Mary Delaney was born around 1821, most likely in County Wexford in Ireland. At this point I cannot find her birth record, though I have eliminated a number of possibilities. She cannot be the daughter of Edward Delany and Mary Holden of Kildare and Wicklow as that Mary Delany married a man named McDonald. She cannot be the daughter of Edward Delaney and Catherine Cahill of Lisdowney as that Mary Delany married a man named Lally. She is possibly the Mary Delany born 1817 in Ferns diocese to Thomas Delany and Mary Furlong.1
Sometime before 1838, Mary married James Whelan and they settled in Oldcourt in Adamstown, New Ross, Wexford. If they married in 1837, he would have been 25 and she was just 21 (if born in 1817), so it is unlikely they married much before then. In the Griffiths Valuation2 of 1853, James was living right next door to John Delaney (both leasing 25 acres), so John is perhaps a relative of Mary’s. Perhaps she was living with relatives at that time,
In 1838, James and Mary had their first child named Thomas. This Thomas lived only 8 years. This resulted in their third son born in 1847 being named Thomas. However, he lived only three years. In 1853, they had another son that they named Thomas. This Thomas lived and carried on the farming in Olcourt until he died in 1913.
In 1840 they had a daughter Mary. She married William Furlong in 1873 and lived in Assaagart, in Wexford until she died in 1899.
In 1842 a son Edward was born. He married Bridget Barron in 1882 and lived in Brocurrow, Adamstown, Wexford until he passed in 1910.
In 1845 a daughter Kate was born. It is likely that she died before 1865 when they had a girl named Catherine Maria Theresa.
A son Dennis was born in 1850, I have been unable to locate a marriage or death record after civil records began in 1865; therefore, it is possible that he died between 1861 (when the second James was born) and 1865.
In 1856, a son James was born. He lived only 10 months. In 1861 another son was born that was named James (see his story below).
Their daughter Bridget was born in 1857 (see Bridget’s story here).
James and Mary continued to live on the farm at Olcourt. After James died in 1887, Mary lived another year on the farm before she too passed. Mary died on 7 May 1888 from enlargement of the liver and jaundice that had lasted four months.
After Mary died, her youngest son, James (Bridget’s younger brother), served as a musician in the British Navy from November 1889 to July 1916. He was 5’9” tall with light brown hair, hazel eyes and a fair complexion. This is perhaps the same James Whelan of the New Ross brass band who was one of 12 men prosecuted for playing music past the protestant church services (not the first time). When it got to court, more than 50 members of the New Ross band and the St. Mary’s brass band attended. The bench considered that they should be fined a shilling and a pence. There was laughter in the courthouse and the band members left without paying the fine4. Young James had also been a member of the Wexford Society Catholic Young Men’s Debating Club until he left town around December 18885, perhaps on his way to join the Navy at that time.
1Baptisms (NCR) Ireland, Kilmore, Ferns, Wexford. 28 December 1817. DELANY, Mary. https://www.ancestry.ca : accessed 21 February 2021.
2Griffiths, Richard. (1853) Griffith’s Valuation 1847-1864. Oldcourt, Adamstown, Wexford, Ireland. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed August 2019.
3Deaths (CR) Ireland. Carrigbyrne, New Ross, Wexford. 7 May 1888. DELANEY, Mary. https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/deaths_returns/deaths_1888/06174/4764925.pdf : accessed September 2019.
4The People (1888). Prosecution of the New Ross Brass Band. The People (Wexford). 19 September 1888. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.
5The People (1888). Wexford Catholic Young Men’s Society Debating Club. The People (Wexford) 8 December 1888. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed September 2019.