Monday, April 7, 2014

Timothy and Margaret (Donovan) Kiley from County Cork, Ireland

1850 NYC, Ward 7, Dw 315/Fam 648
    For more than forty years, I had no reason to question the 1850 census that reported Anne (born c.1838), Elizabeth (born c.1840), and Timothy (born c.1841), children of Timothy and Margaret (Donovan) Kiley of New York City, were born in N.Y.  Despite diligent searches for a 1840 census record, a city directory listing, a passenger list, and a naturalization record, nothing was found for the Kileys until 1850.     
    Not too long ago, my third cousin, a descendant of the Kileys’ youngest child, provided a record that refuted the census information. Eliza Keily,daughter of Tim Keily and Margt Donovan of Ring, was baptized in the Parish Church of Clonakilty, County Cork, on 25 April 1840 with sponsors John Baze and Eliza Baze.  That this was undoubtedly the correct family is substantiated by my  grandmother’s note; she wrote that Margaret Donovan’s “mother’s brother or grandfather was Capt. Theodore Bayse.”  Elizabeth died in NYC in June 1889 at age 49.  Her death certificate says she was born there.  It also says her father was John Kiley!
     On record in the same parish church is the baptism on 5 June 1839 of Tim Kehely, son of Tim Kehely and Margt Donovan of Ring, with one sponsor, Mary Baze.  He might be Elizabeth's brother, Timothy, who was said by my grandmother to have died unmarried from the effects of a long imprisonment during the Civil War.  His death record has not been found, and his birth date  is known only from one census record.
    No record of baptism was found for Anne Kiley, whose given name was said by my grandmother to be Honorah (she was recorded as Honora on the 1850 census).  Although her ages on the 1850 and 1860 censuses (12 and 22) suggest she was born in 1838, her ages in 1870 and 1880 (29 and 39) and her age at death in 1899 (58)  indicate she was born in 1841.  She, therefore, might have been born in the U.S.
1860 NYC, Ward 7, Dw 187/Fam 805

    The baptism on 21 January 1810 of Tim Keily, son of Jms Keily and Mary Driscol, residence not given, with sponsors Micl Mahony and Brget Mahony, is probably that of the immigrant Timothy Kiley, whose mother was said by the writer’s grandmother to be Honorah O’Driscoll.  Despite the difference in the given names, it is not outside the realm of possibility that Honorah was Mary Honorah.  Timothy Kiley’s birth, as reported in U.S. census records, agrees, more or less, with the birth of Tim Keily.
    A final record, that of the baptism on 28 December 1835 of Eliza Bage, daughter of Tim Bage and Mary Connor of Ring, with sponsors John Connor and Margt Donovan, provides another link between Margaret Donovan and the Bage, Base, Bayse, Baze family.
    What about Timothy’s wife?  Margt Donovan, daughter of Tim Donovan and Bat Bare (residence not recorded), was baptized on 16 November 1810, with sponsors Dan Murry and Mary Brien.  The surname Bare could be read as Base.  Was she the one?  To date, no marriage record has been found and Margaret's identity is uncertain.
    The Kileys were in New York City in August 1843 when their fourth and fifth children (twins) were baptized.  Why they were not listed in city directories between then and 1850 is puzzling.
    Was Timothy the eldest child and Anne the third? 
    When did the Kiley family immigrate to America? 

Burial record for Anne Combs
Church records, Irish Genealogy (
Death certificate for Elizabeth (Kiley) Johnson
U.S. census records

Census images from, 3 April 2014