The vagaries of searching for ancestors in the Beara Peninsula and Bonane in particular are well known.    A large area of the Beara Peninsula is in Co. Cork but in the Catholic Diocese of Co. Kerry.  I am grateful to Mike Riney for his Guest Post here, giving us an excellent explanation of the records – Civil & Church available.

       The eastern boundary of the Beara peninsula could be considered the N71 “tunnel” road from Kenmare to Glengariff, which goes through the Bonane “area” So Bonane people would feature in Beara genealogy research – arising from marriages between Bonane people and other bounding parishes etc. I have been researching the Shea family of Gurranes townland, Bonane, so wanted to share some insights.

The area name is also written as Banawn or Bunane.

Irish Genealogy – Civil records:

Births marriages and deaths of people from Bonane are in the Kenmare Civil district but they are in the Tuosist parish pages of the register. This can be confusing, especially since Bonane has “Gurranes” townland and Tuosist has “Garrnes” townland.

In general on spelling variations by sound are not as well as they are on sites like A search for “Riney” does not return data recorded as “Ryney”. But a search for “Ryney” does bring back “Ryan”.

Irish Genealogy- Catholic Church records:

Bonane is one part of Kilcaskan parish. The other part of Kilcaskan is located over the mountain in Co Cork including both Adrigole and Glengariff. All of Kilcascan is in the Catholic Diocese of Kerry. In true Irish confuddlery, there is also a townland named Kilcaskan in the Cork-Kilcaskan parish. Glenariff is the residence of the parish priest, who also says mass in the church in Bonane. But on the website, data on people from Bonane townlands are recorded under the parish titled “Glengariff”. They can be found if you search for the exact townland spelling used in the stored data.

But while  the website search location can also be just the parish name, that doesn’t work for Glegariff parish. There seems to be some problem on the site for searches of “Glengariff”. I would expect all relevant results from the parish of Glengariff to be returned, but there are never any results, no matter how “wide” the search query is, eg “Shea” 1840 to 1890. The only way to get data from Glengariff parish is to use the exact townland name, or no location at all. And Glengariff Parish data has some records where the townland is “Glengariffe” with an “e” – people from the village itself, I suppose. Those are also not returned in the search.

In addition, some people from the Bonane area that I was researching, do not seem to be in the church database at all. But that can happen for any parish, if pages were missing from the paper documentation etc.

Bonane census data is recorded under the Kerry District Electoral Divison of Banawn –…/1901/Kerry/Banawn/ Bonane is in the Kerry barony of Glanrought. Kilcaskan-Cork is in the Cork Barony of Bear.

So in summary, a person born in Bonane could have their baptism reported in the parish of “Glengariff” (but cannot be searched), have their civil birth in the Kenmare district, under parish of Tuosist, and appear in the census under Banawn!

Thank you to Mike Riney for this welcome Guest Post.