Thursday, October 6, 2016

One More Clue

After the passing of Philip Danehy of Fort Wayne, Indiana, the day after Christmas in 1885, there was yet another gift embedded in his last will and testament: the naming of his executor.

Unlike what I've noticed in other wills, this gentleman, after insuring that each of his children were provided for, chose someone outside his familyat least, I presume that is soto see to it that his intentions were accomplished according to his plan. Not only that, but Philip Danehy's selection for executor was someone residing outside the country.

     Item 7". It is my will and I hereby Nominate & appoint Rev. A. Morrissy Parish Priest, Banteir County, Cork Ireland. My Executor of this my last Will and Testament and in the event that he should die before me then & in that case, I hereby nominate & appoint my oldest Son Jeremiah Denehey my executor of this my alst last Will & Testament
     I do hereby revoke all former wills by me made.
In Testimont hereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this 2nd. day of March A. D. 1885.      Philip Denehey

Perhaps it was this last item that caused the fifteen year delay in completion of these final arrangements, for the process of probate lasted until March 8, 1901, for what seemed to be a fairly straightforward legal process.

Then, too, the accomplishment of locating the actual parish of this priestpresumably Catholic, as was the Danehy familymay have been somewhat muddled by the clerk of the Allen County Circuit Court, who listed the priest's residence as in "Banteir County." Hopefully, someone set the record straight that the location in Ireland would be in County Cork. One more detail: the reference to "Banteir" likely meant the village of Banteer, in northern County Cork, near the town of Mallow.

But would Banteer refer to the civil locationin that case, in the parish of Clonmeenor to the Catholic parish of that name within the diocese of Cloyne?

And more to the point: if I looked online for church records in that areawhichever one the designation meantwould I find any signs of Philip Denehy's family, especially his son Jeremiah? Or even a signature of the parish priest in the course of his duties?

Suddenly, after all this searching, I'm handed a gift of door to door delivery, bringing me from the courthouse in Fort Wayne to the records of an immigrant's home back in County Cork, Irelandall because an aging man couldn't bring himself to select an executor for his will who resided in his newly-adopted hometown.

Above: Item 7 of the March 2, 1885, will of Philip Denehy, filed in the Record of Wills, volume 11, page 38, at the Allen County Circuit Court in Indiana; image courtesy



  1. It does make you wonder why he followed tradition of passing off to the oldest son over convenience and practicality.

    1. Part of me started to wonder whether, by the time the probate was settled, that oldest son might have moved to Fort Wayne out of necessity.

  2. Truly odd. Perhaps all his money was in Ireland?

    1. Perhaps. Although I thought the reason all those Irish immigrants came to America was because they didn't have any money in Ireland ;)

  3. I wonder was the Priest a relative or just a trusted friend:)

    1. You and I are thinking alike, Far Side. I was wondering about that priest, too...


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