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Nancy & Bernard McGouran & Joe Marrin

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An enjoyable evening was had by all at the Marrin gathering in the Mountain Dew last Wednesday.  Joe Marrin, whose Great Great Grandfather left this area in the 1850s made the trip to Corduff with his niece Nancy and her husband Bernard McGouran.  Joe in his 85th year, visited Ireland on many occasions before but this was his first visit to Corduff.  For Nancy and Bernard this was their fourth trip to Corduff.  On the evening Nancy opened proceedings by remembering those whom they met on their previous visits who have since passed away – Patsy & Josie Marron, Michael McCabe, Owen Larkin, Catherine Marron, Peter Geoghegan, Ann Finnegan, George McKitterick and Philip Marron, commiserating particularly with Philips brothers John, Vincey & Michael who were present at the gathering.  Nancy’s ancestor Philip Marrin who left Corduff in the 1850s was also their ancestor as DNA connected the two families.

Nancy proceeded to explain that their Family Tree research started thirty years ago, when her husband Bernard had completed his own McGouran Family Tree, which linked back to Co. Down, his ancestors left in the early 1900s which made it a little easier to research.

Carrickmacross was always known by Nancy’s family as the area that Philip Marrin left from, but where exactly would take time to unravel.  Through diligent genealogy research by Kevin, Margaret & Mary in the Workhouse genealogy team, focus was shifted to the Corduff area, a hot bed of Marron’s!  Nancy’s husband Bernard took up the story, explaining on their last visit in 2019, they met with Owen Larkin who confirmed the location of Black Tom’s (a name that was referenced in family letters).  With all the Marron’s in this area, each family had their own unique ID, a nickname, the Black Tom Marron’s, lived next door to the Red Tom Marron’s in Umerafree, a son of Red Tom was Mickey Red Tom, whom some of the more mature members of our community will remember.  The Black Tom’s were sandwiched between Larkins & Red Tom’s.  Philip Marrin who left in the 1850’s was one of the Black Tom’s, but his father Thomas Marron was originally from Cornasassonagh lane.

After hearing the intriguing family tree story, ‘Uncle’ Joe talked about his memories of his father and grandfather and their fondness for Ireland.  He then proceeded to entertain the gathering with beautiful renditions of songs such as ‘Grace’, ‘Rose of Tralee’, ‘Isle of Hope, Isle of Tears’, ‘Danny Boy’ etc, occasionally getting some assistance from the audience.

Earlier in the evening the trio accompanied by Kevin Gartlan, took a drive in the pouring rain to the location where the Black Tom’s home was located, the rain stopped when they reached their destination and a beautiful rainbow appeared.  They also travelled over Cornasassonagh lane, and were enchanted by the various nicknames on the four Marron households which were on that lane.

Ann Marie & Michael Crowley who had just flown in from Montana earlier in the day joined the gathering.  Ann Marie’s grandfather was one of five Marron brothers who left Cornasassonagh lane together on one day in the early 1900s for Anaconda.  Nancy’s ancestor would have been a Great Grand Uncle of the five brothers.

The evening ended with a welcome cuppa and home bakes by Nancy herself, and an opportunity for everyone to have a chat with the visitors.  Paddy Gollogy closed proceedings with a lively rendition of ‘Courtin in the Kitchen’.

A Wednesday evening with a difference in the Mountain Dew.

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