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Thursday, August 25, 2011


I don't have much about my Kirwan line but I do know that Judith Kirwan (b. 1780) married Patrick Flanagan (b. 1780, Termonfechin) on January 18, 1801.  Her father was Nicholas Kirwan.  Judith lived much of her life on the Flanagan Family Farm in Termofechin but she also spent time in Dublin in the House of Industry for some mental health issue, presumably depression.

In my recent searches for information about the Termonfechin area and Clogher, I ran across some information about the Kirwan family name and history.  While the name is prominent in Galway as a "Tribe of Galway", you have to wonder what my Kirwan line was doing all the way across the isle in County Louth.  The surname, Kirwan, is the anglicised version of the Gaelic name "O'Ciardhubhain".  That is quite the mouthful.  It is no wonder that name was changed to Kirwan.  In the Irish language, the name is derived from the "ciar dubh" which means black.

What I found most interesting is that the Kirwan's originate in County Louth.  They were not in Galway until the 15th century.  There have been many prominent Kirwan's over the ages including Rev. Francis Kirwan (1589-1661), John Kirwan (Mayor of Galway),  and Owen Kirwan (1803).

When I look up Kirwan's and Louth today, I find a few in Clogher.  They must be big in the fishing industry as that's what comes up in my searches these days.  I wonder what my Kirwan line looks like.


  1. Hmm...should make for some interesting research. I have never heard of the surname Kirwan before, I hope it is semi-unique to make your search a little easier!

  2. I'm thinking that my Flanagan's in Termonfechin know some Kirwan's of Louth, maybe. I need to venture back to Ireland to get the full scoop!