19th June 2015

Back to their roots from the USA

Byron LaMasters from Washington DC, contacted Des Murphy, Camlough Heritage Society, for assistance in tracing his family roots through St. Jude’s Church of Ireland Camlough.

Byron told Des that his great-great-great-great grandfather, James Barron was born in Ireland in 1801 where he had a farm close to Divernagh Road, Camlough. James and his wife Deborah had twelve children including Byron’s great-great-great grandfather John Henry. Their daughter Mary Jane, married Charles Harper at St. Jude’s Church of Ireland, Camlough in 1846. In the early 1850s James and Deborah Barron along with several of their children (including John Henry) immigrated to the United States, settling in Will and Cook Counties in Illinois. Upon their arrival to the United States, James Barron’s sons changed their surnames to Barnes, which has remained the family surname (on Byron’s mother’s side) to this day.

After a fruitless search in St. Jude’s cemetery to find a family headstone Bryon showed Des a Google map of the area that his grandfather had given him where he believed their farm had been. Immediately the penny dropped and Des realized that he knew where their family identity lay, Barron’s Hill and Barron’s lane on the outskirts of Camlough village.

Byron said “I was thrilled to see that a road and hill were named after the Barron family in Camlough. My grandfather has researched our family genealogy for several decades, but had reached a dead-end with James Barron, and we’ve been unable to find any further information about his parents and ancestors. My grandfather turns ninety in a few months, and learning more about the family’s history in Ireland means a lot to him, and we are very grateful to Des Murphy and the Camlough Heritage Society. Specifically, the discoveries today of the road and hill named after the family was very exciting and totally unexpected. The knowledge that there is a cemetery behind the St. Jude’s Church has given myself and my grandfather great optimism that there is more to learn about the Barron family history in the Camlough area”.


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