There were no Cleary’s in Boley in the 1850s and the first mention of them is in 1882 when Pat Connolly`s place, which previously belonged to John Mellon, comes into the ownership of James Cleary. There were two houses on that farm on which Peter, James and John Mellon lived. This Cleary family is believed to come up from Cavanreagh. James Cleary was called James Pat Lawrie by nickname and this suggests that his father was Pat Cleary and his grandfather was Lawrence. It also suggests that these Cleary’s were related to the Lawrie Cleary’s who lived beside the Herons in Cavanreagh.

By 1911 there are two families of Cleary’s on this land and those two families are still in Boley.

In 1911, we had Sarah Cleary and her family, Annie, Pat, Bridget, Francis, Mary, Lizzie and grandson, Joe Trolan. In the second family we have James Cleary and his wife Annie, along with their children, Mary, Bridget, Sarah, Pat, James and Annie.

This house was built by James (Pat Lawrie) Cleary when he got married. It is believed that this family originated in Cavanreagh and were related to the Johnny Lawrie Clearys there. This farm and house changed ownership at some time in the 1880s from a Pat Connolly to James Cleary. It is not known if James married in there or simply bought the place. There is evidence that there was a cluster of houses here at a time. Below we have a photo of what was two small semi detached houses close to O`Hagan`s.

Cleary's House

Within this now farm building once stood two small cottages which were along with the O`Hagan house were the original three houses of Boley. The low doors as well as beams inside are part of the remnants of these old thatched cottages.

Although these two old houses were converted at a time for farm use, a look inside will show some physical aspects of the old houses, like the low door height, remnants of an old hearth and the original beams of the thatched roof. The two doors would have been where the original doors were.

In 1901, James Cleary 33,  is living in his new house with his wife Annie 23, and their two daughters, Mary and Bridget who are only 2 and 1 years old.
By 1911, Sarah 8, Patrick 6, James 4 and Annie have been added to the family.

In 1901, in the original Cleary house there is widow Sarah Cleary, living with her two sons, Patrick 25 and Francis 21.  Also, her four daughters, Annie 34, Bridget 23, Mary 19 and Lizzie 18. Also living with her is her grandson, Joe Trolan aged 7.  Ten years later the same occupants are still there with the exception of Patrick.  Eventually, Bridget (Biddy) went to the USA and married a man from Rouskey called Daly. Annie married a McCracken from Mabouy, Lissan, Mary married Pat McGuigan from Draperstown and Patrick also went to the USA.  It seems Francis and Lizzie never married and so the place then went to James`s son Jim who married Mary Grey and the reared their family in that house which has had a couple of improvements done to it in that generation.