The family name of Monaghan is chiefly found in the counties of Mayo, Galway, Monaghan, Sligo, and Fermanagh, all of which are not far from the original habitat of the O'Monaghans in that part of County Roscommon which lies between Elfin and Jamestown. The Annals of the Four Masters record O'Manacain chieftains as Lords of the "Three Tuaths" of Roscommon and indicates they were a power in the land from the 9th to he 13th centuries. In 1249 AD, they were supplanted in the lordship and declined in influence and power. The O'Monaghans were also chiefs of Breech Magh which was a district in the parish of Kilmore May on the eastern bank of the May river in County Sligo. There is a remarkable Monaghan tomb in the Dominican Church at Athenry in County Galway.
The family crest includes the Latin motto "Felis demulcta mitis" and the usual translation is "Gentle in peace, fearless in war." The motto is actually an Irish proverb which literally translated means "the soothed cat is gentle." The crest itself is made up of a gold chevron and three gold stars on a background of blue with an armored soldier above.
Some Monaghans in history include Manacain, a noted Connacht warrior from the ninth century in the area of what is now Galway and Mayo. Dick Monk also known as Richard Monaghan fought with the Irish rebels in the battle of Arklow in 1798. James Clarence Mangan was a famous Dublin poet born in 1803. James Henry Monaghan was a controversial Catholic Attorney General during the Young Ireland Movement who later became the Chief Justice that tried the fenian rebels. James Monaghan was a noted Irish American poet born in 1862.
Our cousin, Delia Byrne, believes that Thomas may have originally come from Sligo and that his father may have been named Patrick and his mother may have been a McManus. Thomas would have been born prior to the famine that devastated Ireland and caused the disintegration of many families with over one million deaths and another million leaving the country. Families were split apart at that time and family members were left to fend for themselves with many traveling the roads looking for food and work. Many were put in poor houses or put to work on country roads in return for food. The west of Ireland was the poorest part of the country and the hardest hit by the disaster.
County records found in Castlebar indicate that Thomas Monaghan was a tenant farmer living in an area of Bohola known as Toocannanagh. I visited the Toocannanagh site in 1976 and there was still the cornerstones of the cottage that they lived in. His wife, Bridget Ann (Groark), died of diphtheria at the age of 36 on June 2, 1880. The children of this union were:
At about the same period of time a Charles Quinn married a Bridget Murtaugh and they lived on the Quinn owned farm in an area of Bohola known as Clooneen. Charles Quinn died at an early age leaving the farm to Bridget. The marriage produced the following children:
Click here for picture of Thomas Monaghan and Bridget Murtaugh Quinn
Some time between 1880 and 1883 Thomas Monaghan then married Bridget Murtaugh Quinn and moved to what now became the Monaghan Farm in Clooneen with his youngest children. The following children then came from this marriage:
They had a total of twelve children. Five of the children died in birth or at an early age. They were Thomas and Katherine (twins), Michael, Vincent, and Patrick , who drowned in a swimming accident at the age of fifteen. The children that survived were as follows:
At some point in the mid 1920's James and Mary decided to build and open a small store on the front of the Union Avenue house. It was called J. Monaghan Confectionery and would have been a convenience store of today selling soda, milk, bread, candy, newspapers, etc. Mary ran the store with the help of the older children. All of the children went to St. Peter's Catholic School through eighth grade with some going on to business school for two years and others on to Belleville High School.
In the mid 1930's with most of the children grown, James and Mary sold the property on Union Avenue and purchased a house in a quieter area several blocks away on DeWitt Avenue.
Mary died in 1940 and is buried in
St. Peter's Cemetery along with James, who passed away in 1944.
Family Photo Album
(click on titles)
It is hoped
that each cousin will write the history of the seven Monaghan siblings
and that it will be added to the links below. Don't forget to visit
(click on) the Monaghan Clan and Ireland 2000 web sites below!
(click on any title)
Timothy William Monaghan
Myles Charles Monaghan
Andrew F. Monaghan
Mildred Monaghan Hugger
MONAGHAN CLAN HOMEPAGE