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The NEILL / O'NEILL Family of Reenroe, Kilgarriffe, Clonakilty, Co. Cork, Ireland


The early C19th family roots were in the small farmstead of Reenroe, just outside Kilgarriffe, north of Clonakilty.

- Updated April 2012 -

The Reenroe family includes
Stephen O'NEILL (1889-1966) 3rd Section Commander, Clonakilty Company IRA at the Kilmichael Ambush of British Auxiliaries, near Clonakilty in Nov 1920. Related Clonakilty and Dunmanway area families include: McCARTHY, MURPHY, COLLINS, MENNIS, WALSH, O'REGAN/REGAN, O'SULLIVAN/SULLIVAN, O'LEARY/LEARY, O'DONOVAN/DONOVAN, CROWLEY, & HENDRIE and also descendant O'NEILL families in Airdrie, Scotland. The family outline as far as family stories and available Irish records is given below.





Map showing Reenroe, NW of Clonakilty

Historical Map of Reenroe




The Reenroe family is headed by John O'NEILL (c1813-1883). The origins prior to this time are unclear. As with many Irish families, emigration due to hard times may account for missing records or cold trails, however many remained in County Cork.

John O'NEILL (c1813-1883) married Anne DONOVAN (c1812) of Shannonvale (near Clonakilty) prior to 1840, probably in Clonakilty. Six children are known:

  • Anne O'NEILL (c1841-1916) = John McCARTHY (1829-1902) in 1865 Skibbereen. Anne's YOB is estimated from the 1901 census where a John & Anne McCARTHY were living at Gerranard, Clonakilty. Sons James (25), Timothy (24) and Michael (19) are recorded;

  • Peter O'NEILL (c1842-1904) = Ellen HEALY (c1841-1906) in 1867 Clonakilty. In the 1901 census the couple were in Bank Street, Clonakilty with their youngest son, Peter:

    • John O’NEILL (1868 Soverign Street);

    • Hannah Kate O’NEILL (1869 Soverign Street – Sponsor: Cornelius NEILL);

    • Mary Ann O’NEILL (1870 Soverign Street);

    • Margaret O’NEILL (1871 Mill Street);

    • Cornelius O’NEILL (1873 Mill Street);

    • Peter Michael O'NEILL (1876);

  • Mary O'NEILL (c1843)= Denis MURPHY (c1842-?1888) in 1870 Clonakilty. Denis may be the death recorded at Skibbereen in 1888. Both the 1901 and 1911 census at Reenroe confirmed Mary MURPHY as a widow. In 1901 she is recorded with 3 sons – John (28), Patrick (24), Denis (22) - and a daughter, Margaret (26). In 1911 sons John & Patrick were unmarried and still at home;

  • Hanora O'NEILL (c1846-1924); Hanora may be the 1924 Clonakilty death (assuming unmarried), however she is not located in 1901 & 1911 census to confirm.

  • Denis O'NEILL (c1847-1913) = Ellen MENNIS in 1867 Clonakilty. Denis inherited the Reenroe properties as he is recorded at Head in the 1901 census (House 2), although he was living with his son John in House 1 in 1911 who was in charge of the farm then. 12 children to Denis & Ellen are known:

    • Thomas O'NEILL (c1871) – Noted by the family, but history unknown. May have died young or emigrated;

    • Catherine O'NEILL (c1872) – Noted by family, but history unknown;

    • John O'NEILL (1875-1957) – John was at home at Reenroe in 1901 and married Kate McCARTHY in 1902 Clonakilty. Children at Reenroe:

      • Margaret O'NEILL (1908) = ?Bob O'REGAN;

      • Ann O'NEILL (1910-1945 Cork) – Unmarried;

      • Eileen O'NEILL (after 1911-1972 Cork);

      • Denis O'NEILL (1913);

      • John O'NEILL (1916) = Margaret O'SULLIVAN. Children:

        • Ann O'NEILL;

        • Denis O'NEILL;

        • Kathleen O'NEILL;

        • Margaret O'NEILL;

    • Anne O'NEILL (1874-1948) = Thomas COLLINS of Coom in 1906 Clonakilty. In 1911 the couple with 3 children were living at Coom, Dunmanway North;

    • Peter O'NEILL (1875-1947) – at home in House 2 Reenroe in 1901. Future history unclear, but is known to have married Margaret CROWLEY in 1913 Dunmanway. Child:

      • Denis O'NEILL (1915 Dunmanway);

    • Mary O'NEILL (1877) – Unclear history;

    • James O'NEILL (1878) = Maria WALSH of Ballinascarthy in 1906 Cork. May have emigrated as the couple are not found on the 1911 Irish census;

    • Bridget O'NEILL (1880-1964 Liverpool) – By 1911, Sister Bridget O'NEILL was a nun and schoolteacher in Everton, Lancashire, England;

    • Paul O'NEILL (1882-1956) – At home in House 2 Reenroe in 1901 but then emigrated to Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He married Mary Jane HENDRIE c1912 and founded the Lanarkshire O'NEILL clan. Children:

      • Mary O'NEILL (c1913) = Charlie CAMPBELL (1910-89);

      • Eileen O'NEILL (c1915) = Joe MORGAN;

      • Anne O'NEILL (c1918) = Michael SOMERS;

      • Denis O'NEILL (c1920) = Letitia. Children in Airdrie:

        • Derek O'NEILL (1955) = Louise. Children:

          • Amy Louise O'NEILL (1980);

          • Andrew O'NEILL (1981);

          • Kevin O'NEILL (1982);

        • Martin O'NEILL (1965);

        • Paul O'NEILL (1967);

        • Angela O'NEILL (1971);

    • Felix O'NEILL (1886-1950) – At home in House 2 Reenroe in 1901 before marrying Mary Bridget O'DONOVAN in 1909 Clonakilty. Children:

      • Eileen O'NEILL (1909-27);

      • Mary O'NEILL (1916-66) = Sean RYAN (1912-94) in 1942;

      • Denis Joseph O'NEILL (1920-95) = Ellen Mary LOWNEY (1930-2012) in Holborn, London. Children:

        • Felicity Ann O'NEILL (1962) = Mark GRACE (1959) in 1989;

        • Stephen Timothy O'NEILL (1963);

        • Paul Anthony O'NEILL (1965);

      • Anna O'NEILL (1921-95) = Alfred Dennis HICKSON, a Kent farmer, in 1946 Dunmanway;

    • Stephen O'NEILL (1889-1966) - 3rd Section Commander, Clonakilty Company IRA at the Kilmichael Ambush of British Auxiliaries, near Clonakilty in Nov 1920. Married Christina O'LEARY;

    • Helena O'NEILL (1895-1976) aka Lena. Owned a shop in Clonakilty. Unmarried;

  • John O'NEILL (c1849) – No known history;


Below, Modern map of Reenroe (1:2000)


The NEILLs / O’NEILLs of the Clonakilty Area

The family in the greater Clonakilty area, and particularly a family grouping connected to Cashelisky adjacent to and west of Reenroe, have similar naming patterns, particularly using the name of Felix, where up to 10 carry that name between the C19th & C20th. This suggests that the families are most likely related. Some couples who had children in Cashelisky also had some registered as of Reenroe. Also Fourcuil to the NE of Reenroe has an interconnected family. Some O’NEILL oral history relates to a second property the other side of Clonakilty and this may be related to the families recorded at Ring.

By the 1911 census occupation by O’NEILLs at both Reenroe and Cashelisky had declined and the remaining family in the area were generally in suburban Clonakilty.

The population decline suggests that a high number emigrated to the UK & USA, as with many other Irish families, but like many emigrants there are many Felix O’NEILLs with “Cork, Ireland” as their only given origins. It will require family stories to tie any of them and their siblings back to these Clonakilty families.

The Clonakilty families who use the name Felix and not yet proven to be connected to the Reenroe family, above, are listed below. A number of individuals are probably the same but at different nearby locations:

Other Sons of Clonakilty (unless otherwise indicated)

  • Felix O’NEILL (bef 1793) = Ellen MURPHY in 1810 at Timoleague & Barryroe. Children:

    • John O’NEILL (1811 – Sponsor Owen O’NEILL);

    • Peter O’NEILL (1814 – Sponsor Patrick NEILL);

    • Owen O’NEILL (1816 – Sponsor John NEILL);

  • Peter O’NEILL (bef 1795) = Mary BOUGE bef 1813:

    • John O’NEILL (1813 Clonakilty);

    • Jude O’NEILL (1820 Rig) – Julia?;

  • Owen O’NEILL (bef 1802) with two possible marriages:

    • To Catherine BUCKLEY (bef 1820):

      • Felix O’NEILL (1820);

    • To Catherine BOHANE (bef 1824);

      • Michael O’NEILL (1824);

  • Michael O’NEILL (before 1807) = Ellen BARRY before 1825. Children at South Ring:

    • Ellen O’NEILL (1825);

    • Honora O’NEILL (1828);

  • Michael O’NEILL (bef 1825) = Mary LUCAS in 1843 Clonakilty. Children at Ring, SE of Clonakilty:

    • Catherine O’NEILL (1844 South Ring);

    • Ellen O’NEILL (1853 South Ring – Sponsor: James NEILL);

    • Mary O’NEILL (1856 Middle Ring);

    • Patrick O’NEILL (1859 South Ring);

    • James O’NEILL (1862 South Ring);

    • Annie O’NEILL (1866 Middle Ring).
      Note: By the 1901 census, and only in South Ring, were two O’NEILL families headed by relatively younger widows: an Ellen (40, with 5 children aged 18 to 3 years) & Mary (nee BARRY, 34, with 4 children aged 12 to 5 years, plus elderly BARRY parents). No O’NEILLs in 1911;

  • James O’NEILL (bef 1812) = Mary HAYES before 1830. Children at Ring:

    • Julia O’NEILL (1830-bef1834 – Sponsor Mat NEILL ?poss. Michael);

    • Julia O’NEILL (1834 – Sponsor Catherine NEILL);

  • James O’NEILL (c1829-1911 Cardiff) = Catherine BATEMAN (c1834-1890 Cardiff) in 1856 Clonakilty (Witness: Felix O’NEILL) with the family settling around Soverign Street in Clonakilty. Evidence the family moved to Cardiff, Wales around 1881 (widower James, living with widowed daughter Julia WHITE, and his son Peter (unmarried) at home:

      • Julia O’NEILL (1857 – Sponsor Ellen NEILL) of “N C Street” = Samuel WHITE in Cardiff 1881;

      • Thomas O’NEILL (1859 –Sponsor Thomas NEILL) of “N C Street”;

      • John O’NEILL (1861 – Sponsor John NEILL) of “N C Street”;

      • James O’NEILL (1864 – Sponsor Mary NEILL) of “South”;

      • Catherine O’NEILL (1866) of “Soverign Street”;

      • Peter O’NEILL (1867-1940 Cardiff) of “Soverign Street”;

      • Felix O’NEILL (1869) of “Soverign Street”;

      • Mary Ellen O’NEILL (1870) of “Soverign Street”;

      • Anne O’NEILL (1871) of Scartagh;

  • Felix O’NEILL (bef 1834) = Jane SHORTEN in 1853 Enniskeane & Desertserges. Children in (Enniskeane) Clonakilty:

    • John O’NEILL (1853);

    • Mary O’NEILL (1855);

    • John O’NEILL (1858);

    • Ellen O’NEILL (1861);

    • Anne O’NEILL (1864);

    • Cornelius O’NEILL (1866);


  • Cornelius O’NEILL (bef 1844) = Mary DRISCOLL in 1862 Clonakilty. Children of Ring, SE Clonakilty:

        • Mary O’NEILL (1863 Ring). Died in the US;

        • John O’NEILL (1865 North Ring) = Mary KIRBY. Children in Pennsylvania;

          • John James O'NEILL (1892-1966);

          • William George O'NEILL (1904-1933);

          • Anna Mae O'NEILL (1896-1968);

        • Johanna O’NEILL (1868 North Ring) later known as Annie went to the us abt 1887 = Frank J RIEGER (1866) of Pennsylvania in Idaho in 1913, even though she had been living with him since 1896 in PA (according to 1900 census). Her sister Mary was present in 1930;

        • Cornelius O’NEILL (1871 Ring);

        • Ellen O’NEILL (1873 North Ring);

        • ?Mary O’NEILL (based on 1930 US census, aged 66);

Other Sons of Reenroe (unless otherwise indicated)

  • Felix O’NEILL (bef 1795) = Catherine prior to 1813. Children:

    • John O’NEILL (c1813) of Reenroe, above, my wife’s ancestor, may be a child of this couple;

    • Mary O’NEILL (1814);

    • Felix O’NEILL (1815) probably = Catherine WHITE in 1833 Timoleague & Barryroe. Children of Reenroe:

      • Peter O’NEILL (1834 –Sponsor John NEILL);

      • Mary O’NEILL (1836 – Sponsor Honora NEILL);

      • John O’NEILL (1838 – Sponsor Eliza NEIL);

      • James O’NEILL (1840);

      • Anne O’NEILL (1841 twin);

      • Julia O’NEILL (1841 twin – Sponsor Margaret NEILL);

      • Thomas O’NEILL (1843);

      • Cornelius O’NEILL (1846);

  • Peter O’NEILL (bef 1800) = Mary SULLIVAN before 1818. Two daughters known. Children at Reenroe:

    • Eliza O’NEILL (1818);

    • Margaret O’NEILL (1824);

Sons of Cashelisky (unless otherwise indicated)

  • John O’NEILL (bef 1813) = Margaret BOHANE in 1831. Children:

    • Jeremiah O’NEILL (1832);

    • Michael O’NEILL (1839);

    • John O’NEILL (1842);

    • James O’NEILL (1846);

  • James O’NEILL (bef 1816-65 New York) = Catherine WALSH (bef 1834 Clonakilty). Surviving children and descendants are expected to be in the USA. Children:

    • Mary O’NEILL (1835 – Sponsor Peter NEILL);

    • Peter O’NEILL (1836);

    • Felix O’NEILL (1839 – Sponsor Eliza NEILL);

    • Catherine O’NEILL (1840);

    • John O’NEILL (1842 – Sponsor Felix NEILL);

    • Patrick O’NEILL (1844);

    • Ellen O’NEILL(1845);

    • James O’NEILL (1846);

    • Michael Augustine O’NEILL (1850-1927 Akron, Ohio) = Patience Jane MAHAR of Cleveland, Ohio in 1884. Children in Akron, Ohio:

      • William Francis O’NEIL (1885-1960);

      • Augustine Francis O’NEIL (1887);

      • Patience Mary O’NEIL (1889-1980);

      • Thomas Francis O’NEIL (1891-1943);

      • Annetta M O’NEIL (1894-1921);

      • Cyril Francis O’NEIL (1897-1965);

      • Mary O’NEIL (1899-1984);

  • Felix O’NEILL (bef 1833-before 1901) = Mary McCARTHY before 1851. Children:

    • Julia O’NEILL (1851 – Sponsor Julia NEILL);

    • Cornelius O’NEILL (1853 – Sponsor John NEILL);

    • John O’NEILL (1857);

    • Catherine O’NEILL (1859);

    • Mary O’NEILL (1862 – Sponsor Julia NEILL);

    • Michael O’NEILL (1854-1940 – Sponsor Cornelius NEILL) = Margaret DEASY (1869-1950) in 1893 Clonakilty. The couple had no surviving children as indicated on the 1901 & 1911 census at Cashelisky, which Michael continued to farm. His mother Mary was present on both censuses.

Sons of Fourcuil & Templebryan / Templebrien (unless otherwise indicated)

  • William O’NEILL (bef 1813) of Templebryan = Ellen NUGENT by 1831. Child:

    • Denis O’NEILL (1831) of Templebryan = Mary McCARTHY in 1860 Clonakilty. Children at Fourcuil:

      • Patrick O’NEILL (1861 – Sponsor Patrick NEILL);

      • Johanna O’NEILL (1862);

      • Mary O’NEILL (1864) of Old Wood, Clonakilty;

      • Hanora / Norry O’NEILL (1867);

      • Catherine O’NEILL (1869);

      • Thomas O’NEILL (1871);

      • James O’NEILL (1873) of Templebryan. This may have been the servant (aged 26) at Templebryan South in 1901 who was the only O’NEILL registered in the township. There were none in 1911;



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