On February 12th 1885, Edward Doyle, Nicholas' youngest son, married Eliza or Elizabeth Reynolds of Clooneagh in Bornacoola Church. We have already noted that the best man was Edward's brother John, and the other witness was Ellen Molaghan, though what relationship, if any, she held to either party is unknown.

This was the last record found of John Doyle, the eldest of Nicholas' four children. It is clear that Edward and Elizabeth remained at the house in Clooncarne, and all their children were born and raised there. Under normal circumstances we could expect the oldest son to have been the one chosen to run the farm with his father and eventually take it over. So why did that not happen here?

One possible explanation is that by 1885, John was 37 years old and unmarried. It may well be that he felt that it was unlikely he would find a wife and that it would be fairest to all if he left Clooncarne. We have speculated earlier that he may well have emigrated, and at this point in time, that seems the most likely explanation.

In any case, Edward and Elizabeth remained in Clooncarne, and between January 1886, when John was born, and August 1896 when Bernard was born, they also had five other children. Edward's grandchildren, Bridgie, Mary Jo and Bernie all told me at different times that they believed the family had originally lived in the building that today still stands on the holding and is known as the Barn, and that the current dwelling house was built after the Doyles came to Clooncarne. While this is not wholly borne out by examination of the Ordnance Survey maps that cover the period1830 to 1910, if it is true, then it is likely that the newer house was built by Nicholas and Edward. What we can say is that on the 1901 Census of Ireland the house was classified as a 2nd Class House, on the basis of having(2 doors and 3 windows in front. It also had 5 outhouses. This basic layout was to remain unchanged until into the 21st Century.

Although Edward and Elizabeth lived on into the 1930s, there is little record, either written or anecdotal, of their being involved in any way in the events of 1914 to 1921 that shaped subsequent Irish history. Of their sons, John was aged 28 at the outbreak of The Great War but as the eldest son of a father then aged 56, he appears to have been heavily involved in running the farm, and does not seem to have contemplated joining the army. Edward and Michael Joseph had both already emigrated to the U.S.A. by 1914. Bernard was 17 when War began but he too seems to have remained at home until he emigrated in 1921.

I did hear mentioned, in hushed tones, that sometime during the War of Independence of 1919-1921 John Doyle was involved in digging a pit on one of the public roads to set a trap for passing Black and Tan lorries, but otherwise there is nothing to suggest any Doyle involvement in these events.

In a later volume of this study we will look at the Reynolds of Clooneagh - the family of Eliza who married Edward Doyle. This family was greatly affected by the Civil War when Eliza's brother Michael was killed in his own home by anti-treaty forces. Michael's son John Tom Reynolds was a former R.I.C. man who was the target of this shooting. He survived it and, when John Doyle married Mary Diffley in June 1924, John Tom Reynolds was the best man at the wedding.

Of course, as a first cousin of John Doyle's, this was not too surprising; all of John's brothers were in America by then. But one thing that strikes as interesting is that in later years the Doyles were a staunch Fianna Fail supporting family. Fianna Fail of course had its origins in the anti-treaty side of the civil war. So was John's selection of John Tom merely an acceptance of blood being thicker than water, and choosing his only available male relative, or was it a tacit act of support and defiance to the anti-treaty side?