Catherine Kirby was born in about 1770 of Bruff, County Limerick, Ireland. Her birth pre-dates the parish register. She married Thomas Allen 23 November 1791 in Bruff. Witnesses at the wedding were Edmond Kirby and Daniel Kirby, possibly Catherine's brothers or a father.

Catherine and Thomas had the following children:

*1. Ellen, born in about 1800 in Bruff; married Thomas Hickey 26 August 1823 in Bruff; died in 1889 in Lough Gur. Ellen and Thomas Hickey lived in Lough Gur, about four miles away.

2. Bridget, christened 13 April 1810 in Bruff. Sponsors: James Kirby, Margaret Kirby. James may be another brother.

3. Jane, christened 4 February 1813 in Bruff. Sponsors: Charles McCarthy and Ellen Kirby.

4. David, christened 10 January 1816 in Bruff. Sponsors: Maurice Slattery and Mary Daniher.

5. Patrick, christened 26 April 1820 in Bruff. Sponsors: James O'Donnell, Mary Allen.

These Kirbys were found in the early Bruff parish registers up to 1820:

(Bruff parish register,;

The Tithe Applotment was a listing of leaseholders taken in 1833 in Bruff. Two Kirbys are recorded in Bruff in the townland of Ballyreesode:

Daniel Kirby Tithe Applotment

Tithe Applotment, Bruff, for Daniel Kirby, 1833

        Kirby, Tithe Applotmen

Tithe Applotment, Bruff, for David Kirby, 1833

Ballyreesode Griffiths

Griffiths Valuation for Ballyreesode townland, Bruff parish, 1851

Both Daniel and David Kirby are listed in Griffiths Valuation, taken in Bruff in 1851. Both are in the townland of Ballyreesode.

        map Balllyreesode

Ordinance Survey map for Ballyreesode, created in preparation for Griffiths Valuation, 1851
David leased Lot 4, and Daniel was in Lot 2d.

OS map

David Kirby was listed in Griffiths in Lot 2d, the long building of adjoining
cottages labelled c to l.

The Ordinance Survey maps are detailed enough to show individual buildings on the property. Daniel Kirby was in Lot 2d. There is a long building on the map, labelled c to l, and may be a row of adjoining cottages along the road. Daniel must not be farming at this point, and may be elderly. If he was Catherine's brother, then he would have been born in about 1770, and be about eighty years old at the time of Griffiths Valuation.

There are Kirby gravestones in the St. Molon cemetery in Tullabracky townland in Bruff, about a mile from Ballyreesode.

              Kerby grave

Daniel and Anne Kerby gravestone, St. Molon

There is a monumental inscription for Daniel Kerby and his wife Anne O'Donnell. Daniel was born in 1749 of Camas, an adjoining townland to Ballyreesode. He died in 1813. Anne was born in 1745 of old Clarina. She died in 1823. Daniel and Ann were of an age to be Catherine Kirby's parents.

Here lieth the remains
of Daniel Kerby of
Camass who depd life
July 29 1813 aged 64 yrs
also his wife anne Kerby
alias O Donnell of old
Clarina depd January
22 1823 aged 78

(St. Molon Cemetery, Tullabracky, Bruff)

Daniel and Anne Kerby's grave is number 84. No monumental inscription has been recorded for number 83, but number 85 is the grave of John Kirby, and his two daughters, Mary and Bridget Kirby. The proximity of the gravestones makes it quite likely that they were also family. John was born in 1792, and died 2 November 1857.

Erected By
Mrs Kirby of Baggottstown
in memory of her beloved
Husband John Kirby
who departed this life on
the 2nd of November 1857
aged 65 years also in
memory of her two daughters Mary and
Bridget Kirby
May They Rest In Peace

St Molon cemetery

   Map of St. Molon Cemetery in Tallabracky townland, Bruff parish. Daniel Kerby and Anne O'Donnell are buried in #84.


Ballyreesode townland, Bruff parish, County Limerick

In the parish of Tullabrackey, about a mile from Ballyreesode, there are Kirby, Allen, O'Donnell, and Slattery families found living next to each other in the Tithe Applotment of 1833.

Tullabrackey Tithe Applotment

Tithe Applotment, Tullabrackey in 1833

The Tithe Applotment for Tullabrackey, Ballynanty townland in 1833 lists some familiar names. David Kirby, Patrick Kirby and James Kirby leased property here. Maurice Slattery was a sponsor for Catherine's son James in 1816. John and James Slattery leased property in the townland. James O'Donnell and Michael O'Donnell also leased property. And Catherine Allen leased just over three acres. Could this be our Catherine Kirby Allen? She would have been in her 60s, possibly a widow. The connections with the Kerbys and Slattery who were listed as sponsors for Catherine's children, and were near neighbors in Ballynanty makes it likely that this is our Catherine.

OS map Ballyneety

Ordinance Survey map, showing Ballyreesode townland, where Daniel Kirby lived, Ballynanty townland where Catherine Allen, David, Patrick and James Kirby lived,
along with the familiar names of O'Donnell and Slattery, Camas, where Daniel Kerby was born, and St. Molon Cemetery in Tullabracky,
where Daniel Kerby and Anne O'Donnell Kerby were buried.

            map Ballybane

Griffiths Valuation, Ballybane townland, Tullabracky parish, 1851

Catherine is found in Griffiths Valuation in 1851, in the townland of Ballybane with a small house and garden, but no land. She would be about 81 years old. She leased land from John O'Donnell. Near neighbors were Maurice Slattery, and Patrick Kirkby (Kirby).

A Tenure Book created in 1849 in preparation for Griffiths Valuation showed Catherine and some details of her lease.

Catherine Allen Griffiths

Tenure Book for Ballybane, 1849

Catherine is found in Lot 4e in Ballybane. She had a house and garden, and leased it from N.P. O'Gorman. She paid a rent of £4 per year. The details of her lease say "Will old take". A take was a lease. Perhaps she had inherited the leasehold by will. In the Observations column, there is a note "Including rent of garden in Ballynanty Lot 5". Patrick Kirby leased a house and garden in Lot 1d, also from N.P. O'Gorman. The details of his lease say "Very old take" or very old lease. Edmond Kirby had a house and garden in Lot 1k, but was lined out, presumably deceased. He paid no rent, but in the Observations column is a note "For giving up land". Slatterys and O'Donnells were still neighbors.

Catherine Allen House Book

House Book for Ballybane, 1849

Catherine is lined out in this entry, but appears in Griffiths Valuation in Ballybane two years later. The house was rated 3C which meant that it was a thatched house of stone walls with mud mortar, or mud walls of the best kind. The condition was old and out of repair. The house was 24.9 feet long by 17 feet wide by 6.3 feet tall. There were no other buildings on the property.

Catherine was in her 80s in Griffiths Valuation. It seems likely that she was also buried in St. Molons Cemetery, perhaps marked with a stone that is weathered and unreadable.



These Kirby families are found in the early Bruff records:

In the late 1700s:

Denis Kirby and Ellen Condon:

Maurice Kirby and Alice Shinnors

Philip Kirby and Catherine Gleeson

James Kirby and Bridget Fitzgerald:

Kirby and Margaret (or Mary) Shinnors

John Kirby and Alice Shinnors

Edmond Kirby
and Bridget Slattery:

There is a gap in the Bruff parish register between 1790 and 1808.

In the early 1800s:

Kerby - there are three consecutive marriages for Maurice Kerby. This may be one Maurice or two or even three. 

Kerby and Bridget:

Maurice Kerby and Ellen Irwin:

Maurice Kerby and Ellen Hurley:

Kerby - there are four marriages for David Kerby. There must be more than one David Kerby. One of these David Kerbys must be the one listed in the Tithe Applotment in Ballybane.

David Kerby and Mary London:

David Kerby married Margaret Carty in 1811.

David Kerby and Honora Slattery:

David Kerby and Mary Fitzpatrick:

Kerby married Mary Liffane in 1815. (James was a sponsor at Catherine's daughter Bridget's christening. This is likely the James Kerby listed near Catherine in the Tithe Applotment in Ballybane.)

John Kerby - there are two marriage for John, both to a Slattery. It is possible that they are the same woman. This is likely the John Kerby who is buried with Daniel and Anne Kerby.)

John Kerby married Ellen Slattery in 1815. This is likely the John Kirby who was buried in St. Molon Cemetery, right next to Daniel and Anne Kerby's grave. John was born in 1792, and had two daughters, Mary and Bridget, buried with him. He may be Catherine's brother.

John Kerby and Margaret Slattery (is this really Ellen Slattery? Margaret is listed as a sponsor. Perhaps the priest switched Ellen and Margaret's names):

Kerby married Anna Barry in 1815. This is likely the Patrick shown in the Tithe Applotment in Ballybane.

Kirby and Mary Slattery: (Edmond was a witness at Catherine Kirby's wedding)

Kirby and Margaret Keeiffe:


This family group is speculative, based on the christening, marriage, and land records, along with monumental inscriptions.

Daniel Kerby was born in 1749 of Camas, Limerick, Ireland. He married Anne O'Donnell of "old Clarina". Anne was born in 1745. Daniel died 29 July 1813 and was buried in St. Molon Cemetery, Tullabracky. Anne died 22 January 1823 and was buried with Daniel in St. Molon Cemetery.

Daniel and Anne had the following children:

*1. Catherine, born in about 1770; married Thomas Allen 23 November 1791 in Bruff; listed in 1833 in Ballynanty, Tullabrackey parish in 1833, likely widowed at this time; listed in Ballybane, Tullabrackey parish in 1849 and 1851.

2. Edmond, married Mary Slattery; witness at Catherine's wedding; listed in Ballybane in 1849, but lined out; occupation - laborer; died 12 January 1874 in Bruff, age 80; residence at time of death - Ballyresode.

3. John, christened 9 February 1784 in Bruff.

4. Ellen, christened 21 January 1786 in Bruff.

5. James, married Mary Liffane in 1815 in Bruff; sponsor at Catherine's daughter Bridget's christening; listed in Ballynanty in 1833.

6. Patrick, married Anna Barry in 1815; listed in Ballynanty in 1833; listed in Ballybane in 1849 and 1851.

7. David, christened 16 November 1787 in Bruff; listed in Ballynanty in 1833.

8. Daniel, christened 2 September 1790 in Bruff; married Margaret Keeiffe; listed in Ballyreesode, Bruff parish in 1833; listed in Ballyreesode  in 1851; occupation - land surveyor; died 29 February 1864 in Bruff of bronchitis, age 74; residence at time of death - Camas.

9. John, born in 1792; married Ellen Slattery in 1815; died 2 November 1857; buried in St. Molon Cemetery, Tullabrackey.

"The surname Kirby comes from the Gaelic-Irish O Ciarmhaic, which was anglicized as Kerwick. The Irish name was later corrupted to O Cearba, which was Anglicized as Kirby. The surname Kirby was first found in Knockany in County Limerick located in Southwestern Ireland, in the province of Munster, where members of the family were chiefs of the Eoghanacht Clan of Munster. The family were descendents of Eoghan, son of King Oilioll Olum."

SOURCES: Bruff parish register, and; Tithe Applotment, Bruff; Tithe Applotment, Tullabracky; Griffiths Valuation, Bruff; St. Molon cemetery monumental inscriptions,; death record,