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).

25 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.

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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.

  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

  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?


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