Hanley/Delaney of Glenkeen (Borrisoleigh) and Upperchurch (Kilcommon), Co Tipperary

The Hanley/Delaney family were farmers who lived in Cronavone townland, Glenkeen civil parish (Borrisoleigh R.C. church parish), County Tipperary, Ireland. An atlas with the detail of a Hammond's Contemporary World Atlas, will not show Cronavone or even Borrisoleigh. It will show Thurles in roughly the center of the county. Borrisoleigh is about 13.6 kilometers northwest of Thurles.

The husband, Michael Hanley, was not raised on the Cronavone farm but on a farm about ten (10) kilometers southwest in Reisk townland, Upperchurch civil parish (Kilcommon church parish). The Hanleys have been in Upperchurch (Kilcommon) for at least 230-years. Michael's Hanley relatives still live in Reisk.

According to family lore, the wife, Margaret Delaney, was bequeathed the Cronavone farm by her father - and - her brothers emigrated Cronavone for America. Can't say which of these events occurred first but the brothers departed before 1854. No serious attempt has been made to find them. A daughter of Michael and Margaret's, Mary Hanley Cody, emigrated Ireland in the fall of 1903 for St Louis, Missouri, U.S.A. The only other known descendant of Michael Hanley/Margaret Delaney known to have left Ireland is a nephew, Michadel Hanly (1908-1994), a trappist monk, who immigrated to a monastery in Dubuque, Iowa, U.S.A.


Cronavone is a 463-acre townland on the western edge of Glenkeen civil parish. It is situated on the side of a fairly steep hill along the north bank of the Clodiagh River about 7 kilometers, by road, west of Borrisoleigh. In 1856, there were ten (10) houses in the townland on nine (9) lots. The entire townland, including buildings, was valued, for tax purposes, at 123£10s0d (£=pounds, s=shillings, d=pence). The Hanley farm was 96 acres and valued at 21£0s0d.

In 1933, the Hanley/Delaney farm had been enlarged by 22 acres to a total of 118 acres. Its size today, in 2003, is unknown. It is owned by the widow May Kennedy whose late husband was related to the Hanleys by marriage. The house, located below the road, was built in the 1600s and is still in use.

Cronavone, from the Irish Crón-mhóin, means brown bog. Glenkeen, from the Irish Gleann-caoin, means pleasant glen. Borrisoleigh is from the Irish Buiríos Ó Luigheach meaning the burgage or borough of Uí Luigheach (the ancient name of the territory).

Hanley and Delaney Surnames

Hanley, from the Irish Ó hÁinle; descendant of áinle (beauty). Also anglicized as Handly, Hanily, Hanly, and Henley. An important sept from County Roscommon. Chiefs of Cinel Dobtha, a district along the Shannon and including the civil parishes of Kilglass, Termonbarry, Cloontuskert, and the eastern half of Lisonuffy. Hanleys held this territory down into the 17th century. Early church records in Kilcommon sometimes list the Hanley name as Hannelly. More modern records list either Hanley or Hanly.

There are two Irish names that have been anglicized as Delaney. Am not sure which is the correct, or even the more likely of these, in our case. One is Ó Dubhláin; descendant of Dubhlain (black defiance, challenge). Anglicized as O'Doelane, O'Dowlane, O'Dolane, O'Doolan, Dolan, and Dowling as well as Delaney and Delany. Felix O'Dubhlain was Bishop of Ossory at the beginning of the 13th century. The second is Ó Dubhsláine, Ó Dubhsláinge; descendant of Dubsláine or Dubhsláinge (Black of the Slaney). Anglicized as O'Dowlaney, O'Dulany Deleany, Laney, etc, as well as Delaney and Delany. Numerous in County Leix, formerly were chiefs of Coill Uachtarach, now Upperwoods, at the foot of Slieve Bloom.