Monday, January 19, 2015

Grandma Winnie's Ancestry - Winifred (Cooney) Cox (1868-1956)


Kilkishen Castle, Co. Clare
Winifred Josephine Cooney (my great grandmother) was born on April 11, 1868 in Galway, Ireland and was baptized in Kilkishen, Clare, Ireland.  Winifred was the first child born to Thomas Cooney (1847- ) and Mary Ryan Cooney (1841-abt. 1895).  
She had 4 sisters and three brothers:  Anne  (1869), John (1870), Bridget (1871), Pat (1873), Daniel (1877), Mary (1879), Margaret, 'Maggie' (1882), and Thomas (1886).  Most of her siblings were born in Kilkishen or Ballinabrone, Co. Clare which is where the family lived while Thomas worked as a farmer.  

    Winifred Cooney's marriage record 
    provides the names of her parents as 
    Thomas & Mary Ryan
  • Winifred emigrated to America about 1891,according to family, on the same ship as her future husband, John Cox. She was just 23 years old at the time.  John and Winnie married in 1899 in Massachusetts, settling first in Manhattan, then moving to New Rochelle, NY.  
  • Winifred's sister, Maggie Cooney followed her to America in 1899 and lived with John & Winnie until her marriage to Michael Sullivan after 1905. 

  • To learn more about Winifred's life in America see prior blog entry:

Thomas & Mary Cooney 

Thomas Cooney & Mary Ryan wed in Limerick Ireland on May 26, 1867.  The city of Limerick is on the southern border of Clare Co. and Limberick Co. According to Census records, Thomas was a widower by 1900.  Records show the family living in East Clare and then Killuran in 1900 and 1910.  

Thomas was born in 1847, the son of Patrick Cooney possibly in Scariff, Clare Co.  His mother's name is unknown.  No further information is known about Thomas' family or parents.

Mary (Ryan) Cooney (1841- bef. 1900) 

Mary Ryan was
baptized on July 11,1841 in Ballinakill, Galway Co., Ireland.  Her parents were John Ryan and Mary (Salman) Ryan.  Her sponsors (godparents) were John Keegan and Ellen Salman.

Ballinakill Harbor

Galway County is north of Clare Co. on the West coast of Ireland. 
I have not been able to find any town named Ballinakill that exists today. There are several civil parishes with similar names and there is Ballinakill Harbor located near the city of Letterfrak.  

Three former civil parishes name Ballynakill in Galway Co.:
Ballynakill (Ballynahinch) (Galway)
Ballynakill (Killian) (Galway)
Ballynakill (Leitrim) (Galway)

However, Mary's baptism from the Roman Catholic Church Record, states,  

"Registry book of the baptisms for the United parishes of Ballinakill, Ballyroan, Abyleix & Knockgordegur."  This may be referring to a Catholic parish, not a civil parish.  

At this point, I can not confirm the exact location of Mary's baptism, except that it was in Galway Co., Ireland.  

I have not been able to locate any further information on Mary Ryan's parents or family. Irish census records for the 1800's are very sparse, making it difficult to find ancestors.  You can learn more about this in the prior post:

I attempted to trace Winifred's sister, Maggie Cooney who was born to Thomas & Mary (Ryan) Cooney in Ireland in 1882 and emigrated to the US in about 1899.  I hoped if I found Maggie Cooney's family, I would be able to learn more information about their parents and ancestors.  

Maggie Cooney is listed on the federal census of 1900 and NYS census of 1905 as living with Winifred and John Cox.


The next census record, I located for the Cox family (1915) indicates Maggie is no longer residing with sister and brother in law. According to family, Maggie married Michael Sullivan and resided in or near the Fordham neighborhood of Bronx, NY.  Several Michael & Mary Sullivan can be found on census records residing in that area, but I have not been able to identify which if any of these pertain to Winifred Cooney's sister. 

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sharon.
    I have recently discovered your blog.
    I have some information which may be of interest to you regarding your relations the Cooney family in Ireland. What is the best way of making contact with you?