My Roots…

I returned to Clare in 1996, and have lived & worked  here since then.
I have a natural passion for County Clare where my family originated from. It’s a great story with tragedy, sadness, hardship & happiness with lots of travel & movement…


I am very proud of my family/ancestors.
They where all hard workers, and endured lots of trials and hardships in the pits & cotton mills in Wigan. England provided them with the work to make a good living, which they eventually achieved.


Many of the men served in the British Army.
My Great Grandad Patrick served  12 years  in India
Great Uncle John served 11 years in  India
Great Uncle John’s son, 1st cousin removed Martin Doherty aged 21 killed in action in France WW1 14/11/1916, shot in the chest and back, died in action.
Great Uncle George Mee served 11 years in India
Great Uncle Frank Mee served 10 years in India


Here is a brief history of my 15 years family search:

It wasn’t their choice to leave Ireland…


From Clare, to Dublin, to Wigan, Pennsylvania & Australia the story is amazing.


Griffith’s Valuation 1855: Kilmacrehy Parish
Great Great Granddad John Doherty Caherbarnagh/Caherbarna Kilmacrehy/Liscannor/ Ennistimon:



  • John Doherty my Great Great Granddad born Ennistymon 1830,
  • Mary (Kinnane) my Great Great Grandmother born Miltown Malbay 1831.

The baptismal reference of the children:

  • Bridget Great Grand Aunt, 1850 Caherbarna Co.Clare,
  • Mary Great Grand Aunt, 1852 Caherbarna Co.Clare,
  • Kate Great Grand Aunt, 1854 Caherbarna Co.Clare,
  • Margaret Great Grand Aunt, 1857 Caherbarna Co.Clare,
  • Patrick my Great Granddad, 1861 Caherbarna Co.Clare,
  • John Great Grand Uncle, 1863 Caherbarna Co.Clare,
  • Honorah Great Grand Aunt, 1866 Lackamore Clare,
  • Elizabeth Great Grand Aunt, 1868 St Catherine’s Dublin,
  • Susan Great Grand Aunt, St Catherine’s Dublin, 1871.


They had no choice but to leave Ireland.


My Great Great Grandparents John Doherty & Mary Kinnane travelled from the Wild West of Ireland, from the town-lands of Caherbarna & Lackamore, near Lahinch, Liscannor & Ennistymon, County Clare, to Gills Square, Cole Alley & Thomson’s Court,  Dublin and suffered the  hardship of the Liberties and Inchicore for several years and then moved on to England and Wigan.


First born child, Great Grand Aunt Bridget Doherty was born in Clare married Thomas Ryan in Dublin 1871. They eventually moved to Liverpool.


Third child, Great Grand Aunt Kate Doherty was also born in Clare and married Patrick Murphy in Dublin in 1876. Kate stayed in Dublin and had a large family which is present in Dublin today.


Elizabeth was born in Dublin 1868 and moved onto Wigan, then to Pennsylvania with George Ratchford her husband. They lived near the Mee’s, Frank & George Mee (Miltown Malbay) & my Great Grand Aunts, Mary & Margaret Doherty (Mee) who had emigrated to  Pennsylvania. Elizabeth & George later returned to Wigan. We have a very large Abblett – Mee – Degnan – Dougherty – Doherty family in the U.S., and an equally large family back in England, Fitzgerald, Cain, O’loughlin, Maye, Ryan, Ratchford, Lannon, McCann, O’Connell and of course also in Australia.


Martina Doolan (Cheyne) and her brother where orphaned in Ireland then went to live Australia aged 10. Her father and his brothers were also orphaned young when their mother Martina’s grandmother Susan Murphy died in 1931, Susan Murphy’s mother Kate Murphy (Doherty) had died a few months earlier.


The men & women worked hard in the coal pits and  cotton mills in Wigan.


The streets in Wallgate where surrounded by cotton mills. In 1818 Wigan had eight mills in the Wallgate area and it developed as a cotton town in Victorian times. From 1889 until the First World War the largest ring spinning company in Britain was Farington, Eckersley & Co and Swan Meadow Mills.

In the 1840’s there were over 1000 pit shafts within a 5 mile radius of Wigan town center. Coal was taken via the Leeds and Liverpool canal and later by rail to power factories and to heat homes in the region and also nationally. Coal from Wigan helped to power the industrial revolution.

Below is a picture of O’Connell St., Ennis Co.Clare, (which I have repaired) linked to the Clare Heritage Office, where there are some nostalgic photos on view.

Patrick R. Signiture
  • Adobe Creative Suite 6
  • WordPress Designer
  • Digital Photographer

Many Irish people left Ireland because they had no choice…

Griffith’s Valuation

Kate Great Grand Aunt, 1854 Caherbarna, Liscannor Co.Clare,

Margaret Great Grand Aunt, 1857 Caherbarna, Liscannor Co.Clare,

Images courtesy of: Wigan World,
and UK National Archives

Wigan Pit Brow Women in 1886. Catalogue ref: COPY 1/376/87. Centre: Photograph of a group of Lancashire pit brow girls, April 1898. Catalogue ref: COPY 1/435/699. Right: Wigan pit brow women in 1886. Catalogue ref: COPY 1/376/88

The (Wigan ) Pit Brow Women Circa 1888.

The (Wigan) Cotton Mill Workers Circa 1890.

Coalminers of Wigan Circa 1890.