Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday (June 25, 2013) -- O'Kane Gravestones in Northern Ireland

An O'Kane grave monument in St. Joseph's graveyard outside Dungiven, Northern Ireland.

In 2009, Molly and I finally made it to Ireland!  Molly's Irish roots run deep on her father's and her mother's side; mine are not quite so deep, but my paternal great grandmother, Maggie Conner, was born in Massachusetts to parents who both came over from Ireland in about 1851.  Molly's O'Kane family is from County Derry in Northern Ireland and my Irish family is from County Roscommon. 

We spent about three weeks in Ireland during our trip and drove the entire circumference of the island touring both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.  One of our goals was to do a little genealogy investigation while we were there and so we visited Roscommon and Derry.  While in Derry, we went to the town of Dungiven where Molly's family came from.  We visited churches and graveyards in the Dungiven area for an entire day looking for possible ancestors of Molly's.  We eventually found a very kind parish priest, Father Brady in Garvagh, County Derry, who generously took the time to pull parish records and find the handwritten birth and baptism record for Molly's great grandfather, Daniel O'Kane!


Before we dropped in on Father Brady unannounced and out of the blue, we visited four different graveyards and took photographs of all the O'Kane gravestones we could identify in and around the Dungiven/Garvagh area -- a total of about 132 photographs.  When we returned to the U.S., the gravestone photographs were downloaded to an album and a notice was posted on the "O'Kane Family Genealogy Forum" at GenForum that O'Kane gravestone pictures from the Dungiven area were available for sharing.  Since 2009 there have been a number of inquiries for the photographs from various locations including Massachusetts, Ireland and Australia -- and at least one found an ancestor among the photos!

Below are some samples of O'Kane gravestones from the Dungiven/Garvagh area of Northern Ireland.

In the Errigal Old Church graveyard, Glenullin.

In the Dungiven Catholic Church graveyard.
In St Mary's graveyard in Garvagh showing the popular use of decorative stone and plot borders.
Another example of decorative stone with a photo of the deceased on the stone.
Close up showing use of a photograph of the deceased, Joe O'Kane.

Use of colored decorative stone.
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All photographs by the author.
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. I would love to be able to view the rest of your O'Kane gravestown photos. My great grandmother Catherine O'Kane was born in 1881 in Garvagh Derry, I beleive her father's name was Daniel.