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Knocknagross - ' Hill of The Crosses '

The townland of Crocknagross, or as it was also known, Knocknagross.

This particular townland had no Rooney families living there in the 1901 or 1911 census. However in Griffith's valuation of 1862, Philip Rooney and John Rooney, leased a house, offices and land from a Mary A. Jameson.

A map of the farms they were living on, can be seen here

 

 
  • Copy of the Tithe Applotments showing John Rooney (photo courtesy of Ciaran Potter) Copy of the Tithe Applotments showing John Rooney (photo courtesy of Ciaran Potter)
     
 

In 2010 I was contacted by a lady in Scotland called Ailish O'Driscoll. She had been researching her Rooney Ancestors and had stumbled across my website.

Her Grandmother Rose Anne Rooney was born in Crocknagross in 1880. We swapped many emails and Ailish was able to give me lots of information about her ancestors.

'My grandmother was Roseanne Rooney born 1/10/1880.  The family were not in Scotland for the 1881 census but were for the 1891 census. My grandmother had a younger sister Mary Rooney who was born 6/04/1883, she died in West Calder in 1946. My grandmother died in Conisborough in December 1967.So it would seem that they were in Addiewell Scotland by 1893.

The parents of John Rooney did not go to Scotland and may already have been dead in 1893. It would appear that he had a relative (brother?) Hugh Rooney and Thomas McMahon(?) living with him in the 1891 census.  They all worked in the Addiewell Oil Works which were the result of James Young discovering how to produce petroleum from shale oil.  Both Addiewell and West Calder are adjacent to each other in what is now West Lothian but was Midlothian when I was a child.

As far as I know some relatives of the family continued to farm the land at Knocknagross well into the 1950s as my mother and aunt and grandmother went regularly to the beginning of the war.

I managed to find amongst my research notes a copy of Ailish's greatgrandparents marriage certificate and emailed a copy to her.

Thanks also for the wedding certificate.  Elizabeth Quigley's family home was in Monaghan and my grandmother was born in her mother's house', always referred to as Skeahorn.  I used to think it was the name of the house as in England and am now very happy to see that it was a townland in the parish of Killevan Co. Monaghan

 

What was also good about the entry was that one of the witnesses was Lawrence McMahon and I think the McMahons were half brothers to John Rooney.  I don't know if he had brothers or sisters - I'm pretty sure he had a brother Phillip as well as a father Phillip.  It would be really good to get further back but as you will know it takes a lot of time and commitment.

 

I went to Ireland to Fermanagh and Monaghan in 2000 or 2001 and have not been able to get back since.  I met the current owner and farmer of the holding in Knocknagross who was a McMahon and he remembered my aunt and my granny Roseanne Rooney coming over there in the summer every year until the 1939 war.

 

  • Marriage certificate of John Rooney to Elisabeth Quigley of Skeachorn. 18-11-1879 Marriage certificate of John Rooney to Elisabeth Quigley of Skeachorn. 18-11-1879
     
 
After comparing notes with Alish and looking through my collection of various certificates and records, I was able to come up with this very basic family tree. I also discovered that I had another three certificates that were connected to the Crocknagross Rooneys.

 

 

Place mouse over photo and click on arrows left and right to scroll through images

Census images,certificates and maps can be seen below.

  • Michael Rooney marriage certificate to Catherine McMahon in 1896. Michaels residence was Drumshancorrick Michael Rooney marriage certificate to Catherine McMahon in 1896. Michaels residence was Drumshancorrick
  • Mary Rooney nee Cassidy's death certificate from 1870, registered by Rose Owens nee Rooney, her daughter. Mary Rooney nee Cassidy's death certificate from 1870, registered by Rose Owens nee Rooney, her daughter.
  • Michael Rooney death certificate from 1867, he was blind and played the fiddle, registered by sister Rose Rooney. Michael Rooney death certificate from 1867, he was blind and played the fiddle, registered by sister Rose Rooney.
  • 1891 census for West Calder,Scotland Shows John & wife Lizzie (Quigley). Lodgers Hugh Rooney,James Cassidy,Michael McAbe and Thomas McMahon are also listed. 1891 census for West Calder,Scotland Shows John & wife Lizzie (Quigley). Lodgers Hugh Rooney,James Cassidy,Michael McAbe and Thomas McMahon are also listed.
  • Griffiths Valuation for Crocknagross, showing John and Phillip Rooney. Griffiths Valuation for Crocknagross, showing John and Phillip Rooney.
  • Map showing the location of Crocknagross (Middle). Map showing the location of Crocknagross (Middle).
     

 

This gravestone was errected by Bernard McMahon in memory of his wife Catherine Rooney.

The gravestone is in St Tierneys and photo was kindly given to me by James Mullan.

In July 2011 we had a breakthrough and managed to connect these Rooneys with the Cooper Rooneys of Derrygannon

Details of this can be seen on the next page.

     
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