Stephen Lyons/ Lehane – c. 1827 to 1890



Born c.1827- almost certainly into a family recorded then as Lehane/Leehane/Lyhane
Family lore and the various censuses say he was born in Ireland. Family tradition says Cork and 1871 census says "Co Cork, Ireland". Other records only refer to "Ireland". Census records actually put his birth at 1829 plus or minus a year. DNA shows he came from the Ballyvourney/Kilnamartyra parishes of Cork

19/2/1826. A Stephen Lyhane was baptised to Patrick Lyhane & Mary/Margt Lynch in Ballyvourney - Ancestry image found 13/12/2019


But I had always thought his mother was Honorah!!: though his mother could have died , his father remarried & Honorah was a second wife, mother of his siblings John & Patrick

[My original research , when I was just looking for Lyons, not Lehane - now obsolete by Dec 2015 having got two perfect Dna matches , one in Ballyvourney & ,almost certainly now, Kilnamartyra - on the Lyons Irish origins is recorded here: irrelevant now!]

June 2014 a Paul Lane, descendant of Denis Lehan 1829, son of a Stephen Lehan ~1800, Ireland, has proved to have identical DNA as that of my cousin John Lyons, S.A., on all 37 markers. Thus it was necessary to help him, Paul, determine his roots. Likely to be around Kilnamartya, the parish adjacent to Ballyvourney. Went through all RootsIreland baptisms for his Lehanes and also Tithes & Griffiths - Dec 2014 . Have determined as much as I can from records - any more will have to come from Paul

June 2015. Another 37 marker DNA match with Jim Lehane whose ancestor Daniel Lehane~1843, with a father James Lehane , came from Derreenaling, Ballyvourney. Here again I have determined as much as I can from records - any more will have to come from Jim & cousin Betsey

Lehane is the gaelic  name for  Lyons and is written like this (gaelic)  LÍATHÁIN.  The stroke over the í and the á makes the pronunciation long eg eee in the case of the í and aaa in the case of the á. The TH is pronounced as a H. Note Ballyvourney is a gaelic speaking area. My name was Fionnbár Ó  LÍATHÁIN when I was in school! - from Finnbarr Lyons

Thus, as of December 2015, I am positive Stephen Lyons ~1827 originated from the Ballyvourney area of Cork. My proof is DNA - I cannot prove it by parish records. I have scrutinized with a fine tooth comb all that is available for these. Ballyvourney marriages do not exist at all until ~1868, and indeed the NLI online has none at all, and the baptisms, theoretically in O'Kief Vol 11, recorded Oct-Nov 2015 by John & Meryl in SOG London, - only 1825-1829 baptisms appear on NLI & MHC site - for 1808-1868 are problematic: not only gaps but lack of many names in records recorded. All that exist are shown in Lehane baptisms . Note: Ballyvourney parish abuts Glenflesk parish, this in Kerry: their baptism records, 1821 onwards, online, but hardly legible. Also marriages 1831 onwards.

Logic Sheet for finding Stephen Lyons

Ballyvourney Information

December 2014. JJRL thinks he has found his John Lyons great grandfather in Muingyroggen, Clonmeen: this general area is where I found the greatest number of Denis Lehanes in the Tithe Applotments 1825-1836. Also several Timothy Lyons in this area. So sent a DNA kit to JJRL and he is NOT related .

.Early Life in Cork

Stephen Lyons was born in Cork ~ 1829 and emigrated to Bermondsey 1851-1852. Of 1596 entries in Griffiths in 1852 for the surname "Lyons", 20% are in Cork and Cork City, 13% in Galway, 9% in Limerick, 7% in Kerry with the other 51% of the Lyons mentions in Griffiths being scattered across all the other counties. Cork has the most Lyons in Ireland

Finding Stephen Lyons in Cork covers the 2008-2014 search in more detail- this now obsolete except for other Lyons families, which is why I have left it here .

Various hypothesis as to Stephen Lyons's family, relating mainly to a blind John Lyons. Gives likely parents



Map- 3d- showing where James Leehane and son Daniel ~1843, his descendant Jim a perfect DNA match, was living in Griffiths 1852 & where Daniel Lyhane~1843 was living 1901 & 1911. & think that there were still Lyons there in 1960s


Photo of farm complex of 3a,b,c, above- as of August 2016 [more photos on Daniel Lehane page]

This is the area that my Stephen Lyons/Lyhane must have come from

Ballyvourney is 16 k W of Macroom . Kerry border less than a mile, NW, away from the house above

bally1 . bally2 . bally3 . bally4

Countryside in Derreenaling Townland, Ballyvourney- August 2016

1851. Finally, March 2009, I found Stephen Lyons & Catherine Buckley married 31/07/1851 in St. Marys & St. Annes, Cork City , also known as the North Cathedral. .Witnesses Michael Erwin & Margaret Cronin -have searched for these two in 1861C but nothing obvious, my feeling that they were just 2 people who happened to be available as witnesses!

. . . . .

. . . .Copy of marriage certificate . . . . . . .St. Marys & St. Annes, exterior & . . . . . . . . . .interior in 2009. . . . Former High Altar as it would have been in 1851

Their first recorded child is born in Bermondsey in November 1852. I think they were only in Cork city due to the famine 1846-49 [ but times were still really bad even in 1851] and that soon afterwards they decided to try their luck in England. Emigrants in those days would have gone to live with family or friends for some months in their new country, while they “got on their feet”

Catherine Buckley, from census records, has a birth date of 1827 as well: they appear to be the same age.

It is unlikely, with the marriage end July 1851, that any children were born in Ireland or England before 30/11/1852 (when their 'first' child Timothy was born).

Children that I can find are:
1852. Timothy Lyons born 30/11/1852 at 3 Palmers Rents, St. Mary Magdalene, Leather Market.,Bermondsey. (birth cert B1). No baptism record at Our Lady of Salette nor at Dockhead nor at St. Georges : but there is a gap 1852-1853 in Our Lady Records, & thus I assume he was baptised there. . 5 subsequent baptisms of Stephen's children have been found in these 3 RC churches..

1855. Mary Ann Lyons born 3/05/1855 at 14, Unicorn Square, Southwark.(birth cert B2). From Our Lady of Salette register , Mary born 3/05/1855, baptised 20/05/1855, gp. Patrick Driscoll & Ellen Murray. She died 1874-see her page. A Patrick Driscoll, b~1824, in 1861 & 1871 Cs, b.Cork, labourer, living Rotherhithe then Southwark.

1857. John Lyons born St Olave S. Born 4th November 1857, baptised 11th November 1857 at Dockhead.. Godparents: Patrick and Mary Connell. Have not got his state b.c. Dec 1857 St Olave S 1d 40. Could have died the same quarter Dec 1857 St Olave S 1d _3 - probably 53, but could just be 33 - or Dec 1860 St Olave 1d 37. Was not buried in St. Patrick's Leytonstone, nor at St. Mary's Kensal Rise - maybe at Dockhead, which was bombed in WW2. . Have searched for these godparents in 1861C on both Ancestry & Findmypast

1859. Stephen Lyons born 21/04/1859 at 3 Trows Ct, St.Johns, Southwark, registered by his mother 27/05/1859 (birth cert B3). Baptised Our Lady of Salette & St. Joseph as Stephen born 9/04/1859, baptised 10/04/1859, gp John Daley & Anna Riordan. There is a discrepancy here, but I have seen the Church entry, so can only think there was an error on the State records, maybe as they did not think he would survive , being baptised so promptly, and thus did not bother registering him too quickly [ till it seemed likely he would survive]. Have also searched for these godparents in 1861C on both Ancestry & Findmypast

1861. Michael Lyons born 31/10/61 at 26 College St., Bermondsey (birth cert B4). Baptised Holy Trinity, Dockhead. Michael Lyons, son of Stephen & Catherine Lyons (formerly Buckley) born 2/10/1861, baptised 6/10/61 Godfather "Patrick Lyons" Godmother "Helen Connell". No address or other details are given".. Have done a large search on all variations of this name in 1861C: most likely is an Ellen Connell, 45, b.Rotherhithe, married to Michael Connell, 28, lodger, coal porter, b.Ireland., living fairly near, round Gainsford St., in Horsleydown, Dist.3, p.45 of 66. Cannot find them as a unit in 1871C. Also a discrepancy with state & church dates here . Patrick Lyons is certainly a close relation, almost certainly the brother of our Stephen 1827

Between 1857 & 1861 there have been 3 Connell godparents: Helen, Patrick & Mary. An Ellen Connolly was recorded as the mother of Catherine Buckley - is this a coincidence?

1864. Elizabeth Lyons . From Our Lady of Salette register Elizabeth born 9/03/1864 , baptised 20/03/1864, gp. John Murphy & Ann Hearley(I cannot find a b.c. on BMD; Jun 1865 is not her. I thought, that like brother Michael/Joseph, she was registered under a different name, Sarah?, Sep 1864 St.G. Southwark ? or Ellen Dec 1864 St.G. Southwark, 1d.143?; both of these seem too late and the only 2 female Lyons reg.Jun & Sep 1864 in St. Saviour, Caroline & Johanna, both die in 1865. Applied for b.c of a Bridget Lyons 1864 ; this not her.}

So 6 children born, 1852-1864, from state and baptism records, including John 1857 who did not survive.

1861 Census
Stephen Lyons, 32, b. Ireland 26 College St. Horsleydown, St.Johns, Southwark. Age mistranscribed in Ancestry as 37 . Surname mistranscibed in Findmypast as Syan!
Catherine, 34, b. Ireland.
Timothy, 8, b. St..Olaves,
Mary, 6, b. St.Johns,
Stephen 2, b. St.Johns.

In the same house is a Honorah Lyons,[ see Theory 3 on this link] 52, widow, midwife, with sons John 28, Patrick 21 and niece Mary Burke [ I think this could be Brooke - Findmypast says Bingle] 11, all born Ireland. Was unable to trace Honorah back or forwards in censuses, but did find her death: Lyons Honora 58 St. Olave 1d 125 Jun 1870- this gave me her husband. : and he was Timothy Lyons, farmer, and her death, 25/06/1870, was at 20, College Street, from Dropsy. Informant is Patrick Lyons[ her son]. d.c. D17.

I then went back to M.H.C.records to look for a Timothy-Honora marriage 1826-1833. There are 3 Timothy Lyons marriages 1827-1835 in the Buttevant area: 1830, Ballyclough, to Catherine Connell, 1831 Donoughmore, to Mary Lynch and 1831 Charleville to Ellen Shea. So, none of these is this Timothy [unless he later remarried!]. So is his marriage in West Cork or a 'Kerry' parish or in Cork??- found nothing positive Feb 2009. This all links to Theory 3, which I am now 99.9% sure is correct. Have also worked on niece Mary Burke but to no avail: seemingly not in 1871C, nor a local marriage 1866-1871 - just one in Bermondsey Dec 1866.

On 22/6/1861 there was a great fire in Tooley Street that burnt for 2 days - rather near the Lyons family [ no link!]

Also in 1861C a John Sullivan, 25, b.Ireland with a 1yr old daut., living next door: could this just be a brother of David 1828,....very improbable!

1871 Census. Eventually I found them under "Lynes".
Stephen, age 45, b.Co Cork. 36 Brunswick Court, Bermondsey. "Dock Labourer"
Catherine, wife, 40, b. Co Cork
Timothy, son, 17, b.Bermondsey, Surrey. "Wharf Labourer"
Mary, daughter, 15 b.Bermondsey, Surrey
Stephen, son, 11, b.St Olaves, Surrey
Michael, son, 9, b.St Olaves, Surrey
Eliza, daughter, 7, b.St Olaves, Surrey.
Also given is John Lyons, and it says "son", age 35 and blind.

Also at same address are a family of 3 named Lacey, the parents born Limerick, and their 1 year old son, b.Co.Cork.

1874. 21/9/1874 Daughter Mary Ann Lyons, aged 19, dies at 10 Freemans Lane of Phthsisis [tuberculosis]. d.c.D12

1876. His son Timothy Lyons marries, address not given as Freemans Lane, so must have moved out sometime before the wedding. father stephen given as laborer. Timothy then lives with the Tobin in-laws, or they with him, 1877-1880.

1878. His son Stephen Lyons joins up for the Dragoon Guards. He gives his next of kin as Catherine - his mother: does this indicate that Stephen is already failing as the head of the household??

1880. Son Michael Lyons marries, 5/4/1880, under the name of Joseph!- see Stephen Lyons Children- Michael page. Address given as 10 Freemans Lane. Michael/Joseph Lyons has daughter MaryAnn, actually 1 month before the marriage.

1881 Census.
Stephen Lyons age 54/56 born Ireland 10 Freemans Lane, Horsleydown, St.Johns, Southwark. Occupation Labourer .
Catherine 54 born Ireland.
Elizabeth 17 daughter born Bermondsey. Occupation Bookbinder.
No mention of son Stephen [ since found he was in the Army]. Also a lodger and 4 more 'family' units in the same house!

1882. Grandson, Stephen Patrick Lyons , son of Michael Lyons , born at 10, Freemans Lane. B.20. Seems likely that son Michael and his growing family lived with Stephen & Catherine Lyons, or vice versa, from this point till ~1888, albeit not in Freemans Lane the whole time.

1887. Grandson, Michael Joseph Lyons, son of Michael Lyons , born. I need this b.c to tell me where his family was living then.

When & why did Stephen Lyons separate from his wife & 3 children and become destitute??

1888. 30/7/1888 Stephen Lyons , aged 60, of 15 Snowsfields, was admitted to St.Olaves Workhouse, reason given was 'destitute'. "Relatives likely to contribute"! are given as wife, Catherine, of 2 Millstream Rd., Dockhead, and 2 sons - presumably they do not know about Timothy . 'do.' below her address would seem to imply that the sons were also of 2 Millstream Rd .

And son Stephen states on joining the Militia in July 1891, that he had lived at 2 Millstream Road, Dockhead for 2 + years up to Feb1891: I also know that son Michael & his family were living at Freemans Lane with his parents Stephen & Catherine in 1880 and again in 1882 , so maybe Michael was still with his mother in 1888, then at 3 Cross Street by Feb 1890 before moving to 12 Curlew Street only in early 1891. . Stephen Lyons is discharged on 17/9/1888. From LMA St. Olaves Register of Relations fiche, X104/287 . Interesting that Catherine, with sons Michael & Stephen , has a different address to him here. 15 Snowsfields has a widow, her daughter & 3 lodgers in 3 rooms in 1891C. 2 Millstream Road is a 5+ roomed house, just 1 family, in 1891C: could this be the 'boarding house' that Catherine was allegded, by the Little Sisters of Mercy, to have run?

1889. On Tuesday 17/12/1889 Stephen Lyons, labourer, RC, born 1826, was admitted to the St. Olaves Union [Infirmary]. from Admission form shown at end of page: H3/OLA/11/1/008 . Relations Book does not cover Infirmary admissions, and we do not know for certain where he was living on admission. .

1890. Could the "Catherine Lyons, charring, R.C., born 1832, admitted Wednesday 1/1/1890 to the St. Olaves Union Infirmary" , be his wife?? - I doubt this as probably the same Catherine Lyons, b.1833, is in St.Olave Workhouse in 1891C . Also one dies 1899, St.Olave Southwark, but age given as 60, indicating 1839 birth!!

1890. Died 28/2/1890 at St.Olaves Union Infirmary; Bermondsey. His d.c. gives 1/3/1890, a hide sorter of 3, Cross St., age 63, of Chronic Brights disease - a disease of the kidneys.. Informant of death- M. Lyons (Michael, given as son), in attendance, of 3 Cross St. Possess Death Certificate D1 . The Catherine Lyons mentioned above was thus in the Infirmary when he died as she stayed there until 22/7/1890, but, as stated above, I doubt that this was indeed his wife .

He was buried on 8/3/1890, the body brought straight from the Rotherhithe Infirmary, in row 22, plot 61, in a paupers grave at Leytonstone Catholic cemetery,.


Entry in St. Patrick's cemetery book.

Do not think there was a record of his death at Dockhead, like there was of his supposed brother Timothy in 1878.

1891. His widow, Catherine Lions , 61, living at 2, Hanover Buildings, Horslydown, b.Ireland Cork, with son Stephen , 32, single, labourer Waterside, & daut. Elizabeth, single, 27, bookfolder.

1892. Catherine Lyons, born 1829, admitted on 4/3/1892, on order of StJ. Thomas, to the St. Olave Infirmary. Discharged Monday 30/5/1892 at her own request: LMA Infirmary Book H3/OLA/11/1/011. PHOTO? Then on 10/8/1892 she was admitted to St.Olaves Workhouse, ,aged 63, of 15 Boss Street, due to 'Sons neglect' , relations given as sons Michael of 12 Curlew Street, & Timothy & Stephen, both of unknown address. She was discharged on 18/8/1892 - fiche X104/287.


Four days later, 22/8/1892, she was admitted to the Sisters of Mercy Carehome, St. Peters House. Maybe this was at the time of the 'marriage' of son Stephen, though I have yet to find a record of this. When she died there 10 years later, 1902, the cause of death was senile decay, so maybe she was already becoming confused at the age of 62. Possess d.c. D2.


Homes in London

London was being continually enlarged during his life and, as buildings were pulled down in the name of progress [ the construction of the railway into Waterloo and the approach roads for Tower Bridge,etc....] the poor had to seek new lodgings. Also they could also be evicted for falling behind with the rent. The family possessions of a poor labourer like Stephen would have been few. The map on Homes in London shows the perpetual movement of the family.



And his wife Catherine Lyons, nee Buckley, died 3/2/1902 in Lambeth . Death Cert D2

Bermondsey 1850-1939[ shows life at the Surrey Docks in the 1800s]

Basic facts and references on Stephen Lyons born 1827

Notes from my trip to NLI Dublin in March 2008

1. Speculation on blind John Lyons - with a view of linking Stephen with other Lyons families. Can I find a link with Stephen 1871C and Timothy 1871C?

1871. John,35, blind, given as son [but, as well as age this is obviously daft, so is he a brother or nephew? ] with Stephen Lines at 36 Brunswick Court.

1881. John Lyons, 58, blind, lodger, at 26 College St. with Catherine Hurley, 38, b.Cork, & her Lyons children, aged 5-15, all b. Horsleydown . Working back 10 years, in 1871 we have Timothy Lines, 40, wharf lab.,afflicted, Catherine 33, wife, John 9 spinal congst., all 3 b. Cork, & 3 younger children b.Southwark, living at Shipyard, p.42 of district 1, St.Olave. Timothy dies Mar 1878, aged 48.[ have his d.c. ; died of T.B. in St. Olave Union Inf., informant Catherine Lyons, widow of deceased, 12, College St., Tooley St., Southwark.] and Catherine has remarried Jun 1879 1d. 269 St.Saviour Jeremiah Hurley. So, what is the connection between Stephen & Timothy Lyons that each provide a home for blind John??? Timothy arrived in England after 1861[ 'cos son John, b.~1861/2 in Cork, and a daughter Ellen baptised 1863 in St. Finbarr's,Cork] and before 1866[ when Mary/Polly born Mar 1866] , already married; could I find an Irish marriage record for him? I have found Catherine's maiden name from a b.c. of one of their English born children , Timothy Lyons Sep 1867 St.Olave 1d.33.: it is Coughlan. I also searched in 1891C for John and there is a John Lyons in the St.Olave workhouse, but does not say blind and census says he was a carpenter, and have now got his death cert 1894. And John, aged 9 with spinal congestion in 1871C probably dies,aged 12, in 1874. This family is traceable in 1891C and 1901C, by which time Katherine's second husband is also dead.[but no further clue on where she came from in Ireland!] . More on all this in Theory 3

  Also the informant on d.c of John Lyons in 1894, is Mary Ann Lyons/Osborne , 1866 daughter of Timothy, and she claims to be a cousin of John’s.

There is a marriage 1859 in Milford, Cork [less than 10 miles N.W of Ardprior] of Timothy Lyans and a baptism of a John Lyans in 1864, Milford. And a Timothy Lyans is baptised in Milford in 1832 to a father Timothy Lyans. [ Also Timothy 1857 marriages in Banteer & Castleroche, and 1861 in Mitchelstown] . But, have just found that this 1859 marriage is to an Ellen Daly.

2. Speculation on Honorah Lyons, 52, widow, midwife,1861C, living in same house ,26, College St. as Stephen. Who is she the widow of? She has children John, 28, Patrick 21 and a niece Mary Bourke 11, all of whom were born in Ireland. Can not find this family unit in 1851C. Did her husband die after they came to England? She dies Jun 1870 St.Olave 1d.125: have this d.c. and she is the widow of Timothy Lyons, farmer. Applied for a d.c of a Timothy in St. Olave 1855{Feb8 2009]- not him.. Can not find an entry for Patrick[who is the witness on Honorah's 1870 d.c] in 1871C. But.... John could have become blind by 1871 and be the '35' yr old John Lines, son!, living with Stephen and family in Brunswick Court!!, and the blind John, 58?!, in 1881 living with Catherine Hurley [ex Lyons]. There is a death of a Patrick, 34, in Portsea Mar 1881.

Odd Lyons from partial 1851Cork Census.

304 Lyons Patrick 58 head skinner Kilworth Kilworth
304 Lyons Margaret 50 wife Kilworth Kilworth
304 Lyons James 22 son lab Kilworth Kilworth
304 Lyons Catherine 18 dau Kilworth Kilworth
304 Lyons Johanna 16 dau Kilworth Kilworth
304 Lyons Eliza 15 dau Kilworth Kilworth
705 Lyons John 60 head farmer Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Jane 50 wife Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Catherine 19 dau Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Denis 17 son Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Michael 14 son Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons John 12 son Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Mary 10 dau Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Patrick 8 son Macroney Lr Macroney
705 Lyons Ellen 6 dau

711 Lyons James 40 head lab Macroney Lr Macroney
711 Lyons Catherine 38 wife Macroney Lr Macroney
711 Lyons Ellen 11 dau Macroney Lr Macroney
711 Lyons Margaret 9 dau Macroney Lr Macroney
711 Lyons John 7 son Macroney Lr Macroney
711 Lyons William 4 son Macroney Lr Macroney
711 Lyons Alice 2 dau



Lyons family main page