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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cutting A Path Across Ireland - Part 1

When I review my genealogy and family history, I find that I can almost cut a path across Ireland (west to east) with my ancestor's origns stemming from the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, from Clare to Louth.  This post is intended to be anecdotal rather than a full historical account of my ancestors.

O'Brien's and County Limerick:
If I ever venture to County Limerick again, I must stop by Castleconnell near the Clare border.  The O'Brien name was prevalant in the area.  Online I have found that there is bridge named after an O'Brien in town.  I have posted information on message boards online about Catherine Mary O'Brien, b.1843 (my great-great grandmother who was Kate Flanagan as a married adult).  Kate's parents were Edmond (Edmund) O'Brien and Anne (Ann) Gleeson (Gleason).  Kate left Ireland with her family for Melbourne, Australia in 1854 and by 1870, she was married and living in Napa, California.  

Coughlin's and County Clare:

In County Clare, I hope to someday find my Coughlin ancestors.  Johanna Coughlin (my great-grandmother) immigrated to the U.S. around 1905.  She was born in 1889.  I do not know her precise location in Co. Clare but I do know the names of all of her 15 brothers and sisters.  Johanna appears to have been the younger generation of children in the family.  I wish that I knew her parents' names.   Her father would have been a Coughlin, of course.  Her mother is rumored to have been a McManus.  My aunt indicated that Johanna told her once that she left Ireland for New York because all of the men were leaving.

Hickey's and County Clare:

And what about those Hickey's.  Patrick Hickey, b. 1884, Whitegate, Co. Clare, Ireland, immigrated to the U.S. around 1904 and married Johanna Coughlin in Rye, New York in November 1911.  He lived in Greenwich Village in NYC and worked for the "New York Transit Authority" at Penn Station.  Where he was really from is a bit of a mystery.  He was actually baptized in Whitegate and could have lived in the neighboring county of Tipperary.  I have had the hardest time finding my Hickey's.  I seem to have 2-3 of his siblings' names.  They too must have immigrated stateside.   The Hickey's really elude me.  I spotted the Hickey name all over Clare when we were traveling the countryside into various small towns.  It must be a common surname in Clare.  I have been told that I look like a Hickey.  I know others say that I look like other family lines but I soooo look my father who looked like his mother (Josephine Hickey McGuire) who apparently looked like her father, Patrick Hickey.

Flanagan's and County Roscommon:

When I next travel to Ireland, should I stop in County Roscommon?  Maybe in Elphin?  The 13th Century Flanagan's of the Kings of Connaught were from there.  I must admit that is a bit of a mouthful.  I might just like to see what Flanagan information I find in Roscommon.   I do know where I can find my Flanagan's in Louth.  I will get there in my next post.

McGuire's, Maguire's and County Fermanagh:

What county of Ireland looks like it comes next on my list?  That would be Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. I must admit the strong desire to visit Belleek Pottery.  I do own some.  The Maguire's and McGuire's can also be found in Fermanagh, specifically Enniskillen.  Not only am I a McGuire but I am also a Maguire.  My maiden name is McGuire.  While my great grandfather, Francis Joseph McGuire, was born in New York (1878), his own father was apparently from County Fermanagh and had immigrated to the U.S.  He was apparently married to a McGrath.  I don't have much more on my McGuire line but I do know where to find those Maguire's.  They lived in Louth.  Of course, I can assume they too orignated in Fermanagh.  I will visit Louth in my next post.

To be continued..................


  1. My family is also descended from the McGuires of County Fermanagh. A few years ago we were able to visit there and saw both the McGuire castle and went to the Belleek factory. Needless to say we spent a lot of money there! It was well worth the trip. Thank you for sharing about your McGuire line!

  2. Hi Heather, Thanks for commenting. I too want to go back to Ireland. I am still tracing my McGuire and Maguire family lines both. Hopefully by the time I get back to Ireland, I will know more. I love Belleek and have some too!