Many thanks for the info - it seems like when one avenue closes another opens up with genealogy. My reason for saying this is that the James O'Neil who married Hannah Ames appeared to have been lost track of by his family and his own brother in a 1916 probate affadavit could only say he died in about 1906. It has always seemed strange to us that James' brother Michael did not know the exact death of his own brother as the family for no other reason that it did not seem possible in a properly brought up family. James and Hannah's son James who married in Liverpool also disappeared and was reported to have died in Canada in 1915 - it was these two mysteries that first gave me the genealogy bug oh - many years ago now. Alas despite thinking I've come close a few times - the mysteries are still unsolved! When researching Ames in the US records it seems that Hannah is quite a popular first name so maybe she took the name from her father's side.
We had always known about our family's County Cork origins but when we'd first researched the Irish origins we encountered what a lady at the Mallow Heritage Centre described as 'the black spot' of Irish genealogy - namely that records for West Cork are hard to come by and so we had been quite satisfied with knowing that the Neill's were from Cashalisky, were baptised in Clonakilty and had emigrated to the USA in 1850. We now know virtually everything that happened to them after this with the exception of the two unsolved mysteries.
As for the Beechinors, we know nothing about their Irish origins apart from what I detailed in my earlier posting. In short we know only the original emigrants names and approximate birth years from the ship's manifest, that they were from Ireland and only that they appear to be from the Clonakilty area as stated by John (the son's) naturalisation application. We have no evidence as to their religious denomination as the US censuses never recorded that information - we do know that James O'Neil and Hannah Ames were married in a Catholic ceremony 30 April 1873 at St Teresa's on Henry Street NYC so I can only assume they were Catholic I have tracked their resulting histories to a certain extant in the USA but have never gone back to Ireland due to our earlier experience researching Neill.
It would be great if you could use the Beechinor information and tie it in with earlier ancestors back in Ireland then the tree could be widened and any holes plugged.