Upperchurch Village

Upperchurch Village – A Brief History

The village of Upperchurch truly sums up what rural Ireland is all about; friendly local people willing to share their friendship and culture. This unique and quaint village nestles snugly into the rolling hills of Slieve Felim in Tipperary.  In a modern day Ireland, the area has lost little of its original old natural rural charm and is surrounded by wild, beautiful, tranquil scenery. On a clear day, from the summit of the Black Hill, visitors can view five surrounding Irish counties, while pausing to wonder at this most unforgettable part of the world.



As the village name suggests, the church building today remains central to this village settlement. An earlier church structure to the present edifice (circa 1800) had been erected further south of the village by the then local parish priest, one James Clancy (1792-1812), with the cemetery evolving around the latter structure, however same church was completely demolished in 1928, following the building of the present existing Romanesque style edifice.



Wedge Tomb

It is here in the heart of the Slieve Felim Hills where are to be found the earliest and the majority of Tipperary’s archaeological sites, dating back to early bronze age (2000BC) or earlier and some to the earlier Neolithic period. These sites include Wedge Tombs, Cist Graves, Ring Barrows (From Old English ‘beorg’ meaning a mound or burial place) Standing Stones and Fulacht Fiadh, (Latter name, usually found close to water sources, comes from the Irish word “Fulacht” denoting a pit used for cooking, while “Fiadh” in old Irish means “Wild” often relating to animals such as boar or deer).
Graniera and Knockcurraghbola Commons are two of these types of archaeological sites to be found near Upperchurch.

This village forms a stage of the historic Beara-Breifne Way, based on the historic winter march of Donal Cam O’Sullivan Beare in 1603. This march, carried out while also fighting a rearguard action across Ireland, was defined by enormous suffering, as the fleeing, often starving O’Sullivan followers, including women and children, moved north on a 250-mile march which was completed in 14 days. On arrival at the O’Rourke’s castle in Co Leitrim only 35 of his original estimated 1,000 followers remained.

The village well pre-dates the Anglesey road or New Line road stretching from Thurles to Upperchurch ending in Newport, which was first erected in 1828, under the supervision of the celebrated Commissioner of Valuation, Surveyor and Engineer, Sir Richard John Griffith, whose better known memorial remains his ‘Griffith’s Valuation,’ completed for Co Tipperary on June 29th 1853.

Localised Clan Names

Upper Church is part of the ancestral home of those with the surnames O’Dwyer and O’Ryan / Ryan. If visitors have known ancestors that are from Upperchurch / Drombane and the surrounding areas, help is readily available to assist in tracing both your original homestead and your genealogy, by simply telephoning or e-mailing the local Upperchurch Visitor Information Office.  Tel: 00353 (0)87 6076838. Email: upperrural@gmail.com

Upperchurch village provides a fantastic destination for a range of activities from Hill Walking, Cycling, Horse Riding, to Fishing right through to Indoor Rock Climbing.

Where To Stay And Eat

See Link: http://www.upperchurch.ie/where-to-stay-eat/

Travelling To Upperchurch Area By Private & Public Transport

See Link: http://www.upperchurch.ie/getting-here/

Recommended  Attractions Nearby

Cabragh Wetlands (15 kms)Clare Glens (30kms)Cormackstown Heritage Centre (15 kms).  HolyCross Abbey (10 kms).  Lár na Páirce GAA Museum (15kms).  Rock Of Cashel (24 kms).  Semple Stadium (15 kms)St Mary’s Famine & War Museum (15 kms).

39 Responses to Upperchurch Village

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  5. I believe my G.G.G. Grandparents came from Tipperary. Many came from Upperchurch and landed in Clifton Springs, New York.
    There names are William Ryan, wife Margaret Kane (b. est. 1810). Left Ireland (est.1860-1865). Had a son named Patrick, born 1840. Williams father could be a Patrick! Siblings of Patrick – Anna born 1847, Kathy born 1850, Mary born 1854. All left with the family. Any help would be appreciated please.

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  7. Morgan Ryan says:

    The James Ryan mentioned in this news item was my Grand Uncle and I remember my late Father talking of James and his four Brothers Morgan, Mike (who had strong links with the Ned Kelly Gang), Pat and a Dennis. The link http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/article/107352321 covers the early death of Morgan.

    • Sue says:

      Just seen your post, and know its a few years old.
      Just letting you know that my relation is James Ryan, (Not sure if its the same one) and Ellen Ryan married Matthew Conway, who was Ned Ryans best friend. Maybe we are related.
      Kind regards

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  11. Jabobrek says:

    Great great grandparents were Matthias and Mary Cahill Walsh. Mary emigrated to Pompey in mid 1850’s as did their children. No record for Matthias. Visiting Ireland in Fall 2016. Would love any Walsh information. Thank you.

    • George says:

      Your request has been forwarded to Tourism Research Officer in Upperchurch.

    • Jonathan Walsh says:

      Those are my great great grand parents as well! We are related.

      I am also searching for answers.

      -Jonathan Walsh

    • Colleen says:

      Patriotemt@gmail.com And I have tried to piece together this line of the Walsh family. My mother was Leo Walsh’s daughter: I have a Bible with some information:
      Walsh side: in old bible, the marriage certificate of Walker and Walsh can be found.
      My Mother, Janet Connor (died 2021) (also on 23 andme, but I manage her account) is the daughter of John “Leo” Walsh (1899-1963) from Pompey and Cazenovia, NY. His parents are: Mathias J. Walsh (10/3/1864 (Pompey, NY- 7/9/ 1963 New Haven, CT) and Mary Louise Walsh (12/7/1869 (Pompey, NY – 1/9/1946) (Her family name is Walker) Her father was Thomas Edward Walker and her Mother was Honora “Nora” Walker. Her sister was Honora or Elnora “Nan” Boynton. See old bible.

      Mathias’s parents are: John Walsh (Born around 1851 in County Kilkenny, he was a Mill Servant) He married Mary Cosgrove / Cosgriff/ Ryan) in Fabius, NY on 1/4/ 1864 – died: in Cazenovia, NY 8/18/1915.
      John Walsh’s parents… and this is where it gets confusing: Matthias Walsh (born around ?) and Mary Walsh (born Cahill) (her birthdate: 1795 and died 1866 Ireland)

      I can be found on Edmatch, wikitree and other sites

  12. Jennifer Desbiens says:

    My Great grandfather John Thomas Kinane was born in Upper church on June 24, 1882. I would love to know where he was baptized and lived before emigrating to NY and any other info you may have. Thank you!

  13. Cherie Putnam says:

    My great grandfather, James Corcoran and his brother Phillip Corcoran, immigrated around 1883 (born Around 1862) to Syracuse, NY. He sponsored Fogarty’s and Corbett’s to come to Syracuse also from the Upperchurch, Drumbane, Borrisoleigh areas Tipperary. Also following him over we’re Johanna and Bridget Bradshaw, sisters who the brothers married. Other surnames besides Fogarty, Bradshaw, and Corbett that were mentioned as relatives in Tipperary, were Kennedy and Quinlan.

    James and Phillip’s parents were John Corcoran and Bridget Fogarty Corcoran who married in Upperchurch, Drumbane in 1855. My great grandfather James Corcoran was 96 years old when he passed away in 1958 in Syracuse so I remember him as a child and even lived in the same home he did. He did very well in the US as a stone mason and his son Thomas even became mayor of Syracuse, NY in the early 1950’s while James was still living. There is a local large Syracuse high school named after him “Thomas J Corcoran High School.” Looking for any information anyone can kindly provide about these families so I can trace them even further back. I believe most of James Corcoran’s brothers, sisters ended up in Australia. I know very little about Johanna Bradshaw, James wife, and Bridget Fogarty Corcoran or John Corcoran (James parents) and the families he left behind. Thank you for anyhelpyoucan provide.

    • George says:

      Your Comment & Email Address have been forwarded to researchers in Upperchurch Village. Trust you will hear from them shortly. Regards G. Willoughby.

  14. Dorothy Cline says:

    We are searching for the family origins of John and Patrick Cline and Dennis Daley who came to Elbridge, NY near Syracuse about 1848 due to famine. Records show some people came there from this area. Are there records of any Clines or Daleys at the time of the famine?

  15. amanda evans says:

    Hi, I have looking into my Irish roots and traced my great grandfather Denis Corbett to be associated to this area. He was born in Borrisoleigh 1866 and his baptism was 1866 says Upperchurch and Drombane district of thurles. Father James Corbit was how it was spelt on records. Mother was Margerate formely Shanihan. Any info would be so much appreciated. I am really wanting to know when Denis came to England as he is on 1901 and 1911 census with my grandmother Annie, and did all his family come over or did they stay. So many questions. Loving finding all my past out so any help I would so love. Thank you, Amanda

    • Clare Gunn says:

      Hi Amanda, I have Denis as being married to my 2 x great aunt Nora Lee, marriage in 1899. I know they had no children. I am wondering did she die soon after marriage and then Denis went to England and married Annie? Is your grandmother Annie Radford?

  16. Frank Connors says:

    Hi, my ggg grandparents were Lawrence Morrissey of Upperchurch, Tipperary and Margaret Fleming of Borris Co Carlow. They were married in St. John’s NL in 1825, I descend from their son William b Nov 11, 1827 at St. John’s. According to records William and his father were Tailors at St. John’s. Anyway, wondering if anything can be found on his family or sources available?


  17. Don Ryan says:

    I am Don Ryan Raymond of both Glenough Schoolhouse & Rathfarnham, Dublin.
    My g.grandfather was Michael Ryan Raymond who came from Foilnacanna (b. 1828 / d, 1898) and was married to both Margaret Ryan Sean Eamon and Margaret Ryan Moneen, producing a total progeny of seventeen children!!
    He moved to Glenough, and there are a number of direct descendants living there.
    His parents were Cornelius (b. 1796 / d. 1886) and Catherine Kelly, and his parents were Michael Ryan (b.1764 / d, 1836) and Johanna Kilfoyle.
    I hit a stone wall at this stage, but wonder if anyone in Upperchurch would know of the location of the original homestead, or any other relevant information. Many of my forefathers, including my father (Patrick) and grandfather (Daniel), are buried in the graveyard there. Any help would be much appreciated.
    Regards, Don

  18. Richard Maguire says:

    Hello form Australia
    My heritage…. I would love to connect with Irish decendants……

    Edmund Kinane 1710-1778 buried in Mount Bruss Cemetery Lattin Tipperary
    6th great-grandfather
    James Kinane 1748-1802 buried in Mount Bruss Cemetery Lattin Tipperary
    Son of Edmund Kinane
    Daniel Kinane 1781-? buried in Mount Bruss Cemetery Lattin Tipperary
    Son of James Kinane
    James Kinane 1810-1867 born 1810 • Cordangan Tipperary Co, Tipperary, Ireland but died in Melbourne Australia
    Son of Daniel Kinane
    Daniel William Kinane 1841-1878 12 DEC 1841 • Cordangan ,Tipperary, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. but died in Australia
    Son of James Kinane
    James Kinane 1864-1930 born and died in Australia
    Son of Daniel William Kinane
    Kathleen “Kit” Ursula Kinane 1909-1990 born and died in Australia
    Daughter of James Kinane
    Geoffrey Joseph Maguire 1945-2008
    Son of Kathleen “Kit” Ursula Kinane
    Richard Geoffrey Maguire
    You are the son of Geoffrey Joseph Maguire

  19. Mandy says:

    I am an Australian descendant of Jeremiah Dwyer of Upperchurch, Thurles, Tipperary. Anyone interested in sharing history is welcome to chat.

    • simon dwyer says:

      Hi was your Jeremiah transported in 1817? Became a land owner in Maitland NSW? If so we are related!!!!

      • simon dwyer says:

        My line are from his son William, from his second marriage. We plan to get to Ireland next year, August/September after my niece, Jeremiah’s great, great ,great, great granddaughter marries in Verona!!

  20. Declan says:

    Is there a guide to bring people to the neolithic sites??? I’m very interested in seeing them, as they only up the road from grandfather homeplace

  21. Yvonne Murray says:

    My great great great grandparents Philip Purcell and Judith (Judy) Corcoran were married in Upperchurch in 1840. they moved to Callan at some stage. Trying to find out were they born in Upperchrurch, and any ancestors.Any information please

  22. Michael Dooley says:

    My Grandmother , Mary O’Dwyer, emigrated to Jersey City, NJ in early 1900’s. she was born in UpperChurch in 1884 ( from what I can find). Her father was Michael O’Dwyer (b1855, d 1924) and mother was Ellen (Ryan) O’Dwyer. Ellen died sometime after and Michael re-married Anne Quinlan (b.1862, d 1949). Michael and Anne had more children including James O’Dwyer born 1898 who were my grandmother’s half-siblings. I am trying to find more about my grandmother and also if there any birth record available.
    Thank you

  23. Brian Loucy says:

    I am looking for information on my Great Great Grandfather, Michael Kennedy, was born in Upperchurch in 1822. His wife’s name was Catherine, born in Castle Connell, County Limerick in 1825. They both immigrated to Taberg, New York (upstate New York) in 1848. This is all the information I have so far.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.


    Brian Loucy

  24. Errol Ryan says:

    I’m still looking for information about my ancestors, Cornelius Ryan born abt. 1785 and Catherine Ryan nee Ryan born about 1790. They raised 3 sons in Glenbeg, Parish of Upperchurch: Edward/Edmund born abt. 1811, Cornelius born abt. 1814 and Thomas born 1829. Edward and Cornelius were transported to Australia in 1832 and 1839 and Thomas emigrated to Australia in 1854. The 1829 Tithe Applotment books for Glanbeg (Glenbeg) show Cornelius Ryan leased 20 acres and Edmund 4 acres. Later Glenbeg records show that Cornelius was deceased prior to 1847 when Tom Ryan’s name replaced widow Connor Ryan’s.

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