Greetings to all of you searching for Manleys/Munleys/Munnellys/Monnellys and other versions of that surname from County Mayo (I have blind copied many that are not on this particular mailing list).
My husband and I just returned from our 12-day vacation in Ireland. We did of course visit County Mayo. I stopped by the North Mayo Heritage Center near Crossmolina to talk to Bridie Greavy in the Research Department. I have already had records' research done there on my family, but have hit a dead end again, and just want to talk to Bridie to see if she had any ideas regarding what else I could do.
I mentioned to Bridie that I was in touch with several Munley/Manley families who can trace their roots to County Mayo but are usually stumped at that point due to the lack of records or incomplete records. Bridie and I talked some
more about this and she seemed interested in helping.
She recommended that I make an appointment with the parish priest and see if he would let me see the original parish records. She commented that when these were originally transcribed, that some things that might have been considered unimportant at the time were sometimes left out. She said that most of the original records available are still in the individual parishes.
Unfortunately, I was not able to meet with the local priest due to his having to deal with funeral services for two teenager who had died tragically that week.
Bridie also said to ask around for older people in the area with the Munnelly or Monnelly surname since they may remember their own parents and grandparents stories best. After asking around, everyone directed me to "old man Munnelly" who owns the pub and the store in Geesala. I did indeed get to talk to him. He said that there was a man who died about a year and a half ago who knew a lot of the Munnelly family history. His family had since left the area, however, and moved to Galway. What a loss. I did find an email board for Geesala, however, and I may try to see if there is anyone else who might have some of that information.
Mr. Munnelly did tell me about his own family, however. His grandfather had left Mayo at a young age and worked in the mines in Montana for over 20 years before returning to Ireland, marrying and starting his family. He said there
were other Munnelly relatives who immigrated to the US and to Canada and then
returned to Mayo. He seemed to think that more Munnellys went to Canada than the US. That may just be those families from the Geesala area, however, as I have documented over 50 families in the PA coal mining area who immigrated from County Mayo in the mid 1800s.
He also allowed that some Munnellys who used to be buried in Geesala are now buried in the Glencastle cemetery (of which there is evidently both an old and a new version). He said that there were lots of Munnellys buried there.
Unfortunately, I was not able to check this out due to our time constraints.
Still, it may provide a few new clues to anyone interested in following up. Glencastle may have been the central church for Geesala, Doolough, Carrowmore, and other villages on the mainland near the town of Belmullet. Because Belmullet was both the name of the town and the name of both the very large Roman Catholic parish and the civil parish that covered much of western County Mayo, it may be that many Munnelly families who are listed as being from Belmullet were from Belmullet Roman Catholic parish, or even the civil parish and not from the town of Belmullet.
I may try to see if I can follow up on some of this information as well.
I continue to urge all Manley/Munley families who have a direct-line male descendants to have the DNA testing done at http://www.familytreedna.com/
We all believe that there are relationships among our families yet to be determined, and every piece of information helps us do that.
Because I have found that replyingc to email on this list through the "connection service" does not always work, I am encouraging anyone who wants to talk to me about Manleys/Munleys etc. send it directly to my email address below rather than use the connection service.
Marianne Manley Granoff