Local History

Egans of Freemount

By John Moran, Brisbane Queensland Australia

The Egans were a well-established and well-known family around Freemount in the 19th century.

Quite a few lived in the townland of Muckenagh until many seem to have emigrated or moved to other districts of Ireland by the start of the 20th century.

My great grandfather, Michael Walsh, was actually born just over the county border at Highmount Feenagh in June 1848, but the proud Limerick man crossed the line in 1872 when he married Ellen Egan of Muckenagh, Freemount Cork at the local Catholic Chapel on 21 January.

Ellen’s parents were Patrick Egan, who was born in 1831 at Freemount and Ellen (or Mary) O’Leary (variously Leary). Other information about them has so far been hard to find, but, as well as Ellen, who was born in 1852, they had Catherine (Kate – born 1850), Margaret (born 1859), William (born 1861) and Johanna and John (born 1865).

My Walsh great grandparents, Michael and Margaret (nee Healy) Walsh, were married not far away on 7 February 1837 in the Catholic parish of Dromcollogher and Broadford, County Limerick Ireland. They were prominent amongst the Highmount Walshes, raising a fair sized family in the district.

In keeping with property transmission practices of the era, the Walsh Highmount farm was not to be my great grandfather’s future and he and Ellen settled amongst the Egans at Muckenagh where they started their family.

Ellen’s sister, Kate, moved in the other direction when, in 1879, she married Michael’s brother, Thomas, who stayed at Feenagh where they raised a family and she died in 1917.

Michael’s sister, Mary, who was born at Feenagh about 1845 married a man from another prominent Feenagh family, Charles McCarthy, in 1870 and also stayed farming in the Feenagh area.

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