McCormack, Tonlegee


McCormack, Tonlegee

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Anthony McCormack, Tonlegee, Co. Westmeath  (Current Owner 2015)

Griffith Valuation 1854

  • Barony of Kilkenny West,
  • Parish of Noughaval,
  • Union of Ballymahon,
  • Townland of Tonlegee, Co. Westmeath.
  • Tenant of the current house and lands was John Cormick and part of a 75Acre 4 r 22p holding in the occupancy of John, Patrick and Daniel Cormick
  • The Landlord was Hon. R.T.H Temple.


There were five “Cormick” houses at Tonlegee in the mid 1800's. In the 1903 census the house currently owned by Anthony McCormack was referred to as house No.3 with the Head of Household John Cormick. In the 1911 census the same house is referred to as house No.2. John born 1854? (possibly earlier 1847/1849) lived and farmed in Tonlegee until the mid-1930's. In July 1933 ownership of the property passed to John McCormack (Junior) otherwise known as Jack. Jack married Kathleen Finn of Dungay (Boher, Ballymore) in 1934.  Both lived and farmed at Tonlegee until their deaths, Jack in 1984  and Kathleen in 1989 . John McCormack of The Three Jolly Pigeons & Celbridge inherited the property under the terms of Kathleen's will and passed title to his brother Anthony McCormack 1993.

The Cormick Family (now McCormack) lived in Tonlegee prior to the 1800's.  According to family tradition, the father of John born in the mid 1800's, was also John.

The John of the early 1800's was a farmer (married to a Mary Duck 17.01.1844 in Tubberclaire Church witnesses Patrick Cormick and Catherine McLoughlin) had seven sons John, Michael,Joseph,Thomas,Brian, Patrick, Barney and three Daughters,Mary,Brigid and Anne.

John  born 1854? at Tonlegee (some say 1847/1849 during the Famine)  married 17.05.1898 in Tubberclaire Church Maria Murphy (born in Farnamoreen, Glasson 1870) witnesses Francis Seery and Mary Dunican. She was the daughter of the Schoolmaster in Tubberclaire National School. John died at The Three Jolly Pigeons 1949 and was buried in Noughaval. He was a lifelong Fenian. See also under 1911 Census.

Michael  born at Tonlegee 1858 (baptised 24.12.1858 in Tang Church sponsors Thomas Cormick and Anne Geoghegan)  never married, emigrated to England, moved to Klondike goldfields, then to Australian goldfields (Ballarat) and then returned to Ireland. Emigrated again to England with a Miss Holloway and was killed in an accident in Manchester in ? Buried ?

Joseph born 1861 at Tonlegee (baptised 11.06.1861 in Tang Church sponsors Andrew Elliott and Bridget Geoghegan) never married, managed the business of his sister Anne Murphy at The Gap House Moate for more than thirty years, died 1937 and was buried in Noughaval.

Thomas born 1853 at Tonlegee Married Kate Parker. Farmer and shopkeeper. Their son John (Jack of the Shop) was active in 1916 and as member of IRA participated in Parkwood Ambush, Moate 1920 Thomas died ? And was  buried in Noughaval. Kate died? and buried ?

Brian born 1849 at Tonlegee who following marriage to Miss. Kilmurray lived in Corgrove, Streamstown. Died?  Buried?

Patrick born 1851 at Tonlegee .Worked in Australia and returned to Ireland. Following marriage to  Honoria Henson lived and worked as a farmer in Ardboro, Drumraney. Active Fenian. Parents of Michael McCormack member of IRB (Centre Drumraney Circle) and IRA (Adjutant Drumraney Battalion) and County Councillor 1930s. Also parents of Thomas (IRB and IRA) who served in GPO 1916, John (IRB and IRA) who mobilised at Drumraney 1916, Bernard (IRB and Volunteers) who participated in the Howth Gun Running & 1916 Dublin  and Claire Member of Cumann na mBan. Patrick died ? and is buried in the old graveyard Drumraney. Honoria died? And is buried in the old graveyard Drumraney,

Barney born ?  at Tonlegee  Buried ?

Mary born 1869 at Tonlegee never married, lived at The Gap House Moate as the housekeeper, died 1931 and was buried in Noughaval.

Anne born 9.10.1864 at Tonlegee (baptised 15.10.1864 in Tang Church sponsor Bridget Cormick)  married Thomas  Murphy (brother of Maria, his brother John's wife) of The Gap House Moate circa 1900, no children, died 1936 and was buried in Noughaval.(Reference to the three raised graves in Noughal Graveyard).  Thomas Murphy died 1905/1906 and was buried in Tubberclaire.

Brigid born ? at Tonlegee married Patrick Melinn of Cornamagh, Athlone parents of Peadar (IRB and IRA  Athlone) ,  Seamus (shopkeeper in Dublin sentenced to death for 1916 participation but commuted to imprisonment on day prior to execution date) and Joseph (Insurance Agent Vice Commandant No 1 Brigade IRA Kerry, member of IRB, instrumental in getting Robert Monteith to safety after Sir Roger Casement's landing at Banna Strand on Good Friday 1916).

Brigid died ? and was buried in Cornamagh. Patrick died ? And was buried in Cornamagh.


1901 Census

Residents of No.3

John Cormick, Head of Family with his wife Maria and two children Anthony (1899) James (1900) and Mary McGrath (1887) domestic.

1911 Census

Residents No.2

John Cormick now McCormack, Head of Family,with wife Maria (nee Murphy) and children Anthony (1899)  Mary (1901), John (1905), Elizabeth/Lillie (1905), Monica/Mona (1908) and nephew Thomas (1910).  

John, Head of Family was born at Tonlegee 1854? (some say during the Famine 1847/49) was a farmer. He married Maria Murphy 17.05.1898 (who was born in Farnamoreen, Glasson 1870 sixth of seven children) in Tubberclaire the daughter of the Schoolmaster in Tubberclaire National School (Witnesses Francis Seery and Mary Dunican). After the birth of twins Michael and Joseph in 1912 Maria died and was buried in Noughaval. John continued to live and farm at Tonlegee until the mid 1930's when he passed ownership to his son John (Jack). Thereafter he lived with his sons and daughters for six months at a time until his death in 1949 when he died at The Three Jolly Pigeons.He was buried in Noughaval. In common with many of his relations he was a Fenian and member of the Irish Republican Brotherhood.


Children of John Cormick/Cormack/McCormack and Maria Murphy

Anthony was born at Tonlegee 1899 and lived there until 1913 when he moved to Cornamagh, Athlone to Patrick and Brigid Melinn (his aunt). Joined Irish Volunteers 1914. Mobilised Easter Sunday 1916 at Annagh, Ballykieran, Athlone with up to 60 comrades and soon ordered to disperse. Mobilised again on Easter Monday 1916 and was sent with dispatch to Coosan. Sent to observe British military movements in Athlone but was arrested on Easter Tuesday and detained overnight. 1918 active in Athlone IRA also in IRB 1919. Returned to Tang 1919 and appointed Captain of Tang Company IRA. Active during War of Independendece including Auburn Ambush and burning of Littleton Barracks. Interned Ballykinlar Co. Down January to December 1921. On Republican side during Civil War 1922/1923. Interned in Athlone and Curragh 1923/1925. Returned to Tonlegee and engaged in family business based on Connolly's Ballymahon until 1931 when with family assistance purchased The Three Jolly Pigeons. In 1934  Anthony moved to The Gap House Moate and transferred The Three Jolly Pigeons to his brother James. In 1937 Anthony married Dotie Lynott of Tang and Clondra Co. Longford. Dotie died unexpectedly after operation in Dublin 1939 and was buried in Ardagh .  Anthony married Brigid Finn, Dungay (Boher), Ballymore in 1946. Sold The Gap House 1950? and moved to Summerhill near Athlone (Co. Roscommon). Moved to St. Patrick's Villas Moate 1952? where he lived until his death in 1997 predeceased by Brigid 1986. Both buried in Tubberclaire in the Murphy (grandparents) grave.

James was born at Tonlegee in 1900 and lived there until 1913 when he moved to Cornamagh, Athlone to Patrick and Brigid Melinn (his aunt). He was not in Tonlegee for the 1911 census. Joined Irish Volunteers prior to 1916.  Collected American Bacon box containing guns from Athlone railway station for delivery to Athlone Brigade for 1916 mobilisation also detailed to purchase medical supplies on Easter Saturday. On return to Tonlegee circa 1918/9 joined Tang Company IRA. He became the local Volunteer Intelligence Officer. Participated in Auburn Ambush and burning of Littleton Barracks. Interned Curragh “Tintown” 1921. On Republican side during Civil War 1922/1923. Interned in Ballymahon (escaped), Athlone (escaped) and Curragh 1923/1925. Returned to Tonlegee and engaged in family business based on Connolly's Ballymahon. Married Mary  Finn, Dungay (Boher), Ballymore in 1936. They conducted a successful business until they transferred it to their son John (Sean) and his wife Josephine (Josie) in 1972. James and Mary had  ten children (John, John/Sean, Anthony/Tony, Denis, Angela, James/ Seamus, Oliver, Anne, Elizabeth and Catherine). James died 1980 and Mary died 1989. Both buried in Tubberclaire.

Mary (Cis) was born at Tonlegee 1901. Member of Cumann na mBan. Married William Conlon, farmer, Benown Glasson in January 1935. Mary (Cis) died in 1989, William died ? and both buried in Tubberclaire

Brigid was born at Tonlegee 1903, died 1903 and buried in Noughaval

John (Jack) was born at Tonlegee 1905. Worked there as a farmer until his death in 1984 and buried in Tubberclaire. In his youth he was a member of the Fianna Scouts and IRA Tang Company. He also engaged in the family business based on Connolly's Ballymahon. Jack became the owner of Tonelegee in 1933. In 1934 Jack married Kathleen Finn of Dungay (Boher), Ballymore. Kathleen lived in Tonlegee until her death in 1989 and was buried in Tubberclaire.

Elizabeth (Lillie) was born at Tonlegee 1905. Member of Cumann na mBan. Married on 24.04.1935 in Tang to Liam Cox N.T., Church Street Moate. Lived in Moate until her death  20.08.1992. Buried in Dunegan Cemetry Moate

Mona was born at Tonlegee 1908. Member of Cumann na mBan. Married Patrick Keegan (member of IRA Tang Company) farmer Creevabeg Ballymahon 1941 where they lived and farmed until they moved to Cambridge Gardens North Kensington London. Patrick died 1980 and Mona 1996. Both are buried in Kensal Green Cemetry London

Michael was born at Tonlegee 1912. Following the death of his mother Michael was taken by his Aunt Mrs Keegan (daughter of Schoolmaster Murphy Tubberclaire). Traditional Fiddler of considerable ability. Married Margaret (Peg) Murray of Creevnamanagh 19 . Margaret died 1979. Michael died 1984. Both buried in Tubberclaire

Joseph was born at Tonlegee 1912 where he lived until 1931 when he moved to The Three Jolly Pigeons. Moved to The Gap House Moate in 1946.  Married Maureen Finnegan  Died 1998. Buried in Trim. Maureen alive 2015 surviving member of that generation.


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