Thaddeus Timothy O'Rourke, Bishop of Killala

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Thaddeus Timothy O'Rourke

Birthdate: (85)
Birthplace: Dromahair, County Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland
Death: September 1735 (85)
Dromahair, County Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland
Place of Burial: Dromahair Village, County Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland
Immediate Family:

Son of Teague O'Rourke and Sarah Roark

Occupation: Bishop of Killala
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Thaddeus Timothy O'Rourke, Bishop of Killala

This man was Franciscan clergyman Thaddeus Timothy O'Rourke, Bishop of Killala, County Mayo, Ireland, who lived and died in Ireland. He is buried at the Abbey of Creevelea in Dromahaire Village outskirts, County Leitrim Ireland.

This is one of many castles built by his ancestors during their reign of the Leitrim. He was from a family of wealth , fame and power. The Abbey has been made a landmark in this modern day and is cared for by a local caretaker. A picture of this castle is available in the Family notebook being established by Eva Wood.


From The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church: Current and historical information about its bishops and dioceses

Bishop Thaddeus Francis O’Rourke, O.F.M. †

  • Deceased
  • Bishop of Killala
  • 15 Mar 1707 Appointed Bishop of Killala, Ireland
  • 24 Aug 1707 Ordained Bishop Bishop of Killala, Ireland
  • Sep 1735 Died Bishop of Killala, Ireland
  • a bishop for 28.0 years
  • Principal Consecrator: Bishop Patrick O’Donnelly †
  • Assisted by: Archbishop Edmund Byrne †
  • Episcopal Lineage / Apostolic Succession: Bishop Thaddeus Francis O’Rourke, O.F.M. † (1707)
  • Bishop Patrick O’Donnelly †
  • Principal Consecrator of: Bishop Ambrose O’Madden †
  • Principal Co-Consecrator of: Archbishop Edmund Byrne †

Source(s): b: Revue des Ordinations Épiscopales, Issue 1707



  • Compiled by Elizabeth C. Roark, Brockway.
  • Maud Roark Peppers
  • Dr. George L. Roark

From family record and from events related to them by their father, Dr. Harlan Roark, who in turn received them from his grandmother, Elizabeth Linville Roark. Dates corroborated by William Harlan Roark for use of records preserved by him.

According to the earliest family traditions of the Roark family, they came into Ireland from England where they had lived close to the old Roman wall. They came to Ireland at a very early date, probably during the War of Roses.

From Ireland they migrated to North Carolina about the middle of the eighteenth century (1740-1765).

James Roark, one of the brothers who came from Ireland was with his son and brother William, on the verge of joining the British Army at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, when he had a dream or vision. In this dream he seemed to be traveling between two walls when an angel with drawn sword appeared before him, warning him to turn back and telling him that he was on the wrong road. When morning came the brothers heeded the warning and joined the Colonial Forces. There they served until peace was declared. James Roark always called himself, “God’s Soldier”, firmly believing that the vision was sent to him from God.

James Roark received a land warrant from the U.S. government as a reward for loyal services in the Revolutionary War. He selected this grant of land on Goose Creek, Macon County, Tennessee.

John Roark, a nephew of James Roark “God’s Soldier”, was born 1780 and died 1860. While still in North Carolina he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth Gibbs, whose maiden mane was Linville. (Her former husband was a sailor who was lost at sea.) John Roark and wife immediately after their marriage moved to Tennessee, leaving her little daughter by her first husband with relatives in North Carolina and making the journey across the mountains on horseback with pack saddles.

They settled on the Goose Creek grant of land in Macon County, Tennessee. The next year they returned to North Carolina for the little girl. They lived in Tennessee until 1855, moving to the Barren River in Barren County, Kentucky.

In the War of 1812-14 when Great Britain threatened the Gulf Coast, John Roark and his brother in law, Bill Linville, volunteered. They were of the famous Tennessee and Kentucky Riflemen, who fought under Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. These soldiers served without any pay and after the battle of New Orleans were mustered out, given a little parched corn and with their rifles left to find their way home across the wilderness that has since become Mississippi and Alabama.

None of these hardy frontiersmen seemed to think it a hardship. Their rifles furnished them game and defended them from the Indians. On account of avoiding Indians and finding game they did not go home in a company but each man for himself, or with a relative or friend who lived in the same community. There is no record of any of them not reaching home safely.

In preparation for the Battle of New Orleans, Jackson had drafted every able bodied man in the city. These men, mostly merchants and clerks, were issued the new army rifle. (The first percussion cap gun). Many of the recruits did not know how to use them. During the Battle, Bill Linville, whose old flint lock was too slow, grabbed a new gun from a terrified recruit cowering behind the barricade and ordered the owner of same to tear off the oiled paper from the ammunition and hand it to him, enabling him to shoot much faster. One of these rifles used in the Battle of New Orleans is now in possession of Mrs. Elizabeth Brockway of Norman, Oklahoma.

Tom Linville, another member of this family, had a life filled with interesting experiences. He was an uncle of Bill Linville and of Elizabeth Linville Roark. He had two nieces who were captured by the Cherokee Indians while they were still small children. Their father, named Holbrook, hunted for them for years and at last found them. The father, being a gunsmith, made guns for the Indians and bought back his children. One of them had married an Indian and refused to leave her Indian husband and child. The younger girl went with her father but never wholly lost her Indian ways.

Their uncle, Tom Linville, swore vengeance on all Indians and through his life kept this oath. While on a hunting trip with three companions the group was attacked by Indians and all were killed except one man. This man was shot through the leg and hid in a hollow log until the search for him was over. At one time an Indian stood upon the log in which he was hidden. When he thought it was safe, he dragged himself to the settlement, a three days’ journey, where he obtained men to go for his companions. On arrival at the scene of attack they found Tom Linville dead, but surrounded by heaps of dead Indians who had fallen before his unerring aim, his mouth still filled with bullets where he had placed them for greater convenience in reloading. The Indians had not taken his scalp, nor mutilated his body, as was their custom, they being afraid to touch his dead body, so great had been their fear of him in life.

To John Roark and his wife were born two children, William in 1807 and Henry in 1810.

William Roark was married to Elizabeth Meadows and to them were born a large family of both boys and girls. Elizabeth died and William married again.


Henry Roark was born in Macon County, Tennessee, in 1810 and was married to Elizabeth Smith at the age of seventeen (1827). He entered the ministry while still a young man and served the Baptist Church in that capacity until his death. He moved to Allen County, Kentucky, about twenty miles from his old home in 1855. Here he lived until 1868 when he moved to Long Prairie, Wayne County, Illinois. He died at that place in 1891. Elizabeth, his wife died in 1889, age 80 years.

Of the sons of Henry Roark, all served in the Federal Army during the Civil War except the eldest, William, who died previous to that time. Allen Roark, the second son, was a lawyer by profession and was Lieutenant Colonel in the 9th Kentucky Volunteers. While the Army was at Nashville, Tennessee, Allen was confined to the hospital with measles when his brother Jonathan was brought in very ill, from having been severely burned when the tent in which he was sleeping caught fire. Allen gave up his bed to his brother Jonathan due to the lack of beds in the crowded hospital. Allen had a relapse from this exposure and died a short time before the birth of his only son, James Allen Roark.

Jonathan W. Roark was captain of the 37th Co. 9th Kentucky Volunteers.

Dr. Harlan Roark was 2nd Lieut. Co. A., 9th Kentucky Volunteers. He was allowed to resign this commission to care for his brother Allen. After the death of Allen he served as a scout and guide against the guerilla bands that infested Kentucky and Tennessee. Dr. Harlan Roark was by profession a physician. He received his medical training by studying under Dr. James R. Duncan, afterwards his father-in-law, finishing his course of study at the University of Chicago. He gave up the practice of his profession and moved with his Father’s people to Wayne County, Illinois, afterwards moving to Sarcoxie, MO., thence to Kansas in 1876 to a farm near Newton. He afterwards took a claim in Harper County, Kansas, moving there in the autumn of 1881. He died September 28, 1888.

Thomas Roark was a Corporal and also served in the Civil War in the 9th Kentucky Volunteers.

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Thaddeus Timothy O'Rourke, Bishop of Killala's Timeline

Dromahair, County Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland
September 1735
Age 85
Dromahair, County Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland
Dromahair Village, County Leitrim, Connacht, Ireland