Our Origins - the Family Histories of Craig Fullerton and Celine Amoyal
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Unknown Durnan
Patrick Durnan **
(ca. 1802-1875)
Anne Magrath **
(ca. 1811-1883)
Owen Durnan
(1844-After 1911)


Family Links

1. Mary Rehill

Owen Durnan

  • Born: 1844, Fermanagh, Ireland
  • Christened: 23 Aug 1844, Kinawley, , Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
  • Marriage (1): Mary Rehill 2Q 1895 in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
  • Died: After Apr 1911

bullet   Another name for Owen was Owen Durnien.


bullet  General Notes:

His christening record lists his surname as DURNIAN. Witnesses were Thomas Drum and Mary Drum.

The 1901 Census records him as aged 46 and living on the home farm with his wife Mary aged 32 and no one else. The farm of 20-30 acres was in Crummer. Philip E Leonard, as a creamery worker in 1937-1940 near Crummer, recalls the name Owen Durnan as one of the suppliers whose milk came in on a "van" or long cart which collected and delivered the farmers supplies daily. Owen would then have been in his 80's. After he died his wife, Mary, returned to her family home in the next townland to live out her days with one (possibly 2) spinster sister(s) and an unmarried brother. The Durnan farm was purchased by a neighbour who died in August 2007. In the 1901 Census the house was described as a typical Irish cottage of stone and thatched roof. A "private dwelling" with "three windows in the front wall" classed 2 out of 4 (ascending), "4 rooms" for "1 family of 2 persons occupying". Head of Household "Owen Durnan farmer" and his wife "Mary housewife", both RC and both could read and write. "Speak irish Language" was obliterated.

The 1911 Census (2 April 1911) records that owen was aged 66 and Mary aged 43. They were Roman Catholic and still resident in Crummer. Owen was a farmer and both he and Mary could read and write. The census document reveals that they had no children. Theur modest cottage had 2 rooms, 3 windows at the front and was rated as "2nd Class". Also on the property was a Stable, a cow-house, a calf-house and a piggery.

Philip E Leonard has provided the following handed down stories of Owen Durnan:
Owen was a man of strength of character and highly respected in his community. Gaelic football (from which Australian Rules derived) was in its infancy. The highly political Gaelic Athletic Association the GAA organised on parish basis encouraged the revival of Irish culture, games, music, dancing and the restoration of the language. It was highly nationalistic, a grass-roots movement that contributed immensley to the identity of the Irish people (overwhelmingly Catholic) as a nation (independent of Britain). A club was formed in Killesher (Philip's uncle Paddy Leonard was secretary) but the local priest, suspicious of the percieved militancy of the movement, refused permission to use the parish hall. Owen Durnan promptly open his home as a GAA headquarters. To do so in those days contrary to the priest's policy showed courage (and a strong spirit of nationalism!).


Owen married Mary Rehill 2Q 1895 in Enniskillen, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. (Mary Rehill was born circa 1869 in Ireland and died after Apr 1911.)

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