5), and Tubberkeen (7).
Note: today the Hanlon family is still strongly represented in the area, but in roughly equal numbers of Protestants and Catholics.

As one of the few Protestants in the area, it is likely that in addition to the local tradition of farming Andrew may have had one of the typical protestant occupations: police, customs officer, Church of Ireland clergy, or land agent. William was a church warden for the Parish of Templecrone (1813-19 and 1827) and we believe either Andrew or William may have been a customs officer.

The early censuses of Donegal show that there were no protestant Hanlons there in the early to mid 1600's, so the family must have arrived at the very end of the 1600's or in the early 1700's. Certainly, by 1799 they must have been there for several generations to be so well established all over the area. It is interesting that the oldest local record of a Hanlon is that of Redmond Hanlon, a church warden for Templecrone in 1775 and 1777. This name combined with the timing of the family's arrival in the area lends some credence to the family legend that the Hanlons arrived there from County Armagh after the death in 1681 of their famous ancestor, the rapparee Redmond O'Hanlon.

Oral history of the family suggests our Hanlons lived on Rutland Island for the latter half of the 1700's, so Andrew Hanlon was probably born there. The family made seasonal migrations to the mainland each winter and finally settled on the mainland around the turn of the century near the village of Tubberkeen (just outside Dungloe).

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O'Hanlon boar facing right William Hanlon, c. 1800 - c. 1862 O'Hanlon boar facing left

Rutland/Tubberkeen to Mullaghduff, County Donegal, Ireland

William (Billy) Hanlon was born about 1800, the son of Andrew Hanlon of Rutland Island. Billy was a farmer on the mainland in Mullaghduff, a tiny farming village to the north of Dungloe between Annagry and Kincasslagh. We do not know when or why he moved there, but this may be connected to his marriage around 1830 to Mary (born 1801, surname unknown). They raised three sons and two daughters together in Mullaghduff.

Mary is listed in the 1901 census as a 100 year old widow, living with her daughter Fanny and husband Daniel Ward. Surprisingly, Mary's religion is given as Catholic. This may explain why her children, who were all raised as Protestants, all chose to marry in the Catholic church and raised their own children as Catholics.

Children of William & Mary Hanlon:
  • Andrew, born c. 1833: remained in Mullaghduff, see below.
  • Ann, born c. 1835: the first to emigrate (c. 1855), settled in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and married Matthew Long.
  • Fannie, born 1839: married late in life to Daniel Ward, lived in Gortnasade.
  • William: no info.
  • Hugh, born 17 Dec 1846: also emigrated to Pittsburgh, see below.
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O'Hanlon boar facing right Hugh Hanlon, 1846 - 1933 O'Hanlon boar facing left

Mullaghduff, Ireland to Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Hugh Hanlon was born during the Irish famine on 17 Dec 1846 near Dungloe, County Donegal, Ireland. As the youngest of five children of William and Mary Hanlon, there was little means for him to make a living. He emigrated in 1860 via Liverpool to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Arriving in 1863 amongst the turmoil of the Civil War he enlisted as a Union soldier to fight in the Pennsylvania Cavalry under captain James Grant.

This branch of the family is now on a separate page for Hugh Hanlon and descendants including scanned images of his passenger list, census sheets and war records.

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O'Hanlon boar facing right Andrew "Mor" Hanlon, c. 1833 - c. 1927 O'Hanlon boar facing left

Mullaghduff, County Donegal, Ireland

Andrew Hanlon was born some time around 1833 in Mullaghduff, County Donegal to William and Mary Hanlon. He was the older brother of Hugh Hanlon of Pittsburgh. A tall chap, he was known locally as "Andy Mor" (Big Andy in Gaelic). Andrew Hanlon was the town cobbler in Mullaghduff and eventually also took over farming from his father Billy.

Andy wanted to marry Sile Gallagher, a Catholic girl from Ballymanus six years his senior, but she refused to marry him unless he converted. He eventually did, and they were married around 1861. Andy and Sile had eight children (See right.)

The censuses of 1901 and 1911 both show Andy and his wife "Cecila" as Catholics living in Mullaghduff. However, as a sick old man lying on his deathbed in about 1925, he was seen by his grandchildren trying to chase away the priest offering him his last rites!

Of Andy and Sile's eight children, seven were still alive in 1911. The six we know of are:
  • Patrick (born about 1861): emigrated to the US from Glasgow aboard the Anchor Line's SS Devonia, arriving in New York on 18 Nov 1885, became a naturalised US citizen in 1893. Lived at 1639 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburg, PA with wife Bridget and children James, William (b. 13 Nov 1898), Patrick Jr. and Annie. (See 1920 census entry).
  • Hugh (27 Nov 1864 - 26 Feb 1956): see below.
  • Anne (born 14 Sep 1866): became Mrs. Annie Hill, lived in Glasgow; her daughter became Mrs Cissy Patterson.
  • Fanny (born 23 May 1868): no info.
  • William (born 23 Jun 1870): no info.
  • Mary (born 5 Mar 1872): married Charlie Sharkey, lived in Marameelan near Dungloe.

Note: Following the Irish naming tradition, it is likely that there was an earlier son William born around 1863 who died before 1870. We also believe there may have been a son Andrew born c. 1870 who immigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Andy was able to keep Sile in some style. He was the first man in Mullaghduff to have an electric light, and also the first to order a gramophone player from London. On its arrival he was so pleased with the result that he took it outdoors to share his music with the neighbours. It is said there are still older people around Mullaghduff who can remember hearing music coming across the lake.

Andy and Sile are buried together at St. Mary Star of the Sea in Annagry with their son Hughie Hanlon and family (see below for Hughie and family).

Tombstones of the Hanlon family plot at St. Mary Star of the Sea, Annagry:
The old tombstone (until 1998): The new tombstone (since 1998):

Andrew Hanlon and family - headstone 1 - prior to 1998

Andrew Hanlon & wife Sile
their son Hughie Hanlon
Hughie's wife Catherine (Kitty)
Hughie's daughter Cecelia (Sissy)

Andrew Hanlon and family - headstone 2 - as of 1998

Andrew Hanlon & wife Sile
their son Hughie Hanlon
Hughie's wife Catherine (Kitty)
Hughie's daughter Cecelia (Sissy)
Sissy's son Hugh
Hughie's daughter Catherine (Cassie)
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O'Hanlon boar facing right Hughie Andie Hanlon, 1864 - 1956 O'Hanlon boar facing left

Mullaghduff, County Donegal, Ireland

Andy "Mor" Hanlon and Sile Hanlon had a son Hughie Hanlon born in Mullaghduff on 27 Nov 1864. Like many young men from Donegal, Hughie set off each year for Scotland as a migrant worker where he would stay until the Winter set in and the work dried up. Having sent money home all year, he would stay home in Donegal for the Winter before setting off again in the Spring.

John Duffy of nearby Meenacreve (a mile South of Annagry) had done similar work in Scotland as an agricultural labourer and was married there in 1869 to Margaret McLaughlan. His three sons, Patrick, Owen and Johnny had all worked as farmers and stonemasons in Ireland but there was little work to be found locally so eventually one emigrated to the USA and John moved the rest of the family back to Scotland. John became an oil worker and his sons found work as stonemasons. The boys all played tin whistles (especially after a few pints) and became known locally as the "Whistling Brickies". John and Maggie also made some money by renting out rooms to Irish boarders. On 12 Feb 1877 John and Maggie's youngest child and only daughter, Catherine, was born at home at 99 Garvieside Row, West Calder (Broxburn) in Scotland. (Note: It is rumoured that Patrick Duffy a.k.a. Bobby Ewing of the TV show Dallas is a descendant of the Duffy brother who emigrated to the USA.)
While over in Scotland Hughie Hanlon would board with the Duffy family in Broxburn and so came to know young Catherine. She was overworked and beaten by her father. In 1893 when Kitty was about sixteen Hughie married her and took her back to Mullaghduff to be his wife. She became known locally in Gaelic as Kitty Hughie Andie and raised a family of eleven. Hughie and Kitty both lived to old age and were buried together with Hughie's parents (Andrew and Sile) in Annagry at St. Mary Star of The Sea. Kitty and Hughie Andie Hanlon
Kitty and Hughie Andie Hanlon

Hughie and Kitty had eleven children :

  1. Andrew Hanlon, b. 22 Aug 1894
    The eldest child, Andrew emigrated to the US arriving at Ellis Island on 6th May 1923 aboard the SS Tuscania from Glasgow, Scotland. He had been staying with his aunt, Mrs. Annie Hill, at 167 Main Street, Glasgow and was going to stay with his uncle Patrick Hanlon in Pittsburgh. He is described on the ship's manifest as 5 feet 8 inches tall, of fresh complexion with brown hair and blue eyes, 29 years old, born in Mullaghduff, Ireland. Andrew later settled in New York State where he married a lady called Alice and had a daughter Alice.
  2. John, 1897 - 18 Sep 1979
    Married Grace Gallagher, (c. 1901 - 13 Jul 1978) and lived in Calhame near Annagry with their four children: Hugh (eldest), Mary, John, Kathleen.
  3. Cecelia "Sissy", 1899 - 26 Feb 1971
    Married Charlie Gallagher, the skipper of a fishing boat. Raised her family in Carrickfinn: Peggy, Kitty, Sadie, Bridget, Hugh. Sissy was buried with her parents (see above).
  4. Margaret "Maggie", b. 1901
    Emigrated to the US in 1922 aboard The Assyria from Londonderry and went to stay with her uncle and aunt, Patrick and Bridget Hanlon in Pittsburg, PA. Later settled in Bayonne, New Jersey and married Neil McNulty of Strabane, County Tyrone. They had three sons and two daughters: Patrick "Joe" (killed in Korea, age 19), Hugh "Bud", Neil Jr., Katherine "Kay" and Mary.
  5. Patrick, 1903 - 1966 - see below.
  6. Mary, b. 1905
    Married Stephen Mullen of County Galway and lived in New York, USA.
  7. Bridget, 1907 - 25 Nov 1988
    Emigrated to the US where she married John O'Donnell of Rannafast, and they returned to Donegal to have a family: Bridget, Hugh, Dennis, Kathleen, Sheila, Mary, Vincent (Vincie John, married to Anne - see photo, right). They lived in Rannafast and later Annagry and Loughanure where they opened the first shop on the Crolly Road. Kathleen and Vincie John still live in Annagry.
  8. Willie, 1910 - 25 Feb 1990
    Was a postman known locally as "The Singing Postie" and married Kathleen Harley. Children: Bill, Donald, Anne, Dolores. Kathleen runs the shop in Carrickfin by the airport.Congratulations to Anne's son Ronan Sharkey and Karen (Kaplan) Sharkey - newly wed on October 29th 2001!
  9. Hugh Hanlon
    Went to work in Dundee, Scotland as a stonemason. Got married there and raised two sons, Billy (lives in Western Australia) and Hugh. Died in Dundee.
  10. Catherine "Cassie", c. 1915 - 30 Sep 1998
    Married David Cowe and lived in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Never had children. She commissioned a new tombstone for the family plot where she was buried in 1998 with her parents, grandparents and sister Sissy. (See two photos above.)
  11. Anne "Annie", b. 1918
    Married James Boyle and lived in Glasgow, Scotland until his death on 16 Oct 1974. After her husband's death Annie returned to Mullaghduff. Three children: Bridget, Hugh, James.

Headstone for John Hanlon and Gallagher family
John Hanlon with
his wife
Grace Gallagher
and her parents
John & Mary Gallagher

Vincie John and Anne O'Donnell
Vincie John and Anne O'Donnell

Headstone for Willie Hanlon
Willie Hanlon,
d. 25 Feb 1990

Cassie Hanlon
Cassie Hanlon
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O'Hanlon boar facing right Patrick Hanlon/O'Hanlon, 1903 - 1966 O'Hanlon boar facing left

Mullaghduff, County Donegal to Galway Town, County Galway, Ireland

Patrick Hanlon was born 16 March 1903 in Mullaghduff, County Donegal, Ireland. He was the fifth of eleven children born to Hughie Andy Hanlon of Mullaghduff and Catherine "Kitty" Duffy of Meenacreva.

Patrick felt strongly about Irish independence and enlisted at age fourteen with the Irish Volunteers. He served from June 1917 to February 1922. Following the declaration of Ireland as a free state in 1922, Patrick signed up for a further year's service with the newly formed National Army.

In 1922 a new Irish policeforce named The Civic Guard was formed to replace the British-organised Royal Ireland Constabulary (R.I.C.). Better known as the "Garda" after its renaming on 8 August 1923 to "Garda Síochána na hÉireann", Patrick was one of its first officers and was appointed on 28 Nov 1923.

Michael Staines and The Civic Guard, 17 Aug 1922
Above: 17 August 1922: Dublin Castle, the centre of British Rule in Ireland for nearly 700 years was formally handed over when Commissioner Michael Staines led his new police force (The Civic Guard) through the Castle gates.

See the Garda Síochána Historical Society's web pages for more about the formation of the Garda, pictures of uniforms worn etc.

Given a five year probationary term, Patrick took up his first post with the Garda in Rossmuch, County Galway. Away from home turf Patrick discovered that - despite being a Catholic and a proven Republican soldier - to those that didn't know him, the Hanlon surname had a potentially deadly risk of being mistaken for Protestant. So he changed his name to O'Hanlon.

On 1 Apr 1927 Patrick married nineteen year old Annie Walsh, the youngest daughter of a fellow police officer from a well to do Galway family. He had just been promoted to sergeant.

Click here to see Annie's Walsh family on Rootsweb.

Annie Walsh
Annie Walsh
Annie and Patrick O'Hanlon and family

Children of Patrick O'Hanlon and Annie Walsh:

  • Maureen O'Hanlon- born c. 1927.
  • Nan O'Hanlon - born c. 1930.
  • Hubert O'Hanlon - born 9 Sep 1933.
  • Claire O'Hanlon- born c. 10 Aug 1936.
  • Sheila O'Hanlon - born 1938.

Annie wanted to be closer to her family and on 25 Jul 1934 Patrick was transferred back to Eglinton Street Station, Galway. In Galway Patrick and Annie found a house on Father Griffin Road, only a two minute walk away from Annie's older sister Madge Walsh who lived on White Strand Road. Patrick named the house "Gartan" and their last two children, Claire and Sheila, were born there.

Annie and Patrick O' Hanlon c. 1935
with Maureen (standing), Hubert and Nan.

Sheila died as a baby in December 1938. Her mother, Annie, contracted TB shortly afterwards and died aged 33 on 23 Feb 1942. Annie and baby Sheila were buried together in Bohermore Cemetery, Galway.

obituary of Annie O'Hanlon
obituary of Annie O'Hanlon

Annie O'Hanlon at the sanatorium
Annie O'Hanlon (right)
with nurses at the sanatorium

Patrick O'Hanlon in Eglinton Street, Galway
Patrick O'Hanlon in Eglinton Street, Galway
Patrick sent the four remaining children back to County Donegal to be raised by his parents in Mullaghduff. He stayed on with the Garda at Eglinton Street Station in Galway, returning home to his family in Mullaghduff twice a year until the children all left home. Patrick retired on 9 Oct 1964 and died two years later in Galway of (throat?) cancer on 21 Sep 1966. He was buried alongside Annie and Sheila.

Tombstone of Patrick O'Hanlon and family
Headstone of Patrick O'Hanlon
and family in Bohermore cemetery, Galway

Mass cards for Annie and Patrick O'Hanlon
Mass cards for Annie and Patrick O'Hanlon

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Annemarie Bruinsma Hanlon

Last updated 5 Nov 2006
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