Descendants of William J. MURPHY (to contribute information, please email

Second Generation

2. John William MURPHY (William J. ) was born in 1811 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He died on 25 Nov 1887 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

John farmed in Knocklonogad. According to his death certificate, John died of "senile decay (1 year)". His son Patrick was present at death.

According to the marriage certificate of his son Michael, John was a solicitor, but this appears not to have been the case. Michael himself was a solicitor.

John married Mary MCDONALD / MCDONNELL about 1845. Mary was born about 1820 in probably Knocklonogad area, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. She died on 24 Oct 1894 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

It is thought that the McDonald/McDonnell family may have come from the Knocklonogad area in Garryhill, Co. Carlow. Note: In some older references to Knocklonogad, its parish is given as Sliguff rather than Garryhill.  

Mary's surname was probably McDonald or MacDonald rather than McDonnell as her son Michael was given a middle name of McDonald, but on the baptismal records of some of her children, Mary's surname is given as McDonnell. Also note that that I have seen Knocklonogad spelled as Knocklonegad and Knocklonagad.

According to her death certificate Mary died of 'Hemiplegia (5 days)'. Hemiplegia typically follows a stroke. Her son Patrick was present at death.

Both the McDonald and MacDonnell surnames are very common and are widely distributed throughout Ireland. They are separate surnames but they share the same origin, coming from the the Scottish or Irish personal name "Domhnall", meaning "world mighty". However, true MacDonalds are descendants of the powerful Scottish clan of the same name. The Scottish MacDonalds' involvement in Ireland started in the thirteenth century when they first arrived as gallowglasses or mercenaries. Such was their success that they were employed in virtually every local war, spreading and settling throughout the country over the following centuries. Their main connection, however, remained with Ulster. A secondary influx into that province of settlers bearing the MacDonald name occurred in the eighteenth century, when the Highland clearances caused great forced migration from Scotland. There was also a native Irish McDonnell family in Ulster who were rulers of Fermanagh before they were displaced. They then settled in the north of adjoining Co. Monaghan and remain numerous in the area. Another McDonnell family arose in the old kingdom of Thomond in the Clare/Limerick area.

They had the following children.

+ 3 M i William John MURPHY was born in 1846. He died on 12 Feb 1932.
  4 M ii
Thomas MURPHY was born about 26 Oct 1847 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He was christened on 26 Oct 1847 in Myshall, Co. Carlow. He died on 16 Apr 1883 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at Thomas's christening were Patrick MacDonald and Margaret Connors.

Thomas, who never married, farmed in Knocklonogad. He was only 35 years of age when he died. His death certificate gives the cause of death as "Inflammation of bowels, 2 days" and "peritonitis, 22 hours". His brother Michael was the informant.
  5 M iii
Patrick MURPHY was born about 11 Mar 1849 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He was christened on 11 Mar 1849 in Myshall, Co. Carlow. He died on 14 Oct 1936 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at Patrick's baptism were Laurence MacDonnell and Mary Nolan.

Patrick never married. The 1911 census appears to show Patrick, aged 62 and living in Knocklonogad with his unmarried sister Brigid aged 59 and unmarried brother John aged 51. Given the similarity in ages between the three siblings from the census and our Patrick above and his sister Bridget and brother John who were aged about 61, 57 and 51 respectively, it is likely that both sets of siblings are the same.

Patrick died aged 87 of "senile decay", according to his death certificate.
+ 6 M iv James MURPHY was born about 2 Mar 1851. He died after 3 Sep 1910.
  7 F v
Bridget MURPHY was born about 16 Jan 1853 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. She was christened on 16 Jan 1853 in Myshall, Co. Carlow. She died on 28 Jul 1926 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. She was buried on 30 Jul 1926 in Drumphea Cemetery, Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at Bridget's christening were Thomas MacDonnell and Joanne MacDonnell.

We know that Bridget never married and it appears that she lived in Knocklonogad with her unmarried brothers Patrick and John. Please see the notes above on Bridget's older brother Patrick for details.

Bridget, who farmed in Knocklonogad, died of heart failure aged 73. The informant on her death certificate is a Loughlin Doyle of Knocklonogad, who is described as a nephew of Bridget's. However, we are unaware of any sister of Bridget's who was married to a Mr. Doyle. Bridget did have a nephew named Loughlin Ryan who lived near Knocklonogad so perhaps the death record should have read Loughlin Ryan.
+ 8 M vi Michael McDonald MURPHY was born about 1855. He died before 2 Apr 1932.
+ 9 F vii Mary MURPHY was born about 29 Mar 1857. She died on 2 Apr 1932.
  10 M viii
John MURPHY was born about 28 Aug 1859 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. He was christened on 28 Aug 1859 in Myshall, Co. Carlow. He died on 27 May 1929 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at John's christening were Patrick Young and Mary Young.

According to family sources John was disabled. I wonder if his disability was the result of the accident he had when he was about six years old when he got caught in an agricultural machine. His eldest brother, William, managed to release him but lost a hand in the process.

John, a farmer, never married. He died aged 69 of "acute parenchymatous nephritis, 15 months" and "cardiac failure", according to his death certificate. The informant on the certificate was Patrick Ryan of Garryhill, a nephew.
  11 F ix
Margaret MURPHY was born about 1 Mar 1862 in Knocklonogad, Garryhill, Co. Carlow. She was christened on 1 Mar 1862 in Myshall, Co. Carlow.

Sponsors at Margaret's baptism were Hugh Curran and Anne MacDonald.

Margaret entered the convent, becoming Sr. Cyril. The 1911 census of England has a 49-year-old Marguerite (sic) Murphy from Knocklonogad listed as an "assistant" and "help to Mother Superior to carry on school". The school in question was Catholic and located at 20 Fore St., Kingsbridge in Devon. The Mother Superior and the other six assistants at the school were all French and the boarders were a mix of French and British. Marguerite's age and place of birth leads me to believe that Marguerite is our Margaret above, with her first name given in its French form.

Note: I was unable to find Margaret/Marguerite in the 1901 censuses of Ireland and England.

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