I’ve been researching my various families for about twenty years, on and (mostly) off. At this point my information is eclectic, and my family trees incomplete.

I began this blog to share my information and, hopefully, to extend it. Please bear in mind that there may be inaccuracies in some of my data – which, also hopefully, will be corrected with further research or from your input.

If you are connected to any of my clans – or near clans, you are welcome to any of the info that I have, although you must accept it ‘as is’. If you can clarify or deny anything that I’ve done – then please leave a comment.


The family trees and family related files on this site are the result of my own and others’ research. Over the years I have received much assistance from fellow researchers, and from genealogy related web sites. I have made every effort to give due credit, but if I have missed something please accept my apologies and let me know about it.


This is my list of families –
Besso – Holyrood, also Beseau, Besaw, Beeso, and etc…
Dwyer – North Arm, Holyrood – James Dwyer and Mary Hawco married 1818, Harbour Grace
Hynes – Holyrood
Mason – Avondale, was Salmon Cove
Metcalf – Holyrood and probably Topsail
Murphy – Harbour Main; Halfway House, Holyrood
Penney – Holyrood
Walsh – Holyrood, Salmonier Line
Walsh – Harbour Main
Whalen – Wicklow, now Country Path, Holyrood; Chapel’s Cove

The list will evolve as I go through my files. I do quite a bit of reading and typing and editing and html’ing before I post to the blog. Because of this files will appear over a period of time until I get them all done!

Information on this site is for personal use only. It may be given away but not sold.

Thank you all! Enjoy.

28 Responses to Home

  1. Wanda Garrett says:

    Hi Eileen

    Just became aware of your site. Great job. Thanks very much for sharing.


  2. Les Cranmer says:

    I was just made aware of this site (from Ros Quinlan of St. Johns)- thanks for doing this.
    I am the grandson of John Quinlan – who left North Arm around 1900 and settled in the Philadelphia area here in the states. John married Agnes O’Keefe, also from the Holyrood area. Other family names include Woodford and Mahoney.
    I will navigate through your site with great interest!
    Les Cranmer

  3. Will Hannon says:

    Ellen Murphy b.1803 Ireland died 1893 Chapel’s Cove married a John Myers of Chapel’s Cove.This couple were my 3rd great grandparents.Ellen Murphy’s brother Thomas Murphy appears to have run the Halfway House from about 1856-? and possibly married an Elizabeth Byrne. Thomas’s son appears to be the James Murphy of Middle House who was the constable at Harbour Main who died in 1909 and is buried in the cemetery at Chapel’s Cove.

  4. Valerie Finney says:

    Thanks so much for the information on your site. When I came to your site today I knew my great-great-great grandmother’s name was Bridget Dwyer and that she married John Mackey. Now I have a whole other generation that includes not only her parents, James Dwyer and Mary Hawco but all her siblings and their family info as well. I cannot thank you enough for this gift.

  5. sandra beeso says:

    hi eileen, many thanks for making this site its great. I am a beeso(besaw,besso,beasu,ect) myself and brother live in the UK we are the only beeso family.My Grandfather came from Newfoundland, i probably have relatives there still. If anyone knows of any beeso’s living there please let me know. Thank you. Sandra:-)

  6. Allan Costello says:

    Hi there Eileen, great thing you’ve done here on your website. I look forward to ‘oogling’ over your info. I’ve been researching many of the same or similar families from Holyrood to Brigus… particularly the Walsh’s from Chapel’s Cove… which do have connections to Holyrood. I’ll write back once I’ve had a look through!


  7. Denis Murphy says:

    Hi Eileen;
    I was looking through your site and saw a head stone in the Kennedy Graveyard in Holyrood belonging to Mary Margaret Penney. This headstone was homemade by Denis Penney for his wife Mary Margaret and they lived on the Country Path just past the railroad track. Mary Margaret was the mother of Anne Penney who married Bill Murphy of Harbour Main.I really enjoy your site and appreciate all the hard work.
    Denis Murphy

    • Janet Penney says:

      My father was from Holyrood/Avondale.I still have relatives there if u should need any info,possibly they could help out with names.I too would like info about my fathers side.His mothers name was Mariah Penney nee (Ezkiel) and his fathers name was James Penney.I do know the names Mary and Anne Penney are relatives of my father,and I do believe they were his aunts or such.

      all the best on ur search

  8. Flo Dwyer says:

    Eileen’s note: See post James Dwyer & Mary Hawco

    My name is Florence Dwyer. I am the youngest child of Donald William Dwyer and Alice Gillis Dwyer. My grandparents on my dad’s side were Mary Anne (Annie) MacDonald and Patrick Francis Dwyer. I am told he was born on Oct 5, 1872 in Holyrood and his father’s name was William. I do believe my father, Donald met some of his relatives and his grandparents when he was young and boxing around Newfoundland. Any information would be appreciated as I am working on a family tree.

  9. jackie maceachern [beson] says:

    I’am also a Beson he was born 1860 i cannot get any information on who his parents are,it was said he came from holyrood.your site is wonderful.james beson b 1860 married mary ann penton joe batts arm thank you.

    would like to here from somebody who tell me more about births in holyrood in 1860.my grandfather was suppose to be born there,james beson b 1860 thank you.

  10. Ken MacDonald says:

    Hello – I just found this website, and it is very impressive. I have been trying to find information on my family for a number of years, and have continually hit dead ends. My great-grandfather, Alexander “Sandy” McDonald, and his wife Ann (Doyle) lived for awhile in the 1850’s in the Harbour Grace area. I’ve heard both Broad Cove and River Head as the places of residence. He was a carpenter. My great grandfather, John Francis was born there, about 1857, as well as his sisters Mary Ann and Margaret. They moved back to Cape Breton around 1861. If anyone has any information, it would be so much appreciated. Many thanks for the opportunity to make the request. Ken MacDonald

  11. geraldine dunn says:


    • Marie-Regina says:

      Hi Geraldine,

      Mary Loughlin Walsh was my grandmother. She dies in about 1962 before I was born. My mother Patricia still lives in Brooklyn, NY with two of her sisters Irene and Mary (Maire) a few blocks away. I would love to her from you!


  12. Michael Power says:

    Hi Eileen. I just came across this site. I see that you have done some marveleous research on our family since we last communicated. Great job.


  13. Debbi Penney says:

    My GM was Anne King she married Joe Penney about 1938
    Cape Breton Sydney. My GGM was Catherine Murphy she married John King about 1900 Sydney Cape Breton, any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Debbi

    • Kathy & Ron MacLean says:

      Debbie and other family members, Please contact me. My interest is in John King and Catherine Murphy living in Sydney, Nova Scotia in 1911 census. Included was John’s bother Peter Luke King My line. He married Winifred Mullally, she is also in 1911 census but the spelling is off. My King line is from Trinity Bay but I have no records. Anyone interested in looking me up and chatting about our line email me please.

  14. Gerry Power says:

    Interested in hearing the origin of the surname Timmons.

    • Andrea (Hawco) Reeves says:

      Hi Gerry, Where you able to find any information on the Timmons family? My grandmother was a Timmons from Holyrood. I would love to exchange information. I am also researching the Timmons name.

  15. Kathy Glyvin says:

    Just happened upon your site while searching for new information. Thank you for making it available.

    My grandmother is a daughter of Joseph and Mary Conran Penney. Her name was Catherine Frances Penney. I have done quite a bit of research and collected a lot of information on the children who moved to the states.

    I have also just come across new information that the daughter of Michael Besso and Annie Lewis (Margaret) married my grandfather’s brother in Massachusetts. Her sister Mary Ann was also in Massachusetts. My grandfather and his brother were McCarthy’s from Fortune Bay.

  16. Lois Doughty says:

    Hello; My Grandfather was a Michel J. Woodford, born February 2, 1899. I have been trying to put our ancestors together but sometimes feel to be at a dead end. I vaguely remember some of his stories but wish my mind could recall things a bit more clearly. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Lois

  17. Yvonne Menchinton Nee Morrell says:

    My Grandmother was Gertrude besso From Holyrood.She had a brother that I know of who went by Ned Besso so I assume his name was Edward.he was beaten to death by two brothers from Holyrood–don’t know the names. The Besso’s lived about two or three houses from the Church Just off the road which runs along the ocean in Holyrood. My grandmother married James McCormack and they raised nine children . They lived on Southside Rd. Would love to know if anyone has any information about this family I would like to hear from you Tks Ym

  18. Daniel Taylor says:

    My name is Daniel Taylor. My great-grandmother was Sarah Jane Besso, Beeso, Besaw,etc. She lived 1875 and moved to PEI about 1898 to marry my ancestor George Francois Thorne. I am interested in Sarah Jane Besso’s mother’s family, the Healeys. Her name was Johanna Healey. Who were her parents?
    Johanna was born in 1855 and died December 13, 1910. Joseph Byrnes at the local library is presently looking into this for me but I can always use more.

    • rosemary vienneau says:

      Hello, I am also researching the Healy’s of Holyrood, but can’t get anywhere. I am looking for the parents of my grandmother Josephine Healy born Oct. 1892. she married in St. John’s to George Gosse. She may also have the name Mary Josephine HEALY. Do you have any idea who she could be? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  19. Do you have more information about the Curran section of Come Ashore to Holyrood? I have been unable to locate a copy of this book and am researching my husband’s Curran/Laracy/Griffin line in Newfoundland.
    thanks for any insight you can provide

  20. Tammy Newhook says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am working on my mother in law’s branch of the family tree and was getting frustrated when I came across your site. This is great information. My MIL is Frances Kieley (now Newhook) in Dartmouth NS – daughter of Thomas Kieley and Mary Ellen Furey.

  21. Frank Pittman says:

    My GGF, Tom Myers was from Chapels Cove. He was born Abt 1848 and died Jul. 23rd 1907. He was married to Mary Ann Rumbolt born Abt. 1844 . She died May 24th 1891. their children were : Ellen b.1876, James , b. 1879 . Sarah Ann , b. 1880. Thomas b. 1881. Patrick b. 1881 ( twin) Mary Josephine b. 1884 , ( my Grandmother ) Johanna 1888.

    Any help with my search is greatly appreciated.

  22. Victoria OConnell says:

    Hi, still researching my husband’s Curran line from Cat’s Cove. His great grandparents were Pat Curran b 1837 and Kate Larrissey (Laracy) – would love to confirm where in Ireland they were from, family history says Galway. Looking now at their daughters – wondering if their Anastasia born 1876 is the woman married to Kiely in your blog post. Any information on this Curran line would be appreciated. Does anyone know where I might buy a copy of the Holyrood book?
    thanks much!

  23. brian comerford says:

    hi im reaearching the comerfords who lived in holyrood in the mid 1800’s the farthest back i have is a thomas commerford married o an ellen walsh and a few of their children. i know this thomas moved to st mars bay around 1870 but have lost track of all but him and my gg grandfather his son john in the records. im searching for is parents or siblings or any info on the remaining children whic have disapeared in the records also for his wife ellen

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