Susan Boyd and William Clark, my great great grandparents, in County Monaghan

I had an index that listed Susan Boyd and William Clark’s marriage having taken place in 1848 in Cootehill, Ireland.  This means that I had evidence that a record existed but I did not possess the actual record.  IMG_9899

At the General Register’s office in Dublin, I soon received the copy of the record I coveted.

IMG_9909  It gave me new information: Susan’s father was James Boyd; that she and William Clark also were married in the Parish Church of Aughnamullen; that she was from Derrygooney and he was from Mountain Lodge; that their ages and dates of birth were confirmed; that a man named Samuel Boyd was a witness; thus validating that Samuel Boyd in the USA that I suspected was closely related.

I also received a copy of her sister’s civic marriage record ten years later in Cootehill.


It confirms that Margret and Susan are sisters–the father is the same and the place of Derrygooney is the same for both Margaret and her husband John Fleming.

After this Dublin research, I picked up a rental car and drove to Monaghan where I spent  two nights.


I learned through records at a local library (in Clones) that a James Boyd reportedly rented (was a tenant farmer) 3 acres of land in 1829ish in Derrygooney. He is the only James Boyd in that area listed.  In the 1860’s, he had doubled the amount of land he is renting and has a few more buildings on it.


By 1886, the land goes to a Mary Boyd and we hear no more about James; presumably he died. Mary lives on the land until her death in 1904 according to the parish of Aghnamullen records where she was buried. Her age is listed to be 74, meaning she was born in 1830.


If she was born in 1830, she couldn’t be Susan’s mother. She would have to be a sister of Susan’s, perhaps one who stayed behind when the rest of the family left for America.  She never married because she kept her name until she died.

During this Monaghan day, I drove to Aghnamullen Church where Susan and William were married and where Mary Boyd eventually was buried. It’s possible James is buried there too but no records substantiate that. I waited for a man named Shea and his one-eyed dog named Trixie to let me into the church.  They eventually did and I got to spend time in this lovely place where my great great grandparents were married.

IMG_9944 IMG_9960_2IMG_9948_2IMG_9950_2IMG_9972_2IMG_9964_2IMG_9965

Then I drove past Mount Lodge to Derrygooney. I went down many private roads to see mystery lakes. I peered past hedges. This is a geographically small area with two lovely lakes now protected and given sanctuary status by a local gun and hunt club. (What’s wrong with that picture?) Anyway, the land is hilly, rolling, and gorgeous. What I discovered is that this area is comprised of lakes, farms and sanctuaries  The historian/geneologist/librarian-Katrina-who helped me at the library said that there aren’t any Boyd’s in Derrygooney now. That’s important.  The odds are in our favor that James Boyd of Derrygooney back in the 1800’s is Susan and Margaret’s father. IMG_9997 IMG_9993


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