Sunday, January 27, 2013

Daniel Duggan 1855 - 1963

Daniel Duggan and Ellen Buckley around 1907
Children are Anthony Duggan and either Connie Singleton or Nan Cahill
The dog was named Rock
Daniel Duggan is my paternal great-great grandfather. He is the father of Cornelius Timothy Duggan and the grandfather of Elizabeth M Duggan. I have grown up hearing tales of Daniel Duggan and his adventures. From what I know, he seemed like quite the rouge and a really interesting guy.

Daniel was born in Banteer, County Cork on September 29, 1855. His parents were Daniel Duggan and Mary Ellen O’Hanlon. According to information from relatives, the family owned a small forge and a farm. His father died when Daniel was only 13, leaving Mary Ellen to raise three young sons. Daniel, who was the oldest; followed by Con, who ran the family forge. The youngest brother was Nicholas, who died around the age of 15.

Daniel Duggan married Ellen Buckley in the parish of Clonmeen on August 25, 1878. It seems like this might have been a controversial pairing, because I find the baptismal record for their first child as early as 1875. In addition, family stories indicate that as soon as Daniel and Ellen were married, Daniel’s mother threw him out of the family home and never spoke to him again.

Daniel Duggan went to work for his father-in-law, Con Buckley, also known as Papa Clonmeen. It was at this time that Daniel earned the nickname Boss Duggan, or The Boss. It was also at this time that Daniel got into some serious trouble.

Like his son would be, Daniel was a very talented trainer of animals. I have even heard him described as a horse-whisperer. Daniel was also very fond of poaching, which was very illegal in Ireland. According to family lore, he had an Irish water spaniel named Drake who he had trained to catch salmon as they went over the shallows in the Blackwater River. Unfortunately, Daniel was caught poaching on the lands of a Magistrate by the name of Grehan, who lived on the estate at Clonmeen House.

Clonmeen House
At this time one of the consequences for poaching was forced transportation to Australia. According to relatives, Daniel was not willing to accept the punishment. He is said to have stated, "It would be like going to law with the Devil when the court was in Hell." Instead of accepting his sentence, Daniel decided to move his entire family to the town of Mallow (only about 20 miles). However, before he left, he made sure to go back and get his dog.

There is a very cool poem written by Margaret O’Brien, one of Daniel’s grandchildren. It details his capture and escape during the poaching incident. It’s interesting looking at the picture of Daniel with his family and his dog above, the dog does not appear to be an Irish water spaniel. Although I am not the expert my grandparents were, I would guess that the dog in the photo is an early Irish setter. Of course, the back of the photo indicates that the pictured dog was named Rock, so it is possible Daniel owned and trained many types of hunting dogs during his life.

About half of Daniel and Ellen’s children were born in Mallow, including my great grandfather Cornelius Timothy. According to information given to me by relatives and additional records, Daniel had at least 12 children.

- Ellen Duggan b. 1875
- Christina Duggan b. 1879
- Hannah Duggan b. 1880
- Honora Duggan b. 1880
- Daniel Duggan b. 1884
- Cornelius Timothy Duggan - 1885 – 1943

- Molly Duggan b. abt. 1889
- Judy Duggan b. 1891
- Kathleen Duggan b. 1893
- Esther M. Duggan b. 1894
- Anthony Duggan b. 1899
- Maeve Duggan b. abt. 1900

Top row, left to right - Dan Duggan, Hannah Duggan, Kathleen Duggan, Molly Duggan, Cornelius Timothy Duggan
Middle row, left to right - Jesse Reese, Lily ?, Daniel Duggam, Ellen Buckley, Christin Duggan, Judy Duggan
Bottom row- Rock (the dog) and Anthony Duggan

From Mallow, the family moved to Cork City in 1884. They lived on a 15 acre patch of land in a suburb called Gurranabraher, which was owned by the local distillery. Daniel worked as a smith for the distillery. The second half of the family was born at this location. In 1911, the family moved to the suburb of Blackpool.

Daniel and Ellen lived in the house in Blackpool in Cork City for the remainder of their lives. Ellen seems to have passed first, but I don’t have the exact date. Daniel was the last Duggan to live in this house. He died in 1963.

Daniel Duggan seemed like such an interesting person, and certainly someone I wish I knew. As of now, the story of his poaching incident is just family lore. Certainly salmon poaching was a problem in Ireland both then and now, however I would love to have some sort of record to back up the legend. Until then, I look foreword to the time when my family and I can visit Ireland and walk in the footsteps of our ancestors. Especially Daniel Duggan, potentially one of the more mischievous members of the Daley Clan of yore.


  1. My grandfather was Anthony Duggan , the youngest in the photograph

    1. Hi Duggan Cousin,
      Thanks for stopping by. There is a large network of connected Duggans, Cahills, Cotters, and many more from Ireland, to Mass, to California. They have a lot of information about the family. If you are interested in more just let me know. I haven't added to the blog in awhile, but I have made some progress in research over the last few months. I hope to be posting again soon.

  2. My grandmother was Kathleen Duggan

  3. Hi Cousin!
    I'm one of Anthony Nicholas Duggan's grandchildren. Very impressed & I can help you with a few details.
    The little girl in the picture is Connie. Nan Cahill (Mrs Margaret O'Brien) was a few years older than Anthony who was her uncle.
    Daniel Duggan died during a sunday mass in 1930, I know this because Anthony had to postpone his wedding until after Lent as his father had died just before & you couldn't get married during lent back then.
    The Daniel Duggan who died at the Beeches in 1963 was his son who had returned from America when Judy, (who had been Ellen's carer) died of an asthma attack. Ellen died around 1948 (it was the only 1/2 day my mother ever took from school, spoiling her unbroken attendance record).
    Hope this is of use to you, I've enjoyed reading about your history!
    My mum (Anthony's daughter) is full of stories so do get in touch if you do visit.
    Best wishes,

    1. Hi Deirdre,
      Thanks for confirming my grandmother Connie is the baby in the picture. She is in 1911 census in the house with her aunt Ellen. I have not seen any other pictures of her until 1960s and 1970s.
      From can confirm Daniel Duggan died on February 18th 1930 and Anthony Duggan was married on April 26th 1930. My uncle mentioned he knew for grandfather and that my grandfather, Roger worked at distillery in Blackpool together.
      All the best,.