My Sly FOX Family of Ballykilcline, Kilglass Parish, County Roscommon
Fox is a simple translation of O or Mac an tSionnaigh, 'descendant' or 'son of the fox' respectively.
From early times the Mac an tSionnaigh were widely scattered, allowing their name to be
anglicized phonetically in an extraordinary number of ways depending on local accents and
dialects - MacAshinna, MacShanaghy, Shinny, Shannon, Shinnock, Tinney and MacAtinna
are only some of the variation which have been noted. O Sionnaigh has a more particular
history. Tadhg O Catharnaigh ('Kearney') was Chief of Teffia in Co Meath in the eleventh
century and, for his wily ways, became known as 'An Sionnach' the fox. As his descendants
prospered even further, becoming proprietors of the entire barony of Kilcoursey in Co Offaly
and acquiring the title 'Barons Kilcoursey', they adopted his nickname as their own surname in
place of O Catharnaigh, and the chief of the family took on 'The Fox' as a title. They lost their
property after the rebellion of 1641-2, but the descent from the last duly inaugurated Chief has
Barty Connor and James Nary held 18 acres jointly with the Foxes.
The Fox Family lived in a cabin on the estate, but owned no land.
Reverend Thomas William Lloyd was a Church of Ireland Rector in
Kilglass parish and subtenant of the Hartland estate. He lived at
Glebe House on the border of Ballykilcline.
Thomas Fox was a farmhand for Lloyd.
The Fox family departed Ireland on March 13,1848 aboard the "Channing".
Arrived in New York on April 17, 1848
It is also believed, that they left Fox relatives in the surrounding areas of Roscommon.
Griffith's Valuation (1848-6 lists:
Fox Martin Roscommon Kilcorkey Killaster
Fox Honor Roscommon Cloonygormican Rushpark
Fox William Roscommon Cloonygormican Dooneen
Fox Patrick Roscommon Cloonygormican Dooneen
Fox Patrick Roscommon Baslick Slevin
Fox Anne Roscommon Baslick Cloonbard
Aboard the Channing were:
Francis Fox age 35
Mary Fox age 33 wife of Francis
Pat age 7 son of Francis and Mary
Francis age 4 son of Francis and Mary
Thomas Fox age 26 brother of Francis
Catherine Fox age 16 sister to Francis
After arriving in the United States, Thomas came to Washington County,Tennessee.
Francis and Mary, along with their children and Francis' sister Catherine are
believed to have stayed in the New England area.
They became separated by distance from Thomas and lost contact...
Thomas married Mary Ann Brown in Washington County,Tennessee on April 19,1854.
Thomas and Mary moved southwest to Jefferson County, Tennessee and were listed there in
the 1860 Census, District 2 ,Farmer.
Thomas was also listed in a special census of free white males in Jefferson County in 1861
living in District 2
Thomas enlisted at Mossy Creek,Tennessee (now Jefferson City), in the Civil War.
As a Lieutenant, between 1861 and 1862, in the 1st Confederate Cavalry, Carter's Co.
Upon reorganization of the unit in 1862, he chose not to re-enlist.
Thomas bought property in 1866, in Sevier County, Tennessee, on the Noisy branch of
Webbs Creek, near other Irish families.
Thomas and Mary had 4 known children.
Nicholas Brown born 9/8/1855 died 11/28/1924
Margaret born 1858 died abt. 1881 of diptheria
William Thomas born 11/1862 died 1944
Martha Brown born 1866 died 1880 of diptheria
Thomas always listed his language as Irish in the census.
Thomas and Mary were listed in the 1870 and 1880 Census of Sevier County, Tennessee
Thomas and Mary lived the remainder of their lives in the mountains of Sevier County
Tennessee and died close together sometime in the early 1890's. They are buried along with other family
members in a small family plot, on Noisy Creek, which is now part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Ray Phillips is the 2nd great grandson of Thomas Fox and continues to search for his
ancestors in Ireland and also for other relatives of Francis and Catherine, Thomas'