Home > Findings > Family of Martin James Lowther: Finding the Co. Mayo links of Irish immigrants

Family of Martin James Lowther: Finding the Co. Mayo links of Irish immigrants

23 December 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Lowthers have been my latest obsession. I can’t believe that I can find records for ancestors of mine in Ireland–I thought it was almost a lost cause. And yet, because of how few Lowthers there are in County Mayo, I’ve been able to figure out my ancestors a bit.

My immigrant ancestor is Martin James Lowther, who I knew had lived in the Bronx, New York, and who had emigrated from County Mayo. I had found his US census records, and I found his name on a ship passenger list from 11 Mar 1900. The ship passenger list is what really helped. It gave me his age as 23 and a last residence of Ballina. It also gave the address of the relative he was going to join–his brother-in-law Patt Gillespie at 12 Lexington Ave, New York City. Even more interestingly, a James Cawley was listed three lines down. He was also from Ballina, and was joining his cousin Mrs. Gillespie at 1512 Lexington Avenue, Brooklyn. After going through the census records, I was able to find A Patrick & Mary Gillespie living at 1512 Lexington Avenue in 1900 (and 1514 Lexington in 1910 and 1508 Lexington in 1920).

So, Mary and Martin were brother and sister and had a cousin named Cawley. I found a ship passenger list from 25 Mar 1893 that has a Mary Lother (age 20) emigrating to New York from Ballina, which lines up with the census records. With Martin Lowther and James Cawley going to join Mary Lowther, I figured that there would be other family members who would also be visiting or joining Mary Lowther. An Ann Lowther was on two ship passenger lists but crossed out. The 9 May 1898 list has Annie Lowther (age 20) visiting her sister, Mrs. Gillespie, at 102 East 102nd Street, NYC. The 20 May 1898 list has Ann Lowther (age 20) visiting her sister, Mrs. Gillespie, at 102 East 102nd Street, NYC. On 19 Sep 1906, Annie Lowther (age 24) and Lizzie Lowther (age 18) from Rathglass were on a ship list to visit their sister Mrs. Gillespie at 1512 Lexington Avenue, NYC.

At any rate, this led me to baptismal records and civil birth registrations. Although I found records for a Martin Lother, an Ann Lother, a Mary Lother, and an Elizabeth Lother as children of a Michael Lother and Bridget Cawley, the dates did not match up with census records or the WWI draft registration of Martin James Lowther. But then, I found a census record from 1901 of the family. The ages don’t match up exactly with the registration & baptism dates, but it is clearly the same family–which makes me confident that the Lowthers who followed Mary Lowther were all the children of Michael Lowther and Bridget Cawley.

Children of Michael Lowther and Bridget Cawley

Mary Lother 1872 Rathglass
Catherine Lother 1874 Andrew Lother, Catherine Huston
Martin Lother 1876 Rathglass Patt Lother, Mary Lother
Ann Lother 1878 Rathglass Andy Lother, Mary Walsh
Bridget Lother 1882 Rathglass Patt Lother, Julia Lother, Catherine Cawley (Grandmother)
Michael Lother 1885 Rathglass
Elizabeth Lother 1888 Rathglass Andrew Lother, Bridget Rape
Penelope Lother 1891 Pat Creig, Mary Creig

For more details, view the sources
Birth records from Roots Ireland
Ship passenger lists & US census from Ancestry.com‘s National Archives (USA) collections
Census from National Archives (Ireland)

  1. Gary Ganser
    7 January 2012 at 11:19 am

    I am descended from John Manley of Rathbal (townland just south of Rathglass West). Since he came to America in the 1830s, it is hard to make any connections with the Munnellys in Rathbal. I have tried to find connections with other families in Rathbal & I have one that might interest you.
    Margaret Cawley age 22 of Rathball arrived in New York aboard the Teutonic on Sep. 13, 1906. She was going to visit her cousin Mrs. P. Gillespie at 1512 Lexington Ave., NY. According to the 1901 census for Rathbal there is a Margaret Cawley who is the right age. However, she is still there in 1911. This could still be her since I have no indication that she stayed in the US. Maybe this is another twig in the tree. Good luck!

    • 7 January 2012 at 2:33 pm

      Gary, thank you so much for the info! Catherine Cawley, the mother of Bridget Cawley, was living in Rathbal when she was present for the birth of Bridget Lowther. Because of the very few Lowthers in the county, I believe that they are all related (outlined what I know in https://notednotes.wordpress.com/2011/12/23/sorting-through-early-lowthers-in-county-mayo/). Two of the three adult male Lowthers married Manley/Munnellys. I know that other Lowthers also married Munnelys later in the century. This might be a connection worth looking into, if you haven’t already.

      15 February 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Gary, the Margaret Cawley of Ratbal did indeed return to Ireland from NY. The Cawleys in Rathbal told me she took sick in America and returned to Ireland to be with her family. She was baptized in Cooneal church 28 Jun 1883. She never married and died of TB.

      • Susan Elliott
        23 February 2015 at 9:41 pm

        I am not sure how Margaret fits into our family tree but my great grandmother was Bridget Cawley, also of Rathball. She married Micheal Lowther of Rathglass West. My grandmother was born there in 1879 and moved with her sister Bridget to NYC in 1906.

    23 April 2012 at 9:43 am

    I have spent much time on the townland of Rathbal in Mayo. Have Church records,Griffiths Valuation. 1838 map that includes the small village of .Ardawoggy. There were about 20 one room stone cabins in the village and there is still a famine pot sitting in one part. I am related to the Cawleys of Rathbal and in fact they will be here next month for a visit.
    Lots of pictures ect. I’m at B17MAC@AOL.COM and would like ti help any way I can.

  3. Andrew Lowther
    17 September 2012 at 10:28 pm

    Hi Valerie, I would love to know what else you found out about the family history (Andy here, son of Martin (Ellen’s brother)). Dad found some of our old family books that he has in a bag to get to you. They have a bunch of funeral cards from various family members and probably family friends, maybe it can help fill out some more branches.

    • Susan Elliott
      12 December 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Andrew, My name is Susan Flanagan Elliott, Annie Lowther married Dennis Flanagan in Westchester Co New York in 1910. She is my Grandmother. My husband and I made a trip to Ireland last year to explore the Irish roots. We went to Rathglass West and found cousin John Lowther and family still living on the family farm where Annie was born. We are happy to share that experience and are very interested in more information (pictures, etc) about the Lowther’s.

      • Andrew Lowther
        7 June 2017 at 3:59 pm


        I just re-found this site so I am sorry it took so long to respond. I would be happy to send you what info I have if you can get me an email address to send it to. I am descended from the Martin J Lowther mentioned in the second paragraph and have records from him down but not much prior to that.


  4. Neal Umstot
    13 January 2013 at 11:35 pm

    I am the gggrandson of Andew Lowther and Judy Manley. Their eldest child Brigitte
    was my ggrand daughter. My grand mother was ,also, named Brigitte. I have family sheets on all of Andrew Lowther and Judy Manleys children: six in all Plus photos. I will gladly send
    sheets and photo copies to anyone who will contact me by email. I am , also in contact
    with a Dublin Irishman named Noel Lowther. Noel Knows more about the family than anyone
    I have been in contact with.

  5. Pam Bauman
    9 December 2016 at 1:58 pm

    I’m just reading these older posts in 12/2016. Here’s some Lowther info which may be remote for your ancestry search. I do have records of my grandparents, baptismal certificates if it can help anyone in there search.

    My grandfather was born in Ballina June 1888 or 1889. Oldest of 14, the family farmed. James arrived in NYC early 1900s, lived in Manhattan, became a carpenter (union), served in WWI and married Mary Comber of Ballyhaunis (Mayo). They settled in the Bronx & had 5 children: James, Mary Fekett, Ann (Nancy) Kitson, John Lowther and Margaret Lowther. My uncle John has traveled to Mayo, met & kept up with US and Mayo Lowther relatives since 1960s and 1970s.

    Some of James’ brothers (Thomas, Andrew, Patrick) followed him to NY. His youngest brother, Michael stayed in Mayo, ran the farm & in the 1960s and 1970s his children were active in the Ballina area. Thomas Vincent T.V. Lowther was involved with local radio or TV. Michael’s daughter, Sr. Etna Lowther, transfered to U.S. with her order & taught in in FL & CA.

    A posted comment inquired of the Manleys of Mayo. My mother’s (Mary Lowther Fekett) cousins were Manleys. I don’t know if they were from the Lowther or Comber Mayo side or if the Manley sire was an in-law of
    my grandparents or a cousin. However, the Manleys were a regular part of my grandparents’ NYC family. This Manley family was in NYC. There were Manley children – 3 or 4 sons, & the family may have moved to Brooklyn as children grew in 1920s-40s. I just knew they were my mom’s cousins.

  6. noel lowther
    16 May 2017 at 10:51 am

    noel lowther.
    i, like neal umstot am the gggrandson of andrew lowther. i live in ireland and have researched the family tree as much as possible. am still missing a few of the u.s. links that i would be grateful if you contacted me on nlowth@gmail.com. your uncle john would have met my parents when he was in ireland. i did speak to your uncle a good few years ago but unfortunately lost his number. thomas, andrew,patrick and mary went to u.s.. mary married john manley. TV lowther was my uncle and i also knew vincent lowther who was sr. etnas brother and michaels son who ran the farm until he died. james came from a family of 8. Michael my grand uncle had the family of 14 on the farm.

    • Andrew Lowther
      6 June 2017 at 9:39 pm

      I am sending you an e-mail from gunth14@msn.com account. I am a US Lowther with some info that may help flesh out the tree.

  1. 23 December 2011 at 1:07 am

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