SOURCES. (notes from John A. Joyce Research 1996)
Most of the information recorded here regarding the early Joyce generations comes from the Borris Catholic Parish Baptismal and Marriage Records which commence in 1782. The original books of record, now in fragile condition, have been copied and bound, and the information regarding the family which is outlined hereunder and which is marked "B.P.R." has been extracted from these copies. It should be borne in mind that in the early parish records, because of historical reasons, inaccuracies and errors were not unknown. It should also be remembered that the Borris Parish Records are missing for the period 1814 to 1825 - so some gaps in the family records for that period are probable.
Because of the numerous Joyce names and the variety of addresses entered in the Borris records I have confined my research to the branches of the family which have spread from the Mid-1700's Joyce Group at Kilmison. Three of these branches remained at Kilmison up to recent times, while others spread to Ballyroughan, Lower Rathgeran and Upper Rathgeran. It is probable that yet other branches originated at Kilmison in the eighteenth or earlier centuries. However, the records are scanty and I have not sought to follow these up. This applies also to the female members whose marriages, in most cases, I have not traced . (The change of name of the female family members who married resulted in their complete " disappearance" in most instances - and in most families.)
As far as I have found it possible, I have checked the B.P.R. against the Ballymurphy Tombstone Inscriptions. Where differences came to light they were virtually confined to discrepancies between the dates of birth as derived from the tombstone inscriptions and those recorded in the parish records.
Two major discrepancies were:
a) Patrick Joyce (26) whose age per C.T.I. would seem to be 38 years, but whose actual age per B.P.R. was 43 years.
b) Johanna Joyce (28) whose age per C.T.I. is given as 50 years (perhaps a misreading of 60) but whose actual age, per B.P.R., was 59 years.
In all such cases, I have taken the baptismal records to be accurate and am satisfied - although it is difficult to be certain about some of the relationships in the early generations - that the information now recorded is substantially correct. However, an examination of all sources by a professional genealogist might well reveal errors or omissions.
Three queries in particular arose which puzzled me. In all three, however, I have suggested what would seem to be probable explanations.
The first query is in respect of tombstone No. 282. The inscription on this refers to Edmund Joyce (4) who erected the stone "in memory of his brother James (2) who died on 24th June 1792, aged forty years. Also Catherine (2A) wife of James who died on 10th November 1832 aged 72 years". I found no account of any issue to this marriage. Catherine's and James' grave is positioned between two other Kilmison Joyces and it undoubtedly belongs to the same family. From the positions of the graves and the date of James' birth it seems very probable that James and Edmund were brothers of John (1) and I have shown them thus. (There may well have been girls in the family but I have not come across any record of them).
The second query arises in connection with Patrick (3) who seems to have been another brother of John (1). He married Nancy Clovens (Coleman, I am told, in modern times) and moved to Ballyroughan. One of their sons, Matthew (16), married and had one son, Pat, who died young. After this it would appear that Matthew's first cousin once removed, James (31) of Kilmison, inherited Ballyroughan and re-established the Ballyroughan line. Jim Joyce (94) now of Glynn, St. Mullins, grandson of James (31) and the last of the Joyces to live at Ballyroughan, retired from farming about 1960 and sold the Ballyroughan property to the O'Shea family who now live there. A number of Joyces from Ballyroughan emigrated to Australia and USA in the second half of the nineteenth century. Some of the Australian relatives as well as an American kinsman, Bob Joyce, have visited Ireland in recent years. (See note **).
The third query arises in connection with the family of John (9) and his wife Mary. There appears to be a gap of eight years between the birth of their son James (31) and the next sibling Edward (32). However, as the B.P.R. records for the 1814/1823 period are missing, it is probable that other children (31X) of whom no record now exists, were born during that period.
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