Ellen O’Mullane, Gneeves, Dies at an Extraordinary Age

1901-09-27 Aged 118 - Ireland's oldest woman - Ellen O'Mullone, Gneeves“Extraordinary Age. In a recent issue we chronicled the death of the oldest person in Ireland at Gneeves, four miles from Millstreet, County Cork. Mrs. Ellen O’Mullane. the deceased, was born in Ballyvourney in the year 1783. ‘ Her father, Timothy Cronin. belonged to a respectable family of farmers in the neighbourhood of Millstreet. The deceased, at the age of 35, married a farmer named O’Mullane, who died forty-three years ago. She had three daughters, who are living, the eldest being 82 years old, 25 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren, some of whom are in Canada. She was a woman of robust frame and vigorous constitution. Her chief pride was to boast that she was never a day sick during her long life, although working hard. It need not be said from the time and place of her birth, that she had a fluent Gaelic tongue, which was the language always used in the house. Her mind was a treasury of legends, songs, and folk-lore, with which she used to entertain her neighbours, young and old, during the winter nights in that weird locality, over hanging the enchanted Lake of Coomeenatrush, where the river Finnow rises, near Clydagh(??). She was in full possession of her faculties up to the hour of her death, and was about the house up to two weeks previous to her demise. A large concourse of people followed her remains to her native Ballyvourney, where she rests near the Shrine of St. Gobnait. Many of her legends and stories have been committed to writing.

from the Freeman’s Journal (Sydney, NSW ) 29 June 1901
[The Rochester Catholic]
[Kerry Evening Post. – Wednesday 17 April 1901]


The death register had her only down as 114 years though!


1901 census: Residents of a house 3 in Gneeves (Coomlogane, Cork)

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Creedon Cornelius 34 Male Head of Family Roman Catholic
Creedon Johanna 28 Female Wife Roman Catholic
Creedon Catherine 70 Female Mother Roman Catholic

Ellen just missed out on the 1901 census by a month :-(. In that census her daughter Kate Creedon is listed as being 70 years, living with her son Cornelius and daughter-in-law Johanna.


Cornelius and Johanna had married a few weeks previously in Ballyvourney:

Marriage of CORNELIUS CREEDON and JOHANNA DONOGHUE on 17 February 1901: Son of Patrick Creedon (deceased)  – a farmer from Gneeves, daughter, daughter of John O’Donoghue (deceased) from Coolnaclohy, Ballyvourney. Married by Michael Walsh PP, in the presence of Jeremiah Twomey and Julia Juice.


Cornelius died on in November 1910, and left four small children behind, and another still to be born:
Death of Cornelius Creedon from Adrivale on November 24th 1910 at Millstreet Union Workhouse – 50 years old – a farmer – general paralasis 3 months – John Murphy Occupier Millstreet Union Workhouse – RR Leader

1911 Census:  Residents of a house 2 in Gneeves (Coomlogane, Cork)

Surname Forename Age Sex Relation to head Religion
Creedon Johanna 40 Female Head of Family Roman Catholic
Creedon Katie 8 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Creedon Lena 7 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Creedon John 4 Male Son Roman Catholic
Creedon Mary 1 Female Daughter Roman Catholic
Creedon Cornelius 24 January 1911 Male Son Roman Catholic
Creedon Kate 79 Female Mother in Law Roman Catholic


Kate Creedon died in on January 7th 1916 at Main Street, Millstreet – aged 72 – in the presence of her daughter Ellen Casey (married John Casey 1895)



This is an interesting post from a family descendent a while back:

Bob McDonagh
Posted: 25 Sep 1999 01:00PM
Classification: Query
Surnames: Cronin, Creedon, Mullane
Family history asserts my ggg-grandmother, Eileen CRONIN lived 126 years. (1778-1904) Old Eileen, as the family called her, married John MULLANE. After the marriage the family farm was in the Townland of Gneeves, Diocese of Kerry, County Cork, Barony of West Muskerry, Drishane Civil Parish, Millstreet Poor Law Union. Family history also alleges Eileen Cronin was related to the author A. J. Cronin.

Old Eileen and John Mullane had 3 daughters: Ellen, Nora, and Catherine (Kit). Kit, my gg-grandmother married Patrick Creedon in 1856. They had six children: Catherine b 1857, Cornelius b 1860, John b 1862, Ellen b 1865, Timothy b 1867 and Mary b 1870. This information came from Family Search International Genealogical Index.

Arithmetic cautions me there could be a problem with the years of Old Eileen’s birth. So far I have been unable to confirm her birth, death or burial. I’m assuming she is from Drishane Civil Parish. In the Tithe Appointment Book of 1832 Patrick, Jeremiah, and Darby Cronin listed in Caherbarnagh; a John Cronin in Coolanarney; a Daniel Cronin in Inches; a Jeremiah Cronin in Knocknaloman. Does anyone know these families? Did any of these families have an Eileen or Ellen?

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