On New Year's day, we made our Christmas trip home to Newmarket, Co.Cork. A bit later than usual this year. We had a great day my Dad recently celebrated his 70th birthday and it was nice to spend some time at home. My Dad and I went for a drive a paid a visit to the City of Shrone which I recently became interested in. And we also paid a visit to one of Dad's friends and an old neighbour. Photo of some of the pilgrim stones from City of Shrone, Co.Kerry.
During our travels, it struck me how the use of family nicknames is still very prominent in rural Ireland at least. A lot of families are still distinguished by the old names such as Dan Paddy Andys, Mick Mike Dennys, Paddy Jack Patsys or Young Con or Old Con or even Mad Con! Our own family was always known as the Mór Murphys (The Big Murphys) apparently stems from a story that our Murphy ancestors were very tall men. They would have even overshadowed myself as I am over 6 foot tall. Three Murphy brothers by all accounts ran the Knocknagree fair at one stage and some of them were nearly seven foot tall. These, of course, are all oral histories. Photo of Knocknagree.
These nicknames can often be a great genealogy source but were usually never written down or recorded. Mick Mike Denny, for example, is for Michael son of Michael who was the son of Denis. This tradition is still very prominent but perhaps all these nicknames should also be written down in local histories. You can even get the longer versions such as Con Jerry Jack Mikes. Of course, they can be terribly confusing for someone looking for directions. Which Murphys do you mean? Ah, you mean the Philly Jerh Cons??? Why didn't you say so?. There are also some funny ways of distinguishing between families some of them not the most flattering but still part of an old Irish oral history such as The Weasels or The Stalks. Now defunct with the families well gone from the area.
Also, those fond of the odd refreshment have acquired a few nicknames down the years such as Johnny Whiskey and Tadhy Whiskey. Someone not local to the area might have some issues and need a rural dictionary. Of course, everyone just assumes you know who they are on about.
So throw away the Sat Nav's and just ask for Mick Mike Dennys you can never go wrong.
Over and out for now from Ger Dan Dan Mick Owen Mór in case you can't find me. :)
Interest in Genealogy research is at an all-time high in recent years. TV programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are have certainly contributed to its popularity in Ireland and the UK. international markets such as the USA always had an interest in tracing their family history. I always loved the romantic idea of the rich American returning to Ireland several generations after their Ancestor's left Ireland to live the American dream. Apologies for the rich American stereotype; but that was always the popular assumption in Ireland at the time back in the 1990s. Most Irish had no interest in tracing their ancestry certainly a lot less than now.
The use of Autosomal DNA testing for Genealogy has also exploded in popularity in recent years. I had even become obsessed with this form of tracing your family history at the expense of tradition paper research methods. It can be fun but also a frustrating method with so many people that don't reply when you contact them especially when they have a high enough DNA match to be 2nd or 3rd cousins and may be able to break down a possible brick wall on the paper trail. I am a member of many DNA social media groups and pages; people are also obsessed with ethnicity results and also expect these tests to possible lead them back to Adam and Eve sadly they cannot. Marketing of these products has a massive contribution to these ideas. Our Ancestry is far more complex or perhaps simple all in one sentence. The big Y-DNA test is perhaps the best method for going back several centuries but they also have their limitations and only on paternal line. MtDNA is useful for maternal lines but without a paper trail essentially of no use.
I am no expert on mathematical equations for calculating ancestors and I am also not an expert on Irish History but a logical point of view is as follows. Assuming an average generation gap of 30 years if you go back a thousand years or so in theory you should have just over a billion ancestors assuming no crossovers in ancestry which is obviously impossible. Ireland only had an estimated population of 720,000 people a thousand years ago. A number of invasions and plantations of Ireland took place during this time period. The Norse Vikings were still a presence towards the start of this time period and had some influence on the gene pool at this stage. The Hiberno-Norman invasion of 1169 (+33%~) and the English crown plantations in the 16th and 17th Century (+40%~). There were also some events that led to significant population decreases such as the Black Death c.1348 (-15%~) and the Great Irish Famine in 1845 (-50%~). The Bruce Scottish Invasion of Ireland c. 1315 also had some impact on population but conceded with the European Famine.
Essentially the gene pool of 720,000 people from thousand years ago is relatively undisturbed bar the Hiberno-Norman influence especially in counties of Cork and Kerry which my Ancestors all inhabited as far as can trace c.1800. The Protestant plantation of 16th and 17th century was estimated to have had a 40%+ increase in some parts of Ireland especially in Ulster but had relatively little effect on the native Catholic gene pool. Hiberno-Norman settlers c.1170 were believed to be mostly of Welsh extract which only introduced more Celtic DNA. The area where most of my ancestors lived is called Sliabh Luachra. And it was one of the few areas not conquered fully by the Normans and many Gaelic families moved to this area after the Norman invasion. To hell or to Sliabh Luachra! (over 400 years before To Hell or to Connacht). After the Norman invasion c.1170 people were dispossessed from their good farmland in parts of East Cork and further afield and settled in the rushy mountain "Sliabh Luachra". Eventually, the Norman's became more Irish than the Irish themselves as they intermarried into Gaelic Ireland.
So if I could build my tree back a thousand years what would we expect to see? From logic, it would seem we would have the same individuals listed as your ancestor a few thousand times on different lines. A bit mind-boggling. The good news is we are all probably descended from some High King or Chieftain. To make this all possible people must usually have married their close cousins. It is estimated that 80% of marriages historically were between 2nd cousins. If you look at original parish records from the 19th century Ireland you will notice many notes about such marriages still been common practice. This can explain all those close DNA matches that can't be traced on paper Also considering that most people did not usually travel far in their lifetimes in old Gaelic Ireland this would limit the gene pool even further.
So basically our family trees are shaped like a diamond, not an inverted pyramid that never ends. Tracing back a few hundred years gives a wider shape. But keep going you will find the shape narrowing, eventually tracing back to only a few ancestors.
We are all more closely related that we actually think especially in a small island like Ireland. So when you do meet someone with the same surname and they announce we are not related think again!! Happy New Year.
Will this stop me trying to trace back to Adam and Eve. Certainly Not!!
Kitty Cooper's Blog
https://blog.kittycooper.com/2014/05/how-many-ancestors-did-i-have-1000-years-ago/ [accessed 02/Jan/2019]
Grant Family History Website
http://www.grantonline.com/grant-family-genealogy/Records/population/population-ireland.htm [accessed 02/Jan/2019]
https://www.politics.ie/showthread.php?156856-The-Population-of-Ireland-from-Ancient-Times-until-the-Great-Famine [accessed 02/Jan/2019]
The Irish Post article by Jack Beresford Nov 26th, 2018
https://www.irishpost.com/news/adam-eve-exist-proof-162201 [accessed 02/Jan/2019]
Wesley Johnston website (map from www.irelandstory.com)
http://www.wesleyjohnston.com/users/ireland/past/history/norman_invasion.html [accessed 02/Jan/2019]
Nature Research Journal published Dec 8th, 2017
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-17124-4 [accessed 12/Jan/2019]
Letter written by my cousin Raymond (Rory) E Marshall born in Minnesota, USA in 1942. In 1964 Rory enlisted in the U.S. Army and attended basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, MO, and the Army Language School in Monterey, CA, where he studied Persian (Farsi). He served for three years in Germany with the Army Intelligence Service and completed his enlistment at Fort Dix, NJ, in 1968. During his stay in Germany he took a trip to his ancestral home in Meenleitrim, Knocknagoshel, Co.Kerry and his observations in this letter are a very interesting history and quiet humorous. Raymond and I are both descendants of the Reidy’s of Meenleitrim. Raymond sadly passed away in 2017 may he rest in peace. Rory didn't share any photos from his visit so I have added some from my own collection from a more recent visit to Meenleitrim.
The following is the Army leave letter by Raymond (Rory) Marshall
20 June 1967 (letter was typed on 6 part carbon interleaved forms sets we used in "ops" - operations)
I know this is a rather crude way to write a letter, but with so many people interested in my leave to Paris, England, and Ireland, I would die of writer's cramp if I tried to hand write 6 letters or so, or even type them.
First of all, the generalities. I made successful contact and had a wonderful time. The weather during my leave period must have been the 18 most beautiful days that Europe has seen since I don't know when. I will try to go through the leave chronologically to avoid forgetting anything.
We left Bad Aibling about 7 o'clock in the evening on June 1. We reached the French border about 1 o'clock the next morning and were immediately struck with the run down look of things compared to neat and clean Germany. The French Border Patrolman who stopped us looked like the typical Frenchman with a weak chin and a sickly mustache.
Without incident, we reached Paris about 7 in the morning and caught a little rack time in our tent (we camped the entire way, except for when I went to Ireland) and then went downtown for a little sightseeing. We tried to take a downtown tour of Historical Paris and almost were thrown off the bus by rather impolite tour guides but did manage to see a few sights. I was rather struck with the way the Louvre Museum looked more like the Minnesota State Fair than a museum. there were thousands of people trying to see the few (Mona Lisa, Venus D'Milo, Winged Victory) real masterpieces around. Although the atmosphere wasn't quite conducive to proper contemplation, I must admit that they were worth the trip.
I heard from one American couple taking the tour with us that the Sistine Chapel in Rome is even worse with respect to crowds. You stand around looking up at the ceiling and more or less sway back and forth with the crowd.
The next morning began the excitement. We went to the Eiffel Tower and walked up as far as we could (not bad) and got a nice view of the city. Unfortunately it was too hazy for real good pictures. After a couple of hours, we decided to head back for dinner and decided to walk across the Seine. In doing so, we happened to look down and discovered that the body of a dead man was floating in the river, stuck on the pier, about 100 yards down from the excursion dock. After informing a tour ticket seller who called the police, who after about 30 minutes, finally did come to pull the man out. I never did hear any more about it, and probably never will. But it certainly livened up our trip to Paris.
Sunday, the last day in Paris, we decided to go to the Air Show at the Airport. It is supposed to be the best in the world, and it probably very well is. We saw the Russian rocket which launched the Vostok satellites into orbit, a few Soviet and American satellites, the TFX, the Vertical takeoff and landing plane and the Air Show. The Air Show was climaxed by the crash landing (and death) of a French flier who was performing his last stunt before the end of the show when he was unable to pull out of a dive. Fortunately, none of the crowd (approximately 200,000) was injured. We immediately took off for Boulogne, where we were supposed to catch a ferry the next morning.
We made it to London about noon on Monday and I there found out that I couldn't get a ticket to Dublin until Wednesday night. We piddled around for two days and I caught an Aer Lingus (Irish Airlines) flight for Dublin. Arrived in downtown Dublin around 3 in the morning and caught a hotel. I took the train for Limerick the next morning and there my Irish Journey begins.
I first had noticed the difference between peoples and languages when the stewardesses aboard the flight greeted me with "good night." I thought it rather amusing.
On the way to Limerick, I began to have the feeling (which never did leave me while in Ireland), that I was more or less reliving John Wayne's movie "The Quiet Man", about that fighter who killed someone in New York and then returned to Ireland to live.
I noticed a track gang of about eight or so while going through a small town. I wanted to shout with laughter and joy when a couple of them (all wearing caps like Grandpa used to wear, as do all Irishmen) greeted me with an exaggerated, rather sarcastic bow, as if I were the local landlord or something.
I had already begun to notice the amazing friendliness of the Irish people, of course, by this time.
I noticed another thing on the train which was to be repeated three or four more times almost in the same words while I was there. During some form of a political argument between two fellow passengers, one came out with a statement to the effect that Ireland was a little country and couldn't do much about anything without support from Britain or America. It was very refreshing to visit a people who weren't always worried about righting the wrongs encountered at every turn, etc. etc. etc.
At Limerick, I had to catch a bus for Tralee, on the western coast and arrived there about 4 on Thursday afternoon.
About 6 I caught a train for Castleisland, about 15 miles or so distant. Then, I discovered Meenleitrim (Meen LEE thrim) was a very small farming community stuck out about eight miles north of Castleisland. I got a room for the night and struck out the next morning.
By now I was in the heart of County Kerry and boy oh boy, what a brogue. They speak a tremendous amount of Irish (Gaelic) there (it is required to be taught in all schools) and speak English so fast that I really didn't understand them very well at all. I never did get to understand the women as well as the men.
I hitched a ride out to Meenleitrim the next day and found the farm of Michael Reidy without delay. Before I get into personalities, let me describe the area, if I can.
The area is kind of hilly, almost treeless, quite rainy, as evidenced by the fact that even the tops of hills are almost too wet to walk on. The land is largely peat and very poor soil, thus almost no profitable agriculture is carried on. Crops planted are generally potatoes and vegetables for the family use. Dairy cattle are the one large source of income for the people in the region. Michael Reidy and his family have 21 cows and a brand new tractor and thus are probably fairly well off.
Many (I should probably say, some) of the people still live in homes with thatched roofs, and others, most certainly a larger number, burn peat (as did the Reidy's) which is cut in the early summer, left to dry and then brought in for the winter.
Although many of the people still don't have cars or tractors, television antennas are quite common, even on the poorest of houses sometimes. I guess it is a good way to pass the time.
But come what may, the people are fantastically friendly and are not really poor for this is all they want. They generally have no real ambitions. Drivers rarely go over 30 miles an hour. What's the rush? As one said to me, "You can only eat three or four meals a day, and only wear one suit of clothes." There is just no hustle-bustle as we know it. But still, it would be hard for us to get used to the area.
Michael Reidy (whom I thought to be about 20) looks like he is 20, but is actually 30 and still single (as all Irish males - almost - at that age are. He lives with his 34 year old sister, Peggy, also unmarried, and a 37 year old brother, John, unmarried, too, and their widowed mother. A brother, Jerry, works as a bodyguard for the Irish Parliament in Dublin. He is getting married in August. Two more brothers live in Australia and Chicago.
Mrs. Hannah O'Sullivan, who I guess is my 3rd cousin, is 63 years old. Her husband, Paddy, of course, is still living and she has a daughter, Mary Bridget, 21, and Pat, 15 [who was adopted]. As both Mr. and Mrs. O'Sullivan are getting on, their place is rather small with only three or four cows and a small garden patch. I spent most of my time with her or the Reidy's.
I ran into a few more relatives around there, but the brogue and the beautiful weather, the Guiness and the tea, all ganged up to make me forget much of what I heard (mostly the brogue was to blame). Brosna, where the Hartnett's came from is about 10 miles distant, Knocknagashel is actually the parish in which Meenleitrim is located, Castleisland, Tralee, and all kinds of other places. One could spend weeks there just looking up all the people who were even remotely related even from that side of the family.
Again, I say, the friendliness of the people was unimaginable. As an example, on my second day there, 5 people I didn't even know walked out to their gates to talk to me and eventually invited me in for tea (Incidentally, I drank more tea during those few days than I had previously in my life). I was averaging 10-12 cups a day.
Before Rory travelled to Meenleitrim he sent a letter from Germany to his cousin Michael Reidy on April 21st, 1967.
RIP to Raymond Marshall
"Jack McAuliffe is one of only fifteen world boxing champions to retire without a loss"
By Gerard Murphy
Image ref: http://boxrec.com/media/index.php/Jack_McAuliffe
John (Jack) McAuliffe “The Napoleon of the Ring” was born in Cork City on March 27th, 1866 his parents were Cornelius McAuliffe & Jane Bailey their address was 5 Christ Church Lane. Cornelius McAuliffe’s occupation was recorded as a Labourer. Jack’s birth location is recorded as Lying in Hospital which was a benevolent institution in Cork City for maternity at the time.
Jack McAuliffe’s birth certificate ordered from General Register’s office of Ireland
Jack’s parents were married on September 15th, 1861 in the Parish of Holy Trinity in the City of Cork. This was a Church of Ireland Church. It is likely that Jane was Church of Ireland and McAuliffe’s were Roman Catholic. Jack’s parents were only nineteen and seventeen by the marriage certificate. Which would make Jack’s father Cornelius born approximately 1842. McAuliffe’s were listed as Fenian’s in several sources
Marriage of Cornelius McAuliffe & Jane Bailey sourced from General Register’s office of Ireland
This plaque in Bishop Lucey Park Cork City in honour of Jack McAuliffe was unveiled in 1997 by members of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association. (Fenian reference also in link)
Jane McAuliffe nee Bailey appears to have arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on December 5th, 1871 on the Samaria. Her husband Cornelius is not listed on the ship manifest. But Jane’s three children Harriett, Cornelius (Connor) and John were listed.
Ref: Boston, Massachusetts. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Boston, Massachusetts, 1820-1891.Micropublication M277. RG036. 115 rolls. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Some sources claim that Jack McAuliffe had a very close connection to Newmarket, Co.Cork and possibly even a connection to the townland of Glenamuckla (Glennamucklagh) were my own McAuliffe’s originate. We know his father and grandfather were both called Cornelius McAuliffe and his father was born c.1842.
To try and establish this connection I looked for records on Cornelius McAuliffe Jack’s father. He died on February 10, 1888 in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York with his birth year recorded as 1843.
Ref: Ancestry.com. New York, New York, Extracted Death Index, 1862-1948 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014.
Obituary sourced from the sports pages of New York Herald Saturday, Feb 11, 1888
The family were in the 1880 Census in Kings New York and by 1900 Jane was widow on the census which again confirms the above. The family first lived in Maine before moving to New York. Cornelius snr occupation in 1880 is recorded as a Cooper.
Ref: 1880 Census Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1880 United States Federal Census[database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010. 1880 U.S. Census Index provided by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints © Copyright 1999 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. All use is subject to the limited use license and other terms and conditions applicable to this site.
Ref: Ancestry.com. 1900 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
The following record is the U.S. Naturalization Record for Jack’s father Cornelius McAuliffe. His arrival year is given as 1867
Ref: Ancestry.com. U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project) [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. This collection was indexed by Ancestry.com
The following naturalisation record was also sourced for Cornelius McAuliffe which states he arrived in 1867 and spent 3 years in the regular army and was honourably discharged.
Ref: Ancestry.com. Maine, Federal Naturalization Records, 1787-1952 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.
There is an army enlistment record for a Cornelius McAuliffe born 1843 that joined the Army in 1867. His record states he was a Labourer from Cork, Ireland and was honourably discharged on June 24th, 1870. Nearly a year and half before Jane arrived with the children.
Ref: Original data: Register of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914; (National Archives Microfilm Publication M233, 81 rolls); Records of the Adjutant General’s Office, 1780’s-1917, Record Group 94; National Archives, Washington, D.C.
No recorded source can be found from my research yet on what Cornelius McAuliffe born c.1842 mother’s name was. Assuming he was baptised Roman Catholic. There are two possible baptisms in the Roman Catholic parish registers. One from Ballyclough & Kilbrin parish March 27th, 1842 Cornelius son of Cornelius McAuliffe and Ellen Cashman I have found enough evidence to show that this is not the correct Cornelius McAuliffe as he died in 1923 much later than Jack’s father. He is also recorded as admitted to Almshouses and Poorhouses in New York on October 4th, 1915.
Ref: Ancestry.com. New York, Census of Inmates in Almshouses and Poorhouses, 1830-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Ref: Ancestry.com. Ireland, Catholic Parish Registers, 1655-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
There is a Cornelius McAuliffe that was baptised on Jan 17th, 1843 son of Cornelius McAuliffe & Jane Grogan in Newmarket (Clonfert) parish, Co.Cork.
This is a possible candidate but more research will need to be carried out to confirm. Possibly ordering the death record of Cornelius in 1888 might assist but death records for that time period didn’t give much details; and may not have his mother’s maiden name listed. There is also a possibly that his baptism wasn’t recorded as a lot of records from 1840’s are missing. My search will continue and any assistance appreciated.
A book written by one of Jack McAuliffe's nephews JE McAuliffe called "Uncle Jack World Champion: Heart of the Champion Jack McAuliffe"
Portlaw (Guilcagh) Cemetery (C of I), Co. Waterford (73 images)
Contributed by Eadaoin Breslin email@example.com & Ger Murphy