Dowds in the Records of Mullinalaghta (Gowna) Catholic Parish

Civil Registration of Catholics did not begin in Ireland until 1864 so there are no civil records to learn of births, marriages and deaths of the Dowd family in this early period. Records of baptisms and marriages in the local catholic parish do exist however.

"Scene in a chapel" The Illustrated London News Aug 26, 1846

Their Roman Catholic faith was no doubt an important part of the Dowd's life. Later research indicates that the Dowds were devout Catholics. Marriages and christenings would have been performed in Ireland by the priest in their local parish church. The Dowd's attended the Mullinalaghta Parish also known as Gowna parish. Established in 1833, Mullinalaghta parish covered an area that straddled the Cavan and Longford County border. This parish began recording baptisms and marriages in 1835. These records establish the Dowd's presence in County Cavan between 1835 and 1851. [include further research on history of the Mullinalaghta parish]

The first event recorded in the church records which involves the Dowd family is the marriage of Patrick Dowd to his wife Mary MacGaughran on October 7th 1835. Patrick's father Peter and Mary's sister, Bridget MacGaughran stood as witnesses to the marriage. Mary MacGaughran was the daughter of John McGaughran and Delia Victory, farmers from the Longford part of the catholic parish. Patrick and Mary had four children baptised at the church over the next nine years:

Peter Dowd's eldest daughter Mary married Philip Rudden on April 16th 1838. Philip and Mary appear to have had no children. There seems to have been a close relationship between the Dowd and Rudden families. Patrick was the best man at the marriage of Philip Rudden to his sister Mary Dowd. Patrick also named his son after Thomas Rudden, who stood as the child's god father.

Michael Dowd married Catherine Biggane sometime before 1844. Their marriage is not recorded in the Mullinalaghta parish book indicating that they married in some other parish, probably the parish that Catherine came from. They had three children: Michael in Feb 1844, John in Oct 1845 and Catherine in August 1851. Thomas Dowd was the godfather of John.

Ann Dowd married Patrick Keary on June 1, 1842. Their two children were baptised in the parish: Eugene Keary in Feb 1844 and Mary Keary in Oct 1848. Thomas Dowd stood as the godfather to baby Mary Keary's baptism. Young Thomas appears to have been a beloved member of the family having been asked so often to be a sponsor to baptisms in the family.

At the age of twenty-one, Thomas Dowd himself was married on September 7th 1848 to Ann Martin. "Annie" Martin was the nineteen year old daughter of the farmer Edward Martin and his wife Ann Sloan from Scrabby township. Ann had at least one older brother, John Martin born in 1815. The witnesses to Ann and Thomas' marriage were Jacob Muligan and Eleanor Sloan. Eleanor was likely a cousin of Ann's on her mother's side.

Table of Dowd Marriages at Mullinalaghta Parish
(with witnesses)

Parties Marriage Date Witnesses
Patrick Dowd
Mary Mac Gaughran
7 Oct 1835 Peter Dowd
Bridget Mac Gaughran
Philip Rudden
Mary Dowd
16 April 1838 Patrick Dowd
Catherine Reilly
Patrick Keary
Ann Dowd
1 June 1842 Mathew McCabe
Ann Reilly
Thomas Dowd
Ann Martin
7 Sep 1848 Jacob Muligan
Eleanor Sloan

Table of Dowd and Keary baptisms at Mullinalaghta Catholic Parish
(with Godparents listed)

Child Parents Birth date God parents
Bridget Dowd Patrick Dowd
Mary Mac Gaughran
18 Sep 1836 John Mac Gahern
Mary MacCahern
Thomas Dowd Patrick Dowd
Mary Mac Gaughran
9 May 1839 Thomas Rudden
Mary Mac Gaughran
Mary Dowd Patrick Dowd
Mary Mac Gaughran
30 Nov 1842 Thomas Dowd
Catherine Mac Gaughran
Michael Dowd Michael Dowd
Catherine Biggane
4 Feb 1844 Not reported
Eugene Keary Patrick Keary
Ann Dowd
25 Feb 1844 Eugene Keary
Ann Reilly
John Dowd Patrick Dowd
Mary Mac Gaughran
26 Aug 1844 Philip Rudden
Mary Mustia
John Dowd Michael Dowd
Catherine Biggane
18 Oct 1845 Thomas Dowd
Ann Reilly
Mary Keary Patrick Keary
Ann Dowd
4 Oct 1848 Thomas Dowd
Catherine Brogan
Catherine Dowd Michael Dowd
Catherine Biggane
18 Aug 1851 John Jones
Catherine Dowd*

*Catherine Dowd above is not a daughter of Peter Dowd. She may be a sister or niece of Peter Dowd.




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