Gilligan/Halligan  Coyne/Fitzpatrick  Gilligan/Coyne  Gilligan/Kearns  Kearns/O'Reilly  O'Reilly/Noone

James Kearns
James Kearns
1851- 1921
& Sarah ReillySarah O'Reilly
1867- 1956

James lived with a bachelor uncle (also named James Kearns: see 1856 Griffith's Valuation), and inherited the property. Two other nephews (one named Fleming) also lived with the uncle. James ran a shop in the quiet, one street village, Creggs. The shop sold hardware, groceries, had a post office, and a bar which sold alcohol to people at age 17. In 1901, James Kearns (1851) was living with his 73 year old widowed aunt, Hanoria Kearns Brooke (sister of his father, Thomas). Kearns House
Kearns Home in Creggs
During the Famine (1841-1851), Creggs' population increased from 163 to 173. Agent Lowe was going to evict them, but the Land Commission took over the property, gave it to the tenants, and gave Lowe the axe. People in the small town used to say, "They were Low by name and low by nature."

Rugby Club
Creggs Rugby Club founded 1974
Parnell Monument on the left
"You must show the landlords that you intend to keep a firm grip on your homesteads and lands. You must not allow yourselves to be dispossessed as you were dispossessed in 1847." Charles Stewart Parnell

Parnell (27 Jun 1846 - 6 Oct 1891) died at age 45, less than 4 months after his marriage to Kitty O'Shea.

James Kearins, Chairman Parnell got up out of his sickbed to deliver his last speech at James' home in Creggs. James was one of eight men on the platform with Parnell. Parnell had been invited to a political gathering in Creggs about the division of land. His telegram to Kitty O'Shea was cheerful, though he said he was not feeling very well. From Creggs, he telegraphed Kitty that he was about to speak, and it was "terrible weather".

"In Parnell's time, they got representation. Creggs was the last place Parnell (Irish leader in Parliament) made a public speech (September 27, 1891). He had his last public dinner in our house because my father was on the committee that entertained him and made arrangements. Creggs is only a village of one street. My brother, Tommy, had a bust of Parnell erected at the village green. It's the village of Creggs' only claim to fame: Parnell's last stop on earth. He died the following week. Some say he died of a broken heart." Nora Kearns

Tir Agus Teanga (Land and Language) meeting in Co. Galway
Eight men on a platform at Tir Agus Teanga (Land & Language) meeting in Co. Galway. From The Spirit of Ireland by Lynn Doyle, 1935.

Their phone number was "one". They had a small farm, and raised cattle, sheep, work horses, a donkey (Neddy), turkeys, and chickens. They had a garden and grew apples, plums, rhubarb, potatoes, strawberries, and gooseberries. The garden was protected by a hedge of thorned holly around it, but had a hole that kids could get through to steal strawberries. Many daffodils.

Sarah was the disciplinarian in the family. She was fair, gentle, nice looking, and a good cook of plain food. She was great with flowers. If people had a plant that showed signs of delicacy, they'd take it to her. She'd take a nip of plants in a hotel lobby, then root it; she had a lot of luck with it. She was an honest woman in other ways. Both James and Sarah valued truthfulness. They weren't too strict, but if the children got out of line, they got a reminder on the rear end with the palm of the hand.

James and Sarah had seven children in Creggs, Co. Galway: Tommy, Sis, Jimmy, Bridie, Nora, May, John (May's twin).

Sarah and James Kearns
Sarah and James Kearns

Tom Kearns
Thomas J.
22 Jun 1896-1947
Tommy was a county soccer player and won a gold medal. He introduced Éamon de Valera at the unveiling of the Parnell statue (29 Dec 1946), and died not long after (27 Jan 1947).


Éamon deValera & Tom Kearns 1946
1946 Tom Kearns & Éamon deValera
Tommy inherited the Creggs property. Since he didn't have children, after he died the property went to his wife, Bridget. After Bridget died, it went to her brother, Nicholas Kelly. Tinkers stole the floor out of it. It had a beautiful fireplace. After Nicholas died, the property was sold by Nicholas' brother, to the Creggs Rugby Club.

Cis Kearns
15 Oct 1897-1971
Cis married John (Jack) William Corcoran (1893-1960) at Kilbegnet & Ballinakill parish in 1921. They had two sons: James (Seamus) & Joseph. They lived at Ballycastle, Co. Mayo. Joe Corcoran
James (Seamus) Corcoran
James Vincent
Jimmy Kearns
26 Jul 1899-?
Jimmy married May Kane and had the following children: James, Maretce, and Francis.  
Bridie Kearns
23 Dec 1900-1980
Bridie was the tomboy in the family and liked to ride the workhorses bareback as a girl. She never married and needed the postmaster job to support her widowed mother, so Sonny Hughes bid for it and gave it to Bridie. It wasn't traditionally a female job. The IRC barracks and the post office became their home. In the 1970's she had no refrigerator or internal plumbing. She kept butter and bottles of Guinness beer cold in the cool hallway. She had a cosmopolitan, masculine, very funny sense of humor.

26 May 1903-1991
Nora married Martin Gilligan and had the following children in New York: Tom, Marty, John, Desi, and James (died as an infant). Bridie, Cis, Nora with pocketbooks
1971 Bridie, Cis, & Nora with pocketbooks
May Kearns
12 Jun 1905-1981
May played the angles (imagination, a little bit of a schemer). She was married to Sonny Hughes on 27 Apr 1927 in Athleague Church by Cannon John Neary and Rev. James Neary. They had the following children: Ann Cunningham Hughes, Matthew, Tommy, and Jimmy. They owned the pub/general store at Ballinamore Bridge by the River Suck in Ballinasloe. They lived above the pub/general store. Father James Neary lived with them. Tommy Hughes
Tommy Hughes
May's Infant Twin  
Kearns Family in Creggs Jimmy, Sarah O'Reilly Kearns (1867), Tommy, Bridie, Fr. John Neary, Nora Kearns Gilligan
Fr. James Neary, James Kearns (1851-1921)
May Kearns Hughes, Cis Kearns Corcoran, Mary Shanahan Dolan (Daughter of James' sister, Catherine Kearns Shanahan, who lived across the street)

John (Jack) William Corcoran and Cecelia (Sis) Kearns were married at Kilbegnet & Ballinakill Parish in 1921.
Corcoran-Kearns Wedding
Back Row: Jim Kearns, Patty Gaffney, Patty Garvey, -?- O'Mally, Tom Kearns (James' brother), Tom Collins, Tom Kearns, Steven Collins, Tony Farrell
Middle Row: Rose Conacur Kearns, Aggie Lyons, Nan Corcoran Gaffney, Cannon Munley, John Corcoran (Jack’s Father), Fr Grogan, ...
Fr James Neary, Cannon John Neary, Fr Larry Lyons, Mary Corcoran Collins, Molly Kneafsey
Front Row: Nora Kearns, May Garvey, Sarah O'Reilly Kearns, Bridie Kearns, Jack Corcoran (Groom), Cecelia Kearns (Bride),
Dr. Patrick Corcoran (Jack’s brother), Mrs. Kate Corcoran (Jack's mother), Sally Lyons, May Kearns Hughes
Seated on ground: Tom Lyons, Jack Collins, Micky (Dog), Willie Kneafsey

Creggs in 1920s 1920s Creggs village: "The house is behind the mark and set back, so it does not show.
The first house to the right was where we lived before we left".
 Nora Kearns

James Kearns & Sarah O'Reilly at Creggs in 1901 & 1911:
1901 James Kearns at Creggs 1911 James Kearns at Creggs

Sarah Reilly Birth 1867

James Kearns & Sarah Reilly Marriage 1895
James & Sarah were married 7 Feb 1895 at St. Patrick's Church, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. Witnesses were Thomas Kearns (James' father?) and Sarah Noone (her mother's older sister, Sarah 1844?). James' father, Thomas Kearns, and a Noone family both lived in Kilcolumb, Galway in 1901.

James Kearns Death 1921

Sarah Kearns Death 1956

Michael Brook Roscommon Probate
Michael Brook (1830-1900) m. Honoria Onny Kearns 4 Feb 1869 Athleague, Co. Galway. Her father was John Kearns; his father was Robert Brookes. Honoria Kearns Brooke was James Kearns' aunt, so she was the sister of his father, Thomas. Since her father was John Kearns...the grandfather of James Kearns (1851) is John Kearns.

Patrick Kelly m. Mary Brookes 16 Aug 1866 at Athlone, Co. Roscommon. His father was Michael Kelly, and her father was Michael Brooks.

Notable neighbors at Creggs in 1911:
1911 Mary Shanahan at Creggs 1911 Nicholas Kelly at Creggs
John Shanahan was a Publican/Grocer. He had one child, Alice May, with his first wife, Mary (1864), who died young.
John later married Catherine Kearns (James' sister) and had two children: Thomas, and Mary (seated on grass in group photo above).
Nicholas Kelly later had a sister, Bridget Kelly Kearns (m Tommy Kearns), and inherited the Creggs property.

Residents at Creggs, Co. Galway: 1901 and 1911

Keelogues-Creggs Map Creggs Townland, and Keeloges West Townland are both in Glinsk & Kilbegnet Roman Catholic Parish. Glinsk Parish Baptisms: 1836-1851 and 1851-1876

Creggs is in the Civil Parish of Kilbegnet, Co. Galway. Kilbegnet Parish records 1836 – 1866.

Keeloges West is in the Civil Parish of Ballynakill, Co. Galway. Civil records start in 1864.

1833 Kilbegnet Tithe Applotment

1834 Ballynakill Tithe Applotment

1841 Census fragments

1855 Ballynakill Griffith's Evaluation:
Armstrong to Kegg and Kelly to Ward

1856 Kilbegnet Griffith's Evaluation: James' uncle, James, is in Creggs

Parish Map