Tehan or Fehine

Cuteness alert!In my last post, Removing the Irish Bricks, Ever so Slowly, I shared that my 3rd great-grandmother’s name has been indexed two different ways. What I want to know is her name Ellen Fehine or Helen Tehan?

As I followed the Fehine name, it seems that it is clearly spelled phonetically on each record. The variations I have found so far are:

  • Feehane
  • Fehine
  • Feheen
  • Fehan

Just a handful to search for! That’s ok. What I found was amazing! At least I think its amazing!

I found five children born from 1840 – 1854 to Denis Connell and Ellen Fehine (using the many name variations). All from Dromtariffe, County Cork, Ireland. What can be better than more possible children?

Wait for it….the index for a marriage record as well. That’s right, the marriage of Denis Connell to Ellen Fehine of Dromalour, Dromtariffe, County Cork, Ireland! The marriage date is given as 25 Feb 1840. Six months after the marriage, Denis and Ellen give birth to their first child, Ann Connell in Dromalour, Dromtariffe, County Cork, Ireland.

The rest of the children seem to be born sporadically (these townlands are in Dromtariffe as well).

  • John Connell born 15 Aug 1841 in Dromalour
  • Michael Connell born 12 Nov 1843 in Paill
  • Ellen Connell born 30 Sep 1849 in Fairyhill
  • Johanna Connell born 13 Aug 1854 in Garraveasoig

Then there is the birth of one more child, except the original record I have on his states that his mother was Helen Tehan (yet other indexes have it as Ellen Fehine).

  • John Connell born 27 Dec 1857 in Garraveasoig

This is the most important birth, because without it I would not be writing this today.

I have many questions in regards to this family, for example there are two Johns, what happened to the first John? Are they all one family? By looking at the places they were when Johanna was born, one would think that the possibility is very high that the John (b. 1857) is indeed of the same family.

I put some of this information up on the Cork Genealogy Facebook page hoping for some assistance. Ok, maybe it was a plea for someone to go and pull the records from the Roman Catholic Church.

Make sure to come back and see what happens next!



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    1. Kevin,

      Thanks for commenting. That is exactly my thought with the oldest John. I hope to find some evidence that will prove this theory for me. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, especially since you are on the ground in Ireland, your insight is greatly appreciated.

  1. This is a cluster of exciting finds! You weren’t daunted by all the spellings of “Fehine,” which was the “truest” name, because it was on the marriage certificate. I can see how some record-keeper would hear “Fehine” as “Tehan” — the same kind of thing often happened in my family.

    Your finding a second “John Connell” reminds me of a comment event in my family. A baby would die in the first year or two (sometimes with the death not even recorded) and a few children later the name would appear again. The fact that one child was named “Johanna” signals to me that Dennis and Ellen were hoping for another boy they could name “John.” Maybe that’s a clue to one of their parents’ given names!

    Very exciting to read about!

    1. Mariann,

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, at this point nothing will surprise me on this line. It has been one problem then another. As for the there being two John Connell’s I figured the older one could have died younger, or with the Irish it could just be the naming pattern and it was time to name the child John again. I have seen that a lot with others that have researched their Irish. I am very thankful for all the Irish Genealogy Meetings I have been attending over the past few years. Slowly but surely, things begin to seep into the brain. I will need to look over all of my notes from the meetings to see what else I can start looking at.

  2. Terri, I saw you mention that on genchat the other night, and I wondered then how the two surnames could have been confused. I didn’t think they would sound alike–not even if I put my best Irish accent on it!

    However, I suppose if the old-style way of writing “n” or “m” were employed–you know, that droopy style that makes everything look like a series of the letter “u”–then maybe, coupled with an indistinct capital “T” versus “F” your result would be the name swap? Okay, work with me on this…

    Glad you were able to find those records. It’s nice to solve these family mysteries.

    1. Thanks, Jacqi! I think they sound close enough, but I agree depending on the way it is written it is possible to make the mess up.
      As for solving the mysteries, I will be so happy to be done with this one (some day). I would like to get a few more generations on the line, but from what I have read this is very possibly the end of the line for me. Here is hoping that I can get a bit more.

      Thanks Jacqi for reading and commenting, I appreciate it.

  3. Teri…I have an old friend that I used to fly with and her last name is Fehling. She is on my Facebook friend list if you can see it. Have you come across that variation? I think she was from NY.

    1. Lisa,
      Fehling is not a variation I have found, yet. I do have about 5-6 different variations I am following at the moment. I will keep that in mind if I come across this variation. Thanks!

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