Sunday, June 30, 2013

Am I a Collins?

I was going through some photos and I found one that immediately sparked my interest. It was from my grandparents' trip to County Cork Ireland (Schull, to be exact) where my Grampy always said we hailed from. I have never found any evidence of this, but I trust him. He knew his family history although he regrettably never spoke with me at length about it.

Back to the photo I found. It's of a woman that I had heard about before, Catherine Collins. Supposedly she was related to my Grampy. This Collins name, according to my Grampy, is a family name. In my research I have looked for this name but have never found it. I didn't know how we were supposed to be related to Catherine Collins or whom the name belonged to. Which brings me to the photo, and more importantly the caption my Nana wrote on the back...

The caption on the back of the photo reads:
Catherine Collins
Skul (sic) C. Cork
Don's relative -
on (Grandfather's Driscoll) (Mothers Collins) side

At first I thought that this meant my Grampy's grandmother's name was Collins, but no. Her name was Mary J Ennis. I know this for a fact. However, my Grampy's grandfather William H Driscoll's mother Helena, married to Timothy Driscoll, has no last name. The only place I've seen her name is on her son's marriage record.

I looked on Family Search, and there is an Ellen (Close enough?) Collins married to a Timothy Driscoll in Cork Ireland, and they did have a son named William. Their son was born on 27 Aug 1870. My 2nd great-grandfather's birthday according to his naturalization record is 25 Nov 1870, and it also states that he was born in County Clare. Then again, almost every single document I have for William lists a different birth year.

Then there is a marriage record from, which says that a Timothy Driscoll married an Ellen Collins in Schull, Cork County Ireland in 1869, which is the right time frame. I searched and could not find a baptism record for William born to Timothy and Ellen.

So what I have is a lead, a good lead. I don't have proof yet, but I do believe my Grampy that Collins was in fact a family name. I will keep searching!


  1. Timothy Driscoll and spouse Helena Driscoll Collins
    child Mary Bridget Driscoll
    birth date: 01 Feb 1877
    birthplace: Clonakilty, Cork, Ireland

    Timothy Driscoll and spouse Helena Collins Driscoll
    child Cornelious Joseph Driscoll
    birth date: 16 Aug 1878
    birthplace: Cork, Ireland

    I've always thought this was a match as well. However, I was told that Helena's last name was Shaw. I think I've been barking up the wrong tree. Collins does seem to fit better, especially with the information from the photo you have!

  2. It does make sense. My Grampy knew some about his genealogy but unfortunately never spoke much about it with me. I'm not sure he knew much more than I've found out on my own though, besides possibly the Collins connection. I'm gonna be looking into this when I subscribe to Ancestry again.