Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Humphrys - Contents


Humphrys of Gortnanoe, Co.Tipperary

Account book, Cappercullen, Co.Limerick, 1698-1705

Religious Census, Abington, Co.Limerick, 1766

Humphrys of Glenstal, Co.Limerick

Religious Census, Kilnarath, Co.Tipperary, 1766

Humphrys of Doonane, Co.Tipperary

Humphrys of Co.Limerick and Co.Tipperary

Humphrys of the area just E of Limerick city, on both sides of the Co.Limerick / Co.Tipperary border.
Cappercullen and Glenstal, NE Co.Limerick.
Gortnanoe and Doonane, NW Co.Tipperary.

Mostly spelt "Humphrys" before 1900.
Later spelt "Humphreys". See notes on the spelling of the name.

The blue pins show:
Top: Doonane.
Middle: Gortnanoe.
Bottom: (left) Cappercullen and (right) Glenstal.
County border is shown.
From Google Maps.





Wales: Humphrys was always said by the family to be of Welsh origin.
This would be reflected in the spelling. "Humphrys" is a Welsh way of spelling the surname Humphreys.
Jack Humphrys always said they were Welsh.
Claire Humphreys heard the story they were from Newport in Wales.

North of Ireland: One story is that they crossed into the northern part of Ireland.
There is a Protestant landed Humphrys family in Co.Cavan.
Other stories mention Scotland, and Belfast.



Norman: They perhaps came over to Ireland in the Norman invasion.
The surname (and variants) is found in Ireland since at least the 13th century.
The earliest record of the surname that I have found is 1277 in Co.Dublin, only 100 years after the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland.
There may have been multiple families come over, of course.

Plantations: If our family came over in the Plantations (1556 on) or with Cromwell (1652 on), then they lost their land (and became Catholic) very quickly, for they are found as a tenant-class Catholic family on the Co.Tipperary / Co.Limerick border since at least 1665.
Claire Humphreys heard the story that they were Protestant, went to Cork originally, became Catholic by marriage in Co.Limerick.

Humphrys of Gortnanoe, Co.Tipperary

The earliest mention of Humphrys in the Co.Tipperary/Co.Limerick border area (the area of the ancestral farms of Doonane and Glenstal) is in 1665.

"Nicholas Humphry" listed S of Newport, Co.Tipperary (between Doonane and Glenstal) in 1665.
These are the 1665 entries for Kilvellane parish, Barony of Owney and Arra, Co.Tipperary, in [Hearth Money Records].
From p.41 of printed records. See larger.
He has 1 hearth, taxed at 2 s.
Kilvellane parish is the parish round Newport, Co.Tipperary.
"Nicholas Humphry" is in the general area of Clonbunny, Rossary Beg and Rossary More. Ballivakeagh must be Ballymackeogh. This is the area S of Newport, very close to Co.Limerick border. See map.
In 1666-67 below, "Nicholas Humphrey" is listed at Gortnanoe in this area. But note above there are entries for Gortnanoe but "Nicholas Humphry" is not among them. He is in a different section.

"Nicholas Humphrey" listed at Gortnanoe, Kilvellane parish, Co.Tipperary, in the 1666-67 entries in [Hearth Money Records].
From p.169 of printed records. See larger.
He has 1 hearth, taxed at 2 s.
Gortnanoe is in Scraggeen townland (SE of Newport), Kilvellane parish, Co.Tipperary (see old map and modern map).
This may be the same person as in the 1665 entry. Though the 1665 entry had a section for Gortnanoe and he was not in it.

Gortnanoe, Co.Tipperary, on 1829 to 1842 map.
Co.Limerick border to bottom left.


Account book, Cappercullen, Co.Limerick, 1698-1705

In the Evans papers at [Glenstal Abbey] is an early Cappercullen account book.
This has references to:


Religious Census, Abington, Co.Limerick, 1766

The Religious Census, 1766 shows Humphrys families in area of Glenstal, Co.Limerick.
NAI IHP/1/681 is return from "Union of Abbington (being 3 parishes, Abbington, Tuogh, Clonkeen)", Diocese of Cashel, dated 9 Apr 1766.
In Abington and Tuogh parishes, it shows the following, all Catholic:

Patrick Humphries, family of 4, Catholic, in Abington parish.

James Humfries, family of 5, Catholic, in Abington parish.

Richard Humfries, family of 8, Catholic, in Abington parish.

John Humphries, family of 9, Catholic, in Abington parish.
This must be John Humphrys of Glenstal.

William Humphries, family of 3, Catholic, in Tuogh parish.


Humphrys of Glenstal, Co.Limerick

Glenstal, Co.Limerick, is in Abington parish (see above), beside Cappercullen (see above) and just across the border from Gortnanoe (see above).
The above shows Humphrys as Catholic tenant farmers in the Glenstal area since at least 1698. (Or 1665 if we count Gortnanoe just across the border.)
Humphrys is found in Glenstal itself since at least 1756.

We start the line of Humphrys of Glenstal with:


Religious Census, Kilnarath, Co.Tipperary, 1766

[Religious Census 1766] shows Humphrys family on N side of Newport, Co.Tipperary.
NAI IHP/1/693 is the return from "Union of Killnirath", Diocese of Cashel, Co.Tipperary, dated 21 Apr 1766.
Kilnarath parish is NE side of Newport.
The later Humphrys farm at Doonane is in Killoscully parish, further N. Not clear if "Union of Killnirath" covers that, or just covers Kilnarath parish.
I had a note saying the return for Killoscully was destroyed.
In the Kilnarath area, it shows the following, all Catholic:

No.399. Humph. Kennedy, family of 5, Catholic.
See Kennedy.

No.606. Nicholas Humphrys, family of 3, Catholic.

No.779. William Humphrys, family of 5, Catholic.
This could be our William Humphrys of Doonane.


Humphrys of Doonane, Co.Tipperary

It is unclear when the family first came to Doonane, Killoscully parish, Co.Tipperary (NE of Newport).
Cracked Jack (the son of William Humphrys of Doonane, Co.Tipperary) apparently married before 1788 to a daughter of Humphrys of Glenstal, Co.Limerick. After this, Humphrys of Glenstal descended from Humphrys of Doonane.
But of course at the marriage they already regarded themselves as cousins. The original divergence may be back in the 17th century.
Above we see two Humphrys families in the area in 1766.

Our line from Doonane starts with:


The following Michael Humphrys is listed at Doonane in 1815-1820.
He has sons William and Patrick who may (or may not) be the same as the William and Patrick below.


The following William Humphreys is at Doonane in at least 1825 to 1846. His widow is at Doonane in 1850. She then moved to America.
His father is thought to be David but this is uncertain.
He might be identical with William baptised in 1799, the son of Michael above. (No other William Humphreys baptism is found in North Co.Tipperary in 1770-1810.)


The following Patrick Humphreys (or Humphrys) is listed at Doonane in 1841.
He later moved to Shower.
He may be identical with Patrick baptised in 1820, the son of Michael above. (No other Patrick Humphreys baptism is found in North Co.Tipperary in 1790-1830.)


The following Norah Humphrys, wife of Kennedy, was meant to be of the family of Doonane:

The following David Humphreys is listed at Doonane in 1846.
He must be "David Humphreys" and "D. Humphreys" listed at Doonane in 1848 and 1850.


Miscellaneous Humphrys (Co.Limerick and Co.Tipperary)

Miscellaneous Humphrys (other)

Irish form of the surname





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