I have hit a wall. I know my Grandparents Daniel and Ellen Denehy lived in Wales were married there and had Thomas A. Denehy there. I cannot find any other information on them such as immigration/naturalization, birth for Thomas, marriage for them. I am trying to trace them back to Ireland however I cannot until I can find information from Wales.

Daniel Denehy: Born May 1858, Ireland moved to Youngstown Ohio and died 8 March 1912

Ellen Denehy/Connors: Born 1 March 1872 Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent, Wales Died 8 December 1950 in youngstown Ohio.

Thomas A. Denehy: Born 27 June 1888 Wales Died 29 August 1963 New Castle Pennsylvania and also lived in Youngstown Ohio.

  • Are you able to pin down the time they left Wales a little more? Presumably, it was after 1888 (when Thomas A. was born) but if it was at least 3 years later then they should appear in the 1891 Wales Census. You can use the edit button beneath your question to revise it with more details in response to any clarifications sought such as these.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jan 1, 2015 at 4:27
  • I found their travel document, Daniel traveled here with Ellens brother Garrett O'Connors in 1887, so I'm guessing Ellen and Thomas came at a later date Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 16:42
  • Which I don't understand because Thomas has a birthday of 1888, however I have seen a birthdate of 1884 as well. Commented Jan 2, 2015 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


Searching for English and Welsh BMDs the first source you consult should be the Civil Registration indices which were kept for all birth marriage and death events from September 1837 onwards. Theoretically, these should be complete (in practice, they're not -- there are omissions and indexing errors, but they're still your best starting point and you can access them free at freebmd.org.uk The indices are organised by year, quarter and registration district -- excellent instructions for searching are here.

You will find evidence that a DANIEL DENEHY married one of MARY HARNOTT or ELLEN O'CONNORS in Q2 of 1883 in Monmouthshire, Wales. To get more detail, including verifying that this Daniel married Ellen and not Mary, you would need to order the certificate from the General Register Office quoting the reference details you have obtained from FreeBMD (Year, Quarter, District, Volume and page). However, a marriage in 1883 puts Ellen's supposed birthdate of 1872 out of the question -- one or the other is wrong. (There's also a potential mismatch between her birthdate and her son's -- 16 years old is unusually young to be having a child in Wales at that time).

Thomas's birth may be harder to track down as his forename isn't uncommon, and neither are the variants of his surname, and there might be too many certificates that are possibles to be economic to order but FreeBMD would be your starting point again.

The other major source for England and Wales in this period are the censuses taken from 1841 every 10 years. FamilySearch.org has indices for these but you will have to use a subscription site to see the images and full details in most cases. You should be looking for Ellen before her marriage in 1881 and possibly 1871, and for the family in 1891 (assuming they didn't emigrate before then).

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