The Australian Coyle Story

Our Coyle Clan arrived in Australia in the early 1880’s,

freely accepting the challenge of a new life

on the far side of the world.

Denis Coyle and Bridget Curran, along with siblings and other kin,

travelled from Donegal in Ireland in hope of prosperous new beginnings.

Within these pages there will be stories of how they coped,

and the successes achieved, and tribulations they faced.

This is our story……


11 thoughts on “The Australian Coyle Story

  1. Paul Salmon says:

    My GG grandfather was the Edward Curran who, I believe, sponsored out to Australia the Mary Curran who in turn brought out your ancestor Bridget Curran. He was a Donegal Relief Fund refugee from Falcarragh who married in Australia Isabella Coll (nee O’Brien) another such DRF migrant originally from the island of Inisboffin but at the time of her emigration married to Daniel Coll and living in Gweedore. She was therefore a widow when she and Edward married. Their children were therefore cousins of Bridget Curran One of these was my Great-grandmother Hannah Norah Curran who married Daniel Ferry a migrant from Gortahork and their daughter was my grandmother Norah Josephine Ferry.I have a postcard written by Jack Coyle to his second cousin Norah Josephine Ferry while he was on officer training in Cambridge in WW1.The members of this family lived in Marrickville. Does your family have any recollections of these Ferry/Curran relatives?
    Paul Salmon
    237 Hillside Road
    Avoca Beach NSW 2251

    • jockok says:

      Hi Paul,
      I will try to contact you by phone. I very much think there is a connection. I have pictures of Bridget Curran, Hannah Curran & their brother John Curran (all born approx 1859-1865 ish) who all came her in the 1880’s. Obviously the next generation from the DRF emigrants. But they definately all came from Killult (right next to Falcarragh) and I have proven lineage of that family that still exists in those towns. Have to look at the connections now…. I will call soon. Cheers, Jock.

    • jockok says:

      Greetings Paul,
      You may recall a scattered & confused phone conversation I had with you a few years ago.

      It was entirely my fault that I did not find sensible, calm space to call you after having received your communication via the Coyle Clan (WordPress) website.

      I did take advantage of the available email address to contact you, directly & indirectly, but have not received any replies. Those messages may have accidentally gone to spam/trash inboxs?

      I am hoping to re-establish communications if I may and if you would wish to…

      At present – there are a number of keen Curran related persons looking to establish a clear line of connection. I have been contacted by persons descended from other Currans in the North-west Donegal townships.

      I’m not sure if you are interested in getting in contact with other persons (in Australia & also the USA who have also tested and appear to have DNA lineage connections to the Currans of the area.

      I think you may have suggested to me that the Currans may have been your wife’s lines and that the Ferrys were in your lines, or did I get that wrong. Regardless I attach interesting letter that portrays a strong link. It was given to my uncle, Brother Luke Coyle, when he was the first of his generation of the family to travel back to Donegal.

      My own line goes back to James Curran of Killult (Crossroads?). I have not ever established his parents’ details.
      I will be travelling in Ireland in 3-4 weeks time (between the 9th of September to the 27th) and I will be attaining to do as much research in our hometown areas of Donegal, as well as other areas but Irish mobs came from.

      I would dearly love to be in contact, and if I can offer any assistance back to you for any research or information, I would be most willing.
      Many thanks for reading this. I hope we are able to be in contact again.

      Jock O’Keefe
      0401 382 908

  2. Hi,
    I am doing research on my G Grandmother Elizabeth Mildred Curran. She was born in Sydney in 1885, and was an orphan to an unknown Curran. There are no birth records for her. Genetic genealogy has matched us to Curran’s from Donegal.
    Suzanne Branch
    Newcastle NSW

    • jockok says:

      Hi Suzanne,
      I can tell you only a little more about the members of the Curran family – at least the bits that I know.
      My own great grandmother was Bridget Curran, born of James & Sarah Brogan, of Killult in Donegal.
      She arrived here as an assisted passage .It seems like her sponsor was Edward Curran ( as an uncle? – yet to be established).
      If you have a membership to Ancestry – you can probably see most of what I have in my tree.
      Look up Dennis Coyle – Born 1860 Ards beg, Donegal – Died 1911- Rozelle Sydney & follow the links to see what Currans (may or not be correct) are listed there.

  3. Colleen Coyle Danstrom says:

    My gg grandfather was Hugh Coyle, born about 1830. He immigrated to Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe), PA about 1850, from Donegal. A family naturalization petition tells me that my Coyles came from Falcarragh. I submitted my father’s DNA to FamilyTreeDNA and have made many cousin connections in and around the Falcarragh/Gortahork neighborhood. Have the Australian Coyles considered DNA testing so they might connect with Coyle cousins in the U.S.? DNA has been a godsend to Coyle descendants, like me, whose ancestors left Ireland during the famine years, when records were sparse to nonexistent.

    Thank you for reading my letter and for preserving and passing on Coyle history. You website, The Coyle Clan, is a treasure!

    Every best wish,
    Colleen Coyle Danstrom

    • jockok says:

      Hi Colleen,
      Thank you so much for your letter/comment…
      It means a great deal that you have contacted from Chicago & offered very positive & encouraging words.
      I have never been able to structure this WordPress site in a way that I would truly like it to be, so thanks for appreciating it, as it is.

      Have you ever found a Hugh Coyle descendant line in Falcarragh?
      One of my small joys was finding the remaining family (after my GGrandfather, Dennis Coyle, had left for Australia in 1880) of ‘my’ Hugh Coyle [GGGrandfather] and his sons,
      still in Ards Beg in the 1901 & the 1911 census. Ards Beg is just up the road (NWest) from Gortahork/Killult & Falcarragh.
      My GGrandmother was a Curran from Killult and in her sisters line there was a daughter who married another Coyle from the area & the McGeadys (descended) live on in Falcarragh!

      And yes, we are currently doing DNA thru Ancestry to draw in the various connections. We will have my sisters results very soon to further the Coyle & Curran family from that area.
      I would love to exchange any info & photos or other material.
      It is fantastic to have such a bond – over the sea.

      Soon – I will be publishing much more of the collected stories (the WordPress material is about 2-3 yeare old now) – I’ll let you know about it.
      My self & my sister are also planning a trip to Donegal – to the ancestral towns – at the end of the year. I’m excited about that, obviously.

      Again, thanks for the kind letter…
      I see plenty of readers/viewers from our ‘cousins’ in the USA but nobody has ever bothered to contact.
      All our very best – from ‘Down Under’
      Jock O’Keefe AKA James Coyle

      • Colleen Coyle Danstrom says:

        Hi Jock,
        So good to hear back from “Down Under”! And very exciting to know that you will soon be publishing more collected stories. I will be watching and waiting. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos or info to share. My Hugh Coyle left Donegal about 1850 and left nothing behind for me but a few church records in Pennsylvania.

        I’m thrilled that your sister has submitted DNA to ancestry. I am working with another Donegal native whose grandmother was born on Inishbofin Island, off the coast of Falcarragh. She travels to Donegal regularly and is thinking about testing some of the natives. Then the rest of us Donegal descendants might compare and make a match. DNA is a whole new trail to follow!

        Did your sister get her DNA results back yet. Can you tell me her initials and user (administrator) name on Ancestry? I will watch to see if she matches with me as a cousin.

        When will you be traveling to Donegal? I met a Gallagher cousin online, and he will be there in September.

        Thank you for your kind and gracious letter. I am also happy to make a cousin connection over the sea.

        Coyle Power!

  4. valerielacey says:

    Hello to Jock and the rest of you!! I would like to join in the compliment on your family website! You did a wonderful job of weaving the story and adding so many photos. I eagerly look forward to your additional postings.

    I stumbled on this while researching and am so glad I did! I am a descendant of Coyle, Curran and Doohan. They all just kept marrying each other; it gets awfully confusing trying to keep it all straight, doesn’t it? 🙂

    I live in the US (New York). I am the daughter of Gerard Lacey (1926-2001), son of Grace Doohan (1894-1973), daughter of Grace Curran (1866-?) and James Doohan (1841-1918).

    James Doohan was the son of Shane Doohan (1815-1892) and Margaret Coyle (1820-?).

    Grace Curran was the dau. of Edward Curran (1837-1907) and Mary Doohan (1840-bef 1901). A rather disturbing fact I learned just last week is that my Great Grandfather (the above-mentioned James Doohan) and my Great Grandmother (the above Grace Curran) were uncle and niece to each other. Grace was the daughter of James’ sister, Mary. Their ages at marriage were 41 and 16. Eeek!!! And, so it goes…

    Mary Doohan was the daughter of Shane Doohan and Margaret Coyle (as explained above through her brother James’ parentage). Margaret Coyle was the daughter of Owen Coyle (?-?) and ??. I do not know the i.d. of Shane’s parents yet.

    Edward Curran was the son of Edward Curran (1798-1868) and Mary Curran (?-?).

    All are from Meenaclady. I have been working on an extensive one-place study, learning much about the area, and I know that our families all covered the same little area of townslands, but I don’t know where we are connected exactly. Too many repeat names!

    I have been researching for many years and have also done DNA testing through Ancestry. I have uploaded to both GEDmatch and to FT DNA, making connections with a number of relations in Ireland and the US. I have yet to connect with anyone in Australia, though, so I’m looking forward to your family members’ test results, also. Through some of the surnames on my matches, I’m seeing a lot of Brogans, which I don’t otherwise have in my tree at all, so we’ll have to figure that out. My Ancestry DNA Kit # is A153990. My name on all of the DNA sites is as you see it, Valerie Lacey. I have an Ancestry tree also. It’s Lacey Family Tree and my user name is likeaduck, so you should be able to find me easily.

    Can’t wait to share more with all of you!!! Thanks for doing this!
    Warm regards, family,
    Valerie Lacey
    Warwick, New York, USA

    • jockok says:

      Hi Valerie,
      Thank you so much for your kind words & sharing your story & information. I will send a more complete reply to you in the next few days.

      I have only just discovered newly added features to WordPress that make it more workable & have promised to update & further the research findings of the last 2-3 years. As well as being able to complete other small snippets, as we go along.

      The DNA connections are proving fascinating as I have already firmly connected (to USA cousins) on the our Currans side & my Clynes (from Co. Leitrim) on my GGrandmother’s side. I have hoped to solve our Doohan/Duggans on my GGGmothers line. All I have is Margery! Meenaclady is so close to Ards Beg & Meenlaragh that there may be a link.

      I will have a check of the DNA connections on that – thank you.

      And again, thank you for your kind words. I hope that our story read well to be carried on….
      Kind Regards,
      Jock > from Mary Coyle > John Francis Coyle > Denis Coyle (imigrant to Australia) > Hugh Coyle + Margery Duggan(?) of Ards Beg

      • jockok says:

        Another WordPress glitch. Carefully separated sentences & paragraphs just get collided in a large block of text. ………… Sorry, Readers!
        ……. (an edit problem to overcome!)

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