I've been looking around over on the PRONI website and found wills for Thomas and Mary Durnan. They were from around Crummer, County Fermanagh. Not sure if this is where our Durnians came from or not. I've heard County Armagh, but there's not a lot of Durnians there. County Fermanagh is where the stronghold of Durnians seem to be.
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Notice how hers is spelled DURNIAN, although in her husband's will, it's DURNAN. Her maiden name is Munday. The only problem with this being Stephen and Charles's parents is that in this will, they seem to have a son that is not quite 21. That would mean the boy would have been born circa 1870 - almost 40 years after Stephen. Even if Mary was 15 when she had Stephen, she would have been in her fifties when this last son was born. Unless there's something here that I'm missing - I mean, they could have adopted a child from one of their kids who died?
I think everyone agrees that Stephen and Charles's father was Thomas. Our family has the mother as Kary - but Stephen's twins were Margaret and Mary - Margaret being Bridget's mother's name. I have searched the Will calendars on the PRONI website and could come up with no better match for our family. I know our family came from Northern Ireland, and not one of the southern counties because what Stephen and Bridget's children put on their census records. When asked where their parents come from - they put Northern Ireland for Stephen and the Republic of Ireland or Free Irish State as where their mother came from. Thre greatest concentration of Durnian - Durnin - Durnans that I can find is County Fermanagh.
Also of note here is that there was a brother to this Thomas Durnan named Peter, who was a school teacher.
Letters of Administration of the personal estate of Peter Durnan late of Crummer County Fermanagh School Teacher deceased who died 2 October 1880 at same place were granted at Armagh to Thomas Durnan of Crummer Farmer the Brother of said deceased.
There is no image for his will, but the details say that his brother was this Thomas. When it says it was granted at Armagh, it means that Armagh was the "county seat" if you will - of that district of counties. All legal beagle stuff would be filed and stored in Armagh - kind of like district courts are here in America.
On another note - there's this guy name Craig Fullerton who has Durnan family in Australia. I had seen the page before and even tried contacting the guy - but never heard back from him. Aunt Martha Slagle also found the page - and she says that she remembers her father Leo telling her that the Durnans in Ireland were rebels and that some of them had been sent to Australia. If you look at some of the photos of these Durnans who are in Australia, it's hard not to see a resemblance. Not sure how they're related, but I believe we are related to them. The page on the internet can be found here: http://www.craig-fullerton.com/744.html
I also was in contact with a Marian Bascombe from over Scotland way. I found her on Ancestry when I was a member there and she too has Durnan roots tracing back to this time in County Fermanagh. I wrote to her about a possible family connection. Here is the message I received from her:
Like you I have had great difficulty in tracing my paternal side of the family who were Irish even though Durnan is an unuasal name. My maiden name was Marian Durnan and when I lived in Glasgow, Scotlad as a child all the Durnan's in the phone book were related to me. My Father always said he asked his father why he called him Hugh after his grandfather and he said it was better than being called Farrel or Lanty which were other family names. I am sure they came from Fernamagh as my Aunt who just died this year at 97 had some documentation to confirm this. I have tried to trace church birth records in Ireland but have come up with nothing. My great gradmother Mary Brady came from County Meath which was next to Fermaagh but I have not had any more sucess in tracing her ancestry. I am sure there must have been other brothers and sisters so it could be possible there is a connection especially as Durnan is not a comman name. My Durnan family were Catholic, if your Stephen was catholic this might be another possible connection. If I can find any more information I will let you know. Thank you once again for contacting me.
Marian Bascombe (nee Durnan)
I will upload a photo of her Hugh Durnan below. It's hard to not see a very strong Durnan resemblance to our Durnans in this man. I will invite Marian over to this website as well because I do believe that when we solve our mystery - that hers will be solved as well.
Anne Voegtlin's grandfather Bill definately went to Ireland when he was in the service. Grandpa Leo Durnan wrote this down. I understand that Anne's uncle has also been there and I would love to hear about it and learn more about the family in Ireland.
Talk about the Durnans in Ireland and the early years in the New World.
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