About

Hi, I’m Kathleen Fanning and this is my family history blog.

This is me at Cahir Castle Co Tipperary

I now live on the north coast of NSW Australia but I was  born and brought up in Melbourne Victoria. I am an English and History teacher and have always loved researching.

I started  my family history about three years ago.  I decided to focus on my paternal side, the Fannings. They originated from Thurles, Co Tipperary, Ireland. I didn’t realise at the time how lucky I was to know where they came from.

My great great grandfather, William Patrick Fanning, emigrated to the colony of Victoria, Australia in 1841, on board the Enmore. He and his new wife, Catherine Hayes, eventually settled at Bulla in Victoria.

The earliest Fanning ancestors I have been able to trace are William Fannin and Sarah Ryan. William was born in 1731 and lived at Lissaroon Co Tipperary. He was my gggrandfather’s grandfather.

William Patrick Fanning’s many descendants in Australia have also been included.

On my father’s side,  these surnames are included:

Fanning, Burns, Mackey, Skehan, Ryan, Kelleher, Dillon, Gormley, Collins, Gribben, Dell, Gilmore, Carlon, Treacy, Canavan, McNamara, Maroney, McCann, Hayes, Darmody, Sheehan, Fitzpatrick and  Glass.

These families came from the Irish counties of Tipperary, Limerick, Down and Galway.

I have since decided to include my maternal ancestry.  Most of what I have relates to the Fannings but I will be adding Knighton ancestry.

On my maternal side are included these surnames:

Knighton, Torpey, Trask,  McSweeney, Cook (Eason Cook), Miller, Ledwich or Ledwidge, Collier, Condon, O’Regan, Rider, Kilkerry or Kilkeary, Shiel, Hodges, Driscol, Meehan, Dobbins, Eason, Walsh and Wilson.

The countries of origin for my mother’s ancestors are Ireland, England and Scotland.

My family trees are on Rootsweb and also on Ancestry.com. Links to them are under Family Trees menu.

I hope you find lots to interest you on this site.

I can be contacted at kathleenmfanning AT hotmail DOT com.

28 Responses to About

  1. Carmel Connolly says:

    Hello Kathleen

    Stumbled across your wonderful website. Congratulations on your time effort and energy. I am the youngest grandchild of Martin and Annie Dillon. My father is Martin Joseph Dillon Born 1904 I think i noted he has a ref 4. I do know a lot of names i see.

    Yours Sincerely

    Carmel Connolly

    • admin says:

      Hi Carmel,
      Lovely to hear from you and I am glad you enjoyed my site. I am planing a trip to Ireland next year and would like to visit and photograph as many of the ancestral sites as I can including Clonpet. Do you know anything more about the Dillons in Ireland? I’ll post the best pics on this site. If you have any old photos you would feel OK about adding that would be great or any gaps you want to fill in.

      I’m a Fanning not a Dillon but my grandfather’s half brother married Mary Josephine Dillon (Daisy) and I remember Aunty Daisy from when she lived in Essendon with her Daughter Betty Fitzgerald. They lived around the corner from us and Aunty Daisy used to visit my mother. I also got really interested in the Wildwood area and the fact that it was with one exception settled exclusively by Irish families. It must have been quite something with all those Irish accents.

      regards Kathleen

  2. Mike Newman says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    This may be a blind alley, but my father’s cousin was also Mary Josephine (Daisy) Dillon, born October 1910 in County Down, Ireland, daughter of Edward Joseph and Mary Dillon.
    If this could be your “Aunt Daisy”, I’d love to hear from you, and I can also give you all the Dillon family details I’ve got so far.

    Fingers crossed,
    Mike Newman

    • admin says:

      Hi Mike,
      I’m afraid they are not the same person.
      My Aunty Daisy was born in Victoria Australia and much earlier, in 1894.
      Her family originally came from Co Tipperary.

      It’s a coincidence though that they were both Mary Josephines and both called Daisy.

      Good luck with your searching

      Kathleen

  3. Kathleen O'Neill Carroll says:

    Hello Kathleen,
    What a wonderful site! My great grandfather was Martin Fanning of Skehanna, Two Mile Borris. He married Mary Ann Duggan. Evidently there is a window in a church in the area donated at least in part by Martin Fanning, as well as a bell in the sanctuary with the inscription “Presented by John Hayes and Martin Fanning of Philadelphia, USA. 1888″. Can you shed any light on the name of the church, where it might be, etc? We are hoping to make our first trip to Ireland next year and would love to see it. Any other info would be wonderful, too. Thank you so much. Kathleen O’Neill Carroll (St. Augustine, Florida).

  4. Kathleen O'Neill Carroll says:

    Hello Kathleen, I sent you an email several days ago but it “disappeared” so I thought I’d try again. In the meantime, I’ve confirmed that my great grandfather, Martin Fanning of Philadelphia and then of Chicago, donated a window and bell in St. James Church, Two-Mile-Borris. Do you happen to know of any remaining relatives in the area or elsewhere? Thank you,
    Kathleen O’Neill Carroll
    St. Augustine, Florida, USA

    • admin says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      I didn’t get your email but have read your interesting comments here and am pleased you liked my site.
      I will have a look and see if I have anything that might relate to your family.
      I have collected lots of info along the way and have it in folders.

      It might take me a little while but I am on holidays very soon, and will have more time.
      Different people have contacted me and I seem to remember someone from that area.

      I am Australian and am making my first visit to Ireland next year.
      From what I have read Two Mile Borris is a small village so it shouldn’t be too hard to find the church.
      Hopefully the locals would know something of the Fannings.

      So far I haven’t been able to directly connect my Fannings with any of those in the Two Mile Borris/Littleton area.
      My feeling is that if you went back they would be related.
      My ancestors came from just north of Thurles around Loughmore, Templetouhey and Clondoty areas.
      That is not to say they aren’t connected as it is all in a small area.

      I’ll see what I can find.

      all the best

      Kathleen

    • admin says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      I had a look in the Irish phone book http://www.eircomphonebook.ie and there is a Josephine Fanning living at Skehana, Two Mile Borris.
      Very good chance she is related.

      You might also want to have a look at Griffiths Valuations online free at Ask About Ireland. There was a Martin Fanning at Borris then about 1850.

      The 1901 and 1911 census records are also worth looking at. They are also free through the National Archives site.
      In 1911 Thomas Fanning and his wife Margaret and five children were living and farming in Two Mile Borris.
      One son was named Martin and there was also a William, John and Andrew and one girl Mary.
      Thomas was born about 1864 (his father was Martin Fanning mother Mary Maher) and has an older brother living with him who would have been born about 1851. His name was Joseph Fanning . Was your gggrandfather also Martin Fanning?
      So they are most likely your Martin’s brothers, your great uncles. Hope this is of some help to you.
      Kathleen

  5. Kathleen O'Neill Carroll says:

    Hi Kathleen,
    Thank you for all your wonderful information. I am sending an email reply (separately) from the email you so nicely sent yesterday. It will have a couple of attachments outlining virtually everything I have discovered so far. There are several common names!! When you have a moment, please let me know what you think.
    Kathleen O’Neill Carroll

    • admin says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      I’ll post what I find on your Fanning family here as then everyone can see it.
      Posted in 2008 in genealogy.com in the Fanning Family Genealogy Forum:
      “Martin Fanning, Born 1857, Immigrated from Thurles or Two Mile Borris, Co. Tipperary, Ireland in 1873 to Philadelphia. Married Mary Ann Duggan, Born 1864, unk. Ireland, Immigrated to Philadelphia in 1882. Family moved to Chicago area circa 1886.
      DNA results indicate this line of Fanning’s is in Edmund line.
      Any information re. Irish lineage greatly appreciated.” There is an email address so you could contact him.

      This was posted on ancestry.co.uk and the poster comes from Orland Park Illinois and is Fanning7900.
      “Martin Fanning, Born 1857, Immigrated from Thurles or Two Mile Borris, Co. Tipperary, Ireland in 1873 to Philadelphia. Married Mary Ann Duggan, Born 1864, unk. Ireland, Immigrated to Philadelphia in 1882. Family moved to Chicago area circa 1886.
      DNA results indicate this line of Fanning’s is in Edmund line.
      Any information re. Irish lineage greatly appreciated.”

      Kathleen Fanning

  6. Bettijune Fanning says:

    Hello. I have just returned from Ireland. I hired a driver last Tuesday to drive me d from Dublin to Killarney and Adare, Limerick to see the Fanning castles. I had a wonderful and thank goodness purposeful driver. He was unwilling to give up. FINALLY found the Fanning Land castle, which is being worked as a farm around the standing remains of the castle. It may be rented out, but I would consider it twice. I have taken many pictures. Next we went to find the Fanning castle in Killarney. We looked and looked, and finally stumbled on it. As it sits right in the middle of the mixed residential area, and if the driver and I didn’t have an angel on our shoulder, we would have missed it. Again I have pictures. It is just a sign, challenging to read and ruins that sit in the middle of business’ and housing.
    Just thought you may want to know this before you attempt to find then when you go to Ireland. I am returning in October of 2012.

    • admin says:

      Thanks Betty for this info. I’d like to know more about these Fanning castles and post photos of them for other Fannings to see.
      Do you have any family history related to them?
      I am going to Tipperary soon although I will only be there three days.
      If you know of any Fanning castles there let me know.
      If I have time I want to go to Ballingarry where I think my Fannings would have originated from and have a look around.
      regards Kathleen Fanning

  7. Joy O'Neill (nee Fanning) says:

    Hi Kathleen,

    My sister actually sent me your website. Not sure how she came upon it. My father was Edward (Ted) Thomas Fanning born to John Fanning from Bulla. My dad’s cousin Teddy Fanning actually still lives in the original homestead that was built by my great great grandfather (on top of Bulla Hill). We actually had a 150year anniversary day gee about 30 odd years ago celebrating their arrival. I think when William and his wife first came to Australia they actually landed in Werribee. My grandfather actually married a british woman called Annie Tapscott…his family were not happy with this and he pretty much moved away but I remember my grandmother always talking about the sister’s that lived in Essendon. I should see if I can get more info from my sister as Teddy has now passed away but he did the whole family tree thing. So many names you mention I remember hearing as a child.

    Cheers

    Joy

    • admin says:

      Hi Joy,
      Lovely to hear from you. We must be third or fourth cousins as we have the same great great grandfather, Big Bill. I went to the celebration at Sunnyside, actually we went up the week after but all the interesting bits were still laid out. Julie, Ted’s daughter, did a family tree for the day and that is what got me started years later. I still remember looking at the death certificates of Big Bill who died of cancer of the jaw and Catherine who died of diarrhoea. I also remember going out into the dairy and having to stoop to go through the door and wondering how Big Bill managed to get through. When I was in Ireland it was explained to me that the small doors were to keep out the cold air!!
      I have got quite a lot on John Thomas Fanning, as it turns out he lived near me at Gladstone before he joined up. In fact a friend of mine lives on what was his property! but the old house burned down years ago.The Gormleys are buried in Fredrickton Cemetery which I drive past on the way to work! A coincidence as I was born and raised in Melbourne.
      The anti-English attitude was quite strong even in my father. Big Bill’s daughter Johanna also married an Englishman, Frederick Dell, and was supposed to have been disinherited. Being in Ireland and delving into Irish history a bit the extent of the British oppression and the degree of poverty the mass of Irish people were kept in explains the Irish hostility to the British.
      Any thing you can find out to add would be fantastic especially any old photos. Seems every family has one or two old photos but they are spread out amongst the family or just with the eldest.
      Look forward to hearing from you
      Kathleen

  8. Elizabeth Kennedy says:

    Hi Kathleen
    I’m delighted to see your blog. Today, 11th Nov 2012 I visited the graveyard in Moyne, Co. Tipperary where my gg grandmother Ellen Phelan is buried. She was Ellen Fanning or Fannin and came from Lisaroon, Ballycahill, Co. Tipperary. She was married to Patrick Phelan of Bawnmore, Johnstown, Co. Kilkenny Where I was born). He died in 1892.
    I’d love to hear from you and explore our common ancestry.
    Kindest regards….Liz Kennedy

    • admin says:

      Hi Liz,
      Delighted to read your post.I will have to check my records when I get home.
      What dates do you have for your Ellen? Birth and death etc Do you know who her parents were? And siblings by any chance? I am very curious as to which family she is from. Looking forward to hearing back from you.
      Regards
      Kathleen Fanning
      Ps I visited the Moyne Cemetery last April but didn’t know about Ellen.

    • Kathleen Fanning says:

      Hi Liz
      I have emailed you but haven’t heard back. Maybe I have the wrong email address??
      Am most interested to hear back from you about your gggrandmother Ellen Phelan and her connection to the Lissaroon Fannings.
      regards
      Kathleen

  9. Rose Ryan says:

    What a wonderfully informative blog this is Kathleen.
    It enabled me to identify William Fanning and Sarah Ryan as my great *5 grandparents (which I think makes us sixth cousins once removed!) .
    I’m going on holiday in July to Tipperary to do a bit of family history research and will definitely visit the Fanning graves at Ballycahill.

    • Kathleen Fanning says:

      Hi Rose,
      Great to hear from another descendant of William Fannin and Sarah Ryan. Ballycahill cemetery is really worth visiting. There are also related Fannings buried in Loughmore Cemetery. (Loughmore cemetery is also where the Cormack brothers are buried. They are not related but their story is tragic.) I am sending you an email with some questions. If you don’t get it please contact me.Regards Kathleen

  10. danielle miller says:

    Hi Kathleen this site is wonderful
    I am the grandaughter of james miller and loved reading this.Also my father would love to contact you as he is always travelling to N.S.W
    Cheers Danielle Miller

  11. Linda Fanning Poag says:

    My father’s side of the family has been traced back to 1365 to Ballingarry, Ireland, Oliver Fanning. Edmund Fanning came to Connecticut, USA sometime in the 1600’s. James Corbet Fanning was born in Springfield, SC , Jan.11, 1801. I was given your web site by a friend. perhaps along the way, we are related. Linda June Fanning Poag, Spartanburg,SC

  12. Willie Buckley says:

    Kathleen,
    Just viewed your website and have to say it is absolutely fantastic. You really undertook an enormous amount of research. Well done.
    I’m currently completing my own family tree but have come up against a brick wall in researching my gg grandmother who was Cathering Fanning. She was born around 1800 and married Paddy Ryan_Kyle, Rusheen, Clonoulty, Co Tipperary. Word of mount has it that she may have come from either Drombane (Moyaliffe), Ballycahill or Twomileborris but I cannot find any records anywhere. Any chance you have any information researched on this lady?
    Regards,
    Willie Buckley
    email: wbuckley@eircom.net

    • Kathleen Fanning says:

      Hi Willie,
      Can you tell me exactly where Kyle, Rusheen, Clonoutly is in relation to Thurles? There is a Clonoulty in South Tipperary. Is that the town Paddy Ryan came from and where they would have lived and been buried? My Fanning ancestors were around Lissaroon, Loughmore, Moyne areas and Ballycahill as far as I know. If Rusheen is near any of these areas then they may well be related. Ryan being such a common name makes finding records very difficult. regards Kathleen

  13. Willie Buckley says:

    Kathleen,

    Thanks for the prompt reply. Sincere apologies but I gave you incorrect information. Rusheen is actually in the parish of Borrisoleigh on the border with Upperchurch, not Clonoulty as previously stated. I’m also tracing the roots of two other Ryan families from Clonoulty and mistakenly inserted that parish instead of Borrisoleigh. Clonoulty is approx 15 Kms from Thurles and Holycross-Ballycahill is an adjacent parish. Borrisoleigh is approx 14 Kms from Thurles and 15Kms from Loughmore. Moyne-Templetuohy and Drom-Inch are adjacent parishes.
    I should also have re-read it before I sent the request to you (word of mouth – not word of mount, as documented) – iphone prompts can be a curse.
    You are correct in stating Ryan is a very common name in these parts. Ryan_Kyne was used just to differentiate the various Ryan families. Paddy Ryan_Kyne married Catherine Fanning, circa 1820 – 1830. Word of mouth has it that this Fanning family came from Twomileborris and that John Fanning (1903-1982), TD for North Tipperary (1951 – 1969) is a descendant of this Fanning branch. He topped the poll in 1957 and 1961. However, I cannot verify this and was hoping you may be able to provide the missing link.

    Best wishes,
    Willie

    • Kathleen Fanning says:

      Hi Willie,

      Borrisoleigh is very close to Lissaroon where I have traced my earliest Fanning ancestors. They were there from about 1741. Catherine could have been one of them.

      I have tried to trace back John Fanning T.D. to see if he is related.

      If you search for Skehane you will find what I found on him.
      I couldn’t find any recent connection but way back through DNA testing he is from the same line.
      His grandfather was a Martin Fanning but that is as far back as I could go.

      Let me know if you have any breakthroughs.
      Good luck tracing.

      Kathleen

  14. Pat Feehan says:

    Hello Kathleen
    I just stumbled across your web site – well done.
    Bridget Dillon, who married Richard Feehan, is my GGGrandmother.
    I have copies of some Dillon family info and letters, if you are interested.
    There is a strong Feehan connection to Bulla (there are many Feehans in the cemetery) via Richard’s brother James who married Mary Ryan of Deep Creek in 1860.

    • Kathleen Fanning says:

      Hi Pat,
      Thanks for making contact and glad you enjoyed my site.
      Yes I’m very interested to know more about Bridget Dillon and her family.
      My email is kathleenmfanningAthotmailDotcom.
      regards
      Kathleen

  15. Rachael Stanley says:

    Hi Kathleen I read your blog about the Fannings with interest. My single name before marriage was Rachael Fanning. I am the daughter of William and Maureen Fanning who are listed in your history of the Fannings under the title Descendants of Joseph Fanning.

    Could you please email me because I can help you update the info regarding my parents, their exact dates of birth and my mother’s maiden name as it is listed as unknown.

    My Dad lived at Carnalea on the Whitshed Road in Greystones when he was a young man and it was by googling Carnalea, Whitshed Road, that I was delighted to find your history of the Fannings.

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