The McGowan Family

Find of The Month May 2018

This was a great experience. Sean was wonderful and his research prior to my arrival was thorough and on the day of my tour I was able to meet many people who I believe are related to me somewhere along the family line. Great experience, highly recommended, nothing was too much trouble. This was not something I could have done on my own as the places Sean found were townlands and don’t appear on maps.

Original McGowan Home


James McGowan was wrongly convicted for a murder he did not do by Judge Mayne in 1817 and sent to Australia. His Family of Wife Mary McAndrews and children joined him five years later.
When a member family approached the My Ireland Team they had only the basic information about the case at Castlebar. We set about reading all the papers at that time and an Article in the Belfast Chronicle gave us a lead to where the Townland in County Mayo was. In fact by the time our research was completed we had found exactly where the murder had taken place and that five other men were put to death after the court case was concluded. As part of our reconnaissance we visited all the areas and found some fascinating information. Even old documents never seen before were still available to us on our return to the family Townland.
The Family on their visit to Ireland were able to see where James and his wife once lived in the early 1800s which was once a shop in the area.
The Fantastic thing was that some family members of McGowan and McAndrews were still in the neighbourhood and heard how James McGowan was able to become a free man in Australia and went on to become quite an entrepreneur there.