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.
Mostly spelt "Humphrys" before 1900.
Later spelt "Humphreys".
See notes on the spelling of the name.
The blue pins show:
Bottom: (left) Cappercullen and (right) Glenstal.
County border is shown.
From Google Maps
Humphrys was always said by the family to be of Welsh
This would be reflected in the spelling.
"Humphrys" is a Welsh way of spelling the surname
always said they were Welsh.
heard the story they were from
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.
They perhaps came over to Ireland in the
The surname (and variants)
is found in Ireland since at least the
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.
If our family came over in the
Plantations (1556 on)
with Cromwell (1652 on),
then they lost their land (and became Catholic) very quickly,
for they are found as a tenant-class
on the Co.Tipperary / Co.Limerick border since at least 1665.
heard the story that they were Protestant, went to Cork originally,
became Catholic by marriage in Co.Limerick.
The earliest mention of Humphrys in the Co.Tipperary/Co.Limerick border area
(the area of the ancestral farms of Doonane
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.
He has 1 hearth, taxed at 2 s.
Kilvellane parish is the parish round
"Nicholas Humphry" is in the general area of
Clonbunny, Rossary Beg and
Ballivakeagh must be Ballymackeogh.
This is the area S of Newport, very close to Co.Limerick border.
In 1666-67 below,
"Nicholas Humphrey" is listed at Gortnanoe in this area.
But note above there are entries for Gortnanoe but
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.
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.
at [Glenstal Abbey]
is an early
has references to:
- Nicholas Humpryes, payment of 9 s., 30 May 1698.
- Nicholas Humphreys, payment of £1, May 1698.
- Nicholas Humphreys account, multiple payments 1700-05.
Religious Census, 1766
shows Humphrys families in area of Glenstal, Co.Limerick.
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.
is in Abington parish (see above),
beside Cappercullen (see above)
just across the border from Gortnanoe (see above).
The above shows
Humphrys as Catholic tenant farmers in the
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:
born est c.1720,
Apparently at Glenstal in 1756.
John Humphrys is probably our ancestor:
John Humphrys, "Cracked Jack"
held his land at Glenstal ultimately under a lease gained in 1782 by this John's son.
It is almost certain that Cracked Jack's wife was a descendant of this John (probably granddaughter).
This John is probably grandfather of
Cracked Jack's wife
and great-grandfather of
James Humphrys, "The Squire".
Line of descent is likely but not proven.
[Religious Census 1766]
shows Humphrys family on N side of Newport, Co.Tipperary.
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.
No.606. Nicholas Humphrys, family of 3, Catholic.
No.779. William Humphrys, family of 5, Catholic.
This could be our William Humphrys of Doonane.
It is unclear when the family first came to
, Killoscully parish, Co.Tipperary
(NE of Newport).
(the son of
of Doonane, Co.Tipperary)
apparently married before 1788 to
a daughter of Humphrys of Glenstal, Co.Limerick.
Humphrys of Glenstal
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:
born 1717 or 1720,
farmer at Doonane, Co.Tipperary
(NE of Newport).
He is my Y chromosome ancestor.
His son apparently married into Humphrys of Glenstal, Co.Limerick,
and he moved there too.
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.
- Michael Humphrys,
Married before 1798.
Listed at Doonane in at least 1815-1820.
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.)
- David Humphreys,
mar Johanna Ryan.
William's parents' names are uncertain.
- William Humphreys,
William David Humphreys.
Thought to be born c.1803, Doonane.
Child born 1825.
Ancestor of Humphreys of America.
His descendants DNA match the descendants of Patrick of Doonane.
- 7 other children, Humphreys.
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.)
originally of Doonane,
later of Shower near Newport.
Death cert says died 1881, age 65 (born 1816).
Grave incorrectly says died 1882, says age 70 (born 1811 or 1812).
Listed as "Patt" at son's marriage.
Child born 1841.
His descendants DNA match the descendants of William of Doonane.
The following Norah Humphrys, wife of Kennedy,
was meant to be of the family of Doonane:
Norry, Norrie, Honora,
She mar 6 Feb 1837
[Newport RC par records] to
and had issue.
Marriage wit by William Ryan and David Humphrys.
Transcript thought 1839
but further down the page it shows this is 1837.
David Humphreys is listed at Doonane in 1846.
He must be "David Humphreys" and "D. Humphreys" listed at Doonane in 1848 and 1850.
Irish form of the surname
- Humphrys and Humphreys
are sometimes given an Irish form as
For example, the 19th century diarist
Amhlaoibh O Suilleabhain
was known as "Humphrey O'Sullivan".
Sometimes this is
switched back to English as
- Another Irish form often given is
is given the Irish name
"Baile Mhic Unfraidh".
- Variants of these Irish forms were used by the revolutionary family of
Dr. David Humphreys
in the Irish revival of the early 20th century.
But unless any earlier ancestor of our family can be found using an Irish form,
any Irish form seems rather artificial.