WALSH/LANGAN INTRODUCTION - HOME PAGE - MAGGIE LANGAN - Mathias and Margaret Langan, Parents of Mathias Langan

Mathias Langan

Mathias Langan, born June 1841 (?), Co. Mayo, Ireland (?) son of Mathias and Margaret Langan

Married Penelope Byrne, 1865, Mohorra, Shrule Parish, Co. Mayo


  1. Pat in 1866
  2. Martin in 1872
  3. Maggie in 1875
  4. James in 1877
  5. Bridget in 1879

Mathias Langan, Penelope Byrne and their five children immigrated to New York City in the 1890s.

Mathias returned to Ireland sometime between 1911 and his death in Ballinrobe.

He died in Ballinrobe, age 80, in 1920.

  Photo curtesy of Maria Lahiff Pedulla

This photo was originally in the possession of Margaret (Maggie) Walsh Petersen, the grandaughter of Mathias Langan, who gave it to Maria Lahiff Pedulla.

Written on the back

"My grandfather, Mathias Langan"

Birth of Mathias Langan

The civil and parish records do not start early enough to include the birth of Mathias Langan. Therefore, I cannot be certain when and where he was born. There are, however, enough clues in subsequent records to state that:

Mathias Langan, the son of Mathias Langan and Margaret _____ , was born in June circa 1841 in County Mayo, Ireland.

Marriage of Mathias Langan and Penelope Byrne

Civil Record:

Mathew (sic) Langan, age 21, bachelor, profession, labourer, residence at the time of marriage, Ballinrobe, father, Mathais Langan, poor tenant married Penelope Berren (sic), age 22, spinster, profession, labourer, residence at time of marriage, Tubbersharre, daughter of Michael Berrin(sic), poor tenant on June I, 1865 in the Roman Catholic Chapel of Shrule, District of Cong, Union of Ballinrobe, County of Mayo, Ireland.

The witnesses were Thomas Berren (sic) and Saragh Burke.

All four of them signed with their "mark".


  • Penelope was born in 1836, which means she was 29, not 22.
  • Tubbersharre was the name of a holy well located near the townland of Mochara in Shrule Parish.
  • Thomas Berrin was Penelope's brother.
  • I do not know who Saragh Burke was. There were no other Burkes associated with either the Byrnes or the Langans.

Children of Mathias Langan and Nappy Byrne

  1. Patrick Langan

    Civil Record:

    Pat Langan was born on May 5, 1866, at Creagh Road, Ballinrobe to Mathias Langan, labourer, and Nappy Langan, formerly, Byrne. The birth was registered on June 2, 1866 in the District of Ballinrobe, Union of Ballinrobe by his mother, Nappy Langan.
    Parish Record:
    Patrick Langan, the son of Mathias Langan and Nappy Byrne, was baptized on March 15, 1866 in St Mary's Church, Ballinrobe, sponsors: Winny Byrne and Martin Farrecher.

  2. Martin Langan
    Signature from marriage record of Martin Langan 1897

    Civil Record:

    Martin Langan born November 9, 1872 in Mochara, to Mathias Langan, farmer, and Nappy Byrne. The birth was registered on November 24, 1872 in the District of Cong, Union of Ballinrobe by his mother, Nappy Byrne.
    Parish Record:

    Mochara is in Shrule parish. The records for the year 1872 are not available in the US on microfilm:


    • The South Mayo Family Research Center, Main Street, Ballinrobe, County Mayo, Ireland researched the Shrule records for me and made the following report on Martin Langan's baptism.
      "No corresponding church record of baptism found in Mayo."
    • The baptism of Martin Langan is not listed by www.shrule.com
  3. Maggie (Margaret) Langan
    Signature from the marriage of Martin Walsh, when Maggie Langan Walsh and her husband, Joseph Walsh were the witnesses, 1897

    Civil Record:

    Margaret Langan, was born November 6, 1875 in Mohara (sic) to Mathias Langan, farmer, and Nappy Langan, formerly, Byrne. The birth was registered in the District of Cong, Union of Ballinrobe by Patrick Langan of Mohara (sic), who signed with an "X" and listed himself as "present at the birth".
    Parish Record:

    I cannot access the original records.

    www.shrule.com says:

    "Margt Langan from Tubbersharive was baptised on the 22nd of March, 1875 . The parents are recorded as "Martin" Langan and "Margt" Byrne"
    and SMFRC says:
    Margaret Langan, baptised 22 March 1875, sponsors: Patrick Lanagan (sic) and Mary Ellen Gibbons.
    • Patrick "Lanagan" (Langan) was Mathias's brother.
    • I do not know who Mary Ellen Gibbons was. Gibbons is not a name that occurs in any of the other records connected with the Langans.
    • On his application for naturalization, Joseph Walsh says that his wife, Margaret Langan, was born in Mayo, Ireland on September 21, 1875.
    • On her death certificate, Maggie Langan's date of birth was given as November 5, 1875.
    • "Martin" Langan and "Margt" Byrne on the baptismal record are probably clerical errors either in the original records or the later transcription. The combination of the child's name, the year of birth, the last names (Langan and Byrne) and the place, Tubbersharive make it quite certain that this is the correct record for the baptism of Margaret the daughter of Mathias Langan and Nappy Byrne.
    • On many of the civil records there is a notation that the person reporting the event signed with his or her "X". It is clear from looking at the records that in 99% of the cases the "X" was made by the clerk. All the "X's" are very small and neatly written between the first and last names. In reporting the birth of Margaret Langan, Patrick Langan made a big bold "X" that was clearly his own mark.

  4. James Langan
    Signature from naturalization papers 1913

    Civil Record:

    James Langan was born on April 14, 1877, at Glebe Street, Ballinrobe, to Mathias Langan, labourer, and Nappy Langan, formerly, Byrne. The birth of James Langan was registered in the district of Ballinrobe, Union of Ballinrobe on April 28, 1877 by Patrick Langan of Ballinrobe, who was listed as present at the birth.
    Parish Record:
    James Langan, the son of Mathias and Penelopa Langan, was baptized on April 1, 1877 in Ballinrobe parish, sponsors: Martin Faragher and Ellen Faragher.

    Ellen Curren Farragher and Martin Farragher were married to one another.
  5. Bridget Langan
    Signature from her marriage 1901

    Civil Record:

    Bridget Langan was born on November 9, 1879 at Glebe Street Ballinrobe to Mathias Langan, labourer, and Nappy Langan, formerly, Byrne. The birth was recorded in the District of Ballinrobe, Union of Ballinrobe on November 28, 1879 by her father, Mathias Langan.
    Parish Record:
    Bridget Langan was baptized on November 19, 1879 in Ballinrobe parish, the daughter of Mathias and Penelopa Langan. The sponsors were Pat Langan and Bridget Feerick.
    Bridget Feerick was Bridget Langan Feerick, the sister of Mathias Langan.

Notes on the Records of the Births and Baptisms of the Children of Mathias Langan and Penolope Byrne

  • The six-year break between Pat and Martin is quite large for the times. The standard rate of reproduction in Ireland in the mid to late 1800s was one child every two years; room for at least two or three more children.

    There were no other children listed for Mathias and Nappy in either the civil or the parish records in Ballinrobe or the civil records in Schrule.

    The large break between births could mean one of several things:

    • Mathias and Penelope simply did not have other children.
    • Penelope had a number of miscarriages or stillbirths, but no live births.
    • Mathias may have been an itinerant worker and been gone for long periods of time. After their own crops were planted, it was common for Mayo men to leave Ireland for the summer months to work on farms in Scotland and England. They would walk from where ever they lived to Westport and take the boat.

  • The baptismal records and the civil registration of the births of the children of Mathias and Penelope Langan do not necessarly agree. The records for Pat, Maggie, and James indicate that they were baptized before they were born. The records indicate:

    • Pat was baptized in March 1866 and born in May 1866
    • Maggie was baptized in March 1875 and born in November 1875
    • James was baptized on April 1, 1877 and born on April 14, 1877

    In general, children were baptized within a few days of the birth.

    The civil registration was supposed to be done within 90 days of the birth. However, many births were recorded whenever someone got around to going and reporting them. If the time limitation was up, a birthday was invented.


Mathias and Penelope were not literate. All of their children were.

The "Addresses" of Mathias Langan and Family

The records show the following "addresses" for Mathias and Penelope Langan and family:

  1. Mathias Langan was living in Ballinrobe at the time of his marriage to Penelope Byrne in 1865.
  2. Mathias and Penelope were living on Creagh Road, Ballinrobe at the time of the birth of Pat in 1866. Since Mathias was not listed in the tax records as a head of household, they must have been living with his mother, Margaret, who was listed as a head of household on Creagh Road, Ballinrobe, in the Grifffith at that time.
  3. They were living in the village of Mochara in Shrule Parish from at least the birth of Martin in 1872 until the birth of Maggie in 1875 .

    Since Mathias Langan was not listed as a head of household in the tax records between 1871 and 1875 (in either Ballinrobe or Mochara) they must have been living with Penelope's mother, Penelope (Nappy) Naughton Byrne who was listed in the Griffith Valuation in Mochara from 1856 to 1877.


    • The Griffith lists heads of house hold only. Frequently widows were listed as the "head of household" in a household that included their grown children and grandchildren.
    • The South Mayo Family Research Center, who did a report for me on the Byrne family in Shrule parish, did not give me places of birth for the children of Thomas Byrne, the son of Penelope Naughton Byrne. The only indication they gave me of his "address" was the death record of his daughter, Mary in 1881 which listed Mochara. Since there is no seperate listing in the Griffith for Thomas Byrne, and since Thomas Byrne (acording to the Griffith) took over the property of Penelope Naughton Byrne, it is highly likely that he was also a part of the household of Nappy Byrne listed in the Griffith in Mochara from 1856 to 1877.

      It was quite a house full: Nappy Naughton Byrne, Mathias Langan, Penelope Byrne Langan, their children (Patrick, Martin, and Maggie), Thomas Byrne, his wife, and his two children. These living arrangements were not unusual for the time and place.

      Penelope Naughton Byrne died in November, 1877

    • The Langans were back in Ballinrobe by at least April 1877.
  4. They were living on Glebe Street, Ballinrobe at least from the birth of James in April 1877 until the birth of Bridget in 1879.
    • The Giffith Tax Ledger that covers the years 1872-1880 for the town of Ballinrobe, shows that Mathias Langan was listed as the head of house hold at 27c Friar's Quarters, (in a house whose tax was valued at 10 shillings) in 1878. I do not know exactly when the valuation was done. It seems possible that they moved to the house in 1877 and the evaluator did not come around for several months or a year.

  5. The next tax ledger shows a change at #10 Creagh Road where "Matthew" Langan replaced Pat Langan in 1890. Note: Pat had died in 1888 and it is highly likely that the change was made in 1888 or before with the property staying in Pat's name. Pat was actually listed as living on High Street in Ballinrobe at the time of his death. I cannot find any other indication of Pat, Mathias, or Bridget on High Street.

  6. The final address before leaving for America was also #10 Creagh Road. While Mathias's name was not crossed out, the year 1892 was entered. This was the year they left Ballinrobe for New York City.

Emigration from Ireland

  1. Pat Langan was in New York City by 1886.
  2. Martin, and Maggie immigrated to New York City circa 1890/91.
  3. Mathias, Penelope, James and Bridget immigrated to New York City in 1892.

For more information on the Langan's immigration go to The Langans Immigration, now or at the bottom of the page.


Did not find.

1900 Census

ancestry.com lists it under "Cagen"

526 East 16th street, Matt Langen 58, birth June 1842, age 59 married 24 years, born Ireland, Immigrated 1892, alien, laborer, can read and write Bedelia Langen 60, April 1840, Ireland imm 1892, can read and write, 2 children 2 living,*, James Langen 23, --- 1877, mechanic, Delia Langen 20, Nov 1879, dressmaker

*She had five children - all still living - although not with her.

James was born April 14, 1877. Delia was born November 9, 1879.

Death of Nappy Langan

July 10, 1905 The death certificate listed: age at death, 57, married, housewife, born in Ireland, last address, 220 E. 18th Street, parents, James and Penelopa Nockton, cause of death, chronic nephritis. Buried Calvary Cemetery.

The Langans in New York City

Mathias Langan spent at least 19 years in New York City. For the Langan records from New York City go to Langans in New York City now or at the bottom of the page.

Return of Mathias Langan to Ireland

Notes from Agnse Walsh Lahiff and Her Daughter, Maria Lahiff Pedulla

In November of 2002, Maria Lahiff Pedulla, the daughter of Agnes Walsh Lahiff and the great-grandaughter of Mathias Langan, gave me some notes she took when her mother was still alive. The notes say,

Mathias Langan lived to be an old man.

Mathias Langan went back to Ireland to be buried with his mother, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo.

Mathias Langan died in Ballinrobe.

When Did Mathias Return to Ballinrobe?

Unfortunately, there are no records available for return immigration that would indicate when Mathias returned to Ireland. The last record that I have found connected to him in the US was the death of Penelope in 1905.

  1. The 1910 census in NYC is not indexed making it very hard to find listings.
  2. He was not listed in the 1911 Irish census in either Ballinrobe or Mochara.

Why Did Mathias Return to Ballinrobe?


Who was still alive in Ballinrobe when he returned?

  • His mother, Margaret, died in 1876
  • His brother, Pat, died, in 1888
  • I could not find his sister, Bridget Langan Feerick, in the 1911 census.
  • His daughter-in-law, Ellen Houghan Langan, and his grand daughters, Martha and Helen, were listed in Ballinrobe in the 1911 census.

Who was still alive in New York City when he left?

  • His son, James, had died in NYC in 1915, leaving a wife and children.
  • His son, Martin, had died in NYC in 1915; his wife and children had gone to Ireland circa 1904.
  • His son, Pat, was still alive and living with his wife and children in NYC.
  • His daughter, Maggie, was still alive and living with her husband and children in NYC.

Mathias in the Griffith in Ballinrobe After 1900

The Griffith tax ledger that covers the years from about 1915 to the 1930s contains a listing for Mathias Langan at No. 24 Creagh Road, Town of Ballinrobe. There were six changes at No. 24 between whenever this ledger startes until 1930. As near as I can determine, Mathias Langan replaced Honor (can't read surname) at No. 24 in 1916 and was himself replaced (by Margaret Joyce) in 1920.

Mathias died in 1920 in the Ballinrobe Workhouse.

Does the 1916 entry refer to the return of Mathias to Ballinrobe?

Agnes Walsh Lahiff said he was an old man when he returned to Ireland. Two of his sons, Martin and James, died within weeks of each other in 1915 in NYC.

Tobacco Allowance, Ballinrobe Workhouse, 1920

The Castlebar Library has some records from the Ballinrobe workhouse. Among those records was a list of people receiving tobacco allotments in 1920. Michael Moran, Pat Gibson, Pat Roache, John Corcoran, Matt Langan and P. Dempsey all received tobacco in the six month period ending September 30, 1920. The allotment was the same for everyone who recieved it. Matt Langan received the following allotments from the Ballinrobe Workhouse between June 5 and September 30, 1920:

June 5 and 1213 ounces
June 19 and 26 12 ounces
July 3, 10, 17, and 2412 ounces
July 3114 ounces
August 7,14 and 2114 ounces
August 2812 ounces
September 4 and 1112 ounces
September 18, 25, 3010 ounces

The tobacco was most likely smoked in a clay pipe.

Death of Mathias Langan

Mathias Langan of Ballinrobe, widower, age 80, labourer, died on November 28, 1920 in the Ballinrobe hospital, cause of death, senile decay, 12 months, cardiac falure, two weeks, certified by T. S (can't read), Ballinrobe Workhouse.

The Names Mathias and Langan

Mathias Langan was most frequently listed in the records as Mathias.

The exceptions are

  • He was listed as "Matthew" on his marriage record and on the tax records in Ireland.
  • He was listed as "Matt" in the 1900 United States Census in New York City.
  • He was listed as "Matt" on the List of Persons Receiving Tobacco from the Ballinrobe Workhouse in 1920-21.

Mathias (Gaelic Mahon) was a medieval king of Munster and the brother of Brian Boru. (Brian Boru, born circa 940, was High King of Ireland)

Langan is a name from the west of Ireland.

Edward MacLysaght in The Surnames of Ireland, sixth Edition, gives the following information on the name Langan

"Langan "O Longain (probably for the adjective long, tall, not long, ship). As Langan, this name survives in Co. Mayo. "
I am not sure what he is trying to say here. I do not know what the word ship has to do with anything. I am assuming that the name means "tall". However, several other sources give the meaning as "long".

Other Langans in New York City

The first member of the Langan family who is known with certainty to have immigrated to the US was Patrick (born 1866 the son of Mathias Langan and Penelope Byrne) who immigrated to NYC circa 1886. Without a doubt he chose to come to New York City because he had a relative or friend in New York. The questions are:

  • Who was that person or persons?
  • Was it a family member, friend, neighbor?
  • Who did the Langans know in New York?

For information on other Langans in NYC go to Other Langans in New york City

For additional information on Penelope Byrne and her family, go to Penelope Byrne
To see copies of some of the original Langan documents, go to Langan Documents
For additional information on the siblings of Matthias Langan and other possible relations, go to Langan Relations
For information on the Langans in the Tithe and Griffith Valuations, go to The Langans and Byrnes in the Griffith Valuation
To see photos of Mochara, go to Photos of Mochara
For information on the village of Mochara, go to Mochara
The Langans immigrated to New York City in the 1890s. For more information go to Immigration
For more information on the Langans after their arrival in New York City, go to The Langans in New York City
For more information on Pat Langan go to Pat Langan
For more information on Martin Langan go to Martin Langan
For more information on Maggie Langan go to Maggie Langan
For more information on James Langan go to James Langan
For more information on Bridget Langan go to Bridget Langan
Mathias and Margaret Langan, Parents of Mathias Langan