O'NEILL, Margaret DNA linked 2
- Born: About 1815, Ireland
- Marriage (1): McCONAGHEY, Michael DNA linked on 15 February 1836 in Shankill RC Parish, County Armagh, Ireland 1
- Died: 11 May 1895, Shankill RC Parish, County Armagh, Ireland 3 4 5
Other names for Margaret were McCONNACHIE, Margaret, O.NEILL, Peggy,6 O'NEAL, Margaret,7 O'NEIL, Margaret 8 and O'NEILL, Margt.9
No birth or baptism record has been found as yet for Margaret O'Neill. She married in 1836 in Shankill parish, County Armagh and her address then was noted as Cornikimega, a townland near Lough Neagh. However it is not yet known if she was born there. If we use the current average age of women marrying in Ireland in the 1830s, namely 23 to 24 years of age, as the age at which Margaret married, then she may have been born around 1812-1813. She continued to bear children until 1859, so it is not very likely that she was much older than this. She may have been younger, but she was almost certainly not born later than 1820. Therefore a range of years between 1810 to 1820 probably encompasses her year of birth.
No documents have been found that relate to Margaret McConaghey nee O'Neill, apart from those mentioned. However, we can paint a limited portrait of her from what is available.
She lived in an area of North Armagh close to the freshwater Lough Neagh, and very close to County Down, called the Barony of O'Neilland East. The O'Neills, to which she belonged, had had a dominant role in holding property in this part of Ireland for more than three hundred years, from before the Plantation when Roman Catholic Irish were compelled to forfeit property by the King. In Margaret's day, some of the descendants of the same families were able, at most, to lease that land back from these Anglo-Irish proprietors. For a few decades early in the 19th century Roman Catholic 40/- freeholders in Ireland, of which Margaret's husband Michael was one, seemed to be making some political progress by sharing in the franchise with non Catholic freeholders. This political entitlement was removed, however, in 1829 when the vote was assigned only to £10 freeholders, effectively excluding most Roman Catholics from the political process.
Margaret would have lived a rural life, her husband, and probably later her six sons and one daughter, earning a living from the fertile Armagh land, and some cash too perhaps from linen production. They lived in the townland of Annaloist, only a few miles from Cornakinnegar, which McConagheys had been working since at least 1816. The nearest town was Lurgan, situated about 20 miles south west of Belfast, where the new St Peter's RC Church would have been a focal point for the community.
Margaret herself was probably skilled in many ways, and to her would have fallen the management of the home and the rearing of her seven children for more than twenty odd years. She may also have had industrial or commercial skills, for example spinning, as well as domestic ones, that earned cash for the family.
A female burial of a Margaret McConaghy (see below) took place in Shankill RC parish in 1895. The date of Margaret's death was 11 May 1895. No age was noted. The address recorded was Leggacurry. No age was recorded. These factors suggest together that this was Margaret O'Neill, the wife of Michael McConaghey who died then. For example, we know from other documents that Margaret McConaghy was living in 1884 when her son Henry married, and that she was deceased in 1904 when her son James died. Thus the year 1895 as the year of her death does not contradict that evidence. We also know from census evidence that her son James came to Scotland from Ireland between 1891 and 1901. The death of his mother in 1895 might explain why he left Ireland when he did.
"Church Burial Record
Name: Margaret McConaghy
Date of Death: 11/05/1895
Parish / District: SHANKHILL
County: Co. Armagh
Denomination: Roman Catholic
Occupation: " 5 10 11
CORNIKIMEGA = CORNAKINNEGAR
The Church Marriage Record listed in the database of the Irish Family History Foundation recorded a marriage between Michael McConaghey and Margaret O'Neill as having taken place on 15 February 1836. No specific venue was noted as the place of marriage except the parish name, but under 'Address' Margaret O'Neill's entry recorded 'Cornikimega'.
This name referred to a townland in County Armagh, in the barony of Oneilland East, called Cornakinnegar, spelled variously [Corakindgeir in 1609, Corneykinigar in 1830], from the Gaelic Cor na Chuinigéir meaning 'round hill of the rabbit warren'. This townland was in Shankill parish. In 1999 it consisted of about 306 acres.
This was the name of one of the witnesses to the marriage of Margaret to Michael McConaghey in 1836 in County Armagh Ireland.
www.irishbabynames.com has this entry about this traditional name, quoted here with thanks:
Ataigh A version of the Gaelic name Eochaidh. Perhaps also derived from the Gaelic word 'ard', 'High'. It is certainly translated, anglicised or equated with Arthur, even in the un-Irish district of N. Antrim. Real names Ataigh Mac Péice, of Maghera (dead some time); Ataigh Mac Ruaidhri, of Baile-na-scríne; and Henry "Atty" O'Henry, of Stramore, same parish, who has just died and whose father was Ataigh Ó hInneirghe. Atty is also used as a short form of Alasdair on the Isle of Mull.
This person was almost certainly a relative of Margaret, her father perhaps, or a brother, uncle or cousin. 12 13
Margaret married Michael McCONAGHEY DNA linked, son of Michael McCONAGHEY in Analoist and Ellen McCONAGHEY MS UNKNOWN, on 15 February 1836 in Shankill RC Parish, County Armagh, Ireland.1 (Michael McCONAGHEY DNA linked was born about 1805 in Ireland 14 15 and died on 29 July 1872 in Shankill RC Parish, County Armagh, Ireland 14.)
"Church Marriage Record
Date of Marriage: 15/02/1836
Parish / District: CRAIGAVON
County: Co. Down
Husband Name: Michael McConaghey Denomination: Roman Catholic Status: Not Married
Wife Margaret O'Neill Roman Catholic Not Married
Husband's Father Name: McConaghey
Wife's Father O'Neill
Witness 1 Name: O'Neill Atty
Witness 2 Henderson John
A Note adds 'Church: Shankill Roman Catholic'"
The Church Marriage Record (see above) listed in the database of the Irish Family History Foundation records a marriage between Michael McConaghey and Margaret O'Neill as having taken place on 15 February 1836. Both parties were recorded as Roman Catholics. No specific venue was noted as the place of marriage except the parish name, but under 'Address' Margaret O'Neill's entry recorded 'Cornikimega'. No address as such was listed for Michael McConaghey. As far as can be ascertained, "Shankill Roman Catholic (parish)" Church in 1836 was St Peter's Lurgan.
The Church entry also recorded that the state of each party being married was 'not married'. The names of their fathers consisted only of the surnames McConaghey and O'Neill. No names were entered for the mothers of the bride and groom.
Two witnesses were named. Witness 1 was recorded as Atty O'Neill. Witness 2 was John Henderson.
ST PETER'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, LURGAN, CO ARMAGH
"The origins of this church began not far form where the present building stands in North Street. In the beginning of the 19th century the Brownlow family (landlords of the Lurgan area 1610 - 1884) donated to the Catholics of Lurgan, an old mill warehouse, near the Dougher stream, which was on the outskirts of Lurgan town. The mill house was converted into a Catholic Chapel.
After the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829 had come to pass, the Brownlow family donated the Dougher field next to the church to be used as a graveyard. In 1830, at the present site, in North Street, building started on St Peter's. Since then the Church has been remodeled and enlarged."
"1829 - Probably as a response to the passing of the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829, Charles Brownlow granted an appropriate site in North Street, Lurgan, to the Very Reverend William O'Brien, Parish Priest, for the erection of a parish church.
1832 - Work on the new St Peter's Church is well under way. Alex Richmond's Map of Lurgan, 1832, shows two Catholic Churches close together, one in Dougher, and one in the Back Lane (North Street).
1833 - Dedication of the new St Peter's on September 1st 1833 by the Most Reverend Dr Blake, Bishop of Dromore"
from History of St Peter's Church by Frank McCorry 1 16 17