Harbour Main Area Surnames 1750 & 1755

Names in Harbour Main in 1750

“In September of 1750 Lawrence Kneeves of County Kilkenny was tried and convicted of the murder of John Kelly which was alleged to have happened in Harbour Main on the 26th of July of the same year.

“Among those who gave evidence or whose names appear in that evidence were – Darby Callaghan, John Cuddy, James Moores, Philip Enough, Thomas Ballaine, William Brown, Pearce Buttler, Darby Castoly, Roger Bailite Sr., Roger Bailite Jr., and John Woodford.”

The spelling of some of these names suggests that they are attempts at spelling Irish (Gaelic) names in English. Ballaine is probably from O Beollain, the Irish form of the surname we now know as Boland; Castoly is likewise the approximation of the sounds for the Irish name MacCoisdealbhaig, Anglicized nowadays as Costello but still correctly pronounced by many people at the head of the bay as “Costely”. Buttler is likewise and Irish name especially with the first name of Pearce from the Irish for Peter. The name Enough is most likely Channel Islands in origin and John Woodford, the progenitor of the present-day Woodfords, was most likely of English origin.

Names in Harbour Main in 1755

” . . . the Penal Laws of England did proscribe the public celebration of Mass and it was on the strength of these English laws that in September of 1755 Thomas Burnett, surrogate to Governor Dorril, ordered Charles Garland, magistrate for Conception Bay to proceed against certain persons at Harbour Main for having attended Public celebration of Mass in the fish store of Michael Katen, a merchant from Waterford, who operated a fishery at Harbour Main.

. . . The fines levied for the offence of attending Mass appear to be in two categories: impositions against those who were residents of Harbour Main and against those who were servants to Michael Katen.

In the first category were fined Michael Katen £50, Michael Landrican £20, Darby Costely £10, Robert Finn £10, Michael Mooring £8, Renald MacDonald £2 10 0.

In the second category were fined Martin Domilly £7, John Sennot £2, John Devereux £1, John Qusho £2, Richard Tobin £1, Wm. Welch £2, Thomas Ryan £2, William Murphy £3, Michael Hanly £2, Thomas Connely £1, George McDannal £2, John Brennan £3, Daniel Haden £3, John Welch £3, John Chancey £3, Richard Slemon £3.

Again the spelling of some of those names may be only vaguely recognizable today. Michael Katen would be rendered today as Keating although the spelling of “Katen” is a closer approximation to the Irish Ceitinn and to the pronunciation of the name still current at the head of the bay.

According to local tradition, Michael Keating was lost that year going back to Ireland but his widow and son, also Michael, returned to Harbour Main where the widow married Martin Donnelly (Domilly) who is supposed to have been Keating’s bookkeeper. One of the Keating families in the Harbour Main area is descended from this Michael Keating.

Another of the names which appears in quite different form from that which we recognize today is John Qusho which today is rendered as Gushue. This surname is of Breton origin and the John Gushue of 1755 is probably the father of the John Gushue who tombstone dated 1821 resets in some three pieces in the old cemetery.

Extracts from an article by Cyril J. Byrne, Ph.D., The Church in the History of the Parish of Harbour Main, in Our Church Our People, by Rev. J. Glavine, P.P., 1983.pages 39 & 42

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2 Responses to Harbour Main Area Surnames 1750 & 1755

  1. Gerry Power says:

    Researching the Moore family of Salmon Cove (today Avondale) – Daniel & Bridget (Power) Moore.

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