Family History - Ahern
Biography of Mary Ahern Broderick Lennon, Bridget's twin sister

Griffith's Valuation: read the
names of the Aherns' neighbors and their landlords in Ballymuddy and nearby townlands in 1851

Tithe Applotment records: read the
names of the Aherns' neighbors in Ballymuddy and nearby townlands in 1826

Lewis 1847 Topographical Dictionary: read a description of Knockanore

Church Records: the baptismal and marriage records for the:

1. Aherns

John Ahern (Ahearn/Aherne/Ahearne/Hearn/O'Hern/O'Hearn/
O'Heron/O'Haran) and Brigid Dunn were married and living in
Knockanore Parish in western County Waterford when their son Thomas and twins Bridget and Mary were born. There were likely other children born to this union whose baptismal records have been lost, destroyed, or never entered. This parish is in the southwest corner of Waterford with the Blackwater River running along its eastern border.

There were only nine Aherns and six Dunns listed in Griffith's Valuation for Knockanore, which was enumerated in County Waterford between 1848 and 1851. Significantly, there was a John Ahern living next to a Mary Dunn in the townland of Ballymuddy.

We believe it's very possible that Ballymuddy was the townland where Bridget Ahern was born. The John Ahern listed there in Griffiths may actually have been her father, and Mary Dunn could have been the widowed mother of John Ahern's wife Brigid Dunn. They may have grown up next door to each other.

John Ahern was renting a house, office, and garden from John T. Greaves, Esq. in Ballymuddy; his garden was 21 perches, or about an eighth of an acre. The term "office" in Griffith's refers to any outbuilding such as a mill, factory, shop, barn, shed, stable, or similar structure. It did not refer to privies. As a New England researcher who has helped us enormously puts it, "Not even the English had the temerity to tax our ancestors' 'sanitary facilities', one- or two-seaters notwithstanding."

Mary Dunn was renting a house and garden (two roods and eight perches, or about a half acre) from Greaves, who was the landlord for the whole townland of Ballymuddy. Even though she had significantly more land than John Ahern, her tax assessment was less, presumably because John Ahern's "office" had some value in itself or as a source of employment.

The townland of Ballymuddy was only about 148 acres in size, less than the 160 acre homestead that Bridget Ahern and John Hogan acquired in Wisconsin. Eighteen heads of household were renting this land from Greaves, who had a small plantation in the townland that he may have lived on. Most of the lots were small, but a Richard Walsh was renting a big chunk of almost 100 acres of land in Ballymuddy. Most of the residents rented a half an acre or less.

There was also a Margaret Ahern, who may have been some relation, renting a house and garden with 12 perches of land (about a sixteenth of an acre) in Ballymuddy. You can click
here to see the names of the other heads of household in this townland.

John and Brigid's son Thomas Ahearn was born in Knockanore in 1822, Father J. Ahearn performing the baptism. He was almost certainly the namesake of his nephew, Sen. Tom Hogan. We are not sure that he immigrated to America, but an
article about Sen. Tom Hogan indicates that other family members did emigrate.  

We know of a Thomas Ahern who settled in Natick, a suburb west of Boston, whose mother's name was Johannah Hogan. It is possible that he was a cousin to Bridget Ahern on his father's side and to John Hogan on his mother's side, and that they met through him.

Twins Bridget and Mary Ahern were baptized March 17, 1828 in Knockanore Church, Father John O'Donnell performing the ceremony. We know that Mary O'Hearn witnessed her twin Bridget's marriage in Columbus, Ohio in 1852.
Bridget Ahern Hogan of Knockanore Parish, County Waterford, Ireland
Fishing on the Blackwater River.
Mary O'Hearn Broderick Lennon, twin of Bridget Ahern Hogan