The McElree Family

The genealogy of the Henry McElree family from Ireland to Canada.

The Census of the Fews - 1602

Note the McElree's are noted here as McElyre
This document is based on "The History of the Parish of Creggan in the 17th and 18th Centuries". by Rev. L. P. Murray P.P. This history was published in the Journal of the County Louth Archaeological Society in 1934. At the time of the census ten townlands of the Fews and Creggan Parish were in what is now County Louth.

In the preface to this article Fr. Murray states that the 1602 Census of the Fews had never been published. We believe that it has not been published since it appeared in Fr. Murray's history.

The Fews is a barony in South Armagh. Geographically, it roughly corresponds to Creggan parish. Turlagh MacHenry O'Neill was chief of the Fews at the time of the 1602 Census. Turlagh was half-brother to Hugh O'Neill, the Earl of Tyrone, by his mother. The Pale bordered the Fews to the south in Co. Louth. The English had already encroached on the portion of the Fews that extended into Louth. Hugh O'Neill was to the north and waging war against the English. Turlagh was trying to stay a middle course to keep from being overwhelmed by his stronger neighbors. Turlagh played both sides. He accepted money from the English and fought against them with Hugh. In 1602 Turlagh received an English pardon for his entire clan. This pardon was the reason for the 1602 census of the Fews, to identify the clansmen who were being pardoned. It is the earliest Irish census that is still in existence.

After 4 years of war, by the time of the census the clan is decimated. (Note: Fr. Murray says 4 years but the conflict is generally refered to as the Nine Years War.) Before the troubles started Turlagh MacHenry maintained 50 horsemen and 200 kerns. (Note: A kern is an Irish light infantry soldier.) This is documented by the English who are contributing to the maintenance of this force. When the census is taken the clan has only 20 horsemen and 21 kerns.

The census was compiled by the clan and the families are grouped together. Irish is very much the primary language of the clan. The inconsistent English spelling of family names is not an issue as the people are all primarily known by their Irish names. The census lists all the males of the clan who are capable of bearing arms and any females who were property owners "in their own right".

The occupation is given for all except a group of about 75 names/families. Fr. Murray dismisses this group as peasants or "mere tillers of the soil" and this portion of the list as "unordered". He excludes this group in his compilation of a summary list of families of the Fews.

My feeling is that this portion of the list is just as hierarchical as the rest of the list only a different criteria is being applied to determine the "order". I tend to think that property ownership is the measurement used to group this portion of the list. I think that those at the top are probably "land holders" and that they are followed by "house holders".

The continental fuedal system is never fully imported to Britain and even less so to Ireland. At this time the peasants were all free clansmen and there was peasant proprietorship of land. We know at least some of this group of clansmen were property owners because there are some women listed here.

Tenants in this society were not the "tenants-at-will" of the post-Cromwell Ireland. Some of them had extensive holdings of thousands of acres. Unfortunately the record of this census does not contain any information on property or where in the Fews these families dwelled.

Pardon To:
Tirlagh McHenry O Neale, chief of the Fues; 
Sara Ny Neale, his wife; 
Henry O Neale, Art O Neale [______________]; 
Henry O Neale ) 
Brian O Neale ) Sons of Donell McPhelim Roe; 
Neale O Neale ) 
Con O Neale ) 
Brian O Neale ) [__________________________]; 
Henry O Neale ) 
Patrick O Neale ) 
_____ O Neale McBrain Ballagh ) 
Con O Neale McPhelim ) Gentlemen of the Fues.
Henry O Neale; ) 
Art O Neale; 
Breen O Neale; 
Phelim O Neale; 
Neale O Neale McCon; 
______ O Neale Mc[________];; 
Brian McEghir  husbandman
Aghie McEhire  yeoman 
Patr. roe McEhire  yeoman 
Coolie O Quyn  husbandman 
Kaele O Quyn McEdm  horseman 
Hugh O Quyn  priest 
Edm [_______] O Quyn  
Kaele McArt O Quyn  husbandman 
Patr. O Quyn  husbandman 
Doncho O Quyn  yeoman 
Patr. Gromy O Quyn  husbandman 
Hugh O Quyn  yeoman 
Patr. O Quyn  yeoman 
Kale O Quyn  yeoman 
Glassney McShane  horseman 
One McShane  horseman 
He[_________]  yeoman 
Phelim McShane  horseman 
Neale McShane  yeoman 
Art McShane McOne  husbandman 
James McShane McOne  horseman 
Rorie McShane  horseman 
Art McTohile roe McShane  husbandman 
Brian Art McTorilagh McShane  husbandman 
Brian oge McShane  husbandman 
[_________]Shane  horseman 
Rorie McShane  [_________]
Torylagh McShane  yeoman 
Kahere McShane  horseman 
Henry McShane  yeoman 
Henry Rawane McShane  husbandman 
Glessny McShane  yeoman 
Patr. McShane  husbandman 
John Shenle  horseman 
Patr. [________]  [_________]
Feriagh McCardle  husbandman 
Patr. McCoolie carragh McCardle  horseman 
Coolie Carragh McPhillip Duffe  husbandman 
One McCardle  horseman 
Patr. Ballagh McCardle  yeoman 
Phillip McCardle  husbandman 
Conoghe McCardle  horseman 
Donaghe oge McCardle  horseman 
Feragh McCardle  yeoman 
Patr. McCardle  priest 
Patr. McCardle  husbandman 
Torylagh bane McCardle  yeoman 
Henry McCardle  husbandman 
Edm. bane McCardle  yeoman 
James McCardle McCoolie more  horseman 
Bryan McCardle  yeoman 
Torilagh McCardle  yeoman 
Coolie McCardle  yeoman 
Shane McCardle  yeoman 
Shane McCormack carragh McCardle husbandman 
Torilagh McCardle  husbandman 
Frances Lewis  woman
Art McMurchie McOne  husbandman 
Redmon McMurchie  husbandman 
Kilty McMurchie  husbandman 
One buy mor McMurchie  husbandman 
Phelim duff McMurchie  husbandman 
Donchie McMurchie McCarberagh  husbandman 
Patrick McMurchie  husbandman 
Manus McMurchie  yeoman 
One beddie McMurchie  horseman 
Torilagh McMurchie  husbandman 
Brian McMurchie  horseman 
Art McMurchie  husbandman 
Donogh McMurchie  husbandman 
Donill McMurchie McPatr.  yeoman 
Donill McMurchie McEdm.  yeoman 
Donchie McMurphie McOne  husbandman 
Patr. bane McMurchie  yeoman 
Patr. McMurchie  yeoman 
Donchie duff McMurchie  yeoman 
Patr. McNeale McMany McMurchie  husbandman 
Many McNele McMurchie  yeoman 
Phelim McNele McMurchie  yeoman 
One McMurchie McJames  yeoman 
Patr. McCormach McMurchie  yeoman 
Cormack McMurchie  yeoman 
Donchie oge McDonchie McMurchie  husbandman 
Donchie duff McMurchie  tenant 
Patr. Gromy McMurchie  tenant 
Shane Gromy McMurchie  tenant 
Coolie McGlassy McMurchie  tenant 
Edmund McMurchie  tenant 
Patrick McMurchie  tenant 
Donill McMurchie  tenant 
Moris McEvire  husbandman 
Torilagh McEvire  husbandman 
Cormack McEvire  husbandman 
James McEvire  husbandman 
Moris McCowane  yeoman 
James og McCowane  yeoman 
Shane McCowane  yeoman 
Rorie McCowane  husbandman 
Torilagh McCowane  husbandman 
Patr. O Brengan  horseman 
Patrick McGarway  tenant 
Doniell McGarway  tenant 
Brian McGarway  tenant 
Torilagh McGarway  tenant 
One McGarway  tenant 
Mlaghlin McGarway  tenant 
One McGarway  tenant 
Donell McGarway  tenant 
Nele O Lowhan  husbandman 
Donill O Lowhan  husbandman 
Murtagh O Lowhan  yeoman 
Donill O Lowhan  yeoman 
Patrick O Hullig  husbandman 
Mlaghlin O Hullig  husbandman 
Brian O Hullig  husbandman 
Manus O Hullig  husbandman 
Patr. O Hanraghtie  tenants 
Hugh McEvicker O Hanraghtie  tenants 
Hugh McPhelim O Hanraghtie  tenants 
One O Hanraghtie  tenants 
Patrick O Hanraghtie  tenants 
Donill O Hanraghtie  tenants 
Phelim O Hanraghtie  tenants 
James O Hanraghtie  yeoman 
Donill O Hanraghtie  yeoman 
Patrick O Hanraghtie  yeoman 
Gilleduff O Lorkan  yeoman 
Nele O Kellychan  tenant 
Brian O Kellychan  yeoman 
One O Kellychan  tenant 
Patr. O Kellychan  tenant 
One McShane O Kellychan  tenant 
Rorie O Kellie  tenant 
Brian og O Kellie  tenant 
Brian O Kellie  tenant 
Torilagh O Corry  
Patr. O Corry  
Many O Corry  
One O Corry  
Many O Hanlon  tenant 
Shane O Hanlon  tenant 
Brain O Hanlon  tenant 
Hugh O Hanlon  tenant 
Glessny O Hanlon  tenant 
Art McGloskie  kern 
Brian McGloskie  kern 
Mary McGloskie  kern 
Patr. McEldony  yeoman 
Shane O Boyle  kern 
Brian O Boyle  kern 
Tohile O Boyle  kern 
Richd. O Boyle  kern 
James boy McCoime  kern 
Donchie McCoine  kern 
Art McCoine  kern 
Patr. Gorry  kern 
Patrick O Hire  kern 
Mlaghlin McElyre  kern 
Patrickn McElyre  kern 
One oge McElane  kern 
Elin McElane  kern 
Kayle McConwayle  kern 
Hugh McConwayle  kern 
Redmond McConill  tenant 
Alexander McConile  tenant 
Gilleseoge McConile  tenant 
Brain McConile  tenant 
Art McGlaskir  kern 
Brian McGlaskir  kern 
Many McGlaskir  kern 
Cormock McEneny  husbandman 
Brian oge McEneny  husbandman 
Brian McEneny  husbandman 
Manus Cahan  horseman 
Dorby Cohan  horseman 
Garry Cahan  horseman 
Mlaghlin O Cawertie  
Patr. O Murygan  
Hugh O Haghie  
Patr. O Duffedie  
Rorie McGwigine  
Nele McTowchie  
Feagh McCronila  
Donill O Culline  
Hugh McEveighe  
Hugh O Hanaghane  
Nele O Lurkane  
Rorie McSirry  
Rorie McCawill  
Art McHenry  
Brian McHeany  
Patr. O Tohile  
Shane O Kenan  
Patr. McEghile  
Donchie McEghile  
Donchan O daly  
Donell O Dolan  
Phelim reagh McConwell  
One McConway  
Murtagh McConway  
Brian oge McGirraty  
Patr. Modder McGerrety  
Sowrly McConill  
Patr. O Mollan  
Terrilagh Ekeslan  
One O Cumar  
Thos. O Shele  
Tege O Ferrall  
Hugh O Ferrall  
Donchie O Fearnmy  
Hugh McEvard  
One McEtanny  
Rich. O Cahan  
Donill McEcheran  
Tirlagh McEcherane  
Coole O Crowle  
Thos. O Bwyle  
Patr. O Towill McDonogh  
Phelim O Tohill  
Patr. McGwerke  
Patr. McRorie  
Phelim McElrowhe  
Shane McElrowhe  
Edmund O Mulish  
Phillip O Mulish  
Teige Moynagh  
Shane McWyline  
Hugh McEchalle  
James buy O Calane  
Mlaghlen duffe  
Patr. McGillernewe  
Conogher McCreverty  
Patr. O Conry  
Anne Geoghan alias Fitzgarrald 
One oge O Haghie  
Murcho O Casie  
Patr. O Karewlan  
Hugh McElchrive  
Morris Leynagh  
Edm. O Brian  
Patr. McCunny  
Henry O Brien  
Shane duff McCoddane  
James Leynagh  
Cormock O Kellechan  
Manus O Lennan  
Nele McKinny  
One McCawell  
Teige O Kessidie  
Finolly ny Cahir  
 All of the Fues; 
Stephan Dowall of Dundalk  Merchant
Anne Dowdall, his wife  

Murder Committed before their rebellion, intrusion on Crown lands, and debts to the Crown excepted from their pardon. [Date destroyed] Lord Deputy's warrant dated 24 June 1602.


In his 1934 article, Rev. L. P. Murray P.P., counted the families (excluding O'Neills) in the census and created a summary list with totals for each family. Fr. Murray counted 6 families of McConvilles (MacConwell). Fr. Murray only included families from the first portion of the census, those with occupations listed. When we compared the census to Fr Murray's list we noticed that there were more McConville families than the 6 Fr. Murray counted. We initially thought that this was because of the various spellings of the names that Fr. Murray did not consider some of the forms as McConvilles. On closer examination we find the O'Cahans with 3 families in Fr. Murray's summary and a 4th O'Cahan in the second portion of the list. With the exception of the O'Cahans and McConvilles there is only one other family that is represented on both portions of the list.

MacEghire  3 
O Quyn  11
MacShane  19
MacArdle  19
MacMurphy  35
MacEvire  4 
MacCowan  5 
MacGarway  8 
O Lowhans  4 
O Hullig  4 
O Hanratty  10
O Callaghan 5 
O Kellie  3 
O Corry  4 
O Hanlon  5 
MacGloskie  3 
MacEldonie  4 
O Boyle  4 
MacCoime  3 
MacElyre  2 
MacElane  2 
MacConwell  6 
MacEnerney  3 
O Cahan  3 




News - updated information

July 29, 2017 Sometimes one just has to wait, finally the headstone of James and Jane McElree's headstone has been posted on the internet and I have posted it here, under photos, headstones.  Located in Greenwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Apparently there was another son, named James McElree who also passed away, unfortunately I cannot read the information on the photo of the headstone, if anyone can read the information on him please conatact me. 

February 23, 2016  Joseph McElree was left the McElree gravesites in Philadelphia, I have located Joseph as born in 1829 from Ireland living in Philadelphia in the 1850 Census, this Joseph McElree went on to become a minister and I have tracked him until 1870 in Philadelphia in the church, however do not have any further information as to marriage, children or death, if anyone has any information to share it would be appreciated.

May 28, 2015 - I have been puzzled why some people pronounce the name Mcelree and some people pronounce McELree, I learned something today, apparently there was one daughter in the William McElree family that thought the name should sound more "posh" so she started saying McELree and her family has continued with it to this day, let's not forget this for future generations. In Ireland it is pronounced Mcelree.  Perhaps another thing to remember is that in Census, Tithe Applotment and other records the name has been spelled McIlree, however this is not the known understanding and earliest known form of the name as we know it - 1640 Robert McElree, Kilconway, Finvoy, Antrim. 

May 23, 2015 -For years I have heard that the McElree/McIlree's were from Scotland because they were Presbyterians, however they were also Church of Ireland and Roman Catholic as well.   I have finished my search of the 1603-1630 muster and estate records and have found no McElree/McIlree's or anything similar to indicate that the family came over from Scotland as planters, I have also found no old records (from the 1600's) to indicate that McElree/McIlree or anything similar was recorded in Scotland.  The first mention of McElree in Scotland is in the late 1700-1800's  and they were noted to have come from Ireland. I am still on the search but at this time I would have to say that there is no evidence to indicate that the McElree's were Scot. 

March 22, 2015 - Census of 1831 a collection of McElree's from this census has been added to the page for 1831 Census, unfortunately our Henry McElree is transcribed as McEbree. 

June 9, 2014 - On contacting a genealogist for the Giolla Ri family from Ireland in search of any connection, it was learned that the Giolla Ri is a fairly new name when in the 1920's a member of the McElroy family assumed that McElroy was initially MacGiollri.  With more information available now this is not the case. 

January 28, 2014 - William Henry McElree's headstone added to photo's

January 3, 2014 - James McElree's Obituary and Coroners Inquest information added to documents.

September 25, 2013 - Sale of tenanted land in Ireland located, on Notes page.

September 8, 2012 - James, Jane, Ellen, Elizabeth located in Philadelphia along with their burial sites, info included on home page genealogy

September 03, 2012 - Headstones photo album added to photos.

August 4, 2012 - Info on the Lavina Evoy McElrees family who moved to Saskatchewan and lived in the same district as Henry and Levina, under notes and ideas.

June 15, 2012 -location of James and Jane McElree family in Pennsylvania and what happened to them.

March 6, 2012 - with the kind permission of Deane McElree I have posted a link to his genealogical research,. Deane is the descendant of John McElree, Maghera;  Henry McElree and John McElree were brothers.according to DNA tests showing a 5th generation connection done in 2010. 

March 2, 2012 - 1871 Canadian Census with Henry living with the Evoys posted.   

February 23, 2012 - 1834/35 Seasonal Migration List for Maghera and Termoneeny from the Ordinance Survey Memoirs

February 22, 201 2 - Finally the 1831 Census is posted for Termoneeny

February 16, 2012 - check the photo section for new additions to shipping lists, photo of the ship the McElree's came over on and more. 

February 14, 2012 Under photo's, certificates Henry McElree's death certificate, James and Janes marriage certificate, William Henry's death certificate and Lavina's death certificate.  It should be noted that some of the information is incorrect on these certificates but they are the people in the family - particularly Lavida instead of Lavina, William Henry being born in Manitoba which is not correct.  If anyone has copies of James and Janes death certificates I would appreciate being able to add it to the site.

February 11, 2012 - Some family photos,  if anyone has anymore to offer please contact  me.                                                                Canadian Census 1901 and 1911 added. 

February 9, 2012 - new photos and copies of research verifying information, Valuation of Termoneeny

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